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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all
I'm back after years of not being here, still have the 94 K1500 TD but I recently found a truck that might be worth buying.

Discovered a 1993 C3500 reg cab LB truck with L65 and 101k miles on it but only marginal service history for the last 10 years. It was sold to a local JY because the owner (who I think inherited it and became impatient with it) dismantled the rear brakes and then couldn't get it back together...so that's what I'm seeing right now. It looks like the son and daughter inherited the vehicle from her father who owned it since at least 2010 and he's the one who seemed to like the vehicle, it was never driven a lot apparently but kept.

This is what I do know:

1) Receipts in truck show that in 2010 it had 89k miles.
2) Other receipts from 2012 and 2015 show progression of miles very slowly but no engine work done.
3) Got new alternator in 2013, 2015 and 2019 and new radiator in 2015 along with few other things along the way.
4) Two new interstate batteries in 2016
5) No miles recorded on receipts after 2015 (2nd alt and new radiator) and at that time 95,208 miles.
6) Receipts after 2015 have no miles notation, the 3rd new alternator, from 2019, the shop did not note miles.

Son-in-law registered vehicle first sometime in March of 2019 and by March or April of this year he had sold it to the local JY.

The truck starts so easily I just can't understand why someone would send it to the junk yard, but I guess a lot of people today would just see it as some junky old truck and not a lower mile 6.5.

The one thing that concerns me is a receipt in the truck from 2018 where the dad bought some Bars stop leak head gasket repair at the Napa. And I'm sure it was for this because he also bought a Napa gold oil filter for this truck at the same time. I will be checking today to see if I can see evidence of the stop leak in the coolant.

The only other receipt after that is for another alternator installed in 2019 for the son-in-law, but as it stands today the miles are at 101k.

It's not a real beauty to look at but it's still less rust than most mid-west 93 Chevy trucks and it runs exceptionally well. I just wish the rear brakes were fixed so I could run it on the highway and put a load on the engine to see how the cooling system runs.

The junk yard that has it set it aside for a while, and someone offered them $1500 for the drive train (engine / trans) so I would likely need to beat that to own it complete.

Comments welcome, interested in hearing people's thoughts on it, I've started it twice now, and JY manager said he let it run for at least 2 hours at idle to make sure it didn't have a head gasket issue, I told him that the issue might not present itself under idle and that only true way was to drive under load or test coolant / oil for contamination. With brakes in rear dismantled (missing one drum) it's hard to really put it on the road but I might offer to come in and repair the rear brakes if they can supply with parts from the JY vehicles.

PS - it had a goose neck hitch at some point, the hole in the bed for mounting it underneath has a patch welded over it and it has an agricultural hitch bumper on the back which suggests that it might have pulled grain wagons at some point, but being a C3500 it was probably never in the field.

Let me know what you all think! Is it worth beating the above offer? It's clean and very unmolested.

Steve
 

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Welcome back to DieselPlace
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Welcome back to DieselPlace
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Thank you, it's different username unfortunately, my old username directed to a defunct email address so resetting password was not an option.

Good to be back actually.

Steve
 
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Keep that truck on the road. I think anything between 1500 and 2000 would be fair.
 

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Keep that truck on the road. I think anything between 1500 and 2000 would be fair.
Got the word today, the person who made the offer on the drive train never responded to the manager's call to come and complete the transaction so the truck is mine. The price will be somewhere between $1500-$2000 and will include everything I need to make repairs to the left rear brake mechanism and other odds and ends, missing trim broken stuff etc. He also said they got in a 2500 Suburban with the same steel wheels so I would be able to grab one to replace the missing original and a couple more as spares...which is good.

The prior owner must have had some incident with the brake because as I mentioned before the left drum is missing and I noticed today that the backing plate is all destroyed on the bottom edge. All the wheel studs are messed up too so something serious happened, either he lost a wheel (which may have broken the drum) or it fell off a jack at some point while he was trying to remove the drum, who knows. I think the brake problem was a consequence of old stuck cables, which all need to be renewed and will be.

Got 5 of the 8 lugs tightened using lots of lube and clamped off the rear brake hose and went for a test drive, truck drives nice, and very firm just like any tonner would be. Looking forward to driving this, I'll pick it up next week, just as soon as they get the Suburban set out so I can pick off the brake parts I need.

I did note today that the AC compressor did not engage when the air was turned on nor did the radio work, so I'll have some other stuff to investigate and repair in the not too distant future. The radios IIRC are not known for being very durable. Also, it is a Silverado but has the rubber mat which I actually prefer.

Steve
 
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Update: Decided to go talk with the prior owner today and although he was out of town his wife and son (kid drove the truck for the last year) were there and shared some of the history they knew with me.

First and foremost, it does have a head gasket leak but the kid said it wasn't continuous and that it would come and go. That was the reason the uncle (name on the registration starting in 2009 and ending 2018) added the Bars Stop Leak head gasket fix. I did identify small white particles in the cooling system so it was added as suspected.

