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Old    abadsvt            07-17-2006, 4:33 PM Reply   
I am and always will be into older cars and trucks. I have a 1970 c10 truck which i rather restore than buying a new truck. It has a 350 lt1 motor which can easily tow my boat. My question is will a 2wd truck pull a boat out of the water without spinning its tire bald? Has anyone else towed there boat with an older truck like mine? I am worried that with 300+ hp and that light back end on the truck it will just spin the tires and not pull the boat out. The reason i am asking instead of just trying it is because i have to do a little work to the truck before i can drive it and would like to make sure i will use it. Here is a pick of what my truck will look like when i am done. Well actually it will be similiar not the same.
Old     (jaybird)      Join Date: May 2006       07-17-2006, 4:42 PM Reply   
how steep is your ramp??? I have seen many of trucks fail at the ramp with wide smooth tires I have pulled out two myself. Be carefull But if your ramp isent very steep youll be fine. I use to pull out mine with a chevy s10 but I would have to drain all the fat sacs first.
nice looking truck I love the rims!
Old     (jzd)      Join Date: Jul 2005       07-17-2006, 4:42 PM Reply   
I've done it,had to use 400 lbs. sand bags.
Old     (derby)      Join Date: Nov 2005       07-17-2006, 4:46 PM Reply   
Uh I think your first question should be...Will this truck handle the tongue weight of my trailer?
Old    abadsvt            07-17-2006, 4:50 PM Reply   
So jerry you did by waiting the back end of the truck? How steep was your ramp? There is two ramps at Naci. One is kind of steep and the other one is alot less steep. I was thinking about relocating the gas tank to the back of the truck or in the bed of the truck. Gets it out of the back seat and puts some wait in the back. I could probably put some permenant weight back there. The whole reason of restoring the truck is to tow my boat and my 65 chevelle SS to car shows. Thanks
Old    mendo247            07-17-2006, 4:50 PM Reply   
lol yeah youll have problems with those tires and a moderatley steep ramp... i was having issuse a couple weeks ago with a partial dirt ramp with more aggresive tires than those(04 xcab gmc).. but as stated above i just took some lead out of the boat and placed in the bed and was fine..
Old     (iagainsti)      Join Date: Apr 2004       07-17-2006, 4:50 PM Reply   
If its bagged, which it looks to be, tongue weight should not be an issue. By the way that truck is bad a$$ !!!

(Message edited by iagainsti on July 17, 2006)
Old    abadsvt            07-17-2006, 4:59 PM Reply   
Hey rich our ramps are all paved. Hopefully there shouldn't be any dirt. So basically its more the tires rather than the truck? I like the really low profile tires but if it makes a big difference to go slightly bigger then i can go that route. Not to big because i really like low profile tires.
Old     (derby)      Join Date: Nov 2005       07-17-2006, 5:04 PM Reply   
^ That should solve that problem.

With nice of a truck I would hate to use it for towing.

When I was at Poly one of the club guys towed his SN with a Caddy. He had no problem on the old ramp.
Old    abadsvt            07-17-2006, 5:13 PM Reply   
I almost for got to post the future setup. Truck similar to this towing this boat. I think this would be a sick setup. When i am not towing the boat to the lake i can tow my chevelle to the car show.

Attila i hope it was okay for me to use your pic. I am getting the same color setup on my x1
and i saved your pic to show my brother the boat. Thanks and sweet boat.
Old    mendo247            07-17-2006, 5:19 PM Reply   
from what ive seen the low profile performance tires do slip a bit on the wet pavement on most ramps.. it also depends allot on the boat.. i have over 1,000 pounds of lead in mine so that makes a big difference.. im sure it can be accomplished though, i seen some crazy things at our local ramps lol...when i switched to a more aggresive stock type tire on my p/up i noticed a big improvement going up the ramp!
Old     (boarder_x)      Join Date: Mar 2006       07-17-2006, 5:24 PM Reply   
Just have your friends get in the front of the boat, the bed of the truck, or if they are sober, stand on the bumper/ sit on the open tailgate. With 2-3 people, this should be sufficient weight to keep the wheels from spinning. Also don't "hammer" the gas. Ease into it, like you are in snow. It isn't a race. Use the torque, not the HP of the engine.
Old     (dkjbama92mariah)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-17-2006, 5:25 PM Reply   
Of probably more importance isnt whether it will pull the boat out of the water, its whether the boat will pull the truck into the water. Take it slow going down the ramp; too much speed and it'll lock up the front tires and drag you right in. Does the truck have a limited slip diff? It would be helpful on a slick ramp. You might also consider whether those tires have the load rating to carry the tongue weight if you're planning on towing very far. This hinges on whether they are "P" tires or "LT" tires as denoted by the letters before the tire size. P for passenger and LT for light truck.


