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General Automotive General automotive discussion. This is intended to be a discussion about other not VW and Diesel cars you may have or interested in.

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Old April 3rd, 2012, 06:20   #16
Brennan-MN
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Sounds to me like you already have your heart set on a 4 runner. I personally think a 4 runner is too small if you plan on towing a 23 foot boat any distance.

Find out what size boat first, then find the vehicle that is properly equipped to tow it.

Really any V8 with 4x4 and a decent wheel base will work fine. You will have to worry about transmissions if you are pulling heavy on a smaller vehicle.

I don't know your plan, but fuel economy doesn't really matter if you live so close to the lake, and you have your TDI for everything else.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 06:54   #17
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Originally Posted by DaveTDIpassat View Post
I have considered dodge rams, not sure why 99 was your cutoff Jim W, but I like their styling. It is probably my favorite looking truck. I am just not sure of the reliability of a cheap dodge ram. I can pick up a 4 runner for 4 or 5 grand and know I can make the long hauls many many times without issue or even much maintenance.
I went with your requirement of a low cost vehicle. The 94 to 98 trucks are 12 valve trucks with the P-7100 fuel pump otherwise known as the P-Pump. The trucks are very easy to mod and get better fuel economy than stock when moded. The mid 98.5 and 99 trucks are the first 24 valve 5.9L Cummins and they do not have very much electronics on them as the later models do. You could also look into models as late as 2002 also but they may required more money to buy.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 09:11   #18
DaveTDIpassat
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim W View Post
I went with your requirement of a low cost vehicle. The 94 to 98 trucks are 12 valve trucks with the P-7100 fuel pump otherwise known as the P-Pump. The trucks are very easy to mod and get better fuel economy than stock when moded. The mid 98.5 and 99 trucks are the first 24 valve 5.9L Cummins and they do not have very much electronics on them as the later models do. You could also look into models as late as 2002 also but they may required more money to buy.
Jim W.

Oh sorry. I did not know you were referring to the Cummins.

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I don't know your plan, but fuel economy doesn't really matter if you live so close to the lake, and you have your TDI for everything else.
Plan is to have the boat primarily in St. Louis at my Father's house. I live on a very small lot so no room to store the boat, I dont have a dock and I do not think I can have a dock given certain regulations and the positioning of my lot. The vehicle will be stored in St. Louis at my Father's house and when he comes to visit he will bring the boat.


The Passat can tow the boat, its just that it is not safe nor able to handle a boat ramp. A 21 foot bass boat isn't the biggest boat but certainly not the smallest. It puts enough strain on the vehicle to warrant one capable of towing.

I am in Sunrise Beach, MO close to the Hurricane Deck Bridge, FWIW.

Oilhammer I will consider your van. For $500 I cannot go wrong!

Last edited by DaveTDIpassat; April 3rd, 2012 at 09:15.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 10:08   #19
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.

Oilhammer I will consider your van. For $500 I cannot go wrong!
If your father is in STL I'd be happy to meet with him so he can look at the Ford if you like. I live in Union, and work in Maryland Heights.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 10:20   #20
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Currently he is looking for a bass boat between 17 and 23 feet.

My only stipulation is I do not want an American made truck. Everyone and their brother has one here and while that may be convenient for maintenance, I like driving different vehicles than the norm (hence the Passat in the middle of the Missouri Ozarks).

A current prospect is an older 4 runner with a manual transmission. I don't want it to be a small vehicle because it is difficult enough pulling a boat out on a slippery ramp. I saw a highlander the other day almost loose everything, and highlanders have grown in size in recent years.

Does anyone have any suggestions?
I've owned several boats around that size and weight and the last thing you want is a 4-runner sized vehicle. If your going with a fiber glass hull they are a lot heavier then they look especially the bass boat style with all their gadgets and massive engines. Personally i would look at the newer aluminum hull boats as once i went to a Lund you couldn't pay me enough to go back to the fiberglass boats but I'm in a different area so maybe their is positive side to fiberglass in your area.

I used my smaller Tacoma a couple times just to see if it could do it. Made for a long day especially on the highway with a max speed of 50mph in the flats. I had to use 4-low to pull it out on a moderate steep ramp.

The full size domestic vans actually work great as you get tons of covered storage area for your gear and a sleeping spot for lakes outside of your normal area. I also liked the space to hang out in when mother nature was ruining my day by making a launch impossible. The only issue we had with our old dodge van was pulling boats out on steep concrete ramps.

I like my fathers 06 Tundra for pulling boats as its smaller with decent mpg's and comfortable for long trips. I would take his truck over my half ton GMC any day of the week. The Titan is a complete POS and one of the worst trucks to pull anything with, the torque, tranny, and gearing is all wrong IMO.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 11:04   #21
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Bass boats are usually among the heaviest fishing boats. The fiberglass ones even more so. They are also strapped with massive engines.

A 20 foot fiberglass bass boat with a trailer would be pushing 4-5000 lbs. You are going to want a half-ton truck or something equivalent.

