Author Topic: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?  (Read 3283 times)

Offline Stewart G Griffin

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2020, 06:04:38 PM »
This is going to sound fuddy-duddy, but you don't have time right now for this----you should be concentrating on grades, girls, socializing etc.

THEN, when you graduate, you might then have more time depending on what your plans are.

So, if you must  go with a square, get one as stock as possible. NO MODIFICATIONS or as little modifications as possible and get one where everything works properly and it runs properly.   i would go 2WD and straight 6, or v-6.   v-8 is ok too.

4WD is ok too and might even be easier to fix because more ground clearance.  But, again, find one as stock as possible.

1) Best plan---wait until you graduate.

2) If you REALLY need a car ( i don't think you do, then again Alaska may be more spread out than most places?) then i would go to the used car lot for something more later model and then find a decent mechanic.  THEN, after you graduate, you can get into the squares and get deeper into it as a hobby.

Yes, the trucks are relatively simple to work on compared to newer vehicles, but it's always going to take longer than you think and cost more money than you think.   You don't have time right now.

i've always found it annoying when someone just randomly walks up and asks if i want to sell it.  i resist the temptation to ask, "do you see a for sale sign on it......."    i've even had notes left on my windshield.     But, maybe you're a personable guy?

Not saying you can't do all this, but i don't think it's the best course of action.
Many here will probably disagree with me, but that's my .02.
« Last Edit: April 11, 2020, 06:06:23 PM by Stewart G Griffin »

Offline roundhouse

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is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #16 on: April 11, 2020, 09:37:19 PM »
Unless
You have another vehicle to drive , for when youre working on the squarebody, Id get a newer vehicle.
  Dont know about where you live but where Im at , you can find reliable used cars for under $2000 easily.

My 15 yr old son also wanted a 4wd 4 speed Stepside square body.
   We bought it as a reward for him learning a foreign language.

He was able to drive one of my vehicles when the K10 needed work, which was very frequently. 

Hes become quite a good mechanic from replacing the engine and transmission and axles and doing an LS swap and two different spring swaps, installing vintage air AC etc

And yes, find one thats not been modified.  Trying to fix all the jacked up wiring where some teenager installed a stereo and speakers etc is a lot of work .
 Every truck that has a lift kit, it has been done terribly, using the cheapest lowest quality parts and was done by people who had no clue what they were doing.
« Last Edit: April 12, 2020, 09:39:10 AM by roundhouse »

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #17 on: April 11, 2020, 10:21:29 PM »
 "  Millions were converted to part-time for no better reason to gain an imagined 10% of economy in a rig that would only get 10mpg on average to start with. "

Okay, whatever. All I know is the diff in horsepower is noticeable, and while I haven't measured the mileage increase, get this: No one expects these beauties to get good mileage. Okay? There is a cost associated with looking like no other truck on the planet. Same is true of any classic car/truck.

We own these for a few good reasons: they speak to a time of our youth, when things made more sense, when life was simpler,  when you could exercise self sufficiency by working on, tuning, and improving your own rig.

Griff, pls, let me go lay down by my bowl as I listen to your buzz-kill stuff. Girl stuff at this age is an exercise in futility... Do you remember the name of your 10th grade crush? Oh wait; we just want to 'hook up'? Is that your angle? Please direct us to where the 'stats' support the success rate of such a irresponsible lifestyle. Don't forget the unwed mothers and broken families that result from those who marry before age 25. Numbers don't lie...

wannak10, no one on this site knows your particulars. If you have the means to get one of these truck, know that you will spend down time, as some have stated. Having a second vehicle available is wise advice.

Finally, advice on purchasing on site:

1. Have the cash offer in your hand, if it's not enough, so be it. But let him/her speak the number. "the first one who talks price, Loses" Do not give in, walk away if they will not name their price.

2. If you have had your eye on a certain purchase, wait until a Rainy Day to make your move. Cars/trucks look worse when wet, and the owner will be embarrassed to suggest the real value because it looks like crap, dirty inside and out.

