ode to the D50 RAM..and..what do I buy now?

What do I buy now?
After 390,000 kilometers I'm putting to rest my 1989 D50 RAM. I bought it brand new in 1989 for $12,000 Canadian incl taxes. That was the
best money I ever spent. The 5 speed manual transmission never gave me any grief the whole time Replaced the brakes pads/shoes twice. Shocks once Alternator once Water pump once @ 390,000km Tune up twice A minor front suspension repair at 300,000 km Windshield once The body is in amazing condition with only minor rust on the rear panels, end gate is perfect.
I hauled rocks, dirt, lumber, hay, and furniture. Often I was well over the recommended payload. It took a beating over gravel roads with washboards, on old pavement with potholes, and then cruised effortlessly on a smooth highway at 120kph like a car. I drove long and hard in plus 40 to minus 45 Celsius. I've coaxed it to start in minus 40 temperatures without being plugged in. Towards the end it had started to burn coolant and leak oil from the front bearing, but it still started and ran like a brand new engine. So I was driving home from work on the highway and noticed it starting to power down a little, but I assumed it was because of the heavy winter wind. Then it balked and lost allot of power and I noticed the heat gauge was way up...looked in the mirror and noticed steam and smoke behind me. I knew right away what was happening. I know the head on the 2.6L has a tendency to warp quickly if it overheats. I decided to go out "Thelma and Louis" style. I rode it out until the truck came to a stop, then let it idle for a few seconds and turned it off. I patted the dash board and thanked it for a good run.
Now I'm looking for another truck. I'm looking at Rangers and Dakotas 1995 to 2003. But after reading allot of horror stories in forums I'm wondering if they still make'em like my D50 !! I like to keep my vehicles as long as I can. What do you recommend?
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Wasn't your D50 a rebadged Isuzu? That's something to consider.
The Toyota Tacoma is an excellent truck, I don't think any manufacturer makes a more dependable vehicle. What's nice about the Toyota is that there is a very loyal following that aren't afraid to purchase one with 250,000 miles...and pay top dollar if it was well taken care of. A friend of mine sold a Tacoma 4x4 with 285,000 miles for $4,000. The truck was run 200 highway miles a day back and forth to work...no rust, really nice condition. I'm afraid most other vehicles would have gone for $800 under similar circumstances.
If I were going small pickup, the Toyota would be my first choice. I'd get it with a 4 cylinder too...it's a tough as nails and economical.
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Actually it was made by Mitsubishi. As far as I know they don't make trucks anymore.

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drop another engine in it and drive!

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I second that. Stick with your old tried and true.
You may want to check out this article on the Mistsubishi 2.6: http://www.allpar.com/fix/26.html -- it even has some Canadian truck model remarks
seems it was available in loads of vehicles so you may not even have to buy a rebuild
happy hunting
rach
Billy wrote:

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wrote:

very good. You seem to be lucky with vehicles. A 3 liter Ranger (Mazda) generally out-lives the Mitsu, with less problems - and costs less most places in Canada than the Mazda does. I'm partial to Toyotas, but I've had 2 Aerostars - and had good luck with both of them. The mechanicals are virtually the same as the Ranger. I have not had any experience with the Dakota, but my general experience with real Mopars has been good- with the exception of their definite tendancy to shed small parts (like trim) over the years. ***
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