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Help me choose a next vehicle to build from scratch. Thinking diesel, 4wd...
#1
As I've been in my van for several years now, there are things I think of that could be improved and ideas that I mull over in my head. I have always had a tentative vision for a next home, that I would build from scratch, and make it the way I want it. I'm thinking I'm nearing the time to do that, and I'm asking for some help in choosing a base vehicle.

I'll remove the body from whatever vehicle I choose, weld up a steel frame that will be attached to the vehicle frame, and build a conventional house to my specifications.

My thought is to start with an older mechanical diesel truck. Diesel, because the thing will be heavy, and also because this would convenience me to use some diesel appliances such as wall heater and stove top. Something that, worst-case scenario, five years or ten years down the line, I could drop a new Cummins engine into, rather than spend thousands on diagnosing problems with a newer electronic diesel.

I have been looking at pick up trucks and flat beds, and I'm willing to travel to pick up the right vehicle. What make and year range would you be looking at if you were making this choice? What are the "good" years on vehicles/engines like this?

Are any step vans available in diesel and 4wd?

How much trouble am I going to have starting a mechanical diesel in cold weather, if I choose to?

Also, here's an intriguing option from my home state, but I'm not sure I want to go this big:
https://vermont.craigslist.org/cto/d/197...55321.html
[Image: W2lacLw.jpg]
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#2
https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/...85767.html
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#3
(12-26-2017, 03:08 PM)Gary68 Wrote: https://portland.craigslist.org/mlt/cto/...85767.html

Neat. That's not gonna be 4wd though right?

I think no matter what I get, I'm going to scrap the body and build my own. One of the mild irks I've had with my van is that, due to the curved walls, the volume inside is not as great as the footprint its surface area should allow - and, this inhibits placement of furniture and leaning against walls that curve inward.

I would go with a step van for its square walls and the body that already exists, but again, I don't know that I can find one in 4wd.

I realize I'm being finicky, but, I have no reason to go through the trouble and expense of building a new house if it isn't exactly what I want.
[Image: W2lacLw.jpg]
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#4
check out chevy kodiak,they come in 4x4 and i believe diesel
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#5
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chevrolet_Kodiak


https://www.ebay.com/itm/2008-Chevrolet-...2983039284

http://usedfromus.com/chevrolet-ads/4153...clean.html

should be able to find a dump truck or flatbed version eventually
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TMG51 (12-26-2017)
#6
nothing wrong with being finicky.  if choose wisely,  you only choose once.  you mentioned the Cummins,  great engine but it's on a Dodge.  a buddy of mine is a supervisor for Caltrans(CA road dept.)  he said the trucks would fall apart around the engine.  the engine would still be strong but the truck was done.   if you want a diesel the older mechanical injected are the way to go IMO.  very simple engine.  decent fuel economy.  what about one of these,

   

great running gear,  in fact IMO the best.  6.2/6.5 diesel engine been in production since 1982.  same engine that's in the military Humvee.  by far the least expensive,  and easiest to work on diesel.

if not then a Ford mechanical injected 7.3.  although not as simple or cheap as a GM it's a solid engine.  whatever you decide do a lot of research.  get a 1 ton truck not a conversion. 

Gary it's to bad there is not more info on that add.  the only diesel GM had in 1980 was the POS 5.7 very light duty and they only came in cars and 1/2 ton trucks.  highdesertranger
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TMG51 (12-26-2017)
#7
my buddy still has that U-Haul box. it came off a Ford 1 ton truck.

http://www.cheaprvliving.com/forums/show...?tid=20985

highdesertranger
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#8
(12-26-2017, 04:02 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: what about one of these,

[Picture]

great running gear,  in fact IMO the best.  6.2/6.5 diesel engine been in production since 1982.  same engine that's in the military Humvee.  by far the least expensive,  and easiest to work on diesel.

I think that's about what I'm looking for. Something that size, and easy to work on down the road. I just don't know what the "good" years are. What model/year is that?
[Image: W2lacLw.jpg]
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#9
'84-'87 here is some background.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commercial...go_Vehicle

highdesertranger
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TMG51 (12-26-2017)
#10
The only problem with older diesel engines is the new ULSD fuels. And that can be dealt with.

As far as starting a cold diesel even without glow plugs, I've started them in minus 20 with nothing but a few shots of ether into the intake. 

Ah the good old days...nothing sounds or smells like an old diesel coming to life in sub-zero temps...

Cool
Never trust a camp cook with lots of shiny new pans...
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The following 1 user says Thank You to tx2sturgis for this post:
TMG51 (12-26-2017)


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