Possibly Getting a Different Truck...Need Ideas and Opinions

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by rkmurphy, Jun 6, 2010.

  1. rkmurphy

    rkmurphy Well-Known Member

    Hey all. I want to start by saying that I don't want this to turn into a Ford vs Dodge vs Chrysler vs everyone else discussion. I'm just looking for some personal experiences.

    My current truck is a 2004 Dodge Dakota Club Cab 3.7 V6 2WD. I like the truck but it has some trouble towing my new sled and I don't like putting the excess wear on the vehicle but it does get the job done. Well...I took my truck in to a Jiffy Lube type place that I get my oil changes done at around the corner from my house and they raised some issues for me. They noticed a pretty severe leak from my transmission (4 speed auto) and an oil leak from an unknown source. They topped off my transmission fluid (which was decently low, apparently) free of charge and suggested I get the issues check out.

    Last Thursday I took my truck over to Dodge (I have an extended warranty through a third party company) and had them diagnose the issues. It turns out my transmission has a bad and leaky solenoid, my rear main seal on the motor is leaking, and my motor is leaking oil into the cylinders (possibly the valve seals). The truck has <75,000 miles on it...

    The warranty company has approved the transmission fix but is demanding a tear down of the motor to diagnose the other issues. They also asked for my maintenance records which, luckily, I do a decent job keeping track of. So, I'm stuck with signing for a $600+ "diagnostic" that may or may not be covered pending a second inspection by the insurance company's "independent" inspector.

    So...I'm looking into getting myself a bigger used truck that has a good reputation. I've been doing some research and, per appraisal, I'll get ~$6,500 for my truck after the repairs. I'm looking to get into something for around $200/month for 36 months since I start my real job in a little over a year and will be able to pay of the loan much faster and buy something new.

    Any ideas on what to look at?
  2. firecat1981

    firecat1981 BBA Counselor

    My personal experience is that dodge's aren't quality vehicles, my 97 ram went through 3 trannys and a rear end in less then 110k miles, with no towing!

    I've had fords, and if you buy new they are great, but I truely believe they are designed to be great for 5 years, then fall apart after that. I've had engine trouble in everyone.

    Chevy's are less flashy I think, the engine and transmissions will last forever, but you will be annoyed by little thinks like window motors and A/C stuff.

    Toyota's are really good, but you can't find them for a decent price unless they have a ton of miles on them or they are pretty old.

    I have been thinking about looking into a honda ridgeline, I've only had 1 friend who owned one and he said it was great and never had an issue with it, plus 22mpg sounds good.

    thats all I got.

  3. cvilt

    cvilt I Love microskiff.com!

    I have owned 1 only 1 Dodge Didnt care for the repairs. I,ve owned 2 Chevy' s nice trucks.5 Fords and bouhgt a Tundra in 2000 put 198,000 miles on it NEVER broke. Bought a new 05 Tacoma uncomfortable gutless and poor milage. Found a 2006 Tundra 3 months ago and hope it last 300,000 miles they are the best trucks I've ever owned. If you drive one you will want to buy it . Just my opinion. Good luck and enjoy the hunt.
  4. DuckNut

    DuckNut Brandon, FL

    Buddy, they all suck. Each and everyone of them have 16,412 moving parts and something will break - it is just a matter of time and what part it is.

    I have had all brands (except japanese), big and small and personally I really like my 4 door v8 Dakota. I can pull whatever I need to, park it in one parking space at the store and doesn't take up the entire driveway. Sometimes I wish the bed was longer, but I have a trailer.

    Doing research on vechicle is a complete waste of time because everyone will post about how they had to replce the interior light after leaving the door open and therefore it is a piece of crap. Very few people will write a compliment when they lease a vehicle and drive it for three years and return it without ever changing the oil.

    My advice to you as I was once a poor college kid. Fix your truck and keep it. If the towing is really that big of an issue, then sell it and find a replacement for the same ballpark number you sold it for. The last thing you should be doing is graduating with a lot of debt. Wait until you graduate and then look for an alternative if needed.
  5. TomFL

    TomFL Well-Known Member

    I agree with Ducknut. You'll probably wind up with a payment, and a truck you'll still need to spend $$ on to fix!

    I've had junk toyotas and great fords. Sometimes you get lucky with 'em and sometimes you don't.

    Keep what you have, pay cash for the fixes, live within your means (boring sometimes until the market hits the sh*tter) and stay debt free.

    The old saying "you never know who's swimming naked until the tide goes out" can be referenced in today's economy; those that have lived within their means are doing OK.

