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Old 07-02-2019, 03:40 PM   #1
jmon1123
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17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

Hey guys, I've used this forum lightly, but I want to start really sinking my teeth into it.

I've made a post or two regarding my orange and white '76 C10 Bonanza, but I'm having some problems sorting things out.

The way I see it, I'm a young kid in an older man's game, I'm very passionate about these old trucks, especially the chevys, but being I'm only in high school, with no assistance from anyone in terms of a budget, with a father who is no mechanic by any means, with only a driveway, and a few socket sets and wrenches at my disposal, I'm having a hard time fixing the truck how I want it. especially with my low budget of about $3,500.

I'll get off my tangent and get to the point.

There's an older guy in my neighborhood with a 1968 c20. It's a longbed stepside that was used by the washington forest service. factory inline 292, 4 speed manual, lower gearing, all that. Everything works just great, the body has very little rust and is straight as an arrow. He's offering a good price for it, and though I'd need to work up a bit more to meet his asking price, I was tempted to buy it, but I walked away because I was too attached to my '76.

That being said, My '76 has a fair amount of issues. Runs good, with the factory motor still in, body is straight with a few dings and a with its fair share of patina, a lot of issues are ones I cannot do on my own. I'd love to, but I have no space or equipment, and very little support to do it all. I also don't have the kind of money to send it to a professional.

Do I stick with mine, or should I sell her off to someone who can make it pretty, and instead buy a soft body that is in much better condition. I would post more info but I wont be in an attempted to not break the record of longest forum post of all time. If you have any more questions, I'll be looking to reply but for now, I will leave it at this.

If you read through all that, I applaud you first of all, second, thank you. Please post any opinions below. Have a great day
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Old 07-02-2019, 03:53 PM   #2
67ChevyRedneck
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

You need to define your wants and needs.

Does the truck run and drive (need). If yes, you're done. You're young, enjoy it until you have the money to fix it, or buy something better.

Does the truck look good (want). Trucks don't even have to look good to be cool anymore.

When I was your age I thought muscle cars would always be just a dream for me, but at 38 I own a C10, 2011 Mustang, 1965 Mustang, and 1968 Firebird. If my wife won't kill me, I'd like to add a first or early second gen Camaro to that list...

My truck circa 1997 (I was 16).



A lot of time, effort, and money in 2006:



South Carolina sun and over 10 years of sitting outside later (and I sprinkled on a little cool):
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:03 PM   #3
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

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Originally Posted by 67ChevyRedneck View Post
You need to define your wants and needs.:
It runs and drives, But it's beat up, the cab whistles down the highway, It's got holes, and even though they are smaller than a dime, they still bug me. I want something pretty with a touch of rugged. I want something I can bring to a drive in with my girl. Technically I could with my current one, with it running good, but I wouldn't be satisfied with the overall condition. I don't need a show truck, but I at least want a pretty one. Right now, the interior is ratty, torn up, mouse poop, all the good stuff. I want something that looks straight out of the era it was made. No, it doesn't have to be pristine, I think a little wear is good for the soul, but not to the extent my Bonanza has. It could look gorgeous if it were in the hands of a man who had the tools and knowledge, but I just don't have all that yet.

Very cool truck by the way, I love the door art.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:07 PM   #4
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

There also could be a part of me that wants an older chevy, but my main issue is my situation. Strict parents, a lot of work to be done, afraid to spend money, nowhere to work on it, especially since I'm in a strict neighborhood. I've had impound slips and notes written all over my truck, blah blah blah

I could just be overthinking a lot of this, but any info I get helps a lot.
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Old 07-02-2019, 04:11 PM   #5
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

How do I follow the legendary Jesse James?
Ok, my advice for you since you asked and seem like a level headed young man.
Finish school,if you haven’t already. Get a job and work hard, if you don’t have one. Wait to have children after you get married, if you want to get married and have children, assuming you’re single and don’t have children already.
If you are disciplined enough to do that then the truck dilemma will be a piece of cake.
I bet you’re a smart fella

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Old 07-02-2019, 04:24 PM   #6
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

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How do I follow the legendary Jesse James?
Ok, my advice for you since you asked and seem like a level headed young man.
Finish school,if you havenít already. Get a job and work hard, if you donít have one. Wait to have children after you get married, if you want to get married and have children, assuming youíre single and donít have children already.
If you are disciplined enough to do that then the truck dilemma will be a piece of cake.
I bet youíre a smart fella
You may be right, but my impatience far outweighs my brains for sure. If that weren't the case, I probably wouldn't be in this dilemma