3. Finally, bold move, arrive at the persons home around 7 am, knock on the door and when you ask if the truck is for sale, hold out a roll of 1 dollar bills. Bill roll, probably 2-300.00! For two reasons: if they are criminal and try to rob you, you only have a roll of low value bills. If they are serious, you can pull the rest of your Benjamin's out of your sock and make the deal.




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 JAH

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2020, 01:24:56 AM »
I wanted to add something here...


I've bought trucks from all over the nation.  So, maybe I have some unique perspectives, and maybe I don't.  My deal is this, depending on how mechanically adept you and your Dad are, a cheaper truck may turn-out to be A LOT more expensive in the long run than a truck that is a bit more expensive in the beginning.

I'm not very mechanically inclined.  I can do some small maintenance/repair stuff on my own, but have to pay more experienced folks to handle the larger jobs.  And, I can tell ya', a $3K truck can quickly become a $25K truck in no-time flat.  So, if you find a truck that is being driven daily, but is a bit more expensive, it may turn-out to be a bigger bargain in the end.  A guy who is driving his truck more often is usually dealing with problems as they present themselves...at least in my humble opinion.  Whereas, a cheaper truck that has been sitting in the weeds for 5-10 years, with the tractor and shredder mowing around it every month, is developing problems by the minute.

Just my $0.02.  You're welcome to take it or leave it.



*I have come to the reality that I will never find another K30 regular cab dually to add to my collection.  Despite that, I still punish myself by truck "shopping" on a regular basis.  So, if you want to post your "truck budget", I'd be more-than-happy to do my part to put a young'n in his dream Square Body, and share what I come-across with you.  If you don't feel comfortable posting that publicly, but still want to take me up on my offer, feel free to message me.  I'll gladly keep my eyes open. :)

**I admire you.  My Nephew is 25 years old.  His Dad is a life-long P&B guy, and his Uncle a Master Mechanic.  Many years ago, his Dad bought a '74 K10 short/wide, with the hopes of he and his Son (my Nephew) getting it back on the road.  Unfortunately, my Nephew lacks motivation, and is content to hang with his friends, smoke his weed, and let that K10 sit and rot.  It's a shame.
I spent most of my money on Jack Daniel's, Copenhagen, pocket knives, and 4X4 trucks.  The rest I just wasted.

Offline VileZambonie

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #19 on: April 12, 2020, 07:29:31 AM »
Being young, whatever you find, it will be a learning experience and that in itself is priceless. I got my first one at 16, 1980 C10, 400sbc, TH400 custom deluxe. I spent a lot of my time and money on it, always had time for music, women(girls), and still had time to kill. Don't ruin the experience by trying to buy one that you just get to look at. Wrenching, body work, tweaking & customizing is all part of the fun and experience. Enjoy it.
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Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #20 on: April 12, 2020, 08:31:13 PM »
Well said!  ;)
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 wannak10

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2020, 07:31:36 PM »
wow, this got a lot of replies quick
so I figured I would say a few things and see if that helps.

1 my Dad is a principal at my school and my mom a teacher so if my grades drop to a B I'm not going anywhere, thus I tend to have good grades.

2 up here its a 20 min drive to town and 1 hour worth of driving to anchorage (our main city)

3 I am going to work for an Aircraft mechanic this summer scrubbing floats, sweeping the hanger,  moving items, etc. my budget will probably be in the2-4k range. however, my parents already said they will "help me out" my first year with gas money insurance initial cost, etc

4 I intend to get a driving project, something with a few minor issues that I can work on and learn about.

now with that all said ( perhaps that should have been in my original post to save you all some time)
I am pretty set on getting a k10 right now but there seems to be mixed consensus on if you can walk up and make an offer. With some saying it would be a nuisance and others saying its the best route. I would have thought it to be rude but most of you say otherwise and offered some solid advice on how to do that. Are there any more tricks you guys know of to get the best deal on a solid truck or is that about it?