(Message edited by dkjbama92mariah on July 17, 2006)

(Message edited by dkjbama92mariah on July 17, 2006)
Old     (mikeski)      Join Date: Aug 2003       07-17-2006, 6:41 PM Reply   
Nice choice on the 68-72 body, I always liked them. I had a 1963 longbed running 295/50-15 tires with an open differential pulling my 3,000 lb direct drive. It did fine on most boat ramps if you used the boat to help get things moving uphill. If you are building the truck I would highly recommend a limited slip differential as others may have mentioned. I don't think I have ever needed to engauge my Tahoe's 4wd, the single track Silverado spun once on a ramp covered with driftwood but it still made it up the ramp. Another nice look in that body style is a little rake, that might work better if it is going to double as a tow vehicle. We did a lot of towing of lighter hot boats with 80's vintage lowered stepsides without much concern. These days people tend to think you need a 4wd truck to tow a boat which is simply not the case. My Dad's 1968 and 74 Caddy Coupe de Villes were great tow vehicles. I always thought it would be cool to have an old convert. caddy tow vehicle to match the boat.

(Message edited by mikeski on July 17, 2006)
Old    abadsvt            07-17-2006, 9:41 PM Reply   
So basically what your saying is that tires and differential is the key to making the truck a tow truck? What exactly is a limited slip diff? Why is that better than a standard diff? I am thinking about putting weight in the back of the truck. Maybe built into the frame and maybe something like 700-800lbs. What is the difference between a new 1/2ton truck single cab and a older 1/2ton single cab truck in regards to towing? Thanks for your help
Old    bikesman14            07-17-2006, 10:06 PM Reply   
The purpose of a differential is to allow your vehicle to turn more efficiently. Essentially, as you make a turn, the outside wheel turns more than the inside wheel thus if the two can move independently of each other the result is an optimized turn. Unfortunately, in a straight tow or acceleration the power will always go to the path of least resistance. In other words a tire that will spin freely because it requires less power to turn. Several solutions exist including welding your differential solid, a locker, and alas a limited slip. A limited slip is a differential with a built in clutch pack, when a tire begins to slip the clutch pack engages the axle of the other wheel allowing both of your tires to transfer power to the ground. The only draw back is that over time, the clutch pack wears out. This usually happens from extreme use and most likely it would be a long time before you would ever see that happen.

In regards to the question about differences in towing, several things have changed. First, drivetrains. i.e. engines, transmissions, and differentials. An old engine and a new engine do the same thing, produce power. If your old truck has a rebuilt engine in it, this will not make a difference. Only if your engine has high mileage on it will that be an issue. Rear ends have changed in the fact that many manufactures put in limited slips standard and some even offer electronic lockout this too can be added aftermarket. Transmissions is perhaps where the weak link is in older vehicles although this is not always the case and in fact some older transmissions would be considered stronger than newer ones. Also many manufacturers now include transmission oil coolers as a part of their towing package allowing the transmission to remain at an acceptable temperature when an extra burden is placed on it, like a boat. Other things that are different are frame design, hitches, brakes, and suspension. All things that need to be considered not only when pulling out at the ramp but when the guy 200 yards in front of you decides to stop and you have to stop your truck and you boat from demolishing him. With a lowered truck like you are considering, think about the suspension and how low the tow point is going to be. If it is equipped with airbags, make sure the airbags can handle the extra weight. Essentially everything on a newer truck is more refined but nothing has really changed in the basic structure.