You're definitely speaking truth there, and I appreciate the advice. The best way I can reply is by saying my brain agrees with you but my heart doesn't as much, if that makes any sense.
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:04 PM   #7
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

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Originally Posted by kingsolver72 View Post
How do I follow the legendary Jesse James?
Ok, my advice for you since you asked and seem like a level headed young man.
Finish school,if you haven’t already. Get a job and work hard, if you don’t have one. Wait to have children after you get married, if you want to get married and have children, assuming you’re single and don’t have children already.
If you are disciplined enough to do that then the truck dilemma will be a piece of cake.
I bet you’re a smart fella
This is the exact recipe I followed. Excellent advice. Also, tech schools in a good industry (welding, electrical) are excellent options as well.

I'm starting a 28x52 shop build in a couple weeks. Started working (I guess illegally? ) at my aunt's restaurant when I was 12. Unless you're born with a golden spoon up your yahoo, it takes a long time for a hard working guy to get what he wants, but it can happen if you make it happen
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Old 07-02-2019, 05:08 PM   #8
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

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Originally Posted by jmon1123 View Post
It runs and drives, But it's beat up, the cab whistles down the highway, It's got holes, and even though they are smaller than a dime, they still bug me. I want something pretty with a touch of rugged. I want something I can bring to a drive in with my girl. Technically I could with my current one, with it running good, but I wouldn't be satisfied with the overall condition. I don't need a show truck, but I at least want a pretty one. Right now, the interior is ratty, torn up, mouse poop, all the good stuff. I want something that looks straight out of the era it was made. No, it doesn't have to be pristine, I think a little wear is good for the soul, but not to the extent my Bonanza has. It could look gorgeous if it were in the hands of a man who had the tools and knowledge, but I just don't have all that yet.

Very cool truck by the way, I love the door art.
Make the interior nice. New carpet and a new seat cover can go a long way. You can do things as you get $, new/used dash pad, door panels, etc. All affordable stuff that will make driving it a lot better. Then maybe move on to things like rebuilding the suspension, new shocks, etc.

My truck looked like it did the in black pic for over 10 years. By 2005 she was looking pretty ratty and worn down, had a bunch of dime sized rust bubbles/holes coming back, but it still ran/drove well.
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1967 C10 SWB Stepside: 350/700R4/3.73
1965 Ford Mustang: 289/T5-5spd/3.25 Trac-Loc
1968 Pontiac Firebird: Project Fire Chicken!
2015 Silverado Double Cab 5.3L Z71
2011 Mustang V6 ~ Wife's ride
American Born, Country by the Grace of God
1967 CST Shop Truck Rebuild!
My 1967 C-10 Build Thread
My Vintage Air A/C Install
Project "On a Dime"
Trying my hand at Home Renovation!
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:01 PM   #9
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

Good advise above!... Trust your instincts about your 76, runs good and you like it, keep it.....Forest service truck maybe cool, lower gears etc ok if your hauling....but you own a cool truck and you already know it and what it needs, another truck may need more than what it appears on the surface....Plenty of help here as you need it.
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:07 PM   #10
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

Do you have any pictures ?
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Old 07-02-2019, 06:09 PM   #11
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

I look back about my impatience when I was younger. Boy was I out there. I realize (now) that every time I waited I actually got better stuff. If i added up all my impatient costs, I would have ended up with the best of things. Nothing worth a darn ever came overnight. Just a thought.
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Old 07-02-2019, 07:01 PM   #12
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon1123 View Post
Hey guys, I've used this forum lightly, but I want to start really sinking my teeth into it.

I've made a post or two regarding my orange and white '76 C10 Bonanza, but I'm having some problems sorting things out.

The way I see it, I'm a young kid in an older man's game, I'm very passionate about these old trucks, especially the chevys, but being I'm only in high school, with no assistance from anyone in terms of a budget, with a father who is no mechanic by any means, with only a driveway, and a few socket sets and wrenches at my disposal, I'm having a hard time fixing the truck how I want it. especially with my low budget of about $3,500.

I'll get off my tangent and get to the point.

There's an older guy in my neighborhood with a 1968 c20. It's a longbed stepside that was used by the washington forest service. factory inline 292, 4 speed manual, lower gearing, all that. Everything works just great, the body has very little rust and is straight as an arrow. He's offering a good price for it, and though I'd need to work up a bit more to meet his asking price, I was tempted to buy it, but I walked away because I was too attached to my '76.

That being said, My '76 has a fair amount of issues. Runs good, with the factory motor still in, body is straight with a few dings and a with its fair share of patina, a lot of issues are ones I cannot do on my own. I'd love to, but I have no space or equipment, and very little support to do it all. I also don't have the kind of money to send it to a professional.

