Looking for Advice on Small Diesel Box Trucks (1 Viewer)

PaganUnicorn

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Looking at beginning to think about planning for when I might consider wondering if I ought to buy another van. Currently I have a rusted ass janky 90s Gas Econoline that I bought off Craigslist for 300 bucks from a retired handyman/scrapper. I don't recall the year but it's the newer model from the 90s, but still like 25 years old, and I think it's been in a wreck or two. Probably deer; Those fuckers are everywhere here.

While I intend to drive that thing into the ground eventually it's going to shit the bed and when it does I think I wanna get something a bit bigga, and diesel if possible. I never have much money so I'd be looking for as close to 0 in price as possible with an upper limit of like 1500 to 2k if I get desperate. Something that isn't massive. I'd like for it to fit in 2 parking spaces so that I can park it in the back at Wal-mart without looking like an ass.

Is this reasonable? I know fuck all about diesel trucks. I'm figuring there must be some retired old fleet vehicles out there if I know where to look, right? Anybody know where to look so they can point me in the right direction? Craigslist is my usual go to. I hail from Eastern Washington if that is relevant, but I'll happily drive a few hundred miles (or more) for a good enough deal.

Anyways thanks in advance for any advice you give.
 
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Matt Derrick

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i'm no expert, but diesel vans are pretty rare, much less a decent one that's diesel for under 2k. you could probably find another diesel truck for that much if it's old enough, but you'll probably have to give up on the diesel requirement for a van.

you could go with a school bus, but for under 2k you'd have to get lucky finding one at a local school auction. good news is that you're in a decent area for finding cheaper vehicles (east washington/north idaho) so you're probably going to have more options.

are you planning on living in this vehicle? you might consider a truck with a camper shell. people are doing some nice builds with those things nowadays.

edit: i now see that your thread title mentions 'box truck'; you might be able to find something older for 2k (probably a uhaul truck) but you're really going to have to be aware of how to fix it because at that age/price/mileage you're going to have problems that need to be attended to.
 

PaganUnicorn

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Yeah to live in.

I'm cool with anything in that realm, box truck, short bus, step van. Was just hoping I could upgrade to something with a bit more room in than my shitty cargo van.

Sounds like I may be stuck with old ass cargo vans tho.
 
D

Deleted member 24782

I deleted myself
Looking at beginning to think about planning for when I might consider wondering if I ought to buy another van. Currently I have a rusted ass janky 90s Gas Econoline that I bought off Craigslist for 300 bucks from a retired handyman/scrapper. I don't recall the year but it's the newer model from the 90s, but still like 25 years old, and I think it's been in a wreck or two. Probably deer; Those fuckers are everywhere here.

While I intend to drive that thing into the ground eventually it's going to shit the bed and when it does I think I wanna get something a bit bigga, and diesel if possible. I never have much money so I'd be looking for as close to 0 in price as possible with an upper limit of like 1500 to 2k if I get desperate. Something that isn't massive. I'd like for it to fit in 2 parking spaces so that I can park it in the back at Wal-mart without looking like an ass.

Is this reasonable? I know fuck all about diesel trucks. I'm figuring there must be some retired old fleet vehicles out there if I know where to look, right? Anybody know where to look so they can point me in the right direction? Craigslist is my usual go to. I hail from Eastern Washington if that is relevant, but I'll happily drive a few hundred miles (or more) for a good enough deal.

Anyways thanks in advance for any advice you give.

Look into 90's Isuzu NPR box trucks. They are ILLEGAL to own for business purposes in California now so people are getting rid of em, you can pick em up for $3000 no joke. They don't have TONS of power (4 cylinder 3.9L engine) so they can't really tow or haul REALLY heavy stuff, but great for living in or doing light work. I know all this because I'm working on one now in my shop, rebuilding the 4BDT motor.

If you want more power look into Chevy P30/Grumman Olson/Freightliner MT45 Step Vans, all aluminum body with either 3.9 or 5.9L Cummins engines, more pricey though because theres a big market for those engines. Think USPS, FedEX, Bread delivery trucks.
 
D

Deleted member 24782

I deleted myself
Yeah to live in.

I'm cool with anything in that realm, box truck, short bus, step van. Was just hoping I could upgrade to something with a bit more room in than my shitty cargo van.

Sounds like I may be stuck with old ass cargo vans tho.

Theres also the military surplus Chevy G30 "High Cube" with the Chevy 6.2 diesel, I'm not a fan of these engines so I wouldn't want to own one, but the vehicles are pretty stout, my friend is living in one now, which I'm also currently repairing. They all came in BLUE, used in the air force.
 

PaganUnicorn

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Jun 21, 2020
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Age
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Washington State, Spokane County
Look into 90's Isuzu NPR box trucks. They are ILLEGAL to own for business purposes in California now so people are getting rid of em, you can pick em up for $3000 no joke. They don't have TONS of power (4 cylinder 3.9L engine) so they can't really tow or haul REALLY heavy stuff, but great for living in or doing light work. I know all this because I'm working on one now in my shop, rebuilding the 4BDT motor.

Oooh I'll look into those. I'm not particularly concerned about the power, more price and how hard they are for a novice to repair. Basically as long as it can take me and the stuff I have in the back up a decent hill without dieing I'm happy. I can repair most things that I can find a youtube video about. It's diagnosing the issue in the first place that's the hard bit.

Dunno much about diesel trucks, do they have those thinga-majigs that you can plug in and the computer gives you some advice as to what is wrong? Whenever my truck has issues I borrow my uncle's diagnostic tool and it helps a ton. Usually gives me enough of a clue to find what is fucked with a google search.
 
D

Deleted member 24782

I deleted myself
Oooh I'll look into those. I'm not particularly concerned about the power, more price and how hard they are for a novice to repair. Basically as long as it can take me and the stuff I have in the back up a decent hill without dieing I'm happy. I can repair most things that I can find a youtube video about. It's diagnosing the issue in the first place that's the hard bit.

Dunno much about diesel trucks, do they have those thinga-majigs that you can plug in and the computer gives you some advice as to what is wrong? Whenever my truck has issues I borrow my uncle's diagnostic tool and it helps a ton. Usually gives me enough of a clue to find what is fucked with a google search.

No that vintage is still basic, the NPR, no on-board diag, straight mechanical. A great era of the diesel engine...and the whole cab flips up giving you full engine access.
 

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