Been thinking about whether to buy a new truck or to build what I want from
an older truck. If I buy new it would be:
3500, reg cab, srw, duramax diesel, six speed, 4wd
If I go the build-it route, it will start with an 82 to 87 K20, a mild
small block, an nv4500 or maybe a richmond six speed, the new atlas 4 speed
transfer case, dynatrac axles front and rear with air lockers and lots of
To build the truck from scratch takes lots of time and quite a bit of
money. Buying a new truck takes a small amount of time but lots of money.
The build it truck will be more fun. The new truck carries more prestige.
I'm in the construction business so, whether I like it or not, prestige
counts with customers.
Yea but the other side of the fence, you can show them the quality of the
truck you built and prove to them you actually know how to work with your
hands. Physical proof of ability is much more important then a sales pitch.
Although, as a suggestion you can still get 6.2 or 6.5 diesels in "drop in
packages", and a few months ago the 6.6 (Duramax) was approved for military
use. Therefore, with in the next year the Duramax should be available over
the counter in drop in condition (i.e. complete and ready to run, and I hope
with mechanical injection. I just can't see the military fussing with the
computers). Therefore, you may want to consider going with your build, but
modifying it to a 1ton 4x4 and going with a diesel. Gas engines are easy to
build but with gas going to a soon to be $3+ per gal. a diesel will get you
better mileage (and in most states no emissions inspection). I bet if you
go with a 6.5 and 3.73 axles, you could pull upper teens or low 20's on the
highway. Unfortunately, these days you have to consider how much it will
cost to feed your horse... You tell yourself well it does not matter, I can
tolerate 14mpg until you realize that totals to (in my case) $1200 per year
in gasoline at $2.35 gas and with it at $3 I will be looking at $1500 or
more. Therefore, look to the future, in the end the extra mileage will
return the extra cost of the drive train with in a few years. ...My opinion
for what it is worth...
the argurment can go both ways, build a good truck that suits your
company's needs looks good, but dont forget about the appearance a new
truck provides. Me I would prefer function over form, so I would lean
towards the built for the task truck. What would you be doing mostly
with the truck, hauling the cargo or doing administative work?
Another serious factor here for offroad work is that a diesel uses a
LOT of air (about 2x to 4x more air) in normal use offroad so it is
harder on filtering system and while water injestion is not good for
either engine a diesel will suffer more quickly and more severely to
water injestion than a gas motor will.
Posted using the http://www.autoforumz.com interface, at author's request
Articles individually checked for conformance to usenet standards
If you can afford it, go for both. I would. Use the New truck for work,
the other for play. You can find Clean K-10's or K-20's on Ebay in
Texas, Kansus, Florida, Gorgia, and a few other states. A K-30 uses a
larger frame. 8 inch for the K-10 & K-20, 10 Inch on the K-30.
Personially I would start with a K-30. With Dynatrack Pro-Rock Dana60's
with the High pinion gears. This will reduce driveline angle.
Really if you want to do it a bit at a time, ordering parts maybe a
month a head (so they come in just as your ready), you could build one
hell of a K-30 over a year or two.
Both in C & K between 73 to 87 All 10's & 20's used the same frame. The
30's had the big frame. With the small frame trucks the only differances
between them are springs, axles, front suspension (on 2WD or C models).
Myself, I'd buy the new truck with the D-Max and the Allison tranny. I've
heard that the Allison will be a 6 speed for '06. Nix on the manual tranny,
GM is still having clutch problems. The Allison is a better transmission
anyway, drive one, you'll see. Of course, that's what I'd do. If you have
lots of free time ( no kids, a wife that understands these things, etc ),
the necessary tools, a shop to work in and are willing to end up with a
neat 20 year old truck that you built yourself go that route. Bear in mind
that a truck that one builds themselves piecemeal like you speak of will
probably never be quite right, and you'll constantly be working on it (
unless your skills and expertise at such things are professional quality.
Then there is the 'prestige' issue. Hands down, get the new truck. Put
yourself in your customer's shoes. A new truck projects success which comes
from a well run business. On the other hand, a 20 year old truck, even a
nice one, projects an image of either a guy that is just making ends meet
( his business is struggling ), or a kid that is not quite a businessman
yet. These are all my opinions, but then that's what you asked for.
Oh........did I mention, I bought a new D-max 2 years ago. My 5th or 6th
pickup, but my first diesel. I'll never buy another gas truck or one with a
manual transmission again. The diesels will out perform the gassers any day
of the week and if you 'chip' them you can get 450 hp and over 900 lb-ft of
Hope this helps,
My first truck was a 68 utility body with a 327 and a sm420 and 4.56
gears. God I loved that truck. It had plenty of power for me and was
extremely simple to work on. It had smallish stock tires and the engine
screamed on the highway, but it was a fun truck to drive and own.
The biggest downer, imo, with new trucks today is that they are too
complicated. I don't need or want half the stuff I'm forced to buy. The
35Gs for a new truck reflects that complexity. I could probably build
what I want with a third of that money.
Gee is that why the best off road trucks in the world are ALL diesel
Hummer, UniMog, Land Cruisers (real ones not the current US import
For REAL off road work you need a LOW RPM high torque powerplant, that
way you can idle your way through the real tough crap. Gas engines can
work but not as well as a diesel for real power.
Snoman, you make some good points, but from the original post, I got the
idea that Rick wanted a work truck to haul tools and supplies to a jobsite
and transportation to meet with his clients. I didn't get the idea that he
wanted an off road truck. I think we're comparing apples to oranges here.
Not so, I did this with a modified snowmobile & when it was stolen 10
months after I insured it I was given "fair market value" for it. If you
do not have receipts for every single penny you spent on it (parts &
labor), you won't get what it's insured for. When I complained to the
agent about this scenario he said the insurance company (Citizens in
this case) will gladly take any premium money you want to give them -
what coverage you actually get is "fair market value". He said customers
"SHOULD" know this! Read your fine print - I was burned.
Motorsforum.com is a website by car enthusiasts for car enthusiasts. It is not affiliated with any of the car or spare part manufacturers or car dealers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.