Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Tuesday July 22, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC General > Motorsports

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-21-2012, 05:45 PM   #1
Hold_Fast
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 175837
Join Date: Mar 2008
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Philly Burbs
Vehicle:
#61 ESP

Default Best cheap track day tow vehicle - work van?

So the time has come to start looking for a cheap/reliable track day tow vehicle. I'll only be towing a 1 car trailer, so anything v8 should work. I'm torn though, I can find boat loads of mid-late 90's E150's/2500 vans with a v8 for <$2000. But something inside me is telling me that I should just spend the extra money and get a beater F250 or something.

What do you use/prefer?
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Hold_Fast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 06:02 PM   #2
fmars62
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 290517
Join Date: Aug 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Goshen, NY
Vehicle:
2008 Impreza 2.5i
Dark Grey Metallic

Default

look for a old diesel truck ford/dodge. they were meant for towing, and you should beable to find an older one for a good price.
fmars62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 06:08 PM   #3
dunk
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 15359
Join Date: Feb 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Monterey, CA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fmars62 View Post
look for a old diesel truck ford/dodge. they were meant for towing, and you should beable to find an older one for a good price.
Terrible advice in my opinion. You'll be able to get a far nicer gas truck for the money, with much cheaper maintenance costs. For a one car open trailer, there's no need for a diesel. If you buy the right truck the gas motor will be very reliable.

FWIW,
I own a 2005 F350 dually and use it to tow a 36ft gooseneck trailer that weights over 12K, but if I owned an open single car trailer I'd go back to a gas truck without even thinking about it.

Duncan
dunk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 06:19 PM   #4
fmars62
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 290517
Join Date: Aug 2011
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Goshen, NY
Vehicle:
2008 Impreza 2.5i
Dark Grey Metallic

Default

^ he said less than $2,000. And if I remember there arent a lot of cars in good condition out there for that price. Plus diesels require MUCH less maintenance than a gasoline vehicle.

For that price he can find a good diesel beater that gets the job done. But thats just my suggestion he doesnt have to take it...
fmars62 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 06:25 PM   #5
dunk
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 15359
Join Date: Feb 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Monterey, CA
Default

Diesels require more maintenace than most gas motors and the cost of the maintenance is generally more expensive. (Higher oil capacities, fuel filters, fuel additive, etc...) Plus anything that breaks on the diesel truck is liable to cost 3 times as much as its gas counterpart. Compare a diesel injector to a gas one. Add in the high pressure fuel pumps, turbos, glo plugs, ....

The advantage of diesel is that you get more power, the mileage is slightly better, and in some cases the maintainance intervals are longer. The overall life of the motor might be better too, but on a non-commerical vehicle everything else will fall apart well before this becomes an advantage in my opinion.

Have you ever owned a diesel truck?

OP: I would buy a gas F150. They made millions of them. The motors are reasonably reliable and the repair parts are cheap. For 2000 dollars, you don't have a lot of choice.

Duncan
dunk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 06:34 PM   #6
Hold_Fast
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 175837
Join Date: Mar 2008
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Philly Burbs
Vehicle:
#61 ESP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by fmars62 View Post
^ he said less than $2,000. And if I remember there arent a lot of cars in good condition out there for that price. Plus diesels require MUCH less maintenance than a gasoline vehicle.

For that price he can find a good diesel beater that gets the job done. But thats just my suggestion he doesnt have to take it...
FWIW, I have looked for a diesel, but the best I can find is typically a 80's truck that the owner still wants $3-4k for, so I've pretty much ruled that option out. I'm not a huge fan of paying that much for a 30 year old truck that is rusted to hell.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunk View Post
Diesels require more maintenace than most gas motors and the cost of the maintenance is generally more expensive. (Higher oil capacities, fuel filters, fuel additive, etc...) Plus anything that breaks on the diesel truck is liable to cost 3 times as much as its gas counterpart. Compare a diesel injector to a gas one. Add in the high pressure fuel pumps, turbos, glo plugs, ....

The advantage of diesel is that you get more power, the mileage is slightly better, and in some cases the maintainance intervals are longer. The overall life of the motor might be better too, but on a non-commerical vehicle everything else will fall apart well before this becomes an advantage in my opinion.

Have you ever owned a diesel truck?

OP: I would buy a gas F150. They made millions of them. The motors are reasonably reliable and the repair parts are cheap. For 2000 dollars, you don't have a lot of choice.

Duncan
I am a fan of the f150. My area (philadelphia) just tends to bring over priced trucks that are sketchy. I am flexible on my price, but since I'll only be driving this to and from the track, plus some home depot runs, I'm not going to buy something too nice. And I don't mind putting a little work into it as well.

