I agree 100% with you guys on gas prices and fuel economy. But the thing is, this truck was bought brand new by my mom back in 1997. She put all 200k miles on it. And she puts upmost care in it.
But the winters over here in Michigan can get pretty hairy, and 4x4 is an absolute must where I live (I dont live on a crusty backwoods road or anything) but my driveway is pretty steep.
The motor im looking to put into it (5.7L 350 V8 Vortec) is exactly what it has in it now. And by the way.. The Tranny is new from last year when It did go out. and the truck has Straight pipes from 2 catalytic converters. So I will save a bundle on new pipes (because they dont have mufflers). We are also buying brand new BF Goodrich All terrain tires for it after the old ones have 80k miles on them (wow!).
So the only thing I can think that will go wrong with it (After a new engine installation is done) would have to be small body work and maybe rear end differentials.
That being said, buying a cheap car around 2500-4000 would be a blind bet (unless you read a carfax history report) which arent always Up-to-date. I would have to 100% buy a front wheel drive or an all wheel drive (like the Chevy Astro Vans) <-- which run up pretty high because they stopped making them in 2005. and anything under a 2000 will have hundreds of thousands of miles on it.
It still runs like the day it was bought even with 200,061 miles on it. The thing about 1000 dollars was just what I have in the bank now, I will most likely get this truck in 1-1.5 years (which means after next work season) I will probably have about 2.5k dollars in my bank along with whatever my parents would chip in to help buy a new engine. Oh and I probably wouldnt put a new engine in until the old one takes a big **** and I had no choice
Ooop 1 more thing, I forgot to mention that the truck doesn't have a lift kit, but it does have an aftermarket air bag suspension in the back (not for slamming it to the ground) but for towing. What it does is level the trucks rear end out, so when towing the trailer doesnt put to much stress on the rear.