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New Tow Rig

Discussion in 'Quitters' Club' started by Fireball, Mar 17, 2024.

  1. Mar 17, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
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    To talk about the new tow rig, we need to talk about the old tow rig. It has been literally the worst financial decision we have ever made.

    We bought this 2006 6.0L Diesel 4x4 Ford with a 6-speed manual for $9000 nine years ago. Yes, I know the reputation of 6.0L Fords, but my two Ford Service Tech cousins assured me that if there are deleted and stay at stock boost, they will run forever.

    [​IMG]

    We bought it with about 219,000 miles on it and it had been deleted when it was new so we thought we were good to go for at least another 100,000 miles. 8,000 miles later it lunched one of the roller lifters and destroyed the engine. A re-man engine was $10k. More that we paid for the truck(!), but we sucked it up and did it. About 6 months after that, the turbo went out, another $1k.

    Things were decent for a few years, but then the up-pipe needed to be replaced, and we decided to add a bullet-proof EGR cooler back onto the the truck to get the check engine light to go out.

    Then the glow plug controller went out. Then the electronics in the instrument cluster went out twice. The first time, the door open chimer would stay on the entire time you were driving. The second time the power to the dash accessories like the radio and AC would go out randomly.

    Then the FICM went out rendering the truck completely dead.

    Along the way, at least three sensors failed and needed to be replaced. The parking brake backing plates rusted though even the the truck has no rust.

    The turbo failed again. The post intercooler plastic intake pipe developed cracks and had to be replaced.

    There are other things I'm forgetting.

    After the final round of fixing stuff, the check engine light was staying off for more than a week, but we hated the truck so much we decided to sell it before the next thing went wrong.

    We've been trying to sell it since November and finally took a whopping $5k for it. A kid flew up from Monterey, CA and drove it back. Here it is in its new home which is NOT HERE :bananatool::
    [​IMG]

    All in all we put somewhere around $25K into that piece of :poo: to drive it 80,000 miles over 9 years (and that's subtracting the $5k back from selling it). That's about $2750/year. My typical vehicle costs are more like $1000-$1200 per year. Don't get me wrong, we did get use out of it, but at a huge dollar cost. I've also learned to never listen to my Ford loving cousins about vehicle advice.

    After that thing I will never buy another Diesel truck. They are too complicated, and the parts are way too expensive. I don't care what brand it is. ...And that truck was pre DPF and DEF. They are even worse now. The fuel mileage difference will never pay back the upfront and maintenance costs over a gasser.

    Good riddance to that thing.

    Note: I'm not telling others to never buy a Diesel. Get what works for you. I'm just never buying another one for me.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2024
    ITLKSEZ, Glenn, dozerjim and 3 others like this.
  2. Mar 17, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
    Joined:
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    The new tow rig is something completely different. It's replacing both the old truck and our runabout Nissan Xterra. Since reliability is key after the last experience, we went with a 2012 Toyota Sequoia:
    [​IMG]

    It's rated to tow 7600lbs which is enough for us, and it has plenty of room to have the dogs in the back seat and still haul a bunch of stuff in the back.

    It's an interesting drivetrain. Engine is a 4-valve 5.7L V8 that makes 381hp and 400ft-lbs of torque:
    [​IMG]

    The transmission is a 6-speed automatic with two overdrives:
    • 1st: 3.333
    • 2nd: 1.960
    • 3rd: 1.353
    • 4th: 1.00
    • 5th: 0.728
    • 6th: 0.588
    It has a really nice transfercase. Choices include:
    • 2wd driving the rear wheels only
    • full-time 4wd with a Torsen limited slip that sends 30% if the torque to the front and 70% to the back.
    • 4wd with the center differential locked
    • 2.62 low range that can be used in full-time 4wd and locked 4wd
    The final drive is 4.30. The double over drive is equivalent to 2.5:1 and it only turns 1800 rpm at 70mph. One the other end of the spectrum, it has a about a 40:1 crawl ratio.

    I was chatting with ITLKSEZ about the specs and he commented that it sounds like really nice drivetrain for "such a tank of a road queen". :rofl:That name is so great it's stuck. We call it "The Queen" for short.

    That great drivetrain isn't so hot for a short wheelbase Jeep though. It's really, really long:
    [​IMG]

    The thing drives like a Cadillac and has more luxury than I know what to do with. But I could get used to it.
     
    ITLKSEZ, Jw60, dozerjim and 4 others like this.
  3. Mar 17, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
    Joined:
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    Since we always buy used and pay cash, this 2012 Sequoia had 134,000 miles on it when we got it and needed a few things.

    The rear shocks were completely shot so I thew some Bilsteins on it:
    [​IMG]

    That is some beefy IRS.

