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Old 07-18-2012, 10:57 PM
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Default Two Choices Down to One

Well, things did not go as planned. Both the 2004 Ram 1500 and 2005 Dakota are out of the financial ball park. Banks are just real tight with their money right now. Looks like the best option given the budget is going to be a 2001 Ram with suicide doors. 75,000 miles. New tires. Dash is not cracked...yet. Interior in good shape. A/C leaking behind dash somewhere and dealer is going to fix it. I've been warned to budget $1,000 for front end work every 2 years. Gas mileage sucks? Correct? I hear the 318 goes forever. How will this do towing a 2500 lb trailer often? Asking price is $9K. Thoughts, concerns, warnings, suggestions before I plop down money later this week?
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:05 AM
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Suicide doors? Eh, I'll just say personal choice, if you're cool with them cool.

The 318 Does last forever! I had one way back. I had about the same mileage or more and I towed a 5000lb. boat often. It was a great motor other than a rear main seal leak that I ignored

As far as value, I couldn't say without seeing it. Whats private party and wholesale blue book on it? Work towards as close to wholesale as possible and even if you do like the suicide doors, act like you realllllly don't but will take it for the right price

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Old 07-19-2012, 02:27 AM
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check the rear main seal for leaks and body filler, other than that i am sure you have checked the truck over pretty well. mpg will suck. towing will depend on the gearing. you are getting a 12 year old truck any thing can happen. also, that is the era of some pretty unreliable transmissions.
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Old 07-19-2012, 12:59 PM
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Thanks for the replies. If I had my way it would be a 2004 Ram Quad Cab, 5.7 Hemi, 4x4 with only 55K miles on it. Unfortunately, the bank has some say in what I can/can't buy and when running a business money in the bank is always better then a money in the down payment.
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Old 07-19-2012, 01:18 PM
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I had an 01 Ram and it did last a long time. The main thing to watch is the trans, at least it was on mine. Make sure to adjust the bands if it feels like it is slipping.
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Old 07-19-2012, 02:51 PM
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$1000 for front end work every 2 years? I assume you will not be doing it yourself? Ball joints, rod ends, pitman arm, etc shouldn't run you more than $150 in parts. Brakes figure $250 with replacing rotors. I rebuilt the complete front end on mine including new axle shafts on both sides, calipers, rotors, ball joints, rod ends, pitman arm, etc for about $800 in parts. Non of this is stuff that can't be done by you if you have a good manual and some basic tools. Any specialty tools like ball joint press can be 'borrowed' from your local flaps.
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Old 07-20-2012, 11:01 PM
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Being a older truck I would take it to a mechanic and put it up on the lift and give it a once over. I got my 09 Big Horn for $15,200 with 100k miles but it was a one owner and clean. I bought a 05 Rumble Bee with 38k miles a couple years ago off a lot as a one owner and it was a clean looking truck. Took it to my friend shop and put it on a lift and found the tranny gasket wasn't installed right and it was leaking. I got them down on the price and fixed it but if I didn't put it on the lift I may never have noticed it and that could have been a expensive fix later.

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