Better to have something that can do the job safely and not break down then to have something under powered and not built for towing.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 12:44   #22
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Yes we are looking at fiberglass boats. I have lived on this lake for many years and can remember times driving up and down the lake and not seeing a boat in sight. The lake is in my blood, I just haven't had a boat in a few years. I used to love the aluminum boats because I could drive them all the way into the coves and not worry about scratching the hull. But the lake here has changed a lot in recent years as large yachts have moved in. And the fiberglass boats can handle the choppy water much better. I am aware they are heavy, hence the Passat is out of the question. I like the idea of a Tundra but you can't pick one up for cheap like you can a old Chevy or Dodge.

Oilhammer, I am still considering the Van. Not totally out of the question as the price is incredible but it is a vehicle I have not considered before. What is the story behind the boat, how did you acquire it (assuming you are not the "one owner since 1992"), and did you have to do major repairs to it to get it road worthy?
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 13:12   #23
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It belongs to a good friend of mine who has essentially 'given' it to me to sell for him, or keep if I want. He recently purchased a used Sprinter, as after a decade of driving TDIs he realized diesel is the way to go. And with fuel prices being what they are, this Ford has become a bit of a white elephant. It has not been driven much at all in recent years.

It has 216k miles on it (odo only shows 16k as it does not have the 6th digit space). The engine was replaced with a Jasper remanufactured unit at around 180k miles, as the original developed low oil pressure when the timing chain plastic gear came apart and clogged the oil pickup. I installed the engine myself.

We also retroffitted the A/C system to R134a at the time, and it worked great but has since lost its charge (like I said, it has been sitting a bunch).

Only other issues: the voltage stabilizer in the cluster died and the replacement shows all the gauges reading ever so slightly to the left of normal as it was a non-OEM stabilizer. The original wiper switch was messed up so a toggle switch was installed instead (owner is an electrician for Boeing.. he likes to tinker). It also has a bit of a lumpy idle and won't fast idle when cold, may just be an idle air motor and a good tune up is all it needs. It runs perfect down the road.

The interior is as close to new as you can expect, especially for something with over 2 decades of age.

I have an Odyssey and a Vanagon, so my 'big box' needs are met, and any time I would need to tow something my Vanagon cannot handle, I just use my dad's F150. Otherwise, I'd keep this van.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 14:33   #24
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Another plus for the econoline is all the weight the body puts over the rear axle. Should be fine on most ramps and way better than a 2X4 pickup truck.
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Old April 3rd, 2012, 19:19   #25
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X2 on the Dodge Ram with the Cummins diesel.

All of the family has bought Dodge Cummins diesels because they get excellent fuel economy(25mpg) and can could tow anything you hooked to it...
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Old April 4th, 2012, 08:20   #26
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I would say try and find a Tundra if you are set on a non-american car. My neighbor has one and it has a tow package that came from the factory. They are not bad looking trucks either.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 08:22   #27
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The Tundra is pretty much American. One driving down the street in Tokyo would result in panic, and people shouting "Godzilla! Godzilla!"

One of our trainers at Lexus was part of the first-gen Tundra design team. He was 100% American, I assure you, LOL. Some of the things he said....
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Old April 4th, 2012, 10:59   #28
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To all those saying a 4Runner can't handle a 20' bass boat I would have to disagree. My father tows his 22' Chris Craft Cadet 120 miles from his backyard to our lake house and launches it with his 6 Cyl 4Runner. He also preswells the boat before the season starts, so he's towing a 22' wooden boat with a hull full of water.

You've received plenty of good suggestions, but don't dismiss the 4Runner as a towing vehicle.
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Old April 4th, 2012, 16:06   #29
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And the fiberglass boats can handle the choppy water much better. I am aware they are heavy, hence the Passat is out of the question. I like the idea of a Tundra but you can't pick one up for cheap like you can a old Chevy or Dodge.
high end aluminum boats aren't what they use to be, and if you haven't checked them out i highly recommend you look into it. the hull design is what takes the wave abuse not the material.

The horrific resale value of American makes does make them attractive used vehicles But you know the old saying "you get what.........".

I just helped a friend find a used 1st gen Tundra here and the 99-02's are easily found for $7-10K for a good 4x4 access cab. I like the 05-06's because of some the slight changes they did in those last years but your going to pay around $15-17K for a 4x4 access cab. I have zero interest in the 2nd generation titanic model.

They actually bring about the same value as a 4-runner would.

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Old April 5th, 2012, 10:32   #30
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The Tundra is pretty much American. One driving down the street in Tokyo would result in panic, and people shouting "Godzilla! Godzilla!"

One of our trainers at Lexus was part of the first-gen Tundra design team. He was 100% American, I assure you, LOL. Some of the things he said....
Car and Driver had a piece a few months or years back about this. They did a percentage comparison of most makes and models. The Dodge Ram and Chevy Silverado had, IIRC, less than 50% of their parts made in the USA while the Tundra took the lead out of all the trucks with around 70% (again IIRC). It is probably one of those products built for a specific market, the USA. They still seem to be pretty reliable and hold resale value pretty well.
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