Go Back   EcoModder Forum > Off-Topic > The Lounge
Register Now
 Register Now
 


Reply  Post New Thread
 
Submit Tools LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-02-2016, 07:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
larrybuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: sw Washington (state), a little north of Vancouver
Posts: 1,043
Thanks: 277
Thanked 77 Times in 60 Posts
asking tow vehicle advice

Hi! Been busy; not on here for a while, have enjoyed 3 cross country driving trips in the last few months.

I have an '85 factory diesel K10 Suburban which has been a get by tow rig, slow,but have enjoyed getting 14.5 mpg's while towing a 33 foot enclosed car trailer w load.

I possibly might want to professionally haul other people's cars in the future.
I felt like I needed a 3/4 ton.

I found, and now also have an '86 3/4 ton Burb that is the gas 350 with a great turbo 400. It is very peppy w a Holly 650 double pumper.

The first 'Burb can give me up to near 26mpg by itself on long trips.
This 2nd one is obviously way below that, but I've only driven it local, not towing, don't really know it well yet.

I love the 'Burb's 'cause with my quest bed from Walmart in the back, I have a studio apartment with full comfort to stay at RV parks on cross country trips all year round with a ceramic heater saving motel money, and being closer to GUARD the trailer and contents.

My original plan was to go full hog, and put an early 12V Cummings all fresh in
this 3/4 one. I would not be doing the work myself, so some serious $$$ would be going out.

I am VERY OLD SCHOOL, not into newer stuff, purposely delighted in finding this 2nd one w all manual windows, and old timey kick panel floor vents!
Reluctantly, at some point, A/C will probably be needed to be added though.

In the last 2 days, the thought has struck me to have the healthy all ready there 350 converted to PROPANE!!! I've heard that it could improve the mpg a little while of course leaving a MUCH GREENER FOOTPRINT!!!

Both 'Burbs have the 3.73 diff. ratio.

If I went w propane, would the lower mpg compared to a Cummings still put me ahead $$ wise as the Cummings coming to reality IS a big expense.

Remember, I'm 61 years old, and I'm thinking of keeping both rigs forever until I'M DONE!!!

I know it would be nice to have a manual trans. in it for possible downhill in the snow shifting, but that would be infrequent at best, where the turbo 400 would be just fine really.

I would only be doing this cross country towing as a part time job emphasizing
a somewhat relaxed pace w no concrete deadlines time wise. I am saying this since obviously propane may be hard to find at 10:30 at night somewhere
one hasn't been before.

The 1st 'Burb is just an emergency tow backup, and will still be enjoyed by itself in my personal life.

I know the relation of propane vs. gas prices is very weird right now, but know high gas prices will be coming back soon, probably with a vengance!!!

So given the fact that I won't change my mind about old Suburbans....(I would not want a Ford Expedition, even diesel, because of modern electronics); what is a better choice...............

12v Cummings made to be post nuclear still usable, or the 350 turned into
propane with an old distrib. w points waiting as a backup????


WHAT SAYTH YOU?????????????????????????????????????????????
Thanks!

__________________
NEVER,NEVER GIVE UP!
PUMP THOSE TIRES UP!
DRIVE IN YOUR SOCKS FOR SENSITIVITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SLOW DOWN AND SMOOTH UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![SIGPIC]
  Reply With Quote
Alt Today
Popular topics

Other popular topics in this forum...

   
Old 03-03-2016, 01:52 AM   #2 (permalink)
EcoModding Lurker
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: United States
Posts: 6
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Is the 12V Cummins what they call the 6BT engine? I think that one was in the Dodge Dakota for a while. I think you can convert the 1999-2004 VW TDI engines to use a mechanical fuel pump, but I am not sure you could ditch the computer completely. Really though, if you care about being eco-friendly, then the best diesel to get would be a late-generation with DEF and all the computer tuned variation gizmos. Propane would definitely be better, but I wonder if you could get the range you might want for long trips... and could you even get propane reliably on the highway?
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2016, 07:55 AM   #3 (permalink)
Spaced out...
 
spacemanspif's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Dirty Jersey
Posts: 748

The New Focus - '07 Ford Focus ZX5
90 day: 32.44 mpg (US)
Thanks: 142
Thanked 204 Times in 148 Posts
Price out a running cummins and then figure out how much gas you can buy with that. Then if the math doesn't look convincing enough, add the price of labor and all the extra bits for the engine swap. I think you are looking at around $15-20k for the project and that's a lot of gas. Once you factor in the the mpg differences and cost of fuel you will find that break even is pretty far down the road. Constantly driving across the country will help reach that point faster but it may still be many years.

On the other hand, the cummins should be a much better towing power plant that could make the cross country trips more enjoyable for you.

Strictly speaking, the money is reason not to...but if it's what you want then money doesn't matter as much.
__________________
-Mike

2007 Ford Focus ZX5 - 91k - SGII, pending upper and lower grill bocks - auto trans
1987 Monte Carlo SS - 5.3/4L80E swap - 13.67 @ 106
2007 Ford Focus Estate - 230k - 33mpg - Retired 4/2018
1995 Saturn SL2 - 256K miles - 44mpg - Retired 9/2014

Cost to Operate Spreadsheet for "The New Focus"

  Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2016, 10:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 1,594

Volt, gas only - '12 Chevrolet Volt Premium
90 day: 38.02 mpg (US)

Volt, electric only - '12 Chevrolet Volt Premium
90 day: 132.26 mpg (US)

Yukon Denali Hybrid - '12 GMC Yukon Denali Hybrid
90 day: 21.48 mpg (US)
Thanks: 177
Thanked 363 Times in 256 Posts
Personally, i would shy away from propane and cng. Gasoline is so easy to find/buy that people only run out when they forget about it. If you want more economy and towing power, just rebuild the engine for low speed operation and torque. Much cheaper than the 12v cummins route.
__________________




  Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2016, 11:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: na
Posts: 1,025
Thanks: 277
Thanked 217 Times in 184 Posts
KISS is the way I'd go, if someone else is cover the cost of fuel run what you got.

