View Full Version : Big snow! and Should I get a new truck?
12-11-2000, 11:33 PM
Today was my first real opportunity to try out the 4wd in this truck o' mine. Worked awesome! (We've had 8 or 9 inches of snow in the last 24 hours.)
Anyway, here's my problem. I bought my truck for $800. I've put in a new carb (it had a Calif emiss, high altitude carb for some reasone), tie rods (at the wheels, not the steering arm), 5 U joints (all but the ones at the wheels) new brakes all the way around, cap, rotor, plugs, wires, rear shocks, new rocker arm on the #7 intake valve, and probably a couple of other little things I can't remember, not to mention a bunch of oil and transmission fluid (and coolant today - not sure if that's leaking or burning!!)
I'm left with the expensive stuff - I know it needs a tranny, and the engine isn't far behind. Then there's the steering gear, power steering pump, front shocks, fenders, inner fenders, rockers, cab corners, cab floor, driver's door, windshield (this one is cracked pretty good) and some help with the sagging driver's seat.
I'm looking at a pretty big bill to keep this truck on the road, and I'd hate to get rid of it considering all the time and money I already have in it. But every now and then I come across 3/4 and 1 ton 4wd trucks for about $5000 - and these are trucks from 85 - 90 model years.
Any advice from you guys??
12-11-2000, 11:43 PM
Forgot to mention that the trucks I come across are generally really high miles - WELL over 100,000 miles.
The tossup is finishing mine, or getting a newer one (without all the major rust problems) and putting in an engine, plus a bunch of the stuff I already did on mine (brakes, shocks, tune up).
Just don't know what the best route is.
12-14-2000, 02:47 PM
Looks like this is a one-man thread so far! Oh well. Feel free to give me your own experiences about rebuilding a truck - the headaches or the benefits.
Anyway, I checked some prices at work and I can get a 4 bolt 350 with 9:1 compression with a 3 year warranty for $1052.96, not including tax and the core charge. (It comes without the tin.) A transmission is going to run about $350 (my previous figure of $285 was off an old price sheet.)
Anyway, considering that I need both of these things, I doubt I can get the money I have in the truck back out of it if I sold it to get a different one, so it looks like I'll be keeping this truck.
Now if I could just get rid of the flatbed and find a decent box!! (There's a place close by that hauls them out of the south but they start at about $750.)
Oh, and if anyone wants to make a trip to Iowa to do an engine and tranny swap, let me know!!
12-14-2000, 04:10 PM
dont want you to feel like a leper Todd, so i'll give you my $.02
not sure if the 350 you can get is rebuilt/reman or what, but i would look into gm goodwrench 350. if you know someone who works in repair shop, i believe they can get them for about $1200 (their cost). IMO that is about the best bang you can get for your chevy 350 buck.
as far as getting new truck vs. redoing your own, considering what you've already put into it, i would keep it & just keep fixing it up as you get the time/$.
12-14-2000, 04:20 PM
damn that submit button!!
anyway...i'm pretty much where you are, i have an 84' 3/4 gmc that i have replaced all 4 shocks, 2 front leafs, intake, carb, headers, complete dual exhaust, 4 tires and countless little things. dont even want to do the math to figure out what i'm into it for, and i still have a good amount of body work that needs doing b4 it will really be nice.
12-14-2000, 05:13 PM
Last year I bought a 5500 truck,my 89 GMC 2500,it had 138K on it when i bought it,but all highway miles,no plow on it,ever,Well lets say i have made up for any babying the original owner has done to it,I threw a Fisher minute mount on it,and a 1 yd V-box in the back.It is a great truck for the money,I just had my first problem today with it,the alternator went out 1 hr into plowing,bu i have a spare,since 3 of my trucks take the same unit.I was back running in 45 min utes,including going back to the shop.Those dual batterys I put in last week are the only thing that kept it running long enough to get back to the shop,the vlotmeter weas on 10 when i got back,it wouldve died on the road with only one battery.I say keep your eyes peeled for a clean 88-92 4x4 3/4 ton,preferably one that has never been plowed or abused-yet.
12-14-2000, 08:44 PM
Thats a tough question..I guess it really depends on what you want to do with your truck. If you want something pretty and shiny ...get a new one .If your looking for something to work with or abuse ,stick with the one you have for several reasons.First of all I understand you do plowing , plowing is hard on a truck...any truck. I drive 5 to 10 ton salt trucks equipped with plows and they take a beating when the plow is in use . If you have ever hit a manhole casting you know what Im talking about.At least with your current truck your not beating the hell out of $30K+ investment. If you buy a different truck the first thing you have to do is switch your plow over to the new truck , if it is even interchangeable , if it isnt you have to purchase a new plow ! I wouldnt buy another used plow truck no matter how good the deal because theres a 99 % chance your just buying somebody elses problems. Better the devil you know .From the description youve given of your truck its already a little "used" and the battle scars of plowing probably wont be as noticable on the older truck. You have already done some work to your truck which you would probably have to redo on the next one plus whatever else it needed to make it reliable & profitable.And finally you can do the work your truck needs cheaper than replacing it with another one which is definately better for your wallet !!!! . Good luck and i hope this helps
12-14-2000, 10:07 PM
Mudrtrukr79 pretty much nailed it on the head as far as my opinion. Every used vehicle I have bought has had problems to fix. You think you have problems with your truck now. That's because you have them figured out from having the truck awhile. If you buy a different used truck, you have to go through the whole process again of finding out what the problems are, just through time. I guess I wouldn't want to buy a different used one unless it was a known creampuff. And then, would you want to "abuse" it by plowing with it??
12-15-2000, 02:28 AM
Mudrtrukr79 and Smither: You both really made some good points, and ones I had been considering - I'd be starting over with another truck, fixing all the little things all over again. Not to mention the fact that I could end up looking at engines in a newer truck too. At least with this one I know where I am (now, anyway.)
84GMC4X4 - I looked into the GM motors and I can't get them as cheap - my cost through the store would be about $200 more than the other. The one I'm looking at is made by ATK, and as far as I know it's a complete reman with new pistons, rings, and all that. Talking to the other guys at work, it sounds like it's a pretty reliable company. They also make one with a one year warranty for a couple hundred bucks cheaper, but I'm not so sure I'd go that route just to save a couple hundred bucks.
John Di - I'd love to get one as new as you mention, and I see them advertised every now and again. I guess one really major benefit to this old beast is the lack of all the electronic stuff. Also, my truck, even though it's a 76, came from the factory without catalytic converters - one less hoop to jump through "tuning" this thing when I get it running well.
Thanks for the comments, guys!
12-15-2000, 02:45 AM
Forgot to mention one thing - I don't plow with my truck. I don't like snow, which is funny because I'd LOVE to get a snowmobile right now. We have about nine or ten inches on the ground and we're supposed to get more over the next two or three days. Besides, without that shift lever on my transfer case (see my other post - I need help there!!!) I'm having a heck of a time shifting that transfer case through the hole in the floorboards!!
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