Long story short...yeah your truck will pull it but dont forget you have to stop it and ride with it too...
Old     (attila916)      Join Date: Oct 2005       07-17-2006, 10:17 PM Reply   
No worries Josh... where are you located? (in case I need spare parts)
Old    abadsvt            07-17-2006, 10:39 PM Reply   
THANKS STEVEN!!!! That was the kind of info i was looking for. The truck will have airbags on it but i will tow the boat or chevelle at normal ride heights. I like airbags for looks and it would be nice to raise the back of the truck when there is alot of tounge weight. Also i was going to be calling air ride technologies to get a setup than can handle the extra weight. As for brakes i was going to install front and rear disk brakes and my dad was talking about electric brakes for the trailer but i don't know anything about them. I also want to look into getting a limited slip diff. Hopefully they make one for my truck. The transmission is a turbo 350. How do you think that will do? Also i want to make sure that i have a posi rear end. I am not sure what they come with. So if i address these issues do think i will be able to tow the boat where i want and pull the boat out of the water without worring about spinning the tires and rolling back into the water.
Old     (dkjbama92mariah)      Join Date: Dec 2005       07-17-2006, 11:02 PM Reply   
A turbo 350 should be fine as long as you're not flogging it. I would advise adding a transmission cooler though.

Electric brakes would probably not be the best idea on a boat trailer because of the water. Your trailer should have came with surge brakes, and i wouldnt see any good reason to change them. If it aint broke, dont fix it. Then again you may have been referring to the car trailer.

Limited slip and posi are the same thing. Posi is short for positraction which was the brand name GM gave to its limited slip diffs. For a limited slip (posi) you have plenty of options. The rear end on your truck is most likely a GM 10 bolt, or maybe a 12 bolt. You can tell by counting the bolts in the diff cover. There are plenty of options for limited slips for these axles. The two that pop out in my head are the Detroit Truetrac and one made by Auburn Gear. Both are good, solid products. Since you're changing the diff out, you might consider going to a lower ratio ring and pinion if you're planning on towing alot. The truck likely has a 3.42:1 ratio; i'd jump to a 3.73:1 ratio. I wouldnt advise going any lower because the TH350 transmission doesn't have an overdrive.

Old     (kingskrew)      Join Date: May 2004       07-17-2006, 11:07 PM Reply   
I've got a 4-link air suspension on my truck with low profile (35 series) tires and a peg leg rear end (no limited slip). I had zero issues with towing boats, but the ramps I used weren't too bad. There's a lot of factors involved here (ramp angle, ride height, boat weight, tongue weight, etc...), but don't add weight to your frame. I wouldnt consider that an option, there's better ways to gain traction.

Old     (greatdane)      Join Date: Feb 2001       07-17-2006, 11:35 PM Reply   
Regarding wheel slip, are you guys aware of the fact that you can make power go to both tires by pushing on the gas and brake. Two foot'n it allows you to put power to both wheels.
Old     (scanboarder)      Join Date: Feb 2005       07-18-2006, 9:55 AM Reply   
Really shouldn't be a problem.. i pulled my 21' cuddy out with an old frontwheel drive Audi... You just gotta have the balls to get the truck nearly touching water
Sweet truck tho. Very nice job.
Old    bocephus            07-18-2006, 10:08 AM Reply   
Hey Josh,
Since you already have a compressor just install an ARB air locker in the rear. Problem solved!


I had them in my Jeep and they worked flawless!
Old     (trace)      Join Date: Feb 2002       07-18-2006, 10:47 AM Reply   
Wait, so you are planning to build a truck like that, and you don't even know what limited slip is?
Old     (allen)      Join Date: Apr 2005       07-18-2006, 11:16 AM Reply   
I have a 66' c-10 that was my every day driver the tires in the back are 12" wide and it has air bags on it, Some ramps are a bit of a pain but if you feather the brake to keep the tires from spinning almost anything is possible, a posi is a must though.

Old     (phatboypimp)      Join Date: Apr 2005       07-18-2006, 11:36 AM Reply   
I can tell you this, the ride that truck will have with a trailer will be horrible. Be sure to pack your kidney belt, especially if you have a long ride to a car show. Airbags will help, but the bouncing will be intolerable.
Old    abadsvt            07-18-2006, 4:00 PM Reply   
Hey Trace i used to do paint and body work for a living so i will do that and my father is more of the mechanical side of the project. I help him out but between the two of us we can restore/build the truck.

Jason that is a good point about the bouncing. My chevelle has airbags and it will get a little bouncy when i hit alot of bumps so if i put alot of tounge weight on and i can see it getting worse. On the other hand i have seen airbags designed for towing. Wouldn't they have addressed that problem?

Bocephus that is a good idea. I saw that they have a gm 12bolt up to 3.73 gears. I am going to be looking into that some more.

