JK gets a pickup truck

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JKosprey
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JK gets a pickup truck

Postby JKosprey » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:28 am

I'd had enough of my Jeep Cherokee, and decided that it was time to learn a stick shift, so a few days ago I picked up a 2002 Ford Ranger. It's red, not my favorite color, but it does look pretty. No camera at the moment. I've had it since Teusday, and though I still find myself stalling out or bucking at the occasional light, I'm getting used to it very quickly. It's alot more fun to drive, most of the time. Traffic sucks.

I picked it up for 4800, and I'm not looking to put a whole lot of money into it, but I do need a bedliner, a new latch for the tailgate, a toolbox, and possibly a removable cover of some sort. And of course, a truck gun. I don't think anything I have fits the bill. The .22's arent enough gun, the two shotguns are far too long, most of the rifles are scoped hunting rifles, the AR is too expensive, and I think a full-powered military surpluss cartridge like the K31 would be too powerful for the amount of room here in the NY suburbs. I'm thinkin an SKS, a lever action, or a folding kel-tech of either the SU-16 or SUB-2000 variety. Maybe a stoeger coach gun. I'd prefer something that can be quickly loaded, so preferably magazine or stripper clip fed. That way I can be within the law, and still have quick access.

With the extended cab, I think the toolbox would be the best place to keep it. Because the gun wouldnt be hidden behind the seat in an extended cab I'd worry about theft.

Any thoughts and tips on making a manual a smoother ride? I know the truck gun discussion has been beaten to death here but if anybody wants to jump in again I certainly wouldnt mind.

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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby merll2005 » Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:59 am

If you have the rear bench rather than the jump seats, would the gun fit under the back seat? The Kel-Tech SUB-2000 would probably fit under the front seat(s) unless they are power.

After seeing the bed in the Nissan my father had a few years ago I would opt for a spray-in bedliner. And get a toolbox with lights.

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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Fivetoes » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:20 am

Remember to conserve your energy, keep the wheels rolling unless you have to come to a dead stop. Don't ride the clutch. Unless you are shifting gears or have a need to disengage the drive train keep the left foot on the floor, not the pedal. I shifted my late S-10 from first to third then to fifth for highway use, Some will disagree on that but it had the original clutch at 180 k miles, the rear end grenaded is what killed it. Don't over rev in the low gears, when you lift the accelerator it will buck.

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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Aegis » Sat Aug 29, 2009 1:24 am

I've seen gun racks that bolt to the ceiling of the cab; perhaps something like that would work?
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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Combat Controller » Sat Aug 29, 2009 2:32 am

The K-31 would be an ok truck gun. Do you want a shotgun or a rifle is the real question.
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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby JKosprey » Sat Aug 29, 2009 11:34 pm

Chris, Fivetoes, thanks for the driving advice! I managed the 1-3-5 switch pretty smoothly, and was able to start in 2nd a few times, but I'll need more practice before I get the RPM's right to make that smooth. I think I'm going to need alot more practice before I'm synching revs and double clutching, but it definately looks like a good skill to learn.

As far as the truck gun, I'll probably use the K31 for now. I have no toolbox yet, and the back seats are jump seats. It should fit alright underneath them though and be pretty much invisible. I worry that it's "too much gun" for this area, I go through both very populated areas and places where there is nobody around on a fairly regular basis. I guess thinking about it the shotgun makes a little more sense then. Which means I need another one, of course.

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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby The Wizard » Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:37 am

something, i do to get use to a clutch in a new vehicle it put it in first, let off the brake and slowly release the clutch, do it on a slight incline and learn to hold the vehicle with out the brake, that way you dont roll back into the vehicle behind you if you have to stop on a hill. Also learn to get the vehicle rolling without using the gas in first gear so you can go 1st to second with out pressing the throttle
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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Precision » Mon Oct 12, 2009 5:16 pm

the others have said what needs to be said about clutch driving. Now its just practice, practice, practice.

As for the truck gun, mine is a Mosin M-44 with the bayonet removed. Damn thing gets caught up too easy. I will be storing mine in a behind the seats scabbard once that gets finished.

