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Duwammer

Nickel dimeing me

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I bought this truck from my brother in 2007 with 80,000 miles on it. It now has 138,500

 

It seems like lately every time I turn around I'm putting money into this truck. I use it mainly during hunting season and a handful of times throughout the year after that.

 

I've flushed the radiator and changed the coolant twice while I've owned it. I haven't had it checked out yet but I have a coolant smell coming from it. I'm guessing it's the heater core so I called the dealer, OEM parts $950 and a local radiator shop unknown parts $750

 

It's got rust from living here in Michigan and I was thinking about getting rid of it 2 years ago but I was told the steering wheel had some play and was off center a little. I didn't think it was bad but took it to the dealer and had it checked out and fixed. new steering box, steering damper, and track bar.

 

That cost me almost $1000 I went from the service area to the sales area and they offered me $9500 for it and I didn't even need to buy from them

 

Now a coolant smell and probably another $1000 and I'm gonna need it for hunting soon.

 

I'm bummed. Damn I wish I would have sold it when I had the chance......

 

 

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I replaced the dash pad and pulled the HVAC box and replaced the heater core and evaporator for about $550. Did the work myself in couple days. I quit letting the dealer work on mine after getting the in tank pump from them 10 years ago.

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I've found that most time if you can't do work yourself it cost way too much to keep an old vehicle. A lot of people these days choose to trade in every few years as it's cheaper in long run then keep paying someone to fix old. And not easy to find good help cheap. Most of us try to do what we can ourselves and it still costs a good bit. This is a crazy world we live in. :ahhh:

 

Edited by Dieselfuture
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On 10/21/2017 at 11:34 PM, Duwammer said:

I'm guessing it's the heater core so I called the dealer, OEM parts $950 and a local radiator shop unknown parts $750

 

Holy Crap dude... I paid just about $120 for my heater core. Take a bit over 4 hours to do a heater core change and HVAC case clean out. 

 

Holy crap again the prices have tanked out on heater cores... They are super cheap... No you DO NOT need a dealer part that just wasteful spending.

http://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog/dodge,2002,ram+2500+pickup,5.9l+l6+diesel+turbocharged,1440064,heat+&+air+conditioning,heater+core,6864

On 10/21/2017 at 11:34 PM, Duwammer said:

It's got rust from living here in Michigan and I was thinking about getting rid of it 2 years ago but I was told the steering wheel had some play and was off center a little. I didn't think it was bad but took it to the dealer and had it checked out and fixed. new steering box, steering damper, and track bar.

 

Wasteful spending again. 

 

The steering box could of been rebuilt for less than $40 bucks and made tight again with a few adjustments. The off center adjustment is in the drag link you can loosen that clamp up and center the steering your self. Steering damper a lot of offroad guys just pull them off and not even use them. 

 

You would of been better off posting here before starting...

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Ha Ha, I absolutely do not miss the 2nd gen money pits. Took me 3 of them to realize it and got tired of the never ending maintenance and cost related to the upkeep. 95 1/2 ton 360 / 99 2500 V10 / 02 2500 cummins all 4x4 autos. Only owned the 99 V10 for about a year and realized I would have needed 2 part time jobs on top of my full time job to either keep me from driving it or to be able to afford gas for it if I did drive it. 11-12 on an excellent day 10-11 average and 7-9 towing, ugh!

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21 minutes ago, Wild and Free said:

Ha Ha, I absolutely do not miss the 2nd gen money pits. Took me 3 of them to realize it and got tired of the never ending maintenance and cost related to the upkeep. 95 1/2 ton 360 / 99 2500 V10 / 02 2500 cummins all 4x4 autos. Only owned the 99 V10 for about a year and realized I would have needed 2 part time jobs on top of my full time job to either keep me from driving it or to be able to afford gas for it if I did drive it. 11-12 on an excellent day 10-11 average and 7-9 towing, ugh!

My 96 had a V10 in it. It was fun to drive but love the gas way to much. 12mpg going down the interstate empty and only 4.5mpg pulling the 5th wheel. The Cummins was mighty welcome.

 If i had to pay someone to do the work I have done to mine I would not have liked it. Time to do it is My biggest enemy.

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I'll have to disagree with @Wild and Free I've not had a lot of problems with my two 2nd Gen trucks. I've got my 1996 Dodge 1500 V8 gasser and then 2002 Dodge 2500 Cummins. Both have been good trucks but not nickeled and dimed me to death. Yeah, things wear out and need replacing but like on my 2002 I'm still running mostly all factory OEM steering parts yet. They haven't worn out after 320k miles now. Yeah, my steering box is starting to leak a bit no biggy doesn't mean replace the box but i'll order the rebuild kit from BlueTop and rebuild that box for cheap. So I've wore out 2 clutches. So I broke the mainshaft in my transmission. Even going back to VP44 issue I've only changes 2 VP44 in the life of my truck so far. 

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Sell it as is and cut your losses. I stayed in mine and the money pit only continues to grow deeper, just as yours has.

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Living in the rust belt and the rig already having rust is an even bigger reason to cut and run if you can, the corrosion brings on a whole heap of other issues long term well beyond the general maintenance and other general glitchy items.