    The headlights were full of water:
    [​IMG]

    So it got OEM Toyota replacements:
    [​IMG]

    It had some alarm we had no remotes for sliced in all over the wiring harness with crappy crimp splices:
    [​IMG]

    That came out:
    [​IMG]

    It also had an occasional check engine light about the driver's back catalyst efficiency. A new downstream O2 sensor didn't fix it, so in went a Walker bolt-in replacement cat for only $266:
    [​IMG]

    It's a great runner now.
     
    ITLKSEZ, Glenn, T. M. and 3 others like this.
  4. Mar 18, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
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    The final chapter is the mods to adapt it to our muddy, dusty, dirty lifestyle.

    It comes with a receiver hitch and 7-pin connector from the factory. There is a pre-wired trailer brake connector behind the kick panel. I bought a RedArc controller. The brain goes behind the dash and the knob to control it mounts in one of the switch blanks in the dash:
    [​IMG]

    Out testing the trailer brake controller "around the block" with the stock trailer. The trailer brakes work great, and the full-time 4wd tows pretty good on roads that were snowier than expected:
    [​IMG]

    You can see how dirty it is living here. It was clean before that 4 mile trip around the block.

    Since it's so dirty here, all our cars get Carhartt seat covers we can pull off and wash. Also all weather mats:
    [​IMG]

    The dog zone gets the Carhartt covers plus another cover, door protectors, and dividers walls that keep them in the dog zone:
    [​IMG]

    The dogs love that the back windows roll down all the way. They only go down about halfway in the Xterra.

    The back gets an all weather mat too:
    [​IMG]

    The last project was replacing the Toyota navigation radio. It has exactly zero data for rural areas and is useless to us. It got replaced with an Android Auto capable radio.

    Some disassembly required:
    [​IMG]

    You need some special boxes and harnesses to hook up the factory steering wheel controls, factory amp with 14 speakers, and the factory back-up camera:
    [​IMG]

    All done and we have useful navigation:
    [​IMG]

    Now it's time to drive the wheels off it.

    And, oh yeah. It only gets 18mpg, but that's not much worse than the old Diesel.
     
    ITLKSEZ, Glenn, T. M. and 10 others like this.
  5. Mar 18, 2024
    Jw60

    Jw60 I don't do metric 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Trails end,...
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    I highly recommend this wd hitch but find one closer to your towing capacity. It dampens left to right and up/down shimmy which is helpful with the shorter wheelbase. That 30/70 will be nice when towing. Any traction aids in the axles?

    Equal-i-zer 4-point Sway Control Hitch, 90-00-1000, 10,000 Lbs Trailer Weight Rating, 1,000 Lbs Tongue Weight Rating, Weight Distribution Kit Includes Standard Hitch Shank, Ball NOT Included https://a.co/d/bKBKQUF

    upload_2024-3-18_9-34-31.png upload_2024-3-18_9-34-31.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2024
    Glenn and Fireball like this.
  6. Mar 19, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Nope, both open diffs with the normal electronic brake-type traction control. Some one did make a locker for the rear, but we won't need that for our use case.
     
    Glenn, Jw60 and dozerjim like this.
  7. Apr 30, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    We've been putting the Road Queen to work towing lately.

    Getting a new culvert:
    [​IMG]

    An eight hour round trip to pick up a horse:
    [​IMG]

    Happy with it so far. It gets a whopping 10.3 mpg towing but has plenty of power for climbing the hills. The transmission and engine temp gauges never moved on the 2000 ft climb out of Vantage.

    It's going to be headed to Seattle to pick up a non-running vehicle in a few weeks.
     
    Danefraz, Twin2, jzeber and 6 others like this.
  8. May 2, 2024
    DrDanteIII

    DrDanteIII Master Procrastinator

    Milford NJ 08848
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2007
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    1,519
    I had that same drive train in my tundra. It was powerful and ultra reliable. It towed wonderful, but it was thirsty.

    I'd still have that truck if the frame hadn't rusted out. Not sure that the sequoia had the same rust problems, but keep an eye on it.
     
    dozerjim and Fireball like this.
  9. May 2, 2024
    Joe Adams

    Joe Adams Member

    Connecticut
    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2016
    Messages:
    115
    My dad will not give up his 2000 Mercury Mountaineer with the 5.0 V8 because he wants another V8 SUV and there aren’t many options out now. I’ve been telling him to get a Sequoia for over a decade now, I love them and think he would too. I’ve got a ‘16 4Runner and don’t think I’ll ever leave Toyota now…
     
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  10. May 27, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    I can say for a fact that it will haul a Bronco up Snoqualmie pass at 5 over the speed limit. I love our Sequoia:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. May 27, 2024
    Jw60

    Jw60 I don't do metric 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    What was your fuel economy? And what guess would you give the old diesel for mpg?
     
