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    Thread: I want a new (used) mini truck

    1. 02-09-2020 08:03 PM #1
      As the title says, I've wanted a mini truck for the past few years and I think I'm just going to go ahead and start seriously looking for one this year.

      I am looking for a regular cab, 2WD, 4 cylinder, 5 speed manual basic truck. Budget is $3-4k, which would put me in the '90s as far as age.

      Having owned two older Toyotas, I am biased and would ideally like a Toyota truck or 1G Tacoma, however it seems that most of them in my price range have well over 200k miles. Is this an issue? I'm trying to keep the mileage under 200k if possible, but there are a few listed on Craigslist locally with over 400,000 miles, which makes me think that maybe the mileage shouldn't scare me? Is there anything else to look for on these older Toyotas?

      Also, should I consider the Nissan Hardbody? Those still seem to pop up from time to time.

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    3. Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      02-09-2020 08:16 PM #2
      I like the hardbodies, and they are reasonably priced. Irozgirl owned one since new IIRC.
      I gave up dailing old and rare cars and became a normie.
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      02-09-2020 08:59 PM #3
      I vote hardbody, even though mine is 4WD. A 2WD hardbody would be quite a bit faster though.
      Mine is getting to be high mileage, over 72,000 miles now!!



      4 cyl, 5 speed, 4WD, I couldn't ask for anything better.
      Lots of VW stuff|Rare Scirocco parts!
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      02-09-2020 09:02 PM #4
      Not to give you the cliche answer, but in your price range, the best truck is the most mechanically sound one you can find, no matter the brand. I wouldn't discount Rangers. They didn't change for so long that parts tend to be super cheap.
      Dan
      Current fleet: '15 Mazda6, 04' Ranger, '94 Miata, '19 Kona
      Former: VWs, Audis, e46s, and Miatas galore.

    6. 02-10-2020 07:22 PM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by Iroczgirl View Post
      I vote hardbody, even though mine is 4WD. A 2WD hardbody would be quite a bit faster though.
      Mine is getting to be high mileage, over 72,000 miles now!! <img src="https://www.vwvortex.com/Anthony/Smilies/eek.gif" border="0" alt="" title="EEK!" class="inlineimg" />



      4 cyl, 5 speed, 4WD, I couldn't ask for anything better.
      I wish I could find one with 72k miles!

      There’s one I found with 200k miles. Is there anything I need to know about the KA24E or anything that might go wrong with these trucks at a higher mileage? Thanks!
      Current: 2007 Mazda MX5 5MT | 2019 VW Golf Sportwagen 4Motion 6MT | 1991 Toyota Pickup 5MT
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      02-10-2020 10:02 PM #6
      The KA24E is pretty stout, but I have seen quite a few 150k+ trucks with bad manual transmissions. Seems to be a common weak point. On the east coast most Tacomas and Hardbodies have rusted away at this point so buying a nice small truck is all about the best one you can find within the budget. S10s and Rangers are time tested good options as well.

    8. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      02-10-2020 11:49 PM #7
      The 98-01.5 B2500/Ranger 2.5 is a good cheap truck to look for.
      That's the 2.5 liter version of the old Lima Pinto four banger (Ford Pinto LL25).
      Not as smooth revving as the later duratec 2.3, but it's a solid old school engine iron block truck engine that still gets decent mpg and makes more torque at a much lower rpm (better drive-ability).
      https://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG....rue&details=on

      https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0229537489555/

      I also think a 3-4k can buy a good Colorado.
      https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...2904378464527/

    9. Member BlackMiata's Avatar
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      02-11-2020 12:01 AM #8

    10. Senior Member VadGTI's Avatar
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      02-11-2020 12:10 AM #9
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      I wish I could find one with 72k miles!

      There’s one I found with 200k miles. Is there anything I need to know about the KA24E or anything that might go wrong with these trucks at a higher mileage? Thanks!
      The KA is rock-solid at high mileage. My S13's KA24E had 215k miles when I sold it and I beat the piss out of it without any issues.
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    11. 02-11-2020 01:21 AM #10
      Quote Originally Posted by BRealistic View Post
      The 98-01.5 B2500/Ranger 2.5 is a good cheap truck to look for.
      That's the 2.5 liter version of the old Lima Pinto four banger (Ford Pinto LL25).
      Not as smooth revving as the later duratec 2.3, but it's a solid old school engine iron block truck engine that still gets decent mpg and makes more torque at a much lower rpm (better drive-ability).
      https://www.fueleconomy.gov/mpg/MPG....rue&details=on

      https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...0229537489555/

      I also think a 3-4k can buy a good Colorado.
      https://www.facebook.com/marketplace...2904378464527/
      I found one Colorado under $4k and it sold pretty fast. Otherwise, it's a good option I'll keep my eye out for. I like them a lot more than the S10s.