Second issue deals with the damaged left rear brake backing plate and the missing original wheel and drum. Although the story I heard was somewhat convoluted (I couldn't follow the mother on this very well) it happened because there was a problem with the tire on that side and the wheel, truck not being garaged ever, refused to come off. At some point though I think they did get it off and had the tire repaired but then when the son was driving on a gravel road the wheel (and drum!) came off the truck and it dropped down on the backing plate causing the damage. They supposedly looked but never found the wheel or the drum, and that's why the replacement wheel on the truck is from a later generation Chevy, they borrowed the spare from another truck they had and installed that. And by the time the later gen spare was installed the incident of losing the wheel damaged the studs enough to make it difficult to tighten the lug nuts so they just left them loose and that's the way the junk yard brought it in.

The mother told me that they loved the truck and her uncle in particular was very sad to see it go, but after the 'incident' the family deemed it unreliable and so it went. Further, she said (for some unknown reason) not to trust it outside of town, but when I asked for specific reasons why I shouldn't she couldn't come up with anything. She just said that she wouldn't trust it to go anywhere.

At any rate, I'm going to try and renegotiate the deal on Monday. Hopefully I can get a price consideration now that I've talked with the family about it. If I don't take it and it ends up going into the yard I doubt that they sell much more than $500 worth of parts off it, that would be engine / trans only although I guess they might sell the rear axle too but even then you're still between $500-$600 total. This is pretty much a bargain basement upull, their prices are pretty low, and there are a lot of that generation GM trucks in that yard already, and they do set and pull the full inventory in about 45 days, so it's not going to be there long.

In any event I'll likely buy it but I would like a price concession due to the new info. I will just plan on head gaskets at some point in the future. The mother did say that the truck started every time, even in the winter, without any complaints, which is a good sign, and as far as not going out of town, my K1500 with 217k miles and a really sketchy 6.5 has made the trip from Des Moines to Tulsa and back before so I'm just not sure where this idea that it's not reliable came from other than their own (likely) self-inflicted wheel falling off incident, which you can't blame on the truck even if the wheel was stuck. Making sure lug nuts and wheels aren't rusted on is just part of ownership.

Here's a crappy photo, the current phone I have is junk.

Steve

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I'd love to own a mechanical diesel even a 2wd for that cheap. I've been looking for over 10 years now. Everything affordable is complete trash. That being said, id pass with the head gasket issue unless it was 4wd.
 

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"it does have a head gasket leak but the kid said it wasn't continuous and that it would come and go."

???? I am not sure how head gasket issue that is not continous ????
How did he determine that? LOL!!!
 

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"it does have a head gasket leak but the kid said it wasn't continuous and that it would come and go."

???? I am not sure how head gasket issue that is not continous ????
How did he determine that? LOL!!!
Don't know, unless engine temperature has something to do with triggering the leak appearance?

I'm only reporting what was told to me in conversation, which given the source and the lack of expertise on the matter is not unexpected.

I haven't decided on it yet but I have informed the JY that I visited with the owners and they admitted there was a problem. I'd planned to discuss the price with the JY today but that didn't happen as planned.

The way I look at it is this. The truck itself isn't a beauty, the driver rocker is gone and there's some some rust on all body panels as well as paint adhesion problems as you can see in the photo. The saving grace was the 100k miles and the way the truck ran. If you take away the engine condition due to head gasket issues then I find no compelling reason to buy the truck whole.

As for whether or not the kid knew what he was talking about I can't say, but his uncle clearly suspected there was a problem at some point and hence the stop leak. Since I haven't experienced the situation with the leak I can't really elaborate on it and I would guess that since the JY never allows test drives (although they did allow me a short one) I'll not be able to get it out on the freeway to see whether it does something after it warms up at road speed etc. And idling for two hours like the JY manager did will often reveal very little about some intermittent engine problem, and I'm not even sure that it would warm up completely in that situation...and the manager didn't say.

This isn't over yet, but with the snow we got today and mid-30's temps we have right now I'm feeling more a lot lethargic about anything...lol

And as for having it checked out, I would love to have the coolant checked for combustion chamber gasses but I don't have the test device to do it and I know from participating on the tdiclub forum that they can often be unreliable as well.

I'll report back when I have new information, maybe I'll catch the manager tomorrow and see what he says about it.

Steve
 

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Try and get it cheap and do the head gaskets. Don't worry about the body. Drive it for another 15 years and collectors will go crazy for that "perfect patina."
 

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Try and get it cheap and do the head gaskets. Don't worry about the body. Drive it for another 15 years and collectors will go crazy for that "perfect patina."
That's the plan at the moment, see what the JY will do as a concession on price given the head gasket situation. Then again this JY manager can be a stinker about acknowledging problems with something if it wasn't discovered by him.

I'll see what he has to say, but as I said the attractiveness of the vehicle was pretty much in the miles, but that's engine and also chassis, but I agree that 1) you'd be hard pressed to find a vehicle with that low miles today and 2) it's still reasonable condition for a mid-west truck.

