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Old 04-26-2016, 06:12 PM
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Towing with a C10

I am going to graduate highschool soon, and I'm trying to decide what I want to do for a vehicle. I have always said I would spend the money I have saved up and any money I get from parents/relatives/friends at graduation on a newer pickup truck, but I have been debating this recently.

I have my 77 c10, 77,xxx miles, 355/350turbo/3.40 rear gear. 8,000 miles on new engine. Truck is in great shape and I've driven it daily for 2 years. My reasoning for waning a newer truck is for the modern convieniences and the towing capabilities, and fuel mileage is always a concern. My friends and I ride fourwheelers and we have some trips planned that are a few hours away this summer to go riding. I have a single axle tilt trailer, with a heavy duty axle that can fit 2 fourwheelers with plenty of room left, and a double axle that is about 16' x 7.5'. Fourwheelers aren't very heavy (400 pounds at most) but a few hours on the highway with a trailer loaded and a th350 trans seems hard on the engine. My question is whether my truck would be fine pulling those, so that I wouldn't have to buy a second truck. I'm looking at 3 options.

1.) leave my truck alone and drive it how it is, pending that it will tow my trailer fine for long distances.

2.) but a second truck and drive mine on the weekends instead of daily.

3.) put an overdrive transmission in my truck

I'm looking at the cost of another truck (insurance/maintenance) and trying to decide if it is worth it or not.


Sorry for such a lengthy post, hopefully some of you can provide some insight. Thanks

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Old 04-26-2016, 08:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntrue505 View Post
I am going to graduate highschool soon, and I'm trying to decide what I want to do for a vehicle. I have always said I would spend the money I have saved up and any money I get from parents/relatives/friends at graduation on a newer pickup truck, but I have been debating this recently.

I have my 77 c10, 77,xxx miles, 355/350turbo/3.40 rear gear. 8,000 miles on new engine. Truck is in great shape and I've driven it daily for 2 years. My reasoning for waning a newer truck is for the modern convieniences and the towing capabilities, and fuel mileage is always a concern. My friends and I ride fourwheelers and we have some trips planned that are a few hours away this summer to go riding. I have a single axle tilt trailer, with a heavy duty axle that can fit 2 fourwheelers with plenty of room left, and a double axle that is about 16' x 7.5'. Fourwheelers aren't very heavy (400 pounds at most) but a few hours on the highway with a trailer loaded and a th350 trans seems hard on the engine. My question is whether my truck would be fine pulling those, so that I wouldn't have to buy a second truck. I'm looking at 3 options.

1.) leave my truck alone and drive it how it is, pending that it will tow my trailer fine for long distances.

2.) but a second truck and drive mine on the weekends instead of daily.

3.) put an overdrive transmission in my truck

I'm looking at the cost of another truck (insurance/maintenance) and trying to decide if it is worth it or not.


Sorry for such a lengthy post, hopefully some of you can provide some insight. Thanks
The load you're talking about is virtually nothing behind your current truck.It should have no problems at all.
A 4 speed automatic is always a good idea.Not only for gas milage, but, also for wear & tear on the engine.You're motor will be spinning alot less rpm at the same speed/distance.It also allows you run steeper gearing when needed & still cruise at lower rpm.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:15 AM
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keep the tk

i don't see why it will not work for towing that.. if u want better fuel mileage then look into a OD 4 sp auto trans.. your mpg's are likely in the 15mpg area.. u ain't gonna do much better going to a newer truck. my '02 silverado does good at 15mpg most of the time.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntrue505 View Post
I am going to graduate highschool soon, and I'm trying to decide what I want to do for a vehicle. I have always said I would spend the money I have saved up and any money I get from parents/relatives/friends at graduation on a newer pickup truck, but I have been debating this recently.