Do I stick with mine, or should I sell her off to someone who can make it pretty, and instead buy a soft body that is in much better condition. I would post more info but I wont be in an attempted to not break the record of longest forum post of all time. If you have any more questions, I'll be looking to reply but for now, I will leave it at this.

If you read through all that, I applaud you first of all, second, thank you. Please post any opinions below. Have a great day
Exactly what are these 'issues' you mention?

You say you already possess a patina 76 square body w/a motor that runs good. Your description tells me you have what is needed for a good start.

Years ago, I bought this 68swb as a cheap-ish project/beater/chores truck. It had a motor like yours (it ran) & it had patina (it was original paint & never painted/repaired on). It did a fine job of getting my butt all around town. I had to update a few things for safety but w/your 76, those things are already there for you. Beyond that, it had dents @ every corner, dings on almost every panel (including a dented roof), rust, some holes (big & small), a rotted bed wood floor you could see through, & had lots of wind noise when driving around.

Your truck sounds like it's in as good as or even better condition body-wise vs what I started with. Yet.....

I drove mine everywhere for 5+years w/o issue.
The heater worked for the winter.
The manual crank windows worked for the summer.
The basic, no frills, aftermarket stereo help minimize the wind noise year 'round.
It had no power steering or power brakes.
The motor was just a 140K mile 1-belt, 1-barrel carbureted 250 cubic inch straight 6cyl w/a manual 3spd transmission & an electronic ignition upgrade (again, you already have electronic ignition on a 76). Besides driving around town, I drove it to Oklahoma, Houston (multiple times), Austin (multiple times), Amarillo, Arkansas, & 1 trip to the coast.

I'll ask again, what exactly were those issues?
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Building a small, high rpm engine with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive.
It's like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.....

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol.

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Old 07-02-2019, 09:25 PM   #13
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

Some issues would be the RPO codes have been scratched out for starters, not sure if that means anything but it's questionable on why someone would do that. Second, there's heavy rust on the floor pans, so bad I'd probably need to weld in new panels and I have no space or equipment to do that, then there's the gauges. The speedometer is busted, temp gauge is screwed, and I'm not sure how the other gauges are doing. The 3 speed needs work, as it is slipping. The truck needs to be re-wired, turn signals, brake light, dome light, all that doesn't work. Sometimes with enough fiddling I can get them to flash for a few seconds, but that's all. Needs the suspension to be re-done, the AC system is torn apart, the slowly leaks out, and it smells like waffles and syrup after I drive it for long enough. There's all the weather seals that are just done for. I'll try to get some pictures up, and there's definitely more to list that just aren't coming to mind right now. The last thing I'd say is I don't really know a whole lot of it's history. It's had speaker holes manually cut out of the inside doors, stickers in it, etc. I don't know how many owners, I have no clue on the mileage either.

When I first bought it, it showed a lot of red flags, but I loved it, and I was impatient so I threw down $800 for it and drove it home, running on fumes. Not much has been done fixing it, the most I've spent was putting in a cat to pass DEQ.

Part of me thinks I just want an older truck, and a lot of the things I need to do to mine to get it really good would take a lot of time and money. I know a lot of it is patience, but I can't stop thinking about that forest service truck. Thank you to all who have been replying to my post. I hope you're all having a great day so far.
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Old 07-02-2019, 09:42 PM   #14
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

What do you really want? That's the key. If the 76 is what you want, then stick with it.

I still kick myself for walking away from a 68 Firebird convertible years ago because it had a 326 and I wanted a 400.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:27 PM   #15
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon1123 View Post
Some issues would be the RPO codes have been scratched out for starters, not sure if that means anything but it's questionable on why someone would do that. Second, there's heavy rust on the floor pans, so bad I'd probably need to weld in new panels and I have no space or equipment to do that, then there's the gauges. The speedometer is busted, temp gauge is screwed, and I'm not sure how the other gauges are doing. The 3 speed needs work, as it is slipping. The truck needs to be re-wired, turn signals, brake light, dome light, all that doesn't work. Sometimes with enough fiddling I can get them to flash for a few seconds, but that's all. Needs the suspension to be re-done, the AC system is torn apart, the slowly leaks out, and it smells like waffles and syrup after I drive it for long enough. There's all the weather seals that are just done for. I'll try to get some pictures up, and there's definitely more to list that just aren't coming to mind right now. The last thing I'd say is I don't really know a whole lot of it's history. It's had speaker holes manually cut out of the inside doors, stickers in it, etc. I don't know how many owners, I have no clue on the mileage either.

