Join us as a Lifetime Platinum Member today!

  • How to buy a used 2nd Gen Dodge Pick Up. WHAT TO LOOK FOR

    What to look for when buying 2nd gen Dodge trucks


    What to look for
    Start the truck and let it idle.
    -Look at the backing plates on all the wheels for oil. Could be a bad seal, bearing or both in the axle.
    -If you can, jack up the front and shake the wheels briskly. Feel for looseness. 9 and 3 o'clock would be loose steering or wheel bearing. 6 and 12 o'clock shake would be wheel bearings or ball joints.
    -Look at the U Joints behind the front wheels. Look for rust on the inside of the joint.
    -Look at the rubber bushings in the trailing arms. These are the big arms that go from the axle to the frame.
    -Look at the brake lines. Observe all around the the brake booster under the hood and crawl under the truck and look along the frame rails on the fuel tank side. Also examine the lines on the rear axle. If the lines are heavy caked with rust, they will need to be replaced. Barganing chip to get a better price.
    -Look at the front tires. See if they are wearing out on one edge or the other. Run your palm ACROSS the tread on both sides. If you feel shARP edges on one side of the tread, there may be a toe issue or worn tie rods.
    -Grab the Idler arm and shARPly shake it up and down. You're checking for bushingd and ball ends
    -While your doing that, have the engine idling. Listen under neith the engine for unusual knocking sounds.
    -Look for oil leaks on the engine and trans. Also look at the tail shaft on the transmission.
    -Look at the exhaust for white smoke. White smoke is bad. As bad as excessive black smoke when idling. The exhaust should be almost clear at idle.

    -Pull the dip stick on the trans and see if the fluid is pink and smell it. If it has a weird oder to it, it's either over due for a service (Band adjustments) or has a problem.

    Drive test
    -On a straight road, let go of the wheel and see if the truck pulls one way or another.
    -feel the steering for lags in the turning. Go slow for these tests.
    -On manual transmissions, feel where the clutch is grabbing. It should be starting to catch no more than a 1/3 of the way up. Feel for a chatter when engaging. Chattering could mean a worn or hard worked clutch.
    -On Manual transmissions, take the truck to minimal high gear speed. Floor it and see if the engine revs up and the truck doesn't move faster. This is best done on a hill.
    -Gradually accelerate from a stop and feel the transmission shifting. If it sloshes into through the gears, there may be a problem.
    -Sit still and shift from neutral to drive and then to reverse. Listen for clanging or loud clunking. It's either a U Joint of rear problem. U Joints are easy to spot. Look for rust on the inside. You can tell if they have been replace because they'll probably have a grease fitting in them. The factory originals don't.
    -Take the truck up to 50 MPH, if you can, and feel for vibrations. A drive train vibration could be a dozen things. Most likely a Universal Joint.
    -In a parking lot or somewhere safe, put the truck in 4WD (If equipped) and drive the truck a short distance. shARPly accelerate slightly and release the pedal. Listen for clunking and whirring. There could be trouble in the transfer case.


    -Walk around the truck and look especially around the wheels on the fenders. Look for signs of body work, blistering, rough paint.
    -Look behind the front wheels and feel all the way under the fender or use a mirror for rust or repairs. Throwing Bondo over rust is not the way to fix it.
    -Run your hand along the bottom of the front doors. Feel for roughness or body work. Look under them if needed.

    Don't get fooled by glitter. The drive train is the most expensive repairs. Engine and trans are the biggest, but there's plenty of used stuff out there. Sellers can be pretty smart by throwing a fast coat of Bondo on rust and a quick Mayco paint job.

    Try to avoid trucks modified by young people. Many times they make modifications, screw up the truck and try to dump it. If you know anything about mechanics, you'll know if the job was done right. SOME don't have the tools, ability, or budget to do the job right. There are exceptions! I don't mean to offend anyone, but it is a fact. There are mechanics and then there are MECHANICS!

    Don't be fooled by cosmetics unless you are willing to make the repairs. There is no such thing as a lemon law in used cars. Buyer Beware!

    Good luck

    This applies to both Diesel and Gas trucks
    This article was originally published in forum thread: How to buy a used 2nd Gen Dodge Pick Up. WHAT TO LOOK FOR started by Polaraco View original post