I am 16 years old and am looking at a 1994 F250 with 128,000 miles for sale
and am thinking about buying it. The only problem is that it is 2WD, I was
just wondering if the truck would have rear or front wheel drive? I live in
Michigan and this year we had tons of snow and I nee something that won't
get stuck in the snow. I was told not to buy a truck with rear wheel drive
because they can get stuck very easily when there is a lot of snow on the
ground. Would it just be wise to keep looking and get a 4x4, or will the 2WD
work fine? The truck is in great condition, it there is no rust, and it has
a clean interior. It was owned by a Landscaping Company.
(P.S. The truck it $3500, the best deal I have found so far.)
Rear wheel drive. Almost all pickup trucks that are 2WD are rear wheel
drive (I know of no exceptions to this).
If you get the 2WD, you will learn to drive in the snow, but you may get
stuck. If you don't mind being unable to leave the house until the snow
plow comes, you should be fine with the 2WD truck.
You may be better off with a front wheel drive car, which will be
cheaper on the gas.
All American production 2WD pickups in modern history I've ever
heard of are rear wheel drive. Somebody could have done an "El
Camino" style bob-job on a Cadillac Eldorado, but that wouldn't be a
It isn't /that/ bad, but with 2WD the odds of getting seriously
stuck are higher. To lessen the effects, keep some weight in the bed
so the drive wheels have some traction to work with.
Sandbags stacked over and forward of the axle will be best, between
700 and 1000 pounds worth for a 3/4-Ton truck with no other load - and
if you get stuck on ice, some of the sand can be spread as a sacrifice
to the Gods of Road Ice :-) in the name of traction.
And as an added bonus, the truck will ride MUCH better than it does
when totally empty - it was designed to be driven loaded..
See if the truck has the optional Limited Slip rear end, and if it
doesn't have one installed you can add one for not that much money -
$1K to $2K, less if you find a junkyard axle and swap it yourself.
Best investment you will ever make - a truck with a standard open
differential is really one-wheel drive, first one to hit a patch of
glare ice will break loose will just sit there and spin and now you
have zero wheel drive... With a limited slip rear end you have true
two wheel drive, even if one wheel has no traction at all the other
one is still pushing.
Note that you DO NOT want a "Detroit Locker" or other cog-style
automatic locking differential, they are meant for racing and
off-roading ONLY and are a total bastard to drive on the street.
If you don't really need a truck, that would be best for winter use.
Depending on condition, that's not bad. Go get it checked over by a
competent mechanic before you buy, there is always the chance of huge
hidden problems they aren't telling you about.
--<< Bruce >>--
If the bed is empty that is quite true. However a lot of people that drive
pickups in the snow simply put 3 or 4 100 lb bags of sand in the
bed over the rear tires during the winter and put on snow tires. It reduces
your gas mileage slightly but not enough to be a problem.
A 4x4 has more complex mechanicals and getting something more complex
as a first vehicle is a very bad idea.
I think your making an excellent choice, frankly, I wish I had had as good
when I was 16 in picking a used vehicle. It's very unlikely your in the
crowd where your going to be driving 50-70 miles a day, so I think the mpg
is probably not going to be an issue. Trucks have a lot of versatility and
fact that this one was owned by a landscaping company means that it likely
regular oil changes and maintainence, unlike some POS rice-burner Corolla
that some ditzy blond owned who drove around with the emergency brake
on all day long is selling. Trucks are also larger so you have more safety
an accident, and because they are larger the engine bay is usually easier to
get around in so you can do your own work on them a bit easier.
There's just a few things that I'd strongly advise that you DON'T do:
1) Jack the thing up into God's ass. Every jacked-up pickem up truck on
the road just screams "wannabe". Not to mention the steering and ride goes
to shit, and all your maintainence costs go through the roof.
2) Drive fast. Remember that your truck isn't a sports car and it will not
take kindly to going around corners fast. You will be in the ditch in an
instant. It's hard to remember that at 16, I know from experience.
3) Drive without a seat belt. Trucks roll a lot easier than a lower-slung
car and if yours ever does and your not belted in you will be dead. A
roll bar that bolts into the bed of the truck looks pretty cool I think, and
adds some needed safety.
4) Put a camper on the thing. A truck with a camper is nothing more
than a wanna-be station wagon.
Not necessarily true. Trucks are built to lesser safety standards, so
you may not fair as well in an accident.
Not to mention they tip over more easily.
Always wear your seat belts. I know of one guy who was waiting for
traffic to clear so he could make a left-hand turn on the road to his
house. The guy behind him didn't wait. The guy in the truck was
rear-ended. He wasn't wearing his seat belt. He probably could have
walked to his house if he was to call for police. Instead, he went to
his final home in a hearse.
Always wear your seat belts, even when you are not going far.
If you want to put a camper or a cover over the back, go ahead. It's
your truck. And I see nothing wrong with a station wagon.
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