When I first bought it, it showed a lot of red flags, but I loved it, and I was impatient so I threw down $800 for it and drove it home, running on fumes. Not much has been done fixing it, the most I've spent was putting in a cat to pass DEQ.

Part of me thinks I just want an older truck, and a lot of the things I need to do to mine to get it really good would take a lot of time and money. I know a lot of it is patience, but I can't stop thinking about that forest service truck. Thank you to all who have been replying to my post. I hope you're all having a great day so far.
How much do you currently have invested in the 76? Sell it for that amount & save for something that doesnt have all of the issues you described.
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Building a small, high rpm engine with the perfect bore, stroke and rod ratio is very impressive.
It's like a highly skilled Morrocan sword fighter with a Damascus Steel Scimitar.....

Cubic inches is like Indiana Jones with a cheap pistol.
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Old 07-02-2019, 11:34 PM   #16
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

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How much do you currently have invested in the 76? Sell it for that amount & save for something that doesnt have all of the issues you described.
Iíve probably got a little over $1k into it. I think Iíll sell it and take as much as i can get. The more I think about the soft body, the more I like it. Thanks.
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:09 AM   #17
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

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How much do you currently have invested in the 76? Sell it for that amount & save for something that doesnt have all of the issues you described.
Lots of good advice already dispensed here although this may be some of the best. ^^^

The rig you have with its quirks combined with the limited means to repair it the way you want could be a big distraction from what your primary job at this point in life is right now...namely doing the best you can in school and graduating. If you're already doing well in school and have a little extra time, try and find a job that will work with your schedule so you can make a little extra scratch and save that scratch! Maybe find a shop that needs someone to clean up in the afternoons?

Patience is key though. By the time you've got the school thing hemmed up and the side job going well, you'll have a good start on the truck that might be more to your liking and ability to make progress on. One thought out step at a time. Before you know it you'll be rocking the wheels that you were looking for.

A lot of times discipline and holding off on "impulses" can put you in a way better position to succeed in the not so long run. As we say with motocross, "pick your line and run it out".

You sound like a smart young man and I don't doubt for a second that you'll pick the right direction at the crossroads you're at. Good luck and let us know how it works out!
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Old 07-03-2019, 12:42 AM   #18
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

I was the spittin image of you when I was 17, but probably had the advantage over you with my older brother and a few friends all into the same things. It sounds to me like you don't have this benefit, but I may be wrong. I always looked at it like this. If the next car or truck I had to have was more desireable, (not just to me), and I was able to sell what I already had for a profit, I'd do it. In other words, look at it like its a business. I bet I fixed/ drove/ flipped over 25 cars before I was 25 years old and I only lost money on 1 of them.

I suggest you keep going back and learning more details abouy the 68, take pics of the truck and spid, and report back. These guys will tell you straight up what to look out for. Plus, if you warm up to the seller and share with him what you have told us, I'd almost guarantee he will want you to have the truck and help you be able to afford it. I'm certainly not suggesting you "low ball" (I hate that term) him, just telling you to show your appreciation for what he likes, and value what he values. I still think there are some men out there who want to give a kid a break, especially if said kid is respectfull and willing to work hard.

One other thing, am I the only one here who has'nt heard the term "soft body"? Not sure if I like it,,, It makes me think of the late 80's nissan mini truck they called the hardbody, but the opposite meaning. Not cool. Old Chevrolet steel is NOT soft.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:53 AM   #19
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

id have to agree with above comments...with a $3500 budget you should be able to find a much better truck that what youve descrided.......soft body?....new one on me..
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Old 07-03-2019, 09:56 AM   #20
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

I've never heard the term "soft body" before. If you post some pics, we can offer more pertinent opinions.
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:44 AM   #21
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

I restored my '87 in the driveway (never made it inside the garage) with hand tools and a bit of cleverness, with a $3100 paint job, so it can be done.

You can read about it here:

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=342926


I'd be happy to answer any specific questions you might have after reading that.

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Old 07-03-2019, 11:48 AM   #22
Keith Seymore
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

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Originally Posted by SCOTI View Post

Years ago, I bought this 68swb as a cheap-ish project/beater/chores truck. It had a motor like yours (it ran) & it had patina (it was original paint & never painted/repaired on). It did a fine job of getting my butt all around town. I had to update a few things for safety but w/your 76, those things are already there for you. Beyond that, it had dents @ every corner, dings on almost every panel (including a dented roof), rust, some holes (big & small), a rotted bed wood floor you could see through, & had lots of wind noise when driving around.

