Reliable used pick-up trucks

This isn't quite a lawn question, but it is related. Plus, I knew I could count on the collective wisdom of this group.
I am looking to buy a small to medium used pick-up truck between now and next May. I've only got about $3,000 to $4,000 to spend, but I'm hoping to squeeze about five good years out of this truck until I can get a good full-time job.
I've heard Toyota Tacomas are good trucks, but those seem kind of expensive, even in the 1996-1997 model years. Ford Rangers look pretty good, but I don't know how reliable they are.
Any advice would be much appreciated.
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Mazda a little cheaper than the ranger.
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wrote:

There's a website, something like www.therangerstation.com for people who are in to Rangers (and Mazdas) of all years, classic, beater- truck, brand new, you name it. Big for sale section where you might find something in your area.
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Toyota truck since around 1980. The things never die. Change the tires, the oil and gas'em up is about all you have to do.
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