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Old 11-27-2017, 10:37 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Turtle Improve Old Tuck mileage

Hello all,
Im new here and have a question. I have been looking to buy my first car (im 19). I am sort of obligated to get a truck because i work with a contractor and will constantly need my tool with me ( I have A LOT). So if i have to get a truck, i want one that i like.

Long story short, I want to get an old Chevy C-10 (Any year really), but to improve gas mileage so im not always broke, I want to know if its possible to somehow attach an electric motor to the driveshaft or rear axle.

My goal is to have a 350 V8 in front for fun, and the electric motor for the daily stop and go traffic (I live in the city and never have to drive far). I want to be able to turn on the v8 when I need to accelerate past something like 40, but really just rely on the electric motor.

Im also open to having both work in unison

What do you guys think?

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Old 11-27-2017, 10:51 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Too complex. Ain't gonna happen. Get an S-10, Ranger, or some such with a 4 cyl and stick; drive it right and get about 30 mpg.
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Old 11-28-2017, 01:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Could you just get a tool trailer and haul it with a car?
My car trailer will carry as much as any old half ton.
Ultimate 4x8 utility trailer, 2,700lb capacity with brakes
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Old 11-28-2017, 07:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Agree with Frank.

The electric motor would need batteries, controllers, and a complete replacement/duplication of interior controls. You'd likely be looking at $6-10,000 in material costs alone for the bare minimum (used) motor, batteries and controller to have even a short electric-only range on such a huge vehicle. Fabrication would be complex and probably exceed the cost of materials. It still costs money to charge the batteries (if less than gas) and you'd be looking at a bare minimum of maybe 100-150,000 miles to break even in cost. You'd probably lose a fair amount of bed space, defeating the purpose of having a larger truck.

Drive a big truck, and you're going to be broke.

I'd say you're probably best off with a minivan, remove the rear seats and you have a huge, enclosed rear space with side access, which isn't nearly as high off the ground as most truck beds (easier to get to) and better gas mileage than any truck. If you don't need to move sheets of plywood and drywall, something like a Honda Fit with the rear gutted would be even better - possibly 40+mpg.

This article might be worth a read:

What Does Your Work Truck Say About You?

Quote:
I know how you feel – trucks are fun, and everybody has ’em. How could this be wrong? To figure it out, let’s review the basics of what a truck is really supposed to accomplish.

1) To make you money.
2) To make you look good in front of other people.

You could get more complicated and start talking about horses and cupholders, but if you break it all the way down, those two points above are why we buy trucks.

You could say a truck needs to carry you and your crew to work, or haul your tools, materials and trailers. But why are you delivering yourself to work? Why are you bringing the tools and materials in the first place? To make money. These machines are business tools, designed to make us a profit.

And you could pretend a truck is only a business tool, but that would be ignoring the fact that your choice of truck says something about you – to the ladies, to other men, and to your employer. Or if you’re doing well, to the customers of the business you own yourself. What message do you want to convey to these people?

So Where’s the Problem?

The Money

A truck makes money by carrying as much **** as possible, safely, to your destination. This allows you to earn a good day’s pay. But the truck also costs you money, which is taking back a portion of that paycheck. The amount you get to keep for yourself is your profit. Since your goal is a nice fat profit, you obviously want to pick the truck that burns the smallest amount of your hard-earned cash.
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The Wrong Tool for the Job: this is what you are doing, if you use a full-sized pickup truck for anything smaller than hauling multi-ton loads. And I’m not even going to mention the folly of using a pickup truck to commute to an office job. ****.

See, when you buy a truck, you look smart only at those moments you are maxing that thing out. Payload and towing load at 100% of rated capacity, 16-foot lumber on the roof rack, and the cabin full to the limits of comfort. At that moment, the truck is earning the money you paid for it. Unfortunately for most gentlemen, this moment is Never.

At all other moments, you’re showing you bought too much truck. You are using the 163 pound drill press to countersink tiny screws in a door frame. You are wasting your own money and looking to the rest of the world like a dumbass who can’t choose the right truck. And unfortunately for most truck owners, this is Always.

Last edited by Ecky; 11-28-2017 at 08:31 AM..
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:18 AM   #5 (permalink)
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If you actually use the capabilities of a half ton

Locate a C Code 6.2 Diesel 2WD and install a 5 speed shift along with 3.23 or numerically lower (read higher) rear gears.

With a small amount of hypermiling you will be in the 20-30 mpg area with minimal effort, stop and go not so much,
10 ton loads not that either (without different rear gears or a 2 speed t-case)
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Always nice to find another mustachian in the area. Loved the article and the concept included. Not many have thought out their truck purchases from an economy or usefulness viewpoint, so we have lots of pristine trucks that have never seen dirt or hauled a load. On the other end, we have a few "blue smokers" still running around.
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Old 11-28-2017, 02:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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A minivan has about the same payload rating as most 1/2 ton trucks, especially trucks from 20 years ago. They won't (or at least aren't rated to) tow as much, but they do haul as much. With dual side doors, a rear hatch, and lower floor they are easier to work out of as well. You can even get AWD if needed.
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Old 11-29-2017, 05:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Others have addressed the issue of whether or not you really require a truck, I will post assuming you have relooked at your use case and determined that you in fact need a truck. I would suggest for best mileage getting one with a stick shift and overdrive transmission. You mentioned an old C-10, but I would suggest something in the 90’s with the NV4500 transmission and the numerically lowest gear ratio you can find (like 3.08). Based on your posted goals, I would suggest a Chevy/GMC c1500 1993-1998 regular cab short bed step side 5.7L (350) with NV4500 transmission and 3.08 gears. That is not necessarily the best option, but is probably the cheapest option that has good potential.

I don’t think the hybrid approach would pan out without much expense and custom fab work (can you weld and machine metal?), but if you were dead set on pursuing it I would either get a 4x4 and swap the front driveshaft off the transfer case onto your electric drivetrain or tap into one of the PTO ports on the NV4500 as a way to connect the output of the electric motor directly to the transmission. I think you would be much better served though taking a stock truck and modifying it for lower weight, rolling resistance, and aerodynamic drag.

If you are trying to save money and gas “fun” with a V8 is not the way to do it, especially when things start tearing up. Learn to enjoy driving the truck responsibly and in a way to conserve gas, which can be fun in its own way. Learn to work on it yourself, modify it to work for your business needs (toolboxes, work lights, air tank, etcetera).
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:08 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Yeah, that "fun" part really threw cold water on the whole post. How much "fun" can be had in a 5000 lbs barn on wheels that presumably is full of tools? Is one romp on the "fun" pedal going to negate miles and miles of trying to save fuel?
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Old 11-29-2017, 08:15 PM   #10 (permalink)
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im definitely new here but a van would probably be a good middle if you need to carry a few hundred pounds of tools/supplies. A diesel would get a little better in town and on highway but has a tremendous hike in maintenance cost vs a gasser.

They make cheap harbor freight trailers that you could fab up a lock box for cheap though and tow it behind a car or maybe a little 2wd manual pickup with a bed cap?

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