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Would you redo it or let it go?

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Mark13, Jan 12, 2010.

  1. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    Here is my dilemma. The rust is getting pretty bad on my 98, to the point that rubbing against snow piles while plowing is actually ripping body panels up.

    The truck is a Cheyenne with 177,000 forward miles on it. It's a plow truck and also spreads salt sometimes. It's also my daily driver and my work truck (plowing and farm use). Mechanically it's pretty dang good, I don't want to change anything mechanically besides a 14 bolt sf rear axle with a nice posi and rear air bags.

    My question. If this was your truck, would you just let it rust or would you swap a new cab, doors, and fenders on it. And replace the stock bed with a nice 7' steel flatbed+ cab guard.
    Something like this:
    (I know that's a dually bed and a bit big, same look though)
    Or this and add my own underbody boxes.
  2. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    The rest of the truck.
    (I haven't had time to wash it due to plowing and cold temps this week so the salt normally isn't that bad on it)
    *Note the pushed in area behind where it's rusted thru meaning its soft all the way to the rear of the cab
  3. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    Other spots on the truck.

    Passengers door:
    Passengers front fender:
  4. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    Drivers Side Cab:
    *Hard to tell from this pic but the rocker is all wavy and soft

    Along with the Cab my tailgate is shot and the bed is starting to get pretty rusty underneath and on the wheel well seams.

    As some know I'd like to get a different truck as my daily driver and main plow truck. I however would be keeping this truck as a 2nd plow truck or a backup to my "soon to come" truck.
    I like to keep nice equipment, having a good image helps get customers. I'd paint the replacement body panels and cab of my 98 the same color as whatever truck I get so they would match.
    I think it would help gain customers if I pulled in a lot with a clean, well put together and reliable looking setup vs. some rusted out, falling apart pos that makes a lot of noise and you can see thru the bedside and the bottom of the cab is gone.

  5. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

    I am not sure but some State require commercial license plate if you put dump bed or flat bed. Been there before and not worth it. They cost double fee.

    What about aluminum flatbed they are lightweight and won't rot in salt.

    That isn't serious rust you can stop it. If you are good with body you could cut that bad spot and weld new metal on it then make look fit then paint it.

    Serious rust like this isn't worth to fix it. This was taken in summer.

  6. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    I wouldn't need special plates to run a flatbed or dump bed.

    As far as the rust, the whole rocker panel on both sides of the cab is soft from front to back. I just posted pictures of the worst area. Pretty much from the top of the bed liner down is soft from what I can tell by pushing on it.

    The bottom of the passengers door is paper thin and the fender will have a hole in it before long. The bottom of the drivers door is just starting to get rusty and idk what shape the drivers fender is in. I think my hood is the only rust free panel.
  7. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

    Ok it time to stop that rust now. Don't think I will do them soon. That what my Dad been say that for 4 years. I will do soon. He never did.

    Are you near to junkyard you could go get good non-rust doors and paint to match your truck.

    Before you do is bed mount to frame not rot? I will show you later it badly. When we hook 5 wheel camper we could see bed loosen on bad road.
  8. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    I might have 2 doors that I could get off a crashed tahoe that's at a friends shop. If those aren't clean, I would have to search the internet for clean southern doors, fenders, and a cab. I'd like to find a cab that has the 3rd door to get into the ext cab so I don't have to flip the seats forward to get something in and out of there.
  9. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

    What wrong with #3 door? Stuck?

    Maybe you need get vacation and come here. There are tons of chevys in junkyards some really junk and some are too good that not supposed to be in junkyard.
  10. Mr.Markus

    Mr.Markus PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,780

    Those are nice flat decks, See if you can find one in aluminum or you'll be sick of painting them to look good. The aluminum will last and can be put on your new truck down the road.

    Starfleet 012.jpg
  11. FisherVMan

    FisherVMan Senior Member
    Messages: 706

    You need to bail on that truck ................. it would be throwin good money after bad, you cant win that one no matter how much you like the old truck
  12. exmark1

    exmark1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,321

    With that many miles and such I wouldn't fix it! Unless you can do it CHEAP, buying a new cab and all new parts would be a stupid move. I would keep it as a backup truck let it rust and put all that money toward the new truck.

