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  1. #1
    Registered User textgod's Avatar
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    Best Used Truck Under $10K

    I'm not a tradie, don't need it to haul anything, just looking to get a truck for fun, maybe some mild off-roading on trails here and help friends/fam move things, pick up wheels/tires for my cars, etc...

    I already have a C32 AMG daily driver and a Lexus ISF garage queen. This will be my first truck build.

    Bought my dad a TRD Pro 4Runner recently and really like it but don't want another SUV so going to try a beginner truck build.

    $10K is the budget for the actual truck, NOT including mods. Plan will be a small lift + wheels (maybe Method) with A/T tires, nothing crazy.

    Looking for clean title, newest+lowest mileage, crew cab(4door) with NON TAN INTERIOR (this seems to be the hardest thing to overcome). Does NOT have to be 4x4, RWD is just fine.

    I have narrowed it down to these 3 within my price range but wanted to see if MISC truck brahs had any better options or advice on any of these 3.

    - 1st Gen Toyota Tundra: This is currently looking like my best option to meet the criteria laid out above. REALLY hard to find non tan interior and anything under 200K miles for around $10K

    - Nissan Frontier (2001-2004 preferred but considering newer as well): extremely difficult to find the years I'm looking for with non-tan interior and reasonable mileage. I've read the 2005+ Frontiers have transmission issues while 2001-2004 are considered fairly bulletproof.

    - 1st Gen Nissan Titan: this has been the easiest of the 3 models to find in my criteria but also the one I'm interested in the least. I read on the forums to try and get an 08+ due to transmission issues on older models. I like the aftermarket support and it seems like a bulletproof truck but I find myself more interested in the Tundra if going for a "bigger" truck (in comparison to a Frontier/Tacoma).

    I would totally jump on a Tacoma, even the older early 2000s but I have not found one with non-tan interior, crewcab, reasonable miles.
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  2. #2
    Not Clive's Biceps ClivesTriceps's Avatar
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    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more reliable truck than a 1997 and up chevy/gmc truck. The Gen III/IV small blocks are reliable as fck and parts are dirt cheap and everywhere. I've seen an early 2000s Tahoe with 178k on it and it's only "major" repair was a water pump.
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  3. #3
    SUPERNOVA SouthDakotaBrah's Avatar
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    I like the Tundra

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    Registered User akmerle's Avatar
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    That’s a good list you have there.

    If you do indeed plan on doing mild off roading, I strongly suggest getting 4x4, if just for resale alone. Especially if you are doing lift / wheels / tires.

    Good call on 1st Gen Tundra over Tacoma. I have never understood the Tacoma hype when the Tundra is superior in basically every way besides size on small trails. My first two trucks were tacomas (on my 3rd Tundra now), and gladly will be buying my sons 1st Gen Tundras over Tacomas.

    A buddy had a Frontier Pro4X and it was a stout little truck. Felt twice as powerful as my two Tacomas with the 3.4 V6’s.

    I actually had 1st Gen Titan as a work vehicle for 5 years. Had no major non-wear item related issues. Cabin had great size, and that 5.6l motor feels like it makes MUCH more power than advertised with a great exhaust tone.

    I’ll second the recommendation of the early 2000’s vintage Chevy trucks. That 5.3 is a great motor. Cheap and easy to work on as well.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Beararms's Avatar
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    Good luck finding a tacoma, frontier for that price without it having half a million miles or a rebuilt/salvage title. The time to buy those cheap are long gone since everyone and their mother are buying those up. Best best is a mid 90s-mid 2000s gmc/chevy truck.
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  6. #6
    Texan Krackerjacked's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by ClivesTriceps View Post
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more reliable truck than a 1997 and up chevy/gmc truck. The Gen III/IV small blocks are reliable as fck and parts are dirt cheap and everywhere. I've seen an early 2000s Tahoe with 178k on it and it's only "major" repair was a water pump.
    I just picked up a 98 z71 with 120k and couldn’t be happier.

    You’re on the right path OPie. 1st gen tundra is a good choice and are nearly bulletproof.
    The 2nd gen Frontiers did have trans issues on the automatic models, the standards don’t. Also by 2010 they had the issues covered and are stupid reliable.
    I just sold a 2018 Pro4x that seriously impressed me capability wise.
    I’d also go 4x4. Holds value better and better to have it just incase.
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  7. #7
    Registered User blazenbb's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Krackerjacked View Post
    I just picked up a 98 z71 with 120k and couldn’t be happier.

