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Best Truck for DIY repairs

I’d really like to get a truck for general hauling of firewood, and oversized items. I’d like to get something that would be easy to work on and have relatively inexpensive parts. Any suggestions?

I drive a 1995 Nissan XE pickup with the 4 cylinder with a manual tranny. This is about as basic as it gets. It doesn’t suck fuel, it can haul a heavy load, (that’s what I used to get my 1,200 lb mid-rise auto lift from the shipping department to home in the bed), and it’s basically easy to work on.

The only gripe I have about it is, the driver for the fuel pump relay in the computer burned up so the fuel pump wouldn’t run once the engine was started. So I just unplugged the fuel pump relay, and plugged in a jumper wire into the relay socket so the fuel pump runs whenever the ignition is on. This is getting me by until I can find another computer for the thing.


The easiest trucks to work on are probably full-sized Fords and Chevys from the 1960s and 1970s, but personally, I would rather have a reliable truck than one that is easy to repair.

I have to say a Ford F150 from the last 10-12 years. They are cheap to acquire, great durability and does not take rocket science to work on.

I have to say that the four cylinder engine in my last RWD car (a 1979 Mazda) was a whole lot easier to work on than modern engines. Lots of space around the fore-aft mounted engine, unlike modern transversely mounted engines. So if RWD is OK (no serious snow) and four cylinders are enough for the loads you anticipate, maybe an old light pickup truck. But check on parts availability. You don’t want to end up searching for parts on the internet.

For me too answer this I have to ask myself what type of repairs does this OP consider in the DIY catagorey. AC work is out ,primairly due to equipment and a lesser degree training, electrical work can both be the same on every car (volts are volts,OHMS are OHMS) and different (poor schematic and cabling techniques) OBDII diagnosis is training intensive but the equipment is becomming more reasonable for the DIYer (except smoke machines) Where I see a clear “one car is easier than the other” is in under the hood access so as one can replace hoses,fix leaks, replace battery cables and in the brake system. Those trucks that make it so hard to remove rotors that you resort to turning them on the car are not in the DIY class so they are not to be considered.

1987-1996 F-150 2WD with the 300 I6. New enough to be reliable (no carbs to worry about) but old enough not to be terribly complex. Spare parts are cheap and very easy to procure.

Hot-wired the fuel-pump relay?? Tester, I’m surprised at you! I thought I was the only one that did stuff like that!!

Newings, it just depends on how much stuff you want to haul and how much money you want to spend. Testers little Datsun 4-cylinder stick shift would be hard to beat…I was able to buy a 3/4 ton Dodge, 360 V8, stick, tow package, it needed tires and a windshield, $1200. It hasn’t missed a beat. It has a rather strange TBI induction system but that has not caused any trouble…It’s ugly and it rides like a buck-board but it starts when I turn the key…

Well I’ve done general work on my Honda accord and Cavalier such as alternator, starter, water pump, oil changes, master cylinder, brake pads, coolant flush, and bleeding brakes. My main concern with these types of cars is access. For example, I need to replace the clutch in my 91 Honda, but in my opinion it is a bear to get access to considering I have a one car garage that does not allow much for working in jack handles and such. If I had a 2.4 Cavalier the water pump would have been much more difficult. That’s why I would like to get a beater truck to use for hauling and requires a relatively straighforward set of tools, hopefully not a lot of computer work. Thanks for all the feedback. If there are other opinions let me know, I’m definitely taking note of what everyone says.