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If someone were to make a movie about me, the F150 in my signature would be my plucky little sidekick. I have had that truck for the last half of it's life (mine too for that matter) and we have had a lot of adventures... but a half a million miles have worn the poor thing out. I have to admit, I'm a little apprehensive about replacing it. This must be what a child feels like when they get too old to sleep with their teddy bear.

I know more or less what I want. The nice thing is that just about anything will be an upgrade from what I have now. However, I still have a few questions that I'm trying to sort out so I can really narrow down my search. I have looked on truck specific forums where people have asked these same questions and those threads rapidly descend into stupidity and pointless brand-bashing. That being said, I am looking at low mileage mid '90's to early '00's Ford diesels.

1) Crew cab (fullsized 4-door cab) or super crew (cab and a half)? My wife tells me that soon we will need to produce our very own human larvae, so I guess this is more a question for those dads out there; which one will work better with a kid? Also, what is easier to clean, cloth or leather seats? I am of the understanding that these miniature humans are capable of making very large messes.

2) Dually vs single rear wheel? I am planning on getting an 8' box anyway and driving a plus sized truck isn't a problem. I know duallies suck in the snow which is why I didn't have one when I lived up north, but down in sub-tropical lower Michigan I'm not concerned about that. I plan on using this as a work truck (construction and remodeling) where I will be hauling the usual assortment of building materials and eventually have a dump trailer and a tool crib trailer. What are some of the pros/cons of dual rear wheels? Is the only difference a set of huge flares and a different wheel hub? Do I get beefier axles and brakes? Heavier transfer case? Bigger U-joints? The extra up keep of two more tires is negligible to me.

Thanks in advance for the advice! :hi:
 

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Extra cab is great for the dogs, clothes, tack, etc. It's usually too small to be comfortable for adults to sit back there for extended periods, especially the 94-97 Fords. The front seats have to slide forward to get in and out. In '99 they changed it a little, and the rear seat has doors that can be opened once the front doors are opened. I know the 94-97 trucks won't fit a car seat in the back, not sure about the newer ones. I would go full crew cab if you intend to have this truck for a while.

Dual is far more stable when towing, the four extra sidewalls resist flexing a lot better than just two tires. It's two more tires you have to buy though, and if the truck has aluminum wheels they're a pain to rotate. Ford only polished one side of the wheels, so if you put the rears on the front it'll look goofy. Might not be a big deal for you. I haven't noticed any difference in turning, parking, etc between the two. My dually does pretty well in the snow, though single wheel trucks are a lot more popular out here.

The dually will have a bigger rear axle, and usually a higher GVWR. When I lived in TN the emissions testing stopped at 12,001 lbs GVWR. My truck was 12,500- if it had been single wheel the rating would've been low enough I would've been subject to the emission requirements. May be worth checking on in your area. The rest of the power train will be the same. The rear axle is also a different width vs a single wheel truck and the front axle will have adapters to fit the dually rims.
 

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The road I live on (about 20 miles of farms,,,) is populated by 30% dualies,,,

MAYBE 3 times a year,,
one of those dualies will roll by with a load of round bales I could not haul.



The rest of the year, those dualie owners spend riding the ditch because the truck is too wide.

You are selecting a precarious year period,,,
the early 2000's was when they produced a lot of 3 door trucks.

Consider holding out for a 4 door,,, cleaning is a LOT easier,,,,

My wife always called this (and the 1989 K-5 Blazer) a ONE-DOOR Truck,,,

There was only one door the kids could get in or out,,,, hers!! :dunno:
:nunu: Heed the warning,, get 4 doors,, it makes the family MUCH happier,,,,



I NEVER (almost) haul in the bed of the truck,,,
when I bought this truck, I purchased a dump trailer,,,
the dump trailer will haul >3X what any pickup will haul,,
and ,,, I do not have to worry about dents,,,,:thumbup1gif:

 

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old guy checking in. Get a crewcab four door, sounds like you keep a truck a LOOOOOONG time. Those cute little tikes will grow like weeds.
Skip the dually, wife will thank you when she has to park it. Leather seats seems to mean front leather, rear vinyl = easier cleaning:pickup:
 

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A clarification- the 94-97 (Old Body Style) extended cab Fords won't fit car seats. The crew cabs will. CAD makes a good pint as well about the three doors. I know the '03+ trucks have two doors for the extended cab, 99-02 may only have one on the driver side. I can't recall exactly but now that he mentions it, that seems right.