    I’d also go 4x4. Holds value better and better to have it just incase.
    First gen silverados are good too. Seen many all original 200k+ mi. My buddy would get stuck with his 2wd in SoCal sometimes...could almost always push out quick. But would certainly not recommend. That’s the whole point of a truck, to have those extra capabilities. Who nose what you will want to do one day
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  8. #8
    Registered User textgod's Avatar
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    thanks for the replies brahs! basically confirmed my current #1 choice of a 1st gen Tundra. I'm in the market but it's just hard to find a clean one with reasonable miles and NON-Tan interior for under $10K

    Of course 4x4 would be great but it's hard enough to find even a 2WD with the specs I'm looking for and I've read that for mild off-roading a RWD Tundra will easily handle it without the added expense of maintaining the 4x4 system. I also have access to my dads TRD Pro 4Runner 4x4 which makes it less of a need for my prospective truck.

    Love the Frontier Pro4x but way out of my price range. Cheapest ones around here are $20K and get snatched up quick.

    I'm not a big fan of Chevy but will add it onto my list and see if I can find one in my criteria to check out.
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  9. #9
    Let's slot floppies keyboardworkout's Avatar
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    White Tacos usually have gray interiors...mine does.
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  10. #10
    Texan Krackerjacked's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by textgod View Post
    thanks for the replies brahs! basically confirmed my current #1 choice of a 1st gen Tundra. I'm in the market but it's just hard to find a clean one with reasonable miles and NON-Tan interior for under $10K

    Of course 4x4 would be great but it's hard enough to find even a 2WD with the specs I'm looking for and I've read that for mild off-roading a RWD Tundra will easily handle it without the added expense of maintaining the 4x4 system. I also have access to my dads TRD Pro 4Runner 4x4 which makes it less of a need for my prospective truck.

    Love the Frontier Pro4x but way out of my price range. Cheapest ones around here are $20K and get snatched up quick.

    I'm not a big fan of Chevy but will add it onto my list and see if I can find one in my criteria to check out.
    Yeah the used truck market soared after cash for clunkers and more so after Katrina. Then again with covid.
    Chit is insane man. I sold my 18 frontier with about 40k for just shy of 22k and a month later saw it was worth upwards of 23.
    Everything just keeps climbing man.
    Hell the z71 I just bought was 7k. You can get a newer one for that or cheaper but they’re just getting hard to find in decent shape anymore.
    Sloots Gon Sloot.
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  11. #11
    Fuk BLM luckyboy23's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by textgod View Post
    I'm not a tradie, don't need it to haul anything, just looking to get a truck for fun, maybe some mild off-roading on trails here and help friends/fam move things, pick up wheels/tires for my cars, etc...

    I already have a C32 AMG daily driver and a Lexus ISF garage queen. This will be my first truck build.

    Bought my dad a TRD Pro 4Runner recently and really like it but don't want another SUV so going to try a beginner truck build.

    $10K is the budget for the actual truck, NOT including mods. Plan will be a small lift + wheels (maybe Method) with A/T tires, nothing crazy.

    Looking for clean title, newest+lowest mileage, crew cab(4door) with NON TAN INTERIOR (this seems to be the hardest thing to overcome). Does NOT have to be 4x4, RWD is just fine.

    I have narrowed it down to these 3 within my price range but wanted to see if MISC truck brahs had any better options or advice on any of these 3.

    - 1st Gen Toyota Tundra: This is currently looking like my best option to meet the criteria laid out above. REALLY hard to find non tan interior and anything under 200K miles for around $10K

    - Nissan Frontier (2001-2004 preferred but considering newer as well): extremely difficult to find the years I'm looking for with non-tan interior and reasonable mileage. I've read the 2005+ Frontiers have transmission issues while 2001-2004 are considered fairly bulletproof.

    - 1st Gen Nissan Titan: this has been the easiest of the 3 models to find in my criteria but also the one I'm interested in the least. I read on the forums to try and get an 08+ due to transmission issues on older models. I like the aftermarket support and it seems like a bulletproof truck but I find myself more interested in the Tundra if going for a "bigger" truck (in comparison to a Frontier/Tacoma).

    I would totally jump on a Tacoma, even the older early 2000s but I have not found one with non-tan interior, crewcab, reasonable miles.
    No BS?

    First Gen Tundra Limited. 05/06 preferably due to minor refresh and VVTI engine. Older years are still good. Best reliability, bulletproof engine/transmission (several proven instances of million mile engines. 2UZFE). Basically it's a worry free truck that has practically zero known issues/problems... All it needs is basic maintenance. The engine is epically butter smooth even at 300K+ miles.

    Yeah it may look weird/ugly to some, but a clean example is still better than any Tacoma ever made. Best of all, that truck is invisible to the eyes of the general population and cops.

