Old Still Sells

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I’ve often wondered whether people would buy a new vehicle available without all the new stuff – especially the over-the-top electronic nannying stuff but also just over-the-top stuff generally, including such things as ASS, direct injection and 48 Volt electrical systems.

Well, we have an answer.

FCA is selling new as well as old/new versions of the Ram 1500 truck, side-by-side – both with zero miles on the clock, plastic on the seats, fully warranted.

A third of all 2019 Ram sales are of the old/new version, which is labeled Ram Classic.

You may remember the reference.

When New Coke came out, people cried out for the old Coke. Which returned as Classic Coke – and has been ever since.

The cry for classic is even more understandable when it comes to trucks. The metrosexualized car press may gush over Lane Keep Assist, Park Assist and Automated Emergency Braking – which the new Ram has –  but lots of truck buyers still want just a truck.

For work.

For which the Ram Classic is more suited.

For example, you can still get it in regular cab (two-door) and long bed configuration; the new Ram comes only with four doors; your choice being how large you want those doors. Crew or Quad. Not everyone needs those extra doors – nor the extra MSRP that comes with them.

You can buy a brand-new Classic Ram for $27,395 – as opposed to $31,795 for the least expensive  version of the new/new Ram. That’s a difference of $4,400 – enough to option out the Classic Ram with 4WD ($31,995) for only $200 more than the price of a 2WD new Ram.

Or upgrade to the optional 5.7 liter Hemi V8 (a $1,450 option) and still pay almost $3,000 less than price of a V6-powered new/new Ram.

No surprise, lots of people are buying the Classic Ram, even if it is almost ten years old. The 2019 Classic dates back to 2009 – which was the last time it was significantly updated.

So when you buy a new 2019 Classic, you’re really buying a new 2009 Ram.

Which is appealing to people who want the optional Hemi V8, but not the “eTorque” mild-hybrid system (and 48 Volt electrics) that now come standard with the new/new Ram, when optioned with the Hemi.

The system is technically interesting, but adds complexity – the natural enemy of durability. The eTorque system cycles the engine on and off – to save gas, the fetish object of our era, no matter how much it costs us.

Which, as it turns out, is $1,195 – the difference between the cost of the Hemi V8 option (and bundled eTorque system, which also includes a lithium-ion battery pack under the back seats; now you know why no regular cab) vs. the cost of just the Hemi V8 in the Classic Ram, without the additional cabbage, plus battery pack, etc.

This is interesting to chew on.

FCA came up with eTorque to “save gas” – but consider dey maff:

The $1,195 difference Classic Hemi vs. New Hemi buys roughly 490 gallons of regular unleaded at $2.40 per gallon. That works out to about 22 tankfuls of gas. If the Ram goes 18 miles on each gallon, that’s about 400 miles per tank. Times 22 tanks, that’s just under 9,000 miles of effectively free driving in the Classic Ram vs. the new/new Ram.

That’s no small incentive to buy the old/new rather than the new/new.

The eTorque thing is really a CAFE compliance measure –  a way for FCA to get Uncle at least somewhat off its back while still being allowed to sell V8 Rams at all. It helps soften the affront of ASS, too. The engine cycles off and on less roughly. It’d be easier to just leave it running.

Another interesting thing to masticate is that sales of the Classic Ram are heavily responsible for the Ram outselling the new Chevy Silverado – and breathing hard on the neck of the best-selling Ford F-150.

Both of which are very new indeed.

They have all the latest ASS-ists, as well as aluminum bodies (or major parts thereof) which may be light but which are also easier to damage – and much more difficult to fix than steel. They also have inappropriately small engines – a four cylinder engine in the case of the Chevy and two little (for a big truck) V6 engines in the Ford, their inadequate displacement made up for by a pair of turbos.

These make power, but not without cost.

You pay more for the truck – and it is very probable you’ll pay more to fix the truck at some point over the course of its life, an important disincentive for people who buy trucks not just for work but for keeps. Who expect to work that truck for the next 15-20 years or longer, hopefully.

The Classic Ram will probably work that long – and longer – without major mechanical malady. Will the new/new Ram, with its eTorque tech and 48 volt electrics?

A third of Ram buyers aren’t taking that bet.

It’d be even more interesting to see how well – or not – a circa mid-late ’80s/early ’90s-era 1500 series truck brought back to life would sell. New, but without all the ASS-ists and air bags – or maybe just two of them. Mechanical 4WD, the kind you engaged manually, with a shifter on the floor physically connected to something instead of a knob that transmits signals to electric motors.

The V8 with a much simpler throttle body injection system, rather than port fuel (and forget direct) injection. Five speed manual transmission – something not even the Classic Ram still offers.

Such a truck would probably cost ten thousand dollars less than the new/old classic Ram.

How much do you want to bet it’d sell even better?

. . .

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93 COMMENTS

  1. You’re right about hydraulic mowers, 8. No driveshafts with Ujoints means the only vibration would come from bent or unbalanced blades. Tower bearings would last much longer and the operator would have a much better job. I was remembering those golf course mowers, the first hydraulic movers I had seen.

    Those splice risers catch hell everywhere. The two that were on my private road are long gone. They never replaced them because we don’t have landline phones anymore and we’re too far out for cable TV and internet.

  2. Still driving the 85 W150 Prospector 4WD. 318 2 barrel Holley, 727 transmission. Wife hates it. Told her she’ll have to bury me in “Ol Sarge”.

  3. @8:
    ” I know that module is killing the thing but have no idea how it does it.”

    Here’s an idea: On a mower, all the electrical system has to do for the thing to run is to give the coil permission to fire the plugs. Unplug the module and treat the engine just like any other engine that ain’t getting spark.

    I keep saying that as soon as I get time, I’m gonna just rat-rig my John Deere with a toggle switch to the coil and a pushbutton for the starter. Later for all the rest of that crapola. Who needs a keyed switch for the ignition? If somebody comes out and steals it they have to get past my wife’s wolf hybrid and my own pitbull/shepherd cross. If they could do that, they deserve the thing.

