What happened to mini-trucks?

I was interested in a mini-truck for transportation to and from work but they disappeared. I bought a brand new Nissan in 1985, it got close to
30mpg. Today's small trucks all look larger, more the Dakota size. Anyone making trucks smaller than Dakota's these days? The best I've seen for gas mileage is Ford Ranger with 27mpg, not very impressive after 25 years.
RogerN
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On 5/11/2010 5:08 PM, RogerN wrote:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/1995-DAIHATSU-5-SPEED-4-WHEEL-DRIVE-JAPANESE-MINI-TRUCK-_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQhashZitem4aa114491fQQitemZ320530041119QQptZOtherQ5fVehiclesQ5fEverythingQ5fElse
ebay item #320530041119
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They stopped importing them.
While there may be some usable ones on ebay, don't expect to find any new ones.
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Anyone
gas
Back in the days of the Arab oil embargo, with the red flags, the green flags odd and even days etc. the popularity of the cheap Japanese econo boxes was at their peak, and the American auto companies managed to get import quotas on the cars but not the trucks.
With a limited supply of the cars the Japanese companies were stuffing the less popular trucks down the dealers throats so they could buy the popular cars.
The dealers then were "giving away" the trucks. This meant that most of the trucks sold were to the cheap skate buyers and the trucks tended to be those with the smaller engines and few options.
Those trucks got pretty good mileage. Then the situation changed. Buyers were demanding more performance and plusher vehicles the crash safety requirements meant more steel and the smog standards said goodbye to the carbs the points and so the mini truck lost it's market.
The mini truck with the best mileage was the VW rabbit diesel close to 45 MPG.
--
Roger Shoaf

If knowledge is power, and power corrupts, what does this say about the
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When I bought my 1985 Nissan 2wd it was $6k new without air or radio. The basic Nissan Sentra was in the same price range. The Nissan truck seemed more substantial than many of the cars in that day, and many of the cars today. For example, it had a frame and didn't seem that it would be worse in a crash than my Honda Civic or any other similar small car. I guess I would prefer to see them the size they made before they became Dakota sized and lost their economy. A couple of years later I traded in for a Nissan 4X4, I don't remember the exact gas mileage but I think it was close to 25.
My friend bought a Chevy Aveo and gets 35-36mpg, he said he saw where the Ford Mustang with a 6 cylinder is supposed to get 31mpg highway. I guess I'm a bit disappointed that a Ranger 4X4 with a 6 cyl doesn't do much better in gas than some of the full size trucks. I was hoping to be able to find something as economical to drive as my 85 Nissan was. I guess the 27mpg Ranger or 26mpg Tacoma wouldn't be bad though. It seems to me that smaller trucks have a lot of room for improvement, no wonder I see so many full size trucks on the road these days.
RogerN
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My '79 Diesel Rabbit with the 1500cc gets close to 60MPG around town, and a tad over on road trips. Suck it up, SUV owners. Had it for 25 years now. The 1600 pickups get about 20% less. They go for 3-5K now on Ebay. JR Dweller in the cellar
On Tue, 11 May 2010 18:34:51 -0700, "Roger Shoaf"

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JR North wrote:

Thanks for that. My dad had a diesel Rabbit truck, 5-speed, and I was sure I remembered 60mpg with it.

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JR North wrote:

It's great until you get rear ended by the idiot in the wannabe monster truck.
Jon
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On to the metalworking topic, I wonder if metalworkers could come up with good fuel efficient transportation. Maybe take an old truck, fit a brushless electric motor with drive, a generator (or reactor?) in the bed of the truck...
Seems like if metalworking skills and homebuilt aircraft skills were combined the people could make an automobile better than the automakers are providing for us.
RogerN

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I have worked on recent electric vehicle development projects and seriously doubt that a vehicle >>which meets regulations<< could do much better. If you don't need to meet them a car chassis from 1910 (recent experience) and a design top speed of 40 MPH or less might be able to achieve 100 MPG or its electric equivalent. The first cars were built like buggies or bicycles, both optimized for low drag at low speed in ways that still work well. The rolling resistance of narrow, large diameter tires is very low.
Honda failed to sell many Civic FEs in the early 80's. Those were rated at up to 70 MPG and people actually got mid 50's from them. I had a 1978 Accord with their version of lean burn that delivered 36 - 38 consistently and up to 44 on a trip. It was about the same size inside as a Saab or BMW, but not very powerful. Customers wanted more power instead and for 1980 Honda raised the HP and lowered the MPG. I still have one of those on jackstands in the garage.
In 1991 I bought a 4WD, long bed Ranger with the 4 cylinder engine. Despite its 26-28 MPG the lower power made it undesirable and it sat on the lot until the end-of-year clearance. It's powerful enough for me up to about 60 MPH, top end is ~75. Ford soon discontinued that combination. I'm told the sixes can barely hit 20 MPG.
We could have anything we wanted from a Segway on up, customer demand drives the market. The desire for safety regardless of low skills ansd inattention is a large part of it, otherwise just buy a midsized motorcycle.
jsw running an alternate energy test with this laptop right now.
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wrote:

\ \I have worked on recent electric vehicle development projects and \seriously doubt that a vehicle >>which meets regulations<< could do \much better. If you don't need to meet them a car chassis from 1910 \(recent experience) and a design top speed of 40 MPH or less might be \able to achieve 100 MPG or its electric equivalent. The first cars \were built like buggies or bicycles, both optimized for low drag at \low speed in ways that still work well. The rolling resistance of \narrow, large diameter tires is very low. \ \Honda failed to sell many Civic FEs in the early 80's. Those were \rated at up to 70 MPG and people actually got mid 50's from them. I \had a 1978 Accord with their version of lean burn that delivered 36 - \38 consistently and up to 44 on a trip. It was about the same size \inside as a Saab or BMW, but not very powerful. Customers wanted more \power instead and for 1980 Honda raised the HP and lowered the MPG. I \still have one of those on jackstands in the garage. \ \In 1991 I bought a 4WD, long bed Ranger with the 4 cylinder engine. \Despite its 26-28 MPG the lower power made it undesirable and it sat \on the lot until the end-of-year clearance. It's powerful enough for \me up to about 60 MPH, top end is ~75. Ford soon discontinued that \combination. I'm told the sixes can barely hit 20 MPG. \ \We could have anything we wanted from a Segway on up, customer demand \drives the market. The desire for safety regardless of low skills ansd \inattention is a large part of it, otherwise just buy a midsized \motorcycle. \ \jsw \running an alternate energy test with this laptop right now. \
Do you think it would be difficult to get better than 20mpg from a Ford Ranger (or other small truck) with descent performance? Would it be best to use something like a brushless servo motor or an AC motor with a VFD and enough batteries in series to get the desired DC bus voltage? I'm not sure why a Ford Mustang claims 31mpg with a 6 cyl but a Ranger gets ~20mpg either.
RogerN
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I am a lab technician and don't specify the motors, controls or batteries, just wire them all together. I know what works but not always why it was the best choice.
Use the most efficient motor drive you are capable of designing or at least understanding. Three phase AC motors with feedback seem to be a common choice. The high-end stuff has very sophisticated redundant computer controls, much of it for safety monitoring to hopefully avoid Toyota incidents. How good are you with DSPs?
I think the 2.3l 4 has decent performance around town and in commuter traffic. The truck has a 4.10 differential and enough zip to spin the wheels coming off a light if the road is damp. Only 5th gear seems sluggish. You can't go any faster than the car in front of you and around here there is almost no place to pass. When it's full of logs or old iron I drive slowly anyway and pull over a lot.
jsw
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in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

    It could be engine displacement, it could be power to mass ratios.
    I get 29 mpg with a Mazdaranger - but it is also 4 cylinder and Electronic Fuel injection.
--
pyotr filipivich
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on Sat, 15 May 2010 17:23:48 -0500 typed

Is that a B2300 or Ranger w/2.3L engine? I've heard they get more power from the 2.3L than the 2.5L, wasn't sure what one gets best mileage.
RogerN
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in rec.crafts.metalworking the following:

B2500 - so I'm guessing it is the 2.5l
    It will do 70, but it sucks down the gas. I figure sixty five is good enough for my purposes.
--
pyotr filipivich
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Jim Wilkins wrote:

There's the loophole. Regulations are for manufacturers. Once you get a vehicle off the dealer's lot, you can pretty much weld/mount/pile anything on it you want.
State regs still apply as a condition of relicensing. But these are mainly in the areas of emmission modifications and things that could push it over the licensed weight. Mods to safety equipment (lighting, brakes, etc.) are also checked in some states.
There's some truely bizzare stuff on the road, welded onto late model truck chassis.
--
Paul Hovnanian mailto: snipped-for-privacy@Hovnanian.com
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wrote:

My 94 Mazda B3000 (445,000 miles) got 21 mpg with its 3.0 6 cyl, and its replacement..a 2001 Ranger 3.0 6 cylinder (auto), 188,000, gets 19mpg. (Both came off the same assembly line)
I still have the Mazda and an low mile replacement engine. When I get the time, Ill install it and put her back on the road. When I parked it because it would no longer pass smog, it was still mostly original parts and in VERY good running condition.
I drove the Ranger home this morning, from my 2 week stay in Los Angles.
Gunner
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wrote:

Just missed out on a Mercedes "smart" for $750 that had all the engine controls toasted - would have made a dandy electric runabout
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