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Looking for a tow rig

Discussion in 'Tow & Trailer' started by Citizen Rider, Apr 5, 2007.

  1. Citizen Rider

    Citizen Rider 1/2 ton status

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    Well my DD was totaled this past weekend so i am now lookin for a tow rig. I wont get more than 3500 from insurance, and im in the process of trying to sue the guy that hit me.

    Im looking for a big block or diesel. What would be a good truck to look for as a great DD/tow rig? Would have to be early to mid 90's. Basicly looking at my options and what trucks are what im lookin for.
     
  2. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    The best bang for the buck is the 12V Cummins Dodge, hands down. The first generation Power Strokes are also a good deal. You can find both for as cheap as $5K with high miles, and a really clean low mile unit for three times that.

    The second gen 24V Cummins trucks and 7.3 Super Duties can be found for reasonable prices if you're lucky.

    The 1st gen Dodges with the early 12V are great trucks too, and can be found for as low as $2500.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2007
  3. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I'll have to second the venerable 12v Cummins in the 94-98 range. I'll also second the early model PSD, they don't have a lot of power and are a lot louder than the later version in the Super Duties, but they do last well.

    I'd highly reccommend getting a diesel, I have VERY good experience with big blocks vs. diesels.... as I'm a farmer and have 5 different 3/4-1ton pickups that we use.

    3 have 454's, and the other two are 24v Cummins Dodges.

    My '81 K30 crew service truck costs roughly TWICE as much money to drive down the road than my Dodge Cummins, just in fuel alone.

    In this day and age with today's fuel prices, it costs a LOT to drive a big block and actually put miles on the truck to boot.
     
  4. Citizen Rider

    Citizen Rider 1/2 ton status

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    Ive never been a fan of the Power stroke, yea they might last, but the ones some of my family has just never made me want one.

    So 94-98 dodge is a good deal to find? What are some things i need to look for in one of these so that i dont get a POS?
     
  5. mxfireman

    mxfireman 1/2 ton status

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    X's 3 on the Dodge. Our department uses the superduty's and we have had nothing but problems with the older and newer models.
     
  6. twoslo4five0

    twoslo4five0 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    x4 on the dodges..but im pulling with a 82 f350 w/a 460 4sp and 456s...i wanted a dodge but i picked the f350 in good running shape for 400 bucks...that made my decisison...
     
  7. mxfireman

    mxfireman 1/2 ton status

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    Also I am running a 2003 3/4 ton dodge with the Hemi and towed my K5 from AZ to Cali two weeks ago and I didn't get the best fuel mileage, but I knew that when I bought it.
     
  8. Jishory

    Jishory 1/2 ton status

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  9. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    i saw 94 6.5 and was gonna say pass, but thats a nice looking truck. If they really rebuilt the front end, it shoudl drive pretty good too. Good find. Not gonna win any drag races though....

    Now just get some 2000+ factory alcoa wheels, throw some 265's on there, and you'll have a sweet tow rig/camping rig/family hauler!
     
  10. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Just the usuall, make sure it's in good shape. The reason why those trucks are always such a good choice, is because there really isn't much work weak links on them. Just check for a good running engine, feel the shifts and holding power of the auto or shift plenty and feel the clutch. Check the color of the oils for age or wear particles. Just do the norm, make sure things are in fairly good shape and look for evidence of decent maintenance.

    The only real problems I can think of with those trucks are three things.

    1. 5th gear nut falling off on the NV4500 manual. Thats obvious though, if the truck has 5th than it's still on.

    2. Killer Dowel Pin, this would be something to address later on and doesn't really have much of an effect on checking out a truck for potential purchase.

    3. Weak automatics. Thats fairly strait forward though, if it shifts good, holds good, and the fluid looks good than chances are it's still got some decent life left in it. A518's and 47RH's don't just blow apart like some people try to make it sound. As long as the motor stays stock, the auto should go for a good 150K with proper maintenance. Now, take that Cummins and cheaply and easily make 800ft lbs of torque with it, shred the stock auto made for 420ft lbs, and born is a bad rep. now.
     
  11. SmokinLB7

    SmokinLB7 1/2 ton status

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    As much as it breaks my heart to say it...if you cant find a duramax i would stay away from chevy. They just couldnt get their diesel right untill 01. People run some of those 12V cummins far into 1000Ft/lbs. It wouldnt take much to make that a bad ass to rig. And dont get a Powerjoke. They dont have any power, they never have had any power, and they never will. Even their new 07 line has already had problems the same month they were released. The cummins has definatly proven itself over the years.

    If worse comes to worse, you could always pick up a 454 and have a great tow rig as well...but make sure you make friends with the gas station attendants, you will be seeing a lot of each other.:rolleyes:

    Good luck
    Zach
     
  12. Citizen Rider

    Citizen Rider 1/2 ton status

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    Im on the look out for a 94-98 Cummins with a manual. Im nervous about goin manual, as i dont have alot of experience, but i know i wont leave the motor alone.

    I hope i find something soon, we are really crunched on vehicles being down one.
     
  13. bowtiepower00

    bowtiepower00 1/2 ton status

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    I wouldn't let an auto scare you, they are much easier to find, and many are rebuilt. A well-built auto will take just as much power as a NV4500. Once you enter the 750 ft-lb range you're going to have to change your clutch anyway, and the 5th gear nut can be an issue as well. There are lots of clean trucks on TDR, many of which have had all of the trouble areas covered. Not long ago, I found a super clean 98 QC SB 12V with a 5-speed and 4.10's on there with about 150K on it for 12 grand. I still kick myself for not picking it up, but money doesn't grow on trees.

    Those trucks are everywhere in Texas, you shouldn't have any problem finding one.

    A 2wd truck with 3.55's will knock down some killer mileage.

    2WD/ Auto trucks are probably the easiest to find, and the 4x4 5-speeds are probably the toughest.
     
  14. cjjones

    cjjones 1/2 ton status

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    I just picked this up as my tow Rig, not a daily driver by any means but has a 7.3 non turbo and auto trans, plus lots of room for tools and extras:grin:
    [​IMG]
     
  15. Citizen Rider

    Citizen Rider 1/2 ton status

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    I got 6200 from insurance to work with, and money saved that was going for an engine swap for the blazer to get close to 7500.

    An auto will blow over time, meaning 3 grand to rebuild. A clutch pack is much cheaper to replace. And i know i wont leave the engine alone, so a stock build tranny wont wanna last, meaning 3+ grand to build it up. Its just more logical to go manual, even tho im not very experienced at the time.

    I got a family friend that gets vehicles from auctions, and has got 4 vehicles for my family, one being an 03 dodge CTD. So i should have good luck there.
     

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