    My $.02

  6. FSUfisher

    FSUfisher Well-Known Member

    I agree with Ducknut and pathfinder. I had a Ranger in high school and college that I beat the absolute hell out of. I got sick of having to do fairly regular repairs on a truck with three different lift kits, huge tires and almost 200,000 miles. Now I have a truck payment that I hate (hate isn't strong enough), the truck itself is confusing to work on, and I cross my fingers nothing happens while I'm still paying for this hunk of metal.

    I'd keep your truck for awhile, especially since you're already devoted to fixing the biggest issues that can happen to it. Once my current truck is paid off, I'm keeping it until it rusts to dust.
  7. rkmurphy

    rkmurphy Well-Known Member

    Thanks for some of the tips guys. A few things I thought I should point out:

    1) The truck has an extended warranty (which is about to expire) that IS covering the tranny issue but I'm still not sure about the head and rear main seal issues, yet. HOPEFULLY they'll take care of it.

    2) My truck has a difficult time towing the new boat and didn't exactly pull the J16 with relative ease, either. So, I'm looking for a V8 with more low end torque and a beefier drivetrain to handle the towing.

    3) The Dakota lacks anything remnant of space. It's definitely a 2 person vehicle with grocery room. I need something that allows me to haul more bodies.

    Trust me...I'm all about buying American. However, it's too hit or miss for my liking, especially in my situation. I've heard nothing but good things about the Tundras but, I have yet to ride in one. The only thing bad I've heard about the Titans is that the brakes wear out quick. I have driven a Titan and I LOVE it. Smooth ride and that 5.6 with the 5 speed auto is a monster...way more ballsy than any other V8 I've driven...even the 5.9 Dodge.

    No final decisions have been made. I'm still waiting to hear about my truck so, that will have a big bearing on the situation.
  8. gheenoeguy

    gheenoeguy Well-Known Member

    I bought a ford F 150 that same time my friend bought his Toyota Tundra,I have a 173,000 miles on a 2001 super crew,I have not yet put 1 penny in to the engine,my friend has put a lot of money in his Tundra. The only problems I have had are Axle and some suspension issues,I have a 110 gallon tank installed with a lot of weight that is working my suspension to the bone. My year truck in consumer reports has very high ratings,the new ones don't. Check consumer report for their repair histories.
  9. skinny_water

    skinny_water Well-Known Member

    x10 million. If you sell it, pay cash for something else. You did good and are not making any boat payments...keep on that track! Get an older F150, with the strait 6. If it is still around now it will last a lot longer. They pull anything, and you can fix it yourself in the garage using basic tools.
  10. Flyline

    Flyline Won &quot;Do More With Less&quot; Award!

    I had a 2000 Toyota tundra with 135,000 miles when it's sold. Only problems is the brakes on the tundra but ZERO problems on the engine or anything else. Been a Awesome truck and this truck I sold it to my friend of mine use lawn business still using it. He has it over 205,000 miles knock on wood.

    Now I have a 2006 Ford F150 with 4.2 V6 at 249,000 HWY miles on it. This 4.2 V-6 running 93 octane and AMSOIL syth. Oil. My motor is one strong 6 cylinders can pull my 21ft pontoon boat crusing 65 to 70MPH no plm at all. Only downside is I had to pay a new transmission at 170K due to alots of towing, new water pump, and battery artenator. I'm hoping to hit 300k before I buy a new truck with a diesel.

    My county fleet had a 3.7 V-6 dodge dakotas and this truck performs really weak and the motor and transmisson really sucks. So they got rid of them and bought Ford 2005 F150 4.2 V-6 for way better power and fuel mileage up to 21 MPG on the HWY for building division.

    If I were you I'll look for 2001-2007 Ford F150 extended cab 2wd 4.2 V-6, 4.6, 5.4 Litre V-8 for good fuel economy, very comfortable in the long haul, it's pretty cheap to buy used. 5.4 triton is the best.

    Or look for a Chevy 1500 4.8-5.3 vortec V-8 reliable truck but I'm not comfortable in this truck....too much plastic junk and clutter.

    I'm not crazy about the dodge light trucks but I perfer a dodge 2500 with cummins diesel over a light duty.

    Good luck whatever u choose.

    Look for a ford 150 or Chevy 1500.
  11. phishphood

    phishphood Beer is good, Beer is good, and stuff!

    I too have had my one and only Dodge truck. I'm driving a 2000 Tundra now and it's been pretty decent. Gas mileage kinda sucks for a smaller truck, but that V8 is might strong.
  12. cvilt

    cvilt I Love microskiff.com!

    Pay CASH if at all possible. If you want to check out a Tundra you can check out mine.But you can find a good running any kind of truck to pull your boat for a few thousand if your patient.