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Whats the average life.............

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Carolina Cutter, Dec 26, 2004.

  1. Carolina Cutter

    Carolina Cutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Ok guys........I know when everything had carburators that at 100,000 miles you no longer wanted to look at a truck for purchase reasons. In other words 100,000 was about the limit on the motor life.

    So what is the new numbers since the engines are "so improved" over yesterdays standards.....???

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    Here is my list....

    1978 Ford F-250 4x4, C-6 transmission. We installed a custom built 460, we had forged crank and Carillo rods, Jans pistons, clevite 77 bearings and a Mehling high out put oil pump. Truck retired with a knocking bottom end at 993,457 miles. Plowing snow every winter, we only redid 4 transmissions at a cost of nearing $550.00 each

    1988 Dodge Dakota, bought new, 237 cubic inch V-6, truck went through 3 trannies, 2 under factory warrantee, the last one cost us $1,670.00, and would have been $400.00 cheaper if Dodge ran thier wiring harness for the OD unit around the case, instead of through the oil pan. That truck was given to a friend who still drives it, it had 794,000 miles 3 years ago. The speedometer broke shortly after I moved here. It has the original engine. The V-6 was just a 318 with two jugs cut off from Dodge.

    1994 GMC K-2500, 4x4. L80E transmission, two rebuilt at a cost of $1,700.00 give or take, one engine installed at 560,000 miles, truck traded at 700K for our Chevy 3500 Duramax with Allison.

    Before that, I had a 1963 Chevy short bed painted puke green and rust with a 3 speed on the tree speed. That truck was scrapped, the engine was installed in a 1966 Chevelle and we made a super sizzlin six dirt track stock car out of. The car now sits in a friend of mines racing museum in Sycamore Illernoyzz.

    It's not the brand, it is how you care for them. In some instances, with the new generation of electronic crap and unneeded gagetry, failures occur very early on, unnecessarily. When real trucks were trucks, when electronics were not in the cab, when yuppy windows and lazy mans mirrors were not an option, and when carpet in a pick up truck was laughed at, you could get just as many miles, but there was more work involved. Tune ups, more frequent oil changes, valve jobs, etc etc, and I know quite a few who pride themselves on 250,000 mile plus vehicles. How about a 1939 Ford 85 HP flat head V-8 with 460,000 on it? Or a 1936 Chevy Stovebolt with 340,000? Or here is a weird one for you...A 1942 Mack pick up truck (only 800 made) with 200,000 miles on it?

    Now, my question is, at the ridiculous uncalled for prices of new trucks, don't you think that the truck makers owe us trucks that will work every day and hit 500,00 miles? I do....
  3. Carolina Cutter

    Carolina Cutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Wow that is quite a story. Very interesting reading. And you kinda hit the nail on the head with that one.

    It used to be that when a truck got near 100,000 that you just pass it on by............just wondering what today's standards are..........
  4. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I know this is a lil off topic, but I bought a truck this year to put in lawn service, 1985 chevy shortbed 1/2 ton, v-8 carb engine. The truck has 95,000 and is a creme puff. With good luck and good maintence I should be able to get 50k miles on it and I paid $3000 for it. I think if you maintain a vechile and fix what needs to be fixed 150-200k miles is reasonable
  5. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,752

    When was this ? Mileage was only 1 factor when I purchace a used truck, I have bought them with 150,000 miles in the 1980's and ran them for 4 or 5 years. Bought a 1969 chevy with 160,000 sold it with 335,000 .
  6. Smalltimer1

    Smalltimer1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,223

    I would say the average life of a gas powered truck is around 180,000-200,000 when well maintained. I have seen several gas trucks go much further than that though.

    For example, my ex-g/f had a '92 F-150 with a 300/6 in it, it had just turned over 295,000 miles with the original engine when some kid pulled out in front of her and ended up totalling both vehicles.

    I have a friend that lives nearby that has a '86 F-150 with a carbed 300/6 and he's got over 320,000 miles on the original engine. He off roads it and runs it hard. He changed oil in it last year and forgot to tighten the filter and it all ran out, and he went 5 days with almost no oil in that engine and when he discovered it, he just filled it up, and kept driving, still runs great.

    Got another friend with a nice '68 Chevy C-10 and its original 350 had 220,000 miles on it when it got a rod knock and threw. He went to the junkyard bought another engine for $250, spent a weekend under an oak tree in his backyard and now its back on the road again.

    My father's '90 Chevy Silverado 350 had 195,000 on it when its original engine blew.

    Carburetors have some effect, but a carb will not be a real pressing factor when it comes down to overall lifespan. A properly tuned carb will extend engine life, but that also depends on keeping the rest of the engine in tune as well, such as plugs, wires, air filter/oil/filter, etc.

    Diesels, as we all know, will run almost forever. Most diesels will see 300,000 miles minimum if they are not wrecked or abused.
  7. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Very interesting thread. I have never had an engine go, under my watch. The tranny's are what I have the problems with. Does anyone know what tranny will outlast an engine? Do the manuals last longer than the automatics?

    UNISCAPER LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,426

    The only tranny that will outlast an engine is a manual. Since the illustroius manufacturers have decided to do away with vaccum shifting, transmissions have gone down to what they were back in 1939 when Buick introduced the Dynaflow. They all have made improvements, and, none will last as long, or can be repaired as economically as the old vaccum shift.

    One thing is for sure, we the end user are clearly being used as truck manufacturers guinney pigs.
  9. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I have a nissan that I bought with 90,000 miles and it now has 182,000 on it and the engine is still in great shape. However it did drop a rear end the day after I bought my Tundra and was on the way to put it for sale in the paper. Only I could have that kind of luck! I really did not think it would last as long as it did pulling my equipment ever day, figured I would lose the AT first, not the rear.
  10. lb59

    lb59 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 106

    I had a 1979 Datsun that had 123,000 miles on it and was still going strong when I sold it.

    I also had a 1983 Dodge D50 going strong at 203,000 miles when I got rid of it.

    Have a 1989 Dodge D50 with 94000 miles and running fine.
    Have a 1986 Dodge D 50 with 106,000 miles - runs like a top.

    Thinking of buying another 1986 Dodge D 50 with only 80,000.on it.
    Is $800.00 a bad price for it.

    These little Dodge D 50 trucks are the most underated inport pick ups out there!

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