Did I wisely invest $150?

Discussion in 'Trucks and Trailers' started by Mr Priceless, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    i JUST bought a 1972 GMC Sierra Longbed with a slighlty knocking 305, 350 Turbo 3 spd tranny, 63k miles, flat tires, has a bottom panel in the driver door rusted through but that's about the only rusting porblem; new four core radiator, eldebrok intake manifold, a/c & heat (not sure if it works or not); cherry bomb dual exhaust, manual window rollup, NO signs of accidents, all headlights and tail lights are in excellent condition, no tailgate, tightly connected steel front and rear bumper, rinted windows, rubber bed liner, all wires are intact with no signs of chew, the driver window is being held up with a clamp, and that's about all i remember.

    your opinions? would this make a good work truck? what all would i have to additionally invest to simply make it roadworthy (no cosmetic work)
  2. lucforce

    lucforce LawnSite Member
    Messages: 223

    Aside from your engine problem, MY largest concerns for such as this are the condition of the front-end and brake parts. Brakes are ridiculously neglected and you should have brakes in better working order than anything else in a vehicle.

    If you don't mind spending some money to get this truck in working order now, you made a good purchase. If you try to skate by without spending any money on it, It will cost you more in the long run.

    I would replace the A-Frame bushings and any worn hard parts in the front end, change the front brakes to disc if they are not already, and at minimum for the rest of the brakes replace the wheel cylinders, master cylinder, and hoses and FLUSH OUT ALL OF THE OLD FLUID. Check you u-joints, axle seals and change the oil in the differential. If it has power steering, flush that too. Install a cooler for the transmission.

    All of this can be done (except the trans cooler) while the engine is out and is not really that much work. If you want to keep this truck, get a long block from a good machinist or even fix the 305. Spend another $500 and get all new ignition parts, water and fuel pumps, carb kit, belts and hoses. I am assuming that this engine already has an HEI distributor, if not get one and forget about ignition points.

    Shop around for the parts-BUT buy name brand stuff with a lifetime warranty!
    All of this will run you $1500-2500 worst case. But you will have a reliable, and Safe vehicle for not much money when you are done.

    I am of course assuming that the rear end, and the transmission are in working order. I also advise that you purchase new tires.
  3. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,336

    How about some pics? That is one of THE best body style trucks EVER in my opinion.
  4. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    It might make a good work truck. One all the mechanical issues are resolved might be a good machine. Personally I think it would be fun to have it all fixed up and go cruising. They seem to be popular as collector items. Is it a half ton or 3/4 ton?

    Even those from 73 to 87 are gaining in popularity for being restored.
  5. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Like Grasscutter said, these are about the coolest trucks ever made. You might want to restore it if it's in good shape. Are you a pretty good mechanic? If so, you can buy an engine rebuild kit from Summit or a dozen other places really cheap for an old 350. If you didn't want to hassle with that, you could go with a short block or long block rebuilt engine. If it were me I'd strip it down to the frame and do a ground up restore, but I'm Mr. Overkill when it comes to fixing up old cars. I think you stole it for $150. Good luck and have fun!
  6. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    I and my dad (which is a MAJOR FACTOR in determining whether i should buy, i'll explain in my reply to mojob's quote) checked everything as thouroughly as possible under the hood and inside the truck, although it was really tough for us to see just exactly what condition the entire bottom was, after all, it was on all flats and tall (sticking) weeds were growing around it, although i did start jumping on the back to check the suspension out, and it's in good order.

    The seller said that the truck was running in last May (when he showed it to another potential buyer), and only parked it because he STARTED to hear knocking (or banging, he wasn't too sure) in the engine, and parked it. He is the second owner, bought it from a relative with intentions on farm work. He said he didn't have time to fix it up. He also said the reason the tires were flat was because hissons would continuously steal air from them to air up other equipment, and the seller actually suggested turning the engine over and DRIVING IT back to our house 3 miles away once (and if) we got the tires aired up; but i REALLY would much rather tow it back if anything, so as not to completely ruin all hopes of saving the engine. I'm assumng the tranny and such are in decent condition and won't really think too much about it.

