Chevy truck, want to purchase 80s k20 some questions


Junior Member
Im interested in buying a truck, always have been. But it will be probably be a few months before i will buy one.

I just had some questions about the chevy pickups from 83 to 86.

My objective is to get a 86 k20 for the purpose of suspension lift, and possible body lift and maybe 8 miles per gallon.

I bought a chevrolet trucks book and it gives all the data of the trucks chevy made from 1918-1995.

I know i want a truck between 83-86 because of the straight axle, also i want the Carbed engine because i want to play with something else then fuel injection, (trying to figure out which sensor is bad isn't that much fun) i want the dual headlights chevy had in the front, im pretty sure the 86 had a 350 engine with about 170hp more hp then the trucks i seen given by the data i read, i also want the overdrive auto transmission.

I do visit the junk yards a lot, and have seen the dooley, and loved the 4 doors, but its about 14' long?? so i decided to get a fleetside long bed, did chevy have an extended cab for the k20, i never seen a picture of one, but there is something called the bonus cab??

I also want a truck with an auxilary fuel tank, did that option come on all the trucks, the extra 16 gallon? And are there any problems with the auxilary tank, and some info on how it works would be great, is it like a motorcycle, when you realize you run out of gas you switch it over??

thanks you guys,
and chuck thanks for the website


2000 Club Member
GM didnt have the extended cab till the 88 model year. The bonus cab was also called the 3+3 and was a crew cab.
Not all trucks came with the dual tanks, the ones that did had a tank along the frame on both sides. The switching valve is on the passenger side under the rear of the cab. It has dual sending units, so when you switch the tanks via the control to the right of the radio, it will read each tank independantly. I am curently in the process of building an 86 k-20 8600 gvw. If you have any other ? feel free to ask.


Junior Member
I was wondering if your going to post pics of your process of going through your restoration.

these questions are for anyone to answer

Are the hubs automatic or do you have to get outside to lock the hubs up and shift the transfer case to 4 wheel drive?

Also, how is the handeling in a truck during winter when its in 4 wheel drive, does it tend to fish tale.

When buying a truck, is there anything to look for, things that tend to wear out or leak? I know the trucks are common in rusting.


Michael F

Senior Member
Rochester, NY
I got rid of an '85 K20 HD, this summer, truck was worn out engine ran good but burned oil, rear main leaked, transfer case leaked, tranmission was shot. Now looking to replace because plow driver that drove that did driveways, put him in 1 ton dump, doing lots, MISTAKE, he is 2-3 times slower, than I am in pickup, doing same lots. Problem is he is still slow doing drives in my pickup, and there is no way I'm giving up my 99, to plow in an older truck. I'm stuck, I have to buy another pickup, because dump is to big for drives, and I really don't think he'll get how to plow parking lots, I drew diagrams, drove him through site, ect., still wrong, even after 2-3 times the normal time.
Found '86 K20 HD, at body shop, for sale, body mint from road, suposedly gone through whole truck, has western plow, $ 6000.00, looking at it monday, if it looks good it's going to my mechanic for a checkup, if ok I'll buy it. Also looked at a '92 K2500HD,was a city truck, been repainted, body still very good, very surface rust, guy said it needs CV joints, other than that it's supposedly good, thats the backup plan asking $ 7500, said he'll take $ 7000, I figure $500 for CV joints, I"ll offer him $ 6500.00, see what he says, again my mechnic wiil ck first, before I make any offers. Looked at newer trucks around 1995, so expensive may as well buy new.

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