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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone :). I decided to purchase an older pickup truck today. I drive a nice 2015 economical car but have always loved small pickup trucks. Call it nostalgia but my Dad always had an older truck in his driveway for as long as I can remember. I spent this past summer in Homer, Alaska and bought a truck while there. I ended up giving it to a friend of mine and have wanted another one ever since. This is where I need your help. I bought a 1999 Frontier XE today (4 cylinder) extended cab and feel I paid too much for it especially with the mileage which is 220,000. To top it off it is only in fair condition which doesn't really bother me aesthetically. Just feel I might have overpaid. It's so difficult here in Northern California to even find an older pickup truck! I paid $3,500 for it. It passed smog so I know it's at least in decent shape. Maybe I could spruce it up a bit and trade it in for slightly newer one with much less miles. I still want an "older truck". Any encouragement or helpful advice is so appreciated. I am disaster response trained and had to turn down a Commander in Chief opportunity during one of the fires this summer because I COULD NOT get access to any truck. Also I feel I can help lots of friends with just moving small furniture items etc. So in a way maybe even overpaying might "pay off"???
 

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Pickup trucks sort of have a floor price - meaning if its fully functional it will never go below X dollars because it continues to serve a purpose no matter how old it is. I think $3500 sounds pretty reasonable if everything works, especially in 2022. I hope it works out for you. Learn to fix the little things yourself and it will last many year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks for that! It might be fun to learn to fix things especially on an older truck. It doesn't seem as intimidating as the newer vehicles with all the computer stuff! I heard Queen Elizabeth was an mechanic when she served in the military. Of course she got free training. I guess I could start by ordering the truck manual :)
 

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2012 Crew Cab S 4x4,
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I'm in NorCal too, to find any vehicle here that passes smog, runs decent, isn't hella old and cost under $5000 is almost impossible, I think you done alright. my son just sold a 2007 chevy king cab 4x4 with a blown engine for $2500
 

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2008 Frontier SE CC manual trans 144k miles
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My 08 Fronty had 144k miles when I bought it 1.5 years ago. Pretty rusty undercarriage [NE salt} and needing some TLC.
I paid $6300 for it and probably have a total of $8k in it after fixing the issues. I think I did ok.
Still a great running, solid truck.
 

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Like some others I think you did okay. You didn't steal it from him, but neither did he put a shellacking on you at the purchase.

Where I live the guys in older trucks are something of a cult of their own. Congrats on the find.
 
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2007 LE 4x4 Crew Cab Long Box
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It's a cool little old truck. For emergency response, I would probably consider a larger and older Chev with a basic 350 in it and minimal electronics. They are easy to work on, lots of parts, easy to tuck large tires and can carry heavy materials in a larger box.
 

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I'd like to see some pics before I was sure of it...but given all the evidence at hand it does sound like you overpaid...by at least $1k. But in looking at the bright side I don't see you losing much on depreciation in the future...(y)
 

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When my 97 Hardbody, 4 cylinder 5 speed manual (250k miles) was totaled in 2017, the insurance company gave me $2900. I think you did OK. If it was taken care of maintenance wise, oil, coolant filters etc, it will still have a lot of service life.
 

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I can do that.

A friend of mine once told me that a truck is a wiser purchase over a car for one simple reason. Trucks are meant to be a work tool and as such they are built with stronger materials all around. Engines, suspension, wheels, tires, brakes, all a little more "heavy duty" and thus more long lasting even the interior switchgear is made this way. As such, a better value for our money. Sure you may feel that you overpaid, but look at it this way, you have 220K miles on it can you think of many cars that would go as far. Also, a while back a guy in Chicago put a million miles on his and was rewarded with a brand new truck from Nissan

million mile truck

So if anything would make me feel bad about your purchase, it would be that I have 880,000 miles yet to go until my new one would be awarded. A truck is a tool, and as such is always worthy of repair. Take a look around and see how many older trucks you see on the road compared to cars. The other day I was driving into work, when I was passed by a Nissan Hardbody approximately the same age as the one I used to own. It was all beat up but still running down the road. I could only imagine the mileage but aside from how small it looked it made me realize how long I could have kept my old one, and how long I could keep the one I have now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for giving me more confidence! And didn't mean to give the impression the truck would be used IN the disaster. I just need one to drive to and from base one time with supplies and camping gear in the back. Often times base is off road just a bit so not good to take cars with no clearance. Also fire debris can be in the air etc so you wouldn't want to take a nicer vehicle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I really DO feel so much better about the purchase. Thanks everyone for taking the time to respond. Belvedere I see your point. The truck is technically not an old truck at all is it? I think it is going to be fun to own this truck. I heard the 4 cylinders made in this year are SUPER RELIABLE!
 

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Thanks for that! It might be fun to learn to fix things especially on an older truck. It doesn't seem as intimidating as the newer vehicles with all the computer stuff! I heard Queen Elizabeth was an mechanic when she served in the military. Of course she got free training. I guess I could start by ordering the truck manual :)
You DON"T need to order a truck manual. You can download a Nissan Factory Service Manual from either one of these two websites:




Things that might be an issue on your 2.4 liter KA24DE motor would probably be timing chain guides, (they're plastic, get brittle with age & break), and maybe the distributor. Everything else is just wear and tear items....replacing leaky fuel injectors, (might as well replace the fuel pressure regulator & fuel pump while you are at it). Definitely keep an eye on your wiring harness & ground points. Wires tend to get brittle and break. There's a list of things I can think of on your truck, but that's just due to it's age. Ask the rest of us & we can tell you.

And as for Queen Elizabeth, formerly known as the "Princess Auto Mechanic", she learned how to deconstruct, repair & rebuilt engines and change tires in a six week auto mechanic training course.
I'm sure a majority of us can tear a motor down, but as for putting it back together WITHOUT having any spare parts left over....that's ANOTHER story!!


PS:
I don't think you overpaid....Covid's made prices on everything go thru the roof...including older cars....
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Idalfie THANK YOU! Especially for the links. I am taking notes. It's so helpful to have a community of frontier owners that I can pull from!
 
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