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Hmmm, 300k miles, it really starts to make you wonder...

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  • Hmmm, 300k miles, it really starts to make you wonder...

    310,000 miles on the old Dodge. That is damn near 3/4 of a year on the road (miles/55MPH/24Hrs = 234 days) Anyway, its starting to show its age, and man does it make you double guess owning a high mileage vehicle. I would love to replace it, but it just isn't in the budget. To replace it with a newer diesel truck will set me back 20k easily, and thats buying a 100k mile truck with who knows what issues. New trucks are outragous at damn near 40-50k, not to mention worse fuel economy due to emissions. So far in the past 6 months I have done the following,
    1.) Replaced heating core
    2.) Brakes (rotors and pads)
    3.) E-brake cable
    4.) Hub bearings (front)
    5.) Carrier Bearing on driveshaft
    6.) re-built front driveshaft
    7.) Injection pump (ended up not being the IP, was a bad engine control module)
    8.) ECM replaced
    9.) Track-bar bushing

    Still needs:
    1.) new throw out bearing for the clutch
    2.) oil leaks fixed
    3.) vacuum pump seal replaced
    4.) radiator (found that to be leaking yesterday)

    I just am at a loss to figure out when the time is to call it quits and replace it. I have a small loan on it, only because I re-financed it to buy a trailer (which now I am second guessing that idea, might sell it due to headaches that causes). I could go to a work van, but this is also my daily driver as I cant afford a seperate vehicle just for driving around in. Plus I have a snow plow for clearing my driveway as I'm not shoveling 200ft of a gravel driveway! Ideally I would love to keep the truck as personal weekend vehicle and buy a Sprinter van and sell the trailer... but the CFO wont allow that... lol

    I guess at least all the repairs were done by myself and I didnt have to pay labor rates, but man I averaged it out last year with repair costs and my monthly payment I have now... I could have a nice vehicle for that! But also, at least with most repairs, I can postpone them until I have money, can't do that with a auto loan payment! Ah, what to do!

  • #2
    Re: Hmmm, 300k miles, it really starts to make you wonder...

    Nothing, is often the right thing to do, and always a clever thing to say! Keep it going and keep a sharp eye on that cherry older truck
    some widow wants out of the driveway!
    I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .


    • #3
      Re: Hmmm, 300k miles, it really starts to make you wonder...

      I have a 1984 Dodge RAM B150 van 318cu in V-8 [1/2 ton full size]
      Just about 200,000 miles on it.

      It's paid for!!!!!
      Insurance is affordable ..under $500.00 per year
      license tags in Maricopa county [Phoenix metro] is under $60.00 for two years

      The interior is decked out carpet , lights, bed, sound proofing, etc.....
      But I also use it to lug steel and lumber and two large Neapolitan Mastiffs
      So this van is very utilitarian!

      I really like the 36 gallon gas tank! To avoid heart failure I have always made it a point to fill
      up at just about 1/2 tank +/- or 12-15 gallons..thus lowering the possibility of going into
      shock at the gas pump!

      I can also identify everything under the hood..try that with a new vehicle today!
      Replacement parts are indeed becoming difficult to find but still the van is serviceable.

      I have rebuilt the maybe it's really a 321 instead of a 318!
      they wanted to simply pull and replace the engine but I said NO!
      The reason being this engine fits and any replacement will need shims and tweaks to fit and
      will be trouble in the future.

      With the rebuilt original engine it did take more time and cost more but no trouble what so ever!
      My biggest enemy here is dry rot on rubber parts.

      I actually have installed a larger battery and alternator and a battery can last me almost 5 years!

      Brakes, tires, belts, batteries, transmission, air conditioning etc..all
      serviced and/or replaced over the years

      For me to replace this van today would run around $65,000.00 to $80,000.00

      So even if I spend $2,000.00 a year for maintenance etc..It's no where near
      the expense of a new vehicle's monthly payment, increased insurance which would
      likely run close to $1,750.00 or more per year! and then license tags which are
      calculated by vehicle blue book value or again close to $1,700.00 for two years.

      My decision obviously is to simply invest in keeping my 1984 van well maintained..

      OH we do not have rust here but the sun does oxidize the paint.. I have been thinking about
      a new paint job..but my van has a custom three color geometric design and it would
      cost close to 3 grand to repaint it properly so the van is a bit faded.....

      Cactus Man


      • #4
        Re: Hmmm, 300k miles, it really starts to make you wonder...

        Cactus, your lucky to live in an area that doesnt literly EAT a vehicle. I do have rust starting on the doors and fenders... its only a matter of time before it gets bad, I have tackled the doors with a unique idea, that so far has worked. I ground out the rust, primed it, painted it, then put a couple coats of RedGaurd water proofing over the the paint to essencially give it a tough rubbery/plastic coating to minimize rock chips. I mixed some yellow pigment with the red gaurd so its more of a redish orange color, but I think it looks kinda cool on the bottom 4" of the doors on a white truck, plus it matched the colors of my company logo as well.


        • #5
          Re: Hmmm, 300k miles, it really starts to make you wonder...

          I'm not trying to bash Dodge but the rust thing seems too be commonin Dodge trucks. One of my friends has a Ford F350 swampper. The lower sides ofthe truck would get beat up from off roading. He put Rhino bed liner along the bottomof the doors & around the wheel wells. It stopped the damage & actuallylooks good. I saw a sprinter that needs a little work, but you might be able toget it cheap.
          PS: Your truck also needs a ridgid vehicle charger. Lol.