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what to build as a tow vehicle

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by four_by_ken, Jun 20, 2003.

  1. four_by_ken

    four_by_ken 1/2 ton status

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    Just some thinking. When I get the time, the next project I will be taking on is a 'new' tow vehicle. I plan on a using a fuel injected 454 from a 'newer' truck. Depends on what kind of deal I run into.

    But my question is... what year to build?
    I dont really care about the stock drivetrain, because I will be putting '90+ drivetrain into it. I am thinking an early 70's era dually(looking like a 70-71). If I cant find a dually, I will make a single wheel into one. I just like this body style. I am not sure of frame stength though. Oh, and it MUST be 4 wheel drive to start with. (I hope)

    I cant see myself spending $30k+ for a true new truck. Might even spend the cash and get a crate complete 454 straight from GM.

    Anyone have any thoughts about all this?

    Thanks
    Ken H.
     
  2. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    When I smoke the 454 in my 88 Burb I'll be looking for a Duramax.

    454 is a good engine with 10mpg empty bites.

    As for what to put it in. These are rare but they are out there and pop up from time to time. There was a couple companies making crew cabs out of 70-72 GM trucks. They basicly combined two cabs. rear doors still had the raked window frames. That would be a cool tow rig with a Duramax and Allison tranny.
     
  3. four_by_ken

    four_by_ken 1/2 ton status

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    I get 7.5 to 8.5mpg in my Suburban empty. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
    Duramax would be to spendy for me for a tow rig. I can spend a lot less on a big block and get descent power out of it. Mileage would suck, but oh well. I only drive the tow vehicle a couple times a month. For the use of the bed, or to tow with. So, for now, I will go for a 454. But, if I ever go new... no doubt a diesel.

    Ken H.
     
  4. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    How about a few year old Dodge w/Cummins? My Uncle bought a 98 for $11,500.........by the time you 'build' your tow rig, you will have at least $10K into whatever you do. As much as I like GM's and 454's, NOTHING competes with those dang diesels! /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
     
  5. yunit

    yunit 1/2 ton status

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    I was looking for a Duramax and everyone quoted me a little over $6k for a complete used setup.
     
  6. four_by_ken

    four_by_ken 1/2 ton status

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    Thats very true. I may consider a Cummins in a Chevy. Just have to work out which trans and axle ratios so that it isnt screaming at highway speeds.

    But, more than halk of it all is the building process. That way I will know the truck in and out. And have realtively new parts everywhere. Plus, I just lie to get greasy.
    I dont do body work though... that I will have done after my part is overwith.

    Ken H.
     
  7. four_by_ken

    four_by_ken 1/2 ton status

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    Thats not too bad. About on par with a Cummins price.

    I will go with the Cummins if the price is comparable though.

    Ken H.
     
  8. Stephen

    Stephen 1/2 ton status Moderator Vendor

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    Early GM crewcab is cool, I think an early (pre 73) burb would be nice except for the lack of a bed, and I've seen some OLD dodge crewcabs that were really cool looking. I think if you go older than the '73 GM you get major cool points for a crewcab but chances are you're going to have to do some body work.
     
  9. Diesel Dan

    Diesel Dan 1/2 ton status

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    Ken,
    You should be able to pick up a used cummins for $2500 or less if you check around. I think the allision 545 is a 4sp auto, kinda like a very HD Th700r4. Has a low first gear and 1:1 4th. Use a 3.42 in the 14BFF. Only downside with the pre-1000 series allisions is no park position in the trans /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif.
     
  10. four_by_ken

    four_by_ken 1/2 ton status

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    I really like the pre '73 Chevy body style. Definately have to go south to get one... then to find a crew cab would be a beeeotch. I wouldnt mind an old dodge drew cab either. Saw a few of those that are really nice looking too. Either way I would really consider a Cummins if I could get it all set up without too much of a hassle. Otherwise I will stick to the 454.

    And since this will be the tow vehcile and not a daily driver, MI roads wont destroy it. Just use it for towing, camping and hauling schtit.

    Hmmm... I have a buddy that moved to Georgia. I should have him keep an eye out for me.

    Thanks for the suggestions everyone.
    Any more ideas/thoughts?
    Ken H.

    /forums/images/graemlins/crewcab.gif
     
  11. cpwreaper

    cpwreaper Registered Member

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    I would stick to the 454 and do the basic mods to it to gain some power(air cleaners ...etc.).As for the truck a pre 73 would be awsome. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I used to have a 78 C30 crew cab duelly. Wasn't 4X4, but was still a nice truck. After I roasted the stock 454, we ended putting in a 501 crate motor. I really liked that 501, lots of grunt. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  13. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I get 7.5 to 8.5mpg in my Suburban empty. /forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif
    Duramax would be to spendy for me for a tow rig. I can spend a lot less on a big block and get descent power out of it. Mileage would suck, but oh well. I only drive the tow vehicle a couple times a month. For the use of the bed, or to tow with. So, for now, I will go for a 454. But, if I ever go new... no doubt a diesel.

    Ken H.


    [/ QUOTE ]

    You want to be really pissed off?



























    I know that MANY folks with 14,000lb 31ft+ Airstream motor homes with CARBS on 454's getting 11-12 in flat lands. /forums/images/graemlins/angryfire.gif
    What's different?....NO Emmisions crud what so ever.
    Mine is a 88 with FI. I want 14 empty because it's my DD.
    Yanking the bead converter soon and plan to do a MPG performace write up. Also looking to get a OD for the TH400.
     
  14. four_by_ken

    four_by_ken 1/2 ton status

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    Doesnt piss me off, at all. My 454 (actually 468) is built real nice. Can pull nech and neck with any of the diesels out there... just I have to stop much more frequent.

    I have no emissions... cam, header, dauls, intake, etc.
    Plus 4 inches of lift and 33s. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    Ken H.
     

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