What's the most reliable tow vehicle?

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jbennett
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What's the most reliable tow vehicle?

Post by jbennett »

Here's the deal, I want to sell my '99 2wd F-150 and move into a 3/4 or 1 ton with 4 wheel drive. I don't want to pay more than I can get for my 150, I'm hoping for around 12 - 13k. Who had the best engine/trans combo pre 2000 in a 3/4 ton or 1 ton 4x4?? I prefer extra cab or crew cab and I've been looking as far back as the early 90's. I don't tow much weight now, but I'm hoping to be able to get a toy box down the road, so I just want to be prepared if I do get one. I prefer to stay away from the big blocks, I just don't think I'll need that kind of power to give up that much gas mileage. Oh yeah, this will not be an every day driver, mainly just for the dunes and whenever else I may need a truck to haul something.

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Post by Power Slacker »

My friend just picked up a 91 F-350 4X4 for $4000. It's in good shape with the typical crappy early 90's destroyed paint. Pulls his 30' trailer no problem.

In regard to the mileage, he gets that same MPG as I do with my 351 when pulling a load, he just pulls it faster!

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Post by Tom Simrak »

That is such a loaded question. For everyone that answeres Ford, you will have one that answeres Chevy. This question has been asked sooooooo many times. You willnever find the answer. Might as well ask about the chicken and the egg... Good luck to ya,
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Post by realbadlarry »

Any make that has been taken care of. Look at the vehicle, is it clean, do they have service records? All of the vehicles have their strengths and weaknesses. I would say, Yes to a big block or diesel, you will always want more. Very rarely do you go down in trailer or toys. Plus the differen ce in pulling power between any of the older big vs. small blocks is a lot. My brother n law has a 3500 with the small block, it wouldn't pull my 30 ftr and survive long. All of the older trannys are good for about 100k, then need a going thru. If you get more than that, great, just know that anything over 100k is living on borrowed time. With that said, the GM is more than Ford, and Ford is more than Dodge in the used market. Look at a lot of used vehicles, it gives you an idea of what you like.
Ps, when I win the lotto this weekend, I'll make ya a deal on my old ford.

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Post by Ford Runner »

Last spring I bought an 1995 F350 powerstroke crew cab with 285,000 miles for $ 6000.00. It now has 303,500 miles and hauls my 20,000 lb load to the desert with power to spare. It's awesome.

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Post by Washroad »

I really made my neice/nephew a good deal.
Sold them a '89 GMC 4door dually, 454TBI, Turbo 400, 4:10 gears, new AC. Needed tires and front brakes. Had 140,000 miles on it. Let them have it for $1500. They have since done the brakes, new tires, some minor cosmetic stuff and hooked up the 26' WW and loved it! Handled the load, pulled Whitewater in direct.
Only time it ever failed me in the 9 years I had it was my own fault. I forgot to tighten one bolt on the alternator. Going north on 395 the bolt worked out and snagged the belt and broke it about 3 miles from the 58 junction. It also managed to break the alternator shaft. Spent the night in Four Corners, made it to Mojave the next morning and was on the road again!
But then I have seen my brother put 250,000 hard miles on a Dodge too! My dad liked Fords and would always get lots of miles out of them. I think with proper care and maintenence you can make anything dependable.
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Post by jbennett »

I knew this was a loaded question, I'm just trying to find out if there are certain years and models I should stay away from. I've seen a lot in the trader with under 100,000 miles and they already have a new trans or engine, this is both ford and chevy, haven't looked at dodge much. Is this pretty typical of any truck that has towed a lot in it's life?? Would I be best going for one that has already had the rebuild or again does that just depend on who did the job??? I guess I just answered that question for myself... I will still ask are there any years/models that were bulletproof and are there years/models that were problem childs??? I hope this isn't as loaded as the original question, if it is, I still welcome all opinions, I'm sure it will help with my final decision.

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Post by Rekd »

I've got a 2k2 GMC 1500 2wd to tow a 21' fun runner. It sux. I'm looking to upgrade to a 4wd F250 or F350. From what I've seen, fords are much less expensive, and seem to be just as reliable, coming from the people I know that have them.

I have looked and can prolly sell my GMC 1500 for the price of an F250... Not much to debate there. ;)

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Post by Sandemon »

I have a Ford F-250 4x4 xlt lariat supercab with a 460 and 4sp auto that needs some work but it is already set up for towing that you can get for $2500. :twisted: :)
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Post by BigRick »

Rekd wrote:I've got a 2k2 GMC 1500 2wd to tow a 21' fun runner. It sux. ;)

'Rekd
Something to keep in mind, more so that the name plate is how is the vehicle equiped.

First here we have 1/2 ton truck, likeley with the smaller engine and taller rear end gears. A Ford with a small engine and tall gears will have the same problem, although as you go to a 3/4 or 1 ton rating the engines tend to get more powerful and the gear ratios go down to increase torque.

I recently drove several GMC 1ton p/u of the 90-93 model years. One was a bug block dually but had tall gears with the O/D trans - It seemed gutless. One had a 350 eng. and 400 trans was better. But I purchased a 1990 1ton GMC dually with a 454 and the 400 trans. It had the lowest rear end gears and it seems very strong. Of course this does reduce the gas milage to about 12mpg empty and 9 loaded.

If milage is important you can get better milage and power from a port injection engine vs a TBI.

The Moral of the story: How is the vehicle equiped.
Look at HP and Torque of the engine, fuel system type, Trans type and final gear ratio.
Finally - DRIVE THE VEHICLE YOUR INTERESTED IN AND JUDGE FOR YOURSELF.

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What's the most reliable tow rig?

Post by Dunespazz »

My thread on this subject is; go with a diesel, fuel mileage is good and power is great. The price range you are looking at will probably steer you to a Ford, I am not particularly a Ford fan, but I have had good luck with mine. The early automatics were weak so if your up for it, go with a manuel trans. When I was looking at upgrading, I looked at what all the other duners were using to tow there toys with and the Ford was the stand out. The early Dodges wear ugly and the 6.2 and 6.5 Chevys were just non-existant at the dunes. As a side note, I had a Dodge with the V10, ran great and pulled great, couldn't swallow 5mpg. Hope this helps. :D :lol:
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Post by quad1100 »

I think there are too many factors to consider; I went through the same dilemma except I was buying new. I finally went with fit & finish and comfort. GMC

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Post by realbadlarry »

Most of the non-allison automatics suck, but, you can get one rebuilt for 1200-1500. Thats only two or three "new" truck payments and then you will have another 100k out of the trans.

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Post by Greg Hall »

realbadlarry wrote:Most of the non-allison automatics suck, but, you can get one rebuilt for 1200-1500. Thats only two or three "new" truck payments and then you will have another 100k out of the trans.
Even the Allison units are having some problems. We are selling 25-30 units per month of the light duty units used in the 2500 and 3500 GM trucks.
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