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  1. #1
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    Biker Wants Truck...Suggestions?

    Im thinking about picking up a truck for around 4-5K. I was thinking about a Ranger or an S-10 both 4x4 versions. I was also thinking about extended cab. Anyone have experience w/ either of these or any other truck that can be had for around that price? Keep in mind this is a college kid who's asking this.

    Thanks Dave
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  2. #2
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    Owned an 83' Blazer S-10 a couple years ago...pretty basic truck that was my dads. Obviously not a new models that you'd be looking at, but even after 20 years the late model S-10's weren't really that much different. The thing was a piece of junk. Everything leaked, the doors would randomly stop shutting (fixable with a bigass screwdriver), drivers seat broke, hydrolic rear window blew out, paint oxydized into powder, first engine melted into a big metal blob on the freeway (the radiator leaked so much that it overheated) and it gushed oil since day one. All of this happened before it hit 80k (I donated it to some poor soul after that) Most of that happened before I got it. I now drive a Civic which sucks for hauling bikes, but it gets the job done. Sort of.

    Unless you really plan on using the 4x4 fairly often I would just go for a more basic model. Everything costs more on a 4x4...maintanence, gas, parts, tires, you name it. If your're set on a truck, check out the Nissan Frontier four door. Really great truck that my mom almost bought (she decided it was too small and got a GMC 1/2 ton. As for the ranger, I know a couple of friends who own them and swear by them and can get some pretty insane gas mileage (for a truck anyway) Mazda B-Series is the often-overlooked clone of the Ranger.

    Good luck! Go for something with LOW MILES!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by G-VegasMTBiker
    Im thinking about picking up a truck for around 4-5K. I was thinking about a Ranger or an S-10 both 4x4 versions. I was also thinking about extended cab. Anyone have experience w/ either of these or any other truck that can be had for around that price? Keep in mind this is a college kid who's asking this.

    Thanks Dave
    My Kenworths and Macks were trucks. My F150s, F250s, C20s and little Nissan were pickups.

    Those I know with both seem and seemed to have more reliable and durable rides with the Ranger. My wife's father got a used year old 4 cyl Ranger last year after having a 93 model last a long time and be reliable. Of course YMMV.

    They probably lack the cool factor you want as a college student, but I would rather have a car, wagon or minivan if I did not need the utility of a pickup, but I also grew up in a scenario where pickups were not trendy and what we had to drive until we had a life of our own. I also had about 15 years of driving real trucks, cr_ppy pickups and cr_ppy cars so I'd rather chase around in something comfy and quiet.

    I'm sure you can find a lot of data on-line regarding which 4-5 grand vehicle is more reliable.

  4. #4
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    dont forget about toyota

    I'm on my 3rd Toyota pickup (all ext. cab 4x4) and have loved all of them. You might want to check into some Toyota's.

  5. #5
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    Thx MiBkrJoe, I was actaully thinking about toyotas too if I could find one in my price range. As for the "Cool" factor, it really doesn't matter to me, i've got a gf that likes trucks, and if the situation changes and im single again, I really don't give a damn if the chicks don't like it...in that case the only girl i'll need is my bike
    My epiglottis is full of bees!

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  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=I really don't give a damn if the chicks don't like it...in that case the only girl i'll need is my bike[/QUOTE]

    good point.

  7. #7
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    My advice would be to avoid brand bias and look for a good deal

    There is not a car on the road that is trouble free. Every car needs repair and maintance and a $4000 pick-up (particularlly a 4X4) is likely to have been subject to alot of use and some abuse. I agree with the advice about considering a 2wd. Better gas milage, and you will get a newer truck/fewer miles for the same money. Plus there is less likelyhood that someone beat the hell out of it in a mud puddle just because they could.
    I would definatly get an extended cab. I have 2 trucks. 99 Ford ranger single cab 4 cyl 2wd and a 94 Mazda b4000 extended 4X4. The extended cab is the feature of the Mazda that I really like.