    Shit, I could use that nanny backup button for a start button. Wouldn’t that be a hoot?

    • Ed, I have no power to the switch key. I can’t figure it out. It started and died and has never cranked since. Of course I haven’t been in a mood to go the extra mile. It just pisses me off the way it quit, crank, die, nothing.

      • I have a sneaking suspicion that the big power relay doodad is only needed for all the nanny switches. On a simple machine like a riding mower, it seems you could just redo the system. A simpler system that would only have to recharge the battery and activate the ignition and starter ought to be pretty straightforward to wire up.

        No power to the switch might be caused by eliminating the designer’s beloved seat switch or reverse interrupt.

      • Well, my little riding mower runs off a magneto and uses a ground to kill system, so I just experimented and took off ALL the wires except the one that goes to the switch!

        Now it works just like it should: put it in neutral and hop off to open/close a gate, or you can lean over on a sidehill without the engine shutting off.

        • Yep, dread, my Deere has a magnetic alternator for the battery, too. It ought not be a big deal to redo the system and just have a toggle for the ignition and a push button for the starter.

  4. @ancap
    “Can you really tell me with a straight face that your Tundra hood cylinders wore out faster than the door hinges on a Chevy? ”

    The only thing I know of that wears out faster than a Chevy/GMC door hinge (or at least the pin bushings) is generic brand toilet paper. First thing I did after buying the ’92 Sierra was put on new tires, but the second thing was door hinge pins. Thank God for aftermarket check roller pins. The OEM replacement is apparently the one used on the assembly line.

    That wouldn’t be a big deal except that they were pressed in and swaged before the hinge was welded onto the body. The OEM pin has to be pressed in and swaged with the hinge half already welded in place. I used a portapower ram set on the bottom hinge to press in the aftermarket replacement and it had a C-clip.

    The OEM one would need to be swaged, which would take a C-frame press with a die just the right shape to swage it. NFW as we used to say when I was still a young DIY’er. That stands for No Fucking Way.

    • I guess then you’ve never dealt with 1970s AMC door hinges, at least on their smaller models. Those used nylon pin bushings. The doors would sag on them all in pretty short order and if not fixed promptly the hinges would get severely loose and the latches would wear out. The Pacer’s extra-heavy doors would actually detach from the car with severe wear.

    • Ed, I have no power to the switch key. I can’t figure it out. It started and died and has never cranked since. Of course I haven’t been in a mood to go the extra mile. It just pisses me off the way it quit, crank, die, nothing.

    • I said the hood cylinders were gone on the Tundra and the hood hinges on the Chevy were fine. I only had to replace the door hinge bushings on a 90’s Chevy and everything was ok. A friend who owns a body shop adjusted the doors for me. Place a couple 2X4’s on top of a floor jack, put it under the door with it open and jack till it raises the side of the pickup up some. Release, shut door, repeat as necessary. It works wonderfully, good enough a knew striker never showed any wear for a dozen years. The real ticket to keep those doors in place I found out was when I ordered new door gaskets. The new ones were much larger and made better than the original. I could no longer simply shut the doors, they had to be nearly slammed. They stayed in place and the pickup was quieter. I once had a guy comment my pickup was so tight it was hard to shut the door. That was just the door gaskets since there are one-way vents in the back of the cab on all GM pickups and have been since way way back…back around the late 60’s or so when they began advertising “flow through ventilation”.

      • I need to try that door jacking trick on mine. I replaced the hinge pins and bushings and it didn’t do much good (I used a come-along from a tree limb to suspend the door during THAT operation!).

        It’s absolutely the WORST thing about this old pickup. Wind noise is awful without the door latched tight. If I could get the door fixed, then I could sand and paint and replace any other misc parts as needed and it would actually be a nice pickup. I just put new CV axles in it last week. The old ones were a monster to get out of there but the new ones just slipped right in.

        • dread, don’t move the door far away from the body when jacking it, maybe about a foot. And new strikers help to hold it where you want it. Even though the doors had no sag and slid smoothly across the strikers, they were still not nearly like new but after the new gaskets, they were better than new. It was like night and day.

          I still have new CV covers but if one is broken the joint will be compromised from having crud get in it so the new covers would only be good with new CV joints and attached axle parts. You won’t regret doing any of this when you do it all. You’ll feel like you’re in a new pickup.

          • Ok, thanks for the tip about the door!

            The outboard boots(covers) were split on both of mine and one or both axles made a horrible noise when you tried to turn in 4wd unless it was really slippery. The new ones are nice: I can turn the pickup around in a tight place in low range without any popping and cracking. The NV3500 is pretty high geared so I like to just leave it in low range most of the time driving around my property. I can do that now.

            I don’t know if the old axles were original (over 200K miles) but they were a bear to get the inboard flange past the differential output flange. The new/remanufactured axles are more flexible and the inboard flange is cut in a semi-hexagon shape so it has more clearance between the output flange and the lower A-frame (if that makes any sense). I didn’t want to take apart the ball joints at this time (I did an upper one last year). I don’t know how long the O’Reilly axles will last but they were only about $70 each and I think I could change them out in about an hour per side.

            I’m headed out right now to drive up the ridge and cut some trees!

            • dread, if you ever have to replace the transmission or clutch and have a NVG 4500 go with it. It’s a HD 3 speed with underdrive and overdrive, quite a bit different from the 5 speed.

            • Yeah, I’m just not sure this old pickup is worth it. I think you have to move the TC and x-member back a little and then of course change both driveshaft lengths.

              Might be better just to find a fairly nice 88-95 K-2500 and fix that up. Bonus is that by that time I will know how to work on just about everything on these GMT400 models!

              • My bad, I didn’t realize we were speaking half ton. Some of the 3/4 T’s came with the 3500 but probably all were 2WD like that.

