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ebelements
ebelements Reader
4/27/21 10:43 a.m.

I'm renovating my house, getting more into woodworking, and all of my cars are fun and modified(read: useless). My wife's rig is a 2021 Sportage that I commandeer far too often and as the only truly functional vehicle, is being subjected to undue wear and tear. I told myself I could rent a pickup when I needed one, but that's becoming more and more necessary, and half the time Home D is all rented-out. I keep telling myself "no one NEEDS three cars and a pickup."  Wait no, that's my wife who says that.

But today, friends, is a grand day. I've convinced her to see the light(worn her down).  Now I need your help/guidance. 

Nothing local(Cincinnati) is worth a damn. Overpriced and rusty. I kind of already know I want something 90s and Japanese, and having done my first legit fly&drive this past fall as a tagalong — I've seen the light. The PNW has a glut of rust-free time capsules.  I can reasonably blow $5500 or so on this. So I guess what I'm asking is:

—How bad an idea is this?
—What small pickups are a sure thing as a reliable bonus vehicle/weekend-abused mule?
—Is the PNW the best call? Any other places y'all have had luck?
—Mileage threshold? Seeing a LOT of 250k trucks out there. 
—I don't care about AT or MT for this—are there autos to avoid?


Honestly any advice is good advice at this point.  Thanks in advance!  — Erik

jimbob_racing
jimbob_racing SuperDork
4/27/21 10:50 a.m.

I've been considering the same thing and I only want a 2wd 5 speed Nissan Hardbody.  They're kinda hard to find here near Pittsburgh. 

Ranger50
Ranger50 MegaDork
4/27/21 10:52 a.m.

250k. Yes it's a lot of miles but look at what you're getting overall.

90's and "Japanese"... Mazda b series based on the ranger? It's just body panel differences... For a "hard core" Japanese truck, I'd buy a hardbody. JMO.

I'd avoid every auto out there....

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/27/21 10:56 a.m.

Your in Cinci, I'm near Cleveland.  Here, we call your Cinci trucks "clean" compared to what we have to choose from.  

Starting from Cinci, I would shop Nashville and Knoxville.  Only 4 hours south so in theory you could go down and return in the same day.  But, far enough south to get into good sheet metal.  

In the current used truck market, $5k doesn't buy much.  Your probably looking at a full size rwd, 6 cyl single cab.  Said another way, your looking at the trucks that most buyers pass over.  Everyone these days wants 4 door and 4x4 w/ a big engine.  

bgkast
bgkast PowerDork
4/27/21 11:04 a.m.

Allow me to enable you:

https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/ctd/d/portland-1997-nissan-xe-pickup-truck/7312558157.html

https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/d/portland-1996-basic-af-tacoma-240k/7312006508.html

https://portland.craigslist.org/clk/ctd/d/carrolls-1996-nissan-pickup-xe-king-cab/7311721095.html

https://portland.craigslist.org/clk/cto/d/vancouver-1996-toyota-t100-long-bed/7310336446.html

 

 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UberDork
4/27/21 11:05 a.m.
ebelements
ebelements Reader
4/27/21 11:17 a.m.

In reply to bgkast :

No joke, those four are in actively open tabs right now. Consider me enabled.

ebelements
ebelements Reader
4/27/21 11:18 a.m.

In reply to Mr_Asa :

What in all that is holy would someone use that much rack for? Parade float?

ebelements
ebelements Reader
4/27/21 11:29 a.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

John, I know all too well! The Cleveland car guy suffers about as hard as anyone can. Having lived my high school and college years in the Toledo area, I got to experience the rusty intersection where wood-bumpered Detroit heaps and relentlessly perforated Cleveland vehicles met. Cinci has spoiled me in respect to German vehicle abundance, but import trucks in this area are either 2WDs with two feet in the grave or chopped up 4WD trail buggies. Going any farther south puts me in full-size land, which I admittedly know little about. Found my brother a creampuff of a 1993 4wd Chevy 2500 (with a dump bed!) for his Toledo-based landscaping business a few years back, and while driving it up that way, I only had to stop for gas once to realize it wasn't for me. 

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UberDork
4/27/21 11:34 a.m.
ebelements said:

In reply to Mr_Asa :

What in all that is holy would someone use that much rack for? Parade float?

Anything that is built mainly out of aluminum extrusions.  Screened in pools and whatever.

