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New guy here needing some GM truck advice! This is keeping me up at night!

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by RobertIowa71, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. RobertIowa71

    RobertIowa71 New Member

    I'm new on the site needing some outside advice!

    Currently I have a fairly decent 1984 Chevy Scottsdale 4wd pickup I have owned for 11 years. I bought it from the original owner's estate (he passed away). Since I have owned the truck I have put in a new transmission, tires, dual exhaust, and all the basics. I also have done some cosmetic work (new chrome front & Back bumpers, dash, seat redone with new vinyl). I have never overhauled the 350 V8 motor since I have owned the truck and I'm certain it has over 100k. Doesn't burn oil, but I can tell it could use a rebuild someday. I did put a brand new 4bbl carb on it this past summer which has been nice. The truck has had no rust, and even though it is 4wd, I do not drive it in our salty Iowa winters. I store it inside from October until April. The blue & silver two tone paint is starting to fade...really bad on the hood, and the top of the box sides. So I'm looking at giving it a repaint. A man has got to keep his truck looking nice...right???

    Well, here is my situation that is keeping me up at night!

    Recently a life long, older family friend has offered me a 1971 GMC pickup that his father bought brand new. His dad passed away a few years ago and the truck has been sitting in his parents garage. The truck is very mint. It has 15k on the clock and body & interior is perfect. No rust/dents, not a crack in the dash and not one tear in the seats. Truck currently has original topper, and the inside of the bed has blankets over it. I crawled in and looked under the blankets...not ONE scratch or dent in the bed! It is orange & white, and has the original 350 v8 (motor is clean with original paint). It is however 2WD. The family friend wants me to buy the truck from him; It is not openly for sale, but he is getting up in age himself and his kids are grown & gone and have no interest in old vehicles. He wants it to go to a good home & knows I always admired it in the past. The "cons" are it has been sitting for a long time...not driven/started in 14 years. The radiator is still full of antifreeze, and I crawled underneath...not one drop of oil on the floor. The friend has offered it to me for a good price, and said "he will make it right" in regards to making sure the truck is mechanically good. Right off the bat I know it needs tires (one tire is flat completely) battery, gas tank flushed, fluids changed. But what else could be needed? Motor is not leaking any fluids and is clean like off the showroom floor. When I say 15k miles, it is truly an original survivor and is very, very clean.

    I am not able to have two pickups. I would have to sell the one to buy the other. I already have two "toys" now (my current Chevy pickup & a restored 1964 Buick Skylark Convertible) that I store in the winter.

    So.... Do I sell my 4wd Chevy that has been in my family for most of my son's life and buy this GMC???

    My current Chevy... Pros; 4wd (don't use it a lot, but it has been handy), many new parts. Cons: needs a paint job before it gets too bad, which is sooner than later. Future engine overhaul down the road.

    This 1971 GMC....Pros; body & interior is mint! 15k on the truck. Cons; 2wd, Long time sitting. Needs tires, battery, fluids changed, tank flushed...and what potentially else???

    What is the "better" truck???

    I need sleep!
  2. Coit Whitmon

    Coit Whitmon New Member

    Keep the 4wd! Never know when you might need it!
  3. ChevyFan

    ChevyFan Administrator Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Wow. This is such a hard decision that is giving me a headache.

    Are you inclined to take them to shows or what goal for having one of these vehicles is your #1? What's going to be better for you in the long run?
  4. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member 2 Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    personally, I would sell the 4x4 and buy your friends old truck. So, you may need to replace all of the soft parts, wheel cylinders, belts, hoses. The seals in the trans may be dry and cracked. But, after you fix what may be needed it sounds like you are going to have one heck of a nice truck. You have had your truck for 11 years. your friends was bought new by him. I would try to keep his truck among friends, it sounds like he really cared about it. I would not worry about not having 4x4. I drove a 2wd silverado in Michigan winters for 10 years and never got it stuck, before that I had a 2wd sonoma, same thing never got stuck. I just reread your post, you dont drive the 4x4 in the winter anyway and it sounds like you are not doing much offroad driving. Just my 2 cents
  5. j cat

    j cat Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts

    I am not all that impressed with the pre 1975 gm vehicles. these are old technology .low mpg and power. require high octane fuels. you say you will have to get rid of some vehicle to accept this ..with that I would pass on this ...

    a person that has the resources to work this old vehicle and put modern ignition system and injection it would be a good project vehicle.
  6. silverado93

    silverado93 New Member

    Also, the 1971 GMC Pickup probably doesn't have hardened valve seats and requires leaded gas. I had a 1971 Plymouth Fury III w/ a 360 2BBL and when leaded gas went by the wayside, it ended up w/ the #7 cylinder having low compression. The unleaded gas probably burned a valve. I tried to keep "lead substitute" in the gas, but don't know if that even helped or not.

    Silverado93
  7. j cat

    j cat Rockstar 3 Years 1000 Posts


    forgot that valve issue with the non leaded fuels... he would have to use re-lead a fuel additive used for marine engines/old engines that need this valve protection all the time..

    also these are not designed for the use of alcohol fuels of any amount ..this would be a nightmare..
  8. silverado93

    silverado93 New Member

    Yes, alcohol fuels certainly would be a HUGE NIGHTMARE! :grrrrrr:

    silverado93
  9. JayDawg

    JayDawg Member

    Keep the one you have. The other one is nice but will have problems. If the vehicle has not run in 14 years, All gaskets in the engine will need to be replaced. As soon as it does start up for the first time, the gaskets will have dry rot and go almost instantly. Next, all fuel lines, gas tank and carb will either have to be replaced or cleaned super good as the gas over even just a year or so can become almost a solid sludge. In addition o that, who knows what critters have gotten into areas of the truck you cannot see and have done damage. Mice love heater cores and areas like that. I have even seen wasps nests inside of engine compartments and complete exhaust systems. Trust me when I say if you have a good reliable truck, keep it over this one. If you can buy this one and then restore it, that would be cool and then sell it but I would keep what you have.
  10. Rocketmanh5

    Rocketmanh5 Rockstar 100 Posts

    Fix up the '84. I've seen too many times when a truck sits there that long it becomes a hassle to make right again. Even though it has been stored well, has lower miles, and is in more mint of a condition it will need work. Mice LOVE wiring harnesses, it's like crack to them or something and will destroy the vehicle where you can't see. This may not be an issue in your case but I would check to see just to be safe. Another thing, it has not been ran in 14 years if I read that properly. If the cylinder has sat for that long in the same position and any moisture was present then I would be looking at that to make sure the cylinder can be cleaned if so and the rings are not stuck. As stated the gas tank would be the first thing to go. I would suggest just starting over new since there are a few companies out there now that you can choose from. All the fuel lines for sure need to go. Scope the intake to make sure no wasp have gone inside and built nest. They can get between the air filter and lid sometimes and cause you major problems.

    The reason I would keep the 84: it's running, driving, and needs a few things. Paint it to how you would love to have it. Do a crate motor or freshen what you have and update a few things. Also I'm super fond of the mid 80's models so that's another reason.

    In all do what you feel you want to do though. If you feel what you have is best keep it. If you like the other truck over the one you have now then do that. It's all up to you since you are the one that owns the vehicle.

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