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I have been looking everywhere for a late 70's , early 80's 3/4 ton BB Chevy P/U to pull my Chevelle. I've tried e-bay, trader online, newspaper etc and I can't find one that isn't totally slap ass worn out.
Is it just me or are there any decent ones out there? I find millions of 1/2 tons and some 3/4 tons with SB's.
What's your opinion on the avalability of these? What did you pay for your tow vehicle and what is it?
 

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I paid 2,000.oo for my 3/4 pick-up with heavy
duty 14 bolt rearend with 373 gears. It was in decent shape. It has a 350 in it right now and I don't have any problems hauling my
3800 lbs chevelle. I believe that the 454 might drink a lot of gas.
 

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Michael,
Essentially, your answer is within your question. The truck you are looking for is in VERY HIGH demand, thus, the only thing out there, for the most part, is worn out stuff. Someone out there help me with this, but to the best of what I remember, the last year for a HALF TON with a 454 was '76 (not counting late model SS454s). After that you had to step up to a 3/4 and then several years later you could only get a 454 in a 1 ton. And if I understood the salesman right the other day, the biggest you can get now is a 400.
The early BB trucks were good trucks, little to no govt mandated crap on them and because they were basic Chevrolet, they can be maintained almost indefinitely. So people keep the good ones or buy them as soon as they are for sale.
If you are going to tow your car on a light, open trailer, then you might consider "building" your tow vehicle. find a nice early 1/2 ton with all the options you want, or at least close, and install a low rpm torque 454 and appropriate tranny, and keep it forever. If you are going to tow a larger or an enclosed trailer, then find a nice 3/4 or 1ton and also install a torque monster 454/tranny.
If I had a tow truck, it would be a 3/4 ton, crew cab (4dr), 454, 5or6sp, posi, stepside bed. I cannot stand that park bench back seat in an extended cab. I want a full size back seat like a full size 4dr sedan.
Now, here is the tow vehicle that I do have. I have a 1976 Cutlass that I special ordered new. It has a .030 over Olds 455, Richmond 5sp, and 2.41 posi. This is a one owner (me) FACTORY 5sp car and I posess the original documents. It is full pwr, ac, tilt, cruise and an interstate cruiser with a back seat. I have almost sold/traded away this car a couple of times. But not any more. You CANNOT buy a vehicle with a monster torque motor any more without stepping up to a truck. Period. This Cutlass is NOT a high winding car. But with the 5sp Richmond it will hold its own up to about 4800rpm. On the interstate, with the 2.41 rear, I have no clue how fast it will run. But on the highway it will disappear from the cars with 3.31, 3.70, 4.11 gears. Of course, that's without a trailer behind it.

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I think 'ol Tom (DZAUTO) is pretty succinct in his answer. You could get a 454 in a 1/2-ton as late as '79, but there weren't many takers.
 

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I have seen 3/4 or 1 ton duallys at the dealerships lately w/ 454s and I have seen quite a few of them around..

however, i know a person or two that drive a 454 truck for towing and they always say that it feels like the 350 has more power and has absolutely no problem towing compared to the big block. that might be something to think about.. I would however, definately go with a 3/4 ton instead of a 1/2 ton


Mike

PS- how can you tell the difference between a 3/4 and 1 ton by looking at the truck? Im not talking about badging either
 

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Michael,I had to build my own. I started with a clean 74 1/2 ton, installed a 396/325 horse BB out of a 68 Chevelle added 3.73 gears front and rear (mine was a 4x4) and beefed up the turbo 350 and added a cooler for the trans. I have towed and hauled with it in excess of 6000 lbs. After 17 years I sold the truck and the new owner says it is the best truck he has ever owned. I bought a 96 ext cab Z-71 and it won't do half of what the 74 could. Philip
 

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There are a ton of BB 2WD suburbans out there! They are excellent tow vehicles. Find one with the 14 bolt rear, and you're set!
You could even go with a 4X4 Sub.
 

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To anwser Mikes Q look at the wheels 3/4s have 8 bolt wheels,and full floating rear axles.I had a 78 1/2 ton 4x4 350 th350 with shift kit an RV cam and 600 Holley headers pulled a 28ft house trailer with ease and got 18mpg.Don't sell the sb short they can be made a torquer with mileage too...FRED
 

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My 91 3/4 ton Suburban with a Fuel injected 454 and 480LE does a great job.
Not real great on gas mileage though.

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Dean Call
A.C.E.S. # 00235
N.C.O.A. # 4350

macc.chevelles.net

Fred, I have two 92 - 1 ton vans that have eight lug wheels but they don't have floating axles anymore like the older ones had.

[This message has been edited by Dean (edited 05-31-99).]
 
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