Some google-fu leads me to believe that its parked behind Kirkwood Electric in Cape Coral, which would also make some sense.  Ladders and conduit.

hobiercr
hobiercr SuperDork
4/27/21 11:59 a.m.
hobiercr
hobiercr SuperDork
4/27/21 12:02 p.m.

I would also include Atlanta and anywhere in TX, in your search. LOTS of trucks in TX.  Atlanta also throws out some smoking deals on occasion.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/27/21 12:20 p.m.

Set your search alert for keyword T100. The slightly larger Tacoma (and a really nice size.)  The short run and largely forgotten T100 might lead you to something the Tacoma shoppers are overlooking. 

 

I have a theory that with Nashville being the US HQ of Nissan, it is possible that market has a higher percentage of Nissans compared to other markets...maybe. 

bmw88rider
bmw88rider UltraDork
4/27/21 1:09 p.m.

Don't forget Huntsville area too. Little less volume than the others but an easy drive up 65 home. 

CJ (FS)
CJ (FS) HalfDork
4/27/21 1:22 p.m.

Sacramento

1997 Ranger - 82K miles $5500

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
4/27/21 1:52 p.m.

The only big "watch out" is that 2004-2008 Tacomas had a frame recall for rust; ones that weren't brought in to get the frame replaced would be trouble in Ohio. Other than that, this seems more like a case where you'll want to buy on condition rather than model. There aren't that many lemons of the truck world, just some options that would be underpowered. And I'm guessing you don't plan to tow.

Just to do a bit of enabling, here's what I found in Atlanta - click the picture for the ad.

ebelements
ebelements Reader
4/27/21 2:07 p.m.

In reply to MadScientistMatt :

Yeah, the rust is the scary part. Seems that any Toyota in my preferred year range is incapable of dissolving. Whatever I pick up(ha, see what I did there) most likely will sit through the "unpleasant season," so if  I manage to snag a really clean example, hopefully I'll be able to keep it that way. Against my better judgement I might go look at a seemingly nice '90 Toyota Pickup in the next day or so that appears clean, but I'm already keeping my hopes low.

But who knows, maybe having told Mr. Welsh that there "aren't any clean trucks here" made the universe conjure one up out of spite? 

 

ebelements
ebelements Reader
4/27/21 2:08 p.m.

In reply to CJ (FS) :

That thing is MINT. For those in the know, are Rangers something that should be on my list?  If so, what to watch out for?

L5wolvesf
L5wolvesf HalfDork
4/27/21 2:39 p.m.
ebelements said:

In reply to CJ (FS) :

That thing is MINT. For those in the know, are Rangers something that should be on my list?  If so, what to watch out for?

I like Rangers a lot. When I'm looking to do a quick flip I check out the Phx CL ads and there are usually 15 to 20 (maybe less now). Your 5500 budget could get you a nice one there.

Rons
Rons HalfDork
4/27/21 2:40 p.m.

In reply to ebelements :

mount a solar panel array and create a portable generation plant?

bgkast
bgkast PowerDork
4/27/21 3:06 p.m.

Let me know if you need eyes on anything in the Portland area.

MadScientistMatt
MadScientistMatt UltimaDork
4/27/21 3:35 p.m.
ebelements said:

In reply to CJ (FS) :

That thing is MINT. For those in the know, are Rangers something that should be on my list?  If so, what to watch out for?

I had a 250,000 mile Ranger with the 2.3 for a while. You could have put a picture of the trailer hitch on it in the dictionary to illustrate "optimism", but like many mini truck designs, they'll run forever.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/27/21 4:32 p.m.

In reply to ebelements :

I grew up in Toledo, now in Sandusky area.  I went to St Francis for high school and lived so close that I walked to school. Then, the University of Toledo and walked to there too.

I gotta tell ya, Toledo cars look clean compared to the East Side of Cleveland. 

ebelements
ebelements Reader
4/28/21 10:32 a.m.

In reply to bgkast :

Appreciate the offer! I actually might take you up on that... but only if I find something close to a "sure thing." 

In reply to John Welsh :

I'm not saying we're destined to butt heads, but I did go to SJ and then BGSU.  

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/28/21 10:42 a.m.

In reply to ebelements :

If I could have walked to SJ (or BG) I would have gone there instead.  About they only way you could live and walk to SJ (at that time) was to be an Anderson.  

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