Author Topic: Is my truck worth a rebuild?  (Read 148 times)

Offline cessnadriver

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Is my truck worth a rebuild?
« on: September 14, 2021, 09:59:38 PM »
Hey all, new member here. I've got an '85 C20 long bed 2X4 with a 350 and only 7 good cylinders. I've been trying to decide whether it is worth the cost of getting a rebuilt long block installed but I'm having trouble figuring out a value for it. I don't have the time or space to do the work myself so I'll have to pay and estimates are coming back between $4k and $6k for parts and labor. This isn't a passion project, it was a work truck and I'll likely sell it once it is running and can pass smog so I want to know if I'm likely to get my money back out of it. Very straight california truck, 81k miles, no rust but faded paint. What range would I be looking at with a fresh rebuilt long block installed?

Thanks!!

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: Is my truck worth a rebuild?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2021, 07:39:59 PM »
Welcome from SoCal San Diego!

Posting some pics would help... 8)
1957 Apache 3100 235 Inline 6, 3 on the tree
1973 C-20, 3+3 454 4BBL TH400  Water Injection
1978 K-10, 350 4BBL TH350 NP203 M.M. Part time Kit/Hubs
1980 C-10 under construction

Offline SilverMiner

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Re: Is my truck worth a rebuild?
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2021, 08:54:01 PM »
If you are mainly interested in getting your money back out of the sale, I doubt putting cash into the engine will gain much. At this point in time, I suspect the higher dollar buyers are more interested in locating a rust-free and complete truck with minimal PO (previous owner) molestation. As long as the body work, interior, and original wiring is intact this makes future drivetrain modifications or upgrades are much easier. That is what the flippers and long-term new owners are mostly looking for. Spending thousands to repair the original engine and drivetrain is something the next owner would prefer to make their own decisions on. As long as it can drive onto a trailer under its own power, I think you are ahead of the game regardless of how well it runs. Attempting to pass the California emissions test is only of value to a California buyer - there are lots of folks around the US interested in acquiring a clean California truck and taking it home.

If you want to maximize your return, do a thorough cleaning, take detailed pictures, describe it accurately and put it up for sale. If you wish to keep it and make it operable for your own use, decide how you intend to enjoy it, then select a crate engine and shop to perform the work.

There are lots of folks looking for solid squarebodies to begin their project. You may have what they want, regardless of how well the engine runs. Small block Chevy's are so common and easy to replace that I don't imagine that an engine with a dead cylinder would be a real hurdle to a serious buyer of a clean rig.

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: Is my truck worth a rebuild?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2021, 04:34:33 PM »
Great advice SM!

I'll add that if the paint is viable at all, have it buffed out by a detailer, and if it's in the budget have him do the inside, especially have him polish the top/ceiling of the cab. It's usually dulled out, and really pops when polished.

"People buy with the eye"
1957 Apache 3100 235 Inline 6, 3 on the tree
1973 C-20, 3+3 454 4BBL TH400  Water Injection
1978 K-10, 350 4BBL TH350 NP203 M.M. Part time Kit/Hubs
1980 C-10 under construction