Best Older Trucks for Hauling? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 38 Old 11-06-2012, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Best Older Trucks for Hauling?

I was going to sell my trailer because it is too heavy for my moms SUV. Trailer weighs 3500lbs empty and car can haul 5000 lbs.

I contemplating selling the trailer and buying a lighter one but hauling is going to be the death if the car in my moms opinion, and my little jeep obviously can't haul it, So we opted to buy a used older pick up.

I have about $2000 to work with to fix up a truck and put it on the road. Tonight I am going to look at a 1985 Dodge w150 with a tow package, and a 1995 Dodge 2500, which needs to be retitled. I'm not partial to any specific kind of truck but what are the best older trucks to haul with?
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post #2 of 38 Old 11-06-2012, 12:16 PM
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I don't know about the 85 dodge(might be ok since very old) but I won't touch a mopar with a 10ft pole.

Personally I would never haul live animals with a vehicle so old. I would have bought a lighter trailer and hauled with the SUV, with the right SUV and trailer that is much safer in my opinion.

Now if you are the original owner of a much older truck and it has low miles that is different.
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post #3 of 38 Old 11-06-2012, 12:58 PM
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I love my old truck. I got rid of my pretty nice, newer quad cab diesel because the old truck is as good (likely better) and I don't owe a dime on it. It's a 92 Ford 3/4 ton cab & a half with a 460 in it, she's a beast. Best part, just rolled over 45k miles on it a couple weeks ago. She might be old but low mileage, runs like a top and have had to do zero repairs on it but if we did there's no complicated modern computer stuff and DH can do the work

Did I mention I love my old truck? ;)
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post #4 of 38 Old 11-06-2012, 01:04 PM
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MHF - for a truck like yours you will still spend a pretty penny as those are rare. If you can find something like that I would buy it.

But if the OP has $2,000 to buy and fix a truck? Well you won't find anything worth the effort.

Plus of course yours is a beast it's a Ford :)
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post #5 of 38 Old 11-06-2012, 01:13 PM
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It wasn't terribly expensive, bought it from original owner for less than 5k.

I read it as 2k to put into repairs/work, wasn't considering purchase price as well - going to blame my lack of comprehension on my sinus headache. It will be tough to find something reliable enough in that range.
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post #6 of 38 Old 11-06-2012, 02:20 PM
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once you get that old its gonna be what you can find. The use and condition can be so variable. If I knew I only wanted it for towing I'd go for the 2500. Also horsepower seems to be going up, so I would think the 95 has a bit more capability, but it depends on the engine, tranny, rearend combo. As far as towing bigger and more power is usually better. Its when we need to use the vehicles for other things that the tradeoffs start happening and you have to decide what is enough. Most of the older 150/1500 class vehicles are gonna top out at 5000 lbs max towing which isnt gonna do much for you.
My experience would be a pre modular ford gas truck, I think 96 or older stick with a 351 preferably in a F250. After 96 go with the 7.3 diesel in a ford up to 2003,
Dodge anything with a Cummings Diesel. sorry I dont know anything about dodge gas engines.
GM, stick with the trucks that still had 350's. Avoid the 4.3's vortecs, or anything diesel until you get pretty modern with the new style duramax.
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post #7 of 38 Old 11-06-2012, 02:41 PM
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I would pass on the 85 Dodge, but some of that is going to depend on what motor, rearend and tranny. For several years. I had a 86 Dodge 3/4 ton with low rear ends and a manual transmission but it had the 318 motor....a gutluss wonder, naturally with a 3/4 ton truck towing a trailer heavier than you are, but still managed. The 351 wasn't much better in those years, still slow going but sucked more gas.

I had a 94 Dodge 2500 Cummins and I loved that truck, again manual transmission(I think the autos were junk then) I sold it to the ranch when we moved and it is still going and it has over 300000 miles.

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post #8 of 38 Old 11-06-2012, 02:56 PM
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I had a guy come in to my work and we talked for a while about Dodge trucks. He was seasoned diesel mechanic, so I trust his opinion.

Basically, stay away from the 1995, that was one of their crappier years.
I love our Dodge, Cummins will run until there is no truck left.

My boyfriend tows horses with a 1985 Chevy Custom Deluxe. Great truck, some after market parts however really messed the poor girl up, and she is getting her motor rebuilt. He had an 305, traded for a 350, now moving up to a 383. Paid $500 for the truck, has about $2000 invested so far in her. I might also add she is estimated to have about 250-300K miles on her. If you know anything about older GM's, the odometer went up to 99,999 then it would roll back over to 1, so you really just have to be the only owner to know exactly how much that vehicle has:P
I have a 1985 Silverado with a 350, she's be a towing champ once she is all finished up. Paid $1500 for her, she had been parked for a year, dad started her up, drove her across the state and she has been parked ever since, been working on body work before motor.

Stay away from 4X4 unless you really want it, its just more money to be spent you might never use.
If your interested in a Dodge, go with a 1997. Great year for the Dodge!
Chevy's, stay away from Z71's. Great truck, but tend to be way more expensive. If you find one in your price range, chances are, its crap.

I'll tell you to steer clear of Fords, but thats just based on personal experiences.

Every company is going to have its bad apples. Seems the older the Ford though, the better.

Really, like others have stated, motor, rear end, and tranny are key. But, so is routine care. Older trucks will go forever, they were made right, if you take care of them.

Be wary of the horse with a sense of humour. - Pam Brown

Last edited by MangoRoX87; 11-06-2012 at 02:59 PM.
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post #9 of 38 Old 11-06-2012, 03:33 PM
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We just bought a 1970 C 30 and we are in LOVE!
I haven't pulled horses with it but have pulled 10,000 lbs of water! Everyone around here uses them for logging trucks in these hills and they last forever.
Ours is rock solid, not even a hint of rust.
Paid less than your budget and they are really easy to fix up. Only drawback is you'll get about 8-10 MPG, LOL!! We get several offers on it every time we take it out but this old man has found his forever home...

Sure you can find something newer though!
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post #10 of 38 Old 11-06-2012, 04:47 PM
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Another great thing about the chevy's....
1973-1988 use basically all the same part with just a few differences here and there. Pretty cheap and easy to fix up, just get a knowledgable car guy and a Pull-A-Part yard!
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