when is a good time to get rid of a truck.

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Swampy, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    I have a 94 Dodge Ram 1500 its a 2wd and has 5.9L (360ci) motor in it that just clicked over 190,000. I replaced the trans around 176,xxx. It has the usual rust spots (cab corners, rear wheel wells, rear bumper). It needs a few things such as fuel pump and a exhaust system, and some other minor things along with paint is getting pretty bad.

    Now this is my first truck, so getting rid of it really isn't easy, it has a lot of value to me vs a dealer that would send it to auction or to a crusher. Plus as a trade in if I'm lucky be able to 500 bucks for it. My college is winding down after this semester.

    I'm just thinking of running it till the wheels fall off or just do a private sale take the money and run.
  2. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    Get some prices on the parts and what it will cost to repair if its not too bad then get it repaired and run the truck till it dies. If the cost of repair is over half of what the truck is worth running then junk the truck.
  3. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    If it runs decently I'd keep using it. The 5.9L V8 can last just as long as a GM 5.7L V8 with regular maintenance. I abuse my 5.9L Durango FT AWD to the nines and it'll cruise close to 2800rpm on the highway when pulling my travel trailer in 3rd gear. Doesn't use more than a half quart of oil in 3K and costs me less than $500 a year in wear and tear parts (I cover labour where I can safely). Nothing major in 10 years.

    Another way to look at it, is if you get new (brand new) and finance, you can get a base model for five years at a decent finance rate plus payment around $450/month as an example. $450 x 12 months is $5400. Divide that number by two, which is $2700. If it costs more than say $2500 a year to keep your truck on the road and you own it, it's time to trade in. Even with new vehicles, you'll still have the payment at the 3 year mark and that's when you'll also have to factor in costs for new tires, perhaps brakes, and other small items. So really, if you include wear and year at say $0.07/mile (not including fuel) plus your payment; 15,000miles x 0.07 that's $1050 plus $5400 in payments each year. I like to average it out by mile (KM in my case) so I can put money aside when the time comes for me to purchase parts. This way, when you need tires, and have to hunt around for $800 or so, or revert to a credit card with high interest, you'll save yourself some aggravation as well as some bucks.

    On the other hand, if money isn't a big problem, and you prefer a new vehicle, you can lease, which gives you a lower monthly payment (new vehicles only in most cases), and then you can write off the lease as a business expense. The only downside, is that you have to pay mileage over a certain amount (say 15K a year max), and after the lease you're better off handing in the keys and leasing another new vehicle. In the end, this can cost more, but gives you better reliability and less downtime. Everything comes at a price.
  4. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Thanks for the imput on this. I don't think I'll go threw with a new truck route or the lease route, Leases to me seem silly for paying on a vehicle that you can't own.

    It seems like alot of things are just going wrong with it but part of it is me to blame. Being in a tech school that I have to drive around 60 miles round trip for 3 days off the week for kind of puts a hamper on some things. Its got some new rubber on her finally as the tires where pretty bad on. As minor things are concerned is valve cover gaskets (its not bad about a 1/2qt low at oil change), control arm bushings, one of the front rotor's is messed up (cheap autozone quality for ya!), and the grille needs to be replaced (I smacked a deer a few years ago, had to replace the front bumper mounts, the bumper, and the driver side head light).

    There are a few other cosmetic issues like the rust, dash is cracked, the carpet is worn and stained, few dents, rear bumper is rusted through, the clear coat is starting to flake off.

    The major things I find wrong with it is the fuel pump. It tested to be only pushing around 20 psi when it should be pushing 35-40psi. Brother tells me after I replace the IAC is the reason it is still dropping rpm's when I stop and sounds like its struggling to get fuel. Plus taking a long time to start as well.

    The exhaust is mostly there, I replaced about 3 years ago, The tail pipe fell off one day and I ended up crushing the end of the pipe. So being broke, I "rednecked" the exhaust to make it come out in front of the rear passenger side tire. Being in WI with rock salts in winter the piping is probably junk.
  5. 360ci

    360ci LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 998

    That's the point of a lease. It's not to own the truck, just to abuse it for a few years and get another. You do pay more when it comes down to it on the bottom line over a period of say ten years. If you finance a new vehicle for five years, and don't have any payments on it for another five or more years depending if you keep up the maintenance you'll get 300+% more value out of a vehicle you'll own. The downside, is when parts do fail, it can leave you stranded requiring road side assistance. If you operate 100% in the city, it's no big deal of course to wait an hour or so, it just puts your work behind. Same thing can happen with a lease. water pump or head gasket problems at under 30K or two years. At least the road side assistance will be covered at no charge, but again, you ultimately do pay for it.

    For the most part your problems that you described are minor. If you tally up what it would cost to properly fix it, even if you don't do the labour yourself is minor compared to buying a new, or even a new-er vehicle than what you have now. Valve cover gaskets can be had for under $20, and you can change them out in a matter of an hour or two. The control arm would be a bit pricey depending on the replacement part manufacturer and labour to do the work. Not being a 4wd truck is a bonus as well as far as maintenance goes. It's less to go wrong and maintain.

    You can check out sites such as www.car-part.com or www.rockauto.com to look up the parts you need, such as fuel pump, etc. One thing you can try is to turn the ignition to 'run' for a few seconds before starting the vehicle. This will help build up fuel pressure in the line and aid in quicker starts until you can get the pump replaced.

    I figure I'll keep my 5.9L Durango another few years, so after my OEM exhaust rusted out in several places, I decided to replace it with a quality cat-back system. I went with Magnaflow as I don't have a lot of choices up here in Canada. Any custom order would cost me 8% currency exchange +2% customs fees and +13% sales tax if I ordered from the States. So, it was less expensive to get a quality unit locally. At least down south you have more options, and at excellent prices these days. Ebay is also a great resource for at least checking things out first, if not making a purchase for yourself!
  6. Turf Commando

    Turf Commando LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,186

    It's cheaper to fix, then buy new....
  7. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Thanks 360ci, Those sites you showed me the pump is cheaper by 50 bucks vs locally here the same thing is over 200 bucks.

    I try to do my own maintanence to my trucks, except oil changes they are running so cheap around here that if you do them yourself your only saving a buck or two, but stuff like gaskets, tune ups, cleaning the air filter. The simple things I can handle, but get me into rebuilding transmissions/engines/etc. I'm lost, that and electrical can't stand it.

    I talked to a mechanic friend of my, he owns a gas station/shop. If I get the pump he'll drop it in for me. If anything if I do decide to go for a new or newer truck, I'll probably sell this guy on the street. Heck I paid only 900 for it 5 years ago, put it out there for 1500 take anything green and folding over 1200.

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