thoughts on a hauler? Not bike related.
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thoughts on a hauler? Not bike related.

This is a discussion on thoughts on a hauler? Not bike related. within the General forums, part of the Caferacer.net Forums category; So, I am starting to feel like my daily driver YJ isn't really practical for baby/bike hauling. Plus I want to take it off the ...

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    thoughts on a hauler? Not bike related.

    So, I am starting to feel like my daily driver YJ isn't really practical for baby/bike hauling. Plus I want to take it off the road for a while and fix some nagging issues with it.

    Any recommendations out there for a decent used car or truck that isn't boring as a beige sofa to drive?

    Only critera I have are:
    - must be available in a manual transmission
    - must be a 4door (or a crew cab but a large crew cab to accomidate baby seat).
    - if a pickup must have 4wd.

    This is purely academic, not in a position to make a move this week. Just kind of want to feel things out and talk about it. I am open to new vehicles too but must be finanicable and under $25,000

    I was considering one of those nissan 4WD, 4door pickups. nice looking, easy to load, manual trans option.

    I used to be a toyota truck fan but the frame rust issues I have been hearing about lately scare the crap out of me.

    I heard the 01-05 exploder sport-Trac came with a manual - but after DiamondJ's experience with his exploder I am a little leery of ford.

    Anybody ever own a Subaru Baja? they look like fun.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    Usually the longer the cab the shorter the bed. My midsize Dakota pick up with standard cab and bed has a bed about 3" short of being able to close the tailgate with the bike in it. I find this to be an annoying negative. I am going to try and modify one of the swing out cages to it just to keep loose stuff from sliding out the back
    www.CreativeCandy.org

    I carry a gun because I'm too young to die, too old to take an ass whooping, and a cop is too heavy.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    yeah, I don't care if I have to use the gate to haul a bike. I work an office job, there aren't going to be tools and crap rattling around back there.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
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  5. #4
    Senior Member TCed's Avatar
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    why the need for a manual trans ? You live in a city.
    Your statement is a little confusing, you open with not bike related yet suggest you want a pick up to haul bikes ?
    If you're looking for a mid-size SUV I'd go Subaru Forester.

  6. #5
    Senior Member Buckets's Avatar
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    Get one of these like i did . Won it on ebay in the fall. '79 Westy, flat 4 2.0L FI.

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    - - - Updated - - -

    btw its almost useless to haul full sized bikes
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  7. #6
    Senior Member raven's Avatar
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    4 door wrangler.
    Bike:
    Buell X1
    Honda S90 (box of parts)
    Honda CB750C (runs)
    The Others (mostly rolling wounded)

    My collar may be a little frayed, and maybe I need a shoeshine. But nobody\'s got a mortgage on my soul. I own it. Free and clear. -Phil Lovecraft

  8. #7
    Senior Member Geeto67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TCed View Post
    why the need for a manual trans ? You live in a city.
    Your statement is a little confusing, you open with not bike related yet suggest you want a pick up to haul bikes ?
    If you're looking for a mid-size SUV I'd go Subaru Forester.
    I live in Columbus Ohio. More speifcially I live in a partially rural suburb of columbus.The kind of suburb where they don't get around to plowing till noon.

    I want a manual trans because...well just because. Every car I have owned has been a manual trans except two: a 1995 blazer (which I won in a raffle and didn't have a choice) and the GTO (and I have all the parts to convert but with a TH400 and a manual valve body it was a good brackets car). I am a life long member of the cult of the manual transmission and I don't expect to turn it in any time soon.

    Yes I want to haul bikes, but not often. I can do it now with the wrangler: pull the top off, pull the rear seat and luggage compartment out, fold the passenger seat forward and in she goes. I can haul baby also, but I need all the stuff in it to do that. I just think it would be nice once in a while to be able to haul both baby and bike. I own a trailer but my "lifestyle community" won't allow me to store it on site, plus I split it with my dad and he owns the tow vehicle (a 1999 tahoe 2 door) so I am not in a rush to go out there and pick it up. I thought a quad cab pickup might be the solution, let him keep the trailer and I can haul bikes once in a while.

    Ideally a 4 door wrangler is on the bill, but let's be real...no wrangler should cost $20K-$30K used. And the prospect of 5000lbs of vehicle being pushed around by a 200hp 3.8L dodge engine just sucks - the 3.6 300 hp pentastar powered ones aren't cheap enough yet...and probably won't be for a while.

    So far I am tossing around the idea of a manual 4x4 quad cab dakota (made until 2007, and there seem to be a ton in WI - 400 miles from here), a Quad Cab Nissan frontier, The subie Baja (though a friend just confirmed that a bike won't fit in the bed even with the gate down and the bike angled so it might be out), and the exploder sport trac. There aren't a lot of SUV manual trans options - the Xterra and well...the Forrester...and that's about it. If I am going to buy a forrester I might as well buy a WRX hatch and get a trailer hitch. I thought about an older A4 Avant, but I am starting to see why people don't own audi's past the warranty (I've already been warned about the A6 Allroad).