    Also consider not only the cost of getting the vehicle but of maintanance and repair. I have been thinking about getting a New truck lately so I have been adding up the costs of used vehicle ownership. This year I have spent about $1000 in repairs to both of my trucks. The Ranger got a new clutch (95,000 miles) Tires, alignment, Windshield, Starter,
    The Mazda Needed new ball joints to pass inspection $500. I would bet that you can plan on paying around 100 a month in repairs to any vehicle over 3 years old. Compare that to the 350 a month payment on a new one.
    So my advice is to look at trucks that have the features that you need, and consider settling on some of the ones that are niceties. I really don't think that there is much difference in terms of reliability betwwen manufacturs these days.
    Your a sucker if you buy a truck from Japan. American Manufacturs have been making a truck that would pull a house off its foundation for 30 years. Imports have been making cars with bads for 2 now.
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  8. #8
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    My main reason for wanting a 4x4 is not for off-roading, doesn't make sense for me to save up to buy a truck then break it doing something retarded on a trail and have to save up again to fix it, I don't like 4x4ing anyway. I'd mostly just use the 4wd in the snow. If there 2wd is the better option, how are they in the snow? Will I have to put wieght in the bed?

    -Thanks again Dave
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    Slapheadmofo
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  9. #9
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    I love my Ranger

    I have a 2000 Ranger and love it. When looking for a truck I had to have a ext. cab. It really sucks not having one because there is nowhere to put stuff. I havn't had a problem with the truck yet and I'm about 70,000 miles. Toyata makes a nice mid size truck but in your price range it's gonna be old and have alot of miles. Fords and Chevy don't hold there price nearly as well but it works for you better now when you have no money anyways. Also I have the 3.0 6 cyl. and get 17 mpg in town and 21 freeway. My suggestion is getting whatever you can afford that's going to be realiable but the ext. cab is way nicer. As far as snow, I have 4x4 and use it alot. I got a couple hundred pounds in the back but my rear still slides if I'm not in 4 wheel drive. I only have all-season tires though so I'm sure snow tires would help a ton.

  10. #10
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    Consider...

    a Jeep Wrangler. You can still find jeeps with a lot of life left for that price. And you'll still have your 4 wheel drive capabilities.
    Either you rode today, or you didn't.

  11. #11
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    If you want a 4x4, get one. They have been just as reliable as 2wd trucks since like 1980. You would be happiest with a Nissan or Toyota I think. You can pick either up in your price range as new as 97 or 98 models. Definitely go with the extended cab no matter what you get. You need room for your biking gear, groceries, etc. if it's raining. In your price range, you may even be able to find a 4 door.

    Just look out for Toyotas with V-6's. There were two sizes. The 3.0 liter around the years of 89 to 93 had serious problems. The 3.4 liters were really good. The 4cyl. engines can't be beat.

    I had a 2000 Tacoma that I loved! I traded for a 2000 F-150 and was kicking myself for 3 years. I just bought a Nissan Fronteer and I'm really diggin' it.

    Good luck

  12. #12
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    Ford Ranger gets some seriously good gas mileage (2WD):

    MPG (city) 24
    MPG (highway) 28

    I believe you need to get the 2.3L engine though.

    Before some jackass comments that he'll never get that from normal driving...I KNOW. It's just for comparison against other cars you morons.

  13. #13
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    You live in Western MA. get a 4x4, It does snow here. I agree with the poster above who said don't go by brand just get what you can afford. Good Luck

  14. #14
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    The S-10 trucks are weird, they can be complete piles or work perfectly with not much inbetween.

    My S-10 blazer was a pile but my buddies S-10 truck is still rallying to this day without any big issues, just a few things here and there.
    My S-10 blazer did have the vortec 4.3 so it was a great utility auto though, it could tow as much as alot of full-size trucks and it got decent gas mileage for the power it had.

    I still think GM made the better auto in the 80 and even mid 90's.
    After the mid 90's its a toss up but the ford get the lean due to a slightly lower up front cost.

  15. #15
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    I hate to break the news to you, but ANYTHING for $4k will NOT be a babe magnet. Ok, with that out of the way......

    I have known a couple of people that say they think their Chevy S-10 is a reliable vehicle. They insisted on that EVERY time I drove them to pick up their S-10 at the repair shop.

    Get an old Toyota, they never die and can always be patched together. Ever notice that ALL The photos of the Taliban "over there" are a bunch of them piled in a TOYOTA? And thats tough conditions. You won't see THEM mounting their 50mm on a S10! Not when their lives depend on it.
    "Toyota....Taliban approved!"
    OK, maybe Toyota marketing won't pick up that slogan.

    Vehicles depreciate a LOT faster in your salted road area where you are though, if you can get a Toyota 4WD in your price range. You couldn't touch anything driveable for that price around here in the Northwest.