                I had an argument with my cousin who was a mechanic over 14 bolt rear-ends. He said the 3/4T were the same as the one ton. He had one right there to look at and I had my one ton there to compare. It isn’t the same rear-end by a long shot. The pot on mine was so big I was tempted to make a skid plate for it since I drug it many times high centered.

                I’m not big on half ton for working. The brakes don’t last long and I don’t like a car type rear-end. I ‘d just rather have the full floater with big inside and outside bearings and the axles holding NO weight.

                My 82 6.2L diesel 4WD came with one of those car type rears and it was just a flash in the pan although over 60K was way further than I thought it could take. A one ton rear from a 76 crewcab cured that bs.

              • I don’t care for half ton either, but this one was basically next door and I bought it from the lady whose husband had run off with a younger gal for $800 as is (the pickup, that is – not the gal!). I’ve probably put $1000 into it since then, over half of that for a shop to put the rear brakes back together. One side was literally in pieces inside the drum and had wrecked the axle seal also.

                • No doubt you’ve spent less on upkeep than he has Of course he might think it money well spent and none of us can second guess him.

                  You’re right justin, the final axle ratio shouldn’t be more than a 3.93 and most came with 4.10’s.

                  I had a cousin who used a 4500 in a hot 5.7 L Chevy pickup because of the power of the engine. He used the first gear(low)since the rear gear was so high and the engine liked to rev. It was a fast ride. When opened up the TBI sounded like a big block Q jet.

                  And “low” gear in a 4500 is useless till you have a load on or need to go very slowly…and for most, rarely the latter. That “low” gear was for pulling off with a big load or down in the dirt 4WD’ing. That Turbo Diesel would idle in “low” and low range and not get a bounce in the suspension, one of those critical things when you’re seriously offroad……or offroad in serious terrain…..

                • I’ve had plenty of SM465 and SM420 four speeds and I liked them fine. Of course they lack an overdrive unless the axle ratio is really fast (like my 1980 k-10 that I had for a little while).

                  It’s not just the low low gear, but also the reverse. Lots of fairly normal places I have to use low range to back up because reverse is just too damn fast, where my old C-20 would do just fine.

                  I don’t think you can twin stick a 241 TC? I’ve got the front axle locked together semi-permanently now, but sometimes I would like to put in one of those cable controls so that I could use low range on pavement. On my older pickups, I occasionally did that just by leaving front hubs unlocked (like going down past Columbia Glacier with a trailer and a heavy load in the bed).

              • It’s not the 3500 that’s geared high
                It’s the axles

                First gear in the 3500 is 4:1
                It’s not 6:1 like the 4500 but that makes first gear in the 4500 useless for normal everyday driving

      • Yep, with the hinges welded onto the body, a floor jack is the only easy way to adjust the doors. If you have exposed joists in the garage you can also use a heavy duty load binder strap through the open window by looping it over the joist and ratcheting it tighter. That’s a little more efficient since you can get the door under tension and push in on it a little at a time, which ain’t safe to do (for your door) using the floor jack.

        • Thanks, Ed. The garage is too small and I would be worried about breaking the local knotty pine joist. When I replaced the door pins/bushings, I parked under a great big pine tree and suspended the door from a big limb as you describe. But alas, I cut down that tree a few years ago because I was afraid it would blow down on the house. I’ve been trying to devise a way to jack up the door with a Hi-Lift jack … maybe a 4×4 under the door with the other end sitting on a big block of wood ???

          • Wouldn’t know what to do without a dammit jack and that will work but a floor jack is infinitely more adjustable.

            I have a compact floor jack I bought back in the early 80’s at KMart and the sucker has been indestructible(probably won’t find that now) even when I used it And a dammit jack to raise a very over-loaded trailer to change a rear tear(and a shovel in the end to dig a hole). I carry that small jack in the pickup a great deal of the time and always back a few years ago. It’s been used, abused and bent on that trailer flat but it continues to work. That isn’t my preferred working jack since i have a large floor jack and had a huge floor jack that quit, found a guy to rebuild it and it worked for a little while and back to the same non-working. It has Deere on it but not JD. It’s a huge thing and I love it for pickups. I had a good hd air jack a guy borrowed and haven’t seen it in 5 years….or my new shredder. Guess I should “borrow” his Peterbilt.

            By the way, I wouldn’t use a block of wood under the dammit jack if you have a good spot to set it on. I would use a 4X4 on the underside of the door just to protect the paint and give you a larger area to keep your jack in line.

            When that door shuts straight though, don’t sit back and feel satisfied. Replace the striker too. The new gasket will do more than you can imagine. I’d do it on my Z 71 but it’s such an electronic POS I don’t care. It’s not a love/hate relationship. It’s a put up with it/hate relationship. The frame on my 93 was 10″ deep and there was no jumping up in it like a Dodge or Ford one ton 4WD. It drove and handled in a way that can’t be done in the Z. It’s even taller being a half ton than the one ton.

            If I had a 90’s GM, I replace every damned thing on it that needed to be replace….and probably some that didn’t need to be. You can’t get comprehensive insurance unfortunately and there’s no way you can say you won’t wreck it and not be able to collect but it’s worth the risk for me. Its’ just a much cleaner body design than anything since. And now the old square bodies are making a comeback. I have an ’82 and if it were a crewcab I’d be driving it but CJ has never experienced a single cab. He got in one and kept looking for the back seat just like Buck did.

            There was an added feature to the old ext cab and that was blacked-out windows. If you got your hands on the front window to look into the back, a stranger would always end up jumping back after Buck nailed the glass. You couldn’t see him coming but he could see you…..and he didn’t like it. Anybody who didn’t jump back wasn’t working on all cylinders…..and I never saw it happen. That truck looked so good I was always coming back to find a note under the windshield wipers wanting me to contact somebody about selling it. I got offered big bucks for it since it was newly painted and shaved and was obviously meant to do serious work by dint of the rear bumper, home made bed rails, toolbox and home-made sun-fighter headache rack. The headache rack is still straight and true after keeping me and CJ alive while it rolled. And I drove it home with the windshield down on my fingers on the steering wheel. I still get a swelled finger and can’t keep from scratching it till I do so and encounter a sharp point. Then I get a magnifying glass and go to work pulling the piece of glass out.