    Toss some ideas out. No matter how wacky. I was looking at e34 bmw wagons and pricing out manual trans swap parts earlier today to give you an idea of my headspace.
    Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
    - Samuel Beckett
    A tool is just an opportunity with a handle
    - Kevin Kelly

  9. #8
    Member Mike Lawless's Avatar
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    The Quad cab Dakota has a 5 1/2 foot bed. I have a '04 with the 3.7L V6 and I use it to tow my VW race car on a lite weight single axle trailer. It get's damn near 20MPG towing (2500lb total trailer weight) , but it does need to be downshifted to go over big hills. I've done some pretty long distance tows with it too. Not great with low end torque, but it sings along happily at 4000rpm up a 7% grade in second gear at 60mph with a lite touch on the throttle. My old Jeep Cherokee with the 4L inline 6 would just grunt it out in high gear.

    The Dakota has been rock solid dependable since I bought it new. Dakotas can be bought inexpensively, since they don't have a Ford or GM badge on 'em. However, I've never seen a stick shift version. Probably a California thing. We don't have the same options the rest of the country has.

    The '03 and earlier had the 3.9L V6 that is based on the old 318/360 engine. Not at all fuel efficient. '04 and later have the Mercedes era 3.7 V6 or 4.7 V8.

    My son had a 2007 Tacoma with a V6 and a manual trans. It ate the input shaft within 10,000 miles and the dealer tried to make him pay for it. That truck seemed cheaply built compared to the Dakota, although they got better reviews. Personally, I wouldn't own one after seeing how the dealer treated my son.

    Edit:
    Dodge (Ram) is supposed to be coming out with a 4 cylinder turbo diesel this year in the 1500 truck. Supposed to get 30MPG highway and have an 8000lb towing capacity. I doubt it can be bought for under 30K though
    Last edited by Mike Lawless; 01-21-2014 at 05:03 PM.
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  10. #9
    Senior Member Teazer's Avatar
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    This will sound off the wall but get a GMC Safarai with AWD. They come in digfferent trim levels but front buckets and middle captains or mid row as a benchg and rear bench are standard configurations. Great in snow. Reasonable MPG, comfortable enough, boring as all get out but take out two rows of seats and a GT750 Suzuki or FZR400 fits in there and you can guess how I know that.

    I have been reduced to driving our old Frontier king cab with AWD and auto and it's totally competent, but I'd rather have the van back - it died at 275k miles.

    Time to think inside the box.

  11. #10
    Senior Member o1marc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Lawless View Post
    The Quad cab Dakota has a 5 1/2 foot bed. I have a '04 with the 3.7L V6 and I use it to tow my VW race car on a lite weight single axle trailer. It get's damn near 20MPG towing (2500lb total trailer weight) , but it does need to be downshifted to go over big hills. I've done some pretty long distance tows with it too. Not great with low end torque, but it sings along happily at 4000rpm up a 7% grade in second gear at 60mph with a lite touch on the throttle. My old Jeep Cherokee with the 4L inline 6 would just grunt it out in high gear.

    The Dakota has been rock solid dependable since I bought it new. Dakotas can be bought inexpensively, since they don't have a Ford or GM badge on 'em. However, I've never seen a stick shift version. Probably a California thing. We don't have the same options the rest of the country has.

    The '03 and earlier had the 3.9L V6 that is based on the old 318/360 engine. Not at all fuel efficient. '04 and later have the Mercedes era 3.7 V6 or 4.7 V8.

    My son had a 2007 Tacoma with a V6 and a manual trans. It ate the input shaft within 10,000 miles and the dealer tried to make him pay for it. That truck seemed cheaply built compared to the Dakota, although they got better reviews. Personally, I wouldn't own one after seeing how the dealer treated my son.

    Edit:
    Dodge (Ram) is supposed to be coming out with a 4 cylinder turbo diesel this year in the 1500 truck. Supposed to get 30MPG highway and have an 8000lb towing capacity. I doubt it can be bought for under 30K though
    2007 is when Toyota revamped their whole line and made everything overkill heavy-duty. I only paid $1000 for my 97 Dakota with 200k miles on it. Still runs like a champ, gets 17-20mpg. 3.9-V6. I still say the one truck I would have bought in a heartbeat was a Chevy S-10 only made in Mexico around the early 2000's. S-10 extended cab, 4 door, dually with a 5.7 (350ci)
    www.CreativeCandy.org

    I carry a gun because I'm too young to die, too old to take an ass whooping, and a cop is too heavy.

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