    Look for any smaller engine options to find cheaper options. 2WD would be a MAJOR cost savings, but where you live, that might not be a good choice.

    How about thinking outside the box? Get some bike swallowing hatcback, like an old Matrix or something, with 2WD and put the money into GOOD tires.

    I owned pickups for a long time, until I finally thought outside the box and got a 4wd Honda Element, which turned out to be a much better choice for mtn biking. And yes, thinking outside the box got me into a box.
    Live in the moment.
    YMMV

  16. #16
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    I agree with the poster above who said don't go by brand just get what you can afford.
    Dumb idea. All brands are not created equal.


    Get an old Toyota
    Check out the Top Gear videos on the Toyota Hilux (our toyota truck here) They're pretty much indestructable.

    How about thinking outside the box? Get some bike swallowing hatcback, like an old Matrix or something, with 2WD and put the money into GOOD tires.
    Or a AWD Subaru wagon, supposed to be great for snow.

  17. #17
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    I really like Toyota trucks.

    I picked up my 4Runner for $2500. We did rebuild the engine but it's been great since. I've had it for 8 years and it's never been in the shop. And I was doing some pretty abusive 4-wheelin for a while. I've settled down now.

    You can usually tell how they've been treated when you're truck shopping. Some truely are abused but others are true gems and will serve you well for many years without putting any real money in them. I like buying from previous owners instead of dealers.

    A lot of people like the 3.0 V6 in Toyotas. They did have a head gasket recall but many of them have already been replaced by Toyota and are good to go. They're not as potent as the Tacoma motors but you may have to stretch your price range to include them, unless it's 2wd. Also check how long it's been since the last timing chain/belt replacement.

    2wd/4wd is a really tough one. I'm impressed how well a truck does in 2wd. They'll even do some mild 4-wheeling. With the right tires and some driving skill you can take them almost anywhere. If you're climbing into the mountains in the snow though, 4wd can really save your butt sometimes. Don't get overconfident though--it's not too tough to get a 4x4 stuck.

    Good luck,

    Eric
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  18. #18
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    You can get a real nice used S10 4x4 for $4000.

    If you get one, I'd go for the Extended-cab and the 4.3 Vortec V6. The 4.3 is a GREAT engine and will not give you an trouble. Don't listen to those who say all 4x4s are beat on, etc. I have owned two Chevy 4x4s (S10 & Silverado now) and they were both found in great shape and have given me great service.

    I'm not a Ranger fan because of the engines. The 4.3 is a torquey SOB and will get up and go. The 3.0 Ford is weak and the 4.0 drinks gas like no tomorrow.

    I can find good shape S10s with 3-5 years of life left in them all day for the price you are wanting to spend. Mine lasted to 200,000 miles and I only sold it because I was tired of it.
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  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=mrchristian]Check out the Top Gear videos on the Toyota Hilux (our toyota truck here) They're pretty much indestructable.QUOTE]

    Amazing video. After seeing that and 4x4ing in a few 'yotas im convinced they the best trucks out there. However, I'm not to hot for the styling.

    I have a 97 Dodge Dakota 2x4. Bought it at 117k miles and its got about 140k on it now. No major problems by me but the previuos owner had the transmission rebuilt. Gas is about 16-18 city, 20-22 highway with the 3.9 V6. I think it's a really good truck. Not great on gas but I'd say it's one of the best looking trucks out there. The chicks dig it (take in to consideration I live in redneckville Georgia).

  20. #20
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    Ranger 3.0L FTW! Fords 3.0L is probibly the most reliable engine ive ever driven. I got 376,XXX miles out of it and never once had to rebuild the motor or tranny. I got rid of it for a Camaro. Other then routine mainance I didn't have to replace anything serious. One thing I might add about the Toyota - they're nice but my only complaint was they are a lot louder in the interior. The Ranger is a lot quieter and seemed to handle better from my experience. Parts and labor are also cheaper since it doesnt have to be imported and the engine is a lot easier to work on. You dont need little japanese hands to work on it... if you work on your own vehical...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by AC/BC
    Parts and labor are also cheaper since it doesnt have to be imported and the engine is a lot easier to work on. You dont need little japanese hands to work on it... if you work on your own vehical...
    Ah....now I see why you have the other thread where you throw your commentary ripping on Toyota...you seem like you don't like Japanese people.

