outgrowing the sport | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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outgrowing the sport

A sad day is looming ahead. I've had my Explorer for almost 5 years now and I'm definitely hearing the death rattle in my engine and my family is growing. We've got a 4 year old and one on the way. With the dog and future plans we're really starting to outgrow the Explorer. She's got my blood, sweat and tears running through her and I hate to see her go, but it's about time.

I do a lot of work on the house myself, up to and including some large projects like building rooms and will be doing outdoor projects as well requiring brick and wood and things of that nature. I would prefer to get a pick up this time with a crew cab. And here's where I need advice:

My dad's 04 Ram 2500 w/ CTD is is great shape. And he's asking below blue book if I want to buy it. My biggest hold up is that it has 253,000 miles. I know he's pretty on it for his maintenance and this is his 3rd diesel after 2 F-350s. His 7.3L was pretty good, he hated his 6.0L.

I've been looking a lot locally for even 1/2 ton options because I'm not sure that I NEED 3/4 ton but if the price is right and the mpg is really nice. I've narrowed down my options and OHC engines are definitely something that I worry about after the Explorer. Transmissions too. Truck has to be a crew cab so most 1/2 tons don't enter that until 2001 thanks to the F-150 SuperCrew. I think I'd be looking at 03 for longevity. But again OHC is my concern. I checked the 04 Hemi and liked those and then the next good year I saw was the 07 F-150.

Of course for these to even come near my price range they have almost 150,000 miles or don't have all the features I want. I will not live without at least limited slip and 4wd. And it must have a crew cab. Most of those even enter the $16,000 arena which is out of my price range. I guess I'm looking for good advice that's maybe less bias than my parents trying to help. I want to find a good truck that will last quite a few years with standard maintenance. At least 5 years if not 10.

Thanks in advance for any input.

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The CTD is supposed to be good to 350k or better. It's all the other stuff that can give you problems.

Both my friend and I have '03 Ram CTDs, he has 200k and I have 130k. We have both needed lift pumps, he had the unit bearings replaced on his front end, mine are still going good. The biggest thing he's had to do is replace the injectors. He did that last month.

That's what I've been reading about the CTD trucks. I figure other maintenance items are going to be regular no matter what truck I get, suspension and steering and brakes and such. My biggest concerns as always would be the transmission. My dad is asking $12,000 for his 04 CTD and I've been searching local dealerships and I did manage to find some 04 Ram 1500s that have low miles - about 60-70,000 miles. I wonder if I should hold out for a low mileage gasser rather than go with a high mileage diesel for the same price. Some of the others I found are around 90-120,000 miles as well and they all are priced around $15,000.

Thanks for the feedback on yours, Rick. From what I understand those parts aren't too bad for replacement?

Does his have the 6 speed manual or an auto? I have the 6 speed and love it. The injectors were pretty expensive, but I don't think the unit bearings are too bad. You'll save a lot of money on fuel over the gas motor, that's for sure.

It`s an automatic. My biggest concern is longevity and tco. I don`t want to spend a lot or even need to spend a lot of time fixing things. I don`t really have time to undergo bigger projects like I used to. 253,000 sure seems like a lot and not real sure of what problems could come up.

Yeah the autos can definitely give you problems at high mileage...

Is there really any way to know if it has problems? Shifts firm still, fluid is still bright red and smells unburnt. Would I be better off looking for and hopefully finding a 1500 hemi 4x4 w/ ls and quad cab? Could I realistically expect another 5-10 years out of a 1500 with 60-120,000 miles or 2500 w/ 253,000 miles if I drive about 10-12k miles a year?