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Calling all C/K eagle-eyed experts - need truck info from pictures!

Discussion in 'Chevy C/K Truck Forum' started by VintageHauler, Aug 12, 2014.

  1. VintageHauler

    VintageHauler New Member

    Hi everybody! I'm a complete newb to this forum - got referred here by a friend who has total faith in you fine people and your endless C/K knowledge.

    I've been in talks with an older gentleman regarding purchasing his old dually, but unfortunately the truck is far away and the information I've gotten so far has been conflicting. I'd love to gather as much info as possible before deciding it's all worth my making the long trek to go check the truck out in person. I figured that if I knew my older C/Ks better, I'd be able to get a lot just from pictures already. That's where you guys (hopefully) come in! I'm sure an expert could deduce a lot just from a few images - maybe from the specific paint colors, badges or lack thereof, bumpers & lights style... Let's do it? :)

    It's presented as a 1989 Chevy dually (I literally know nothing more at this point)... But I thought 89s had different front ends and tailgates compared to this older-looking guy? How much can you specialists get just from the following pictures? Thanks a truckload in advance, regardless of the outcome. :great:

    truck1.jpg Capture1.jpg Capture2.jpg Capture3.jpg
  2. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder Active Member 500 Posts

    Chevy always changes the 1500 1/2 ton truck body and engines first, or did until recently. They went to a new body style on the 1500 in 1988 and ran that style until 1998, changing in 1999, but a 2500, 3500, Suburban, and Tahoe, remained the same as the 1998 until 2000 I think, (and they also made what they called a classic body style in 1999 that was the same as the 1998). I think Chevy did the same thing when the did the body change in 1988 except for the classic. They ran the old body style on the 2500, 3500, and Suburban, until 1990. The truck you are looking at , looks like it is in good condition, but you don't know what may be hidden until it is checked out by someone who has mechanical experience. There are many things that could be wrong with the truck that needs to be checked for before you buy the truck. (E.G. is the engine in good running condition, does it use any oil, or leak any, does the transmission shift properly, and does it slip when driving or pulling something ? What shape is the cooling system in, and how are the brakes, and the rear end ?, How are the tires?, has it ever been wrecked? and the list can go on but that is the biggest things.)
  3. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    BTW it is not a C/K truck it is an R/V series truck built when the 2500, 3500, K5, and burb were still square bodys which is the body style before the 1988-1998 OBS trucks(what kenny and I have)

    I must say that truck is gorgeous I have always wanted a square body crewcab dually but they are extremely rare to an extreme(little redundant). It likely has the 6.2L Detroit if it is diesel or the 454 if it is a gasser. If we had the vin I could look up some of the info easier.
  4. 130195

    130195 New Member

    I noticed a few dents and judging from the second picture the paint is starting to fade. However all that is minor compared to how it actually runs. Like kennythewelder said, you really need to go and see it up close and take it for a drive, before you make any decision.
  5. VintageHauler

    VintageHauler New Member

    You guys are fantastic! Thanks a ton for the input. I finally just got a bunch more information today, and I'm going to make the trek and go check out the Big Dooley tomorrow!
    It's a Silverado with a 454 underhood. The elderly owner's son-in-law (my middleman in the transaction) was concerned that the gas in the tank had gone bad (the truck had only been sitting in the driveway for a few months, which to me isn't quite long enough to cause any real issue in a climate like ours, but hey) since the engine would start strong but stall after a few seconds. He went and paid the truck a visit at his father-in-law's to take pictures for me and when he mentioned the stalling problem, the wise old man quipped "oh, you're on the bad tank, you need to switch to the small tank! That's the one that works!" - turns out it has the dual tank option (or as one could call it with a 454, "still just barely enough gas"), and one of the tanks has an issue. He flipped the tank selector switch and boom, truck fired up like a champ and purred like a (very large) kitten. So at least, there's that. Wondering what's up with that tank, now - I could really use the extra capacity, and was actually wishing it had that option when I first saw it...

    Turns out the interior could use some serious cleaning/TLC and the topside paint is pretty much toast, but other than that, I don't see anything glaringly wrong from the few pictures he sent over. Do you?

    IMG_2178.jpg IMG_4555.jpg IMG_2361.jpg IMG_3826.jpg IMG_7149.jpg IMG_7706.jpg IMG_8183.jpg IMG_9298.jpg IMG955084.jpg IMG956069.jpg IMG957788.jpg

    I've been warned that the owner will want to talk my ears off about his truck for hours on end - I'm actually looking forward to that! I'm going to spend a lot of time poking at the truck (and trying to squeeze myself under it), but is there any things particular to those old Chevy HDs you think I should pay close attention to? Perhaps take pictures and bring back for your expert perusal on here? I can't wait to be a Chevy truck guru... But for now, you guys are the ones with the knowledge, and I only know the basics. Anything you would like to see? :)
  6. Crawdaddy

    Crawdaddy Thread Killer Extraordinaire Staff Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    If I had found that truck, it would already be sitting in my yard. It looks real nice, though I'm sure it's an electrical nightmare with the extra switchboxes, gauges, and such. But, that can be cleaned up with no problem.
  7. VintageHauler

    VintageHauler New Member

    Yeah I'm a tiiiiny bit concerned about the DIY gauges and switches. And quite curious about some of those toggles...
  8. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder Active Member 500 Posts

    The truck looks good to me, and I think if it does all the things I talked about in my previous post I would buy it. The electrical issues are not that difficult to repair. The extra tank issue ether.
  9. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Owned more than a few of that particular model square body over the years.
    As stated the front is correct for the year since 3500's bodystyle changed with the burbs a few years later.
    The wheels are a GM produced, dealer add-on. Cost around $700 new with trade of factory wheels.
    Two tone paint while optional at $368, was also almost the only way you could buy the truck at that time. Full color trucks were mostly sold for commercial.
    Probably has 3spd th400, but for that year the trans depends on build date, later in the year they started putting in 4spd overdrives.
    Cloth interior was base, leather available but hard to find, vinyl was still used on many base trucks if ordered that way.
    The 7.4 was by far the most popular engine, diesel option was expensive, almost $6k, some trucks were built with the 350.
    Problem spots: lower cab rockers and corners rust, no matter where you live. Fuel tank switching aparatus can develop air leaks and cause leaks or fuel system to suck air vs fuel. Rear fiberglass fenders are prone to cracks if the lower fendr struts arent kept tight, bolts work loose, fenders flap, vibrate, cause noise, and crack. Look for flaking paint, that'll show whee their cracking.
    Fuel tank selector switch has issues at times, LMC sells a replacement thats more dependable.
    The interior is direct bolt in from Suburbans of that bodystyle/yrs so upgrading can be easy if you know where theres some nice suburbans.
    Tilt column can come loose at the tilt mechanism, wont affect steering, the steering wheel feels loose or wobbles around. Easy no parts fix, just takes time to dig into and tighten the bolts.
    Factory radio antennae sucks, some had the laminated in the windshield antenna, best fix is to add an external antenna.
    Power windows get slow or balky, clean and lube window mechs in the doors and clean felt tracks.
    Power locks get sticky, lube mechanism or replace.Probably much more Im forgetting.
  10. BurbanMan

    BurbanMan Member 1 Year 500 Posts

    Clean truck for sure, but I'm concerned about the electrical hanging beneath the dash. I also see that it has the typical cab corner cancer. Check the frame and chassis close to make sure there's no major cancer in that region as that will keep you from passing any safety inspections you may have to do. I may have missed it, but what is his asking price?

    oops! I must have been seeing things when I saw the cab rust!

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