View Full Version : Hunting Vehicle

February 19, 2002, 11:41 PM
Want to keep my old 87 Dodge Pickup on the road. Use it for my hunting, camping etc. Dropped a rebuilt 318 into it a couple of years ago. Rear end is getting a little noisy and any thoughts on making the ride a little more comfortable. The front seat is pretty tough on my back. What about heaters for the back under the cap when I drive others out to our hunting areas.

Art Eatman
February 20, 2002, 12:30 AM
Most junkyards can tell you what rear axle assemblies will interchange. Probably easier, maybe cheaper to swap out the whole deal than to rebuild the ring/pinion/bearings. Dunno for sure.

If thorns and sharp rocks are not a concern, go radial tires, and play around with air pressure. You can run soft, but not too soft. 30 to 35, front; maybe as low as 25, rear, unloaded. I don't recommend this for 80mph in August, of course. (Main reason for those Explorer tire failures: Underinflation, high speeds, hot days. I like the free tires, of course.)

Take out the bench seat and get some junkyard seats from some small sedan--try various ones until you find something that suits. Most of these will give you more leg room, and you can vary the angles. You'll have to fabricate new brackets, but that's no big deal.

Heating the back? Hmmm. Maybe a temporary fixture to hold a 12-volt squirrel-cage heater fan, and some ducting. Set the fan where its intake is right at the discharge of your regular heater...

So there's a start.

:), Art

February 22, 2002, 02:01 PM
Art pretty much covered it, but come on an 87 isn't even broken in yet.

My huntin wagon is an 80 blazer I need a winch to move the transfer case lever but it will go anywhere.

February 22, 2002, 04:50 PM
What I always wanted to do for a huntin' wagon is mount a station wagon body on a 4x4 chassis. Four doors, no waiting. Electric rear window to let the dogs out. Four wheel drive just because. I know I could go buy a club cab pickup but it just wouldn't be the same.

February 22, 2002, 05:32 PM
Hello Paul,

For comfort try new engine and transmission mounts then swapping the shocks for Doetsch Tech shocks as they will improve the comfort level in the cabin.

I've recently bought a 1989 Jeep Comanche pickup as a hunting support vehicle and the changes I described above transformed the ride of the vehicle.

FWIW Trans mount $30, Engine mount $17 shocks about $35 each.



February 22, 2002, 07:26 PM
SK, best huntin rig I ever had was a 74 Jeep cherokee chief. ugly as Rosie in the morning. full time quadratrac with optional diff lock and that elec rear window for the dog. sold it years ago and tried to buy it back twice.

February 23, 2002, 05:12 PM
1980 Blazer has an electric rear window No four doors though.

Might try a slightly newer suburban.

February 23, 2002, 07:27 PM
Suburban a bit big for trailin around here.

Did see a Lincoln Town Car 4X4 a while back. Probably stuck somewhere, haven't seen it lately.

Art's suggestion on replacing the seats is a winner. It is more than worth the effort.


February 23, 2002, 10:19 PM
I just keep having these visions of a '70-71 Malibu wagon up on all fours. Not monster truck high, just reasonable ground clearance.

February 24, 2002, 09:58 PM
Passed a Camaro a few days ago that was sitting on some 40" or so super swampers. Don't remember seeing the differential sticking down in front, must have a been a 2 WD still.

Maybe what your looking for is a new Ford Excursion SK, I recommend getting it with a powerstroke ;)

February 25, 2002, 02:02 AM
did the guy driving the Camaro have a mullet?

February 25, 2002, 09:11 PM
I didn't get a good look at the dork driving since I was staring at the camaro screaming what the hell is that ?!! :confused:
But, now that I think about it, his hair in the front sort of looked like it went along with a mullet. :)

February 25, 2002, 09:44 PM
'87? Sounds brand new to me. My hunting (and everything else, too..) vehicle is a 1972 Chevy C-20. Needs some paint, and it ain't 4WD, but with that 350 and posi-traction in the back, it gets me about everywhere. Engine's got about 239,000 on it though, and the valves are starting to tick.. but I plan on rebuilding it over the summer.

Even has the optional 3 gas tanks.. 60 gallons of gas total. Don't T-bone me! :D

February 26, 2002, 11:19 PM
I moved up from my 1978 F250. Had that for 12 years. That really rode like a truck! Thanks for the ideas and I will check with the local junk yard for a car seat that will fit. That is a great idea. The engine and transmission mounts I would never have thought of, I did put new shocks in, but maybe a different type would give a better ride.

Art Eatman
February 26, 2002, 11:44 PM
My rough country doings are all at fairly low speeds. Don't need to tear up a vehicle. I've always preferred a rather soft suspension, but with stiff swaybars. I can take the pitching fore-and-aft, but not the side-to-side stuff. My first wanderings here in the back-of-beyond were in a VW Bus.

I bought an '85 Toyota 4WD PU Xtra-Cab, new. Still got it. For some reason, the combination of wheelbase and springs give it a surprisingly comfortable ride, for all that it's a pretty stiff suspension. I run 7.00/15 light truck mud/snow tires, which are about 8% more diameter than what Mr. Toyota puts on them, and that size difference seems to help.

I don't care about how good something is about getting you TO the wild country; it's more important that I get HOME!

:D, Art