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2wd Tow Rig Tech

[memphis]

Web wheeler
Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Member Number
1867
Messages
677
I’m not in the market yet but I’m going to start looking. Jeep and trailer is projected to weigh approximately 6000lbs combined.

I don’t need a dually or a diesel for this weight, a buddy of mine has a 1982 3+3 long box Chevy 1Ton and for the age of the truck it actually rides pretty good for what it is. Mind you, his isn’t stock with a 350 Vortec (1998ish) and a 4l80e transmission but it only gets an honest 13mpg highway because he kept it carbureted.

instead of a payment I am thinking beater truck. If it gets dinged up or stolen I’ll be less pissed off about it. I live in the snow belt but seriously doubt I’ll be driving it in the winter.

2wd in that era of Chev, yay or nay?
4x of that era will easily double the price in my market place not sure about down south

I’d like to pick one up stateside outside of the rust belt... Kentucky, Indiana or somewhere... I could go all the way to Florida but realistically where is the safe cut off zone on the east coast?
 
Indiana is well within the rust belt.

I used the dd a f350 dually 2wd diesel when I worked in the lake effect region of Indiana. It sucked, but I only got stuck once. Load the bed with weight and it'll do alright.
 
I use 4 wd on my trucks all the time, even my cucv that had a Detroit and 285s, I couldn't back up my gravel driveway. That was with a heavy flatbed too. Obviously people make 2wd trucks work for them all over, but for me it would be a pain in the ass.

I guess you could just load a shit ton of weight in the bed, but that can get old too, since you'd have to unload it if you need to use it for other shit.
 
I bought a really clean 2wd 1999 extended cab, 154k mile f250 v10 5 or 6 years ago for $4200. Some old man's camper puller would be my guess, spending most it's time in a garage. It's been a great truck, has 212k on it right now. If you can settle for 2wd and gas you can get a pretty good truck sub 5k. I would be looking late 90s. A much older square body will fetch the same money.
 
Thinking of easy ways to add weight.

I wonder how big of a water tank you could fit under the bed behind the axle? 50 gals is 400 lbs. Could come in handy while camping. There is also those ones for behind the fenders that have the recess for a 5th wheel, if you don't care about using bed space.
 
Thinking of easy ways to add weight.

I wonder how big of a water tank you could fit under the bed behind the axle? 50 gals is 400 lbs. Could come in handy while camping. There is also those ones for behind the fenders that have the recess for a 5th wheel, if you don't care about using bed space.

What is the concern with adding weight? Is my load too light LOL
 
Locker can really help with traction. Or a spool if you’re a hillbilly.
 
get new enough to get into the LS motors and factory trailer brake wiring.

kentucky south for no rust. Tennessee is a great place to shop for not rusty things and I have bought several vehicles from there.
 
this was the little 4.8 that could last week.

I wouldn't be scared of a LS powered 3/4 ton. except the brake lines. just plan on doing those and they fucking suck.
put it in 3rd and set the cruise at 70MPH, you'll get 10.

every 2wd GM pickup of that era has kind of shitty steering because it's basically a 70's GM car up front, but it's dumb simple and parts are stupid cheap.

yes, we leveled the truck with the WD bars all proper like after that photo was taken, it has brakes on both axles and a P3 controller in the cab.
not trying for BDL awards here.

IMG_20201220_153223942 (1).jpg
 
this was the little 4.8 that could last week.

I wouldn't be scared of a LS powered 3/4 ton. except the brake lines. just plan on doing those and they fucking suck.
put it in 3rd and set the cruise at 70MPH, you'll get 10.

I want to stay away from this generation of truck because they are a favourite choice for theft and the 4L60e is a trash transmission. It can tow and there is not reason it can’t do 6k but the 10b out back isn’t up to the task long term along with the undersized brakes.

At least with a old school 14b I can toss some disks at it
 
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Locker can really help with traction. Or a spool if you’re a hillbilly.

It really doesn't do that much with an empty bed. Not worth the money at least. I have both Btw, 97 F350 with shitty lsd, 15 F150 with elockers, and just sold a 84 cucv with the Detroit. None of them could back up a hill for shit in 2wd, locker just makes it slide more. The 150 will do the best since it has the most weight over the rear tires. My 4runner that's open also does totally fine, again weight over the rear tires.

