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Friz 10-04-2013 11:26 AM

83 3/4 ton Prospector - is it worth it?
4 Attachment(s)
Hello Dodge lovers. I also posted this in the Newbie forum, maybe I'll get better response in here...

I am seriously considering purchasing this truck. I looked at it and drove it yesterday, it is straight with original (I think) paint, it runs strong clutch is good and everything works mechanically and electrically. I didn't see any oil or transmission fluid leaks.

I don't plan to modify, I only want it is a 120 mile once per month commute and to be used as a work truck. I also have a 5th wheel camper that I would tow once per year at the most.

I'm going to look at it again today and would like some tips on what to look for.

What do you think this truck is actually worth?

It is a craigslist item. This is the post and the photos, the photos are of the actual truck.

This truck was recently inherited. It is in good shape it has a 318 and a 4 speed granny transmission. This truck is smogged and registered. Its registered until june 2014. I am not a dodge guy I'm a chevy guy, with that being said ill sell for 2450.00 obo or trade for equally valuable chevy or gmc extended cab pickup. 1/2 ton 3/4 ton 350 or 454 doesn't matter. However truck needs to be currently smogged and registered.

This truck has a 5th wheel in the bed it has a fuel tank in the bed and a tool box in the bed. The 5th wheel is easily removable. The truck has got in the last month since i inherited it has got a new starter, fuel filter, fuel pump, spark plugs, a motor mount, rebuilt carburetor, cooling system flush, a radiator. These older trucks are easy to work on. This one has been taken care of. The battery in it is a deep cycle starting battery it starts every time. Thanks for looking and please email me pics of what you want to trade thanks.

Revel Performance 10-04-2013 12:02 PM

I posted this in your newbie checkin post, however I will post it here as well.

That truck has a lot of potential, I have been wanting an older 3/4 ton dodge for sometime, I would not be comfortable paying more than 2k for it though, this is just me. However when I find my older dodge beauty the 4 speed tranny is to be immediately rebuilt, the rear end is to be rebuilt, the engine is to be rebuilt or possibly even replaced, and then the suspension is to be replaced with modern suspension, slam it to the ground and then the interior is to be completely over hauled, and the body to be repaired/painted.

Of coarse this would be a daily driver for me and I would be building it for reliability for a long time to come and it would be near show quality.

for what you are wanting to do to with the truck I would still not be comfortable paying more than 2k for it, and you are going to want to make sure you do a complete tune up on the engine, probably replace the rubber parts of the break lines if there are any, and make sure to flush the cooling system, and replace all other fluids with new fluids, you will want to go through it and make sure it is safe to drive before you buy it, check to make sure there are no break lines rusting/dry rotting anywhere, and make sure the tires are sufficient to drive on.

If I was going to buy this truck for what you are explaining you need it for, try to pick it up as close to 2k as you can or less, and plan on investing about $700-$1000 in a very thorough tune up :)

Hope this helps


Revel Performance 10-04-2013 12:07 PM

just noticed he said the radiator has recently been flushed so probable do not have to worry about that, I would still make sure to do things such as change the oil, change the rear end fluid, tranny fluid, probably would not be a bad idea to run some fuel treatment system through the first couple tanks of fuel to make sure the fuel lines are nice and clean, replace rusted parts of the steal break lines, and the rubber parts of the break system if there are any if they are dry rotted this is a common thing on older vehicles, new spark plugs, probably time to change the distributor and plug wires as well.

again hope this info helps, and the truck may or may not need all of that, however when I buy an older vehicle regardless of if it needs it or not these are some of the very fist things I do before I even go get it inspected just to be on the safe side.

It may also be wise to check the clutch for slippage on a short test drive, if it is starting to slip chances are it has been a while since its been replaced if ever and would not be a bad idea to replace it with a nice new heavy duty clutch especially if you plan on towing with the truck, depending on how much weight you plan on towing might not be a bad idea to invest in some helper springs or new leaf springs in the rear either. Old leaf springs seam to sag when under load and this can be a nightmare when towing and a lot of times not safe either.

richmond 10-04-2013 05:04 PM

Jeremiah, you left out the part about painting it black. R...

Asur 10-04-2013 05:06 PM

That thing is still sweet

skytop 10-04-2013 07:49 PM

That puppy looks like it has led a laborious life. Price better reflect how much life has been used up due to a hard life.

hydrex 10-04-2013 08:22 PM

Hate to say it, but 140 hp? That is seriously underpowered, I think. With a fifth wheel, you'll need a tailwind. Nothing wrong with a 318, you could actually build one and make decent power, but, I'd save up some more money and perhaps a Cummins or even a hemi. Friend of mine bought a 4x4 extra cab 2001 2500 with a 24 valve Cummins for $4995 , private party sale. To me, even the Cummins felt kinda doggie for towing a fifth wheel. I had a 3l Ford Ranger with 140 hp, it wouldn't tow squat.

Revel Performance 10-04-2013 08:37 PM


Originally Posted by richmond (Post 1214522)
Jeremiah, you left out the part about painting it black. R...

On an older truck it would have to be a flat black IMO ;)

Gantman 10-04-2013 09:10 PM

Yes I likey! Flat black and slammed to the ground. That 83 would be too badass!

Revel Performance 10-04-2013 11:19 PM


Originally Posted by Gantman (Post 1214638)
Yes I likey! Flat black and slammed to the ground. That 83 would be too badass!

I agree with this ^^^^ flat black is not only one of the best looking colors on older vehicles and just so happens to be not be a very expensive paint too :)

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