If I felt a need to go Diesel I'd go 6.5 turbo, mechanical pump and beefed up 700r4, fraction of the cost of going Cummins.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-04-2016, 01:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
me and my metro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Oregon
Posts: 499

Economy Saturn - '02 Saturn L200
Thanks: 217
Thanked 181 Times in 144 Posts
I love my 6.5 na, trick 700r4, one ton axles, 456 Detroit locker in back. I tow a 35' Avion three axle bumper pull travel trailer. I get 17 mpg empty and about 11 towing.
__________________
02 Saturn L200 5 speed- soon to be a B207R and f40 6 speed. Almost 250k
84 Gmc 6.5 na diesel K30 4x4, TMU
2006 Lincoln Navigator, 200k+
  Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to me and my metro For This Useful Post:
MobilOne (03-12-2016)
Old 03-05-2016, 01:22 AM   #7 (permalink)
EV convert
 
oil pan 4's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NewMexico (USA)
Posts: 9,181

Sub - '84 Chevy Diesel Suburban C10
SUV
90 day: 19.5 mpg (US)

camaro - '85 Chevy Camaro Z28

Riot - '03 Kia Rio POS
Team Hyundai
90 day: 30.21 mpg (US)

Bug - '01 VW Beetle GLSturbo
90 day: 26.43 mpg (US)

Sub2500 - '86 GMC Suburban C2500
90 day: 11.95 mpg (US)

Snow flake - '11 Nissan Leaf SL
SUV
90 day: 141.63 mpg (US)
Thanks: 223
Thanked 3,004 Times in 2,339 Posts
You may want to go 3/4 ton.
The GM 14 bolt 10.5 full float axle is a lot tougher than the old 8.5 inch semi float.

If you have a TH700 you don't have to have 3.73 gears. The first and second gear ratios in a TH700 are numerically higher than a TH400.

Best thing to do to make it greener is put a turbo on it. A big turbo, not the sorry factory excuse for a turbo only designed to get the new trucks off the dealer lot, because it sounds like you tow a lot and could be at higher elevation.
A turbo will increase fuel economy, power and reduce smoke output.
And if you have the engine apart get the heads machines for valve seals.
The exhaust valves on the 6.2 motors don't have any seals and the seals on the intakes I would barely even call them seals.
__________________
1984 chevy suburban, custom made 6.5L diesel turbocharged with a Garrett T76 and Holset HE351VE, 22:1 compression 13psi of intercooled boost.
1989 firebird mostly stock. Aside from the 6-speed manual trans, corvette gen 5 front brakes, 1LE drive shaft, 4th Gen disc brake fbody rear end.
2011 leaf SL, white, portable 240v CHAdeMO, trailer hitch, new batt as of 2014.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-06-2016, 01:45 AM   #8 (permalink)
It's all about Diesel
 
cRiPpLe_rOoStEr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Posts: 9,166
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1,067 Times in 937 Posts
Even though it might look outdated, the indirect injection used in the 6.5 is not that bad at all, as it tollerates low-quality Diesel fuel and even vegetable oils better than the direct injection used in the Cummins.

Propane would be my second-to-last fuel choice.
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-09-2016, 11:45 PM   #9 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
larrybuck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: sw Washington (state), a little north of Vancouver
Posts: 1,043
Thanks: 277
Thanked 77 Times in 60 Posts
Thanks guys for the responses! The Cummings swap would be neat, but so much money out. This is just a work vehicle, not a DREAM vehicle. I'm INTO cars!
I'll stay with what I have for now, keeping it simple (KISS), and will probably refresh the radiator, get a better trans cooler, give it a pleasant paint job ( in my whole life, I've not ever had a vehicle completely repainted) Travel expenses to be covered by customers.
__________________
NEVER,NEVER GIVE UP!
PUMP THOSE TIRES UP!
DRIVE IN YOUR SOCKS FOR SENSITIVITY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SLOW DOWN AND SMOOTH UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![SIGPIC]
  Reply With Quote
Old 03-10-2016, 05:55 PM   #10 (permalink)
Master EcoModder
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 943
Thanks: 233
Thanked 342 Times in 239 Posts
Direct injection problems on Cummins are overblown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cRiPpLe_rOoStEr View Post
Even though it might look outdated, the indirect injection used in the 6.5 is not that bad at all, as it tollerates low-quality Diesel fuel and even vegetable oils better than the direct injection used in the Cummins.

Propane would be my second-to-last fuel choice.
Yes, they can and do run into coking problems from poor set ups that run Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO), but that is the result of the poor conversion design and operation. The 94-98 12 valve Cummins are especially capable of running these free fuels with good reliability if the fuel system is designed well.

  Reply With Quote
Reply  Post New Thread


Thread Tools




Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.5.2
All content copyright EcoModder.com