Daily Driver Opinion

Rat Rods Rule

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Well-known member
Jan 13, 2018
South West CT
My DD for the winter is a 2002 Dodge Dakota. It has 157K on it and runs pretty good. It needs some body work and some maintenance things, like PS fluid flush and a throttle body cleaning. Big ticket item repair would be oil pan that service guy says may be in my future. Truck came from Chicago. Frame is rusty but good. It has the 47L V8 and auto trans, 4x4. It has newer ball joints and rear spring perches which rotted out. New computer installed 2 years ago. I want opinions, my Wife says drop some time and money on it and keep it. It is a work horse. My Son uses it often for dump runs too. I have been looking for a bed for it but it seems that these trucks have bed rot problems. I can weld in new premade panels or make my own. So please let me know what you all would do. I can see both sides, let it just run its course or put in some time and money to make it last.Trucks are expensive here in CT. Thanks for any help. Jim
My opinion, if it's paid for free and clear, put some money into it. As long as the frame is repairable, the engine and trans is in good shape, I'd drive it. You could patch the bed, or even build a wood flatbed for it. Oil pan shouldn't be that expensive to replace, main expense would be pulling it out and putting it back in if you have to pay someone to do it.

I agree, newer trucks are expensive, everywhere, and maybe no more dependable. Mine is a 99 F150, doubt I'll ever buy anything newer as long as I can keep this one going.
Drive it til it drops. Then get an electric truck.:eek:
I've got a 2005 Chevy contractor truck. Every warning light on the dashboard is lit. Still runs good. But not many Minnesota winters left in it. I'm facing the same decision. I think I'll move south where the trucks don't rust away.[cl
you could always put a flatbed on it. my grand son has two in the back yard. one good body with bad motor the other did a dukes of hazard jump but has good motor and trans. i guess he is waiting on me to change everything, but i'm not going to. these young boys just will not try nothing on their own.
Thanks all for the help. I love this truck for some reason and it is nothing special. I do most things to it but the oil pan may be one I don't. Looking at youtube it looks like alot of the front end like the rack needs to come out. I will weigh the cost. When the heater core went I didn't want to pay 1000 so I took my time and did it. My garage guy said I could probably get about 4500 how it is sitting. I paid 6500 + 600 to get it here for it 10 years ago. 2 most expensive things were the ball joints and the rear spring perches, about 1K each. I was worried about the computer but found a place that sold them programmed to your VIN for $179. Other than that it was been maintenance. On the mention of electric I saw this article yesterday. https://www.powernationtv.com/post/ford-f-150-hybrid-used-to-power-texas-homes Thanks again. I love this board. It is so nice to be around people like myself who like to hang onto things. In a disposable world it is nice to see. My Wife is going to retire next year and we are looking for a getaway place. I told her I do not care what we get but there has to be a nice barn or garage or enough room to build one. Jim
My theory has always been to buy cash and use it until I can get at least half of what it is worth then do the same for the next DD.

I sold a Crown Vic interceptor, a nice one too, for a little more than half of what it was worth/paid for. I bought a 2002 GMC shortbed with the 5.3, had 170K.

Six years later, I still have it, with 234k, and right now it is worth what I paid for it according to KBB, and still runs great. The CEL is on every other month, then goes off, then all of the ABS stuff lights up now and then...but I still have brakes, and I love the thing.

So yea, bail while its sellable, or get something when the wheels fall off.

Tuff call sometimes.

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