Like everyone says, go newer. If you don't care about 2wd, most 3/4t trucks are cheap.
 
[memphis said:
;n247466]

I want to stay away from this generation of truck because they are a favourite choice for theft and the 4L60e is a trash transmission. It can tow and there is not reason it can’t do 6k but the 10b out back isn’t up to the task long term along with the undersized brakes.

At least with a old school 14b I can toss some disks at it

You're high if you think a generic disc brake kit is any better than what's on a new old new middle body style gm 10b.

Go 3/4t or 1 ton of its just for towing. 454, 460, v10s are where it's at for cheap decent towing. The square body is cool, but it's going to suck for what you want.
 
[memphis said:
;n247466]

I want to stay away from this generation of truck because they are a favourite choice for theft and the 4L60e is a trash transmission. It can tow and there is not reason it can’t do 6k but the 10b out back isn’t up to the task long term along with the undersized brakes.

At least with a old school 14b I can toss some disks at it

which is why I said the 3/4 ton version.

:flipoff2:

you'll get a 6.0 and 4l80.
or the 8.1 which is also super beefy and works.

also the later model brakes bolt up to this generation knuckles without issue and are way beefier. for your cheap ass junkyard upgrading.
 
You're high if you think a generic disc brake kit is any better than what's on a new old new middle body style gm 10b.

Go 3/4t or 1 ton of its just for towing. 454, 460, v10s are where it's at for cheap decent towing. The square body is cool, but it's going to suck for what you want.

The upgrade is certainly better than the 10b disk brakes especially on a 2wd which is what I thought the other post was referencing.

The 3/4s of 2000-2006 use the half ton front calipers in the rear. I agree those are a better option over the conversion kits for the 14B

The GM aluminum truck calipers are trash
 
[memphis said:
;n247466]

I want to stay away from this generation of truck because they are a favourite choice for theft and the 4L60e is a trash transmission. It can tow and there is not reason it can’t do 6k but the 10b out back isn’t up to the task long term along with the undersized brakes.

At least with a old school 14b I can toss some disks at it

GMT800 are at that delta to where they have plenty of modern amenities, but are at their low in life cycle for value. They also come with disc 14B from the factory.

04-06/07 8.1L would be my go to for a gasser.

A have a 2wd tow pig, it gets stuck in wet grass. I prefer it for burning up the highway. You just plan out your trip a little better.
 
GMT800 are at that delta to where they have plenty of modern amenities, but are at their low in life cycle for value. They also come with disc 14B from the factory.

04-06/07 8.1L would be my go to for a gasser.

A have a 2wd tow pig, it gets stuck in wet grass. I prefer it for burning up the highway. You just plan out your trip a little better.

that's all I'm saying.
a 3/4 ton 6.0 gmt800 isn't worth shit, but it's plenty for hauling around a jeep on a trailer and getting 10 mpg and a helluva lot nicer than anything previous on the inside, and it's new enough to just plug in a new stereo and plug in a brake controller and plug in a 7 pin harness in the rear so it always works and isn't a shit show.

I prefer the fords of the era from interior and chassis shit, but it's real hard to argue with an LS and a 4l80.
the v10s are alright and all, but fuck your exhaust manifolds and spark plugs. I'd rather upgrade brakes on an LS pile of shit than do exhaust manifolds on a v10 pile of shit.
 
If you have weight in the bed, 1k+ for 3/4 or 500 half ton it will be fine. When I plow I leave it in 2wd for the majority of the run and usually last few places I have to switch to 4wd in wet/heavy stuff or if I'm stacking. Bonuse is it makes it ride nicer, bad part is takes up space in the bed and tires will wear a little faster.
 
