Comparison shopping: Colorado, Gladiator, Tacoma

AbleGuy

[Back] Roads Scholar
What new car would you plan on owning for 15 years?
We just recently swapped out our 18 year old Subaru Outback for a new one of the same.
And my Chevy K2500 HD is an ‘03 and still going strong with very little repairs expenses into it.
 

toylandcruiser

Expedition Leader
I did a pile research in my spare time at work (dayshift is slow) on the frame bending issue. I found lots of examples of this happening with many brands. I have found the two ZR2 trucks bending in this type of situation, a black one which there is scant info because the thread was locked because of nastiness and of course the grey one.

The underlying theme in what I found is that when towing (even underweight by significant margin) on rough surface and a unexpected obstacle is encountered at even at a reasonable speed that causes the suspension to bottom with enough force that the excess force generated is transferred to the frame and it will find the weak spot (put there intentionally or not) usually couple inches fwd or aft of the bumpstops.

Here’s a LC100:


I put up the two examples I did (the LC and the ranger/BT50) not to shame owners but because the owners of those particular vehicles were honest about what happened and understood why it happened.

I myself didn’t know about this issue and suspected tomfoolery, I’m now not so sure and will adjust my driving accordingly as best I can.
the land cruiser dropped 3 feet off a rock hard and he had previusly been in an accident with the truck
 

MOguy

Explorer
We just recently swapped out our 18 year old Subaru Outback for a new one of the same.
And my Chevy K2500 HD is an ‘03 and still going strong with very little repairs expenses into it.
I will keep my 79 k30 forever and same with my 01 TJ. The truck was a field find and initial it took a bit of work to get it going but now it's doing great. I bought the TJ new in Feb of 01. It has taken a beating but hasn't need much in the way of repairs.

Twice a year I get underneath each one of them and really wipe.them down and clean them up completely and paint the underside so rust doesn't take over. whenever they get mud at clean them up really well too, I don't let them sit with dirt or mud on it too long.

My TJ is rust free. My truck's underside is all rust free and so is the cab. The cab isn't in great shape but at least no rust. The doors, fenders and hood have minimal rust from before I got it.
 
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85_Ranger4x4

Active member
View attachment 532351

Since it appears to be Ford month here on Expo😉:

The above pic is the approximate section of a 19 Ranger frame where the ZR2 bent, you can see where ford has reinforced the upper and lower sections of their frame with plates, the ranger also has a hole on the inside of the frame with rolled edges. This hole is in the approximate area where the ZR2 bent is in this pic:

View attachment 532352

The ZR2 holes (there are two) are smaller than the ranger one but the ranger of course has just the one and the reinforcements. Seems like a silly place to put a hole in the frame.

I poked around a 17 F150 supercab we have at work. It also has two holes in the frame in the same place just aft of a burly looking crossmember. From what I read they’re there to allow the truck when hit from behind to bend upwards and pull the top of the box away from the cab. This is to keep the box from “crimping” the back of the cab and not allowing the back doors to open. That’s the idea anyway, doesn’t always work. Here’s a pic of when it works:

View attachment 532353

The Ranger T6 version overseas I don’t think has this hole (I can’t find a close pic) as the upper/lower frame reinforcements are not present. Does anyone have specific information as what’s was changed between the NA ranger and the T6? All I can find is that the frame rails are new and “fully boxed” because “payload”. T6 has similar payload and it’s also fully boxed.

Think these holes are part of Americanizing the Ranger and the GM twins. The Holden/Isuzu Dmax also don’t seem to have these holes.

Holden frame repair plates: no holes.

View attachment 532359

And Ranger T6 frame repair plates: also no hole.

View attachment 532360

I think Ford knew about the possibly of this happening because as I’ve been reading bending Australian truck chassis’ is common. Ford put the upper and lower reinforcement plates to retain some strength because NA crash standards required them to put a weak spot in what appears to be a critical spot on the frame.

Whether or not GM felt the frame was strong enough in that spot not to require reinforcements is a big question to me.

