The Survival Podcast Forum

Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Transportation => Topic started by: Txebb on October 19, 2016, 08:49:04 PM

Title: Opinion on used '99 F350
Post by: Txebb on October 19, 2016, 08:49:04 PM
I am in the market for a used pickup truck for my farm. Just need something for towing my cattle, tractor, and hay (not all at the same time:), so does not need to be pretty, just reliable. I came across a local business selling an old fleet truck. Up for sale is a 1999 F350 4x4 with crew cab and long bed equipped with the 7.3 powerstroke V8 diesel automatic engine. Interior is excellent and the body has some dings with the tailgate missing. History folder was two inches thick and paperwork shows regular maintenance over the years. Only issues are the high mileage at around 450,000 and the report of fluid leak from engine (do not know how fast). History showed that the transmission has been changed twice.

I am not a car guy even though I have started getting under my vehicle hoods with the help of my mechanic buddy. Just not familiar with diesel vehicles so wanted to get some input from those who are. Asking price is $4000 but they mentioned they could go down to $3500. Good deal or not?
Title: Re: Opinion on used '99 F350
Post by: Pathfinder on October 20, 2016, 07:13:29 AM
Bona fides: I had a 2002 F350 quad-cab with the 7.3l Powerstroke diesel I used as my ranch pickup in ND. In spite of using it as a primary (actually, only) vehicle for a few years before I bought a town car, and then using it to move from ND to KY in 2012, it only had 170k miles when I traded it in a couple of years ago. In the 10 years I owned it, I replaced the front ball joints (that 7.3 engine is HEAVY), the turbo, and batteries (OK, so I went cheap with the first replacement set and their "free" replacements - I went back to the high-priced but durable Motorcraft batteries from Ford; there are 2 of them BTW, each about 880AH! The 7.3 takes a lot of cranking power, especially in the ND winters).

As for your opportunity, I have no problem with the truck you are looking at - the '02 and '99 are virtually identical and they are the #1 truck, at least in the west. They changed the models in '06 or thereabouts. My only concern is the leak. Having the tranny changed twice in 450k miles is reasonable - I had to change mine out at much lower mileage when it failed at 28 below, cost me about $2100 in 2009 when it was done. At the time, there were no rebuilts available so it had to be rebuilt by hand.

Diesels like the Powerstroke have a lifespan of at least 300lk miles with proper maintenance. Sounds like they did their work on that, good thing. Understand you are buying an end-of-engine-life truck, but with the light duty you describe, it should be OK for a time.

Back to the leak. Any chance you can get a mechanic you know and trust to look it over? Rebuilt engines for that truck are not cheap, probably well more than the $4k they are asking for the whole truck. I'd say go for it especially if you can get the price down near the $3500 point.

BTW, tailgates are dispensable, and you can find either a replacement (15 years ago the stripped tailgate was selling for $400 from Ford, so shop around) or one of those aftermarket gates with the notch for the 5th wheel and louvers. Or just run a net across. I lost my gate when a filled 350gallon water tank broke loose and slid off the tailgate (the truck was pointed up hill in one of my pastures). The scrawny little wires that hold the tailgate flat survived unscathed. The tailgate itself was bent into a squared off U-shape! I drove it without a gate for years, and eventually picked one up off of craigslist from a guy who had a camper top installed with the vertical door, negating the use of the tailgate. Of course, it was white, my truck black, and it said F250 on a F350, but who cares, it worked.  ;)
Title: Re: Opinion on used '99 F350
Post by: CarbideAndIron on October 20, 2016, 07:15:45 AM
Those 7.3's are pretty bulletproof. As you noticed, the trannys were a definite weak point. But seeing that it's been replaced, and for that cheap, it looks like a hell of a deal. There's no way you would find one for that cheap up here in WA. I got a few buddies with high mileage 7.3's, and they love them. The injection system is ran of an HPOP (High Pressure Oil Pump), so it wont make the power of a tuned newer diesel with the high pressure injection systems (unless you run dual HPOPs and at least a Gt38r turbo), but for what you are looking for, it'll be more than enough power.
Title: Re: Opinion on used '99 F350
Post by: valley ranch on October 20, 2016, 12:43:30 PM
Txebb, Yes, I'd say that's a good deal, I'd buy it myself. Your buddy's a mechanic. Your in like Flyn!
Title: Re: Opinion on used '99 F350
Post by: Txebb on October 25, 2016, 10:09:02 PM
Thanks for the replies. I did end up purchasing it for $3500. Now that I have a pickup truck, I can feel like a real Texas rancher!  ;D
Title: Re: Opinion on used '99 F350
Post by: archer on October 26, 2016, 08:42:17 AM
Thanks for the replies. I did end up purchasing it for $3500. Now that I have a pickup truck, I can feel like a real Texas rancher!  ;D

woohoo! congrats!