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85 Chevy c-30

Discussion in 'Firewood, Heating and Wood Burning Equipment' started by Blackbruin, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. Blackbruin

    Blackbruin ArboristSite Operative

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    Never owned any chevys, always had dodges but they are hard to find anymore....

    It's a 1985 c30 with 4spd manual and 350 chevy....86k.

    No rust period....was just repainted, shop told me it was nicest Chevy cab they ever saw in years,including dump body, like no dings even in the bed...
    Never had a hitch on it.
    Was used for a guys driveway and firewood business.
    He is ready to give it all up, 90 some years old.
    Could use a dash cover but honestly no issue.
    All leaf springs good..tires new

    Only problem with truck is rear tank doesnt work.....but front does.

    $4500

    What's your take..
    Never had a 2 wheel drive...

    Cant find and decent stick 4x4 anymore that arent an arm and a leg....


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  2. cornfused

    cornfused Saw & Firewood HACK

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    I had a 1999 C3500 HD with a 454 & 2 wheel drive. Great truck, would pull/haul an ungodly load as long as it was on dry ground. If it was at all slimy or slick, even wet grass on a slight incline, the truck was helpless. Duallies without 4 wheel drive are useless IMHO.
     
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  3. fiasco

    fiasco ArboristSite Operative

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    Front and rear tanks on a Chebby? Maybe 1-ton dumps are different, but I thought those were side-saddle tanks (that 20/20 or 60 Minutes could blow up with model rocket engines).
     
  4. rancher2

    rancher2 ArboristSite Guru

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    I have owned a lot of square body Chevy's and they are good trucks if you need the second tank that can be fixed. I myself wouldn't own a two wheel drive one ton that I were going to be using to pull trailers off road and hauling firewood. Over the years I have tried a few two wheel drives for the farm because of money and it always ends the same I spend a lot of time walking to get the tractor to break the truck to lead to the road.
     
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  5. buzz sawyer

    buzz sawyer Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I worked at a Chevy dealer from 86 - 91. Only problem I saw with the trucks was carbon build up in the intake and valves from a hot soak and bad fuel we had back then. When you shut down a hot engine, fuel left in the intake and valve area would evaporate and leave a tar-like residue behind. It caused a stumble when cold due to the carbon absorbing the fuel but otherwise, good trucks.
    Just remembered one other item. Rarely, one of the wires going to the reluctor on the HEI ignition would break from flexing. When the vacuum advance pulled, the wire would flex and lose continuity - when accelerating.
     
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  6. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    I have owned a bunch of Chevy trucks from 1969-1990 models. While there are other makes that make better individual components none can compete with parts interchangeably or inexpensiveness of repairs. In the same generation 73-87 all mechanical parts interchange. There was a sheetmetal change in 81 but the cab and front clip between the newer and older will still bolt up. Even outside of that generation 67-02 many parts will interchange. Even converting one to 4wd is pretty straight forward.
    That model came with engine code M 350 that only made 160HP and 250lb/ft of torque. That is little more than the 4.3 v6 of the same year model. It would also have a SM465 transmission. It is one of the strongest 4 speeds available in a light truck. But it also has very wide gear ratios. Luckily the 350 has a wide powerband but with little power and the weight of a dump bed you won't be going anywhere fast. However simple mods like intake and headers can really wake that 350 up. It is one of those EPA choked all the power out of it engines. Unfortunately that also means it is a 100k engine, especially when used in a commercial setting. If it hasn't been rebuilt, $4500 is too much.

    I find the story behind this truck fishy. It sounds like a used car salesman's version of old ladies car that she only drove to church on Sunday. 90 year old still in the firewood business? I doubt it. 86k on a 35 year old truck? That's only 2500 miles a year. It is very easy to change the mileage on these trucks, or for that matter let it roll over. It is more likely to have 286-586k miles.
    All that being said that doesn't mean you shouldn't buy it. Just keep all this in mind and use it to get a better price. No rust is rare especially in floors, rockers, and doors. Check the body with a magnet to see if it full of bondo. Also look real close around the body mounts for any signs of rust. Again if the body has been repaired it is a negotiation point, not a show stopper. Damage to the frame however is a no go. Check out the dump system very closely. Make sure it was not put on by some backyard hack.