    My dad said the problems with the enigine knocking could be one of 3 things: oil pump is out/ oil filter clogged; the fact that when we checked the oil there was 1/4 inch of oil (with no metal debris, which meant no grinded bearings) on the stick at the most (and i didn't like that too much, but the seller said he didn't drive it around at all when he started hearing knocking), and, the most radial probable cause: cracked flywheel, which my dad said wasn't really expensive, even though i REALLY don't feel like learning how to pull engines, but then you gotta learn someday i suppose. I like to see a Chevy 350 crate in the beast anyway:weightlifter: :cool2:

    I will get a digital camera ASAP (if it's not more expensive than the truck:laugh:) BUT, just to give a visual sense, it's white, the beige headliner is in tact (beautiful, really). The black door panels are missing from the driver's door, the chrome liningis missing on both sides, but then i think it looks better w/o them anyway. The left chrome frame-part thing is missing off the left pair of headlights, which is really the ONLY place i would suspect a minor collision (or major, you can't tell since those trucks are tanks). The seats are, err, white and beige? and the windows have a bluish/purplish tint on all sides. Like i said...white.

    It looks like a half ton, but then it's a long bed, and the steel made for those pickups were REALLY thick, so i'm leaning towards 3/4. The same truck on half-decent working/running condition sells for 5-9k around here. I can't find the 73-80 model GMCs for the life of me. Anywhere.

    I'm NO expert. WHATSOEVER. ON ANY CAR OR TRUCK. BUT....my dad is one step below Foose himself mechanically, at least i (and about all of the thousands of people who had their vehicles repaired) think he's the best damn mechanic (which the skills God gave him) Oklahoma will EVER see:clapping: . He and my uncle built hot rods from the ground up and raced them. And crashed. And built, and totaled. Around the 5th car and 10th borken bone my dad decided to stop racing and building cars and went into the automotive repair business with Walmart in Arkansas and was quickly promoted to the top paid technician of all Walmart chains in the US, until Sam Walton died, and you mechanics that worked for Walmart know how well his children messed the automotive dept. up. Well, to save a long bio short, this truck is WELL in my dad's ballpark, and i plan on learned as much as possible with him in these 4 months or so b4 i get my Driver's License. I'm 16, and this will be my first vehicle ever. I personally don't think it's too bad of a deal is i do say so myself.:)

    sry for the long post. excitement kinda does that to me:hammerhead:
  7. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Messages: 3,556

    I would buy it and use it for plowing at night only, but I would also count on it breaking down, and when ti does so, turn it into scrap and you will get over $150 for it at the scrap yard. or use it for pulling out bushes that are big and worried about a chain snapping, but if its that big you mine as well call a tree guy
  8. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    you make it sound like any old truck is not worth the time, and that they'll break at any time, as if they are extremely unreliable.:nono: Sorry, but let me say that is the largest load of bullcrap i've heard about old cars. I'll give you a few examples:

    My uncle had to crash into a huge cement drain pipe in a ditch at 70 MPH drunk as hell to FINALLY kill his 1988 F 150 Custom. My dad drove his 1984 Olds 88 at 120 MPH with fire and smoke bellowing for 20 miles until he got to his house, replaced some wiring, and drove the car the next day. My dad has gotten into 4 severly life-threatening car crashes, all over 100 MPH, and he's walked out of each alive in totaled Chevrolets, Cutlasses, Oldsmobiles, etc. in their 60's and 70's. Our family pulled out of the tail of a tornado in a 1975 Buick Park Avenue 4 door with a chevy 350 underneath the hood. Recently, me, my dad, and my sister in our 1985 Sliverado got T-boned in the bed and bumper at an intersection with a 1997 Red Chevey Pickup. The 1997 pickup got totaled, and we drove away, alothough i'll admit the alignment was a little messed up.

    I will proclaim anytime that old cars, especially chevy's (or GMC's, they're the same) Olds', Buicks, and some Fords among a few other brands have made EXCELLENT vehicles that are reliable, safe, powerful, comfortable, GREAT LOOKING (i mean down right sexy), and built like tanks from 1960-1990. YOu can't beatem, you just can't.:cool2: :drinkup: :weightlifter:
  9. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    If a person has the time money and energy to fix old vehicles they can be a lot of fun but a lot of headache. I like old iron but don't always have what it takes to keep it going. My favorite pickup is my 79 Ford, my next favorite is my 1950 International L150. I am thinking of ways to use it every day. Yet to decide what I want to do with it.
  10. Mr Priceless

    Mr Priceless LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 412

    i'll get some pics of the truck wednesday when i pick it up

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