          • I don’t have a floor jack and just figure a new one would quit after 1 or 2 uses. What I meant to say was use a couple foot long 4×4 bridged between a big round block of firewood and the hi-lift, with a 2×4 block or two right under the door. Otherwise I have to use a factory screw jack under the door.

            I paid $800 for this 1989 K1500 that had no rear brakes and 4wd not working to use as a firewood truck. It is pretty “rough” although not disastrously so. For now I’m just fixing what it must have and using it locally. I really would like to find a Nice Pickup 88-95 and then I would just replace anything mechanical that was even suspect. But little by little I’m getting this one far enough along that I sometimes wonder about making it a primary vehicle.

            The worst part is that it really isn’t that good of a firewood truck because of the x-cab and IFS, although I’ve had and am taking it some pretty rough places. It’s a pain in the butt in the woods even though it is amazingly capable off road considering the length and low clearance. A decent K-20 of any year 1960-87 would work better for the purpose.

  5. What I find infuriating is the constant bundling of annoying, intrusive “safety nannies” with things I actually WANT, and no ability to say no.

    I just bought a new Q50 Sport. I chose it because I wanted the upgraded brakes/seats/suspension over the base Q50 (plus a few other bits), but didn’t want to pay the price premium for the Red Sport. As I looked at the option “packages”, I didn’t see much “option” at all…

    Want the upgraded stereo? Sorry, you have to take lane departure warning, radar cruise control, and the all-around camera to have it. WTF???

    Manual transmission? Fuggedaboutit! No such animal at this horsepower and price point – at least not from something reliable as a daily driver.

    I don’t mind having ABS/traction control etc (with the ability to turn them off when I choose), but I sure miss the ability to choose options on a vehicle a la carte as my parents could do back in the day…

  6. There’s also the Dodge Grand Caravan and Journey which both sell quite well even though they’re older – the Grand Caravan being replaced by the more expensive Pacifica.

  7. I’d take a new 93 Chevy one ton ext cab 4WD Silverado for the $18-19K it cost new. The Turbo Diesel had no computer……anywhere. Just unplug the ABS and haul ass.

    When it comes to Dodge, it was the 09’s that have had much engine trouble on the Cummins models so I wouldn’t get too excited about them. Now a ’98 model would be most welcome with the old 12 valve engine.

    A met a guy at a training in 2000 who had a ’90 square body Dodge with the Cummins. It was 2 wd and had 3.51 gears and he got 25mpg from it. We went to lunch and driving on the highway in my Chevy he said “| see one thing already that can be done in this pickup you can’t do in mine”. What’s that I asked. Have this conversation he said. He allowed it was right loud. Another friend had one so I already knew that. That’s not a deal killer though. I found out long ago with big rigs you couldn’t hear yourself think in that strategic placement of insulation and sound-deadening products could tame one way down.

    • 8, I bought a ’92 Sierra with the gas engine 4.3L and a TBI, to have a truck to use while my ’68 Camper Special is being restored (partially). The TBI seems like a good design if I could figure out what’s making it run rich. It starts quickly, and idles a little rough with a surge or two at times, but give it some gas and it blows black smoke.

      I replaced the MAP sensor which tested as kind of iffy, but no difference. The injectors seem to be spraying a fine mist as they are supposed to. I hate to pull the TB and rebuild it if I don’t have to. It seems the fuel pressure regulator isn’t adjustable, so maybe that’s gone bad and it could be replaced on the truck. It’s about to drive me to hair pulling.

      With only one good arm, I need to buy plenty of new bolts and screws before I start pulling the TB because I’m prone to dropping them all over the place…..

      • Ed, assuming wires and plugs and air filter and fuel filter(not likely on that since it won’t get Enough fuel)are good, I’d change the EGR valve and check for vacuum and gas line leaks with propane or starting fluid with it running. The EGR, once partially stuck will cause the rich run condition and then make more unburnt fuel to make it worse.

        I’d get the code checked on it before replacing expensive parts. If the EGR valve isn’t expensive I might just change it and see what happens. They aren’t a forever thing. Oh, and that engine has a fuel idle solenoid that could cause surging.

        • 8, I think the EGR valve can be cleaned, but they are cheap anyway.. That’s one I didn’t think of, though the tube is right in sight. The idle air solenoid is right on the side of the TB.

          I probably should rebuild the TBI. It’s easier than rebuilding most carbs, just a little more expensive. Vacuum leaks are likely culprits, too. I’ll do that before throwing any more parts at it. Thanks.

          • Oh, forgot to say it’s OBD I. I have the reader that you plug in and then count the flashes. It’s only throwing the speed sensor code. The speed sensor on the TH 400 that someone switched in doesn’t work with the computer, so no speedometer reading, though it shifts fine.

            That’s the only code it has thrown since I got it. It’s frustrating to not be able to wrench like I used to. I hate to take it to a shop.

            • Ed, I know how you feel. About 5 weeks ago my Z 71 shut off with 50 lbs of oil pressure. Next day it had 30. No doubt(well, lots of doubt)it’s the sensor, a bitch to get to. With Amsoil 5W 30 I’m not too worried and it doesn’t run any different.