Whats not to like, works as a rifle, flame thrower, battering ram and it cost $89 IIRC.
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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby JKosprey » Mon Oct 12, 2009 7:57 pm

Ive gotten the hang of it pretty well at this point, but I'm still trying to decide if I actually favor a clutch over an automatic. It really can be a pain in the ass. I used a paint on rustoleum bedliner that worked pretty well, but I need to replace the nuts in the tailgate before I can finish it, they're stripped and loose and not allowing the handle to do its work, so I have the backplate off to use the wires to get it down.

Still waiting on a toolbox, but I think that will be my next purchase over 100 bucks. It's probably the best place I have to stash a truck gun, as the backseat area where the jump seats are is very cluttered with supplies and equipment I use daily. I carry an overnight bag, blanket and pillow for overnight shifts, a medical response bag, and a mini-bugout bag. Plus I have a emergency road kit and spare fluids.

Truck gun is looking more and more like an old beater shotgun, or a newer coach gun. I saw a pretty nice old "Western Arms" SxS 12 for under 200 bucks the other day. If I hadnt just grabbed a .22 mag and started reloading I might have taken it home.

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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby NVGdude » Tue Dec 15, 2009 7:49 pm

The TREMEC tranny Ford uses for a 5-speed has a pretty wide gear ration at the low end. 1st is geared way to low for most driving that does not involve starting at a red light pointed uphill in Oakland or San Fransisco.

Starting from a dead stop at a Stop sign, you should be in 2nd right about when you cross the crosswalk. For my old Ranger, and my current Mustang, I'll skip 3rd and go straight to 4th unless I'm passing on an incline. When you shift to 5th will depend on your driving habits and how many idiots are in your way.

Learning to downshift and proper engine braking techniques will take a bit of practice. Once you learn how to drive a stick you can expect a lot longer lifetime on your brake pads though. On my 99 Ranger I routinely got 40K miles on a set of front pads, and 120K on the rear shoes.

I'm thinking Coach gun.

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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Aglifter » Tue Dec 15, 2009 8:18 pm

Might be hard w.o. a hand brake, and I don't know how steep the hills are, but it can, at times, be considerably easier to use the handbrake to help hold you on a hill, in addition to the clutch -- used to drive a Boxster in Austin -- no torque at idle, and some steep hills.
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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby drice » Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:59 pm

If I'm stopped facing uphill, and someone is fairly close behind me, such that I don't want to risk rolling backwards, I'll put the car in 1st, right foot on brake, and let the clutch out until it starts to pull the engine down a little (like 100 revs). Then I know that it's already trying to move forward, or at least providing some pressure against the hill. This prevents me from rolling backwards on all but the steepest hills.

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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Windy Wilson » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:16 pm

I've been told that other things being equal, ie truck weight, engine size, etc, a manual transmission will allow the truck to tow a heavier load than an automatic transmission. A lot of guys in the Kern buy automatics and then go looking to trade for a manual once they learn this.
It'll take a bit of time to get used to a manual transmission. I drove an automatic for the first four years I drove, then drove a manual for 22 years. Give it a little time to develop new habits.
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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby JKosprey » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:35 pm

I'm getting pretty good with it-I still stall now and again like an idiot, but usually there are no issues at all.

Drice, I've been known t do exactly what you described. The roads are variable and theres a few steep spots that I regularly have to start from-people around here have a habit of nearly tapping your bumper when they get behind you; if I'm really fed up, I'll occasionally roll a bit intentionally as a warning, and people usually back up and leave you a bit more room at the next light.

The truck gun is a Stephens single barrel 12 gauge...woulda gone for the double that I'd found but that shop was more than an hour away, so I don't there often. It's not great for defense, but in NY even having ammo within reach is considered loaded so I wouldnt matter what kind of gun I had. I figure it allows me to have a gun, that's innoculous and not too scary for the sheeple, but providing a powerful round. It's also great for impromteu hunting trips.

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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Netpackrat » Wed Mar 03, 2010 9:59 pm

The Wizard wrote:something, i do to get use to a clutch in a new vehicle it put it in first, let off the brake and slowly release the clutch, do it on a slight incline and learn to hold the vehicle with out the brake, that way you dont roll back into the vehicle behind you if you have to stop on a hill.


