Rusty diesel pickup. Fix rust before selling or not????

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by boardrider247, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. boardrider247

    boardrider247 Weekend Anarchist

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    I'm planning on putting my pickup truck up for sale soon.
    It is a 97 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins 5spd 4x4 ext cab long box. It's fairly desirable to many people. I have kept it up very well mechanically but it does have 200k miles on it. The body and interior both show their age.

    Because it is a second gen Dodge and I live in the rust belt it has it's share of rust. Less then most though. Basically it needs to have the rocker panels replaced and the bed arches done. Fenders and doors are still in pretty good shape.

    I am able to weld the new panels in myself, but I am no body guy. So I would most likely need to give it the lower body bed liner treatment to get it looking OK after the patch work is done.

    My question is this: Is it worth the effort of patching up the rust on a truck that has 200k if I'm only going to sell it off?
    #1
  2. Jnich77

    Jnich77 Been here awhile

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    I would sell it as is, I know I am very skeptical of people who claim to have repaid a rusted out area.
    #2
  3. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    Yep. I'd rather know what I'm getting than discover 47 pounds of body filler later on when it falls out. Unless you're a really good and fastidious bodyman who's going to do full metal prep to neutralize the rust, make sure there are no open seams inside or out after welding, regalvanize everything, use epoxy primer, and bake the finish, that is. IOW, spend more money on fixing it than it's worth. Don't bother. Let the next guy worry about it. He may drop a load of logs in it from a loader the afternoon he gets it and wreck whatever work you do to it. Someone isn't buying a diesel with 200k on it because it's pretty.
    #3
  4. H96669

    H96669 A proud pragmatist.

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    I have picked at enough rust to know that what you may see is only the proverbial tip of the iceberg. You get started on fixing, you'll find more and may be unhappy enough about that to slather on the Bondo just to call it quits.:wink:

    My sister had the same question,I told her where to start picking and where to look. That was enough for her to go get it oiled and live with it.:rofl
    #4
  5. xrcris

    xrcris Been here awhile

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    What's that they say the only bad thing about a Cummins is the Dodge that's wrapped around it? I think it's to be expected.:D

    FWIW, beds are pretty cheap, If you want to get it fixed I'd probably go that route rather than trying to weld in patch panels. But since you're in the rustbelt, I'd just sell it as is.
    #5
  6. jules083

    jules083 Long timer

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    Sell it.

    Here, in the rust belt also, it's easy to sell a truck with rust that is priced right. Currently most people are looking for deals, not perfection. It's easier to sell a truck that needs body work for 8 grand than a perfect one for 12, even though you'll have put 4 grand into it.
    #6
  7. boardrider247

    boardrider247 Weekend Anarchist

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    Thanks everyone. Looks like I'll just clean her up good and put it on the market.
    #7
  8. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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    97 Dodge Ram 2500 Cummins 5spd 4x4 ext cab long box is a very desirable combo... especially if you've got a 5sp.

    sell it as is...
    #8
  9. Purcell69

    Purcell69 Mors ex Tenebris

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    Moving forward...at the speed of rust in mid-OK
    I had a 1995 in that configuration. ^^^^

    One of the best trucks I have owned. It is amazing to get an honest 24 MPG on the highway from something that big/heavy. We could put the wife's horse trailer on the back, loaded for a show, and never see worse than 16 MPG and never lost speed in the mountains.

    Given the OP's rust issues, the fuel economy may go up just a bit, due to lighter weight. I think that would be a selling point. :lol3 Don't sweat the rust, the 12 valve Cummins motor is what they will be after.

    -Joe
    #9
  10. concours

    concours WFO for 41 years

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    +1 The $$$ you'd spend, you wouldn't get above it's current value. AS IS.
    #10
  11. GearHd6

    GearHd6 Been here awhile

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    Just for reference. I sold my 96 2500 Ram regular cab 4x4 with the Cummins last year for $8500. It had some rust but not rotted out. It was kept in pretty nice shape and the interior was super clean for the age. Young kids love those trucks and are willing to pay decent money for them.
    #11
  12. Canuman

    Canuman Crusty & Unobliging

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    That's truth!

    I ended up selling my rust-belt 95 Dodge 2500 Cummins to a friend for $2500 with not a brake line working and some serious soft places. The rig was "tender" as we say here. My friend bought the engine (one of the best ever made) with a crappy truck wrapped around it.

    My friend lives off-grid 17 miles up a mountain road. He spent an honest $20 grand completely rebuilding the suspension Baja-style and addressing other issues. "If I could find a part with a grease fitting, I bought it." He didn't do much to the body. He bought a Ram 2500 gas at auction with a blown motor for short money. When he has the time, he's going to swap the sound body over.

    The engine's the value in that rig.
    #12
  13. Bearcat263

    Bearcat263 Been here awhile

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    why sell it? put some money in it and fix it up like you want it and keep it cheaper than a new one. :clap
    #13
  14. boardrider247

    boardrider247 Weekend Anarchist

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    The truth of the matter is I just don't need a 3/4 ton pickup. As much as I like it I almost never drive the thing.
    But fear not, I'm planning to build a grand Wagoner with a 4bt stuffed in it when the truck sells
    #14
  15. Tmaximusv

    Tmaximusv Been here awhile

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    Put it out on CL in a cattle state like Nebraska. Gobs of pickups here with no box that they put a haybale rack on or use for gooseneck trailers.

    They loves them some old Cummins PUs here.
    #15
  16. 30Bones

    30Bones Long timer

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    Leave it alone, people don't expect Dodges not to be rusty, they are buying it for the motor :deal
    #16
  17. boardrider247

    boardrider247 Weekend Anarchist

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    Thanks for the opinions everyone, I truly appreciate it.

    For sale in the FM now
    #17