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unkownfl
12-30-2009, 12:43 AM
I have been looking at the following trucks

2003/4+ ranger with the 2.3 not the 2.5 4 cylinder
last generation of the s10 with the 2.2
second to last generation 2.5l dakota late 90's early 200x's
Frontiers with the 4 cylinder
Tacomas with the 4 cylinder

I'm leaning towards a 5 speed manual transmission but wouldn't pass on a nice auto.

Mainly looking to get around 20mpg. I only plan on towing a small 5x8 trailer with a 36 wright. I know about the greater distance braking with the smaller trucks so lets get past that. Which do you guys prefer for mowing operations? I defiantly need a extra cab. Do the Japanese and Dakota trucks come in long bed? I would like to get a Colorado but they are all over 6,000 and I don't see spending more then that on a compact truck being a good investment. Would my deduction be the same vs a full size truck for my taxes? Mileage deduction is the same I believe, but feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.

Valk
12-30-2009, 12:03 PM
I'll recommend a manual trans due to 4cyl power issues...you'll get better mpg's as you well know. However, if you're towing I'll further recommend a V6.

My 2dr Kingcab Frontier XE 4cyl has been a rock. Gets 21-22mpg (mix of city/hwy) whether equipment is loaded or not...bedshell on or off. REAL consistent. Alternator, brakes, batteries...that's it for repairs with 110K on it.

However, I don't pull a trailer...I'm self-contained using a quality ramp.

Maintaining HWY speeds would likely be a challenge while pulling a trailer, imo. If you don't need to tow at hwy speeds, then a 4cyl should work OK.


As a very general approach to fuel costs, here's what I calculated for my parameters:

For every 5000 miles driven and rounding up to $3/gal
-at 20 mpg then $750 in fuel cost
-at 15 mpg then $1000
-at 10 mpg then $1500

So at 20 mpg, & if I average 15k miles/yr then I save $750 over a truck that gets 15 mpg which is ~$15/week extra fuel cost if averaged over 52 weeks. It's not a whole lot of $$$, but it adds up for sure.
.02

unkownfl
12-30-2009, 03:34 PM
What size equipment do you have. Have any pictures? Right now this is my rig below. I still have two other trailers but I'm sick of towing. Right now I'm only getting between 9-11 mpg which sucks. Its a auto 4.2 v6. Just trying to get ahead because I know gas will be over 3.50 this summer for sure and probable close to the 5 dollar mark during driving season. I don't want to have to raise prices as much as others or at all if I can.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a257/cobra305hp/trucksetup002.jpg

Mickhippy
12-30-2009, 04:56 PM
Its a pitty you guys cant get any small diesels over there. I dont understand why? Maybe they think everyone wants one of those huge F150's or something. When I see a F150 here for example, its never a work truck and I just shake my head knowing alot of you guys use them, and bigger for towing a mower or 2.

That said, those large trucks and fuel is much much cheaper over there, maybe I'd have something bigger if I could.

Personally, I have a Auto 3 litre turbo diesel Toyota Hilux that tows a 6x8 trailer with a superZ no problem. (3000kg towing capacity.) Trailer is braked.
We also have 3 Litre Turbo diesel Rangers/Mazda that are highly regarded.
Just about every manufacture makes a small diesel for over here.

unkownfl
12-30-2009, 05:08 PM
Are they 5 a 6 inlined engines? If so thats probably why we don't have them because of the crash testing.

Mickhippy
12-30-2009, 05:31 PM
4 cylinder! Can get 2.5L TD and V6 in some as well but diesel is most popular.

Crash testing must be just an excuse.
Compare Nissan for example.
Yours... http://www.nissanusa.com/frontier/
Ours....(look @ specs page) http://www.nissan.com.au/webpages/models/Navara_model.html

unkownfl
12-30-2009, 05:43 PM
Diesel's aren't popular here. People don't like the sound of them and everybody things they are hard to start. I have always had diesels mostly from Mercedes. I would love to see a light duty diesel truck. I know they have been talking forever for a diesel f150 here.

unkownfl
12-30-2009, 05:46 PM
Wow craigslist isn't popular there at all in Australia.

lawnboy dan
12-30-2009, 06:24 PM
there areNO long bed small trucks made anymore. i guess they figured out that a long bed compact can do the job of a full sized truck so they stopped making them.

doubleedge
12-30-2009, 07:14 PM
there areNO long bed small trucks made anymore. i guess they figured out that a long bed compact can do the job of a full sized truck so they stopped making them.