I have my 77 c10, 77,xxx miles, 355/350turbo/3.40 rear gear. 8,000 miles on new engine. Truck is in great shape and I've driven it daily for 2 years. My reasoning for waning a newer truck is for the modern convieniences and the towing capabilities, and fuel mileage is always a concern. My friends and I ride fourwheelers and we have some trips planned that are a few hours away this summer to go riding. I have a single axle tilt trailer, with a heavy duty axle that can fit 2 fourwheelers with plenty of room left, and a double axle that is about 16' x 7.5'. Fourwheelers aren't very heavy (400 pounds at most) but a few hours on the highway with a trailer loaded and a th350 trans seems hard on the engine. My question is whether my truck would be fine pulling those, so that I wouldn't have to buy a second truck. I'm looking at 3 options.

1.) leave my truck alone and drive it how it is, pending that it will tow my trailer fine for long distances.

2.) but a second truck and drive mine on the weekends instead of daily.

3.) put an overdrive transmission in my truck

I'm looking at the cost of another truck (insurance/maintenance) and trying to decide if it is worth it or not.


Sorry for such a lengthy post, hopefully some of you can provide some insight. Thanks
Unless the new(er) truck has a towing package it would actually be less capable than your 77. The big problem is with modern cooling systems which are very edgy. In order to work a modern pickup hard you need to have the towing package which beefs up these marginal areas where the older basically pre 1986 trucks are more over built so if you tow or work them hard they not nearly as likely to have issues especially with cooling.

A 700R4 with its deep low is great for stating and the overdrive can be useful at cruise if you're not demanding a lot of power. Again if you're towing or hauling heavy loads or taking on sizeable hills/mountains the 700R4 in OD with lock up will improve fuel mileage quite a bit. But when working those transmissions hard you can't have lock up nor 4th OD as these simply aren't strong enough to sustain those loads. It is easy to overheat the 700R4/4L60 when it's worked hard and it will go up in smoke. A heavy duty rebuild certainly helps them but you really have to watch the trans oil temp if you're going to run these hard for extended periods of time. The TH350 is quite a bit more forgiving in this situation and of course the TH400 is nearly bullet proof. The 4 speed OD 4L80E is also quite tough as it spins off the TH400 but it doesn't operate without a computer. That can be done just bring money. The 4L60E is basically a 700R4/4L60 with a computer as well. It has gone through several gestations to beef it up the post 1998 versions are much improved.

Bogie

Bogie
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:31 PM
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I have a '75 GMC K25 and they are very durable, but you have to be reasonable about what to expect on road trips if you haven't been extremely dedicated about keeping everything working correctly. Your truck is 39 years old and has wear and tear on wheel bearings, suspension bushings, tie rods, and many other items. Even if you have a good engine and transmission, you have to keep with all the maintenance to prevent other failures on long road trips. None of the maintenance is especially hard or expensive; you just need to take the time to do it.

One short war story - I decided to replace the cab bushings on my '75 to get the cab to align better with the bed. When I first started up the truck I thought something was broken on the engine because it sounded completely different from the driver's seat. Then I realized that it was quiet in the cab because the cab floor was no longer resting right on top of the transfer case, where it transferred engine noise right into the cab. I also discovered that the neutral safety switch now worked in both drive and neutral because raising the cab back to a normal position pulled the TH350 shifter linkage back into proper alignment.
My point - 30+ years of wear on the cab bushings had led to other problems that I wasn't even aware of.

Bruce
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Old 04-27-2016, 04:42 PM
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Brother had a 79 C 10. 350/350.


Towed a 21 foot Proline back and forth to the keys for many years.


Boat and trailer weighed in about 5000 lbs.


