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I asked a few days ago about a Ford 150 for a DD/tow rig but after checking it out today I had to pass (major steering and rear end issues) but I may have come across a Chevy 2500 for a decent price so I was wondering if anyone had any experience with them. The only experience I have with Chevy trucks was my old 66 pickup with a 327 so I'm not really sure what to look for in a newer one. I will have to tow a dual axle trailer with surge brakes and a 3900lb Jeep on it for a trip from NJ to Georgia in a few months so I need something pretty beefy that will also serve as a DD. I also need 4WD for surf fishing, snow, camping etc... The truck I am looking at is an 88 2500 extended cab 4WD with a 350 and a 5spd. It looks in pretty good shape but I don't know what to check out on the IFS or transfer case? What tranny is in this, NV4500? Is it powerful enough with only the 350, anything to watch out for? Whats a good price, $2500? Thanks much for any help
 

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Well I can't tell you much about independent suspensions, other than I don't like them for their limited ability to get me where I want to go,
. But thats just me.

I like chevy trucks if I don't have to tow with them, they ride good and handle good.

The 350 motor is great if it pulls just the truck, add a trailer and you creep around and burn a ton of gas.

My Jeep weighs in at 4500lbs. I flat tow it.

I also live in AZ where a lot of my towing is in the mountains, and my towing experiance with Chevy is long. Ford or Dodge will out do the Chevy, But that said, all my experiance has been with carbed or TBI motors, other than the one TPI injected Ford, (now that was sweet).

Currently I have a 350 powered Chevy 1 ton that is lacking when I flat tow my Jeep in the mountains.
 
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i think your best bet will be to find an older 198x - 1992 Dodge Ram w/ the cummins turbo diesel. You can find them for cheap, they will last FOREVER, and pull like crazy...and get good mileage...and i think theyre pretty cool looking, especially the dually ones
 

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Personally, I like the Chevy's. Hard to beat a good 350, and even though in 88, they were still a bit under powered, it should tow fine. I think that tranny is an HM290. I know that's what they used in the 1500's and I don't recall GM using two different manuals in those years. It's kind of an odd tranny with the bellhousing cast into the case. We have one in my dad's 88 C1500 and pull his 28' camper with it. It has held up OK, even though they weren't well known for their toughness. I know they can chew up synchro's real fast if used hard. Might need to find an NV4500 down the road.
 

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I do quite a bit of towing with my '92 Suburban. It has the 454 - a good engine!
Around town empty it gets almost 15, pulling's less. But it runs up hills with the load easy. A great tow vehicle. It's heavy enough in the rear the trailer doesn't push it around like a pick-up.

Ford's have no power in reverse - at least none of mine did. There was no way I could even back one trailer wheel over a curb! -- And that was just a lightweight "T" trailer with a light sandbuggy on it!
Once they went computers in Fords they've been terrible. You can always tell you are driving a Ford by the hesitation in acceleration and the surging at steady speeds.

Dodge - I'd use a 440 - have one in my motorhome - love it. Needs a few tricks to make them run right though.

I'd never even consider a constant RPM engine like a diesel - I drive my vehicles on streets and highways where you find you need to go different speeds.
 

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It should be alright to tow with. I tow with an f150 w/ a 300 6 with a 5 speed and it gets the job done but i'm longing for a v8 powered tow rig. Right now my mileage is about 9-10 towing my jeep and a ton of extra crap doing about 65 when i can do it between home and school (it's pretty flat though there are some hills). I figure my gas mileage won't be any worse if i get a v8, i'm practically getting big block towing mileage with a motor that has 1/3 less cubes. If the truck is in good shape and it doesn't have 4 million miles on it i'd say it's a good deal. If it's really rusty pass on it, my ford is rusting away and i won't make the mistake again of buying a real rusty truck.

BarrelRoll
 
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