Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

Which truck should I buy? Dodge or Chevy half ton?

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by newyorkin, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Posts:
    16,555
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Los Estados Unitos
    I have a shot at a '90 half ton stepside Chevy, or a '96 Dodge half ton. Both 4x4, both have smaller beds than I wanted. The Chevy is an old but fine looking truck, mileage over 100k, little annoyances like dirty window switches and nuisance things. The Dodge is newer and nice (in pictures) looking, but has 190k, and probably a blown transfer case.

    I talked the Dodge down yesterday to $2000 without seeing it yet. He said then it was a 2wd, and something about a grinding noise when it drives, too. I was thinking at best worn pads, worst, worn gears, but I'd see when I got there.

    He called me today and said it turns out it's 4 wheel drive and the grinding is the transfer case, it's shot and the truck only operates in 2wd. He said it's a $500 fix (I'm sure any tranny shop will call it a $1000 fix minimum).

    Anyone know anything about these xfer cases? Is it an absolute bear to swap out myself on jack stands, or any specifics I should look for that might indicate whether it's an easy fix or a full blown rebuild? Any tips in general on this truck would be appreciated, too. I would really want to fix it, finally getting back to a 4wd and not having it work is like dangling a dripping canteen in front of a guy in a desert...

    I was thinking at first I'd have to jump on the price, but I'm seeing these Dodge trucks in this price range more and more lately, so I'm trying to fight the idea that I have to rush out and get it before someone else does... Maybe when I see it I'll offer him $1500 cash on the spot and get it in my head to be able to walk away. I'm thinking I don't want this truck with that mileage and a headache already on it anyway. Yeah, I think I'm settled on that.


    The stepside is really nice looking and it looks zippier and tidy-er to drive, way less bulk than the Dodge. I will probably have to make whatever I get be my daily driver (not a big deal, I put 4000 miles on my car last year), so I want to be comfortable and able to park it at a train station with tight spots sometimes.
     
  2. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Posts:
    8,224
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Last time you had an itch it ended badly.

    Get the running truck.
     
  3. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Posts:
    16,555
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Los Estados Unitos
    :haha:

    That's been running through my mind, too... But I did breakeven on that one cash-wise, of not aggravation-wise...
     
  4. Cricket

    Cricket 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2004
    Posts:
    8,224
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hey it's good to see you after your hiatus.
     
  5. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2000
    Posts:
    36,180
    Likes Received:
    1,388
    Location:
    E-town baby!
    Get the Chev...less work/hassle, easier to park which i understand is important to you and way less miles. If the T-case is done on the Dodge what else is about to go?

    Rene
     
  6. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2002
    Posts:
    19,217
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Everywhere
    In all honesty, I'd have too look pretty hard at the Dodge. I'd want too know if it was beaten on badly sence the transfer case is bad. Might be more problems ($$$) down the road. The Chevy may be older, but just from what you've posted, it sounds like it might be the better deal. But ofcorse the 1990 Chevy pick up would be IFS, and that's no good either. Oh well, tough choice with out seeing both. I highly recomend having a quality garage check them out before any money leaves your hand so you know what you're getting yourself into.
     
  7. daleearnhardt01

    daleearnhardt01 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2002
    Posts:
    3,223
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Richmond, VA
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2000
    Posts:
    36,180
    Likes Received:
    1,388
    Location:
    E-town baby!
    Unless you're into hardcore rock crawling, or want to run 35's or bigger the IFS is just fine. It rides way smoother too...

    Don't get to thinking that unit bearing, ball jointed CAD front diff in the Dodge is any wonder of strength, especially if it's half ton.

    Rene
     
  9. gauder

    gauder Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Posts:
    1,613
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    done
    Chevy will be cheaper on maintenance too. Working on the same small block chevy that's been around since 1955 = cheaper parts.
     
  10. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Posts:
    16,555
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Los Estados Unitos
    I'm leaning toward the Chevy more now.

    IFS isn't bad for what I'll be doing with 4wd, which will be light trails through woods, and snow. As for a shop checking them out, the Chevy is at my buddies shop in storage til it's sold, that's how I got hooked up with it. He thinks it's a killer deal for $2000. It is, really, I can't find anything as nice for that price either.

    JC, it's nice to be back...

