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What year model trucks were Full convertable and could tow a boat?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Red5, May 23, 2005.

  1. Red5

    Red5 Newbie

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    Hi,

    My name is Matt. As you can see this is my first post. I've owned many jeeps in the past and love having a convertable truck. I do SAR stuff with the coast guard and need a truck that has 4wd. And can tow a 20' patrol boat.

    During flood season I will need a truck that is capable of towing a boat through mud and dropping it in a less than convenient location.

    This will be my personal vehicle. The one I use to go to and from my own boat.

    So with that said:
    1. What trucks are full convertables?
    2. Do they make soft tops for them?
    3. What can I expect for MPG? (I know this won't be good)
    4. Can they handle towing a boat for an hour on the expressway?


    If you guys can steer me in the right direction I would appreciate it. I'd buy another jeep, but they can't tow the boat. And I currently have a 93 Grand Cherokkee but I like convertables more. :grin:
     
  2. superman6801

    superman6801 Registered Member

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    up to 75 maybe 76 and you can get tops for them. i get about 8 mpg with my 73. and no idea on the boat
     
  3. SkulzNBonz

    SkulzNBonz 1/2 ton status

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    69-75. Don't know about towing with them, but with the right engine, tranny, gear combo, you should be able to.

    John
     
  4. garlicbreath

    garlicbreath 1/2 ton status

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    What does the boat weigh?
     
  5. BranndonC

    BranndonC 3/4 ton status

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    i second the 69-75, the 69-72 are the first gen which have a different body style and are a little more expensive i think, the 73-75 is also full vert but you can find them for a good price. I know they make soft tops for 73-75, dont know about the 69-72's. Gas milage depends on the engine, tranny, tires, gears.... a lot, but if you can do any mechanical work, we can help get you set up with a good combo for what you need
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    You could go all the way up to '91 if your satisfied with a 'half' convertable. If fully topless is what you're after then in factory trim you're looking at what everyone else already mentioned. However, many of us have converted our newer K5's to full convertable.

    This write up explains it all:

    http://coloradok5.com/full-convertible-conversion.shtml

    As for towing, I have done a fair amount of towing with my Jimmy before it got too big to do so. I used to tow a 21 foot camper trailer that tipped the scales at 5500 lbs fully loaded. I used a weight distributing hitch and had electric brakes on both axles and a Teshonka controller. The farthest i towed that combo was from Vancouver BC to Huntington beach CA and back. I never had a problem towing that at 65-70 mph. My Jimmy was lifted 4" and had 35's at the time.

    With a bit of prep I doubt you'd have any trouble towing a boat wherever you wanted to. A large stacked plate tranny cooler would be a must, as well as good gearing.

    Rene
     
  7. Red5

    Red5 Newbie

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    Wow, I had no idea you could convert a new truck as such.

    The patrol boat weighs about 2240 when loaded with gear.


    What other trucks had a full convertable? IE: Whatyear bronco and or Dodge?

    Thanks
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    77 was the last year for the Bronco

    I'm thinking 79 or 80 for the Ramcharger. The full convertable Bronco's were the small ones that wouldn't really be suited to towing though (IMO)

    The Ramchargers went from full convertable to a full steel top so the newer ones would require major surgery to get what you want...

    I'd look for a 87-91 K5 and convert it. You get fuel injection as well as the better version of the 700R-4. You also get better corrosion resistance in the later years, although rust was always an issue with these trucks (as well as the RC's and EB's.

    All bias aside I think the K5 is the best fit for your needs/wants...lord knows they're dirt simple to work on and modify.

    Rene
     
  9. Red5

    Red5 Newbie

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    Rene,

    What years were the small Broncos (converts) put out?

    Also, is there a specific model of the Dodge that denotes a convert? IE: Powerwagon etc? It's sad but I actually owned one years ago and forgot the model of it.

    The conversion does seem like a good option. But I would then need to buy a roll cage and such and I am concerned about the loss of structual integrety when removing the top from a vehicle that was not designed with that in mind. But I'm also not killing the idea yet.
     
  10. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    EB's were '66-'77. About the size of a CJ-7 for reference. Many had standard brakes and steering as well.

    The Dodges were Ramchargers.

    You'd need a cage for any of the three IMO. From the factory they pretty much got a simple hoop and a couple of braces (Bronco and maybe Ramcharger) both could be added on to. The factory full convertable K5's also got a simple hoop behind the seats. The half top K5's could get an optional rear hoop, and the steel half cab was considered an integral roll bar.

    Gaining the rigidity back on a converted K5 isn't terribly hard. It is a body on frame construction so the body can't really go too far anyways. I converted mine and added a full family cage. My truck is missing all the sheet metal bracing from underneath though (long story). I had to tie things in in multiple places to the cage to get the desired rigidity. This wouldn't be near as much an issue with a previously unmolested K5.

    Finding a full fibreglass top and early windsheild frame wasn't hard or expensive. The cage was a good sized job though.

    I suspect that the only way to meet all your wants is going to take some work and some money on your part. Aside from 30-35 year old trucks there just isn't much that falls into your parameters.

    Rene
     
  11. 74757685k5

    74757685k5 1/2 ton status

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    International made scout IIs 72-80 . 77 and up are better.they had V8s,full convertable,power steering-brakes,Dana 44s,soft tops avalible.100''wheel base.
     
  12. Red5

    Red5 Newbie

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    Hmmmm,

    An international scout. Now I have not seen one of those around for years. They were pretty cool little trucks.

    They are also so rare that www.traderonline.com doesn't even have a catagory for them. Didn't they have the AMC 304?


    Thanks for the help guys.
     
  13. Boondocks

    Boondocks 1/2 ton status

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    I think they had a 345 available before production ceased.

    Full boxed frame. I saw a picture of one many years ago, that had slid sideways into a tree. The body folded around the tree, but stopped at the frame.

    They are prone to electrical problems though.
     
  14. ratzila

    ratzila 1/2 ton status

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  15. justwhatido

    justwhatido 1/2 ton status

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    Matt full convertibles up to 75.

    After 75 they have the camper shell back.

    Yes, they will pull a boat just as well as a newer Yukon. Make allowances for brakes as the rear drums (the whole brake system will be 30 years old) will heat up. Stainless Steel Brakes makes a bolt on kit for converting rear drum to disc. They also have a kit to convert to larger diameter discs and beefier callipers IF you will do a lot of long distance towing.

    I have a 73 that was great before I tore it down to rework. It was OK in the towing department (350 cu in).
     

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