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Help on truck purchase

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by mnz28, Jan 30, 2008.


truck choice

Poll closed Mar 1, 2008.
  1. 1973-87 chevy 1/2 ton

    1 vote(s)
  2. 1988-98 chevy 1/2 ton

    2 vote(s)
  3. 1973-87 3/4 ton

    7 vote(s)
  4. 1988-98 3/4 ton

    27 vote(s)
  1. mnz28

    mnz28 Member
    Messages: 38

    Need to upgrade from a blazer to a pick up truck. Now the requirements. Must be a 4x4, must be easy to work on and dependable. I will also need to use it as a snow plow truck. The truck will be used only for my personal plowing needs and no commercial interests .So I've been thinking either a 1973-1987 Chevy 1/2 or 3/4 ton or a 1988-1998 era truck. So any preferences or experience with these?
  2. abbert55

    abbert55 Senior Member
    Messages: 170

    First, since you live in Wisconsin, I would assume the State Hwy. and or county Hwy. uses some type of salt or chloride mix for ice control. You would be hard pressed to find an older truck with the frame integrity needed for a plow. I have a 1982 K-5 Blazer that plowed snow up until 2-1/2 years ago. After a while, I could feel my seat moving every time I raised the plow. That told me the frame was giving away and one Sat. morning, half way through my route, I stopped for a break and when I opened my door, it fell down about 2". Needless to say I couldn't close the door and the right one wouldn't open. It was a cold day inside the cab with the door wired shut. The salt had done it's job in compromising the metal frame. If you are looking for a GM product, go with a 1994 or newer as these have added galvanizing in the critical areas and stainless steel exhaust. Also the 1996 model was the first year for the Vortec motors in the full size trucks, a very good choice. I currently have a 1996 3/4 ton 4X4 GMC (pic in sig) as the primary plow truck and daily driver. There are no real rust issues as yet and it's 12 years old. I hope this will be helpful to you in choosing the right equipment.
  3. deere615

    deere615 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,919

    The 88-98 are nice trucks.
  4. mnz28

    mnz28 Member
    Messages: 38

    Yes I know the seat movement feeling but on my blazer the floor is rotting so the seat leans back abit. I never knew that about the 94 and up models. The truck will be used as a 2nd or 3rd vehicle during the off months. So the galvanized will surely help.
  5. PLOWMAN45

    PLOWMAN45 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,951

    i like the older 3/4 ton but they rust
  6. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    I think you mean this will not be a daily driver? I know you said second or third truck in the off season...Im not sure what that means. If this is a work truck and you are not going to put a ton of miles on her you should get the biggest newest truck you can afford. Price is probably where you are going to have to start right? Why are you changing to a pick up? If you are not going to haul alot of stuff I would go with the biggest newest shortest pickup you can afford.
  7. mnz28

    mnz28 Member
    Messages: 38

    Well I travel 45 miles a day to and from work. I have a grand am for a daily driver, a 1980 Z-28 for a weekend car. The truck would serve as a back up incase the grand am has issues or I need to pick something up that heavy or bigger in town. Im looking in the under 5,000 range for the truck. The reason I dont like the blazer anymore is its not usefull for something like hauling a sheet of plywood.
  8. mayhem

    mayhem PlowSite.com Addict
    from Peru MA
    Messages: 1,016

    I loved my old 85 heavy 3/4. Mechanically indestructable, but the rust got it in the end. I too would recommend going with a clean mid 90's OBS truck.
  9. old skool

    old skool Senior Member
    from NW IL
    Messages: 167

    I agree with 55... For sure the 96 thru 98 with the 350 Vortec ...I own two of them. Lots of torque , good fuel mileage , very comfortable to drive and fairly afforable to buy.
    . One is a 96 Silverado,k1500 with 3:73 gears ( had 65,000 miles) its the first truck I've owned that my wife actually pefers to ride in over a car. plus it will push 16mpg on the road.

    The other is a 97 Cheyenne, k3500 ,SRW with 4:10 gears and an old Western 7 1/2 on it. (had 82,000 miles). I use this truck to pull the car trailers and plow. It will get close to 15mpg on the road.
    They hold their value very well,but with some looking and patience, you can find some deals.. I bought the 96 two years ago for $6300 and the 97 the beginning of winter for $6200.
    heres a pic of the 97 as I bought it...

