UNDER $5,000: We Bought 3 Cheap Trucks & Immediately Thrashed Them To Prove Which One Is Best!

chevy ford dodge ram no payment needed to hell and back

TFLtruck team is proud to present Episode 1 of the ‘No Payment Needed – To Hell and Back’ series! The goal of this cheap truck challenge is to buy three used 4×4 trucks for under $5,000 and then upgrade them with a budget of around $1,500 with parts from RealTruck.com. The mission is to see who has the best truck by driving these trucks around 350 miles to Moab, Utah, and take the trucks up and down Hell’s Revenge trail. The final step is to see which truck will make it home to Colorado.

Here are the trucks we purchased.

2004 Ford F-150 – the Regular Guy

Roman purchased this 2004 F-150 XL 4×4 regular cab with a long 8-foot bed. This truck is powered by a 4.6-liter V8 that is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission. Roman paid $3,700 for this truck.

4.6-liter V8

  • 231 hp @ 4,750 rpm
  • 293 lb-ft @ 3,500 rpm
  • EPA estimated: 13/17 MPG

2001 Dodge Ram 1500 – the Pirate

Nathan paid $5,000 for this 2001 Dodge Ram 1500 quad cab Sport Off-Road 4×4 truck. This mean truck is powered by a big 5.9-liter Magnum V8 engine that is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission.

5.9-liter V8

  • 245 hp @ 4,000 rpm
  • 334 lb-ft @ 3,250 rpm
  • EPA estimated: 11/16 MPG

1998 Chevy K1500 – the Cowboy

Andre found a 1998 Chevy K1500 extended cab 4×4 Cheyenne truck. This Chevrolet is packing a 5.0-liter V8 and a 4-speed automatic transmission.

5.0-liter V8

  • 230 hp @ 4,600 rpm
  • 285 lb-ft @ 2,800 rpm
  • EPA estimated: 12/17 MPG

We meet up and decide to see exactly what we have by drag racing the three trucks against each other. Next up is a snowy Colorado mountain trail. We thrash the trucks to see what they are made of. Join the fun in the video below.

Next time on ‘No Payment Needed’, we take all three trucks to a professional mechanic – our friend Toby at German Auto in Boulder, CO. Toby gives us the truth about what we bought. Next up, we go to RealTruck.com to upgrade our trucks for the main journey and challenge.