Here's two examples of what I'm talking about:

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/cto/3307193122.html

http://southjersey.craigslist.org/cto/3313563527.html
Hold_Fast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 06:36 PM   #7
dunk
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 15359
Join Date: Feb 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Monterey, CA
Default

Staying in the 1/2 ton arena will make everything cheaper. The repairs parts for the 3/4 and 1 ton trucks are more expensive.

Duncan
dunk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 06:39 PM   #8
Hold_Fast
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 175837
Join Date: Mar 2008
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Philly Burbs
Vehicle:
#61 ESP

Default

Gotcha. Thanks for the heads up on that, I'll keep that in mind.

Example of sketchy: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/cto/3351251479.html

How in the hell do they want $2100 for that? This one is down the street from me though, might actually go look at it, except its a manual...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/cto/3323015171.html
Hold_Fast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 06:50 PM   #9
dunk
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 15359
Join Date: Feb 2002
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Monterey, CA
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hold_Fast View Post
Gotcha. Thanks for the heads up on that, I'll keep that in mind.

Example of sketchy: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/cto/3351251479.html

How in the hell do they want $2100 for that? This one is down the street from me though, might actually go look at it, except its a manual...

http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/cto/3323015171.html
Might be worth looking at. 4x2 and non-extended cab will always be cheaper. The 4x4's and extended cab pickups tend to fetch more money. I only buy 2 wheel drive tow vehicles.

What's Edmunds say for the value on the 99?

Duncan
dunk is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 07:00 PM   #10
Hold_Fast
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 175837
Join Date: Mar 2008
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Philly Burbs
Vehicle:
#61 ESP

Default

Assuming the mileage is 150k and that the truck is in average condition, their price is almost spot on, which I didn't expect. I may have to give this guy a call after all.

Thanks for the input dunk.
Hold_Fast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 10:00 PM   #11
mav1c
Hoodbridge!
Moderator
 
Member#: 560
Join Date: Nov 1999
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Vehicle:
2006 STi, '11 A4
Crystal Gray, Silver

Default

Look at a Nissan Titan. Tow rating is 9600, so if you're just pulling the car on an open trailer, it'll have no problems. They have HORRIBLE resale value so you can get one in good condition and low miles for cheap. The low resale value is more about the fat that they haven't really changed much since '04, and they never really caught on. How do I know all this? I have an '07 XE 4x2. It's been totally reliable over it's 38K miles, and tows like a champ.
mav1c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 10:27 PM   #12
skimobile
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 92114
Join Date: Jul 2005
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Westerly, RI
Vehicle:
03 WRX (Neon Blue)
in"Special Ed." Run Group

Default

I have an E150 Ford cargo van for a 1 car trailer and appreciate the van's advantage of being able to keep spare parts, tools, jacks, ramps, wheels, etc. stored out of the elements and away from prying eyes. The other advantage of the van for a tow vehicle is if you need to sleep over at the event you can crash in the van.
skimobile is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-21-2012, 10:44 PM   #13
eastcoastbumps
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 29201
Join Date: Nov 2002
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Shrewsbury, MA
Vehicle:
BMW M3
Honda S2000x2

Default

Van, all day, every day. I've been towing with a Chevy 2500 Express and its been great. I borrowed my friends F150 and it was a pain. Half the cargo room in the pickup. And I'd worry every time I left the truck out of my sight when towing to the event since it didn't have a cap and all my gear was exposed.

Vans are cheaper and work better for track day towing unless you have an enclosed trailer.
eastcoastbumps is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 06:50 AM   #14
Hold_Fast
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 175837
Join Date: Mar 2008
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Philly Burbs
Vehicle:
#61 ESP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
Look at a Nissan Titan. Tow rating is 9600, so if you're just pulling the car on an open trailer, it'll have no problems. They have HORRIBLE resale value so you can get one in good condition and low miles for cheap. The low resale value is more about the fat that they haven't really changed much since '04, and they never really caught on. How do I know all this? I have an '07 XE 4x2. It's been totally reliable over it's 38K miles, and tows like a champ.
Thanks for the tip, I'll add those to the list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by skimobile View Post
I have an E150 Ford cargo van for a 1 car trailer and appreciate the van's advantage of being able to keep spare parts, tools, jacks, ramps, wheels, etc. stored out of the elements and away from prying eyes. The other advantage of the van for a tow vehicle is if you need to sleep over at the event you can crash in the van.
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastcoastbumps View Post
Van, all day, every day. I've been towing with a Chevy 2500 Express and its been great. I borrowed my friends F150 and it was a pain. Half the cargo room in the pickup. And I'd worry every time I left the truck out of my sight when towing to the event since it didn't have a cap and all my gear was exposed.

