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Old December 12th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #1
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Default ranger vs s10 vs ?? for light duty hauling ONE TIME

Alright, so I don't run this conversation to run away on a name calling battle between chevy and ford (and maybe toyota, datsun, nissan, mazda ??) but here's the deal:
I'm planning on heading down to Georgia in a week to pick up some parts for my cj. The only item of significance weight wise is the fiberglass tub, at ~310 lbs. I don't have a vehicle that can haul, and I may or may not be able to borrow a friends 95? blazer with the 4.3 and ~150k miles. edit: Also will likely have access to a trailer that will be sufficient. I'm trying to solve the vehicle problem, not find a trailer, just to clear up any confusion.

I know the 4.3 is a good motor, but I've heard mixed reviews about the blazer. Since it's a 1400 mile round trip, I'd rather buy a cheap pickup for the trip, and then sell it afterwards then have the blazer break down on me. So here are the options I know of, please tell me the pros and cons of them
The main trucks am looking at are the Ranger and the S10. The foreign trucks listed aboveall tend to carry a higher price than I want.

So for the ranger, there's the 4 cyl 2.3, and the 3.0 and 4.0 v6. I personally prefer stickshift, plus it should net me better mpg on the freeway. The most this whole rig could weigh is ~1k pounds.
I'm wondering if the the ranger 2.3 is too underpowered to tow this light of a load at 70mph. I wont be trying to drive quickly, and I don't know if the smaller engine will save me gas or use more because it may be overloaded.

The 3.0 I don't see in stick form often, the 4.0 in manual I see more often.
Would a relaxed cruising speed on the freeway with the 4.0 net me better mpg than the 2.3 because it isn't as underpowered?
Also have been told the auto trannies are weaker on these trucks. Not sure if that's true, or whether people just overwork them and they overheat.

For the s10, I basically have the iron duke, the 2.8, and the 4.3. Same questions as above: what will be able to handle the load and net me the best mpg? I don't need lots of power, I just dont want to be way overworking the engine. I'll be taking it easy.

NOTE: I Will only be using this truck for the time it takes for me to go down south and back, until the time I can sell it as soon as I return. Can't have that kind of mpg for my commuting.

edit: I probably will not need 4x4 either, if that makes a difference.

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Old December 12th, 2012, 08:49 PM   #2
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why not just rent a uhaul?
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Old December 12th, 2012, 08:52 PM   #3
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Buy small utility trailer and tow behind your DD?

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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:00 PM   #4
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why not just rent a uhaul?
thought about it, but at 60 cents a mile, the price is almost 3x what it would cost for me to even take the blazer down there at 17mpg. They want $840. Would cost me ~$310 tops.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:01 PM   #5
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Buy small utility trailer and tow behind your DD?

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my d.d is a 4 cyl car. wouldn't be able to handle a trailer. I should've mentioned that the vehicle is the problem, I have a trailer I can borrow.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #6
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Also forgot to mention I've heard things about towing with a ranger (may apply to s10) that towing in 4th is better (take over drive off with an auto), because it is direct drive? or something like that.
Is this true? Any other similar things for the s10?
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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the 4 cylinder is barely enough to drive around, the 4.0l OHV is a stout engine. get about 18mpg freeway. You're not towing enough weight to worry about overdrive issues.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:41 PM   #8
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S10 4.3 5spd plenty of power and not horrible fuel mileage.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:52 PM   #9
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the 4 cylinder is barely enough to drive around, the 4.0l OHV is a stout engine. get about 18mpg freeway. You're not towing enough weight to worry about overdrive issues.
ok cool, good to know on the overdrive. Yea I know the 4cyl has only like 100hp, but I'm wondering if in stick form it would get better mpg towing that light of weight down the freeway at 70 or under than the 4.0? Which has like 160hp I think. Like am I so underpowered that it will only get worse? Or I'm underpowered if I want to go anywhere quickly?

What about the 3.0? And should I ditch the stick shift altogether? I think I'd get better mpg, and I enjoy it more, especially if the autos are weak...
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Old December 12th, 2012, 09:55 PM   #10
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S10 4.3 5spd plenty of power and not horrible fuel mileage.
yea, i know the 4.3 has plenty of power, but to be honest I'd rather have a little less power and better mpg for this long of a trip (720mi each way) than lots of power.
What kind of mpg are you guessing?

I guess I've never known where the breaking point is between small and big engines in pickups when towing at freeway speeds, or in general. and how auto vs manual plays into that.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 10:42 PM   #11
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Any of the vehicles mentioned will pull a 1000lb load. A Saturn with 4 college kids, tank of gas, and a trunk full of luggage headed to spring break is hauling close to 1000lb for fucks sake.

So your options are borrow a buddies 17 year old 150k mile blazer or buy someone's pos truck. Did you realize you could be fucking 700miles away from home when the used clapped out ranger/s10 breaks down?

Seriously take my cynicism with a grain of salt. I think you have a bad idea.
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Old December 12th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #12
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U not going able get good mpg with this.

Get 90's F150 with 300 6 cylinder with 5 speed 2wd plus 3.08 gear. I got 24 mpg on long highway at 65 mph but city it turd due 3.08 is highway gear.

And my old 1994 Explorer got 24 mpg out 4 speed auto with 4.0L OHV plus 3.73 on 300 miles highway. But average is 19-20 at 65 mph No cruise control.

3.0L you maybe not happy with power/gas.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:00 AM   #13
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Any of the vehicles mentioned will pull a 1000lb load. A Saturn with 4 college kids, tank of gas, and a trunk full of luggage headed to spring break is hauling close to 1000lb for fucks sake.

So your options are borrow a buddies 17 year old 150k mile blazer or buy someone's pos truck. Did you realize you could be fucking 700miles away from home when the used clapped out ranger/s10 breaks down?

