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Whoaru99

1997 Dodge pickup - anything particular to watch out for?

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Whoaru99

A buddy of mine is looking at a 97 Dodge pickup and asked me about it. I dunno a thing about Dodge trucks so I figured I'd ask here.

Again, it's a 97, think he said 135K miles on it, has a 318 engine, auto tranny, and 4wd.

He has an 17ft Alumacraft (Tournament Pro??) that he'll be pulling with it, if it matters....

Anything to be especially on the lookout for?

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river-rat4

I just traded a '97 1500 Ram (2/07). Liked the truck. At 142,xxx I put in a rebuilt engine. At 184,xxx 2nd gear was going out/slipping. (Bought the unit at 80,xxx miles and was not used as a plow truck)I used the truck harder than the average homeowner, pulling a 4200 lb trailer 2-3 days a week.

I had the 360 or 5.9 magmun with 377 gears 4wd/auto.(can't give any info on the 318).

Tade in value I received was $2700. Had Std cab, air, matching topper, pw/pl, cloth seats.

I went with a new Ram if that means anything.

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Black_Bay

We have late 90's Dodges at work and we've gone through a few transmissions. Have your buddy check out the front end really well also.

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PierBridge

Quote:

we've gone through a few transmissions.


Plan on replacing the Transmission.

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Shack

Crapped shoot?

That year of truck was not known for "problem free" miles.

Like stated above, check out front for ball joints and steering linkage, tranny's were weak and oem rebuild with updated and reman unit with updates still had problems, motors were as good as the previous owner took care of them, rear ends were weak, a/c evap coil's leaks (check for dye leaking out of drain tune under pass. side floor board/fire wall).

I hate to say it, unless I was getting truck for next to nothing, I would pass and sleep good at night. The truck is kind of a time bomb. Now, not to knock Dodge, but those years were some doosies. Dodge now a days is a total different story.

Good Luck!!!

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2dog

We have quite a few late 90's Dodges and have replaced to many transmissions.

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Whoaru99

Thanks for the replies fellas. Now, hopefully I can get ahold of him in time...

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Valv

If he has to rebuild the transmission there is a place in IA that is the best rebuilder period. They do Dodge transmissions only (mainly for diesels) and they are super, I had one and I can vouch for it, and it will be cheaper then the dealer

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Whoaru99

Nope, he won't need to rebuild it - someone else might, but not him.

Since I couldn't get ahold of him by phone, I printed the thread and put it under his wiper blade with a note to call me. He sounded pretty bummed when he called a couple hours ago after reading the posts. He thought he was getting a good deal at a few hundred under book, but I politely suggested that it wasn't anywhere near a good enough deal for the risk it seems to present.

He got a chuckle out of the comment about passing on the truck to sleep better at night. I think he got the message...

Thanks again to all.

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Shack

Unless its a cheap unpassable deal, I would not buy truck!

Good for your friend. There are to many other good brands of trucks from those years and in your friends price range to choose from. He might get lucky with this one, but the chances are very, very slim.

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Valv

Now, if this was a T. Diesel Cummins it won't be a problem, BUY IT, they are worth every penny, you know that..... grin.gif

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zamboni

My dad just got rid of his 95 F150 4X4 with 180,000+ miles on it. Never stuck a penny into it other than gas, oil changes and tires. AC even froze you out. He got $4500 for it. I have heard alot about replacing engines and trannys in Dodges- I would avoid one.

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Whoaru99

Yeah, he's a Ford guy at heart, but thought he was getting a deal on the Dodge. After the input here, he's no longer considering it and is back to looking for a Ford.

I, on the other hand, am a Chevy/GM guy...

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Shack

Not trying to steer anyone one way or another, but Ford was in some "worry free miles" glory days in those years. The old guys swore by them and drove them till they died. I would lean twords ford, but no matter what your friend ends up buying, have him get it checked out. $2000-$12,000! It does not matter, they can have avoidable costly repairs looming, that a tech could locate in a quick multi point inspection.

Ya, again, it helps one sleep better at night! wink.gif

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