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2020, 10:23:11 PM »
Yeah, forgot one:

"Lost Interest" is a car/truck that is a good candidate, but filthy dirty, has one or more flat tires, has debris like dirt and leaves or worse gathered around the tires. Look for crap piled on top, in the bed, and hope for a rainy day. 

Take note of the geo location, and drive by once or more a month if possible.

If it has moved, not as good a candidate. If it fits "lost interest", make your move.

If they are open to it, bring a battery or jumpers, and try to get it to start, (after you check oil and water) and see if it shifts into forward and reverse. If neither, move on.

Oh, and the Bold 7:00 am visit is going on the hunch that they haven't had coffee, or at least their second cup. The view of a roll of bills will get their juices flowing without caffeine.

BTW, If you have your parents and a rich uncle, I could be talked out of my K10 for 20K or slightly less.  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 bigben5054

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #23 on: April 14, 2020, 09:07:11 AM »
I don't know what the culture is like in Alaska, or whether it is any different than here in the midwest (Iowa), but here I don't think it would be considered rude to walk up and ask someone if a vehicle is for sale.  Specifically, I am talking about a vehicle that you notice doesn't ever go anywhere and seems to be sitting there dying a slow and painful death.  You'll want to wait until the whole social-distancing thing is over, obviously.

To those that opine you should not be looking for a square for your first vehicle, I respectfully disagree.  They may have the "smarter" advice (maybe) but there is no fun in driving around a 2000 Camry.  My first several vehicles were squares and now that I'm a wise old 40 looking back, I wouldn't have done anything different.  And it's not even a close question.

Again, my advice would be to look for as mechanically solid of a truck as you can afford.  Not going to lie, these things are a constant to-do list.  Cross one thing off the list and add two more.  The trick is making sure that for the most part, those things on the to-do list are minor things that you can work on when you have the time and money while still driving it, versus major things that cause you to park it.

So pay attention to the engine - good oil pressure, runs smooth, no weird unidentifiable noises.  Pay attention to the transmission - shifts smooth, no slipping/screetching, no weird unidentifiable noises.  I wouldn't get too hung up on auto vs. manual, but that's up to you.  Look for leaks from anywhere underneath.  If the seller knows you are coming to look at it, then tell them NOT to have it warmed-up.  Sometimes issues go into hiding after they are warmed up.  Look in the bed - see any jugs of engine oil, antifreeze, gear lube, or transmission fluid?  That would be a red flag and something I would ask about.  Got the seller's name?  Do a quick search on facebook.  Maybe you find posts about how big of a P.O.S. their truck is, or how they have treated it.

Things, in my opinion, that you can learn to live with in order to get a dependable truck within your budget...rust, dents, scratches, rough interior, multi-colored body panels.  There is a huge drop in price range between trucks with these types of issues and those without.  These are issues that you can fix over time on your own schedule when you have the time and money while still driving the truck.
   

Offline wannak10

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #24 on: April 15, 2020, 12:50:32 PM »
ok, that helps thanks. one last small question before I start to check back on this less frequently, how can you tell the difference between an abandoned project and something that has been sitting for 10-15 years?

Offline JohnnyPopper

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #25 on: April 15, 2020, 02:34:25 PM »
Abandoned usually has lots of missing parts; door, seat, motor trans, glass etc. One that some chucklehead thought he was making 'cool' and was in over their head.

Lost interest is usually complete, dirty, flat tires.

You want it to be as complete as possible.

If you find a candidate, and you are going to make an offer, look for the evil hidden enemy: RUST.  >:(

Use a small magnet to test around areas where these trucks are known to rust.

Show some respect and wrap it thin in electrical tape so it won't damage the surfaces.

Be especially careful if the paint job is not too old.

If the magnet doesn't stick, it's probably filled with BONDO. Move on... ;)
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 Stewart G Griffin

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #26 on: April 15, 2020, 08:18:43 PM »
"  Millions were converted to part-time for no better reason to gain an imagined 10% of economy in a rig that would only get 10mpg on average to start with. "

Okay, whatever. All I know is the diff in horsepower is noticeable, and while I haven't measured the mileage increase, get this: No one expects these beauties to get good mileage. Okay? There is a cost associated with looking like no other truck on the planet. Same is true of any classic car/truck.

