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Old 06-23-2002, 07:23 PM   #15
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I can tell you for a fact that '92 Z71 4X4's shortbeds have thicker torsion bars up front and ride stiffer than standard 4X4 Chevy 1500 models of that year. I spent a lot of time on logging roads in both vehicles and you can tell the difference especially on stairstep rock outcropings. Both models were stock, running LT265-75-16 tires, except for my Amsoil dual bypass oil filtration system and Jacobs Electronics Ultra Team ignition. I imagine that the Bilstein shocks attributed to part of the stiffness and were going strong when this truck was rolled by my son at 143,000 miles. I have not compared my '01 2500hd 4X4 ext. cab with the '90 4X4 1500 Chevy Sport that replaced the '92 so that my son had a truck to drive to college this year. That truck with its 8.1 and Allison transmission has stiffer ride than any of the 3 previously mentioned vehicles.
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'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
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Old 06-23-2002, 07:47 PM   #16
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Z71 Off-Road

I only know that I was told by the dealer that in addition to the Billstein shocks, the off-road model has a softer suspension. My 2001 1500 4x4 truck definitely has a soft suspension. The shocks keep it from being wishy-washy, though, and it tows the trailer beautifully.

I actually hate to drop off the trailer as the truck is less stable and a lot more wind sensitive without the trailer. The truck always feels strange for a few miles.
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Old 06-23-2002, 10:17 PM   #17
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Don't forget the Chevy Trailblazer!

It is small and has a huge v6 that puts out 270 hp. They are going to produce a model with an extended wheel base that has a 3rd row of seats.

http://www.chevrolet.com/trailblazer/

FYI - I towed my 1961 Bambi 1000 miles from Boise to Colorado with a 1998 Jeep with an in-line 6 cylinder. I have an aftermarket JET chip, aftermarket air filter & spark plugs. I felt the setup to be very adequate for my small trailer. I have a Reese weight equalization hitch & expereinced no sway when 18 wheelers passed.
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Old 06-24-2002, 08:33 AM   #18
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According to my latest issue of 4Wheeler magazine, the Trail Blaizer extended length model will be available with the all aluminum 5.3 V8 producing 280 HP. Also, I thought the new 270 horse 6 was an inline 6 not a V6.

John, it could be that the public has asked for softer suspension for the newer models of 1500 4X4 with Z71 packages. Z71's seem to be the latest fad in addition to the new 2500hd. I have to admit that the decals caught my attention but even more, the skid plates offer the kind of protection I need on some of the logging roads I occasionally travel. The new 2500hd has lower ground clearance than what I would like but since I tow a 31' I don't want to go to taller tires due to the cost of the front and rear ring and pinion gears plus labor.
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AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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Old 06-24-2002, 11:03 AM   #19
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David,
I saw the Dodge dealer had 20" model 4X4 1500 trucks. I do not understand the advantage and reason except clearance. It seems with large wheels the higher gear ratios are made less effective.
Your comment about cost of ring and pinion? Did you mean to change equipment or repair due to stress?

I too thought the 2002 Dodge 1500, 4X4, regular cab suspension with 20 in. tires felt soft on a test drive. But it did ride smooth. I had not started thinking about the coimpromise of gear ratio and tire size till I got home. Also, I noticed a slight forward / aft "galloping" at 70 mph on smooth level road

Jay
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Old 06-24-2002, 01:31 PM   #20
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Jay,
The move from 14" rims of the 60's to the 15" rims of the 70's/80's and then to the 16" rims of the late 80's, 90's and the last several years I guess was done to increase sidewall stability. The heigth of the tire is what is important when talking gear ratio changes. The 17" rims allow larger diameter disc brakes and I think I saw an advertisement for Brembo (sp.) drilled disc brakes where you had to use 20" rims to fit over the discs. I'm sorry but I wouldn't want any part of 20" rims. The 16" rims on my 2500hd do a perfectly good job of stopping my one ton truck. Tire prices for the 16" rims are still higher than perfectly good tires fitting 15" rims. Why go to 20" rims? Could you imagine the price on these when it comes to replacing them?

Anyway, LT265-75-16 are about the same size/heigth as the old 31-10.50-15 i.e. 31 inches tall. Going to a 32" or 33" tall tire is going to affect the rear end ratio. An LT265-75-16 with a 3.73 rear is good for a lighter trailer and a 4.11 rear is OK for the heavier/longer Airstreams. Going to an LT285-75-16 which is about the biggest you can fit on Chevy stock aluminum rims would be too much for the 3.73 for my 31' Excella 500. I now run LT245-75-16 tires, appx. 30.5" tall on stock Chevy rims and a 3.73 rear end. The 8.1 (496 cu.in.) engine has gobs of torque and can pull the trailer fully loaded without problem. Going to an LT285-75-16 might make it a dog on hills. So you see, tire heigth has more to do with it than rim size (heigth). Rim width is another issue I won't even begin to discuss.

Match the tire heigth with the rear end to find a happy medium you can live with. The 3.73 gives me great pulling power when towing the trailer and 15 mpg on the highway without A/C. A 4.11 would have given me even better towing ability but the mileage would have been slightly down in my opinion. Talk with these Suburban guys like Jim Wilkerson, think that's right, with their 4.11 rear ends and see what size tire they run (don't forget heigth) and how they feel about towing the heavier trailers. You won't have a problem with a medium size trailer, medium size engine and 3.73 rear unless you spend most of your time in the mountains. What do you think guys? Tell him about your combination and how you feel about it.
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AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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Old 06-24-2002, 03:42 PM   #21
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Thanks for tire size lecture Dave. I impessed with the fuel economy of your truck also.

