Budget Beat-out rides
All of you that sent us your cheap trucks have done a great job at getting the most fun you can for the least amount of payout. Nice! We wish we could claim the same, but it seems like our cheap trucks all of a sudden become expensive trucks, even though they're still worth nothing. Oh well, so goes life. Check out some guys who succeeded where we sometimes cannot, and some who maybe got lashed with a money-pit. All it takes is some scroungin', searchin', ingenuity, patience, and maybe a combination of the four multiplied by two. And even then it'll still be hard to call your truck "cheap" in the end! Your time is worth something isn't it?
Vehicle: '81 Jeep Cherokee Chief Sport Owner: Ryan Eberle, via e-mail Suspension: Spring-over done at home, built a custom antisway bar, also have 5,000-pound overloads on springs Drivetrain: AMC 360 engine Other Doodads: 3-inch body lift, boxed the frame, moved the radiator to the rear using electric fans, gusseted axles, built a rollcage too Does everything work the way you want?: Works great, even in the hills How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: I did all the work myself, and spent under $1,000. I've even placed in the top three about five times at Tuff Truck competitions.
Vehicle: '80 Chevy Luv Owner: David VonRuden, Bremerton, WA Tires & Wheels: 30x9.50-15 Wildcat EXTs with $50 Toyota wheels Suspension: 2-inch torsion-bar crank and rear shackle Drivetrain: Stock Performance Mods: You kidding? Other Doodads: $60 CD player Funniest Wheeling Incident: Had mud almost a quarter of the way up to my doors, and still didn't get stuck. Can you believe it? How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: The truck cost $250. That, along with the CD player and wheels, was a total of $360
Vehicle: '88 Jeep Cherokee XJ Owner: Josh Klugh, Chanute, KS Tires & Wheels: 32-inch Canyon Climbers on wagon wheels ($225) Suspension: 3-inch Rough Country suspension lift ($250) Drivetrain: Stock, welded diffs in axles Does everything work the way you want?: For a total of $850 so far? Yeah, you bet. How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: I'm at $850 right now, and trying to keep under $1,500 (as per Cheap Truck Challenge guidelines), but I have no rollcage which will cost some money
Vehicle: First generation Ford Bronco Owner: Ron Crumpler, Panama Beach, FL How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: Cheap truck worthy?! Hardly! Man, Jones and Pw are right! Just because it's free doesn't necessarily mean it's a good deal. A friend called and said to get this out of his yard or it was going to the scrapyard. It ran, but I had no idea that rust would hold an entire vehicle together. Thanks, and keep up the good work for the average guy.
Vehicle: Chevy 1/2-ton Owner: Mike St. Clair, Massillon, OH Tires & Wheels: 33-inch A/Ts with 16.5 wheels (had to put bead locks on to keep the tires on) Suspension: ORD shackle flip ($185) plus $80 for 2-inch blocks and new U-bolts Drivetrain: 454ci engine replaced the 350, axle replaced with 14-bolt and eight-lug Dana 44 (all free in my yard), mini spool in front cost $80, welded the rear Performance Mods: Holley Truck Avenger carb (worth the money at $460!) Other Doodads: Destroyed the fuel tank, so $25 for a new homemade fuel cell How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: OK, here's where it gets fuzzy: The truck was free, but I had to buy a tandem axle trailer to get the truck from Nevada back to Ohio, but I use the trailer a ton nowadays, so does that really count? Total cost otherwise: $830 (not including the trailer)
Vehicle: '86 Jeep CJ-7 Owner: Michael Morris, Loxahatchee, FL Tires & Wheels: 38x16x15 RVTs on 15x12 wheels Suspension: 4-inch Rough Country Drivetrain: Stock Funniest Wheeling Incident: Letting my brother get it stuck in the grass. Does everything work the way you want?: Needs a wiper switch How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: Bought the Jeep for $750, tires and wheels used for $150, $45 worth of paint, and $400 for the Rough Country lift.
Vehicle: Toyota truck chassis Owner: Caique Macedo, Brazil Suspension: Independent front suspension Drivetrain: 3RZ Other Doodads: Custom body Anything you would change: How much it cost me in the end How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: Caique let us in on his secret that this turned out not to be cheap at all by the time he was done, but we gotta hand it to him: He did it all himself, and it turned out really cool.
Vehicle: '88 Ford Ranger Owner: Andy Gray, East Longmeadow, MA Tires & Wheels: 31x10.50-15 Delta Mud Tracs on 15-inch alloy wheels Suspension: Homemade 1 1/2-inch lift, stock shocks Drivetrain: 2.9L V-6, Mitsubishi five-speed tranny, Dana 28 front diff, Ford 8.8 rear Performance Mods: Stainless flex fan, Other Doodads: 10,000-pound Superwinch Anything you would change: better seats How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: Bought it with a ton of rust for $100, drove it home, used your mag as a guide, and after four months of work and $1,000, it now looks like this.
Vehicle: Spawned from an '81 Toyota parts truck Owner: Jim Brown, via e-mail Tires & Wheels: 33-inch mismatched random tires Drivetrain: 22R engine, five-speed manual tranny Other Doodads: Plywood roof (hinges attached), steel and other materials from my farmer's scrap pile. How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: Well, I bought it as a parts vehicle for $150 Canadian, then sold part off of it for $250, then spent some more on other stuff, until I had this and a $20 profit. Profit was spent on celebration of cheapness.
Vehicle: '84 Ford F-250 ($300, not running) Owner: Tyler Creviere, Appleton, WA Tires & Wheels: 38-inch Ground Hawgs on 16.5 wheels ($250) Suspension: 3/4-ton suspension stock Drivetrain: Stock Performance Mods: Not Other Doodads: Homemade flatbed, two packs of Sawzall blades Does everything work the way you want?: It's incredible what the truck will do How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: Bought it for $300, not running, fixed it, bought some Sawzall blades, and spent another $250 on tires and wheels. Good deal.
Vehicle: (The blue one) '79 Chevy 3/4-ton 4x4 Owner: Jason Wells, via e-mail Tires: 33x12.50-16.5 Suspension: 4-inch lift Drivetrain: 350ci with Carter AFB carb Performance Mods: 3-inch-diameter headers How much did it cost you?/How'd you do it?: Yeah, that's my one cheap truck that's pulling another cheap truck I got.