Reader Question: Trucks Without DI?

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Here’s the latest reader question, along with my reply!

Bill asks: I’ve enjoyed and learned a good bit from reading your website articles.  I am thinking about getting a used pickup and wanted to know if there were any web sites that would list which trucks did not have direct injection and also the available configurations of the cab size and bed size. Keep up the great work!

My reply: Most of the manufacturers – e.g., GM, Ford, Toyota, etc. – publicize technical specifications on their web pages. But they usually have at least two web pages – one for the general public, which is very “light” and oriented toward advertising/sales – and a media page, for people like me – which will have the technical data you are after.

The easiest way to find these pages is to type in the name of the brand – “GM,” for example – and then “media.” This will take you to (as an example) GM Corporate Newsroom And so on.

But this will only get you recent data; if you need info about a truck more than year or so old, you’ll probably need to try or similar. is very advertorial – but if you dig through their multiple attempts to get you to “check out deals in your area” and so on, they have a Features page for each vehicle (new as well as used) that will usually list a some specifications  regarding engine type/configuration and body style availability, etc. These are not comprehensive, but it’s something.

But, I can probably give you most of the info you need right now!

All of the domestic-brand 1500s are available (new and used) in pretty much any cab/bed style configuration you need; this is one of their strongest suits vs. the import brands, which are more limited in cab/bed configurations.

All of the current mid-sized trucks – e.g., the Ford Ranger, Chevy Colorado/GMC Canyon, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma – are sold in extended/crew cab form only and have 5 or six foot beds; the usual deal is the short bed with the crew cab.

There are no new compact trucks on the market and haven’t been since about 2011 – when the old Ranger was retired.

The old compacts – models like the old Ranger, old Frontier, etc. – were available in regular cab/long bed form – which actually makes them more useful for cargo/work than the current much-larger mid-sized trucks, with their comparatively smaller beds.

DI is relatively new. Go back about six years and you’re pretty much safe. It’s the newer-design stuff that has DI.

One new exception is the Toyota Tundra, which is very old – in terms of its design. But this is a good thing because it is simpler, doesn’t have DI and it’s still a brand-new truck.

Thanks for the kind words!

Got a question about cars – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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