Vans are cheaper and work better for track day towing unless you have an enclosed trailer.
And challangers appear....I think we are on the same page for truck vs. van. I was actually going to build a bunk to crash in the van if I got one, haha.
Hold_Fast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 07:25 AM   #15
KC
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 442
Join Date: Oct 1999
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: SE Mass/RI
Vehicle:
2013 Crosstrek XV
00 Honda S2000

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
Look at a Nissan Titan. Tow rating is 9600, so if you're just pulling the car on an open trailer, it'll have no problems. They have HORRIBLE resale value so you can get one in good condition and low miles for cheap. The low resale value is more about the fat that they haven't really changed much since '04, and they never really caught on. How do I know all this? I have an '07 XE 4x2. It's been totally reliable over it's 38K miles, and tows like a champ.
There's a very valid reason for horrible resale.

My '06 Titan LE 4x4 Crew Cab was a champ, right until the warranty ran out. I loved the comfort, towing, highway manners, etc... for the 1st 55k miles.

Around 50/60k is when the &^%$ starts hitting the fan with these trucks. They have had many drivetrain related (expensive) issues.

Luckily, some of them were get fixed under warranty right before it runs out (most start appearing around 55k miles) like axle seals (they never have a real fix for, just have to replace them every 40-50k or so, or when they leak), transmission hard lines rusting away (in snow belt areas), transfer case seals breaking, u joints failing, etc... Yes, I experienced all those starting at 58k+ miles (with some happening after 60k miles, like 60,500 and Nissan claiming out of warranty) and it's a familiar song on titantalk.com.

I wouldn't get a titan, and good luck finding one for around $2k at that.

--kC
KC is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 08:09 AM   #16
Hold_Fast
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 175837
Join Date: Mar 2008
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Philly Burbs
Vehicle:
#61 ESP

Default

Unfortunately, KC is right. Cheapest one I can find is $9k. I could do $4-5k, but since this thing will be lucky if it sees 3,000 miles per year, I'm trying to stay on the cheap side.
Hold_Fast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 09:03 AM   #17
sureshot007
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 142405
Join Date: Mar 2007
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: TeamHazardRally.com
Vehicle:
#716 G2 OBS

Default

I use a 1 ton GMC van to tow the rally truck on an open trailer. If I had to do it over again, I'd go diesel for sure. I used a diesel Ford E350 bus to tow once, and loved it. Something about torque everywhere and better gas mileage that made me not hate life every time I was face to face with any sort of incline.

The argument of diesel being more expensive on maintenance and repair - I don't buy it. The GMC van has cost a ton in upkeep, and every friggin' job done to it was a royal PITA. The bus was $3k, so not that far from your price range. If you have somewhere to park it, a box truck is the way to go.
sureshot007 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 10:17 AM   #18
mav1c
Hoodbridge!
Moderator
 
Member#: 560
Join Date: Nov 1999
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Woodbridge, VA
Vehicle:
2006 STi, '11 A4
Crystal Gray, Silver

Default

Hmmm...good to know. I guess I just haven't gotten to the problem zone yet.

And sorry, I somehow missed the $2K requirement. That said, I'd budget a lot more. I wouldn't want to be towing with some POS that I'd be worried about just driving, let alone expecting it to tow 5K+ lbs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KC View Post
There's a very valid reason for horrible resale.

My '06 Titan LE 4x4 Crew Cab was a champ, right until the warranty ran out. I loved the comfort, towing, highway manners, etc... for the 1st 55k miles.

Around 50/60k is when the &^%$ starts hitting the fan with these trucks. They have had many drivetrain related (expensive) issues.

Luckily, some of them were get fixed under warranty right before it runs out (most start appearing around 55k miles) like axle seals (they never have a real fix for, just have to replace them every 40-50k or so, or when they leak), transmission hard lines rusting away (in snow belt areas), transfer case seals breaking, u joints failing, etc... Yes, I experienced all those starting at 58k+ miles (with some happening after 60k miles, like 60,500 and Nissan claiming out of warranty) and it's a familiar song on titantalk.com.

I wouldn't get a titan, and good luck finding one for around $2k at that.

--kC
mav1c is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 10:46 AM   #19
Snowphun
NASIOC Supporter
 
Member#: 1800
Join Date: Jul 2000
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Way South Shore MA
Vehicle:
WRX /Cooper S/Miata
awd/fwd/rwd

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
And sorry, I somehow missed the $2K requirement. That said, I'd budget a lot more. I wouldn't want to be towing with some POS that I'd be worried about just driving, let alone expecting it to tow 5K+ lbs.
+1 to this, think of the headaches of dealing with an unreliable tow rig enroute to an event. But at least you'd have plenty of tools with you.

