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Old 06-27-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
jseiff51387
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Buying tips

Hi all-
I currently have a 93 1/2 ton extended-cab pickup but looking to get a 73-75 k5 blazer. I live in the midwest and would love to snatch one up without rust.

I'm looking for tips as far as buying out of state: where, what to look for, ask ahead of time, plan for, etc. I know AZ and CA are good places to start. I can compromise on interior and non-performance stuff but would like the engine strong enough to get me home (Minnesota) because I'd rather not ship or tow it. Also, what's the best resource for finding them? Craigslist, ebay, this forum?

Any help is appreciated, thanks.
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Old 06-27-2012, 01:27 PM   #2
gchemist
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Re: Buying tips

Welcome to the site.
Here is a good article to read: How to buy a 73-87 truck
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Old 06-27-2012, 06:38 PM   #3
Firebirdjones
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Re: Buying tips

My entire car collection came from out West while we lived in Ohio. Ironically I live out here now, saves on the travel and shipping expenses when car shopping

I've done it both ways, shipping, and driving back. In any event I always come out to view in person so you know what you are getting. Things aren't always as advertised, and it seems everyone has a different opinion of what is solid and what is rot.

Out here as long as you buy in central or southern AZ, you can pretty much guarantee it will be a solid truck if it spent it's entire life out here. California is also a good place if it's inland from the ocean. Nevada and Southern Utah has pretty solid sheet metal. I've even bought up in Washington/Oregon where it just rains all the time and still find very solid vehicles. Nice thing up there is all the rubber and plastic doesn't take a beating from the sun, but that's not as critical to me as sheet metal is. Most of Texas has solid stuff, Oklahoma, etc...

In any event, plan on some time off. I'd recommend traveling to see what you are getting. Maybe plan it in such a way that family can go and make a mini vacation out of it with some site seeing. I've done that a few times and always have a good time.

Driving back is always a crap shoot. I've done that 5 times as far as 2600 miles one way. Luckily I've never had an issue but I make sure I'm getting a solid vehicle to start with that has no mechanical issues. I've enjoyed every minute of it, seen things you won't see while flying, and you get aquainted with the vehicle.
When in doubt, call a carrier and pay the money to have it shipped. It may be expensive to some, but it's money well spent to save headaches, wear and tear, possible delays for mechanical issues (if you are taking time off work it's a consideration).
I always pack tools (no longer allowed on planes as a carry on) so you'll have to pack it as luggage and hope it gets there. What I started doing when all the plane security started is flying out without tools, then hit the store when I arrive and buy what I think I'll need, toss it in the vehicle for the ride home. Sometimes I change the oil and spark plugs in a parking lot just for piece of mind. Simple hand tools will fix most anything on these old vehicles so you don't need alot. Jugs of water, extra fuel pump, extra water pump, belts, hoses may all be things that you may buy to haul with you. Simply because some of the areas you drive through are out in the middle of the desert miles from anything. Tons of wide open space with nothing but tumble weeds. Alot of open desert, Been through here many times, just come prepared.
Fuel and spark is all that keeps them running. If it's much more than that, then it's not going to be a roadside repair anyway.

Dependability will also depend alot on how completely the vehicle has been gone through. If everything is fresh there are probably no worries, but you pay more for those vehicles. Just some ideas to think about. Hope it works out for you
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Old 06-28-2012, 10:26 AM   #4
tucsonjwt
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Re: Buying tips

I live in AZ and have had 3 squares. All trucks are NOT rust free from AZ. I look at quite a few old squares for parts our possible purchase of an old diesel. MOST of the trucks (and cars) I see have SIGNIFICANT RUST. This is because a lot of people come to AZ from the rust belt or upper west where rust is rampant. Rust free AZ trucks often have had a hard life and a very beat (banged up box, ratty interior, etc.) There are rust free nice trucks available, but you need to have someone check it out before you buy. You will notice that most ads don't show any picture of the undercarriage or typical rust spots, like suspension.
Have someone check it out and send you pics of the undercarriage and drive it. Best to have a local mechanic check it out (about $200). Shipping should be $650-$800 depending on where you live.
Having said all this, I would not buy a truck unless it was rust free, and the remote checking/transport fee is worth the money. This assumes that you really want an old square and are willing to put some effort into buying one.
Check Phoenix and Tucson craiglist for some great looking deals, then ask a local forum member to check it out for you. You will likely find a willing square freak on this forum who can help you get the ball rolling.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:07 PM   #5
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Re: Buying tips

Quote:
Originally Posted by tucsonjwt View Post
I live in AZ and have had 3 squares. All trucks are NOT rust free from AZ. I look at quite a few old squares for parts our possible purchase of an old diesel. MOST of the trucks (and cars) I see have SIGNIFICANT RUST. This is because a lot of people come to AZ from the rust belt or upper west where rust is rampant. .
When I said vehicles from AZ are rust free, note that I mentioned IF they spent their lives here. I'd think that cars coming from other states that have rust goes without saying.

That's why I always say never buy site unseen no matter how many pictures they send your way. Take the time, make the trip, view with your own eyes to get your own opinion.
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Old 06-28-2012, 01:07 PM   #6
rwhit57
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Re: Buying tips

Traveling to see one in person could be difficult and could get expensive if you have to look at two or three. There are members here from all over the country that might be able to help you. If you see a truck near Tulsa,Ok I would be glad to check it out for you. At least you could get a decent opinion if it was worth your time.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:04 PM   #7
jseiff51387
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Re: Buying tips

Thanks for the tips so far.

Anyone in or near Tucson?
This one was just posted today on CL. Could be a good deal I'm thinking. I'd be willing to pay a little for someone to check it out for me (check underneath, drive it, etc). I'm requesting some more info and more pics from seller.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:20 PM   #8
Firebirdjones
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Re: Buying tips

I'm in Prescott. Tuscon is about 200 miles for me. I'm down there occasionally but I'm sure there is someone closer on the board here if you are patient enough, hopefully they will chime in.
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Old 07-02-2012, 02:24 PM   #9
jseiff51387
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Re: Buying tips

Apparently it was a good deal. Sold already :/
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