If I were you I'd look at 99+ trucks. The OBS have developed a following and prices are stupid in parts of the country. A clean 97 will bring as much as an 01 and sell faster. The 99+ trucks get you a factory intercooler, better air and exhaust system, four wheel disk brakes, better headlights, transmissions, and clutch design if you're considering a manual. The OBS trucks didn't have an option for leather interiors, SD (99+) do in the Lariat package with the auto trans and all the power options.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1449155438.397988.jpg

We haul similar loads, my truck is a flatbed DRW and my buddy has a SRW. I can get 220-230 bales per load and he can get 180-190. My trailer is just a little longer, but they're essentially the same load. My truck feels much, much more stable going down the road especially in the wind. It's not that he can't haul it, but the DRW does it better and with a 15,000 lb load you can tell. Both trucks are narrower than their mirrors, which are the same width. The extra width of a dually is a perception problem more than a practical one.

Oh, and with a flatbed I don't worry about bed dents much either. :laugh:
 

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1) Crew cab (fullsized 4-door cab) or super crew (cab and a half)? My wife tells me that soon we will need to produce our very own human larvae, so I guess this is more a question for those dads out there; which one will work better with a kid? Also, what is easier to clean, cloth or leather seats? I am of the understanding that these miniature humans are capable of making very large messes.
I can't help with much out of your list of questions, except the cab size. I've had them all, and with kids there is nothing easier than the full-sized 4 door cab. It starts early when the crumb crunchers are in the1st nymph stage, and by law bound to the rear facing car seat. I would highly suggest you get one with a stationary base as it's way easier to navigate and latch. If the kid is cranky and Mom (or Dad) moves to the back seat, you need space for your body AND the accompanying tools/hardware.

In the 2nd nymph stage, the extra space will be valued as the tool set expands. Their limbs are flailing and the need space increases. Now rather than having the nymph bound up in a detachable RFCS, they are in a front facing seat, and of course all kids love to climb, including into the seat. Summer is not bad, but winter and spring can be the worst.

By the time the 3rd nymph stage is reach, the nymph will not be more independent and will "want to do it by their-self" and the extra space will be valued as the nymph will need to navigate between the truck seat and carseat/booster. Especially when the nymph approaches molting and moves from season to season. If you are road-tripping family, keep in mind the expanding accompanying tools/hardware AND educational nuggets to help occupy the time of said nymph.

The 4th nymph stage is great and the extra door will be valued as you can herd them into the back, close the door and they can get situated and ready for takeoff in about the same time you can.

Messes? Oh lord, you've not seen anything yet. I'm pretty picky about my truck, including the rear seat, but when the booster seat is removed, I swear to god it looks like a smorgasbord, it's AMAZING how much stuff finds it's way out of their hands. Of course my wife supports full on grazing while driving and I attribute most of this to her. I've only had cloth seats, but a good shop vac and cleaner goes along way to keeping it relatively healthy. I'd spring for the stain guard treatment.

All the best.
 

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That being said, I am looking at low mileage mid '90's to early '00's Ford diesels.
Go look at the trucks available in that year range and I think it'll be pretty clear to you as far as the crew cab vs. extended cab question.

I had a 2002 F250 extended cab and while I probably could have squeezed a child seat back there, it wouldn't have been fun. The rear doors were small and it didn't have a full-sized rear seat.