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    All this with less than 100k on the clock.   A full set of gauges so I can see what may brake next,  4" s/s exhaust,  five lift pumps, the last two being a $600 Fuel Boss with a $110 Airtex backup,  rebuilt transmission @ 60k,  replaced heater core,   a VP44 replacement,  two starter motors,  diodes and brushes in alternator,  need a new dash, and I won't count the tires, brakes, batteries and belts (normal wear).  

   I'm keeping mine so I can spend my kids' inheritance.

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2 hours ago, Wild and Free said:

Living in the rust belt and the rig already having rust is an even bigger reason to cut and run if you can, the corrosion brings on a whole heap of other issues long term well beyond the general maintenance and other general glitchy items.

 

That's with any vehicle. Doesn't matter if its a new or old truck or any brand name they ALL have this issue. 

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Wife comes out Saturday morning sees me under the hood and says,"Oh what's wrong with it this time?'

 

I say nothing out of the ordinary it's normal things wrong.

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Part of the reason I have a car that I put most miles on. It's a 2000 accord 4cyl 5 speed, one of the most trouble free cars I'm my opinion. Cheap to maintain and they usually go over 300k pretty easy. Does about 35 mpg on hwy. I know it's not the easiest thing to get in and out of but I'm used to it. I paid 1200 for it put new fuel tank, tune up timing kit, put 25k on old tires and just put a set of new ones on. I've had it for half of year now and put 25k on it and about 700 bucks including new Michelin defender tires. So now it's ready for at least another 60k before anything major. I've had same car before and never anything catastrophic, always something stupid like fuel relay, ac don't work, etc. I've also had Nissan sentras, not a bad car ether little smaller but better mpg, got as much as 45.

People say they can't afford 2 vehicles but then spend thousands on big items on their trucks, I'll spend few thousand on a car put few hundred thousand miles on it and still sell it for 600 hundred bucks and save a bunch on fuel, truck staying with lower miles on clock and money I save driving a car sometimes gets spend on a truck.

Of course it's a different story if you need a truck for work. I only use mine when needed and if it sits more then few weeks sometimes a month just to get it on the road and keep it happy. :2cents:

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My problem is that with winter time coming on smaller cars don't do very well in 12 inches of snow. Most little cars don't have enough body weight and most are only 2WD so that is just dangerous. After coming home in my first snow storm and watching everyone panic and driving 15-20 MPH. I just passing people left and right and kept on trucking. There is a lot be said for the 7,500 pound 4WD truck over a lightweight front wheel drive car in unploughed highways. Yeah you might get your fuel savings but I'll keep my safety.

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My problem with little cars is just getting in and out. AT 6' 4" and my butt only 6" off the ground, it is a pain. Being 64 does not help either. Wife's car is a 98 Saturn SL2. Great "little" car. Not worth a damn for much of a trip for me anyhow. 

 

As far as a money pit mine has not been bad for 16 years of service. The ECM, one tranny, and two new fuel systems. First the in tank pump and then the Air dog. The other items have mostly been things wearing out over the last 16 years. I did spot rust on the drivers side fender just started popping thru and the drivers door is getting rusty on the bottom inside. Hopefully that is not a bad omen.

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Thanks @dripley ... You reminded me of the other problems. 

 

Most small cars I can get the seat back far enough. Even in my truck, the driver seat is nearly all the way back because I've got long legs. Don't help when I stand 6' 2". Even in my old 1973 Dodge Charger, I had the seat all the way back to just fit in the car. So small car for me is not happening unless you cut me off at the kneecaps. 

 

The other thing I've noticed is the guys that are saying to bail out are typically guys that are aiming for large HP numbers and end up battling the whole way. All of us that are stock or mildly modified are having way fewer troubles and issues. 

Edited by Mopar1973Man
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I always weigh how much value the truck has, and that includes the personal value I put on it as well as monetary value.  I spent three years looking for a low mileage, 6-speed truck that was bone stock so I could start from scratch and build it how I want.  Finally found it 4 years ago and while it does piss me off all the time (just last week the AC system self discharged on the highway), the cost of repairs and upgrades has never come close to the value I personally put on my truck.  I've had other vehicles that were almost "throw-aways" - commuter cars designed to get me from place to place while remaining stock.  Until a month ago, I had an Accord.  Then I got in a wreck and totalled the car.  No personal conflict in sending it off to the junkyard.  Whereas if it had been the truck, I would have probably fixed it, or explored a powertrain swap into a Super Duty or something.

My point is OP, you're the only one who can determine if the truck is worth keeping and keeping it alive, or if it's easier to get rid of it.  Everyone on here values their truck differently and as such, we aren't exactly the best gauge on what you should do with your truck.

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2 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

My problem is that with winter time coming on smaller cars don't do very well in 12 inches of snow. Most little cars don't have enough body weight and most are only 2WD so that is just dangerous. After coming home in my first snow storm and watching everyone panic and driving 15-20 MPH. I just passing people left and right and kept on trucking. There is a lot be said for the 7,500 pound 4WD truck over a lightweight front wheel drive car in unploughed highways. Yeah you might get your fuel savings but I'll keep my safety.

