Buying a truck

Steven Mechanic Spokane, Washington Posted   Latest  

Hello everybody,

I'm reaching out for some opinions on what pickup truck configuration you prefer. I'll be purchasing a 1/2 ton truck sometime soon for personal use. I'm planning on using it as a secondary vehicle for hauling stuff and to have a 4WD vehicle for winter weather. Originally, I was planning on getting a long bed because I would be able to haul more stuff in the bed when needed, but I notice there are way more short or medium length bed trucks out there for sale.

For those of you who drive trucks on a regular basis, do you find the short or medium bed trucks good enough for hauling stuff, or do you wish you would have bought a long bed? I'm leaning more towards a long bed, but that limits the amount of trucks I can find for sale. If I go for the other ones, then there is much more to choose from. Let me know what you think. Thanks.

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Robert Owner
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Robert Default
 

Anything with less than an 8 foot bed is a car with pretensions.

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Marlin Technician
Estacada, Oregon
Marlin Default
 

It really depends on you and your situation. For myself, I prefer less cab and more bed. A crew cab long bed is really a pain in our shrinking parking spaces, but you can't get that in a 150/1500 class any way. Also, I suggest a more basic engine option, because they perform comparatively better long term with lack of use. Buy a 5.0L vs, an Ecoboost, for instance. Actually, I don't think that…

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Frank Service Manager
Las Vegas, Nevada
Frank Default
 

I purchased my F150 XLT 4X4 new in 2011, now has 88,500 trouble free miles - the short box has never stopped me from loading what ever I have needed. I am a hobby work worker and have often carried 4X8 sheets of plywood and other lumber. the four door configuration is very roomy in the back seats.

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Hollis Technician
Boulder, Colorado
Hollis Default
   

I bought a used 96 Tacoma 3.4L w/49K on it 20 years ago, 305K on the odo now, spent the money up front instead of on repairs, turn key, did and do all the preventative maintenance, very few CEL events, decent fuel mileage, added rear suspension airbags for heavy hauling, it's my horse and my mule.

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Michael Diagnostician
Vineland, New Jersey
Michael Default
 

Better start looking for a new one you only have about 100k miles left​.​Do a lot of toyota's in the past 2 weeks have had 3 with over 330k miles and still going strong​.​With out a lot of problems​.​That 3.4l is awesome have have a few of the T100's with that motor.

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Ronald Mechanic
Birmingham, Alabama
Ronald Default
   

I love my 3 door silverado long wheel base but my god it is hard to park. Had it forever but I am leaning toward a single cab short wheel base. I also had a custom trailer made years ago and in the event you need extra space might be an option. That way have the best of both worlds. Short truck for easy maneuverability and trailer for rare occurrence needs.

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Roy Mechanic
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Roy Default
 

Depends on usage. I have a rust free '98 chev 2500 diesel extended cab 4x4. Bought it to tow my sailboat a couple times a year, and to haul stuff. I wish it had an 8 foot box, like the almost indestructible 96 ram 1500 5.2 I owned from new. Much better to haul building materials. But that would not fit in my current parking space without moving a fence. Since it is only 2 of us, I don't need an…

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Dan Owner/Technician
Ingleside, Texas
Dan Default
   

...Steven...I prefer Fords because they have kept me in business for 45 years...It's getting to the point I don't want FCA (Fiat Chrysler American) vehicles to darken my doors (of any flavor)...I reckon you could call me a GM man...Dan H. ...South Texas...

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Laird Owner/Technician
Waverley, Nova Scotia
Laird Default
 

I have an 8 foot box and have owned 6.5ft box trucks before. I personally dont like the 8 foot box and my next truck will be a 6.5ft. With a tonneau cover on it, it is a pain to get anything from the wheel wells up. I had no trouble with ply wood or drywall with the 6.5ft. It is also a lot easier to maneuver in a parking lot with the shorter box

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JB Owner/Technician
Minneapolis, Minnesota
JB Default
 

I have a medium bed 99 Silverado 3 door. Works great but slowly dying from rust. It hauls the vast majority of the stuff I need it to with little to no difficulty. I wouldn't mind having the longer bed model (8ft). But overall it gets the job done.