      Quote Originally Posted by BlackMiata View Post
      I wish I could get those registered in California

      Quote Originally Posted by Nitroracer17 View Post
      The KA24E is pretty stout, but I have seen quite a few 150k+ trucks with bad manual transmissions. Seems to be a common weak point. On the east coast most Tacomas and Hardbodies have rusted away at this point so buying a nice small truck is all about the best one you can find within the budget. S10s and Rangers are time tested good options as well.
      Hmm, I will have to test drive the trucks to see how the transmissions feel. The transmission in my old 4Runner always felt like it was going out but it held on somehow. Not really looking for something like that again as I'd like to DD it.

      Thankfully here in CA there's no rust. Unfortunately everything seems to be extremely overpriced.

      Quote Originally Posted by VadGTI View Post
      The KA is rock-solid at high mileage. My S13's KA24E had 215k miles when I sold it and I beat the piss out of it without any issues.
      Hmm, good to know, I've never owned a Nissan so I have some research to do.

    12. Member 88c900t's Avatar
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      02-11-2020 07:48 AM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      I found one Colorado under $4k and it sold pretty fast. Otherwise, it's a good option I'll keep my eye out for. I like them a lot more than the S10s.
      Yeah, the Colorado isn't a bad option if you can find one cheap. I wouldn't waste my time with the S10s 2.2 pushrod, the atlas series engines are very stout.
      I gave up dailing old and rare cars and became a normie.
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    13. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      02-11-2020 08:20 AM #12
      Quote Originally Posted by 88c900t View Post
      Yeah, the Colorado isn't a bad option if you can find one cheap. I wouldn't waste my time with the S10s 2.2 pushrod, the atlas series engines are very stout.
      Don't forget the Isuzu "i" siblings.

    14. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      02-11-2020 08:24 AM #13
      I like mini trucks.

      Rabbit pickup?
      Dodge D50?
      Isuzu Pup?
      Ford Courier?

    15. Member RENOG's Avatar
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      02-11-2020 09:41 AM #14
      I hope you have much more success finding one the I did. I seriously tried a couple years ago, got discouraged and completely gave up. They were either overpriced Tacomas, Colorado's, or garbaged out rangers and old dilapidated 80's mini trucks (Cali). I ended up finding a decent 83 El Camino I grabbed from an old grandpa dude that needed very little work.
      Last edited by RENOG; 02-11-2020 at 09:47 AM.

    16. 02-11-2020 09:46 AM #15
      Quote Originally Posted by BlackMiata View Post
      i have zero use for one of these, however do want.

    17. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      02-11-2020 11:27 AM #16
      This price range for a truck is basically the BOTTOM of their value (if kept in same condition).
      A mid 90s 4.0 manual Ranger Splash would be fun.
      The early ugly "dogs love trucks" Frontier (97/99?) is a good value in basic manual form as they seem pretty durable (mechanically).
      I have a few friends that put hundreds of thousands of miles on that gen.
      But they are as slow as an old 2.3 Ranger.
      Last edited by BRealistic; 02-11-2020 at 11:30 AM.

    18. 02-12-2020 09:15 PM #17
      As an update to this thread (for anyone who cares):

      I found a 1991 Toyota Pickup with 150k miles listed for $2500 on FB Marketplace yesterday. It looked pretty clean in the pictures, so I decided to check it out today and ended up buying it.

      It's got literally 0 options. No P/S, A/C, stereo, P/W, P/L, cruise, tach or even a passenger mirror.

      However, it is as clean as it looked in pictures, has zero rust and drove well (enough) for me to buy it. The seller said he actually took the listing off of Facebook because he got spammed by so many people trying to buy it. It's definitely the cleanest truck I've seen for under $3k.

      The only issues are the clutch engages at the very top of the pedal travel (but the transmission shifts into every gear just fine and the clutch doesn't seem to slip), and I'm not sure if/when the timing chain was last replaced, but it doesn't make any noise so I'm not sure if that should be replaced. Either way, the truck looks simple enough that most repairs should be pretty easy.

