No smoke, no tack-tack-tack idle, no ball-peen hammers when you accelerate hard, excellent throttle response, and we're told easy starting in subzero weather. Certainly not one of the toy mini-trucks driven by contractors who haven't bought all their tools yet. Nor would they use one of the ordinary half-ton pickups with car engines, favored by newbies who figure they'll give this truck deal a shot. Knowing more information about the car you drive or you are going to buy and drive you ensure that your choice is going to be rather rational and deliver you much more satisfaction and benefit. I'm hooked, both literally and figuratively. We urge you to be more rational choosing a car, so you can save money and get the best value for money possible.
Dodge's V-10 and Cummins-diesel-engined Rams are also players, but in third place. Not the oncoming traffic, but the thought that I too could become a dragger. . Think of it as a bargain for a very powerful, big-V-8, luxurious four-door vehicle with capabilities no car could ever match. A car guy has to conclude that anybody who would drive one of these things for fun is demented.
No, what the bad boys need is one of the General's new three-quarter and one-ton heavy-duty dudes, totally redesigned and reengined for 2001 in hopes of taking the working-class market away from Ford. At each injector, a microprocessor-controlled valve precisely times and tailors the individual fuel pulses. The big diesel hustles to 55 mph -- uphill -- with, if not alacrity, at least fearsome inevitability. All of their toys travel in full, arrogant view. Before you turn the page, be advised that this is a turbocharged, four-valve-per-cylinder, fractured-con-rod, nitrided-crank oil-burner that you could drive for a week and think was a big-block gas motor. Although pickups are enormously profitable for their manufacturers -- largely because of economy-of-scale savings in their manufacture, since so many are sold -- they can also be thought of as superb values. Backing this range of engines is a choice of five- or six-speed manual and four- or five-speed automatic transmissions.
The latter is a first for the class, chosen from the Allison catalog of big-rig trannies. With a common-rail system, a high-pressure pump keeps the rail -- a central pipe with feeds to each cylinder -- filled with fuel at 23,000 psi. Plus wheels, tires, dirt bikes, pit-row lawn furniture, spare engines, one of those fancy Rolex-priced barbecue grills, and all the tools I own. I almost don't get my chance at it, as the tester who precedes me gets the Forrestal-size rig thoroughly stuck between a number of hard places as he misjudges the swing from the highway into the parking area, blocking traffic in every direction as everyone with an opinion gestures and flails. Yes, you read that right: 23,000 pounds per square inch. Not dragsters but draggers, guys who quantify their cojones by the size of whatever they're hauling behind them.
Horses, Harleys, Airstreams, super-modifieds, powerboats big enough to flatten the perfect storm. Pavement-divider chop is somewhat muted, but there's still continual albeit slight hobbyhorsing. With no shoulders on the Missouri back roads, I'm working hard to keep the dualies in the center of their lane while oncoming traffic goes bug-eyed at the sight of this mini-18-wheeler. Despite triple-stage rear leaf springs to absorb load in increments, there's no way or, frankly, desire to make an empty-bedded working pickup float like a car. A substantial slice of American male-dom is made up of draggers. In a conventional diesel, fuel is metered, cylinder by cylinder, by the fuel pump, which, in the 6. .
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