On the new trucks the choice between crew cab and extended cab is pretty much a toss up. They've made the rear doors and seats on the extended cabs larger and there is very little difference left between them. But in the year ranges you've listed, the difference is huge.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
I tend to drive trucks until they are effective dead, then nurse them along for another couple of years. The more responses I read, the more I realized how much a big four door cab makes sense. It looks like I'm on the hunt for a crew cab then since in all likelihood I will be both a dad and the truck's final owner.

The added size of a dually isn't an issue. I spent several years hauling oversized earthmoving equipment and driving dump trucks. After driving a Mack for a while, pickups feel like toys. :mocking: A dually isn't going to frighten off my wife either. Actually, she isn't intimidated by any vehicle so long as she can follow her three favorite rules of the road; "What's behind you doesn't matter" (aka, 'the first rule of Italian driving'), "tires are evil and they must be punished", and "if the bumper will fit, the fenders will flex". She would make one heck of a rally driver. Fortunately she likes her little car more than any truck so she would only end up driving it in rare instances.

I have noticed that dualies don't seem to carry any kind of premium over their SRW counterparts. I also like the idea of heavy duty parts. I suspect that this truck will be hauling or towing at least 50% of the time.
 

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Several of the neighbors have owned supercabs,,,small entry to the rear seats, opening front doors to put anything in the rear area.. PIA.

Neighbor just got his new truck about 2 weeks ago , new F150 Lariat 4door. Just asked him yesterday how he liked the 4 door instead of the supercab.. his reply "Don't know why I didn't do this 10 yrs ago.

Neighbor across the way owned a dually truck , has a portable sawmill so always hauling in logs with his 5th wheel trailer. Noticed this spring why he traded and went from 1ton dually to 3/4 ton single axle. Had the dually about 18 months had gone thru factory tires and ready for another set on the rear. The truck before the dually no problems of tires wearing out that quick. So far he hasn't changed tires and he's not planning on new tires for the winter. He also said the ride on the 3/4 ton was a lot nicer ride than the 1 ton.
My brother owned a King Rancher. he said never again using it as a work truck. When he traded last year , went with plane jane truck. NO Carpet , No Leather seats. Has vinyl or rubber floor instead of carpet . He can take a garden hose to clean the floor of truck. He has grandkids and yes like any kids they make a mess I know our has.
Go to a dealer and check them out , don't rush into something you'll regret later on down the road.
 

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If someone were to make a movie about me, the F150 in my signature would be my plucky little sidekick. I have had that truck for the last half of it's life (mine too for that matter) and we have had a lot of adventures... but a half a million miles have worn the poor thing out. I have to admit, I'm a little apprehensive about replacing it. This must be what a child feels like when they get too old to sleep with their teddy bear.

I know more or less what I want. The nice thing is that just about anything will be an upgrade from what I have now. However, I still have a few questions that I'm trying to sort out so I can really narrow down my search. I have looked on truck specific forums where people have asked these same questions and those threads rapidly descend into stupidity and pointless brand-bashing. That being said, I am looking at low mileage mid '90's to early '00's Ford diesels.

1) Crew cab (fullsized 4-door cab) or super crew (cab and a half)? My wife tells me that soon we will need to produce our very own human larvae, so I guess this is more a question for those dads out there; which one will work better with a kid? Also, what is easier to clean, cloth or leather seats? I am of the understanding that these miniature humans are capable of making very large messes.




Thanks in advance for the advice! :hi:
If you can go leather, go leather.
That's the only regret I have about my XLT F 150, always have to be conscious if I have some grease or other
crud on me before I jump in, I carry a thick beach towel behind the seat on the floorboard just in case, PIA.
Think seriously about a 4X4 also since you live in the "northern lands", I like it because I live in the "mud lands".:lol:
I have a super crew because of no kids and just me and my wife, otherwise I would have a fullsized 4-door.
 

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Currently driving our second suburban but with wife, three kids and two dogs room is important. Worse during hockey season when I trade the dogs for their hockey gear, uses more room and smells worse. Leather has held up well for us, cleans easily. Use floor mats but the craps still gets in along the edges. Wish I could get vinyl floors in back so I could hose out.

