I have an '04 supercab, 5.4 V8, 175K miles. Runs great but different motor than what you're looking at. It's my farm truck and reliable. Paid just under $5K a year and a half ago. Previous owner wasn't great at maintenance so I wouldn't take it across country for that reason. But taken care of, these trucks last and last...
The 97 has been sold. Depending on what congress does I may be able to increase the truck fund. My biggest concern is always reliability. My plan is to have a mechanic look it over as if he was the buyer.
The truck will be used to haul big corrugated pipe and horse panels for a business I'm trying to start. It will also be used to move my belongings but that will be a one time deal.
How does fuel consumption compare between a 1/2 ton and a 3/4 ton?
IME, fuel consumption is more about the engine than the hauling capacity of the truck. My 1 ton van with a 5.4 L engine got the same mpg loaded or unloaded, maybe a bit better on the highway. It got the same mpg as a 3/4 ton truck with the same size engine. A 6 cylinder will get better mpg but you won't be able to haul as much or have as much power to go up steep hills.
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