              I’m having more problems with my Troy Bilt mower, 4 years old and only run for about 1.5 years. I warmed it up, cut a bit of grass and drained the oil. After I had changed the oil and filter I fired it up and it died due to lack of me holding it into choke….or just because it has a shitty carb that presented itself as shitty on the second season. When I tried to crank it again, nothing happened. There is no current to the switch key, not a good sign. It has this “thing” where a lot of wires go in on the side of the engine. I don’t have a clue as to what it does, other than fuck up. It’s got so many nanny systems I’m just sick. I knew it when I bought it but thought it would last that first year……and I was right……and that’s how long it operated properly. If there’s even a hint of a child’s hormones in the air it won’t go backward and now it won’t even try to crank. God, I lose this bullshit for a goddamn mower. Now I’d rewire it in a second…..if I knew what the hell that module on the side of the engine was for. I wired aroud some of the nanny stuff and still have no power to the switch key. Since the rubber stripped off the key today and I looked to see what the tag on the keyring said, I was most annoyed. “Are there children around?” was on one side. I didn’t bother to see what the other side said as I threw it in the trash. The people that make this shit could fuck up a wet dream. Once I get it the way I want, it will start, run, charge and shut off. I have already by-passed the seat bs, the gear bs and the blade control…even though it still doesn’t even start. Argghhh!, I hate this nanny bullshit.

              • I hate the nanny shit, too. I got a John Deere mower that has a button you have to hold down for reverse if the blades are engaged. Fucker will choke if you stop holding the button. One good arm, trying to mow and I have to tie up my one working arm to hold down a fucking button to keep from reverse mowing over younguns that flew the coop years ago.

                I have to just stop the blades if I get in a spot where I need to back up.

                Pain in the ass.

                • shit Ed. that sucks more than my having to turn the key back a notch and push a yellow button….that no longer works along with the switch key. It would work like that till you turned it off and therein lies the screwin. I know that module is killing the thing but have no idea how it does it. Since the carb is a PoS, I won’t worry about the engine as long as I can regain power to start it.Some strange thing in the carb won’t let it start even when it’s turning over. You have to go time and again and then it used to start. The last couple years I don’t even sweat it. I just aim a can of ether at the air cleaner and crank it and it starts. It’s a Kohler…..loaded down with bullshit…and I even picked it because it WASN’T Ca. compliant. I wish Ca. had the mofo and I had my old Deere, real old(1986) Deere that was stolen. The Kaw single never missed a beat or burned any oil. it was as strong the last day I saw it as it had been over 10 years before when it was new. No such luck now. They’re all nanny machines….or Ca. compliant.

                  If I could find a good engine, of any sort, I could make a batwing mower with gearboxes robbed from old shredders. A friend, who is a millionaire, bought a high dollar rig like that. It will cut anything and never give an inch. Maybe I could find turf tires and wheels for a 3010, flatten it down and use it for power and make a 6′ deck. it’s just metal and welding.

                    • Yep, me too, 8. I live so far out that the nearest shop is about 20 miles away. In Texas, that would be like saying it’s right down the street, but here that’s rural.

                      I’d have to have it towed in and try to get some “neighbor” to drive me to pick it up since wifey is visiting our grandbaby.

                • Hi Ed,

                  First thing I did when I bought my riding mower was defeat the saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety thing that shuts the engine off if you aren’t in the seat. Annoying as hell because – when it’s operational – the engine cuts partially off when you shift in the seat or hit a bump. Besides, I might need to step off for a minute to move a branch or some such and there is no need to kill the engine. I understand the concept of neutral and the parking brake. I refuse to be idiot-proofed because other people are idiots. Same goes for the “kill the blades” if put in reverse “feature.” I got rid of that, too.

                  Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaafety first!

                  • Yep, the thing to do is to just bypass all those switches, but I’m lazy as shit and don’t care that much. At my age, mowing is optional anyway, and I only do it to keep the chiggers from eating my ass alive if I happen to go anywhere on the place on foot.

              • I have a riding mower you’ll love

                A yazoo 48 inch master mower from the late 70s or early 80s

                Look up a picture
                There’s zero safety features
                The brakes are metal flaps that rub the tires
                Not one single piece of plastic on it anywhere
                And enough exposed belts and pulleys to make osha have a stroke

                • I’ve seen mowers in the last 20 years that had an engine hooked to a hydraulic pump and everything else operated off hydraulics. It would be nice to turn off power to the blades on wings, lift them up and hit the narrow spots and then drop wings and mow like a big dog.

                  • Toro fairway and greens mowers have had hydraulic powered reels for a long time.

                    I worked on a golf course one summer back in the ’70s and saw that kind of reel mower for the first time. I’m told that they last for years without a lot of attention, where the old chain driven reels took a lot more maintenance.

                    The fairway mowers had reels all over them and you could do some real bigtime mowing without stopping for obstacles, just raise a reel when needed.

                    • Ed, I wasn’t speaking of reel mowers although they are good machines. The rich guy I know has one with wings and hydraulic gearboxes so there’s no driveshafts. They’ll mow that tough stuff including small trees, fence posts, etc. You want to hide and not admit to anything after running over one of those phone-line connection stub-ups.

                      The telephone guy was my neighbor back when I worked for the highway dept. and mowed.

                      Due to LadyBird’s Beautify Texas bs, we couldn’t mow till all the weeds had dried seed so that meant barditches were often 12′ tall.
                      This mean you couldn’t see shit including those phone connections.

                      He asked me one day why we didn’t go around them. I told him we did…..when we knew they were there but we had to be able to see them.

                      It wasn’t long till the cheap-ass phone company stuck tall poles beside them with red or orange signs. They could have saved a fortune had they not walked over hundred dollar bills to pick up pennies.

        • I know, it was all in jest, mostly. But they do have a well earned, and deserved, reputation when it comes to quality.

          But I agree, they do deserve kudos for still making cars and giving us things like the Hellcat. And I’ve always loved a lot of their designs. They are (were?) always willing to gamble a little on that front. If you could combine Chrysler’s aesthetics with say Toyota quality? Can you imagine the current 300 but made by Toyota? Yes please! Sign me up. And maybe I just stumbled upon something by accident. When the Fiat thing finally goes bad Toyota can buy them and remake the brand! Keep the designers though.

          • Amen!

            I love the Challenger; it is of the very few cars built since the ’90s that causes me to briefly consider a monthly car payment. It’s an ancient design at this point – but that’s exactly why it’s so appealing.