    I agree on the Dodge idea of "What's next to go?" And I admit I have to wonder how a Queens (read: 99% pavement) truck has a bad tcase unless he drove around in 4wd all the time. I'm mostly worried about the tranny in that truck, you can usually get some clues if the motor's weak, tranny can just sneak up on you or he can change the fluid before I get there and maybe hide problems... The thing keeping my mind on this truck is the extended cab, so I can tow a camper with the wife and kids in the truck instead of using two cars.


    Thanks for the replies fellas.
     
  11. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2000
    Posts:
    13,973
    Likes Received:
    453
    Location:
    Marietta GA
    At the risk of turning this into tech, the Vortec motors came out in '96 in the P/Us. Not much in the swappability with a '55. Dodge's small block V-8 has been around for a day or 2 as well. Parts costs have been similar for 318 in my Jeep & the 350 in my Yukon.

    Ratch, see if the case is really bad it my be a linkage problem. IIRC, that should have the NP231HD, similar to the NP241 in the Chevy. If it is truely bad I'd stay away.
     
  12. gauder

    gauder Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Posts:
    1,613
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    done
    The chevy he's looking at is a non-vortec 90.
     
  13. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2000
    Posts:
    13,973
    Likes Received:
    453
    Location:
    Marietta GA
    My bad, mixed up the Dodge & Chevy years.
     
  14. gauder

    gauder Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Posts:
    1,613
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    done
    S'allright, this is the lounge and not the tech forum afterall.:laugh:
     
  15. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Posts:
    16,555
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Los Estados Unitos
    The plot thickens....

    I just hung up with the Chevy seller (his wife actually). The speedometer hasn't worked on it in years, so the 100k that's on it is what it was years ago... I doubt the mileage is the same, but I wouldn't be surprised to see it pretty close to the Dodge's.

    On the Chevy motor compatibility, that's actually a big plus if it's a 350 (even if it's just a 305). I have two Police Caprice 350's, a '91 and a '93 that I picked up for the K5 before I sold it. I also have a 4.3 with the complete harness and computer if I felt like going to that, too.
    Did a 1990 have a 700r4 or a 4l60e? 700r4 can be bolted up to any engine without computer changes, right? 4l60e needs a matching ecm?

    BigJ, thanks for that, I will check out the linkage when I go see the Dodge later. Whatta ya think the chances are that I can swap in a '92 Chevy 241? I have a 241 and a 208, too. I'll guess pretty slim, or requiring enough mods to make a junkyard one worth it.

    Thanks again yall!
     
  16. gauder

    gauder Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2005
    Posts:
    1,613
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    done
    90 was 700R4 still.
     
  17. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Posts:
    16,555
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Los Estados Unitos
    :thumb: :thumb:
    Gracias.
     
  18. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2000
    Posts:
    13,973
    Likes Received:
    453
    Location:
    Marietta GA
    Input spline count is different. It is most likely clocked different. Last, I don't remember what side a '96 Dodge drops on.
     
  19. newyorkin

    newyorkin 1 ton status

    Joined:
    May 8, 2001
    Posts:
    16,555
    Likes Received:
    157
    Location:
    Los Estados Unitos
    It's on the drivers side, I think the same as the 241 I have out back. This one looked like the bottom was covered in fluid, so I'm willing to bet if it is dead, it's because it went dry.

    I drove it tonight, and it only makes a grinding noise in turns or hard acceleration... I'm thinking linkage...

    It drives OK, feels like it's pulling to the right, but it could be the crappy roads in queens. It has power, but it feels like I have to mash the pedal to make it go, like the brake is stuck. Maybe related to the tcase? Or I was also thinking maybe something screwed up with the front diff. Brake pedal feels hard, too. But then, maybe I've just gotten soft driving a minivan and zippy car...
    It was pretty clean, light body damage on the bed, rust on the bottom of the door (I thought odd for a 96; our GM is covered for 10 years under warranty for rust, so if I get it, I'll see if Dodge is).
    He said a half dozen times how he paid $700-1000 for the tonnau cover, so I'm thinking I'll offer him $1000 and say he can keep the cover and ebay it. I like the truck, but I don't really need a headache. For $1k, I would have some money to put back in it, but otherwise I'm not really itching for it now. I doubt he'll take $1k, he was asking $2500. That might actually be a little insulting...

    I go drive the Chevy tomorrow...
     
  20. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2000
    Posts:
    8,946
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Northeast Nevada
    10 year old Dodge? Drive train problems? Thats about right........ Sounds like it's in self destruct mode.
     

Share This Page