Love this thread, a van sounds very appealing for the safe storage and potentially lower cost. Are they really more difficult to work on than F150 sized trucks? Can't say I've ever looked under the hood of a van.
Snowphun is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 11:23 AM   #20
polyol
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 73422
Join Date: Oct 2004
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Gilbert
Vehicle:
04 STi
JVP

Default

I got my 2wd 99 Dodge diesel for $9000, and it only had 85K on it. Just saying, you could find an older one with more mileage a little above your price point. 2000 bucks is only going to get you a beater that you will have to work on alot and is probably going to be no where near reliable.

Hope that helps...
polyol is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 02:40 PM   #21
Hold_Fast
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 175837
Join Date: Mar 2008
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Philly Burbs
Vehicle:
#61 ESP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mav1c View Post
Hmmm...good to know. I guess I just haven't gotten to the problem zone yet.

And sorry, I somehow missed the $2K requirement. That said, I'd budget a lot more. I wouldn't want to be towing with some POS that I'd be worried about just driving, let alone expecting it to tow 5K+ lbs.
I've heard that the reliability of the 5.4L v8 found in some of the F150's/E150's I've been looking at is quite reliable, some running up into the 250k mile range without issue. I'm good about staying on top of maintenance and low 100k mile trucks/vans are in my budget, which is why I'm not all that worried.

So to change the thread, what's the best bang for the buck tow rig? Spend the least, get the most type deal.
Hold_Fast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 03:26 PM   #22
KNS Brakes
NASIOC Vendor
 
Member#: 125739
Join Date: Sep 2006
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Raleigh, NC
Vehicle:
Who needs brakes?
Call: 919-420-0021

Default

I first considered a van - but I ended up w/ a truck. Glad I did as I have used it many times for things the van could not do.

I got a gas motor - it is a HD w/ 4.11's but it tows fine and rides nice. Up to 60k already and no issues at all.
KNS Brakes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 03:54 PM   #23
kfoote
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 39180
Join Date: Jul 2003
Chapter/Region: NESIC
Location: Trying to get :unamused: on TV
Vehicle:
2004 WRB STi
Slash Ten - FBHIC

Default

My tow rig is a 2006 E350 with the 5.4 V8 that began life as a 15 person extended passenger van. I bought it 3 tears ago with 23,000 miles, it now has 32,000 miles. It was a recovered theft, someone stole all the interior out of it, which for my purposes, meant that I didn't have to remove the interior out of it. Tow rating is 7500 lbs, plenty for a single open trailer, especially as all of the spares fit inside the van. It gets about 14.5 MPG not towing, and about 12 MPG towing, which I find more than acceptable. I've got a lot more into it than $2000, but I know it'll last forever. There's also the benefit of being able to sleep inside it comfortably if needed.

Just out of curiosity, what have you used the truck for that you couldn't use a van for? With all the interior removed, I can't imagine anything that wouldn't fit...I have carried a queen size mattress and box spring in it, and a washer and dryer in it, among the larger of the items I can think of.
kfoote is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 10:17 PM   #24
Storm
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 5218
Join Date: Mar 2001
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: SAUL'S Motorsports
Vehicle:
96L Most Over-
Developed Beater

Default

I would suggest a van, except the milage over the road may be less than a truck or SUV. Everything I've read of the E250/350 has been good. Certain rear ends are better than others but reliability has been very good. I'm not a fan of GM electrical systems, though I have been absolutely giddy with the work I'm getting out of my $3500 1996 GMC Suburban 6.5 turbo diesel. About 17mpg towing a single open trailer plus 3 dudes and lots of spares. 22+mpg unloaded on the highway and cushy comfy.

A cummins Dodge will outperform anything else listed, to the point of being overkill for a single open car trailer. Put a 5.9 cummins in a suburban and I'd never buy another tow vehicle again.....


Jay
Storm is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-22-2012, 10:26 PM   #25
ShadowIMg
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 31519
Join Date: Jan 2003
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: Evanston, IL
Vehicle:
2009 Legacy spec.B
2001 2.5RS Coupe

Default

I'm going to be a voice of dissent and say with a $2000 budget for a tow vehicle, buy a set of street wheels/tires and some pillows to sit on. The gap in $2000 to say $4000 is pretty huge in terms of this kind of vehicle. I think at $2000 you're going to buy a big pile of troubles.
ShadowIMg is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 03:38 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.