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Thread: Thinking about buying a 1st gen Reply to Thread
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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-28-2019 05:30 PM
Originally Posted by thrashingcows View Post
Keep a written list of the trucks you find for sale, and all the details, condition, options, etc, so you can easily go back and see what the asking/sold price was. I do this whenever I am looking at a major purchase, and I research a wider area then I plan on looking for the purchase in as well....just to have an idea of what the "general" pricing is on the item.

Excellent idea

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03-28-2019 05:29 PM
thrashingcows Keep a written list of the trucks you find for sale, and all the details, condition, options, etc, so you can easily go back and see what the asking/sold price was. I do this whenever I am looking at a major purchase, and I research a wider area then I plan on looking for the purchase in as well....just to have an idea of what the "general" pricing is on the item.
03-27-2019 03:31 PM
monsoon-mech bbtw, other than this recent IP leak I've never had to do anything other than put fue in my 1st gen and drive it.. its usually dragging 1 of several trailers around some of the most beatup streets and roads this side of Iraq never a whimper and I'm not a slow driver nor do I pamper the truck... totally reliable even with the leak on the IP she still purrs and will light up both rears if I drop the clutch in 2nd and bark 3rd if I stay in the throttle...
03-27-2019 03:17 AM
echoboss21 I just started searching around southern Missouri, Arkansas, etc. and have found a few decent trucks. I'm trying to search areas basically straight south of Iowa so that I can pick it up myself rather than pay to have it shipped. But I would definitely trailer it back and go through all the fluids first (at the bare minimum) before I even think about driving it that far.
03-27-2019 03:05 AM
monsoon-mech if ya want low to no rust then your better off to start watching listings in states that don't have harsh winters and don't salt the roads, here in AZ non rusted trucks are common as long as they were not brought here by someone migrating from the rust belt.. texas as long as they didn't come from coastal areas, new mexico stay away from colorado trucks most I've delt with were rifddled with cancer same with trucks outa utah for the most part, california if they didn't spend alota time on the coast are usually pretty rust free... Iowa your probably gonna have to work a lil harder to find low rust 1st gens...

btw mines an interesting example, the sheet metal is totally rust free and perfect BUT every part of the frame has a dusting of surface rust... we couldn't figure it out and as the previous owner has passed away nobody to ask the sheet metal screams native AZ truck then one day I took the grill out to put LED driving lights behind it and found something that I hadn't noticed.. a block heater plug... I had no reason to even look for one as the trucks so clean it was assumed to be an Az truck but... there is no place in AZ where anyone uses a block heater.... then when I took out the original bench seat I found a note just part of the litter that accumulates and gets trapped under seats.... "remember to wash under truck before parking in garage if it ends up snowing" the owner was very meticules about always washing the truck down after it was used during winter... I still don't know where it originated but if not for the block heater I'd never had suspected it was not a native Az truck...
03-27-2019 02:57 AM
echoboss21 Thanks for all of the input guys, it is greatly appreciated! For the time being I have decided to hold off until around the end of summer so I can earn some more money. However, I will still be keeping an eye out on facebook and craigslist to get an idea of what it will cost me to find the one I want, and where to find it. I don't need anything in perfect condition and I don't plan to do any major upgrades until after college. But I will most likely try to find one with 4x4 as I live in Iowa and if we have another winter like what we just went through then 4x4 is needed, which is why I'm not too keen on buying a car. I don't mind putting in work on it and I can still get by in the event that it is down for a while. It will be driven locally most of the time, but if I get an internship out of state then that is when it will be driven the most. I'm still not 100% sure yet but if I decide to get one I will be looking more towards a 1991.5-1993 4x4 5 speed with around 200k or less if possible, and ideally nothing more than surface rust on at least the cab. If you have any more opinions please share as I'm still trying to learn.
03-26-2019 07:00 PM
Kmehr Mine was a conversion, so not apples to apples, but damn, I was ALWAYS working on it. Granted it never left me stranded, ever, i was under the hood every weekend. It was the main reason I sold it really. Tired of sinking money into it and tired of working on it all the damn time. That being said, if I had started out with a Cummins truck, I'd probably still have it.
03-26-2019 05:46 PM
u2slow The closest I got to dumping a 'new truck payment' into my W250 was a new radiator. Biggest breakdown was changing the starter in the post-office parking lot. The powertrain on these 1stgens is dead-nuts reliable. Automatics not included.

IMO, there's nothing newer that's going be any easier on my wallet.
03-26-2019 05:37 PM
thrashingcows I have been driving my crewcab daily since I bought it almost 10 years ago, has been dead nuts reliable. When when I first bought it was 2wd i re/re'd the front suspension and addressed some motor leaks etc, but then for the next 3+ years was no issues, then I did the 4wd conversion....big job and took about 9 months in the driveway to complete, but since then no major issues.

As mentioned even a high maintenance 1st gen is still going to a lot cheaper then a new truck with payments, and then shop rate charges for "diagnostics" etc. Heck budget to spend half what a new truck payment is on your 1st gen per month for 1 year and you will most likely have darn near a new truck.
03-26-2019 03:19 PM
Kmehr There were plenty of months I spent a brand new truck's payment on my old first gen.... granted it was a conversion and far from stock, but still. So easy to get into the mindset of "just this one last thing and it'll be where I want it." One of the biggest problems with these old trucks is there are so many things you can do to them it's hard to leave it alone!

Again, not trying to dissuade you, just be realistic. A first gen cummins, or any 28+ yo vehicle is never going to be "2015 corolla jump and go" reliable.
03-26-2019 03:17 PM
u2slow FWIW, if you spend most of your trips driving empty, and on pavement... a 2wd cummins truck with locker or traction aid is IMHO a much more comfortable ride. Find one with 3.54 and overdrive (pref 5spd) for the best economy.
03-26-2019 02:49 PM
Originally Posted by myother4x4isaCJ7 View Post
Still even if you have a high maintenance first gen it is much cheaper than a new truck payment and will get better MPG.

Ainít that the truth.

1992 W250 conversion, 6 inch skyjacker, 2inch body, cross over, Borgeson,HE351CW, 37x13.5x20R, 3.54 gears, Auto

1991, W350, non IC, single cab, 285/75/16R, 4.10 gears, 5 speed Getrag
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