    At least around here customers don't care/don't notice what your plowing with as long as it does the job. And if you have a newer truck you would be alot happier!
  13. cretebaby

    cretebaby PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 4,162

    Mark, how much are one of the beds in the second pic?

    The Bardford built ones are the only good looking ones in a 7' wide IMO.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  14. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Mark - you don't need a whole new cab, that's for sure. Just some new rockers, cab corners, maybe floor boards. Look and ask around till you can find a decent body guy that works for reasonable money. Get the cab restored first, then worry about doors and fenders. I wouldn't get rid of the truck, you know it too well now. It will make a perfect backup truck. As for the the flatbed, that's your choice. But you could find a decent shortbed much cheaper. Just bolt it on and you are done. Paint to match after you get your "new" truck.

    You're looking for a six lug 14 bolt SF? I saw one in our CL up here a couple weeks ago. Let me know if you want me to see if it's still available.
  15. snowman5313

    snowman5313 Member
    Messages: 86

    You should have used fluid film and that would have never been a problem.
  16. scottL

    scottL PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,613

    You remind me of myself when I was 18. I kept pouring good money after good money into a hot rod. Eventually I was in it for thousands and thousands of dollars and still it was never completed. When I finally got real and sold the car it was really cool but, sold for less than half and still was not done.

    Your just pouring good money after a bad issue. It's not just the rust. You've got wiring that will go bad, frame rails I'm sure are weaker and thinner, trans, seals, etc, etc, etc.

    For what you would spend you could buy a nice new work truck have payments around $300 maybe. No worries, a warranty and 10 or 20 years of service from it if you take care of it.

    You had your time with it .... give up and save the money and pain.
  17. buckwheat_la

    buckwheat_la 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,254

    the rust damage on that isn't too bad, i agree with 2cor517, have you looked into a body shop yet? as far as panels go, new skins are going to be pretty cheap for that beast, because of the older chev body style, (if i remember correctly a entire side box panel is about $200 bucks) It you know anyone handy with a mig welder, they can install too, then a paint job and you are off and running.
  18. Italiano67

    Italiano67 Senior Member
    Messages: 645

    Leave it go. Buy yourself a new 2500 and you wont regret it.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  19. Mark13

    Mark13 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,796

    The 3rd door was an option starting in '96 I believe. My truck was built without having a 3rd door so if I want to use the ext cab area, I need to flip the seats forward and then slide them forwards to get people or large items back there. Not to big of a deal but if I could have a door, that would be much better.

    I think by saying "New parts" I threw everyone off a little. I should have said "clean, used parts" Probably from down south.
    As far as your point of saying that most customers don't really pay attention to what plows their lot and could care less what the plow truck looks like. I guess that's kinda the reason I started this thread. But then again at 2am, how many people notice the plow truck anyway besides being pissed off that it woke them up?

    I'd imagine those beds are $2500+ I probably would not buy a bed from them, I just used their picture as an example of the style flatbed I would be talking about. My dad and I have the tools and the ability to built a flatbed also, that might be considerably cheaper.

    I'd like to try and keep all the work to something my dad, I, or a couple of my friends could help with for cost reasons. And none of my friends, nor my dad or I have a clue how to do proper body work and have it last and look nice. That's why I was thinking swapping cabs would be easier. We are all mechanically inclined with plenty of tools, a couple hoists, and a 2 post lift to use.
    As far as the bed, I could go either a flatbed or a stock short bed. It would depend what I got cheaper. Both have their benefits.
    A 4x4 (4x2 is narrower)6 lug 14 bolt SF rear axle with 3.73 gears is what I'm looking for. I'd clean it up and put a Detroit tru trac in it though before putting it under the truck. Having no posi gets to be a pita sometimes.
    Haha, the truck was rusty before I got it. And being 16 and ******** I for some reason thought the bed liner would be a good way to stop the rust. Derr. If the truck was clean when I got it and I had known about FF at that time I'd probably be a little better off.
    My dad and I can weld and he has a mig welder along with other metal working tools. But neither of us have done any body work before.
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2010
  20. sno commander

    sno commander PlowSite.com Addict
    from ct
    Messages: 1,063

    id let it go, keep saving up for a new truck