Originally Posted by ronb
so far i think everyone has made very good points! I `am a chevy guy myself and really like my 93 suburban, it is a 350 4x4 automatic with almost 199000 and does not use any oil. one thing i do NOT like about ford is it seams like they are constantly trying to re invent the wheel? also if you buy a 2005 ford? don`t you think you should get a 2005 ford?? sounds like a crazy question i know? but a friend of mine bought a 2000 ford van, he wanted to change the fluid and filter in the transmission as it was time and was making some noise" not to hard right?? so we go to the parts store and get the filter/gasket and fluid, when we get under the van we discover that the pan shape does not look like the gasket we have! we go back to the parts store to find we do have the right kit for that year! no other is listed for that vehicle! we resorted to looking at a haynes manual on the shelf to find out what actually was in the van was a tranny for a 1999!
The KEY to getting yhe model year right is no longer the build date. It used to be that if a vehicle was built on or after Sept. 1, it became the next model year.
i.e 09/01/70 made it a 1971. On some trucks, it was simply determined by a break in the sequential number of assembly. (i.e. to Y76999 was 1974, from Y77000 was 1975.)
Ever since 1981, with the implementation of a standardized 17 digit VIN number... the year of the vehicle is represented by the 10th digit. B=81, C=82, D=83 ... 1=2001,2=2002, etc)
There are still occasional "carry-overs" of parts (i.e. The catalogs say that a 2000 should use part# DEF2468, but it has the part# ABC1357 which was supposed to fit the 1999 model. It really doesn't seem to happen near as much any more though.
As far as the Ford / Chevy choice goes ... I'd ask the guys in the independent repair shops.
I worked for Ford in the early 90's, and I can tell you that opening a hood on a Ford truck looked like a plumber's worst nightmare. Some of the newer models with that "cab-forward" design make tune-ups pretty interesting, too, I bet!
I guess what I'm saying is that you need to consider what effect the ease-of-repair factor is going to be after the warranty runs out. If changing plugs is an 8-hour ordeal, it's going to cost you more in labor to maintain it.