Good luck
 

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As a mechanic I'm more partial to the Cummins than the Powerstroke as I find the inline 6 way easier to work on so my experiences are based on the Dodge chassis but I went thru the same evolution of family as you.

We started out with an extended cab truck(2001 Dodge Diesel 4X4 DRW) which was fine for the dog but once the babies started coming there just wasn't enough room to comfortably get a car seat in. For the first baby we put the seat in the middle of the rear back seat and that worked fine with the console flipped down. I could just swing the basket between the two front seats and drop it in the base. Once she outgrew that seat she went to a forward facing and had to be moved to the outside seat. The size of the forward facing seat caused the passenger front seat to be moved up almost all the way. It wasn't long before we moved up to a full 4 door crew cab(2003 Dodge Diesel 4X4 DRW). Make sure you get some side kind of side steps so you can stand on them when buckling them in. Leather all the way with kids. We have one that gets car sick and everytime she pukes and we are pulled off on the side I'm thankful that it can just be easily wiped up.

As for dually vs srw in the snow I only buy 4wd and I don't go off pavement other than the odd field so I find for regular use they are about the same. The DRW will start to fishtail a bit sooner than the SRW but that just meant I engaged 4wd sooner. I also run very good quality snow rated tires on all my vehicles. SRW is also easier to get things out of the box from the sides like grabbing a shovel of tool kit. Also if you have a DRW for any length of time you can expect to wack one of the fenders at some point or another, its a given.

For towing heavy(12K and up) you definitely notice that the dually is more stable, less than 12K and you aren't really going to notice much of a difference. Unless you have a truck camper, then just get a dually.

Now the question is what percentage of the time will the truck be towing heavy vs doing family chores(groceries, shuttling kids around). Trying to park a dually at the grocery store gets annoying on a daily bassis. We sold our 18K toy hauler a few years ago and bought a smaller 7000# travel trailer. About the same time I started using the truck more as a daily driver. My truck still has a trailer behind it atleast 50% of the time so I stayed with a diesel but went with a 2006 Dodge diesel 4x4 SRW, crew cab, but a short box this time. Its got air bags on the back and I regularly haul a 14K dump trailer and aa 14K equipment trailer, rarely are they over 10K but the few times I did it handled it fine but not as nice as my old dually did. The only reason I went with a SWB is the truck has a flat deck on it with fold down sides and rear gate. With everything up I have a 6x7 deck, everything folded flat its 8x9.5. I don't think I could ever go back to a regular box again.

From what it sounds like a SRW would do you just fine and be easier for everyday driving. It will handle the heavy loads fine but it doesn't sound like you haul heavy often enough to justify a dually. Also I can't comment for sure on the Fords but Dodge used the same axle and brakes on a SRW as they did on a DRW so there wasn't any advantage there. I will say though that gearing is your friend when towing, my 2001 had 3.55s, the 2003 had 4.10s and my 2006 has 3.73s. I miss the 4.10s.
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
I probably should have mentioned that 4wd is a must have. I'm not going to plow with it, but I need something that will not get stuck in the driveway. 2wd is for people who spend the winter in Florida. :laugh: My wife is only a pinch over 5' tall so step bars on any 4x4 (especially 1-tons) are a must have accessory.

I have no experience with the Duramax, but I have some friends who love them. I've never been a fan of the GM interiors... they just feel cheap to me. I have had a Cummins powered Dodge and it was disappointing. By disappointing, I mean it was a phenomenal engine coupled to a pos transmission and stuffed into an even worse body. I finally sold it when I hit a deer and the whole cab came off the frame due to severe rust with only 185k miles on it. Never again... which is a shame because the engine was an absolute beast.

I have vinyl floors in my F150 and have had it in other trucks as well. I really like it because it also helps deaden road noise. If I wind up with carpet then I'll just get a set of husky liners for the floor.