            And FCA doubled down on the Hellcat. Didn’t cave in to the pressure.

            God bless them!

            • And a significant monthly payment at that! They do deserve an ‘atta boy for thumbing their noses at the establishment.

              My best friend’s parents just bought a new white Challenger as a retirement gift. It’s gorgeous for sure. They got the 3.6L V6. The nice thing about the Challenger is you can still get certain models with a manual as well. Not sure why they don’t offer the V6 with a manual though.

            • Hey Eric,

              I drove a rented challenger while in Arkansas taking care of my mum. Lots of nice twisty roads around there. It was really fun… but, visibility was still pretty crap. So, tiny windows used to be a hispanic styling touch, now they’re a consequence of safety mandates, is that right?

              Cheers,
              Jeremy

              • Hi Jeremy,

                Yup – high door sills are common because of side-impact mandate necessity. The changes are startling when you parka new car side by side an equivalent model from the ’80s or ’90s.

                • Hi Eric,

                  I just thought of something. So, safety mandates create that chop-top look, popular among lowrider folks. Doesn’t that make Uncle guilty of cultural appropriation?

                  Cheers,
                  Jeremy

          • I have 76,000 hard tire spinning/burning rubber miles on my 2014 300S Hemi and zero issues..My Brothers babied 2017 Camry with 12,000 already had 3 issues,one is that it uses oil..Toyota quality,where is it ?

            Toyota had a lot of serious recalls the last decade,Chrysler is usually a 15 minute plug to a computer and update !!

              • There’s always a fan boi that wants to argue against the data, even when the data across virtually every entity that collects it is in Toyota’s favor.

                I’d love for the other car companies to match Toyota’s quality standards, but they don’t. I’ve owned–still own personally or through business–many brands. Toyota/Lexus is the most reliable in my experience. The QDR data matches right to my personal experience.

                That’s not to say that there aren’t desirable things from other brands. As a car person, I like and dislike many things from several companies.

                • Their cars are excellent. Their trucks are crap, thin, easily bent and no frame having POS. They have power, just not in the right RPM range and no guts. We have one at work. The hood won’t stay up cause the gas cylinders are shot. It’s newer than the Chevy that has a hood that will stay up and will “pull” a trailer and do stuff in 4WD the toy won’t even come close to. The seats on the Toy suck too.
                  Even the rear springs are hard-pressed to hold up the Tommy-lift endgate.

                  • Eight,
                    All perspective I guess. I have had 3 second gen Tundra’s with the 5.7 V-8. 07, 10, 16. I’ve put a combined 300,000 miles on them. Had one heater fan motor go out between the 3. Routine maintenance other than that.

                    They are superior to the 5.3 and 6.0 Chevy’s which I have also had in virtually every way. The leaf springs are as good as any half ton. I added sumo springs to the back of my 16. It’s now better than any 3/4 ton and not far off a 1 ton single rear wheel. The only non-diesel v-8 that has more power is the 6.2 Chevy’s. But you can only get that in a luxury truck version.

                    Can you really tell me with a straight face that your Tundra hood cylinders wore out faster than the door hinges on a Chevy? And I can’t tell a damn bit of difference between the sheet metal or frame on the Tundra vs. any of the other brands. I live where they spray chemical shit on the roads all winter. You might just be spouting the faulty DANA built frames on some Tacoma’s years ago. Do you have any data for frame rot on 07-16 Tundra’s? I’d be happy to read it.

                    • A friend’s wife bought a new Toy SS crewcab 5.7L….supposedly heavier than the normal 1/2 ton although I couldn’t tell any difference.

                      I asked about the power and fuel mileage and the friend said it sucked, getting 13mpg day in and out and only used by his wife who doesn’t work it at all.

                      Here about 6 months ago I complained my Z 71 got less fuel mileage at 60 than 75-80. He told me it could be worse since his wife’s Toy still got the same 13mpg it always had. At least the worst the Z gets is 14 and for some reason, some screwed up fuel reason I’m sure, will get over 15 to 15.5mpg running hard on the interstate.

                      It’s an electronic nightmare too so I’m not beating GM’s drum, just speaking of real life things I know about.

                      To be totally honest, I want another early 90’s GM pickup. They were simplicity itself and reliable as hell and inexpensive to fix. I have known 3 people who got over a half million miles on the 350 TBI’s and another guy with 440K on the newer 5.7L.

                      You don’t have to tell me their shortcomings. But they’re easy to fix and cheap too. I loved my old 93 Turbo Diesel Ext. cab 4WD that sat low enough to simply get into and drove like a dream and not the racer boy ride of the Z. I can install the things the Z 71’s have like the little plastic pan under the engine and the shitty little “protector” under the transfer case…..as if they do any good. I’ve smashed those things on other pickups that were heavier and had to be removed. If I were really concerned, I’d get some half inch plate and make some that would actually do something. Yes, I know, I’d just ruin the fuel mileage by adding that weight and make it eat up tires….ha ha ha ha. Hell, I had enough tools on my pickups they don’t even ride anything like stock. My next pickup I’m going back to side boxes and do it right.

                      I’m gonna tell on myself. I’m old school and don’t think about pickups having a stick for an automatic. I got into a Toy in the dark and tried to put it in gear. Hell, all I could do was turn on the wipers and washer. I finally turn on the inside light by turning on my phone since I had no idea where that was. Wouldn’t you know the damned shifter was on the floor. I’m way behind times…..but I left with a clean windshield. ha

            • Hi John, I too have a ’18 300S V8 RWD-only. After 30+ vehicles, this thing is my hands down favorite. Pleasure to drive, fun, responsive as hell with the Sport button, big (but not big enough). Hope they stay around a lot longer.
              I autocrossed it last summer and had so much fun competing against the rice burners.

