Author Topic: Repair, replace, or junk the truck  (Read 275 times)

Offline 81vee

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 9
  • Yep. Another newbie.
Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« on: November 12, 2017, 05:31:55 AM »
Howdy,

I'm in quite of a pickle with my 81 Chevy K20 project.

After working with the new crate motor that the guy before me put in, I realized that it most likely has a head gasket leak or some other terrible problem. If you let the 350 sit, no oil or water will mix. However, when you run the motor, and especially when it warms up, pretty much all of the coolant will be dumped into the oil pan, often filling it twice or three times over the max fill line after running it for a few minutes. I replaced the intake manifold gasket, but it didn't make the problem any better. When I removed it, rust was clearly visible in all of the water jackets as well as the number five intake port. When I start it, I believe that particular cylinder gets flooded with water, because it seems to be hydrolocked when it turns over a few times.

On top of that, a closer look at the frame reveals rot where the previous owner tried to cover it up with paint. It looks like he didn't even try to sand down the frame. I can feel all of the bumps from rust. A rear support for the frame is also dangling. Seems like it rusted right off of the bolt and bracket that held it on.

Realistically, if I wanted to fix it right, I'd have to take the cab and bed off of the frame, and sand down everything, including the body, although it's in good shape. It needs a new coat of paint, and it has relatively little, if any, rust. Then I'd have to re wire everything, which I partiall already did. I probably wasted my time. The tranny and transfer case seem to be okay. It moves.

I think I'd be better off selling this for parts and getting a truck or another project that doesn't have this many problems, although this one was a freebie for me.

There's just a lot going on, and I'd like to hear from you guys on what you think. Thanks for reading all this  ;)
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 05:34:16 AM by 81vee »

Offline roundhouse

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1313
  • Newbie
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2017, 07:23:33 AM »
Might be easier and cheaper  to get another one and keep this one for parts




Online VileZambonie

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 16306
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2017, 07:25:44 AM »
It sounds like the best way to tackle this truck is to either do a total restoration and make a project out of it or parts truck. Restoring a truck is done because you want to build your own, not something you would do because you have to. It's cheaper to buy something already restored if you are a tinkerer. A frame off will take a while but is a long term project. Look around at some of the member rides posts to see what all was involved in complete builds.
,                           ___ 
                         /  _ _ _\_
              ⌠ŻŻŻŻŻ'   [☼===☼]
              `()_);-;()_)--o--)_)

Offline Stewart G Griffin

  • Site Supporters
  • Senior Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2818
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2017, 11:26:25 AM »
1) How do you know the engine is/was new?

2) Where do you live?

Offline 81vee

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 9
  • Yep. Another newbie.
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2017, 05:05:49 PM »
Alright, thanks for all the replies.

I know the engine was new because the owner of the garage I got it from kept it back there, and told me the guys before me threw the engine in and left it there. I live in northern Rhode Island.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2017, 06:24:02 PM by 81vee »

Offline Stewart G Griffin

  • Site Supporters
  • Senior Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2818
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #5 on: November 12, 2017, 09:11:41 PM »
If the engine is new, it should still be under warranty?

Offline AZ4X4SQBDY

  • Registered Users
  • *
  • Posts: 111
  • Newbie
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #6 on: November 12, 2017, 11:13:41 PM »
What  do you plan to do with the truck? Is it just going to be an extra vehicle at the house used for Home Depot trips or a something you want to put into daily use that presents itself like a restoration? Or something in between?

The parts to change the head gaskets should be under $150 and the frame might last a couple more years now that it is painted. I think you would be hard pressed to find another for what you have into it. For me to part a truck I want to make twice what I think it's worth whole for my time to take stuff off and deal with the calls.

1987 GMC Sierra Classic 4x4 short, fleet, 1985 Chevrolet Silverado 4x4 short, step side, '87 Chevy Silverado short fleet, '91 Dodge Ramcharger LE 4x4,
2005 Porsche Boxster S,1982 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce

Offline fitz

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1930
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2017, 07:56:11 PM »


 A rear support for the frame is also dangling. Seems like it rusted right off of the bolt and bracket that held it on.
[/quote]

  Any pics of this bracket? Are you sure that's not the spare tire carrier? Any frame crossmembers should be rivited in place from the factory, not bolted.  It seems odd that the frame was rotted if the body is rust free, but anything is possible.
  I would feel better trying to convince you to replace the motor knowing the truck had a solid frame.
  Others have brought up some great points.
  Would this truck be roadworthy with a new/used motor?
   

Offline 81vee

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 9
  • Yep. Another newbie.
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2017, 06:21:44 AM »
Alright, back again from a short hiatus.

In terms of the crate motor, it was new, but that was four years ago. Obviously the 90 day warranty has long expired. I have some lovely pics of the milk I found inside of it after I took the intake manifold off.

As for what I'm going to use it for, since it has a 4" lift, a SM465, and a 4.10 rear axle, it's going to be used for off-roading and other recreational uses rather than driving.

As for that dangling piece I was talking about, I'm going to check some images of a complete K20 frame and see what's what. Btw, the body was swapped from a C10 to the frame of a K20, so that's probably why the body is good but the frame not so much.

Thanks for the replies  :D

Offline Stewart G Griffin

  • Site Supporters
  • Senior Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2818
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #9 on: November 19, 2017, 08:24:58 AM »
New Gm crate engines have 3 yr/ 100,000 mile warranty.

If no paperwork, then engine is not "new."

Offline roundhouse

  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 1313
  • Newbie
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2017, 09:59:26 PM »
New Gm crate engines have 3 yr/ 100,000 mile warranty.

If no paperwork, then engine is not "new."
True

Lots of people claim a new time. But when you ask for receipt they dont have one

If you spent that much money for something that had a warranty
Would you lose the receipt ??

Online ChevyK20BBC

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 11
  • Newbie
Re: Repair, replace, or junk the truck
« Reply #11 on: November 22, 2017, 10:12:19 AM »
I would try doing a cylinder leak-down test, maybe starting with #5 since you said there was evidence of rust in the intake runner. Have you done a compression test on the engine?