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Old 10-23-2009, 08:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
elhigh
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: SE USA - East Tennessee
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Josie - '87 Toyota Pickup
90 day: 27.96 mpg (US)

Felicia - '09 Toyota Prius Base
90 day: 48.81 mpg (US)
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Back in the day, we had a 1980 Chevy Citation with the Iron Duke and 4spd manny. Say what you will about Citations, I liked that car. Aside from the fact that the engine ATE a stack o' water pumps, and the whole broken shifter cable fiasco (15 miles in second gear only), it was a pretty good car and aside from the water pump, the engine was great.

The Duke is no power monster. Forget big power. It isn't even big on torque but it'll get out of its own way. A lightweight chassis like the S10 is a good place for it. But not even trying to get decent mileage, our 1980 Citation was delivering low 30s mpg with Dad really wanting to get to Minnesota in decent time. That's pretty good economy, for a car with four aboard and the trunk completely full.

And we had no air conditioning. So all the windows were completely down. We finally got rid of ours, not because of the engine but everything else, mostly the tranny. The Duke held tough. And that tranny issue won't be a problem for you either, since I think it has the same bolt pattern as the SBC, so if you can make it fit between the frame rails of the truck, you can have whatever tranny you want, if you can find one that will fit a SBC. Since that's the most popular repower choice out there, no problem.

I'd jump at it. Make a cheapskate aerocap, cover those rear wheelwells, fair in the rockers, open up the exhaust a bit, I bet it'd break 40mpg, easy.

If you ever want to get nuts with a big four, check out the Super Duty Four. It looks just like a Duke, fits in the same space, makes more than twice the power. Stroker versions push 3.0 liters, make gobs of big power all day long, sound like an angry tractor under the hood. Awesome stuff.
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