    If indeed every thing does check out it is worth $4500. I have seen 4x4 versions go for $4000-$8000 before but I don't keep up with the 2wd market. As mentioned earlier 2wd is all but worthless once you leave the pavement. In the snow you can put on chains to get around, but you would want a limited slip.
     
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  7. Blackbruin

    Blackbruin ArboristSite Operative

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    He has the original paperwork when he bought the truck from the no longer existing small family dealer. The bed was installed by them, they picked up the bed from a local dealer.

    One of the body shop workers had pictures of the cab before they did the work and it's pretty legit looking. It's a small one guy shop with 2 helpers.

    I dont doubt the mileage or the condition.
    Frame is solid, that hasnt been painted or undecorated, I took a screwdriver and hit all I could, no soft spots.

    He said he put a slap of bar and chain oil on the frame every year....


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  8. Blackbruin

    Blackbruin ArboristSite Operative

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    He gave me until Saturday at noon (tomorrow) to decide. Than it goes to the next guy in line...

    I'm just concerned about the 2wd.....
    I can put a locker in...

    Those are corporate 14's in them no?

    Like I said I'm a dodge guy....thanks for the help so far, ant other input feel free

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  9. JeffHK454

    JeffHK454 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    My 84 has a Dana 70..it has a PowerLoc and does fine off the pavement..as long as you are smart about it. When its soft or snowy out I don't mess with hauling firewood .. if I was running this truck day and day out to make a living I'd have a 4wd. I had K30 before the dump I have now and it sucked to load..was a good foot + higher at the dump body..older you get that exter lift height was a back beaker.
     
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  10. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    I would expect to find a 14 bolt under a mid 80's GM but Jeff is right. Some came with Dana 70 and PowerLoc was an option. It has a wider gear ratio options than the 14 bolt. They have the same size ring gear but the 70 has bigger axle shafts. The 70 was rated for 7500 lbs but the 14bolt is rated higher at 8600lbs. Both are good axles though I lean toward the 14bolt as there are tons out there and parts are cheaper. There is a 70HD that was rated for 10,000 lbs that can be identified by the 4" axle tube . I think that they only came under Kodiaks and TopKicks.

    If it indeed a one owner, rust free, 86k truck it is rare indeed and worth every penny he is asking. You have to decide if it fits your needs though. Depending on rear gears the best you could hope for is 10 mpg at 55 mpg. Even if I has 3.07 rear gears (doubtful, most had 4.10) you still won't get more than 8mph over 65 mph.
    These trucks were not built for high speed interstate travel.
     
  11. Blackbruin

    Blackbruin ArboristSite Operative

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    I gave him a call and he said it's a 14 bolt and he had a locker , 4.56 gears , and had the rear serviced? In 1993, right after the big blizzard here in NC pennsylvannia...
    Had trouble getting to his wood pile etc....

    He said he forgot all about that and apologized....I told him no need to, and I will see you tommorrow around 9am...he said make it 8am and he will treat me to breakfast...lol.

    So I'm gonna go for it...

    Worst case if I really need to have a 4wd is at least I wont lose any money with this rig I do believe....

    Thanks for all the input!

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  12. rarefish383

    rarefish383 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    My Dad bought a brand new 72 C30, 350 4 barrel, 4 speed manual. The 72's were pre smog motors in the C30's. I think the C10's and C20's had smog pumps. I went into the parts store once for a fan belt, walked out and it was way too long. I had to make him come out and look . He pulled up a 350 fan belt a couple years older and it worked. It did not lack in power any way shape of form. Being 16 and a motor head, I put a tach in it, and tried dumping the clutch at 5500. You've never heard anything like 4, 7.50X16, mud and snows frying on the black top.We had a 12' chipper box on it and pulled an Asplundh 16" drum chipper with it. Had it titled at 17,000 pounds. I didn't care for the 80's trucks because EPA killed them with lower compression, smaller valves, and smog pumps. By then Dad had gone to F600's for our chipper trucks. Obviously, we were a residential business, we did not scrounge wood. The only off road use was our wood lot. I got the truck stuck one time and was afraid my Dad was going to whip my but for taking it down in the lower pasture after days of rain. I took a 150' piece of climbing rope and squeezed it between the tires on one side, stuck it through a hole in the rim and tied a piece of firewood on it so it couldn't pull through the hole. Ran the rope under the truck, around a tree, and back under the truck and around the other tire. Put it in low and let the clutch out. Just let it idle and it wound the rope around the duel wheels and winched itself up the hill. When I got unstuck, I had to cut the rope in half and tie an end to the tree and back up to unwind it. Then pull back up to the tree and unwind the other side. Dad didn't care about all the mud and grass tore up, as long as the truck was ready for work the next day. Nobady ever missed one old climbing line. If I had a chance to get a C30 in the condition you described, I'd jump on it.
     
