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Old 11-23-2011, 08:32 PM
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Default First post, need advice on a '96

Hi all,
My first post, thanks for having me.
I need some advice on a potential truck purchase.
My 16 year old kif is looking at a 1996 dodge 1500 4x4 with a 5.2
THe truck has some rust above the wheel wells and minor rust on the door bottoms otherwise the body is in nice shape.
My problem is it has 185,000 miles. The guys said it was taken care of-no maintenance records-.
I have not yet seen the truck in person and that alone is huge. BUT!
the current situation is this: my kid does not do a lot of driving, mostly in town. He wants a dodge 4x4 - no doubt- dont even talk anything else!
My main concern is the mileage. Can we say this truck is at the end of its life, or can we consider this truck to have some life left--enough for a 16 year old kid to run back and forth to high school and work?
I understand know one had a crystal ball, but I guess what I want to hear is : these truck wear out at 150,000 miles, I wouldn't do it,,,,,or we have seen these trucks last 250,000 miles plus.
I will inspect it this Sunday and look for the "deal breaker" but if I dont find one I want some idea what I am getting into.

Thanks for any and all responses

Robb
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:55 PM
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Body rust isn't the only thing you need to check . Check out the brake lines and fuel lines also . Make sure you road test it in 4x4 also . The transfer case only holds 1 quart of oil and if it hasn't been taken care of you'll know it .
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:05 PM
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the next thing is it a stick or auto? what shape are those in. also ball joints and tie rod ends. there easy to see if theve been changed or not. factory is sealed after market are not.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:13 PM
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Check the cab mounts as well. Depending on where you are they can be an issue if the wheel wells are rusting. Mine has 197k and I don't forsee it dying soon. Be sure to look up under the door if the outside is rusting. But I'd say if another part can be bolted on and the rust is gone...he's only 16. There's a big difference between dying and being killed. I've worked in scrap yards and I can honestly say that of the 3 main American manufacturers it's been my experience that Dodges and another rust from the outside in and it's relatively repairable/stopable. On the other hand...If it's a 4 letter "f" word it's been my experience that once you notice the rust...it's too late because it comes from the inside out.

One other thing...check to see how solid the rear spring mounts are as well as the fuel tank straps. (I guess that's really 2)

and that's all I have to say about that...
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Last edited by Warlock III; 11-24-2011 at 06:00 PM.
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