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Old 10-13-2016, 02:49 PM   #21
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Err. Oops. The 6.5l turbo diesel then. Idk saw one the other day at PIR.
If I was buying a GMT400 (late 90s), I'd probably look for the 454. The 6.5L detroit diesel only made like 150 hp.

The GMT800 Suburbans came with a 6.0 LS-based V8 or the 8.1L big block and is a big step up.

--Ian
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:17 PM   #22
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I still kind of like the idea of having the Eliminator roll out of a panel-van. There'd be plenty space for tools and supplies underneath the car and up high on the sidewalls.

Failing that, I'm actually thinking Nissan Xterra. 4WD, 5000lbs towing capacity. A decent engine (no V8, I know, but I won't be driving it THAT much). And all that for between $2,500 and $5,000.....
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Old 10-17-2016, 02:42 PM   #23
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I still kind of like the idea of having the Eliminator roll out of a panel-van. There'd be plenty space for tools and supplies underneath the car and up high on the sidewalls.

Failing that, I'm actually thinking Nissan Xterra. 4WD, 5000lbs towing capacity. A decent engine (no V8, I know, but I won't be driving it THAT much). And all that for between $2,500 and $5,000.....
A panel van has no divider between the driver and the cargo area. If the tiedowns fail in a crash, you'll be squished. Even if they don't, after a track day you'll be inside a metal box with a heat-soaked lump of 180 degree metal, and the van's AC is not going to keep up. It'll be miserable. Plus, to get it that high you'll need ridiculously long ramps, which you'll have to fabricate by hand and set up and tear down every time you load/unload.

I dunno where you live, but Suburban 2500s are in that price range too:

$3K asking price for a 99 GMT400 w/ 454: 1999 Chevy 454 suburban 2500
$4500 asking price for a 03 GMT800 w/ 6.0 LS: 2003 Chevrolet Suburban 2500 4WD LT Leather Fully Loaded 3/4 TON

Enclosed trailers are a lot more demanding of the tow vehicle than open ones. For one they weigh more, and you'll be right up against that 5000 pound limit. For another, they have a lot more drag (hurting freeway acceleration) and a lot more sail area, so the wind pushes them around. To cope with that you want a longer wheelbase on the tow vehicle, and the Suburban is 130 inches vs the Xterra's 110.

--Ian
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:36 PM   #24
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Point taken on the panelvan. I just like the James-Bondishness of the idea.
I like the Suburbans. A few years ago a buddy of mine was looking for one and most of them had gotten pretty rusty once they hit 10 years old or so. What's the last year they put a big block in a Suburban?
And I'm sure a Suburban will hold up nicely to operating a snowplow as well. Maneuvering in a narrow driveway maaaaay be a different issue though.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:37 PM   #25
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Big block is unecessary. The vortecs are good.

The independent front suspension will hate being used as a tow plow. But if its just your driveway it should be fine.

Don't get sucked into plowing everyones driveway, that **** destroys suspension.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:43 PM   #26
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Where we're moving I'm pretty sure everybody already has their own plowing solution. Our house will be the last one built in the whole area. No empty plots left.
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Old 10-17-2016, 08:56 PM   #27
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Point taken on the panelvan. I just like the James-Bondishness of the idea.
I like the Suburbans. A few years ago a buddy of mine was looking for one and most of them had gotten pretty rusty once they hit 10 years old or so. What's the last year they put a big block in a Suburban?
True 454 big block, '99. They put 496ci (8.1L) Vortecs in the 3/4 ton Suburbans through ~06. 00-07 Suburbans are great trucks.
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Old 10-17-2016, 09:53 PM   #28
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I can't speak to rust -- I live in California, there is no rust out here unless you live on the coast. If everything near you is brown and ugly, it might be worth flying to somewhere the weather doesn't suck and driving a decent truck home.

--Ian
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:55 AM   #29
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I can't speak to rust -- I live in California, there is no rust out here unless you live on the coast. If everything near you is brown and ugly, it might be worth flying to somewhere the weather doesn't suck and driving a decent truck home.

--Ian
I could ask Lars to find one in SC, where there's not much snow and ice and salt. Fly down to visit the family there for Christmas and drive the Subie home. Hmmmm... Lars?
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:16 AM   #30
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I could ask Lars to find one in SC, where there's not much snow and ice and salt. Fly down to visit the family there for Christmas and drive the Subie home. Hmmmm... Lars?
I can start looking, but I know nothing about Suburbans, but I am game.
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Old 10-18-2016, 08:46 AM   #31
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Want to be sick? Guy in my car club just sold a 8.1L Suburban with enclosed trailer a few months ago...

"2001 Chevy Suburban 2500 LT, 8.1L, 4wd, leather, 2nd row bucket seat, 3rd row, etc. 169400 mi. transmission was replace at 125000 mi.
Haulmark enclosed trailer 20 ft. bench, electric brake redone 2 years ago.
$9500 for the package."



At least this will give you an idea of price and what is out there.
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:21 PM   #32
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If you really want the 8.1L, I would get a Silverado instead of a Suburban. The Suburbans all got 4L85Es, the Silverados with 8.1s got the same 5-speed Allison that went behind the Duramax. The 4L85s are decent, but the Allison is world-class.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:05 PM   #33
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If you really want the 8.1L, I would get a Silverado instead of a Suburban. The Suburbans all got 4L85Es, the Silverados with 8.1s got the same 5-speed Allison that went behind the Duramax. The 4L85s are decent, but the Allison is world-class.
And if you're going to get a Silverado you might as well step up and get the Duramax...

The Suburban fits the "sleep in the back" requirement better than a Silverado, I think.

--Ian
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:06 PM   #34
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canopy.

if you are going enclosed trailer then sleep in the trailer.

Keep the truck for bringing home all the HPDE trophies.

Truck also lets you do a camper later.
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Old 10-18-2016, 01:25 PM   #35
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Definitely look for a southern truck if it's a early 2000s gm. I see lots of pa and ny trucks come through and they're rust buckets. Brake lines, rockers, fenders, and brake backing plate/dust shields seem to be the things that go first.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:23 PM   #36
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Thanks everybody. I'm not really hung up on the Big Block thing. I just like the name and the idea. Had a Big Block '69 Corvette, and a '84 Big Block BMW (the 3.5l). With Turbo of course (a KKK K28)
Or maybe an Expedition? I know they never got the 460, but I'm sure the 5.4l could handle some towing duty. Most of my friends are more Ford than Chevy guys (I know - the company you keep)

Lars: Thanks! I very well may ask you to go take a look if I find something.

Now to come up with the budget. Where's the wife when I need to talk to her?
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:47 PM   #37
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God help you if you ever have to do plugs on the 5.4L Triton.
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Old 10-18-2016, 04:57 PM   #38
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God help you if you ever have to do plugs on the 5.4L Triton.
Depends on the vintage. The older one it spits them out, the newer one they're stuck in so tightly they break trying to remove them.

I really think Chevy nailed the 3/4 ton trucks in the early 2000s.

--Ian
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:03 PM   #39
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Got it. No Ford.
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Old 10-18-2016, 05:29 PM   #40
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No Ford 5.4L Tritons. Find a 7.3 E350 van and tow whatever you want. Or an F-350 with the 7.3, get a manual, and tow even more. $5k can buy you a decent van with some searching, trucks are about double from what little I have seen briefly looking.
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