Steve
 

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For me the GMT400s with a 6.5 fall into 2 categories: beauty queens and workhorses. We need to baby, protect, and maintain the beauty queens but the workhorses need help too. While they don't need to be babied and protected, they do need to be maintained and kept running. If the workhorses are maintained they will last forever. The dash may disintegrate and the door handles might need to be replaced with a rope but they will keep on going.

I bought my daily driver for 2400. It is a 93 3500 with a crate 6.5 in it. I thought the truck would fall apart due to the rust after a few years but it keeps on going. I have decided to see just how long it will last. I have a feeling it will be down to a frame, a plastic lawn chair, and a steering wheel and it will still be going.
 
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I'd go for it it I found that vehicle for that price, with only those two inconvinience issues.
It's also an 93, which means it's an attracted year, becouse of the reliable IP that won't leave you stranded somewhere regulary.
 

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I'd go for it it I found that vehicle for that price, with only those two inconvinience issues.
It's also an 93, which means it's an attracted year, becouse of the reliable IP that won't leave you stranded somewhere regulary.
That is one of the big reasons I'm interested in this. The mechanical setup was only two years and really it's tough to imagine finding another with fewer miles on it. I know of a beautiful ext cab long bed 93 k2500 that came from Arizona that's currently for sale in NE, but the engine was run out of coolant I guess and so the seller believes it's been locked up.

But I think the biggest motivation for me though, is that I'm worried someone else will buy it and just destroy it, and it's really too nice to let it get treated like crap.

Steve
 

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Lucky! to have a Standard cab k1500 6.5 Wow. I've been looking awhile!!! For one in Michigan.

Yes defo worth the save.
 
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Lucky! to have a Standard cab k1500 6.5 Wow. I've been looking awhile!!! For one in Michigan.

Yes defo worth the save.
My 94 K1500 is standard cab LB, but it's seen better days. It had just under 200k when I got it in 2007. It has performed admirably but it's showing it's age and needs some frame repairs done plus a complete suspension overhaul and probably at least a top end check for some noises. At 217k it's still going though and I don't plan to get rid of it but I do need to take it down for some time to get through the full overhaul.

The 93 is a low mile C3500 (101k) truck that had some issues with the past owners but it runs great (knock on wood) and seems to drive fine. It's also a standard cab LB but it's 4x2. The attraction is the miles and that it hasn't been molested or destroyed like so many trucks have, it's quite clean inside and although I would have preferred a 5 speed the 4L80E is a stout trans that I can live with. It's not a beauty queen but then again I don't need that, I just need a truck that won't let me down.

And about the 93, I bought it today so I'll be going and picking it up tomorrow and getting the parts I need for it on Saturday / Sunday. The K2500 Suburban has a 14 bolt rear axle but it's 9.5" but at least it'll contribute rear drum and backing plate plus a couple of the 8 bolt wheels / caps / beauty rings (with decent tires) and then I'll gather up the few missing bits that I need from other trucks in the yard. I've already ordered some parts to do all the standard maintenance that probably hasn't been done...rear axle, trans fluid, coolant etc, so I can get it ready to go for the winter. The only thing I don't know about at this point is whether I'll have the headlight conversion done this year or I'll just polish the plastic ones it has. I really prefer to have the sealed beam buckets so I can install H4 type headlights, they do so much better than plastic TBH.

Anyway, picking it up tomorrow...

Steve
 
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My 94 K1500 is standard cab LB, but it's seen better days. It had just under 200k when I got it in 2007. It has performed admirably but it's showing it's age and needs some frame repairs done plus a complete suspension overhaul and probably at least a top end check for some noises. At 217k it's still going though and I don't plan to get rid of it but I do need to take it down for some time to get through the full overhaul.

The 93 is a low mile C3500 (101k) truck that had some issues with the past owners but it runs great (knock on wood) and seems to drive fine. It's also a standard cab LB but it's 4x2. The attraction is the miles and that it hasn't been molested or destroyed like so many trucks have, it's quite clean inside and although I would have preferred a 5 speed the 4L80E is a stout trans that I can live with. It's not a beauty queen but then again I don't need that, I just need a truck that won't let me down.

And about the 93, I bought it today so I'll be going and picking it up tomorrow and getting the parts I need for it on Saturday / Sunday. The K2500 Suburban has a 14 bolt rear axle but it's 9.5" but at least it'll contribute rear drum and backing plate plus a couple of the 8 bolt wheels / caps / beauty rings (with decent tires) and then I'll gather up the few missing bits that I need from other trucks in the yard. I've already ordered some parts to do all the standard maintenance that probably hasn't been done...rear axle, trans fluid, coolant etc, so I can get it ready to go for the winter. The only thing I don't know about at this point is whether I'll have the headlight conversion done this year or I'll just polish the plastic ones it has. I really prefer to have the sealed beam buckets so I can install H4 type headlights, they do so much better than plastic TBH.

Anyway, picking it up tomorrow...

Steve
Yeah at 200k+ For a 6.5 getting defo time to do some work... 152k on my k10 as mentioned I think that's when either it blew up or they removed it for gas. lol
 
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