I went to look at the Ford F-150 today and really liked thier King Ranch leather interior. I mean I really did like it. I started thinking about how conveinet the vinl interiors were in company fleet trucks and about how careful I am in my car to keep the cloth seats clean. I swear driving with a cup of cofee and wearing a white dress shirt seems to be the time that spills happen. So, I decided to look closer at interiors. I think I could drive safer knowing that a spilled cup of coffee is not so important.
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Old 06-24-2002, 04:20 PM   #22
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Jay,
Sorry if it seemed like a lecture but I am a 4 wheeling fanatic who has owned full size Blazers, Jeep CJ7 and shortbed Chevy trucks. I also had a '70 Pontiac GTO during my college years so I am performance oriented also. I have made a few mistakes during my years. My '77 K5 Blazer came with 3.08 rear end. I had 32" tires and went to a 350 horse cam found in the 327 and lost all kinds of power. I put in a Edelbrock Performer alum. manifold and the Performer camshaft and that took care of the problem. My Jeep had a 304 V8 so I went with the Edelbrock SP2P manifold and Holley carb. Had all kinds of problems with the Holley carbs until I found one that really worked. My '92 1500 had Jacobs Ultra Team ignition and it did well. That ignition was taken off when the truck was rolled, placed on a '92 Camaro RS and then to the '90 4X4 1500 Sport my son is driving now.

The ring and pinion change is around $500 or more including parts and labor for each axle so make the right choice now.

I'm not a Ford person but the King Ranch edition of the F150 is a nice looking truck. I had vinyl in my Blazer and it was hot and sticky. I like the custom cloth because you can order a slip on cover for them during the hunting season. I try not to drink anything much anymore in my truck because I have made a few spills in the past.

Since I was born and raised in Corpus Christi, TX., I did a little hunting there years ago.
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AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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Old 06-24-2002, 04:46 PM   #23
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gears

Dave,
I have not worked with performace machines since I was a kid and took the differencial out of my 69 Mustang 302 with using a spoon and papertowerls. I appreciate input. I have not yet looked into what aftermarket seat covers are available but I am interested because of hunting and fishing trips. I remember getting into the company fleet truck at oil wells on raining, muddy days and really apppreciated the vinly floor as well but I am a little too civilized to want that in my personal vehicle.
I will take the Chevrolet dealership tour tommorrow and check out thier products. This really is a tough decision but I am encouraged with the forums comments that a 19' trailer is versatile. I have had very little sleep since I started looking at vehicles.
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Old 06-24-2002, 04:55 PM   #24
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Jay,
Chances are you can tow the 19' with a lot of vehicles. I used to tow my 25C Safari with a Landrover Discovery. Just keep a sufficient safety margin over the GVWR of the trailer to account for gas, cargo and passengers in the tow vehicle.
Have fun in the search.

P. S. My problem is now that I've had my A/S for a few years, I want a bigger coach, which my Yukon won't easily handle. You may want to consider how long you will keep your tow vehicle and the chances of wanting to upgrade the A/S!
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Old 06-24-2002, 05:04 PM   #25
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FYI-Want a fun performance tow vehicle for your 19 footer? Check out the Porsche Cayenne SUV.

450 hp, 460 lbs. torque and 0-62 in 5.6 seconds. Saves money too...you only buy one vehicle instead of a regular Porsche, an SUV and a family friendly luxury vehicle.
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Old 06-24-2002, 07:40 PM   #26
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Jace,
Your comment INTERESTS me !!!

The Discovery was my vehicle of choice initially till I decided to buy an Airstream as well. The test drive was the most impressive experience of a land surface vehicle I have ever had. It was almost as much fun as flying. But the specification as wheel base scared me. Land Rover of Dallas claims ranchers are hauling horses with theirs. I am attempting to use caution and reason. Your comment about future upgrades does carry weight. I initially considered a Bambi 19' but have been doing comparisons with a Safari 25' since I started test driving trucks. Since I am selling my home and will be in the trailer for an extended time I could use a little more storage room in the trailer. I think a 25' would be about the limit for a light vehicle that would be convenient transportation when on location.
Thanks, Jay
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Old 06-24-2002, 09:07 PM   #27
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Airstream purchase

Many thanks to the forum.
I came home and found a letter about a will being probated. Sorrowful and unfortunate.
So, my Airstream purchase is approaching.
I had never been inside an airstream till I went to the dealer north of Fort Worth where I looked at the 2002 Bambi 19' (it was really a Safari 19' according to Airstream factory). I liked the unit more than the Bambi 19' on Airstreams Web Site. However it was priced far higher than units I have seen on the internet.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a dealer" Also, what is a reasonable price? Airstream factory suggested that I offer a lower bid than advertised to a dealer because the new 2003 models will be desired at dealerships.

Again, thanks for the help. This forum is one of the nicest internet experiences in the 9 years I have used the web.
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Old 06-24-2002, 09:16 PM   #28
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Jay,
My dad worked for Shell Oil as a petroleum geologist out of Corpus Christi. He use to take me out on wells when they were drilling core samples. I would watch him test those in his box with ultraviolet light. That fascinated me. Many a time the well area was muddy so I understand about that. I also remember the blue Schlumber---, or however you spell it, trucks with all the gauges. Those were some good days. He left Shell to go with Superior Oil then into business with his best friend. He eventually went out on his own and made some good money finding gas and oil.

Check www.performanceproducts.com and www.cabelas.com for various types of covers for your seats. I chose a vinyl floor with rubber mats so that I could wipe mud out with a wet rag/sponge during turkey, deer and dove hunting.
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AIR #0078
'01 2500hd ext. cab, 8.1 litre gas, 5 sp. Allison auto
3.73 rear end
Mag-Hytec rear diff cover
Amsoil Dual by-pass oil filtration system
Amsoil synthetics all around
265 watt AM Solar, Inc. system
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