Buy a new car or restore my truck. I love my truck


Asked by Apr 05, 2013 at 11:23 AM about the 1990 Ford F-150 XL 4WD Extended Cab LB

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

I have a 1990 Ford F150 that is still running okay but will soon start to go out on me. How much do you think it would cost to restore the truck like maybe restore the engine and transmission and stuff. I don't know a lot about cars at all. I want a reliable car that wont break down but I would also love to keep my truck as my full time car. What would be cheaper to buy a new car with a good warranty or restore my truck? Can you do something like that. Could I restore the truck to make it like new again? What would the cost be for something like that be? I know it can't be an exact cost but just rough idea

7 Answers


"I want a reliable car that wont break down but I would also love to keep my truck as my full time car." You can't have both if your 23 year old truck is one of the vehicles. You can have two older cars so you have something to drive if one breaks. -- You can't (or shouldn't) put enough money in your truck to make it reliable. There are too many parts to cover it all.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

tenspeed said it, to restore your truck to new again, you will easily put more money into it than it is worth. Your truck is worth maybe $3K. My guess is you will spend 10-20K bringing it back up to new. If your doing the work yourself, maybe I would say do it, but labor costs will eat you up. Any rust on the truck? Forgetaboutit. Find a newer F-150 for $12k and take advantage of the low int. rates.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

you would have to put in about $8000 into your truck. One really reliable truck is the whole c/k 1500 or 2500 truck.I have one and it has 345000 miles on it and its still running like new. Amazing isnt it.

1 out of 1 people think this is helpful.

Danny. The body condition of the truck is important. No rust bucket stuff. The time you believe you will keep the truck will be key. And do not thing you will get your money back if you sell the truck, unless it looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor. Engine and tranny replacement should be left up to professionals. A remanufactured engine (NOT REBUILT) will probably set you back about 3500. Start from there. Unfortunately you are not capable of doing the minor stuff. All new brake parts all around would set you back about 400 if you could do it yourself, but you cannot. Replacing the entire steering and suspension would probably cost another 1000 for a DIY. If it were my truck I would do it because I can do everything (including air) myself if the body were good.

2 out of 2 people think this is helpful.

First off. If the truck's engine runs well, leave it alone until it doesn't. If the tranny is ok, leave it alone until it isn't. Your suspension is probably shot. Start out with an estimate on rebuilding the front end completely. That estimate should convince you one way or another which way you want to go.


Why not keep your truck as your "toy"? You can buy something new(er) so if your truck breaks down and you need to wait a few days for a part you won't be stranded without transportation. Also, you can restore, or at least fix up, your truck over time and still drive and enjoy it too. I've always had two cars. A late model and an older one. Right now I have an '08 Mercury and a '94 Cadillac. The Cadillac is my "toy". I love both cars and get enjoyment from driving both too. The Cadillac, being 19 years old, has some minor issues. I enjoy hunting down parts for it & working on it in my spare time. That might work for you too. Good luck! HTH. -Jim

I have a 1990 F150 5.0L with not one ounce of Rust. I am having the cracked manifolds replaced and valve covers and freeze plugs and it is costing me about 1100 to do that work at a shop. I agree you won't get your money out of it but I have another vehicle and use,this as my cool vehicle! I plan on wrapping it versus painting and updating wheels and lift kit.

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