I have to disagree here, Just a quick add up of my wife's last 3 cars all compacts with manual transmissions she has logged 620K miles on them total in the last 20 years and numerous bad winters and blizzards and only been stuck in a snow drift one time that I can recall, she actually got on top of a hard drift and broke through and got high centered. Studded Firestone winter force tires have more than proven themselves. I felt way safer in snow storms as has she in her little but dragger cars than in a lot of pickups, she has passed many many many stuck 4x4s over the years where she keeps clawing through with her studs. Then lets talk ice haha those studs really shined bright then, many times she was the only one able to get around, even she has numerous stories to tall about her cars on ice versus all others without studs.

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The only things on my truck  I HAD to replace was one TRE, the starter, and recently my steering shaft and I just hit 215k miles.  I have spent lots of money on my truck, but I don't consider upgrades a requirement.  I didn't HAVE to get the custom battery cables, or the FASS, or the 3rd gen brakes...and this list could go on.  Those were all things I wanted to have.

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7 hours ago, Wild and Free said:

I have to disagree here, Just a quick add up of my wife's last 3 cars all compacts with manual transmissions she has logged 620K miles on them total in the last 20 years and numerous bad winters and blizzards and only been stuck in a snow drift one time that I can recall, she actually got on top of a hard drift and broke through and got high centered. Studded Firestone winter force tires have more than proven themselves. I felt way safer in snow storms as has she in her little but dragger cars than in a lot of pickups, she has passed many many many stuck 4x4s over the years where she keeps clawing through with her studs. Then lets talk ice haha those studs really shined bright then, many times she was the only one able to get around, even she has numerous stories to tall about her cars on ice versus all others without studs.

Well I am going to have to say that your wife knows how to drive in the winter weather. Mine don't. Last snow we had here last winter I took the wife's Saturn for a drive before I let her go. drove up to the main road no problem and u turned back to the house. Told her all was fine and she left. 30 minute later she comes walking home and the car is off the side of the road. Sounds like your wife needs to show my wife how its done. 

 A touch off subject but any years ago when I lived in Atlanta the clutch went out on my 65 Dodge van. Had to put in the shop and I drove the wife's Toyota Corolla for 2 or 3 days out on 285. We are going about 75 or 80 and all I can see is a bumper out the windshield, a bumper out the rear mirror and door handles out both windows. Hated that crap.

 Kudos to the wife.

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Yeah cars are not for everyone but they can save money if used right. One of my first jobs is pizza delivery and that's all I drove is front wheel drive cars. I learned how to do the impossible in ice and snow storms, would drift around cars on roads and if I got stuck I always got unstock by myself, had a small shovel in a trunk, but most of time was able to just drive out. It was actually fun, I always waited for bad weather as roads wold be more empty and I could make double the money. Plus people always tip more when it's crappie out. 

But the whole thing about money pits, it's all about what makes a guy happy. If you're always miserable then get rid of what ever it is that making you feel that way. May be hard at first but when looking back make you go, why didn't I do this sooner. 

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2 hours ago, dripley said:

Well I am going to have to say that your wife knows how to drive in the winter weather. Mine don't. Last snow we had here last winter I took the wife's Saturn for a drive before I let her go. drove up to the main road no problem and u turned back to the house. Told her all was fine and she left. 30 minute later she comes walking home and the car is off the side of the road. Sounds like your wife needs to show my wife how its done. 

 A touch off subject but any years ago when I lived in Atlanta the clutch went out on my 65 Dodge van. Had to put in the shop and I drove the wife's Toyota Corolla for 2 or 3 days out on 285. We are going about 75 or 80 and all I can see is a bumper out the windshield, a bumper out the rear mirror and door handles out both windows. Hated that crap.

 Kudos to the wife.

Much like Mikes 2nd gens I too have a Unicorn for a wife lol, I taught her everything i could but she grew up in the middle of nowhere on a small dairy farm and was dirt road poor and self sufficient and did with what they had. I taught her how to back long trailers and spent time coaching her and she now makes most guys look bad especially at the boat ramps, i think she backs in more boats than anyone else and has saved many from divorce lol.

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I've been studying crashes that come up on the news with pictures and I would say almost always the littler vehicle ends up being the badly damaged with life threatening injuries, often dead on scene or later died. Larger vehicle, the occupants often walk away with minor injuries. They almost always lived with non life threatening injuries

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16 minutes ago, JAG1 said:

I've been studying crashes that come up on the news with pictures and I would say almost always the littler vehicle ends up being the badly damaged with life threatening injuries, often dead on scene or later died. Larger vehicle, the occupants often walk away with minor injuries. They almost always lived with non life threatening injuries

Our illustrious government did a study on this very thing many years ago. They determined that in an accident that the people in the heavier vehicle always seemed to come out on top. This study cost several hundreds of thousands of $$$. That always irked me because it seemed obvious to me. On top of that several years later they did it again with the same results and several more hundreds of thousands of $$$. That one irked because they already knew the obvious.

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