    BTW, you may be surprised that the parts and material content of the Toyota trucks is likely more US made than your furd.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blaster1200
    Ah....now I see why you have the other thread where you throw your commentary ripping on Toyota...you seem like you don't like Japanese people.
    No, I think Toyota is over hyped. They sell boring cars for boring people and are over rated quality wise. I have nothing against the Japanese.



    Quote Originally Posted by Blaster1200
    BTW, you may be surprised that the parts and material content of the Toyota trucks is likely more US made than your furd.
    The truck I now own is the most American automobile on the road and it's a Ford. Link You'll also notice the Chevy Silverado is #2, Explorer & Sport Trac #6, Ford Escape #8, and Chevrolet TrailBlazer #10 There are no Toyota trucks even on the list.

    This factors in where the parts are made, whom they're made by, and were the vehicle is assembled. You’re so sold on the Japanese why dont you move there since you obviously think they're superior to us.






  23. #23
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    I had a 95 Nissan SEV6 4wd. I sold it at around 150K with a topper and thule bike rack on it for under $5000. I loved that truck too, it just ran and ran, never had to dump money into it. It's still on the road and doing fine after 2 years with it's new owner. Could get to more places than my current truck can (I drive a tundra now). Toyotas tend to fetch a high price, but you can pick up Nissans a bit cheaper. No offense to anyone, but I wouldn't even consider buying an american car in that price range given the kind of miles that will be on it.

  24. #24
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    i know this wasnt mentioned...but if you want something thats comfortable, gets good gas mileage..can haul more bikes than you can imagine, AWD to get you through the snow, and is extremely dependable..think about getting a honda element...its more than you want to spend but...it will run forever

  25. #25
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    Since you have narrowed it down to these to I would run w/ S10.
    We had a 1996 ZR2 that my mother just finally got rid of last year w/ 200k+ miles on it.
    The only thing changed out were the alternator and starter. It was used for house projects and helping people move so I cant say how good the 4wheeling is.

  26. #26
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    Look into a toyota... Thats what Im planning on getting last forever and look sick when lifted 3 inches
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  27. #27
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    Might I recemmend..

    My 86 gas sipper 4x4. It hold 4 bikes inside plus 4 w/ bike carrier on outside. It sips gas at 5 MPG, goes where I want it to, and hasn't been stuck yet. I previously had a 96 ranger 4x4 that was very reliable w/ 145,000 on the 4.0L V6
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  28. #28
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    Get a Toyota. I used to own a Ranger and it was okay but the Toyotas are built better and last forever. If I get a truck again, it'll be a Tundra or a smaller Toyota.

  29. #29
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    Im going out truck hunting today with my dad, this is gonna be fun! We are looking at extended cabs Rangers ot tacomas. Will get back to you on progress!
    Gamut
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  30. #30
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    Get a ford ranger if you want to drive a poweless truck which is kind of an oxymoron. They come with that wonderful "from the factory whiny transmission" as explained by basically every Ford tech i've ever spoken to. I know you're not buying a pickup truck to race but every ranger I've ever encountered on the road, even their high output V6 models are left in the rear view against even an old S10 with the 4.3, hell I even walked on a Dakota RT with my s10. The 4 banger S10 is a dog though, i've seen kids on rollerblades faster than that turd!