No; they found out that the people who want a work truck usually go for a bigger one.

As for diesel trucks, the cost of the diesel option usually could more than pay for the fuel saved. Maybe it would be cheaper if the emission regulations weren't so strict.

unkownfl
12-30-2009, 09:56 PM
I see rangers all day with long beds. Diesel engines are cheaper to make then gas engines on the smaller cars and trucks. It the heavy duty stuff that cost extra.

lawnboy dan
12-31-2009, 07:40 PM
you cannot buy a new small truck with a long bed in the us anyway

dishboy
01-01-2010, 04:35 PM
What size equipment do you have. Have any pictures? Right now this is my rig below. I still have two other trailers but I'm sick of towing. Right now I'm only getting between 9-11 mpg which sucks. Its a auto 4.2 v6. Just trying to get ahead because I know gas will be over 3.50 this summer for sure and probable close to the 5 dollar mark during driving season. I don't want to have to raise prices as much as others or at all if I can.

http://i13.photobucket.com/albums/a257/cobra305hp/trucksetup002.jpg

My 04 f150 Heritage shortbed , with 4.2 manual consistently got 16 mpg hauling a 6X10 , 36 walk , two 21"s , two trimmers, two blowers a edger and hand tools and tool boxes. You have a fuel issue or a lead foot.

topsites
01-01-2010, 04:50 PM
My 04 f150 Heritage shortbed , with 4.2 manual consistently got 16 mpg hauling a 6X10 , 36 walk , two 21"s , two trimmers, two blowers a edger and hand tools and tool boxes. You have a fuel issue or a lead foot.

Although I will agree that driving technique can account for up to 20% of a vehicle's fuel mileage, sometimes more.
Beyond that a religious maintenance program also helps, change the oil and filter, the air filter, the spark plugs, the list goes on...
Just one underinflated tire can cost 5-10% in fuel economy, so keeping up with this as best as one can does make a difference.

But beyond that with some outfits it's all in the engine and the weight, my '95 3/4 ton club cab with a 5.9L V8 and a 6x12 trailer
weighs 6 thousand pounds empty, I can almost see 12mpg on a very good day, under 10 when it's not so good.
There ain't NOTHING I can do about it, not even "driving with load" to a fault helps but so much.

My '86 D-250 used to get 14mpg all the time, it used to drive me nuts.

I mean I have gone so far as to study the aerodynamics of the truck to figure out what modifications I can make
I kid you not, I spent WEEKS fooling with that :p

In the end I just had to face the music, some trucks don't do as well as others.

LindblomRJ
01-01-2010, 05:32 PM
Although I will agree that driving technique can account for up to 20% of a vehicle's fuel mileage, sometimes more.
Beyond that a religious maintenance program also helps, change the oil and filter, the air filter, the spark plugs, the list goes on...
Just one underinflated tire can cost 5-10% in fuel economy, so keeping up with this as best as one can does make a difference.

But beyond that with some outfits it's all in the engine and the weight, my '95 3/4 ton club cab with a 5.9L V8 and a 6x12 trailer
weighs 6 thousand pounds empty, I can almost see 12mpg on a very good day, under 10 when it's not so good.
There ain't NOTHING I can do about it, not even "driving with load" to a fault helps but so much.

My '86 D-250 used to get 14mpg all the time, it used to drive me nuts.

I mean I have gone so far as to study the aerodynamics of the truck to figure out what modifications I can make
I kid you not, I spent WEEKS fooling with that :p

In the end I just had to face the music, some trucks don't do as well as others.

The same deja moo yet again. You have got to be kidding me. Typical, monkeys footballs and lovemaking... I will let you put it all together.

honestly a Ranger with 3.0 or a half ton with a 4.6 would be the way to go. The 4.2 is not a bad engine but for extra displacement and no major difference in gas, the extra bit of engine is worth it.

unkownfl
01-02-2010, 12:21 AM
Dishboy your nuts. I have owned three of these trucks. They don't even get 16 on the sticker in the city.

360ci
01-02-2010, 05:31 PM
Ford still makes the Ranger in long bed form - seven feet versus the 5.5 foot bed. However, you can only get it with the 4.0L engine. With the auto it'll make a good everyday workhorse with the 3.55 gears as it'll tow upwards of 5.5-6K.

