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R W Burgess

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They'll get my Dodge Turbo Diesel when they pry my cold dead hands from the wheel.

Ditto for Bill and I. :D

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

Well, the comment was made that they still make the Suburban...which of course is true...but the engines keep getting smaller.

I'm looking for a replacement for my 1996 2500, with the 454 engine. That's about 7.4L. See a used one, fairly new on a lot, when I say to salesman "oh, it's a 6L" well, what's wrong with that they ask......I still believe the old racer's saw "there's no replacement for displacement." I realize that engines have been improved and so forth, but hit a big hill towing a heavy Packard in an enclosed trailer, and you want those cubic inches working for you.

I've resisted going the diesel route, although I know that's available, and those engines, too, are much improved.

So, what year was the last year of a large engine available in the Suburban? A really large, equivalent to the 454............and there's a reason I need a Suburban, not a truck...but that's a whole nother story.......

Hello David, its keith sparks from roanoke but still working down in colombia for the last many years. i hope all is well. projects, cars are in the states in storage and at friends places. i agree...........many years ago i used my 16 foot car hauler to move a 31 lasalle parts car from stanton to roanoke. i was so anxious to get back to roanoke that is a miracle that i got it home on 81. the wheel base of the expedition or how i loaded the lasalle was not worth the stress on 81. i was probably average 40 mph by the time i got home.

keith123451@live.com

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Nothing like a diesel. I am all for gas engines, but the 5.9 cummings my company provided me with for work will pull all day long at any speed with pretty much any weight. I have towed up to 20k pounds with no problem.

Plenty of torque.

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Wayne:

I bought my 1991 low milage Chevy 454 SS Sport short bed truck with it's 454 MK V big block chevy engine & heavy duty 4L80E 4 speed overdrive transmission with lock-up torque converter and locker 4:10 rear end ratio to tow my 24 foot boat and my flatbed with old car toys.

You can literally pull-out tree stumps with this short bed truck !

I only put about 500 or less miles on it each year !

It is literally going-up rapidly in value today !

I have no plans of ever selling it !

I cannot replace it with anything similar built new today !

It's also a blast of fun to drive ~

Edited by Silverghost (see edit history)

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I think what we may see soon is people "restoring" Chevy 454 powered and Ford 460 powered trucks from the 1980's and 1990's to use a tow vehicles and abondoning late model ones altogether. The newer ones are so complicated electronically if something breaks you're screwed. I just bought a 1996 Ford F 250 to use for occasional towing. I don't think there's much on it I can't fix myself. Transmissions have gotten more complicated too. Everything now is computer controlled. See what it costs for a transmission rebuilt on a late model truck.

There was a guy on here a few months ago with a 1987 Chevy 454 truck with only 80,000 miles on it for $3900. Property maintained, not driven in the winters, rust free, and located near Hershey. That wasn't a bad deal at all. A truck like that is almost collectable now.

Edited by K8096 (see edit history)

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I think what we may see soon is people "restoring" Chevy 454 powered and Ford 460 powered trucks from the 1980's and 1990's to use a tow vehicles and abondoning late model ones altogether. The newer ones are so complicated electronically if something breaks you're screwed. I just bought a 1996 Ford F 250 to use for occasional towing. I don't think there's much on it I can't fix myself. Transmissions have gotten more complicated too. Everything now is computer controlled. See what it costs for a transmission rebuilt on a late model truck.

If you use a tow vehicle for towing only, with proper maintenance, it should last a very long time while covering relatively few miles. Wear and breakdowns should be less with fewer miles.

Those complex electronics have value, in that they save on fuel and engine wear. It'd be a trade-off to run a newer truck over a restored big-block, risking unlikely more expensive repairs for better fuel economy (which is going to matter more every year). Also there'll be replacment parts issues for older trucks.

Whatever the decision, I'd say now is not the time to be stringing a marginal tow vehicle along, hoping to get a few more years out of it.

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I think what we may see soon is people "restoring" Chevy 454 powered and Ford 460 powered trucks from the 1980's and 1990's to use a tow vehicles and abondoning late model ones altogether. The newer ones are so complicated electronically if something breaks you're screwed. I just bought a 1996 Ford F 250 to use for occasional towing. I don't think there's much on it I can't fix myself. Transmissions have gotten more complicated too. Everything now is computer controlled. See what it costs for a transmission rebuilt on a late model truck.

There was a guy on here a few months ago with a 1987 Chevy 454 truck with only 80,000 miles on it for $3900. Property maintained, not driven in the winters, rust free, and located near Hershey. That wasn't a bad deal at all. A truck like that is almost collectable now.

You may well be right on the idea of people restoring older big block trucks, vans, and SUV type vehicles to handle their towing requirements. However, it would be wise to go back far enough to return to normally aspirated engines. We will eventually reach the point where it is impossible to maintain the vehicles that require a working computer particular to the year(s) of the emissions standards they met at the time.