I have always had good luck with Fords. My F150 isn't dead yet and I had a 96 powerstroke for a while that was rebuilt, but still going strong at 600k miles. Working on a 7.3 isn't as easy as working on a Cummins, but it also isn't as bad as working on a 6.0 or 6.4 powerstroke. My MIL used to be a VP at Ford so there is a bit of family pressure too.

I think I'm leaning towards a SRW but I think either one would work just fine.
 
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Not sure how the older Ford trucks are but something to look out for...
One of the issues I had with the 2015 Super Cab (half door) Fords is the front seat belts are mounted to the rear passenger doors. People in the front have to remove their seat belts before the rear passengers can get out. Bad news if you're in an accident.
 

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Not sure how the older Ford trucks are but something to look out for...
One of the issues I had with the 2015 Super Cab (half door) Fords is the front seat belts are mounted to the rear passenger doors. People in the front have to remove their seat belts before the rear passengers can get out. Bad news if you're in an accident.
On at least the 99-05 extended cab trucks the shoulder belts are attached to the front seats, not the doors.
 

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Just my opinions on the super cab vs crew cab - by all means get the crew cab (4 full doors).

In one area in particular with the super cab (half rear door) is them opening in reverse. If you are parked in a parking lot it is a royal pain to get anything from your shopping cart into the truck. First you have to open the front door - then open the rear half door. Now there you are between the doors without room for your shopping cart.

Also since having a crew cab I find I haul more stuff in the back seat area (with the seats folded up) than I ever do in the bed. It's dry, concealed, and lockable.

I am a big fan of leather as long as the seats are heated. Cold leather seats in the winter are horrible. But the leather makes it so easy (at least for me being somewhat crippled up) to slide my but around and out. My truck ('09 F-150) has what is called "sport Leather" and seems to have a very good protection on it but still gives you the leather feel. Having it 6.5 years now I have only wiped crumbs and stuff off the seat with a rag and that's it. Every truck I ever had with cloth seats always would get a coffee stain on it somehow or another - not a problem with the leather.

And I know what you are talking about with the truck specific forums - seems to be a bunch of 20 some year olds who still live at home with $50k trucks who are only worried about doing burn outs.
 

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Just my opinions on the super cab vs crew cab - by all means get the crew cab (4 full doors).

In one area in particular with the super cab (half rear door) is them opening in reverse. If you are parked in a parking lot it is a royal pain to get anything from your shopping cart into the truck. First you have to open the front door - then open the rear half door. Now there you are between the doors without room for your shopping cart.
The 2015 half doors on the Super Cab now open all the way back to the box of the truck.
 

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The 2015 half doors on the Super Cab now open all the way back to the box of the truck.
Good to know! Sounds like Ford listenes to their customers. I also see they put the driver side grab handle back - something I sorely miss everytime I get in and out of my truck.
 

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one thing to note on the older fords with the diesels in them. The new low sulfer diesel and the metal fuel tanks seem to have problems. More than one person I know have had the tanks delaminate causing metal to plug the fuel filter, when the injectors aren't getting fuel they are also not getting lubrication. I forgot about this until yesterday when one of the people who didn't replace the tank with a plastic one just had the problem for the second time. last time he had to replace all the injectors, fuel filter, and fuel pump. There is a company that makes replacement plastic tanks but I don't have a link to them, they were back ordered a few years ago, so the problem must be wide spread but maybe somebody that has a ford can comment more than I.
 

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I just traded my '97 Dakota for a '10 F-150. One of the things that was a must was to have a 8' bed. With what you want you will be looking a long time finding all you want. So I'd start looking now and if you find what you want, pull the trigger. I found one that had everything I wanted. I seen one the 3rd day of the ad, made the call. To late, sold on the 1st day. I ended up settling for a 6½' bed. If it is a Ford you want/end up with make sure it's at least an F-250 or bigger. Don't know what kind of loads, size trailer or weight you want to haul but size does make a difference. As for make/model, that's a personal thing.
 
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