Keep in mind that for four cylinder trucks with the manual transmission tow ratings are greatly reduced over automatics, in some cases up to 2K. Ford ranger with the 2.3 and manual transmission is only rated around 1500lbs. Depending on the weight of the trailer and your equipment, you might be cutting it close, and as mentioned, a V6 would be better suited as the 4cyl will have to work harder than a V6 to get up to speed.

I know you're after a truck in the $6K range, but for $300 a month or so you can get a decently equipped long box Ranger with the 4.0L V6. At least that would be my move if I were you. Then you don't have to worry about previous history, or getting into a vehicle for a test drive only to find out that it STINKS and wasn't kept up at all. In the end you'll get what you pay for so shop around wisely.

I'm fairly certain that the older S10 was offered with a long box and the 4cyl back in the day, but the trouble will be with finding one in decent shape.

Mileage is calculated in several ways, the major being WEIGHT. The more a vehicle, or combination weighs the more fuel it'll take to move it. A lot of folks never think about the driver. In a light duty truck, a driver weighing in at 150lbs will get better mileage than a driver weighing say 350lbs! Be sure to think through all options before you decide. I wouldn't necessarily look at price, I'd be after maintenance history on a vehicle that I'm interested in.

dishboy
01-02-2010, 06:05 PM
Dishboy your nuts. I have owned three of these trucks. They don't even get 16 on the sticker in the city.

I bought mine new, it religiously got 16 working city and hwy combination miles, 18 city empty, and 22 empty hwy if I kept it at 65mph. If you can't get better than 14 I would suggest operator errors.

360ci
01-02-2010, 08:40 PM
I bought mine new, it religiously got 16 working city and hwy combination miles, 18 city empty, and 22 empty hwy if I kept it at 65mph. If you can't get better than 14 I would suggest operator errors.

it depends on weight and maintenance. For heavier loads, it's best to lock out OD, in which case can easily get into the low teens for mileage, even with the V6.

dishboy
01-03-2010, 10:38 AM
it depends on weight and maintenance. For heavier loads, it's best to lock out OD, in which case can easily get into the low teens for mileage, even with the V6.

That's why I opt for a manual transmission. This thread started as a 4 cylinder thread, if you are hauling enough weight to necessitate locking out a auto OD a 4 banger or 1/2 ton is probably the wrong truck anyway.

360ci
01-03-2010, 12:41 PM
That's why I opt for a manual transmission. This thread started as a 4 cylinder thread, if you are hauling enough weight to necessitate locking out a auto OD a 4 banger or 1/2 ton is probably the wrong truck anyway.

Not necessarily. I lock out O/D on my car when carrying 4 other people around town, and it's a 3.0L V6. I prefer the engine braking (as slight as it is), and better throttle response. With automatics you have to watch closely on the shifting (constantly in and out of O/D for example) as it can overheat the transmission, even on I4 and V6 engined vehicles. Fuel economy isn't as noticeable the smaller the engine is. Most 4cyl trucks cruise at a fairly high rpm as it is to aid in cooling, but depending on the payload that might not be enough unless you add an aftermarket cooler, or, stay in 1:1 gear - no overdrives.

Manual transmissions are becoming fewer and fewer, which is too bad. Manufacturers know automatics sell better simply for the convenience of not having the driver to shift gears. So, they put more funding into development of autos. GM for one no longer offers a 6 speed manual transmission in their HD line. As far as maintenance is concerned, nothing yet beats a good manual transmission.

Some newer vehicles are much better built than even five years ago as far as automatics go. Better fluid flow can allow towing in overdrive without worrying too much about excessive heat buildup, not to say that it won't hurt the truck, or your wallet in the long term. If I bought a Ranger 2.3L with the automatic and planned to tow 1500lbs regularly and throw stuff in the bed, I'd leave that 4 speed auto in 3rd gear. A 5 speed manual transmission has more flexibility, in which case it would be the better one to go with; BUT manual transmissions don't offer the towing capacity that an automatic does with the same engine. Even HD trucks can tow more with automatics.

Valk
01-04-2010, 12:51 PM
The clearance b/tw the wheelwells could be a deal maker/breaker...

South Florida Lawns
01-04-2010, 05:01 PM
Look at used tacoma's. The 4 and 6 cylinder trucks both have decent millage, especially when paired to the manual 5 speed trans. I had a 94' toyota with the 22re 4 banger and could easily see mid 20's mpg on the highway. They are well built trucks that last many many miles.

lawnboy dan
01-05-2010, 09:25 AM
agreed-cant go wrong with a toyota. i get 20mpg in city driving from my t100 4cyl auto-and it can pull the trailer!