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97 f250 Light Duty - keep or sell ???

Discussion in 'Ford Trucks' started by Grantski, Jan 24, 2016.

  1. Grantski

    Grantski Member
    from 06475
    Messages: 31

    Hello so I have this devils spawn 97 f250 light duty w an 8ft western. I bought it as a used plow truck with 100k so part my fault for not doing better research and having it looked at. Anyway at this point it has a TON of new parts. Its at 110k and I've spent around $5k in maintainance in only 1 yr !! but it STILL has a few more issues. My problem is with so many new parts (too many to mention) do I keep it - or get rid of it before it sucks more $ out of my pocket ? At 110k it runs and shifts great. but I don't even trust the damn thing its in the shop atleast once month.
     
  2. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,977

    Throw a few pics up of the girl
     
  3. Grantski

    Grantski Member
    from 06475
    Messages: 31

    Not sure how to post pix but it does look very nice. Part of the reason i fell for it. NO rust on the body...except just a little on the cab corners. Only surface rust on frame - issue is it sat garaged all yr except plow season to do one lot. Owner swore it was maintained - he lied.

    Here's all the new parts/maint. in the last yr.
    Starter / Coil Pack / Battery / All New Transmission Lines /trans flush & fill / new radiator & hoses/ new transmission cooler?/radiator? / had to find a newer pair of 7lugs cuz the ones on it started leaking / 4 new tires / new muffler / u joint / driversd manifold+ egr valve & tube / 4X4 Vaccum lines fixed but still no 4x4.

    Still Needs : Pass Manifold / Power Steering Gear Box ? / 4x4 ShiftFork?/
    Rear Brake Light & Trailer hookup dont work.

    Im torn do I do the last few things and the thing is practically rebuilt - but theres still plenty of pricey things that can go wrong !!! I start landcaping in the spring and need to GO GO GO and cant be worried about the constant issues. Question is DOES IT EVER STOP after uve put in so many new parts ?
     
  4. flips87chevy

    flips87chevy Member
    Messages: 40

     
  5. allagashpm

    allagashpm Senior Member
    Messages: 703

    For an almost 20 year old truck that hasn't had any maintenance done it's not surprising. Will it stop? No. Will it slow down? Yes, but you have to replace anything that will break pretty much for piece of mind.
    You have to decide if it's worth putting more into it sounds like you've made up your mind
     
  6. FredG

    FredG 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,214

    If it runs well and shifts good and it's not a complete rust bucket I would give it another shot. Your into it now try to get some service out of it. Were the fluids clean when you bought it? The repairs you made are just wear items.
     
  7. Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Senior Member
    Messages: 555

    Remember, a 1997 F-250 Light Duty (or F-150 7700 as it was later called) would have the original 5.4 liter / 2 valve (non-PI head) modular motor. In addition to being pretty gutless, it also had the distinction of blowing spark plugs out of the heads occasionally because they were held in with only 3 threads. So if you change the spark plugs, pay special attention to how you install and torque them down. If you do spit one out, there are a number of kits available to replace the threads.
     
  8. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    If you're going to work a 20-year-old truck, you kind of have to become your own wrench. Join some Ford Truck forums and see what your make and model is likely to need attention paid to.

    Register with Rock Auto and they will send you an occasional link for wholesaler closeouts for parts your truck uses, and with the popularity of the F-series, there are a lot of them to be had.

    Expect to replace everything replaceable, at 20 years of age, and look to have the replacement parts on hand, if you can get them extra cheap ahead of time.

    The most critical part of your truck you haven't mentioned servicing is the brakes. I wouldn't expect original brake lines to last longer than 20 years, so figure them to be something on the to-do list. It happens that brakes are one item you can get parts for from Rock Auto at really good prices. (for instance, assuming for the moment you have rear drum brakes, a complete replacement package of shoes, drums, springs, and wheel cylinders, can be in your hands delivered for a hundred bucks)
     
  9. Grantski

    Grantski Member
    from 06475
    Messages: 31

    O yea also brakes and brake lines. I did make $40k last yr off my business but only $4k off plowing. And this season is looking even worse. So overall I'm not too happy with this investment. Just plowed last storm I can smell coolant burning - got a check engine light - and my hood latch broke. Lol.
     