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2008
  10. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    A few months back I bought a 2000 with a bunch of miles on it 136000. It is the old body style (OBS) it has the 350 vortec it was the last half year they used them. Gas mileage is not great, the ride is ok(its a 3500 drives better with 700lbs in the back). I bought the truck up here in Ma for $6000. Im sure around you prices are a little better so I would look around and drive some trucks. The 350 is not going to get great gas mileage no matter what its in but it is still better than the new 6.0L. If you go with the short box you can still fit a 4x8 sheet of plywood in it with the tailgate down. I now drive an 07 1500 (19mpg hghwy) as my daily driver (no plow) but before that I had a 1990 1500 flareside. I drove that 50 miles a day it had the old 350 in it and the gas killed me. Just do a search on here for common problems. Transmissions seem to go on the chevy's thats a big expense other than that I have done a bunch of brake lines. The heater cores like to go on them too. Find a truck you like the bigger the better for plowing 3/4 I would say, most of them will have the 350 in them anyway. Since it is the back up truck I know the mpg's dont really matter but find a sharp looking truck with as little rust as possible in your price range. That will dictate the year of the truck you will be able to afford.
  11. mnz28

    mnz28 Member
    Messages: 38

    Im saw that a truck driver at work has a chevy 2500 with a 6.3? turbo diesel or atleast it said that on the side moulding on the door. Any input on this? are diesels a pain in the cold?
  12. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    6.5? Do some research on that engine. I was turned off by some reading on deisel forum or whatever that place is diesel place?? Someone will chime in that knows the website. I looked at a couple and they just weren't for me but I highly recomend some research.
  13. mnz28

    mnz28 Member
    Messages: 38

    I'm really having trouble with this decision. I have checked out a few different trucks locally and not too impressed.I know i'm trying to keep this as cheap as possable and shouldnt be so picky on my choice but I still want something that isnt someone else's problem. I'm considering raising my price range if needed to find something decent. I located this one but it's 3 hours away.

    It's definitely in need of some paint, but i used to paint cars so thats not the issue here. People if you could check it out and give me some feedback. If someone else is interested feel free to purchase.
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2008
  14. abbert55

    abbert55 Senior Member
    Messages: 170

    That old of a truck should sell for around $3000.00 with it in excellent condition. If you go with a newer truck, you will at least have OVERDRIVE which will get better gas mileage.... JMO
  15. SteveJ

    SteveJ Senior Member
    Messages: 141

    If it were me and I was buying something for my own personal use and NOT going into business with it, I'd look for something else. Obviously, this guy don't care 3 rats for this truck as you can see in the pics. You're selling a truck and show the worst possible pics? I'd look for something cheaper. A real rathole wagon. You can find em with plows and all for 1500. In one pic he has the bed loaded with brush and wood, another shows battery jumpers hooked up. (Is that truck the jumper or jumpee?) And that dash?!?!?! What da hells up with that? Take my advise, look for something else.

    Ya know, I know there will be some guys cuttin me up for that but ya know what? I'd rather have either brand new or junk. Sure it has a crate motor and new this and new that, but WHO did it? That's the key, WHO.

    I love Chevs, but that looks like the kinda truck that you always carry an aspirin bottle around in. <img src=http://www.getsmileyface.com/new/orange_smileys/88.gif>
  16. mnz28

    mnz28 Member
    Messages: 38

    Yes the dash thing worried me. It does look hacked up. The owner thru emails was telling me that he was having some trouble getting it started when it was cold"-20 below windchill". In the pics no snow on the ground and still jumping it. The emails with the seller have changed and he's trying to put me on a quick deadline so I will pass on this one. I do appreciate the honesty in these responses.
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2008
  17. scitown

    scitown Senior Member
    Messages: 422

    Did you find a truck? Let us know how you made out.
  18. mnz28

    mnz28 Member
    Messages: 38

    The search is still going on. I am being patient and waiting for the right deal to come along. Im checking the usual sources such as craigslist, ebay and online used car sites. I even called a friends dad and asked him to be on the lookout for a good one as they spend the winter in arizona. They would be willing to drive it back to wi for me. Im even having foolish ideas about buying a 2wd truck with a good body and putting it on the blazer chassis.