Need small doodling around truck info

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by countrygrrrl, Mar 24, 2004.

  1. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I've decided to get one of those little pickups to doodle around in and cart strange things about hither and yon. :D

    I'm looking for recommendations from people here. This is what I know I want:

    Stick shift
    Relatively simple engine - no bells and buzzers, just an engine!
    Good track record
    Only needs four tires at a time - don't want one of those things with all those extra tires on it :no:
    Can be ancient or kind of new, either will do, as long as it keeps on going!
    Can be ugly or gorgeous, as long as the price is right and the engine good

    I'm expecting it will be a while before I actually get it --- I'm figuring sometime before June, I'll be getting it, which means I might find exactly what I want tomorrow or maybe not til next September. :rolleyes:

    Anyone have one of those kind of little pickups that they really like? Any recommendations? :)
     
  2. Kung

    Kung Administrator Staff Member Supporter

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    The somewhat older Mazda trucks are pretty darn reliable. We have/had one of those, and the dang thing runs FOREVER.
     

  3. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    Small pick ups never have extra tires, so your in luck there! A Ford Ranger or Toyota are my choises, both run forever here, I don't know about elsewhere but I am sure someone is going to tell me how messed up my opinion is.
     
  4. Kung

    Kung Administrator Staff Member Supporter

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    Not too sure about the Ford Ranger, personally, but in 100% agreement with a Toyota. :)
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hey Mitch, You are in luck. Old Hoot is figuring up what it's going to cost Lil Dumplin to buy him a new pickup. I think he was getting up to a Gadzillion dollars. He's got an old 4 wheel pull Chevy that needs the starter he already has, put on it. He ought to pay you to take it, because I'm sure the truck dealer will charge him to get it out of sight..
     
  6. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    A small Mazda pickup with about five people and some miscellaneous unidentifiable furniture just went doodling by. :)

    I've been behind this particular truck on the highway before. Don't know if it's the drivers or the truck, but I've never seen it go over 40. :) I like getting behind it to protect it from all those trucks with extra tires which are always way too shiny and going about 105 MPH.

    Might be just the truck! :)
     
  7. Sounds like you are a prime candidate for a Unimog. Should do everything you ask and can double as a tractor in a pinch. Ugly as sin but can be a bit pricey.
     
  8. Daryll in NW FLA

    Daryll in NW FLA Well-Known Member

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    Howdy, I like the older Ford couriers (sp) had a 79 that I paid $500 for 4 years ago- just sold it last spring for $500, still running strong but needing front end work that I couldn't do in the back yard. Used it for everything hauling hay,fire wood and pulling stumps and got about 24-30 MPG according to the load it was hauling, it had the old Ford Pinto 2000 engine w/4speed trannie in it. I think they changed to Mazda engines in the early 80's. Sure was easy to work on it! They are rare as hens teeth around here. If I run across another one cheap I'll probably snatch it up! Daryll in NW FLA
     
  9. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    :eek:

    No no, I'm hoping to pay around ... uh ... $300 to no more than $1000. $2000, if I get desperate and it's a real beaut.

    It's one reason I'm going for a doodler. :)
     
  10. Yeah, or the fact that everything small has wheels from a box of donuts and a sewing machine to power it when there should be an engine...:)
     
  11. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    :eek: One of those Unimogs costs more than I paid for this entire place!!!! :eek:

    I've been seeing some Fords going around here for anywhere from $400-700. And if you go in town --- in fact, the further north you go, they're automatically $3000 and up. :rolleyes: I haven't been sure which years and models were fairly reliable, though.

    I know Toyotas and Mazdas are good ...
     
  12. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    What your are calling a doodler, we call a 'beater' here in Florida, don't know why but thats just the word.
     
  13. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    No decision required..... Toyota.....
     
  14. Beater, as in egg-beater. Because thats what it sounds like driving down the road...:)
     
  15. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

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    I liked '70s Datsun 620 pickup. Pretty simple and rugged and cheap. Get one with front disk brakes. Those with front drums ok, but you'll forever be adjusting them. Changed name to Nissan in 80's and think designation was changed to 720. Still reliable plentiful and cheap. Later Nissan pickups ok, but price goes up newer you get. Think they started calling them "Frontier" rather than number designation. Still bargain compared to other brands.

    Courier somebody mentioned was just Mazda pickup with Ford label. Mazda 1800cc/2000cc engine standard. 2.3l Ford engine optional in last couple years that Ford sold them. Mazda parts pricey especially chassis and engine parts. If you find one in good condition, they are ok. Ford forgot they even sold such a vehicle just couple years after they were discontinued. Have to go to Mazda or parts house or junkyard.

    Toyotas from late seventies and up ok, but not as totally bulletproof as some claim. Still pretty reliable. Many are overpriced just based on Toyota name rather than condition.

    Avoid '80s Ranger, but 90's 4cyl Ranger is good buy and relatively cheap/plentiful.
     
  16. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

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    For the money you want to spend,you aren't going to get a Japanese truck in good shape.

    A Ford,Dodge or Chevy small truck might work.

    We have a little 1998 Toyota Tacoma that has been rock solid reliable,but of course it would sell for about $3500 with the high miles it has...

    The easiest to work on would be a full size domestic truck from the 70s or earlier.Also would be pretty cheap.
     
  17. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    I had a 1986 Nissan that I got over 400,000 miles on. I loved that car and still get a bit sad when I think about it. I got a 1987 Nissan a few years back and it wasn't nearly as wonderful as the 86. In fact, I ended up giving it away because I could see big $$$ bills in my future with it. :eek:

    As for fullsized ...

    I'd prefer a smaller truck but have also been considering an old American, for exactly these reasons. Simple engine, no computer, pretty cheap and there's plenty of people around here who could fix it if I did something really stupid to it. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Kirk

    Kirk Well-Known Member

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    If you are willing to spend $1000 you should be able to get a pretty sizable fleet of chevy s-10's. Use one for driving while fix all the others. I considermyself a chevy gut but stick with the fords or toyotas unless you like walking. I have owned four s-10 variants (including s-15"s by GMC). You can buy them cheap for a reason.
    Kirk
     
  19. countrygrrrl ,

    We purchased a 4x4 '96 Toyota ex cab Tacoma back in Jan. We had searched and searched for one in good condition and low priced. When it comes to a Toyota they just don't get very low priced. Small, Chevy and Fords are much cheaper and more to be found in my area.

    I really do like our little Toyota. We call it our pud jumper. It is great for errands, and around the place.

    Check out ebay for trucks. That way you can get an idea of what might be out there and the price most are going for.
     
  20. Ozarks_1

    Ozarks_1 Well-Known Member

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    Avoid the early Ford Rangers ... LOTS of problems! The 2.8L V-6 engine is pure junk. 1986 and newer seem to be okay though.

    The Japanese trucks seem to be the best for quality and reliability.
    If considering a late 70s or early 80s Toyota or Chevy LUV, check the frame carefully if it's a "rust belt" truck. They had a serious rust issue in the area between the frame and cab.