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Thread: Buy or avoid

  1. #1

    Buy or avoid

    A neighbor has a 1992 ford f150 pick up with a 5.8 liter engine and automatic transmission for sale for $1800. It has 270,000 miles on it.

    If it checks out mechancically, would it be a disaster to buy a truck with this many miles?

  2. #2
    Senior Member grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearly8 View Post
    A neighbor has a 1992 ford f150 pick up with a 5.8 liter engine and automatic transmission for sale for $1800. It has 270,000 miles on it.

    If it checks out mechancically, would it be a disaster to buy a truck with this many miles?

    It depends on how it was used and how it was maintained. I just sold a truck with 357K on the clock but there wasn't much of the original truck left mechanically. Rst is a major warning to avoid it. If the body and frame are solid, it was used mostly on thr highway and especially if you can see the maintenance records, I'd have a mechanic you trust check it out. Personally, I think $1800 is a bit high, but a lot depends on how much you like the truck. I would think you could get a similar one with about 100,000 less miles for that price.
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  3. #3
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearly8 View Post
    A neighbor has a 1992 ford f150 pick up with a 5.8 liter engine and automatic transmission for sale for $1800. It has 270,000 miles on it.

    If it checks out mechancically, would it be a disaster to buy a truck with this many miles?
    I agree with Grouch - and here are some thoughts of my own:

    Ups: The 5.8 (351) is a very good engine; much stronger than the current "modular" 4.6/5.4 V-8s.

    Downs: 270k is a lot of miles for a gas engine, even a very good one. Even if it checks out (good compression, etc.) that is high mileage and I'd be worried about everything - from the alternator to the transmission. They're well past their engineered service lives and you could be buying into a money pit.

    The price is low - but it may be wiser to buy a $3,000 truck that won't need a $1,500 rebuild in six months... and a $1,000 transmission six months after that... .

    This assumes you plan to use the truck regularly and need it to be dependable.

    If, on the other hand, you just need the truck to occasionally drive the mile or so up the road to the dumpsters (or whatever) then it might be worth buying....

  4. #4
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    Look at it this way - the truck is 19 yrs old - it almost qualifies as a collector car! There are so many components to wear - bushings, tie rod ends, ball joints, shocks, motor mounts, brake lines, etc, etc.

  5. #5
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dBrong View Post
    Look at it this way - the truck is 19 yrs old - it almost qualifies as a collector car! There are so many components to wear - bushings, tie rod ends, ball joints, shocks, motor mounts, brake lines, etc, etc.
    Yep - plus the big one, the computer/smog system and its associated sensors, wiring, etc.

    If it was an old F100, you could fix/rebuild the drivetrain and suspension for very little, relatively speaking - so provided the body was in good shape, such a truck can be a good buy.

    But a '92 will have to pass emissions in most state to get plates... and that could be a killer, money-wise...

  6. #6
    Senior Member DonTom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearly8 View Post
    A neighbor has a 1992 ford f150 pick up with a 5.8 liter engine and automatic transmission for sale for $1800. It has 270,000 miles on it.

    If it checks out mechancically, would it be a disaster to buy a truck with this many miles?
    Not enough info. I doubt if that tranny has 270K miles on it. When was it rebuilt or replaced last?

    Same can go for the engine. If it's the original engine, not a rebuild and still has the original timing chain, I wouldn't trust it. It could fail on the freeway without warning.

    And it could start to lose oil pressure at any time. If it has a oil pressure meter, make sure it's not too low when warmed up, even if it shows extra high when cold.

    The rest might depend on how much work you're willing to do yourself.

    -Don-

  7. #7
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pearly8 View Post
    A neighbor has a 1992 ford f150 pick up with a 5.8 liter engine and automatic transmission for sale for $1800. It has 270,000 miles on it.

    If it checks out mechancically, would it be a disaster to buy a truck with this many miles?
    This would be my reasoning when checking out a truck like this:


    • Body has to be rust free
    • Interior needs to be nice
    • Under body need to be nice (bushings, suspensions, bolts, etc..)
    • I would need, in my head, 6k total to drop on the truck if necessary

    I think 6k would cover rebuilding it after a catastrophic break down.

    If you drop 6k in it correctly, you pretty much could have a brand new truck!

    One last thing:

    I would offer the person less than what they are asking.

    It will make you feel better in the long run!

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
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    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  8. #8
    Administrator Ken's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dom View Post
    This would be my reasoning when checking out a truck like this:


    • Body has to be rust free
    • Interior needs to be nice
    • Under body need to be nice (bushings, suspensions, bolts, etc..
    • I would need, in my head, 6k total to drop on the truck if necessary
    I think 6k would cover rebuilding it after a catastrophic break down.

    If you drop 6k in it correctly, you pretty much could have a brand new truck!

    One last thing:

    I would offer the person less than what they are asking.

    It will make you feel better in the long run!
    I'm with Dom on this one. No matter how well maintained, at 270K miles the inescapable 'wear out' factor has to be a major consideration. If the body is good and rust free, and if the suspension units have been changed in the last 70K miles and if, as Dom said, all bolts and bushings are clean and sound then at least you have to allow for an engine rebuild or replacement and likewise for the tranny. I would only consider the vehicle if it was one that I particularly wanted, was in very short supply, and I was prepared to do a restoration job on it as far as was necessary.

    Ken.
    Die dulci fruimini!
    Ken.
    Wolds Bikers, Lincolnshire, England.

  9. #9
    Ridin Dirty dom's Avatar
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    I think this one sentence sums it up.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken View Post
    I would only consider the vehicle if it was one that I particularly wanted, was in very short supply, and I was prepared to do a restoration job on it as far as was necessary.

    "Tutto nello Stato, niente al di fuori dello Stato, nulla contro lo Stato "
    -Mussolini
    All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

  10. #10
    Thanks.

    We'll keep looking.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bikerlbf406's Avatar
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    Well I bought a '96 F-150 at the end of February and it has 238xxx miles on it right now. Mine has the 4.9L straight 6cyl. I paid $4K for mine, and I do not regret buying it at all. I'd consider rather it has been mantained properly, if you can prove its been maintained good, and do a thorough inspection of everything. If you can prove its been maintained, and everything checks out after a good inspection, I would not hesitate to buy it, especially if its in good condition. Thats my own personal opinion.
    Tim, proud owner of 2001 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 & 2007 Honda CMX250C Rebel


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