fix it up or junk it?


Junior Member
I have a 1988 c-1500 4x4, pipe rack air that doesnt work no radio etc.

problem trany is fried engine has a knock.
bed rusted out around wheels
and that wonderful 88 paint job peeled!

my delema:

fix it or buy a truck that is 5 years old or a new chevy
fix it, paint, body ,engine work, trany etc, 5000.00?
the more i write the less i want to drop the cash
help be out please.

payed 1500.00 in june 2000
4x4 works

j. morgan

TLS Addict

I hope to God that you don't think and talk the way you post here! Nothing in your post made sense to anyone but maybe YOU!

I'll try to answer your questions, if thats what they were?

1) Its a K-1500 not a c-1500

2) You don't have much into it, so it may be worth fixing.

3) GM fixed (for free) all peeling trucks that customers complained about. (too late now I think)

4) How bad is tranny? How bad is engine knock?

5) This will never be a show truck, live with the rust.

Keep it. Any decent used truck will run you at least 10K and you may have similar problems with that also.

Hope this helps.

Proper punctuation makes for an easier read post.


Junior Member
Here is one way to look at it. You can fix up the one you have and you will have $6500 in it, give or take a little. Or you could by a new one, and have probably, I don't know, $20,000 maybe. Not a hard decision when you look at it like that. People have been telling me for the past couple of years to get rid of my old truck and buy a new one since I have to work on it all the time, a 83' K10 Silverado. But I like my truck, although I do have to work on it from time to time. Plus, I can't afford a new one.


Senior Member
Lafayette, LA
I say keep it can put money into it for specific things you want....
Funny people tell me the same about getting a new truck rather than my neighbors think I am always having to fix something because I am always under the hood or something...but thats usually to make something better not fix anything or to change the oil which obviously almost no one does themselves anymore...I just like the reactions I get when people ride with me and say DAMN this is nicer than my car :D


Senior Member
Fairbanks AK
If all the other possibly expensive systems work good on it, I'd say keep it. But if it needs tires, breaks, front end work, you could easily be up to another 3 grand right there. So I guess you gotta sorta step back and look at if it's worth it or not. A new 350 will set you back about 12 or 14 hundred bucks, about the same for the tranny. Forget the paint. Fixing rust is an uphill battle, and unless you're really good, and either do a proffessional job, or have it done professionally, you're gunna be kicking yourself when all the hours and $$ you dropped on fixing up the rear fenders is flaking off on your wash rag in 6 months. So, if the rest of the truck is good, 4x4 works, keep it, maintain it, and drive it into the ground. It'll be worth it 10 years from now when it's still going. Good luck.


Im no truck expert but heres what i am doing to my 88 silverado. It needed a tranny, new u-joints, i had them put a tranny cooler, and new drivshaft bearing. This summer i had to replace a fuel pump a water pump did a tune up and put two better used tires on it. The tranny, u joints a cooler and bearing cost me only 1375. So after i get it back i will get it painted black to hide as much rust around the wheel wells and make this paint peeling two tone truck look better. This is an extra cab with a long bed and it has a 5.7 liter that rumbles like a bear. I think the best way to handle a used truck is to look at the truck if the cassis is not rusty and the front end is not too bad then make a disicion. (i hate front end work) Do what needs to be done to get it running and then spend a little at a time and then it will be like a truck payment and in one year you will have an great truck. Thats the way i look at it. (ive had bad luck with fords and they are not fun to work on)If you are going to fix it up the chevy is the way to go. MPO



Junior Member
truck or not to truck

Hey guys ,

dear sir,

Due to others picking apart my writing skills. I have decided to write this in the form of a letter. The truck is most likly a keeper,it does have good tires,brakes,exhaust etc. I really like the pipe rack comes in handy on all those deck and fence jobs. The transmission doesn't have reverse and the engine has a valve knock. great running truck goes down the road nicely.

In closing after getting the lesson in writing from the DIXIE PROFESSOR i feel i can now do a better job writing my post . Nothing personal just making a joke of a nice comment. I was just talking from the top of my head , wouldn't want anyone to think us iowan's are just a bunch of farmers.

Personally, I'd keep the truck. But if you don't want to, we can trade! I paid $800 for my truck, and I have put another $900 into it, not counting the transmission I just ordered.

By the way, I live in Iowa too (I'm not from here - moved from Nebraska when I was a kid). Funny thing is, I've only been on two farms my whole life. Us midwesterners are definitely not all farmers!

Anyway, unless you can afford to buy another truck and put it into decent running order (you know, brakes, tuneup, tires, all that fun stuff) I say keep the old one. If you can do the work yourself, you can get a tranny for less than $400 and a warrantied engine for $1000 - $1200.

Good luck with it, and let me know if you want to swap!! Oh, by the way, mine has a flatbed, but I'm negotiating a box for it.



Junior Member
If the only prob with the tranny is the reverse you can probably get it fixed for a very reasonable cost. The bed can be fixed by either putting in a $100 bedliner from a junkyard or just buy a new bed. I found one for my 95 ford 1ton perfect shape for 700 bucks and chevys are even easier to find. The paint can be fixed for very cheap. I have taken two trucks to the local auto painter(very comparable to Maaco) and had them done for 300 bucks. You would be amazed how good of a job they can do for so little and your customers will probably think you look a little more professional. As far as the engine goes it could be as little as some valve work or at worst look in your local buy and sell and find a used 350 that you can hear run. They can be had for very cheap because they are so common.

Keep it.


Junior Member
Keep it

I replied to a similar post by 3/4 ton Todd just a few months (weeks?) ago. From the sounds of things hes taking the advice that most of us gave him. Keep it , the valve knock isnt a death dealing problem my Dad used to say a Chevy wasnt running right unless it had a noise in the valvetrain and hes driven nothing but Chevys for close to 50 years. If it was a connecting rod knock maybe, but its not so the motor is basically sound. As for the rest regardless of how much the tranny costs you , a new truck will cost more. Patch panels are readily available right here on this website to fix your rust problems or as somebody else suggested theres always the bedliner thing.Paint can be done yourself , I spray painted my GMC with a paint called Plastikote its a spray can lacquer and runs about 2.99 a can at Advance auto. My truck looks like it was done in a paint booth it came out beautiful, just sand all the way down to bare metal and re spray with this paint youll be amazed how good it turns out. As for buying a used truck , beware you may be buying somebody elses problem and end up sticking more into that than the one you have now , this is experience talking , better the devil you know. As for the new truck , have you priced new trucks lately , they are ridiculous . Now as for me Im heavy into offroading and Ill be damned if Ill spend 30K on someting Im taking into the woods, If you are planning on having your truck lead a hard life , why beat the hell out of a big payment every day fix the old one and i think youll be much better off .....hope this helps


Top Forums

Similar threads

Similar threads