Never a wimper from the old chevy, and she wasn't young at the time.
After almost 200,000 miles she got another motor and a lighter schedule.
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Old 04-27-2016, 10:09 PM
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""I have my 77 c10, 77,xxx miles, 355/350turbo/3.40 rear gear. 8,000 miles on new engine.""


what kind of new 355 engine??
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Old 04-28-2016, 02:53 AM
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I would probably keep it as it is, a 4speed auto trans is always a good idea. A turbo700R4 is plenty strong, it has been used under millions of new GMC Chev half-tons. Make sure you use an additional trans cooler, it is always cheap insurance. If I remember correctly, the 700R4 are better designed after 1987. They have an electronic speedo gear, though, and you will need to either change the tailshaft housing to an older one or get a box to convert the signal to cable.
A 4L80E is a heavier trans which is clearly overkill in your case; it also uses more power to move the truck and requires a computer...
As for modern conveniences, you can add an aftermarket A/C, a good sound system, maybe even some more insulation... and you still have your own cool truck instead of a modern belly-button...
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Old 04-28-2016, 06:34 AM
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Save your money. Sounds like you have a very nice vehicle already.

There is absolutely no reason that your truck will not do what you want it to do. Figuring that you have normal 30in. tires, and a 3.40 rear gear, you are turning about 2500 rpm at 65 mph in third gear. That is just fine for your small block, it is barley braking a sweat at that speed, and towing a small load like that will hardly be noticed.

Now if you are trying to justify a new truck, no one on here will be able to talk you out of it will they?

Good luck with your decision,
Jim
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:19 AM
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A stacked plate transmission cooler, some new wheel bearings and a new stereo for your iphone, pandora etc is all you need, maybe a new bench seat would be nice (or recover the old one).

If you go to a 700r4, please remember to drop it OUT of O/D when pulling a really heavy load or going up a steep grade.

You're obviously attached to your truck, so invest in it. Put your money towards something fun, maybe look at an IRA to kickstart your later years a little. The amount of money that thing makes when your 20 vs my age...is crazy.

Congrats on graduating! Any plans for the future?
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:20 AM
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Old 04-28-2016, 07:21 AM
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double post
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:32 AM
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I am in the same mindset at everyone else it seems. I am really attached to the truck, my dad and I have worked on it for 3 years now. We completely re did the body and put all new panels on it. It would be a lot more cost effective to just invest in this one rather than buy a second, or at least so it seems.

I am thinking I would like to put a 200r4 instead of a 700, because from what I have read it bolts right in place of my th350, and it weighs a lot less. Monster transmission sells this full conversion kit including the converter and trans cooler for just over $2,000 - 2004R, 200-4R, 2004R Swap, 2004r Conversion, 2004r Overdrive, Monster Transmission, 200-4R HD Transmission Master Conversion Package does this look like a solid option, or is it over priced?

I have a nice stereo system, but I definitely want to add AC and some better insulation eventually.

Now all I have to do is start fabricating a trailer hitch receiver because my exhaust comes straight out the back and is in the way of bolting a traditional receiver to the frame.

I am going to a build thread so that I can show you all the progress we have made and how much the truck has changed since 2013.
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AutoGear View Post
A stacked plate transmission cooler, some new wheel bearings and a new stereo for your iphone, pandora etc is all you need, maybe a new bench seat would be nice (or recover the old one).

If you go to a 700r4, please remember to drop it OUT of O/D when pulling a really heavy load or going up a steep grade.

You're obviously attached to your truck, so invest in it. Put your money towards something fun, maybe look at an IRA to kickstart your later years a little. The amount of money that thing makes when your 20 vs my age...is crazy.

Congrats on graduating! Any plans for the future?
I've got a full Kenwood stereo system, and my uncle does upholstery and recovered my seat when we finished the truck, so that is covered!

I am planning to invest in a growth stock mutual fund for retirement plans, and I am planning to do an apprenticeship to work in the construction field in one way or another, I am working for a local contractor until I decide for sure. I don't want to rush things too soon.

Thanks
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JJLT1 View Post
""I have my 77 c10, 77,xxx miles, 355/350turbo/3.40 rear gear. 8,000 miles on new engine.""


what kind of new 355 engine??
2 bolt main block, machine shop bored and hot tanked it before assembly, my dad built it. HEI ignition, 600 cfm summit carb, standard bottom end, World products heads, edelbrock performer rpm manifold, nothing too crazy but it runs pretty good and its a lot more fun than the old stock 350 was!
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