The downside of those normally aspirated vehicles is they were far more utilitarian in nature than those produced in the early 1990s and pretty much ride like a truck. Any perceived benefit in fuel economy in newer verses older is pretty much a myth. No vehicle designed to tow will be geared to provide great fuel economy, not even those with diesel engines (just ask the trucking industry). Although I have to admit my 1990 F-150 with a 5.0L EFI engine does not seem to suffer economy loss when towing verses not towing. Gets 13-15 mpg either way with its towing package and 4.11 gears. Candidly I do not know how well it would fare with a major wind resistance like comes about towing a travel trailer. Unfortunately the problem of replacing failed sensors, throttle bodies, and various other components from which that generation of computer acquires information are becoming difficult to come by, not to mention the computers themselves from that era. The latter being the primary reason to stick with normally aspirated if reverting back is what one wants to do.

Jim

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Hey guys, I got a Speed Magazine circular last week out of the blue.

Amazing how many replacement engines are available today in ad mags like these, even brand new factory 350 Chevy engines. They are also very reasonably priced, compared to any electronic replacement on late model engines. They even had new carburetors available. I guess we can thank those rodder guys and speed freaks (word used lovingly) for keeping this industry profitable, bless their little souls!:)

The point is that these engines, plus their replacement parts, will be around a long time to keep our old trucks running.

Hey, my old '80 Chevy pu will start right up after setting outdoors for months, with only a battery jump and some gas down the carburetor. :eek::D

So, what's not to like.

Wayne

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Hey guys, I got a Speed Magazine circular last week out of the blue.

Amazing how many replacement engines are available today in ad mags like these, even brand new factory 350 Chevy engines. They are also very reasonably priced, compared to any electronic replacement on late model engines. They even had new carburetors available. I guess we can thank those rodder guys and speed freaks (word used lovingly) for keeping this industry profitable, bless their little souls!:)

The point is that these engines, plus their replacement parts, will be around a long time to keep our old trucks running.

Hey, my old '80 Chevy pu will start right up after setting outdoors for months, with only a battery jump and some gas down the carburetor. :eek::D

So, what's not to like.

Wayne

Perfect for we motor heads, but probably no so perfect for the other halves sitting in the passenger seat when pulling a travel trailer around the country on a vacation trip. I've yet to run into but a very few city gals of any age which have an appreciation for the pickups of the '80s and before. Unless basically a country gal used to driving a pickup, riding horses, or herding cattle, they'll all complain about the ride and the lack of creature comforts like cup holders, sound systems, etc.

Jim

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Jim:

You are indeed correct ~~~

A girlfriend of mine used to complain about riding in my Chevy 454 SS Sport Pick-up and my many Antiques & Classics~~~

I still have the 454 SS and the entire car collection~~~

That girlfriend is now long-gone !

By the way~~~

She drove a Ford Pinto !

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City Gal (Dale) and I have travelled cross-country in vintage cars, old Suburbans, and any manner of questionable transport for nearly 43 years. We've made our own cup-holders, used 4-60 Air conditiong (open 4 windows and drive 60 miles per hour), slept in the back of a Citroen Station Wagon over Labor Day Weekend in Bar Harbor, Maine when reservations got fouled-up, gone coast-to-coast with both kids, and laughed our heads off when our 6-1/2 year-old daughter (now Nathan's Mom) said:

"HE HIT ME BACK FIRST"

I'll try to keep the old ones running:

The '86 Suburban 2500 with the 454/400 has nearly 280,000 miles, and had over 155,000 when I got it from TRIMACAR, in April of 2000 (almost eleven years ago, and only a tranny rebuild and R-14 recharge). Great truck - thanks Chevrolet and David!

The 2000 Excursion 7.3 Turbodiesel 4-Wheel-Drive has 256,000 miles, and should be good for at least that many more if we maintain it.

The 2002 Suburban 2500 8.1 Litre Big-Block rides firm (make that Very Stiff) until it is pulling the 30 ft enclosed hauler, using the equalizer hitch - then it rides like a 40 ft wheelbase babycarriage. It even has 6 cupholders, front and rear A/C, Tape and Cassette - Best of all - it pulls like you cannot imagine. Bought it new when GM allowed us to build-up $7,800 in purchase credits on our GM Charge Card, and then offer 0% financing for 36 months. has towed 122,000 miles with no breakdowns or problems whatsoever!

THERE IS NO REPLACEMENT FOR DISPLACEMENT !!

Best to all for the holidays, and a healthy new year, for all of us, and for the hobby.

PS: We drove the 1977 Suburban 350/350 until it had 1,431,000 miles (Yes, over 1.4 million), and the 1978 Suburban 454/400 until it had 376,000 miles. Hurricane Katrina got them, but the engines both live on in local street rods.

Edited by Marty Roth (see edit history)

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I still have the 454 SS and the entire car collection~~~

That girlfriend is now long-gone !

!

Yeah, but some of us married that girl and it's cheaper to keep her!

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