Seriously take my cynicism with a grain of salt. I think you have a bad idea.
yea, but that saturn has lost ALL of its acceleration at that point, and if it's one of the really small ones, braking and everything else is totally changed. and mpg? forget it lol.
same with a truck I know, but I feel like towing a trailer is more serious.
Besides, saturns dont have hitches....

so are you suggesting I borrow the blazer? I wont get a junker trunk, I can find a good running and decent looking one, look up reviews for it and see if its dependable or not. Maybe do some preventive maintenance before I go. Are you saying both vehicle options are bad ideas? I wasn't sure about the blazers reliability, which seems to be mixed, which is why I was asking about that.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:06 AM   #14
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U not going able get good mpg with this.

Get 90's F150 with 300 6 cylinder with 5 speed 2wd plus 3.08 gear. I got 24 mpg on long highway at 65 mph but city it turd due 3.08 is highway gear.

And my old 1994 Explorer got 24 mpg out 4 speed auto with 4.0L OHV plus 3.73 on 300 miles highway. But average is 19-20 at 65 mph No cruise control.

3.0L you maybe not happy with power/gas.


hmmm alright, that's a possibility. so was I falsely informed when I was told by a few previous owners of those trucks that the the trannies tend to get messed up somehow? shift forks, t/o bearings, clutches, shifter housing plugs etc?

Yea, I guess an explorer or 90's suv are other options, I was just thinking a small 2wd pickup would be the suited to the job and fuel efficient. if those f150 5 speed trannies are dependable, I will definitely consider it strongly.

the 3.0 on the ranger? I'll be unhappy with the bad mpg I get for the power? What about the 4cyl and 4.0? I'd expect to be unhappy about the power from the 4cyl, but not the mpg. Not sure if the 4.0 would be the best because it's not underpowered?
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Old December 13th, 2012, 08:11 AM   #15
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I think your thinking about this too hard.
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Old December 13th, 2012, 09:11 AM   #16
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I think your thinking about this too hard.


ok. do you have a simpler suggestion/solution for me?
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Old December 13th, 2012, 09:39 AM   #17
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ok. do you have a simpler suggestion/solution for me?
Yes, you have a few options, so I will overthink it a little for you as well.

Best option: Pay to have it shipped. Buying an unknown used vehicle to haul parts 1400 miles through the mountains/hills between michigan and Georgia. Bad idea. Plus you're talking about some pretty underpowered trucks that are gonna struggle with some of those hills even with out a load or aerodynamic drag of a jeep tub on a trailer.

Rent a truck, I have a few buddies who constantly rent fullsize crew cab pick up trucks for long distance mountain bike trips where they need the extra space. I don't know the cost, but at least you will likely be in a low mileage newer truck that will pull down reasonable mileage, be comfortable, safe, mechanically prepared for the trip, etc.

Fly down, rent truck to drive back?
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Old December 13th, 2012, 09:57 AM   #18
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Yes, you have a few options, so I will overthink it a little for you as well.

Best option: Pay to have it shipped. Buying an unknown used vehicle to haul parts 1400 miles through the mountains/hills between michigan and Georgia. Bad idea. Plus you're talking about some pretty underpowered trucks that are gonna struggle with some of those hills even with out a load or aerodynamic drag of a jeep tub on a trailer.

Rent a truck, I have a few buddies who constantly rent fullsize crew cab pick up trucks for long distance mountain bike trips where they need the extra space. I don't know the cost, but at least you will likely be in a low mileage newer truck that will pull down reasonable mileage, be comfortable, safe, mechanically prepared for the trip, etc.

Fly down, rent truck to drive back?
Alright, well here are my known problems with some of those options. It will cost me $700 to pay to have it shipped.

If the 4cyl's are too underpowered for the job (cj fiberglass tub on 8x10 open trailer), then I could always get a 6cyl.

I just want to see which of the motor/trans combos are most dependable, and get good mpg too. But even driving a v6 down there is cheaper (more than half the price) of paying for it to get shipped. Plus, I can recoup my money if I buy a truck, not so with shipping it.

Renting a truck is so expensive per mile that it wouldn't be worth it either, (over $800)+gas and same with plane tickets ($4-600), cause this is the worst time of year to be flying. I would totally rent a truck if the pricing wasn't so awful.

So I'm down with a v6, if everyone thinks the 4 cyl is too underpowered to pull 1k lbs. now how about a manual vs auto?
and any experience with the I6 f150 auto/manual? the engines are good, but do those trannies have problems?
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Old December 13th, 2012, 10:07 AM   #19
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I think your thinking about this too hard.
no shit
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Old December 13th, 2012, 10:12 AM   #20
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Alright, well here are my known problems with some of those options. It will cost me $700 to pay to have it shipped.

If the 4cyl's are too underpowered for the job (cj fiberglass tub on 8x10 open trailer), then I could always get a 6cyl.

I just want to see which of the motor/trans combos are most dependable, and get good mpg too. But even driving a v6 down there is cheaper (more than half the price) of paying for it to get shipped. Plus, I can recoup my money if I buy a truck, not so with shipping it.

Renting a truck is so expensive per mile that it wouldn't be worth it either, (over $800)+gas and same with plane tickets ($4-600), cause this is the worst time of year to be flying. I would totally rent a truck if the pricing wasn't so awful.

So I'm down with a v6, if everyone thinks the 4 cyl is too underpowered to pull 1k lbs. now how about a manual vs auto?
and any experience with the I6 f150 auto/manual? the engines are good, but do those trannies have problems?
By the time you buy this truck and fix everything to make it run well enough to make the trip it will be more then 700$.

These trucks don't tow much better then the little car you said won't do it for you.
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