Your truck sounds like it's in as good as or even better condition body-wise vs what I started with. Yet.....

I drove mine everywhere for 5+years w/o issue.
The heater worked for the winter.
The manual crank windows worked for the summer.
The basic, no frills, aftermarket stereo help minimize the wind noise year 'round.
It had no power steering or power brakes.
The motor was just a 140K mile 1-belt, 1-barrel carbureted 250 cubic inch straight 6cyl w/a manual 3spd transmission & an electronic ignition upgrade (again, you already have electronic ignition on a 76). Besides driving around town, I drove it to Oklahoma, Houston (multiple times), Austin (multiple times), Amarillo, Arkansas, & 1 trip to the coast.
I'd rock that.

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Intro from an Old Assembly Guy: http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=342926
My Pontiac story: http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=560524
Chevelle intro: http://www.superchevy.com/features/s...hevy-chevelle/
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Old 07-03-2019, 11:58 AM   #23
kwmech
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

Personally I'd get the 68 as it's my favorite year. Don't get fed up with the continuous repairs as it is a labor of love. Only thing you really have to worry about in the long run is somebody deciding that they like the truck more than you do. So take some steps to keep it yours
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Old 07-03-2019, 01:01 PM   #24
SCOTI
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

I'll follow up on my previous statement & the "why"..... If you paid $800 for it, can sell it for @ least that, AND only have $1k invested . . …. You learned a valuable lesson in life for only $200. If you can clean it up enough to get that $1k or more, your doing even better.

The lesson of course is don't impulse buy unless you have resources to overcome possible outcomes that don't go your way.

Me personally? I CAN do most basic to moderate vehicle wiring because I taught myself by working on stuff, comparing to/looking @ how other similar vehicles were done, & asking questions when/where possible. But, I learned over time because I kept @ it. You can as well, but IT TAKES TIME (years). This being said, I still personally avoid any potential purchase that has a hacked together wiring mess unless my plan is to rip it out & start fresh. This is typically what kills many potential purchases for me. I take a look @ the vehicle wiring & what shape it's in. I look for hacks, splices, or loose wires (in the engine compartment & under the dash). If I see a mess, I usually just walk away (unless I can get it for almost nothing) because of the amount of effort/investment/resources it will take to make it right.

I have a potential C10 that I'm currently negotiating on. His number & mine are worlds apart because he feels (& his sales pitch is) that it ("this classic") only needs this or that fixed & it's good to go. The reality is the vehicle can't/won't run because the wiring is a mess. I told him this. I said if anyone pays him what he thinks it's worth, they are either getting it for parts that specifically match a certain need, the VIN, or really like to gamble. But, they would not be buying it because it's just a couple wires away from running & driving.

You're taking on a wiring issue @ that level & getting dog-piled beyond it.
That sweet smell you described once it warms up? That's probably antifreeze. But, where is the smell coming from? Heater core leak? Radiator leak? Or worse, a head gasket?
The non-functional gauges? That could be hiding other possible issues.
The transmission slipping? No need to say much here....

Anything can be rebuilt or fixed. But, based on your situation, I would get out while you can & cut your potential losses. If you were in the DFW area, I would offer to help you choose the right vehicle based on your situation. Perhaps you can find another board member in/around your area that would possibly do the same? It makes a truck lover feel great inside to help the next generation get started!
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Last edited by SCOTI; 07-03-2019 at 01:10 PM.
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Old 07-03-2019, 02:01 PM   #25
Ziegelsteinfaust
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Re: 17 y/o needing advice from the truck legends

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsolver72 View Post
How do I follow the legendary Jesse James?
Ok, my advice for you since you asked and seem like a level headed young man.
Finish school,if you havenít already. Get a job and work hard, if you donít have one. Wait to have children after you get married, if you want to get married and have children, assuming youíre single and donít have children already.
If you are disciplined enough to do that then the truck dilemma will be a piece of cake.
I bet youíre a smart fella
Do it before you have children. Waiting till your married is absolutely the worst advice. I have seen to many friends wait, and wait. Then snap mid life crisis.

Also your perspective wife signs up for what you are. If you want to be a car but find a woman who excepts it.

In my job as a HVAC tech I occasionally meet well to do women who have the construction worker fantasy. Then when I talk to them they are having romance novel fantasies about who, and what I am. One was livid I would not wine, and dine her like a executive.

Be yourself. That is all you can be. Otherwise you will end up in horrid relationship with a woman who hates you for who you are. Because youblied by being someone else the whole time.
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