To buy new or to build?

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 other goodies.
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.
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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...
good luck, mark
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I wish that was the only problem I had to worry about in life, weather to build a truck or buy one.

of
money.
prestige.
pitch.
military
over
hope
but
to
you
the
can
year
opinion
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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?
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Hauling tools and material. But when you price jobs they see what you're driving. I don't know how much it matters, but I'm pretty sure it does matter to some people.
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"mudmonkey" wrote:

lean
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.
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Agreed, but my skills are in building houses, not trucks.

Those are good points, thanks.
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Rick J. wrote:

    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. Charles
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I can't afford both.

I thought the reg cab k30 (non c+c) and k20 had the same frame and the K10 was the one that was different (smaller).
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Rick J. wrote:

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). Charles
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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 torque. Hope this helps, Paul

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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.
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Gee is that why the best off road trucks in the world are ALL diesel powered? Hummer, UniMog, Land Cruisers (real ones not the current US import toys). 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.
-
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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. Paul

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Per Rick J.:

Would insurance replacement value be a consideration?
Older truck ==> Low replacement value regardless of how much it's been improved.
--
PeteCresswell

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"user" wrote:

No exactly, you can specify a dollar amoun that the truck is worth when you take out insurance for it and premium will be based on that amount.
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SnoMan wrote:

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.
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