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Eric Owner/Technician
Edgerton, Wisconsin
Eric Default
 

I have had an extended cab with an 8 ft box with a topper and a 4 door with a 6.5 ft box with a topper. Both are 3/4 ton trucks that I carry heavy loads with and plow snow. I prefer the 4 door with a 6.5 ft box and topper. My brother has a 2 door 1/2 ton with an 8 ft box, no topper. We swap trucks as needed to carry oversized or items that need protection. If I didn't need a truck for my…

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Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
Steven Default
 

Thanks for all the replies. You guys have been very helpful. My plans are to get a used truck. I wasn't considering a new truck because like you guys said they are expensive and too much tech installed that goes bad. I'm considering an early 2000's or late 2000's Ford, long bed, standard cab, 4wd, but all the ones I've seen so far are stick shift with the terrible 4.2L V6. I'm hoping to find…

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Dan Owner/Technician
Ingleside, Texas
Dan Default
 

Think about this one...lol: youtube​.​com/watch?v=Iz4fUC… ...Dan H. ...enjoy... ...South Texas...

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Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
Steven Default
 

Good one :)

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Hollis Technician
Boulder, Colorado
Hollis Default
 

A ladder rack comes in handy as well for the shorter beds, throw a few 2x4's across the bed horizontally and you can slide / stack 4x8 material level with ease.

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Marlin Technician
Estacada, Oregon
Marlin Default
 

I would avoid a 4.6L also, for some reason they just don't have the life of the 5.4L. And, I believe that you are correct regarding the old syle, the standard cab long bed configuration was only available with a low trim level and the 4.2L engine. The new style regular cab was a slightly extended version (about 8"?), but was available with the V8 engines. Those old Tundra's are a mixed bag…

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Steven Mechanic
Spokane, Washington
Steven Default
 

Thanks Marlin. I'll keep that in mind.

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Rudy Technician
Montebello, California
Rudy Default
 

IMO Fords are troublesom,particularly those years. Id look for a Tundra or Silverado in those years. ***Im not a Ford or Chevy or Dodge guy. Im just stating my experience with those trucks***

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Troy Owner/Technician
Longbranch, Washington
Troy Default
 

Ive had chevys forever my work van 05 just passed 310k and still going, I would want an extra cab for sure and I personaly do not care for cylinder deactivation but your choice, as some have said fords keep them in business that is not the truck I want my 02 silverado is short bed extra cab 200k and does perfect occationaly I would need a long but its been few and far between as I have my van…

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Jesse Owner
Roanoke, Virginia
Jesse Default
 

My 02 SuperDuty long 5.4L M/T has over 400K on it. Later 3V will not last as long unless you delete the phasers and add steel t/c tensioners instead of the plastic ones. Hope you find a good one at your price.

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Roy Mechanic
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Roy Default
   

400k on a triton 5.4 ? Nice. synthetic oil I assume. In our experience the 5.4 is junk. Stupid plug issue and if run on regular oil as ford suggested the valvetrain and chain are eventually toast. As you say some people delete the system. As they die out we see less and less of them, but it got to the where we got sick of repeating the same explanation to almost every 5.4 owner. Of course…

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Jesse Owner
Roanoke, Virginia
Jesse Default
 

Yes synthetic oil early and often with M/C filters with their anti drain back valve to quell the chain rattle on start up. At 400K I got tired of the drizzle of oil from RR of head so replaced H/G to cure that. I upgraded to the earlier steel T/C tensioners that hold tension on the chains at all times and could then use the M1 oil filters without chain rattle. Easy driving still on original…

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris Default
 

I think you are referring to the 5.4 3V engine. 2002 5.4 was a 2V similar to the 4.6 2V, Many of these have seem … miles in vans and trucks as well as crown vics.

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Jesse Owner
Roanoke, Virginia
Jesse Default
 

Yes my '02 was a 2V. I don't know if a 3V would last that long if you deleted the VCT and placed the steel chain tensioners but that is what I would do if I owned one.

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Chris Technical Support Specialist
Commack, New York
Chris Default
 

FWIW If you are looking new and want the 4 door cab, Last time I priced them out, a F250 CrewCab 6.2 was cheaper than an F150 5.0 CrewCab. and you can get a 4 door cab with an 8 foot bed in the 250

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Richard Technician
Stony Brook, New York
Richard Default
 

I really like the Toyota tundra. I see very few issues with them. I know you do a lot of European vehicles, but the only European pickup I can think of the is the Rabbit Diesel pickups. Which I think would be awesome, but not for what you are looking for. :)

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Jesse Owner
Roanoke, Virginia
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The thing with my 2005 Tundra 4.7L is 90K miles timing belt changes. I also had to put the electronic gizmo on it to bypass the Air Injection Pump problem so the entire AIP system does not have to be replaced every time it ingests some water. I sold it and it has 250K miles on it now. Not easy to find salvage parts for it so any major component failure would make you regret ownership. The fuel…

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