Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Gloucester, MA
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Re: Favorite old towing vehicles?
4000 lbs is no much at all to tow as already stated. Your issues will be the height of the load, the windage and the launch ramp. If you tow regularly or in tough areas, you really should be looking at things built on a 1/2 ton or heavier platform.
Since you asked for our favorite cheap towing vehicles, I would have to say it would be a 1989-1998 3/4 ton Dodge Ram diesel with a manual transmission. The drivetrain in these things was unbeatable. In '94, they changed from a really boxy body (1st gen) to a more rounded body (2nd gen). Throughout this period, the engine was the 12 valve Cummins 5.9L also known as the 6BT. The earlier ones had a rotary injection pump and the later ones had the Bosch P7100 inline pump and the really early ones didn't even have an intercooler. The transmission was a Getrag in the 1st gens which was okay but it got much better in the second gens with a new venture 4500 but beware the autos, they were terrible unless built by an aftermarket company. The problem areas on this truck are rust and front ends. The bodies do rust out quicker than some but it is not as bad as many people make it out to be, I just got rid of a '96 which had been in a salty environment its entire 260k and I had only done rockers, cab corners and door bottoms. The front end problems were due to a poorly supported gearbox output shaft and a poorly designed track bar both of which are easily fixable. They are not refined trucks but they are incredibly reliable and easy to work on. I often wish that I hadn't gotten rid of the '96, it is still alive and running like the day it was made.
What I described is heavier duty than required for this application but they are great trucks. If you are interested in a 3/4 ton platform on a budget, it is what I would be looking for.
Last edited by klem; 03-22-2013 at 09:08 PM.