      Oh, and I paid the seller the asking price, and for that he drove me to the DMV, got everything registered under my name, paid the CA sales tax and paid for another year of registration, so it's registered till March 2021.

    19. 02-13-2020 12:34 AM #18
      ISUZU HOMBRE all the way

    20. 02-13-2020 05:26 AM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by Stromaluski View Post
      I like mini trucks.

      Rabbit pickup?
      Dodge D50?
      Isuzu Pup?
      Ford Courier?
      I've always had a soft spot for the Mazda REPU.

      I'd love to have one.

      https://www.curbsideclassic.com/curb...one-of-a-kind/

      .


    21. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      02-13-2020 08:02 AM #20
      I do love these 2nd gen Ranger based "Splash" flareside regular cabs now for some reason.



      https://www.autozin.com/for-sale/for...#carid=8669932

    22. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      02-13-2020 08:07 AM #21
      Quote Originally Posted by ImpeccableNEW View Post
      ISUZU HOMBRE all the way
      I actually considered an I-series just because price and content used... and I didn't ant to drive a GM (badged) truck.
      Swap the wheels on that hombre with non oem, and it might not even look that S-10-like.
      El loco.

    23. Member Stromaluski's Avatar
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      02-13-2020 08:53 AM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by stiggy-pug View Post
      I've always had a soft spot for the Mazda REPU.

      I'd love to have one.

      https://www.curbsideclassic.com/curb...one-of-a-kind/
      Same! They're super cool little trucks.

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      02-13-2020 09:23 AM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      As an update to this thread (for anyone who cares):

      I found a 1991 Toyota Pickup with 150k miles listed for $2500 on FB Marketplace yesterday. It looked pretty clean in the pictures, so I decided to check it out today and ended up buying it.

      It's got literally 0 options. No P/S, A/C, stereo, P/W, P/L, cruise, tach or even a passenger mirror.
      That's a nice pickup (haha) and I imagine a truck that light would do OK without PS. You could probably turn around and sell it tomorrow for what you paid.
      Dan
      Current fleet: '15 Mazda6, 04' Ranger, '94 Miata, '19 Kona
      Former: VWs, Audis, e46s, and Miatas galore.

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      02-13-2020 09:41 AM #24
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      As an update to this thread (for anyone who cares):

      I found a 1991 Toyota Pickup with 150k miles listed for $2500 on FB Marketplace yesterday. It looked pretty clean in the pictures, so I decided to check it out today and ended up buying it.
      No bagel pic, no care.


      G

    26. Geriatric Member BRealistic's Avatar
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      02-13-2020 09:42 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by Raguvian View Post
      As an update to this thread (for anyone who cares):

      I found a 1991 Toyota Pickup with 150k miles listed for $2500 on FB Marketplace yesterday. It looked pretty clean in the pictures, so I decided to check it out today and ended up buying it.

      It's got literally 0 options. No P/S, A/C, stereo, P/W, P/L, cruise, tach or even a passenger mirror.

      However, it is as clean as it looked in pictures, has zero rust and drove well (enough) for me to buy it. The seller said he actually took the listing off of Facebook because he got spammed by so many people trying to buy it. It's definitely the cleanest truck I've seen for under $3k.

      The only issues are the clutch engages at the very top of the pedal travel (but the transmission shifts into every gear just fine and the clutch doesn't seem to slip), and I'm not sure if/when the timing chain was last replaced, but it doesn't make any noise so I'm not sure if that should be replaced. Either way, the truck looks simple enough that most repairs should be pretty easy.

      Oh, and I paid the seller the asking price, and for that he drove me to the DMV, got everything registered under my name, paid the CA sales tax and paid for another year of registration, so it's registered till March 2021.
      Dang, I missed this.
      Sounds like a good find

      I owned a 1984 Celica GTS coupe 5 speed with that same 2.4 liter 22RE engine. Very solid drivetrain.
      (Mine had the supra-like fancy seats and ps/pb, but no a/c, crank windows, no radio. lol. I loved it even though slow)
      I would check out the clutch master cylinder first.
      Mine started going bad causing weird stuff like that.
      I initially thought clutch issue.
      When the clutch finally went later, it would just slip under high load.
      There may even be an adjustment somewhere.
      Last edited by BRealistic; 02-13-2020 at 09:45 AM.

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