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Need help with deciding on Hunting Rig

Old 12-02-2013, 05:56 AM
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Default Need help with deciding on Hunting Rig

Morning Gents,

I'm debating on a hunting rig. I have a few ideas to me but I also want something I can use for other uses as well. I'm looking looking mainly at getting something SWB, 4x4, and something that can handle a load for normal towing whether it be a car, boat, utility trailer with all terrain vehicles ect. I'm not extremely worried about gas mileage because I don't plan on using it for long distant towing or trips unless its hunting related. I'm looking for something that I could care less about if I hit something because I can always just find a replacement body panel or beat it back in place. Something that is a manual preferred for lower issues with the trans going out if it gets stuck. But unsure as far as a good all around powerplant to start with that I can always upgrade or change out later.

I'm leaning towards the older Chevy pickups, K-10 73-87, 1500 88-98 or the Ford F-series late 80's to mid 90's with a short bed for a shorter wheelbase. I'm not a fan of Dodge so I tend to shy away.

So with that being said what rig would you choose to be a hunting rig, what powerplant would you look for, what features would you think would be a good deciding factor on a rig.

I know some of the inline 6's are hard to kill and have good torque, and I know about the ford/chevy small block v8's.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 12-02-2013, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Need help with deciding on Hunting Rig

For older Fords, find a f250, f350. Gasser will be cheaper on upkeep and fuel cost. Find a 351 or big block 460. Not the greatest MPG. I've got an old f150 with the 4.9 inline 6. The motor is a tank and will pull anything but it won't do it fast and the f150 can't tow much. Also make sure you see what trans is in it. The automatics of the era tended to be stronger unless you can find one with the zf5 5speed trans. The 4spd with granny gear is a decent manual as well. But if you can find one with a c6 auto trans in it, I wouldn't shy away from it.

Typical rust issues were in the rear wheels and sometimes in the cab corners.

The 6.9 and 7.3 IDI diesel motors were decent for their time. Will pull anything, just not fast. They are mechanical motors and are easy to work on. An aftermarket turbo can make them into decent pulling rigs. Fuel prices are high on diesel.
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Old 12-02-2013, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: Need help with deciding on Hunting Rig

I use a 1990 Chevy Suburban with a 350 as my hunting rid.

It is big enough to fit everyone that goes with me, enclosed to keep all my stuff sucured and locked up, it will pull the trailers just fine, and the 4x4 works great.

If you can find one, an old suburban is my fav solution.
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Old 12-02-2013, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: Need help with deciding on Hunting Rig

JB - I've though about the F-250/350 pickups, but most come in a lwb which I don't really care for due to incase getting into tight areas and I'm not sure on if they make a swb model. But I know they can hold a load better than the f150's. I'm more leaning towards a gasser because I am use to them vice a diesel. Thanks for the input.

LUCK - I've thought about the Suburban's because they are easier to get but I'm unsure if or how many they ever made in manual plus the same with the getting in and out of tight areas if needed. I wish I still had my old K-10 because it was swb and had the 4 spd manual which was pretty bulletproof.

As far as rust issues I'm not too concerned I know they have them and I'm use to metal work for replacement of rotted areas.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: Need help with deciding on Hunting Rig

How much do you have to spend?

If you look at 80's and 90's f250's and 350's stay away from the TTB front suspension models. Find one with the high pinion Dana 60 and the Sterling 10.25 rear. Mine have proven to indestructible with 38 TSL's, and 38 boggers. Mine has a e4od automatic, zero issues but I have a very firm shift kit, deep pan, billet yokes, some fancy u-joints. The only weak spot I found in my drive line is the output yoke. I've broken it 2x...but it only happens at full droop. I fixed the issue with limiting straps.


Chevy or GMC, any of their older Suburban, Blazer or pickup straight axle model would be a good choice.

I'd do an old Bronco too. There was a real nice one on craigslist for what I thought was a deal. I'll see if I can find it, there was also a badass Surburban too.

http://norfolk.craigslist.org/cto/4201668095.html

http://norfolk.craigslist.org/cto/4201687530.html

If I had room, one of these two would be in my driveway.

http://norfolk.craigslist.org/cto/4210452897.html

http://norfolk.craigslist.org/cto/4123305260.html

Last edited by SMOKEYBEAR; 12-02-2013 at 10:34 AM.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Need help with deciding on Hunting Rig

I think since you are wanting something short to get in tight spaces with, a full size Bronco with a 351W would be a decent setup. Towing capacity would be around 5k-7k which would be sufficient enough to pull atv's on a trailer, small boat, car trailer with a car/jeep

Chevy's k5 Blazer would be another choice.

Ford does make a SWB truck, mostly found in the f150 but f250 can be found with a supercab and 6ft bed. But still makes it longer than say a Bronco.
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Old 12-02-2013, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Need help with deciding on Hunting Rig

The full size Bronco has always been a favorite of mine. Ford 9" rear axle, Dana 44 front axles, solid transfer cases and a c4 or c6 automatic or a 4 speed. You can't go wrong with any of those parts unless you plan to wheel the snot out of it on 38" + tires.
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