Thanks everyone for your comments. It is really helping me figuring things out!!!!!!
Old    ilovetrains            07-20-2006, 10:51 AM Reply   
Typically trucks set up to tow using airbags use them as helpers to alleviate some pressure on the original springs.

One thing that may help is an adjustable shock to tone down the natural tendancy of the bags to bounce.

FWIW - I think you can do it, but you will need to be careful. The reason most people need 4WD is they need that margin of error. You will have no margin for error, start down a ramp too fast, you loose it, too much throttle, you loose it.
Old     (kingskrew)      Join Date: May 2004       07-20-2006, 10:59 AM Reply   


I can tell you this, the ride that truck will have with a trailer will be horrible.

Thats not necessarily true. Most trucks with 'airbags' (especially in the wakeboarding world) use 'helper bags' in tandem with stock suspension. This will indeed lead to a very rough ride. If I understood correctly, Josh is planning a full swap for an complete air suspension. This is totally different and, if done correctly, will ride better than the stock suspension, even when trailering.

Old     (kingskrew)      Join Date: May 2004       07-20-2006, 11:02 AM Reply   
PS. If I remember right, the 68-72 chevys use a link style rear suspension with coil springs, stock (1/2 ton, not 3/4 or 1 ton). This should make a swap out to airbags a simple process, depending on how low you plan on going. The frame above the axle is a bit complicated and a step notch will be difficult to fabricate if you plan on going real low.
Old     (damned04)      Join Date: May 2005       07-20-2006, 1:11 PM Reply   
I don't have an older truck like that but I have no problem pulling out my 05 X2 with my lightning. It's 2wd and i never slipped coming out of the ramp. I don't sandbag or put any weight on the bed, the boat gives me all the weight I need on the back.
Old    walt            07-20-2006, 1:26 PM Reply   
(PS. If I remember right, the 68-72 chevys use a link style rear suspension with coil springs)

Most of them had coil springs but not all of them. I had a 72 with leaf springs but I think they were rare.
Old     (cawakeboarder12)      Join Date: Apr 2006       07-20-2006, 1:28 PM Reply   
I had a 2wd lowered truck and I had no problem pulling my boat out. Just drop it down to low and ease the gas
Old     (jzd)      Join Date: Jul 2005       07-20-2006, 2:00 PM Reply   
Hey Josh,I've built a lot of custom trucks most are bagged.The profile of the tire is not an issue.Putting the tank in the back is a great Idea,it gives you more cab room & it will look cleaner.You could always tub your truck a bit get some more width if you need it.I used sand bags for weight so I could remove them when I didn't need them.Now I would use Pop bags they would be easyer.
Old     (jzd)      Join Date: Jul 2005       07-20-2006, 2:01 PM Reply   
Can't spell worth a ......
Old     (dfwharvey)      Join Date: Mar 2006       07-24-2006, 3:51 PM Reply   
I use to own a regular cab 99 silverado with a 2/4 drop. I towed a 96 PS205 with it. I can tell you that it will work but it will not be fun. I had some pretty wide tires on it and it would not do well with steep ramps. The other problem is the truck was tossed around by the trailer. If you only tow short distances or use it to pull the boat out of the water then it will work. A few guys in the back of the truck with a locking differential and you will not have trouble with the average ramp. If you plan to tow long distances then you will want a bigger truck.
Old     (lake_side)      Join Date: Jan 2004       07-24-2006, 7:39 PM Reply   
If your doing the truck do it right.Put a locker in it a stout tr4 and some 373 or 411.I have a 5 speed in mine with 456 drive it everyday.
Old    abadsvt            07-24-2006, 10:52 PM Reply   
thanks everyone!! I am still not sure on what to do. It sounds like I can make this setup work which is awesome! I am not sure which route i will take because i would like to take the boat on long trips to shasta, lake mead and so on. I will probably end up fixing up my truck but i want to continue doing my homework so that way i don't waste alot of money fixing up something that works sometimes when the ramp isn't that steep. I am debating selling my chevelle to fix up the truck 100% sparing no costs to make it the ultimate tow truck. Okay maybe i am exagerating a little but at least it will be one of the best looking tow trucks. So you really don't think i will spin my tires much if i put a rear locker in? That was another thing. With the cost of 20" tires i can't afford buying new tires every month or so. Thanks

ps. I just found out that my boat started production today!!!! I hate waiting


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