          • c dub, they did make crap and continued to do so. if their cabs are worth a shit, it’s been since i drove one. I was in a 5500 crewcab truck tooling down the interstate one morning in the cool and dark when it caught on fire. It was wiring, factory stuff. We put it out and continued on….so there’s that. WTF burns up and doesn’t stop the truck? Whatever that was on fire that day. it took months setting in the stealership lot to even get into the shop. it was backed up that far and remained that way for years and probably still is. it wasn’t only that shop since we bought them from 3 stealerships and it was the same for all 3.

            Drinng a Dodge is a lot like….well….I won’t say it. But it involves you and your sister and you won’t ever feel quite right about it.

          • c-dub, FCA didn’t ruin Chrysler/Dodge right away. My wife’s ’02 Sebring (great car) was rear-ended in ’13, and she didn’t like the 200 which was FCA’s replacement for the Sebring. She bought the ’13 Avenger and it now has nearly 200k on it without any issues whatsoever.

            I’ve been hearing that the newer Avengers are crap, but wife got a good one. BTW, she’s on vacation visiting our daughter and grandbaby and she just treated herself to a new KIA Sorrento. I guess our daughter will get the Avenger because wife never trades in her old cars.

      • Your right about FCA reputation. Although its more of the fiat products than the Chrysler that is having issues. Beware of the rebranded fiat cars

  8. I’d love to see Toyota sell 96-2000 model Tacoma’s. Manual Transmissions. Gear to gear 4×4. Hand crank windows. Compact size, instead of the fat f’ng pig midsize pickups that cost only a couple grand less than full size.

    I guarantee you they’d sell like crazy. I’m a half assed mechanic and I can–and do–fix anything on my 96 Taco with 310,000 miles on it.

    If only we lived in a free country where it could be offered.

    • Hi Ancap,

      I once owned an 86 Mighty Max 4WD. I loved that truck, compact, regular cab AND a 7 foot bed. Something like that with a more modern engine would be great.

      Cheers,
      Jeremy

      • Hey Jeremy,

        Those mighty Max’s seemed to be pretty good pickups up into the mid 90’s, then bam, they were gone. I liked their look.

        I imagine they would be tough to find parts for since they weren’t big sellers and Mitsubishi seems to struggle with that aspect anyway.

    • Likewise Ancap. I almost bought one of those in the early 2000’s. Wish I would’ve now. Have you seen the prices, for a good example, those things are going for? Downright ridiculous. I’d love an extracab with the 3.4L, 5-speed, and TRD package (the locker in the rear being the crown jewel of that package). Someday, someday….

      • 7-9 grand, with 200,000 miles on it. If I recall correctly, they were 14-16 grand brand new. A 20 year old pickup that retains 50% of its value after 200,000 miles. It’s ridiculous.

        I got mine for $2000 but it had 300,000 miles and it had been in a wreck. Even then, people usually want 4 grand for wrecked ones.

        I’d love an early 2000’s with the TRD as well. If it’s in good shape, you will pay.

        • One way the old stuff holds value is the way the dollar has been devalued. What I could buy 20 years ago with $1,000 is a fraction of what I can buy now.

          • Excellent point Ed. What is the percentage the dollar has lost since the inception of the Federal Reserve? I believe I read 98% last time I looked. Ah inflation, it could give income or property tax a run for the money (sorry for the pun) as the most insidious tax.

  9. “The system is technically interesting, but adds complexity – the natural enemy of durability.”

    I have to say that RAM itself, is the natural enemy of durability. Electrical problems plague the Old Ram and there’s no reason to believe that the new–more electronic bullshit Ram–will be any different.

    • My thought exactly.
      The “Classic” model still has some style to the hood, with the large “bubble” and the crosshair grill. The new model makes it look like most every other truck, except for the giant badge in the middle. They have to tell people it’s a RAM because it no longer look that different.

  10. Oh yeah, I would love to buy either a brand new 1980 or ~1990 Chevy/GMC pickup!

    Both of those were near perfect in their own way, the 80 being a better work truck and 4wd, and the 90 rides better on the highway and has TBI.

    A great combination would be a 1987.5 K-30 with both TBI and the NP205 transfer case.

    But anyway, I just replaced the CV axles in my 1989 K1500. I’ve got to keep it going forever I guess …

    • easy to do
      i have a 76 k10 that I installed a used fuel injected LS 5.3 and a 5 speed manual trans, reworking the wiring harness was easy, sent the computer off to have it reprogrammed to remove the security and all the emission requirements and the torque management that GM programs in so their crappy transmissions will outlast the warranty

      used engine, harness and computer was $400 , new tank and lines and pump $500, transmission was $400,

      or if you just want TBI, we did that to the old 350 for $200, but even a worn out 250K miles LS has twice the power of a 350

      • Yeah, and about twice the complexity. TBI 350 has plenty of power for what I need. Even a carb is okay, except I would burn almost as much gas warming it up as I would driving it.

      • I’d say the 5.3 or the 6.0 L either one would be fine with TBI and a good intake. I’d like to be able to “build” one and make it really bullet-proof.

        • I’ve got two 350 TBI’s and don’t see anything wrong with either one, except maybe they are in the wrong trucks – LOL. One is the Suburban and the other is the K1500 x-cab long bed.

          OTOH, I just finished cutting out a STEEP trail to the top of the ridge and took the K1500 up there and turned around in a very small spot and got my little bit of wood loaded, in the rain. So I guess I can’t complain but dang you really have to drive smart to slither that long thing through the trees on that slope.

  11. I have a classic-classic. 1995 ram 2500 5.9 cummins 4×4 manual. I’m never getting rid of it and I’d buy another one if I could find one for sale. Only thing I wish it had is a deeper overdrive gear, posted limit in TX can be 85 and my optimal cruise speed is only 70.

    • Hi Classic,

      Ditto. I have an ’02 Frontier that meets all my needs; it doesn’t have a touchscreen or ASS-ists and I am very happy it doesn’t. The new one does. No thanks.