I'm going to disagree with this. The clutch is a relatively fragile component, difficult and/or expensive to replace, and it has a finite life even when given the best of treatment. It should be used for starting, stopping, and shifting, period. The advice given above to keep your left foot on the floor when not using the clutch is excellent, and further in that vein minimizing the use of your clutch will prolong its life. When stopped on an incline, you need to learn to use the brake to hold your vehicle, so you can take your foot off the clutch and prevent it from wearing while you are stationary. This will be easiest with a vehicle that has a hand lever for the parking brake (like my Jeep, although I rarely need to use it this way), but depending on factors (such as foot size, pedal spacing, etc) you should still be able to learn to operate all 3 pedals simultaneously. Off-roaders get serious enough about this that they often install hand throttles in their vehicles.

Engine braking was mentioned above, and it is also an important skill. Lots of people who think they are braking with the engine, are actually using the clutch for a brake, reducing its life significantly. It will take practice, but eventually you will get to where you can match the speed of the transmission input with the engine speed using throttle, as the downshift is made. Once you have let off the clutch completely, you can then back off on the throttle and let the compression of the engine slow you down. The big thing is to have the clutch totally engaged with no slippage before backing off on the RPMs, because the clutch only wears when it is slipping, so anything you can do to minimize that time will prolong the life of the clutch. The other wear point is the release bearing, which wears when the pedal is being depressed, so minimizing the time the clutch is released will help it too.

JKosprey wrote:Traffic sucks.


Yup, few things are worse on the clutch than heavy stop and go traffic. Once you get a little bit of a clue into what it takes to replace a clutch, you'll start thinking about things like do you REALLY need to burn clutch to move the 10 or 15 feet forward as traffic bunches up at a light, vs. just staying where you are. In the wintertime, I shift into 4 low in order to back up my icy driveway, not because I need to, but because I don't need to slip the clutch the whole way up like I would in 4 high. I can take my foot off the clutch and let it crawl the whole way. I can't say that I'm ALWAYS easy on the clutch because I have a bit of a lead foot, but you should always be thinking about how you can best accomplish your goal while extending its life.
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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Windy Wilson » Fri Mar 05, 2010 8:30 pm

NPR is right about using the clutch to hold the truck on a hill. That's a good way to eat up the clutch pad, which, in order to change it you have to pull the trans or the engine.
The same goes for engine braking, which was necessary 70 years ago when brakes were more delicate. Nowadays even the asbestos free pads will stand up to all but the longest hardest stops, and the clutch pads are harder to replace, making engine braking mostly unnecessary.
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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby JKosprey » Fri Mar 05, 2010 11:55 pm

I tned to use the brakes rather then downshift, except maybe from 5th to fourth on an exit ramp, and *sometimes* from 4th to 3rd. The difference in range between 3rd and 2nd is too great to make engine braking even practical past that point.

I will try not to use the clutch to hold the truck too much on hills though.

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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Combat Controller » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:25 am

Old habits die hard though, I still tend to down shift, even on my motorbikes, to slow down...
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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Netpackrat » Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:41 am

Nothing wrong with downshifting, as long as you match speeds with the throttle, and take your foot off the clutch prior to letting off on the throttle. It helps slow you down, and ensures that the selected transmission ratio is appropriate if you need to need to accelerate quickly, such as to avoid a collision.
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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Vonz90 » Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:57 am

Just remember that a clutch should be all the way in, or all the way out, and be transitioned smoothly between the two, and you will do fine.

I only drive manuals and have never had one last less than 120K+ miles, so don't let it worry you too much. The big point is not to ride the clutch (applying pressure to it while driving normally) as that will burn them up in a few thousand miles.

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Re: JK gets a pickup truck

Postby Combat Controller » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:58 pm

Vonz90 wrote:Just remember that a clutch should be all the way in, or all the way out, and be transitioned smoothly between the two, and you will do fine.

I only drive manuals and have never had one last less than 120K+ miles, so don't let it worry you too much. The big point is not to ride the clutch (applying pressure to it while driving normally) as that will burn them up in a few thousand miles.


Yeah, Miss G&T rides the clutch, burns them out faster than I can get them in, so I got her an automatic this time around.
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