thinking newer truck

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Stan Disbrow
350 crawler
350 crawler
Posts: 2159
Joined: Fri Jul 15, 2005 3:13 pm
Location: Raleigh, NC

Re: thinking newer truck

Post by Stan Disbrow » Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:21 am


Well, in the FWIW (For What It's Worth) department, I will list the towing trucks I have had over the years.

First off, I had a 79 Ford F150 super cab with a 350 gas and an automatic. This, my first truck to haul a light open race trailer. When my Dad got a 10k gross flatbed to haul the 420c on, I knew I would only get into trouble with the rear axle hauling it the 150 miles between our place and their new retirement place.

So, I got an 80 Ford F250 with a 350 and a manual trans. My thinking that it would do wound up changed on the first trip. That 350 was not nearly enough engine.

So, I went to a NY State Thruway auction and picked up a 83 GMC 2500 crew cab with a 350 and an auto trans. Yup, another 350 but it was soon to be a 454. See, I got it cheap with a dropped valve. I ordered a crate 454 from one racing buddy and hauled it and the truck to another racing buddy. Told him he could have that 4-bolt 350. See, he raced late model stock and I road raced all things Lotus. I had no use for a 350 but he was drooling over an unopened 350 4-bolt.

Well, he did it. Dual four barrel carbs, headers, dual exhaust, variable cam. The works. The carbs were progressive, opening two barrels, then four, then six, then all eight....depending on my right foot position. He said now I could choose my fuel flow rate.

Well, it pulled all right. But, this was a fleet truck with one 14 gallon tank. The dash had a huge fuel gauge. I could literally watch the needle move. I had to put a big tank in the bed. It got 6 MPG pulling the 420c.

So, I decided I wanted the pull, but better mileage. The only way to do that was go Diesel. GM had a 6.2L Diesel engine I could put in. But, everyone hated those and loved the 7.3L International. So, I bought a brand new 1993 Ford F350 Crew with the IH and a manual with 3.73 rear. BTW, that is the same rear ratio the GMC had. Mileage went up to 15. Score!

By 1997, I was now down South and pulling on Saturday afternoons to race tracks. The non-turbo 7.3 was choking on the heat and humidity. It had pulled two tractors and the 420c South OK, but hated those summer days. So, I went for a 97 Crew with the turbo IH and back to an automatic and with 4.10 gears this time. I was planning some long pulls with a box trailer. Some trips out to CA and back. I opted for dual rear wheels this time. Box trailers like to wag around a bit sometimes and dual fix that.

Man, what a difference with that Power Stroke. Pulling the flatbed with the 420 it still does decent mileage, went from 15 on the 93 to 13-14. It did burn more with the box trailer at 11-12, but the extra pulling power was grand. I still have this one. It isn't going away like all the others.

A couple years ago, we started taking trips without a trailer. The F350 is a tad too long, a tad too wide, and a tad too thirsty. It gets 17 MPG at 70 MPH with the 4.10 rear (2500 RPM). I wanted an F250 with the 7.3 and 3.50 rear and a super cab. So, back to single rear wheels. I looked for several months, but any nice ones were up in the $20k range. Too costly. So, I found a 99 Dodge 2500 with a Cummins, an auto and 3.50 rear. It get 24 MPH at 70 MPH because it turns only 2000 RPM. It was only $11k, so that part was much better.

Now, I have yet to tow anything with the Dodge, but expect it would be better than the 93 Ford was but not as good as the 97 Ford.

There's No Such Thing As A Cheap Crawler!

Have: 1958 JD 420c 5-roller w/62 blade
Useta Have: '68 JD350 & Terratrac GT-25
Also Have: 1950 M, 2008 5103 (now known as 5045D)

1010 crawler
1010 crawler
Posts: 309
Joined: Fri Nov 30, 2012 8:54 am
Location: akron, ohio

Re: thinking newer truck

Post by dtoots1 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:14 pm

well now i am wondering....currently my gas is running 2.27/gal diesel at 2.99/gal...if i run 550 miles at 15mpg gas costs 83.23....diesel at 23mpg would cost me 68.77. appears to be a wash at those mpgs....current e.p.a. estimates, not loaded, showing 22mpg gas and i think is 24mpg diesel course that group does pad a bit.

it would still seem a bit better going gas as not hauling a lot...yet seems need to be just a bit better than the 3.73 ratio or at least have 6 speeds in the automatic. and it seems gonna have to keep it a short bed with the crew/extended cab as full size is 20ft and cannot close my garage door with dozer in behind that length!....i planned it at 40ft and local bldg insp. claimed i could NOT cause too many bldg square footage for my acre only 36ft,
cause it aint attached to house....dips

still looking

just got back from State Farm, checking on auto insurance....and a fine howdy do too!!....gonna cost more for 1 vehicle than for 2???

paying 728 for 2 and they want 813 for joy there ooops! i get to save auto license cost which is cheaper than truck,

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