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Considering a Vehicle Purchase(s); Not B Body Related


Well-Known Member
Local time
5:31 PM
Jul 30, 2013
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Northwest, Montana
I figure I multiple minds would be better than one here and maybe some insight. I have been kind of wrestling with the thoughts of another vehicle. There is a few considerations of what I'm thinking about. Here's some of my choices: 1) 1994-2001 Dodge Ram 5.2 or 5.9 Magnum/ Automatic, 2) 1998-2004 Dodge Dakota or Dodge Durango and leaning more toward an R/T model, 3) 1994-1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee ZJ, 4) 1999-2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee WJ 4.7L V8, or 5) Toyota Landcruiser or Lexus LX470 aka Toyota 100 series.

To give a little back history I used own a 2004 Dodge Ram 1500 4x4 with the 4.7L and 5-45rfe automatic. I had that truck for 14 years years and put 175k miles on it with the mileage being near 200k on the truck itself. I ended up selling it because rust was starting to get to it and the 4.7L was kind questionable in it at that mileage. It had already broken one of the timing chain guides (bottom) and supposedly never contacted the pistons but, it was starting to use oil and the while I never found coolant in the oil I was having to add coolant every so often. Well, I've been without a truck/suv for a several years now and kind of missing having a truck/suv. New isn't a consideration and none of the newer stuff because the styling and extra technology doesn't appeal to me plus, you can't get a regular cab long bed much less 6 foot bed now on a lot of trucks.

The Toyota 100 series is a heavy consideration but, it's pretty pricey considering in this current market especially with 150k-200k miles. For the price point of a Toyota I can find a lower mileage Jeep, Ram, or Dakota. I leaning more toward 5.2 Magnum or 5.9 Magnum powered truck or SUV. I'm not sure of all their negatives. I always hear about the automatic transmissions. Three of my biggest considerations are the Dakota R/T or 1998 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited 5.9 and also the Durango R/T.

On the flip side of that, I do have some experience with the 4.7L V8 and would be taking a risk there as well in hopes the prior owner didn't overheat the engine. I've learned at 150k the timing chains and guides would need to be replaced. The transmissions are typically a little better if they haven't been beaten to death. Also, in 2003-2004 with the Dakotas and Durangos they got a programming change to have an extra overdrive and got upgraded brakes. The thing for now is I can find some parts still in the salvage yards. Anyways, I'm just wondering about anyone's experience good or bad?

Also, should mention I would be using this vehicle maybe potentially do some long distance trips but, mainly drive to the grocery store or to town which is about 30 miles round trip for me. Maybe some leisure driving but, that's about it really. Thank you in advance.
I can appreciate owning an older vehicle since I own several. Problem lies on how well that vehicle was maintained, and buying one that is 20+ years old can be a gamble. Short trips and a grocery-getter is ok, but for me I want a newer vehicle for peace of mind on longer road trips. I've owned a couple of Grand Cherokees and the 98 would be a good choice but that 5.9 is a gas hog.
Dakota R/T if you can find one. Second choice would be a Magnum engine 150. Trans are the weak point alright so keep that in mind, relatively inexpensive to overhaul though IMO. The rest of these trucks are pretty solid.
A 4 liter 4 runner , or the Lexus (same chassis) would be the best route
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