  12. Love my 5th gen Rebel, but glad they offer both 4th and 5th

    One good thing though is the Non-Etorque V8 doesn’t include ASS at all, which is perfect as I’d probably wind up deleting it as well.

  13. There are two other truck market niches that cannot be filled nowadays, at least not at a non-stratopheric cost. The size point of the original Datsun/Toyota/D50 truck, and the original Chevy/Garage Mans Curse S-10/15. Imagine buying a Dodge D50 with a modern port injected 4 cylinder, 5-speed manual, etc., for say $12K dollarettes? Or, an updated S-10 with a modern V6 for say $15K dollarettes? Alas, CAFE and FMVSS disallow them for anything less than say $30K, I suspect.

    Same thing with sedans. I would love a slightly freshened 1988 Dodge Aries Wagon, maybe with a modern 2L-class normally aspirated engine churning out ~140 BHP, for something like $14K. Even with the Shelby treatment, one would go for much less than the current crop of FMVSS and CAFE-bloatmobiles.

  14. Old and basic would sell, especially with those who use their trucks for work. I remember when my paternal grandparents had a farm that all the pickups were very SPARTAN; they didn’t even have A/C or a radio!

    BTW, Mahindra was going to bring a nice pickup here some years ago; it looked comparable to the Toyota Tacoma. I liked it, and I’m not a pickup guy. They didn’t bring it here though, thanks to Uncle and his regulations. That’s a shame, because it looked like a nice truck…

  15. Over on GM Authority, they stated the single cab short bed new/new 19 silverado will only be available in the middle east. LOL!
    I truly hope FCA beats GM a second quarter in a row, maybe some sense will finally be beaten into the feminized CEO’s of the auto industry. On a side note to your story, my 13 LT2 silverado crew cab’s sticker price is $8000 cheaper than the sticker MSRP new/new 19 silverado with at least the same features (pleather seats, chrome package, etc). I imagine GM will have to up the auntie on 5-figure discounts to stay in business. More costly than selling your products at a loss is not selling them at all!

    • 5 speed died in RAM trucks after 2008….They had a 6 speed until 2012..2013 was the 1st year of the 8 speed in RAM 1500 trucks,you still could order a column shift 6 speed though..

      2019 Classic has a 6 speed column shift or the 8 speed they had since 2013…

      My 2013 RAM 1500 Sport has a 8 speed and 130,000 problem free miles with that truck…Meaning,oil,tires,brake job,gas thats it,no breakdowns or any water pumps or anything !! I did a coolant change,diff oil change at 100,000,only added cost but I am sure the book says I was to do it before lol,I do change engine oil every 4,000 miles..I might buy a 2019 Classic..just might,but my Wife wants another new 300 Hemi and I am going to buy a new Challenger RT 392 (or used Hellcat Challenger) but probably 3 new vehicles soon..So,FCA will probably get $140,000 of my money,still less than my neighbor who bought a new BMW 7 series M760i !!!

      I owned Honda’s,Toyota’s,a Mazda,Ford,GM and find my Chrysler-Dodge cars trucks to be as or more reliable !!

  16. Now if they can get the ride height down to a reasonable level we’ll have a truck worth buying. Friend of mine has an early ’70s F-100 pickup. First time I saw it I thought it was a Ranchero. Unloading the back was easy and simple, no need to climb up onto the tailgate to get to the stuff up front.

    • That is so true! I have an 02 S10 that runs on three cylinders, and am thinking about replacing it. However, the *one* thing it does that *no other* truck today can do is easily load and unload the bed! Don’t know why that is so overlooked in new truck designs. I can’t stand new truck designs these days. Basically, take everything that is good about a truck, throw it away, then charge and arm and a leg for it!. Sheesh, sky high beds, itty bitty beds, huuuuuuge cabs, overcomplexity, etc., etc. Trucks these days with those itty bitty beds is essentially a roomy sedan with a hose-out trunk! However, those (I guess) are market-driven things? I suppose so, since the crew-cab-itty-bitty-bed is replacing the family sedan as the family car. Trucks are no longer trucks.

      • Tom, you need to step up and BE A MAN. OK, YOu need to be two men, stacked. I try to not let it affect me that I can’t see over into the bed of a 1/2 T 4WD. I’ve taken the tack for the last few years if I’m asked if I see something in the bed, I just say “no”. It’s true, I can see the top of the other side and that’s about it. If they want something out of the bed, let them look for it.

        The cops could stop me and ask if I knew what was in my bed and I can honestly say “no I don’t, not a clue…..can you tell me?”. I’m not keen on climbing the tire(they’re too high too) or going over the endgate since I don’t know anyone with one of those bumpers with a step or the ladder when you flip down the endgate. I just personally, refuse to play anymore and haven’t wanted a “new” pickup in forever.

        If I had an S 10 and it was missing on one cylinder, it would still be hitting on 7. They designed the underhood room for a SB and they work just fine in there. I’ve know a few people who had a screaming S 10 with just a mild SBC for power.

        BTW, my work truck is a 2000 Chevy regular cab long bed. I was shocked too, must be one of the 6 long beds made. It has a Tommy Gate and a big diesel nurse tank in the back. I just walk up, lean over and get what I need. It’s 2 wheel drive and I love it. The a/c is cold and everything works great except the windows and door locks which are manual. I can’t get the passenger door to move into the lock position for love nor money and can barely roll down that side window with the driver’s window being not quite as stiff. That’s the way it is in farm country where dirt never quits blowing. You don’t use the door locks or windows enough to keep them working. OTOH, my 2000 Z 71 with power everything, has door locks and electric windows that work swimmingly.

        The most trouble I ever had with windows was a 77 Silverado with manual locks and door cranks. I was continuously replacing the cranks(they’d break) and door locks gave me hell.

        I gotta say this, the wife was at Wally recently and saw a nearly new crewcab long bed 4WD Chevy. She was shocked. The only way you can get one I guess is to order a new one. I tried for years to find same and never found one no matter how big the dealer or lots….not a long bed to be had.

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