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[–] Mathurin1911 0 points 3 points (+3|-0) ago 

Go buy a used Chevy truck (or full size SUV, like a Tahoe or suburban), 2001 or later. Read a bit on the web for things to check on before buying. It won't be perfect, but the drivetrain should be sound, that's hard to replace.

Should be available for under $5k on Craigslist. Then buy/assemble a middle price tool kit, will need a minimum of a 3/8 ratchet with standard and metric sockets, a screwdriver set (driver and bits will work) a pair of channel lock pliers (or a set) and don't forget a medium hammer. Some of these can be purchased at flea markets for very little. Get a breaker bar as well. definitely buy a set of brand name vise grips, cheap ones suck. You will need more tools over time, but this can get you started.

Then, find the broken things on your new project, search forums for repair tutorials, join forums, buy parts and learn as you go.

Most of the safety bells can be deactivated on trucks like this, they are pretty simple under all the new stuff.