  10. jarhead1349

    jarhead1349 Junior Member
    Messages: 11

    I can feel your pain...I had one of those "one off" trucks plowing last year. With the 4WD not working, the problem MAY be with the shift motor. When you select 4WD, the motor moves the transfer case fork which then tells a vacuum solenoid to lock the front end. Lots of good info on a couple Ford specific forums. These can be challenging to work on and find parts, for but mine pushed snow very well. Had a 7-6 Western UniMount ProPlow and took it very well. Guy I sold it to put an 8-6 Western on it and a pallet of salt in the bed.

    As another member stated, you have your choice - pay a bank payments or pay a mechanic to fix things......
     
  11. RUJusten

    RUJusten Member
    from VA
    Messages: 47

    I have a 1991 F-250 Bricknose with a 460 7.5l Big Block with 185k miles. It's by far the best truck I've ever used for snow removal. There is nothing this truck can't do....except get good gas mileage! I've installed headers, new transmission, ball joints, shocks, water pump....still need to replace the radiator, u-joints, etc. These are all general maintenance things that need to be done to give me the piece of mind that my truck will run cool and have oil pressure - everything else is fixable!

    The bottom line is this truck allows my overhead to be lower because I don't have a $600/month truck payment. I make sure that I do all the maintenance in spring/summer and then a nice inspection in the fall. Please don't take this the wrong way, but it's very difficult to be in this business if you can't do some of the repairs yourself. You'll go broke paying someone to fix your trucks, salters, plows, etc. Not saying that you have to fix EVERYTHING yourself, but anything that will cut down on your expense is worth fixing yourself. Personally, I'd rather turn wrenches and have repair bills than a massive truck payment.
     
  12. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots Junior Member
    Messages: 2

    For anyone who might be looking to order from Rock Auto, who is not already on their mailing list, they have a coupon code (4070663821721057) that goes into the "How did you hear about us?" box on the shopping cart page. Good until March 27, 2016

    One reason I order ahead, besides my belief that replacement of old parts will be inevitable, is that Rock Auto operates from multiple warehouses, and it isn't inconceivable that an order of five parts could ship from five different locations. Their interactive website is very helpful at pointing out what else is located in the same warehouse your first part selection comes from, so you can keep the shipping costs down.
     
  13. PPP

    PPP Member
    Messages: 94

    I has one of those a 2000 F150 7700. Very Good Plow truck for a heavy duty half ton. Not sure its gutless but mine had 3.73 gears and would smoke the tires off of it. Parts were very cheap for it. Summit used to have the rotor and brakes on clearance for something like $12. I bought 2 sets of everything. The only parts store that could ever get anything right for parts was my local NAPA. I did go through a few sets of front brakes. Even the suspension parts were cheap. Mine was a designated plow truck from day one long before I had it. They do tend to rot the frame over the rear axles. I had to patch mine. My most expensive repair was a set of quality coil packs. Great truck if its maintained. Unfortunately mine got totaled in a snow storm. I have been looking for another one since it was cheap to maintain and people seem to be afraid of them because of the funky 7 lug nuts.
     
  14. maxwellp

    maxwellp PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,112

    Do you fix it yourself?
    If not payments may be cheaper.
    I have a 1996 Dodge 1500 that I just keep fixing - put more into it than it is worth - But keeps going - until it has a big problem I will just keep fixing it. I use it on the light snows.
     
  15. Grantski

    Grantski Member
    from 06475
    Messages: 31

    To sink $5000 in one year is rough : I'm making payments too !!! I was desperate to startup last yr and had no choice but to finance a $7000 vehicle. Prob needs water pump and power steering - 4x4 shift fork - brake light issue - passenger manifold - hood latch broke. $300-400 in parts but $3-4k in labor if i have a shop do all that. Suspension handles the plow just fine & The engine does seem to run mint. The body and frame aren't very rusted. Fords are funny they'll run with a bunch of issues but still keep going.
    Idk if I mentioned I use it for Landscaping yr round starting at 40-50 accts this yr. Really tough call since I put so much $ in already