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Old 10-18-2010, 08:21 AM
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Looking for a truck - ??s

Hi folks, first time posting but I've been lurking for a while. I, like many others, am searching for a 99-03 7.3 and having a tough time finding what I want. Maybe I'm limiting myself in my criteria, but I know what I want. I also know they are out there, but there's always that one thing that doesn't match my list of criteria. Let me list what I'm looking for and then ask my questions, if I may:

'99-'03
7.3 motor - preferably unmodified
manual tranny
4x4
short bed
crew cab (might accept SC, but have 2 kids and dog that rides shotgun)
Lariat preferred, but XLT would be OK
NO body rust
no lift, or only mild lift
180k mi or less

I've been hawking craigslist, cars.com, autotrader, dealerships, forum classifieds, etc. for most of the summer, so have an idea of what's out there and their prices. I see them for around $10k, which is about my budget. One problem is that most have close to or over 200k mi on them. I will be using the truck to periodically pull a horse trailer locally, so won't be racking up the miles.

I've seen so many ads touting that these engines will go for 300k, 500k, 700k mi, but for those of you that actually have experience with higher mileage trucks, what condition can I honestly expect one of these trucks to be in with 200k +/- miles and would you buy one for $10-$12k?
What if it already had a goose neck hitch installed?

Another issue for me is distance. They always seem to be 1/2-way across the country from me (I'm in N. Illinois). The average person (me) can't go traveling all over the country inspecting trucks. I would assume most of the trucks for sale in my area have body rust, so I'd prefer something from the south or southwest. How have you folks, with experience buying vehicles from across the country, managed this problem?

Thanks in advance for any and all input,

Den
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Old 10-18-2010, 11:51 AM
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I drove down with my neighbor to North Carolina 9hrs from us and bought a 2008 6.4 Crewcab. It was at a dealer and as long as you set up a tentative deal beforehand I think you will be okay. If it's a private party I don't recommend going out of state unless you have good pics of the truck before hand. You can always have one of the members on here go look at the truck for you also.

I wouldn't be afraid of buying a truck that was towed with. But that's just me. You might have to put a clutch in or some miscellaneous stuff after buying but that's usually a given when buying an older, used vehicle.
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Old 10-18-2010, 12:06 PM
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Den, I just bought a 99' F250 4x4 7.3 6spd manual SC in Rapid City, SD for $8700! All that had to be done to it was new main bearing seal and new O-rings for the HPOP. I am not sure if this is to far for you but my truck is more than I could ever have imagined and more than I could ever have wanted. If you have time check places over here in town, local directory, non-dealership you just might get lucky. I purchased my truck at Blackhills Automotive. Good to hear your in the like mind for a truck as I am. I love my truck and really can't seem to get outta it! Take 'er easy and good luck!
Chuck
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:15 PM
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ford says the SC seats 6-8 then a CC that seats 5-6.. weird? but i like my SB.. Shortbed might be rare then a longbed SC. warm the engine up to op. temp and take the oil filler cap off and see how much blowby there is
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Old 10-18-2010, 01:36 PM
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finding one under 180k might be hard. as far as longevity, it depends entirely on how it was maintained, if you can get maintenance records that helps. these trucks will last a long time, outlast their body, suspension and trannies. if they are cared for.

i find TX has the cheapest and most abundant trucks. craiglist is littered with them. and they are almost all rust free. the only downside is many TX trucks are 2wd.

a hitch is an indicator of weight pulled. if the motor has been cared for then it should be fine. the stress of weight and heat is on the tranny.

here is one: http://dallas.craigslist.org/dal/ctd/2012525905.html

my search term for craigslist psd: diesel -tractor -mower -deere -dodge -duramax

and dont check the pic pnly box. it wont find pics posted my photobucket etc.

Last edited by ridiculously_necessary; 10-18-2010 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:14 PM
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It took me over 2 weeks to find my 2000 F250 4x4 CC short box 7.3. Don't give up!
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Old 10-19-2010, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for the feedback so far guys. After looking for so long, it's hard not to consider settling for something less, but I'll be patient! I see ads from time to time that indicate "rust just starting" or "some rust on cab corners". I hate rust and really don't want to start out with something that's already rusted. Around my area, its only going to get worse. I've read several posts/articles about applying some sort of rust-stop formula over existing rust to stop the spread of the cancer. Have any of you done this successfully, or is this usually a losing proposition?
I'm still interested in more thoughts on trucks with about 200k miles. I know this is bit beyond "just broken in", but would you compare this to a same year gas engine with 50k, 100k, 150k mi? For the sake of argument, consider it to have had scheduled oil/filter changes, not chipped, and no signs of having pulled a 5th wheel or gooseneck trailer.
Just trying to get a better idea of what to expect if I should look at something like this.
Thanks again,
Den
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