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  13. rarefish383

    rarefish383 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    As mentioned above, it's not hard to upgrade those to 4X4. The frames are the same for 4X2 and 4X4. My best friend back then had a cousin or two get busted and sent to jail for chop shopping Chevies of that period. They would buy a high condition 4X2 at an auction, fair and square, with good title. Then steal a 4X4 and swap out the front axle, and resell it as a 4X4. Then they would cut the stolen ones up and sell them as scrap. They got away with it for a couple years, and did enough of them, that they got serious jail time.
     
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  14. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    The frames aren't the same. It can be done, but it's quite a bit of work. The big PITA is swapping the engine cradle/crossmember.
     
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  15. ChoppyChoppy

    ChoppyChoppy Addicted to ArboristSite

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    I run an 83 C30, same engine and trans.

    It does fine with 2 cords of wood. Engine is well worn, so I'd imagine it'd be better if it wasn't like 100hp to the wheels at this point haha.
    I have 4.56 gears in it, averages around 7-8mpg. Granted when loaded it's sitting at around 17,000lbs.

    I've not had any issues with getting around. I have studded snow tires for winter and a Detroit locker, that helps quite a bit.

    I forget the reason for the D70 vs 14bolt. Maybe it was the big block trucks got the D70?
    I have 2 of them, an 83 and 82, both are 14 bolt. Both small block, 1 is a camper special/th400, the other a 4 speed.
     
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  16. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    You may be right about the Big Block getting the 70. My neighbor has a 82 diesel camper special and it is 14bolt. You would have to ask a GM insider from the 80's to know for sure, but I know that in 88-91 they used a special offset pinion 70HD with a 3.07 gear behind non-overdrive transmission 1 tons. Why they went that route for better fuel numbers instead of using 3.73 (or 3.54, or 3.21) gear 14 bolt behind a NV4500 doesn't make sense to me. On the other end of the scale a 14 bolt only goes to 5.38 gears where the 70 goes down to 7.17 gears. Again don't know that that matters to GM as the lowest gears I have seen from the factory since 1970 are 4.88.
     
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  17. 4seasons

    4seasons ArboristSite Guru

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    The longitudinal beams are the same, but the crossmember is certainly not. But "quite a bit of work" is subjective . Some guys think that changing the oil and rotating tires is to much work, so they leave it up to the "professional". I have seen the "professional" make more mistakes on these simple things to the point that I won't let them touch my vehicles. Sure if someone is used to replacing brakes, alternators, and starters a 4x4 conversion is a big job. But if someone has done frame off restorations, built a truggy, and swapped a 4 link in where leaf springs were, then turning a C30 into a K30 is pretty straight forward.
     
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  18. Whitbread

    Whitbread ArboristSite Operative

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    I'm going to be swapping my 82 k30 to a 4-53t Detroit diesel this winter, it's a 454 4x4 4spd. If you want the trans, t case, and front shaft, they're absolutely for sale. Truck has 110kmi. It's a cherry I flew to Cali and drove home to MI.

    [​IMG]
     
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  19. JeffHK454

    JeffHK454 Addicted to ArboristSite

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    Nice truck , I had almost the identical K30 but with a aluminum service boy...I actually bought it here on arboristsite.

    I gotta know why’d you swap a 53t Detroit in place of a 454? The diesel makes a little more Tq , less HP and weighs literally twice as much.
     
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  20. Whitbread

    Whitbread ArboristSite Operative

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    Thanks! It took quite a bit of hunting to find this guy. I'm going to do a hydraulic dump flatbed with front and rear air suspension over the winter if all goes well.

    A stock 4-53t was 185hp/435tq, so nothing terrible to scoff at. It's more than a first gen 5.9 Cummins was! The 4-53t I'm putting in is nothing normal though. It's fully built with a ddec electronic conversion and compound turbos. All parts are spec'ed for 500hp/1000lbft. Tossing on an air starter just for the hell of it too. I have a slowly running build thread over here https://www.greatlakes4x4.com/showthread.php?t=418578&page=2
     
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