    The only CON the first gens have to some people is the brake feel... If you get one without ABS you can install a fat master cylinder from a T100 and that solves that... If you get one with ABS, you can install 2010+ Lexus GX460 calipers/rotors. Much larger in diameter and width. Both epic mods that can be done on the cheap $$$ wise.
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  12. #12
    Fuk BLM luckyboy23's Avatar
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    To add to my last post... You can buy a First Gen Sequoia which IS a Tundra and a better vehicle IMO (unless you absolutely need a truck/bed). First Gen Sequoia's can be had for as little as $2500-$3000 for a good running drivetrain but maybe needs some TLC elsewhere. They never die.
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  13. #13
    Registered User textgod's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by luckyboy23 View Post
    No BS?

    First Gen Tundra Limited. 05/06 preferably due to minor refresh and VVTI engine. Older years are still good. Best reliability, bulletproof engine/transmission (several proven instances of million mile engines. 2UZFE). Basically it's a worry free truck that has practically zero known issues/problems... All it needs is basic maintenance. The engine is epically butter smooth even at 300K+ miles.

    Yeah it may look weird/ugly to some, but a clean example is still better than any Tacoma ever made. Best of all, that truck is invisible to the eyes of the general population and cops.

    The only CON the first gens have to some people is the brake feel... If you get one without ABS you can install a fat master cylinder from a T100 and that solves that... If you get one with ABS, you can install 2010+ Lexus GX460 calipers/rotors. Much larger in diameter and width. Both epic mods that can be done on the cheap $$$ wise.
    repped, thanks for the Tundra knowledge brah! It's what I'm most likely going to be getting and I will definitely be looking into the brake upgrade when modding. Is the 05/06 refresh/VVTi motor only on limited models? I ask because I won't be getting a limited model since it seemingly only comes in tan leather interior. If I could find a grey leather interior limited I would jump on it! But tan interior is a dealbreaker for me.

    in response to your Sequoia suggestion- I've read the same and agreed they are much easier to find and cheaper but I'm only in the market for a truck, no SUVs, since I have access to a TRD Pro 4Runner that I recently bought for my dad.
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  14. #14
    Texan Krackerjacked's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by textgod View Post
    repped, thanks for the Tundra knowledge brah! It's what I'm most likely going to be getting and I will definitely be looking into the brake upgrade when modding. Is the 05/06 refresh/VVTi motor only on limited models? I ask because I won't be getting a limited model since it seemingly only comes in tan leather interior. If I could find a grey leather interior limited I would jump on it! But tan interior is a dealbreaker for me.

    in response to your Sequoia suggestion- I've read the same and agreed they are much easier to find and cheaper but I'm only in the market for a truck, no SUVs, since I have access to a TRD Pro 4Runner that I recently bought for my dad.
    The refresh should be all models.
    Also to note they are bulletproof engines however a part of the general maintenance is a timing belt and water pump (only every 90k) but it’s not a cheap service.
    Solid choice regardless but be sure and see that it’s been done.
    Sloots Gon Sloot.
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    Fuk BLM luckyboy23's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by textgod View Post
    repped, thanks for the Tundra knowledge brah! It's what I'm most likely going to be getting and I will definitely be looking into the brake upgrade when modding. Is the 05/06 refresh/VVTi motor only on limited models? I ask because I won't be getting a limited model since it seemingly only comes in tan leather interior. If I could find a grey leather interior limited I would jump on it! But tan interior is a dealbreaker for me.

    in response to your Sequoia suggestion- I've read the same and agreed they are much easier to find and cheaper but I'm only in the market for a truck, no SUVs, since I have access to a TRD Pro 4Runner that I recently bought for my dad.
    Limited just might get you some nicer features, that's all. Tan interior is ugly but you'll get used to it... Refresh is good for all trims, not just limited.

    Nice thing about the Tundra is the giant sunroof along with the rear glass that slides all the way down. The rear windows go all the way down too. Its very nice and refreshing being able to open all windows, rear glass, and sunroof. I don't *think* any other truck on the road can do this. The rear seats are the same as the Sequoia which means lots of room.

    I've owned a first gen sequoia tundra and 200 series LC. Grey interior is the best.

    If you're lucky and find a non vvti TRD supercharged model. Pick that fukkin unicorn up.
    Originally Posted by Krackerjacked View Post
    The refresh should be all models.
    Also to note they are bulletproof engines however a part of the general maintenance is a timing belt and water pump (only every 90k) but it’s not a cheap service.
    Solid choice regardless but be sure and see that it’s been done.
    This is true, if you have a tech you know that's trustworthy it's actually pretty cheap... One of my good friends is a Master tech at Honda who does side jobs at Honda when he's off. He did my timing belt for 400 bucks parts included. My old Tundra had 230K miles on the odometer and the belt was only changed once. So 140k on the timing belt. It still looked and felt brand new. My tech said there was really no need to even touch it but I wanted it done for preventative maintenance.