    I've been building show trucks for almost 8 years now, mostly S-series because one thing is for sure if you want a good truck from ford don't go into the Ranger line. Especially the "Splash" model, guess they named it that because it belongs in the bottom of a lake!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ALX
    I've been building show trucks for almost 8 years now, mostly S-series because one thing is for sure if you want a good truck from ford don't go into the Ranger line. Especially the "Splash" model, guess they named it that because it belongs in the bottom of a lake!
    Im not planning on racing.. My dad drove a ranger for 14 years no problems. I would rather get a yota but they are just way overpriced.
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  32. #32
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    Look on ebay, there may be something in your area... Stop here if you don't want to hear my spill on the whole am/jap comparision... I have owned over 50 vehicles, and nearly destroyed most of them...I would place the jap. trucks up higher on my list than the american brands...just look at the factories needing to be bailed out or just shutting down...this is for many reasons...one of which is the laborers, at ford or gm you have many older union workers who have been doing their job for decades and are ready for retirement, this could be good, but then again since they are ready for retirement and have seen hundreds of thousands of cars go down the line and don't really care about small details or defects that a younger/fresher employee would...the newer companies do have those newer/fresher employees who still have pride in their job, and the foreign companies are still growing, so quality control is a high priority...plus the number of new retirees each year really puts a strain on the american companies, which drains the funds available for manufacturing quality(just look at the quality of the interior of a new explorer, vs. a new four-runner)...In a couple of decades, toyota will start to face these same issues...but for now most of the original employees in the american factorys are still working...Sorry for the rant, but a lot of ford and gm's workforce migrated from this area to mich. and oh back in the 60's and early 70's...now I see some of these guys rolling back home with a sweet pension, on one hand I say...kudos to them for putting in many years of dedicated service, but on the other, I think this old dude was responsible for assembling my car and he can't even the dent he placed on my door when he opened his door into mine at the wal-mart!!! I think I'll go check to see if my insurance is paid up
    b.t.w. I drive a Ford F-150 and my wife drives a Pontiac Torrent, before that was Grand Cherokee, S-10, new beetle, XJ Cherokee, Silverado, Frontier, Altima, M-Class, Grand Cherokee, Z-28, Jetta, Sunfire, Ranger, Celica, Mustang, Mustang, Ranger, Nova, Mustang, Trooper...as the list goes on so does the variety...I will buy American whenever possible, but it is getting harder and harder...
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  33. #33
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    This weekend Im going with my dad to check out a 02 Ranger XLT. for 8500 its sweet hope it works out I might have a new truck!
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by motormonkeyr6
    This weekend Im going with my dad to check out a 02 Ranger XLT. for 8500 its sweet hope it works out I might have a new truck!
    Parents went and saw it, POS. it had clearly been in a crash and new bodywork repainted bad trany, engine was making bad noises...
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  35. #35
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    Find a used Subaru Baja (I know, ugly, and not really a pickup). It may not have much of a bed, but you can shove your bike inside, or install a rack. Eh, any Subaru wagon will do, AWD will help for slick conditions or off-roading.

    I'd recommend a Toyota pickup like everyone else, minimal problems. Hell, there's quite a lot of aftermarket parts available, a few from TRD. Or, if you're lucky, you might find one with a TRD off-road package under $5K. Plus, as some have said, Top Gear abused a Toyota HIlux and it still ran.

    If you want it to look cooler, get some fog/driving lights from PIAA, Hella, or some other aftermarket light companies. Modify it more if you really want your pickup to be a chick magnet, just don't get any sh!tty and/or ricy body kits. You don't wanna be labeled a ricer. Simple stuff like light guards are OK.

    [off-topic]
    Currently, my dad owns a Honda Ridgeline (it's not a real truck). Look at my review here:
    http://www.carreview.com/cat/automob...9_1541crx.aspx

    It'd be a great truck, but it's far too expensive for your budget. [/off-topic]

  36. #36
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    [QUOTE=AWDfreak]

    I'd recommend a Toyota pickup like everyone else, minimal problems. Hell, there's quite a lot of aftermarket parts available, a few from TRD. Or, if you're lucky, you might find one with a TRD off-road package under $5K.

    See the problem is that my parents want to find a truck for me with minimal miles. Even if its a yota they want to to have under 50k.... (almost non existant) Right now Im looking for either a Ranger XLT 4 door or a yota crew cab. Either would be fine by me
    Gamut
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  37. #37
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    Its here!!!

    I picked up an 1998 Ford Ranger XLT with 25566 miles today for 5k!!!! The deals are out there, just optamistic! (trucks in great shape!!!!) Will get pics up soon.
    Gamut
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  38. #38
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    heres the truck you should have gotten, even under 50K miles, quite a bargin, lol
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...m=270099464606

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmba guy
    heres the truck you should have gotten, even under 50K miles, quite a bargin, lol
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...m=270099464606

    DOes that thing even have wheels!?
    Gamut
    Team Evil
    Formerly: motormonkeyr6

  40. #40
    Prez NMBA
    Reputation:
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    Jul 2005
    Posts
    719
    I actually have a buddy that is considering it and the owner says it runs well, but it is a little curious that the one picture is taken so you cant even tell if its on block or tires.

  41. #41
    EastBaySteez
    Reputation: Freerydejunky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,726
    I wouldnt touch that truck, its rusting and might have body damage.
    Gamut
    Team Evil
    Formerly: motormonkeyr6

  42. #42
    EastBaySteez
    Reputation: Freerydejunky's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    4,726
    Got the truck today here are some pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Gamut
    Team Evil
    Formerly: motormonkeyr6

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