Anyway here’s a bent T6 ranger based truck. Yeah it’s a Mazda BT-50, I chose this one because it’s a video and the owner is very forthcoming as to what happened.

The US Ranger frame you have pictured looks a lot than the reveal truck in Detroit last year. It was smooth like a old school stamped c channel frame (AKA like my Ranger's frame) but with a joint at the front of the wheel arch. It also had a banjo style rear axle (which I know the T6 has), three leaf springs and axle u bolts as opposed to the production truck's Salisbury axle, two leaves and weird aluminum axle clamp brackets (unsure of proper name) I think the reveal truck had a lot of T6 under it.



Internet being what it is, this story will probably float around for a while, and Toyota/Ford fanboys will give the Chevy fanboys **** about frame bending issues, Chevy/Ford fanboys will give the Toyota fanboys **** about frame rusting issues, and Toyota/Chevy fanboys will give Ford fanboys **** about some other thing I'm not thinking of because I don't care to follow all of these sorts of things unless they actually seem prevalent (ahem, Toyota).
So in other words, you ain't got nuthin' on us! lol
 

LimaMikeMike

Observer
the land cruiser dropped 3 feet off a rock hard and he had previusly been in an accident with the truck
No doubt it took a great deal of force to do that. The LC also has the advantage of having the body adding to the strength of the frame as opposed to a pickup being two separate structures, as well as possibly a beefier frame.
I really have no idea how well the underlying structure is built, however they have a good reputation.

The bit about the trailer being airborne got me thinking how much the tongue weight must be multiplied upon landing.
 

LimaMikeMike

Observer
The US Ranger frame you have pictured looks a lot than the reveal truck in Detroit last year. It was smooth like a old school stamped c channel frame (AKA like my Ranger's frame) but with a joint at the front of the wheel arch. It also had a banjo style rear axle (which I know the T6 has), three leaf springs and axle u bolts as opposed to the production truck's Salisbury axle, two leaves and weird aluminum axle clamp brackets (unsure of proper name) I think the reveal truck had a lot of T6 under it.

I took the pic from an article mentioning that repair sections are now available for the 19 Ranger, it also discussed what is repairable and what is not. Apparently the frame rails under the cab are not.

I quick look at a NA rangers frame as well shows it’s at least an Inch taller than the Colorado’s frame in the area in question.

I also compared my truck to a 19 Silverado frame in that area, it appears the silvys frame is not much bigger than mine (possibly 1/2” taller) I have no idea what psi strength steel is used in either truck, other than literature mentioning its “high strength hydro formed”.
 

Highlander

The Good Shepherd
I am very skeptical about small trucks having ability to last 500k. None of them are designed to take an abuse of off-roading and last that long.

Maybe a LC200 or HD trucks are better suited for what your are after. Even though the size differences.

My goal is to keep a truck, if I get one, for similar duration too. So I am very interested in this discussion.
 

blubullett

New member
With turbo pressures Ford must be using to get those figures out of such small displacement engines, I have to question long term reliability. That's my primary point on that front. And the 10-speed may be overkill for the platform, I assume you're referring to its use in larger trucks), it's the number of gears that seems like it would get annoying for a similar reason to the 4Runner crowd's complaints.
I'm not sure what the actual boost numbers are but that same motor makes 350hp in stock form in the Focus so it can't be pushing too much boost. Someone also released a bolt on upgraded turbo kit for it that makes 510hp on pump gas. The motor is fully forged so the limiting factor on it is actually the direct injection fuel pump. They will handle all the boost you can feed it until you run out of fuel. The only thing I would worry about is can the rear axle and diff handle the power with larger wheels and tires.
 

spectre6000

Observer
The bit about the trailer being airborne got me thinking how much the tongue weight must be multiplied upon landing.
Also, how well were the trailer's contents secured? That could multiply things further if we're moving forces around.