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  12. May 27, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    The Sequoia averaging about 17 mpg in normal usage and getting 10-11 towing. Luckily, it tows fine on 87 octane gas.

    The diesel truck averaged close to 20 in normal usage and got aroud 13 towing.

    One complaint with the Sequoia towing is the relatively small 26 gallon tank. That's only 220 mikes of usable range (not a fan of running right down to empty) . The truck with a 29 gallon tank had closer to 350 miles usable towing range.
     
  13. May 27, 2024
    Twin2

    Twin2 not him 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Virginia Beach, VA
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    so is this a winter project , the ford
     
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  14. May 27, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    See Not My Bronco. I hope I get it done before winter, but we'll see.
     
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  15. May 30, 2024
    jeepdaddy2000

    jeepdaddy2000 Active Member

    Eagle Point oregon
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    Jun 24, 2004
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    First, sorry about the Ford. We had a 97 F350 for over 20 years and the 7.3 gave virtually no issues. A water pump at 120K, cam positioning sensor at 150K, trans at 275K, rebuilt the turbo myself 290 thousand miles. I did add some upgrades (up pipe, Tymar intake and a flash).

    6.0's have a good reputation after they are "bullet proofed". Unfortunately, as with all vehicles, some are lemons from the factory, others suffer abuse at the hands of a PO, neither bode well for the next owner.

    We sold it for no other reason that it was old and "upgraded" to an '07 Dodge with the 6.7.

    I inherited my mothers Tundra with the 5.6. Great engine and transmission, but simply too small to tow our toy hauler safely. MPG's in the upper single digits towing, upper teens empty.

    I always wished Toyota (and Nissan for that matter) imported a 3/4 ton truck focused more on severe duty.
     
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  16. May 31, 2024
    givemethewillys

    givemethewillys Been here since sparky ran it. 2022 Sponsor

    New Kent, VA
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    Just found this thread today. I had a love/hate relationship with my 2005 f250. I tapped out after about $12,000 worth of repairs in the 2 years I owned it. Bulletproofed twice, FICM, warped head, busted EGR cooler, leaking oil cooler, bent pushrod (my fault), bad injector, batteries. It of course happened every 3 months like clockwork.

    I sure loved that truck when it was running well, but in the back of my mind I was ALWAYS waiting for the next failure. My next truck I want an f350 tremor with the godzilla, maybe in another 5 years I'll almost be able to afford one.
     
    Ol Fogie likes this.
  17. May 31, 2024
    Jw60

    Jw60 I don't do metric 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

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    Here's the economy package for ya,
    48gal gas tank :shock:
    https://www.enterprisecarsales.com/...--Super_Duty_F--350_SRW--Truck----Woburn--MA/
     
  18. Jun 1, 2024
    Fireball

    Fireball Well-Known Member 2024 Sponsor 2023 Sponsor 2022 Sponsor

    Pullman, WA
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    Yep, that's where we were at. And it would always be something right before you had a 1600 mile road trip planned.
     
    givemethewillys and Ol Fogie like this.
  19. Jun 1, 2024
    WildCJ5

    WildCJ5 Member

    California
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    May 29, 2023
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    126
    I got lucky, my brother in law gave me this truck ten ish years ago. It is a 1995 salvage title, 2wd, 2500, five speed, roll up windows, Cummins 12v and almost 600k. The nv4500 had done the common backing off of fifth gear. Easy fix of removing back half of trans and putting the gear back in place. No electronics and dirt simple. It has also completely rust proofed my driveway with oil.



    it looked nice when I got it but the SoCal desert sun has not been kind. On the upside it looks it looks like I don’t have two dimes to rub together never mind insurance.

    [​IMG]
     
    Ol Fogie, homersdog, OldAdobe and 2 others like this.
  20. Jun 1, 2024
    jeepdaddy2000

    jeepdaddy2000 Active Member

    Eagle Point oregon
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    I know a couple of people who tow their toy haulers with 1/2 tons (my kids included), but I'm never comfortable with 1/2 tons with high towing ratings. They don't have the brakes or suspension for heavy trailers or tongue weights.

    As stated, I tried with my mom's Tacoma, and it porpoised all the way to the coast and back. My wife literally told me to turn around ten miles into the trip. Air bags would have helped, (my son in law installed a set in their TRD), but IMHO, they simply don't the chassis, brakes, and undercarriage to safely pull over 5K.

    Of course, I have to pull up to four passes to get anywhere, so perhaps my view is skewed..........................
     
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