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Help me choose a next vehicle to build from scratch. Thinking diesel, 4wd...
#21
Two comments:

  1. Since I first moved into a van in 1995 my dream has been a flatbed 4x4 truck that I built a cabin on. They are common, cheap and super strong--you can get them in any size and maybe even a manual transmission. Two disadvantages to it are that it is so high off the ground and no pass-through to the cab. But it still seems ideal to me.
  2. I drove school bus in Alaska for 5 years and I'd take our diesel pushers out for weekend field trips pretty often. Our rule was if it was below zero, I must never shut it off. The one time I did, it wouldn't start again and we had to get a local mechanic to get it started. I never did that again. I've been in it for 4 days and never shut it off. My best sleep ever was across the back of the bus listening to the hum of the diesel underneath me!
2015 GMC Savannah 2500 van, 480 watts of Solar Panels--and a wonderful furry best friend named Cody. I'm out to change the world!
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The following 2 users say Thank You to akrvbob for this post:
TMG51 (01-03-2018), bullfrog (01-02-2018)
#22
I don't quite understand, is someone putting this together for you? a 3/4 ton Suburban should come with a 14 bolt axle. some were semi float and some were full float. so I am not sure why the spring perches need to be moved. do you know how to ID a Dana 60? also if the lift was not done correctly you can bet the fame is cracked where the steering box mounts. highdesertranger
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bullfrog (01-02-2018)
#23
I found a chevy guy that has several project vehicles looking to move to a smaller property so he is willing to put together what ever componets I want. The truck has the standard semi floater 14 bolt in the rear (stock) and stock I believe 10 bolt in the front. He has a Dana 60 and a full floater 14 bolt as well as a 205 transfer case in his storage. I think every thing is 4.10. He was using the suburban to pull his car hauler and wanted an extra gear for hghway so he took out the 400 trans and put in an overdrive trany that still has I believe a 208 chain drive transfer case. I will for sure check the steering box mount, do they make a reinforcement plate aftermarket fix for that or is it best to swap frames, he has several to choose from. I looked at several Dana 60 diffs, I guess even Dodge ones can be machined to fit but he had a stock chevy set up already.
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#24
yes you can reinforce the frame but it's better to it before it cracks. yes a NP 208 is a chain driven transfer case. highdesertranger
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bullfrog (01-03-2018)
#25
Thanks HDR, most of the trucks I've looked at were not exactly what I think I want even though what I want is mainly stock parts. I want a crate 350 with a carb and HEI but I can live with throttle body. I want an automatic in case my knee gets worse. I want to be able to do 70 MPH on interstate but still tow so a manually controled overdrive transmission and 4.10 gears as opposed to 400 trans with 4.56 gears (55 MPH on interstate?). I like gear drive transfer cases because chains seem to wear out quicker even though the case may need to be adapted to the newer trans? I figure most 10 bolt front diffs have been bent or abused and the Dana 60 the better choice. I like full floating axle as again appears to be a more heavy duty set up. I like rust free frames and bodies as once rust starts problems soon follow. I have found some basic 1973 to 1987 3/4 ton trucks with lots of wear for $2500 to $3500. If the Dana 60 and the full floater 14 bolt are worth getting for an extra $1500 should I? I understand the frames are identical between 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton but are heavier on 1 tons. I guess I'm lucky to find someone that is willing let me pick and choose I just want to make sure I choose right. I had forgotten about the steering box issue with lifts, anything else you guys know is greatly appreiciated especially if it keeps this crazy old man from making mistakes, my wife gets mean when I make mistakes!
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#26
I can't argue with anything you said. you can sell single wheel Dana 60's all day long for 1,500 bucks. so yeah if you can get a 14 bolt and a 60 for 1,500 that's not a bad deal. can't argue with a NP 205 like I said earlier it's the best, most heavy duty T-Case you can get for a light truck. I also agree with the full floater rear axle. semi floaters are for cars. I like sticks but if I was going with an overdrive auto it would be the 4L80. I have some tips and tricks for GM square bodies so any questions or problems ask away. highdesertranger
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bullfrog (01-03-2018)
#27
I'm trying to get my stuff together, thanks for the help. I hope to be at the RTR sometime during the first week living out of my old J10 (with a stick) geared so low it will take me a week to get there with lots of questions. Hope this helped answer others questions.
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#28
(01-02-2018, 09:13 PM)highdesertranger Wrote: 7.3 IDI engines were available from 1988-1994.  half way in 1994 came the 444E which is a 7.3 but a completely different injection system.  I have a 444E and while still a good engine,  but it's very complicated,  harder to work on and parts like injectors are expensive.  ask me how I know.  highdesertranger

Following this advice I have also been searching out the 7.3 IDIs. While there are a lot more of these Fords out there, it is surprisingly difficult to find ones that meet these criteria:
-4 door
-4wd
-manual
-single rear wheel (non-dually)

Here's one of the few I've found that doesn't immediately look rotted out.
https://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/cto/d...16997.html

Remove one of those four criteria, and many options come up. How hard is it to change a dually to single rear wheels?
Not sure why I want a manual. I probably shouldn't. But for some reason I kinda do.
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#29
://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/cto/d/rare-hmmwv-m998-camper/6444564642.html
Minivanmotoman,  Absolutely Positively.
Crystal Blue Persuasion, music video
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#30
(01-05-2018, 06:41 PM)TMG51 Wrote: Following this advice I have also been searching out the 7.3 IDIs. While there are a lot more of these Fords out there, it is surprisingly difficult to find ones that meet these criteria:
-4 door
-4wd
-manual
-single rear wheel (non-dually)

Here's one of the few I've found that doesn't immediately look rotted out.
https://seattle.craigslist.org/oly/cto/d...16997.html

Remove one of those four criteria, and many options come up. How hard is it to change a dually to single rear wheels?
Not sure why I want a manual. I probably shouldn't. But for some reason I kinda do.

Just 2 cents here, I have a manual F350 IDI with Turbo ( 1994) Personally I like a manual in a diesel when towing its great for finding the power range I need. If not mistaken I have the ZF transmission its a four speed with overdrive. The 4th gear synchronizer is grinding slightly when shifting into fourth but if I keep the clutch in for a moment longer and let the rpms drop a little more it will shift flawlessly....so until the clutch pressure plate craps out, it will stay the way it is.

If you convert a dually to SRW, it will require carrying two different spares if Im not mistaken unless you can convert the front wheels over too, but how will caster and camber be affected?

As to the turbo driven IDI engine...I love it, it is simple and powerful and above all cheap to work on in regards to diesel engines. I guess the ultimate diesel truck for me would be a manual 4x4 on a f-350 chassis. Try to embrace a dually, sure they are six tires and you cant park them everywhere and drive thrus are a no-no but its a dually and not a grocery-getter... its a very stable platform.

I guess my favorite traveling dream rig would be a f-350 4x4 or not, a 7.3 idi turbo dually with a truck camper and towing a toad...the toad would be an all wheel drive subaru outback
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