[memphis said:
;n247466]

I want to stay away from this generation of truck because they are a favourite choice for theft

Is theft such a major concern where you are that you wouldn’t buy a specific vehicle because of it? I think if it was that bad I’d figure out different living arrangements
 
Is theft such a major concern where you are that you wouldn’t buy a specific vehicle because of it? I think if it was that bad I’d figure out different living arrangements

I sold my 04 avalanche partially for that reason two summers ago, it was in fantastic shape and that’s the problem, they go after the nice stuff, someone tried to take it twice. Another reason I would go older is to get away from electronics... windows, sunroof etc. that way I can install a removable steering wheel without a major headache, or if I decided to go with a manual I could even pull the shifter out of its tower, locked in gear :lmao:

I know all chevy trucks are easy to steal
 
There's tons of 2wd work vehicles rolling around New England. They do just fine when it snows. They have no problems worth mentioning on gravel roads and dirt driveways. I think that people who don't ever have to deal with a slushy commute may be lowering the quality of their driving to make up for playing on "easy mode". The occasional steep driveway gives them issues in the winter but if anything they do better than FWD cars since you at least get weight transfer helping you instead of hurting you. If they did actually suck as bad as people who don't have first hand experience driving them in a slushy commute think they do Ford and GM would offer 4wd and AWD in their vans. Some people put weight in the back of their pickups in the winter on an as-needed basis. Based on my personal experience tossing lunchbox lockers in stuff I would do that before I added weight.

I echo what everyone else is saying about buying something that's at least GMT800 or Superduty level of new.
 
[memphis said:
;n248411]

I sold my 04 avalanche partially for that reason two summers ago, it was in fantastic shape and that’s the problem, they go after the nice stuff, someone tried to take it twice. Another reason I would go older is to get away from electronics... windows, sunroof etc. that way I can install a removable steering wheel without a major headache, or if I decided to go with a manual I could even pull the shifter out of its tower, locked in gear :lmao:

I know all chevy trucks are easy to steal

it would be a lot easier to get a truck new enough to be easily disabled by intercepting the ECU power with a hidden reed switch and relays.

They might kill the battery cranking it, but unless they got a magnet in their pocket and know where to put it they won't get it started.
 
Just got a GMT800 2wd with a 8.1.
Great truck, does literally everything you are asking for and comfortable enough to ride for hours on end. I wouldn't want to put tons of miles on an old K30 or similar.

I second the HD GMT400 comment, they are great trucks too.
 
[memphis said:
;n245473]I’m not in the market yet but I’m going to start looking. Jeep and trailer is projected to weigh approximately 6000lbs combined.

I don’t need a dually or a diesel for this weight, a buddy of mine has a 1982 3+3 long box Chevy 1Ton and for the age of the truck it actually rides pretty good for what it is. Mind you, his isn’t stock with a 350 Vortec (1998ish) and a 4l80e transmission but it only gets an honest 13mpg highway because he kept it carbureted.

instead of a payment I am thinking beater truck. If it gets dinged up or stolen I’ll be less pissed off about it. I live in the snow belt but seriously doubt I’ll be driving it in the winter.

2wd in that era of Chev, yay or nay?
4x of that era will easily double the price in my market place not sure about down south

I’d like to pick one up stateside outside of the rust belt... Kentucky, Indiana or somewhere... I could go all the way to Florida but realistically where is the safe cut off zone on the east coast?


​​​​​​My 2000 3500 cclb gets an honest 12mpg with the vortec 350, 4l80, 4.10's. It's not the carb, it's the weight that kills it. :flipoff2:
 
There's tons of 2wd work vehicles rolling around New England. They do just fine when it snows. They have no problems worth mentioning on gravel roads and dirt driveways. I think that people who don't ever have to deal with a slushy commute may be lowering the quality of their driving to make up for playing on "easy mode". The occasional steep driveway gives them issues in the winter but if anything they do better than FWD cars since you at least get weight transfer helping you instead of hurting you. If they did actually suck as bad as people who don't have first hand experience driving them in a slushy commute think they do Ford and GM would offer 4wd and AWD in their vans. Some people put weight in the back of their pickups in the winter on an as-needed basis. Based on my personal experience tossing lunchbox lockers in stuff I would do that before I added weight.

I echo what everyone else is saying about buying something that's at least GMT800 or Superduty level of new.

A rwd will not do better than a fwd car. FFS. GM has made awd vans for years. There are multiple companies that convert Ford vans to 4wd
 
If you're only looking at tugging around 6k you could do it with just about any reasonably modern half ton with a tow package and any 3/4 of any vintage. You won't necessarily have a ton of power but there are a lot of trucks out there that will safely pull 6k.

What's your budget, if you can pull of a 2010+ 1/2 ton with a tow package you'll get decent mileage and have no trouble with the weight. If you want cheap, go find a 99-2003 3/4 ton and live with 10-13mpg.
 
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