I'm not sure what the actual boost numbers are but that same motor makes 350hp in stock form in the Focus so it can't be pushing too much boost.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Focus ST (I assume that's what you're talking about) running different axle ratios front to rear? Something about a clutch in the transaxle constantly turning itself to glitter in the transmission fluid... Not exactly designed to put down miles so much as be an amusing toy for a few years... Furthers the point more than it refutes it. ;-)
 

MOguy

Explorer
I'm not sure what the actual boost numbers are but that same motor makes 350hp in stock form in the Focus so it can't be pushing too much boost. Someone also released a bolt on upgraded turbo kit for it that makes 510hp on pump gas. The motor is fully forged so the limiting factor on it is actually the direct injection fuel pump. They will handle all the boost you can feed it until you run out of fuel. The only thing I would worry about is can the rear axle and diff handle the power with larger wheels and tires.
I am not saying people shouldn't do it if they want but with the discussion about longevity (and I would assume people want maintainability) and then squeezing a but load of power, esp with after market parts, out of a engine just don't seem to go hand in hand.
 
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Dalko43

Explorer
Yea, the ride quality of my 4Runner could definitely be improved if I upgraded the suspension (body roll and brake diving are my two biggest complaints there), but the on road ride really isn't that big of a deal to me, just a point to mention. To be honest most of my complaints aren't that severe except for two:

1) the transmission hunting is just horrible, I've been on long interstate drives in mountainous areas and have had to take a break from driving out of frustration from it and it destroys mpgs
2) This is intangible, but the 4Runner just doesn't excite me. I love cars, love driving, and I am honestly never excited about driving the 4Runner. It just doesn't have...character I guess? It's just bland. Silly but it matters to me (and others it would seem)
The transmission hunts because it's a 5 speed. The newer transmissions on the Tundra and Tacoma have 6 gears and generally have less gear hunting.

As for 4runner not "exciting" you....then why are you looking to replace it with another SUV or pickup? It's a body-on-frame SUV...it's not fast or flashy but its robust and reliable, especially in arduous conditions....if that isn't your cup of tea, then my recommendation is to look outside of the BOF 4x4 market all together.
 

85_Ranger4x4

Active member
The transmission hunts because it's a 5 speed. The newer transmissions on the Tundra and Tacoma have 6 gears and generally have less gear hunting.

As for 4runner not "exciting" you....then why are you looking to replace it with another SUV or pickup? It's a body-on-frame SUV...it's not fast or flashy but its robust and reliable, especially in arduous conditions....if that isn't your cup of tea, then my recommendation is to look outside of the BOF 4x4 market all together.
BOF doesn't have to be boring... and generally isn't.

Tacoma is actually rather noted for hunting but that is about as much the engine's fault as it is the transmission.
 

rpearce1475

New member
The issue isn't that it's a BOF SUV, it's that the total package is, IMO, uninspiring. I like the exterior looks but the engine, transmission, suspension, altogether results in a vehicle that is reliable (although mine is currently deadlined from electrical issues at just 15K miles) and will get you to your destination, but isn't fun getting there. This doesn't have to be the case, other BOF SUVs and trucks can be more fun. I think if the 4Runner had more power or a peppier transmission or both that would make a world of difference.
 

MOguy

Explorer
The issue isn't that it's a BOF SUV, it's that the total package is, IMO, uninspiring. I like the exterior looks but the engine, transmission, suspension, altogether results in a vehicle that is reliable (although mine is currently deadlined from electrical issues at just 15K miles) and will get you to your destination, but isn't fun getting there. This doesn't have to be the case, other BOF SUVs and trucks can be more fun. I think if the 4Runner had more power or a peppier transmission or both that would make a world of difference.
Not to long ago if you got an SUV with a frame it was a truck with more body on it. If you got a unibody SUV it would have more plastic skirting and fancy stuff. Now we have crossovers, basically big fat cars that a sit a little higher and have all wheel drive. They are nice and comfy but have more car like characteristics. Those crossovers sell. Now all the trucks and truck like SUV (with a frame) are getting more and more fancy because that is seems to sell.
 
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