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Looking to buy 2002 2500 opinions needed (pics inside)


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I am looking at buying a 2002 Ram 2500 HO 6 Speed with 235,000 miles asking 7,500. It seems to have been reasonably well maintained the owner has allot of service receipts. Here's a few pictures of the truck body is really nice (all redone last year new fenders ,doors, bedside and complete repaint...) but the underside worry's me...just want some opinions. Here's a few pics Thanks !

 

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It looks to be in pretty good condition.  have you driven it?  If your worried about the underside take it to a shop during a test drive and crawl under there to get a better look.  I would jack up each tire and check for play.  When you are driving it does it feel like excessive play or wandering?  Is truck completely stock or are there aftermarket mods?  How about the lift pump, is it stock?  Do any of the service receipts show the injection pump has bee replaced?  Check your fluids to see if they have been changed?  Hopefully the power steering, brake fluid, and coolant has been changed a few times during it life. Having the service records is great as long as they show correct servicing.  The transmission oil should have been changed as well.

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Thanks for the reply, the truck is 100% stock. the lift pump was replaced but I don't believe the injection pump was or the injectors. The dash is good I was only worried about the underside of the truck I have to drive 5 hours to go see it the owner sent me these pictures yesterday he's really open and sent my copies of receipts and all pictures I asked for... I currently have a 1998.5 so I am quite familiar with these truck but for some reason the underside looked bad to me in the pictures.

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just looking at the pictures of the frame, I also have the same concerns,

the fact that fender etc was replaced, tells me either it was wrecked, or so much cancer that required replacing, if its the later, i would be be looking very closely at the frame superstructure..

beautiful truck from the outside, but it may just be lipstick on a pig.

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Truck looks clean EXCEPT for

 

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I see 2 issues here.  First the frame does look pretty rusty.....never seen a 2nd gen dodge without the front section covered in oil......I mean anti rust.

 

Without being able to look close tho I don't know how bad it is.  The bottom of the bed and the rear of the truck look normal with surface rust.  

I agree that maybe it was in a wreck.  I see what could be junkyard markings on the fan shroud, which could mean it was busted up in the front.  I would look for signs of a new intercooler and radiator.  

 

Secondly I see a shock that BADLY needs to be replaced.  Not a huge deal but strikes me as odd that the rest of the truck would be so clean, yet a $20 shock hasn't been done.

 

Other than that it seems like the first truck for sale with a sensible price I have seen in awhile.   

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For the immediate future it will do, but long term it won't last. Long term could be a couple years. I'd say it's only a matter of time before you put your foot through the bed. Looks to me like there is still some rot, not just surface rust. 

 

Depends how long you want to keep it or how much rust you want to deal with. Rust is my pet peeve. My 2003 Ram rotted out, at only 140,000 miles and after that I swore I would never buy another truck from a salt region. 

 

How far are you from Washington State?

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The reason I am willing to drive 5 hours to go get it is that 2nd gen 100% stock are very hard to find...

if you do move forward, i would plan on replacing the frame,

maybe even find a gasser (v10) from the states, they can be had for a song and swap in the frame.

 

I completely agree, an unmolested 2nd gen is very rare.

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I don't see anything rust wise in the pictures that support being able to put your foot through the bed.  

 

I am not even sure the rust on the frame is bad enough to worry about.  without seeing it in person I can't say if it is surface rust or actually eating away at the frame.  The pictures are too grainy for me to say one way or another.

 

The rear frame rails look fine, some surface rust and areas where the paint has pulled off.

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I have an 01.5.  I live in the road salt capitol. 

The exhaust rotted out & was replaced with a SS kit.

My doors rotted out & have yet to get them fixed. 

I had to pay a fabricating shop to build & install the cups on the front axle housing where the bottom of the coil springs sit into (not available as a separate piece).  Dodge said nedeed to replace the axle housing...  yeah, right!

I had the steel plates the rear U bolts go through, rot out so the rear axle was walking around.  One side pulled right through.  The plates were available, U bolts were too.  The spacer blockswere got used.  Exciting to say the least. 

Check these spots with a hammer & punch. 

The rear bumper is thin & prone to flex & crack the chrome if bumped...  then rots from the inside out.

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One note.  

 

ALWAYS change radiator fluid.  If a vehicle is that rusty, I would be concerned about the coolant system as well.  If it hasn't been kept up with flushes and changes every 40k or so, I would also budget for a new radiator and possibly pump/heater core.  Poor coolant and its associated corrosion is also hard on headgaskets... and everything else..  

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I wouldn't worry about the frame. Mine looks like that if not worse and it passes the chipping hammer test, still very solid.

Some things to look at and expect to replace.

Rear spring shackles (mine were see through)

Rear leaf springs if doing shackles because those bolts aren't coming out.

U bolts rust through at the mounting plate.

The bolts holding your trailer hitch on, mine were scary thin. This stuff will be at least $500.

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Well, my middle brother taught me, don't fall in love with a vehicle before you buy it. He gets a new summer v8 car every summer. Sells his current mustang/corvette and gets something different every 1 to 2 summers. My advice would be get a truck from the states, California being the best option. As long as the drive train is good, just about any mechanical problem can be fixed relatively cheaply. Fighting rust is a never ending story. I grew up on the east coast, and the motors would last forever, but the body wouldn't. Even frame rust is troublesome. My old boss had to replace every brake line on his 2006 duramax last year, something I don't have to worry about on my Texas truck, costs over $1000. Inspect everything metal. Rubber parts are cheap. Fuel lines, brake lines, coils seats etc

 

What are your expectations for this vehicle?

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That's one of the few things I do. I bring cover-alls and roll under the truck and look up. So what the interior and paint is nice... The rest of the truck needs attention.

 

250k miles... Idaho roads are mostly dirt. Salt used quite a bit in the winter time... Very little if any surface rust.

 

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