    Lastly OP. You can go directly to toyota.com and input the VIN of the car you're interested in. It will display a full window sticker and you can see all the maintenance/service records done at any dealership.
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    Registered User akmerle's Avatar
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    Have to slightly revise my original recommendation of early 2000’s GM trucks, I was off by a few years.

    I actually really like the styling of the 2007-2013 Silverado / Sierra’s. It is also right before they destroyed the reliability of the fantastic 5.3L by adding AFM.
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    Texan Krackerjacked's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by akmerle View Post
    Have to slightly revise my original recommendation of early 2000’s GM trucks, I was off by a few years.

    I actually really like the styling of the 2007-2013 Silverado / Sierra’s. It is also right before they destroyed the reliability of the fantastic 5.3L by adding AFM.
    Yessir the early vortec 5.7s liked to eat intake gaskets but are otherwise very reliable.
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    Originally Posted by ClivesTriceps View Post
    I think you'd be hard pressed to find a more reliable truck than a 1997 and up chevy/gmc truck. The Gen III/IV small blocks are reliable as fck and parts are dirt cheap and everywhere. I've seen an early 2000s Tahoe with 178k on it and it's only "major" repair was a water pump.
    Even as a ford guy I agree. The gms of that era are dependable as **** , same with the fords. The fords keep changing tech so they’re harder to work on sometimes , GM stays tried and true in their design.

    Throw out the idea of a tundra for 10k or less , especially now unless you want one with 300k. Nissan Titan ? I think I just vomited.

    Any 2v triton Ford ( 3vs are luck of the draw but mostly trash unless you get a v10 6.8) , 7.3 if you got the money or 5.3 vortec GM will be a very good truck for a good price.

    Avoid dodge if you’re not mechanically inclined. The transmissions where ok in 05+ but didn’t really improve all that much until 09+.

    Badass engines though , I love dodge v8s
    and the SFA in their older trucks ( good for off-roading, pretty much a Jeep axle) but Chevy/Ford is a 100x better quality truck than a dodge.

    It’s a tough call between a hemi and coyote as far as my favorite v8 engine is concerned.
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    Originally Posted by dogorman7 View Post
    Even as a ford guy I agree. The gms of that era are dependable as **** , same with the fords. The fords keep changing tech so they’re harder to work on sometimes , GM stays tried and true in their design.

    Throw out the idea of a tundra for 10k or less , especially now unless you want one with 300k. Nissan Titan ? I think I just vomited.

    Any 2v triton Ford ( 3vs are luck of the draw but mostly trash unless you get a v10 6.8) , 7.3 if you got the money or 5.3 vortec GM will be a very good truck for a good price.

    Avoid dodge if you’re not mechanically inclined. The transmissions where ok in 05+ but didn’t really improve all that much until 09+.

    Badass engines though , I love dodge v8s
    and the SFA in their older trucks ( good for off-roading, pretty much a Jeep axle) but Chevy/Ford is a 100x better quality truck than a dodge.

    It’s a tough call between a hemi and coyote as far as my favorite v8 engine is concerned.
    Main downside on the early hemis was dropping valves around 100k though
    Just something to look out for, not sure what year that was improved on (assuming it was addressed but I’m no dodge guy)
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    Originally Posted by Krackerjacked View Post
    Main downside on the early hemis was dropping valves around 100k though
    Just something to look out for, not sure what year that was improved on (assuming it was addressed but I’m no dodge guy)
    The same year , 05. I’ve been looking for a lighter duty truck or smaller vehicle to daily since my f-250 has body damage and I keep having to remind myself a 03- late 04 hemi drops valves around 100-150k. That’s why those two years are so much cheaper. Almost every 03-04 has a replaced engine on offer up and craigslist srs.

    “ I know what I have , 9k no low ballers , 50k on new engine , no paperwork”

    Lmao

    I never thought I’d see the day that 2nd gen rams owners try to sell their trucks at the same price level as 4x4 hemis either..... yet here we are

    And people wonder why I won’t sell my truck even though it’s been in a bad accident

    So much junk out there , very few good running trucks

    There’s always a good reason why someone is selling a running 4x4 pickup truck ... don’t be fooled lmao
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    True
    Interesting man
    My cousin had a 06-08 police charger and it dropped one at 54k granted it had tons of idle hours.
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