We own these for a few good reasons: they speak to a time of our youth, when things made more sense, when life was simpler,  when you could exercise self sufficiency by working on, tuning, and improving your own rig.

Griff, pls, let me go lay down by my bowl as I listen to your buzz-kill stuff. Girl stuff at this age is an exercise in futility... Do you remember the name of your 10th grade crush? Oh wait; we just want to 'hook up'? Is that your angle? Please direct us to where the 'stats' support the success rate of such a irresponsible lifestyle. Don't forget the unwed mothers and broken families that result from those who marry before age 25. Numbers don't lie...

wannak10, no one on this site knows your particulars. If you have the means to get one of these truck, know that you will spend down time, as some have stated. Having a second vehicle available is wise advice.

Finally, advice on purchasing on site:

1. Have the cash offer in your hand, if it's not enough, so be it. But let him/her speak the number. "the first one who talks price, Loses" Do not give in, walk away if they will not name their price.

2. If you have had your eye on a certain purchase, wait until a Rainy Day to make your move. Cars/trucks look worse when wet, and the owner will be embarrassed to suggest the real value because it looks like crap, dirty inside and out.

3. Finally, bold move, arrive at the persons home around 7 am, knock on the door and when you ask if the truck is for sale, hold out a roll of 1 dollar bills. Bill roll, probably 2-300.00! For two reasons: if they are criminal and try to rob you, you only have a roll of low value bills. If they are serious, you can pull the rest of your Benjamin's out of your sock and make the deal.

Wasn't trying kill anyone's buzz or impose fuddy-duddyness on anyone.   i'm trying to be REAL.

No i don't remember my 10th grade crush (i never learned her name in the first place...... :-[) Anyways, Don Prudhomme and i'm sure millions of others, however, DO remember their school crushes very well.   i was meaning pursuing girls in terms of relationships, not necessarily "hooking up."

Offline Stewart G Griffin

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #27 on: April 15, 2020, 08:36:21 PM »
Ok, i can't be polite or sugar coat it any longer:

YOU. DON'T. HAVE. TIME. FOR. THIS. RIGHT. NOW.

1) If your mom and dad work at your school this further proves you don't need a car right now.

2) i stated earlier, and i would ask that you re-read it and think about it, that it will always cost more money and take more time than you think:

i parked my truck Christmas eve because the trans went out.  i did not get it running again until last weekend.   
Granted:
a) the shop that rebuilt it took 4 weeks and i knew that going in. 
b) i was and am working about 50-60 hours per week, so again, you try working 50-60 hours a week and see how much time you have to work on a car.

c) i'm not a great mechanic.   So, i have to ask you kiddo:  Have you ever replaced a transmission all by yourself?    Get a used truck and the trans could go anytime.....or not in fairness.    But the engine could.........


Isn't helping your dad with HIS truck(and hopefully he'll let you drive it occasionally) good enough for now?   You can learn on HIS dime.     

i'm not saying absolutely never get a truck.  i'm saying why not wait until the time is better for this?    Only a year and a half away.   Is there any particular reason why you need it now?

Offline JAH

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #28 on: April 15, 2020, 10:37:32 PM »
...c) i'm not a great mechanic.   So, i have to ask you kiddo:  Have you ever replaced a transmission all by yourself?    Get a used truck and the trans could go anytime.....or not in fairness.    But the engine could...


This ^^^ was the main point I was trying to make with my last post.


Sure, it's great to buy a truck to learn how to work on things.  But, a $200 motorcycle...or a $25 lawnmower, for that matter...would probably be a better choice for you to cut your teeth on gaining mechanical knowledge.

My point was this...Try to save a little more in hopes of finding something that is in decent shape to start.  Nothing will harsh your vibe like putting a lot of hard-earned cash down on something that then spends the next two years sitting, while you continually work-out issues.  That kinda' thing could wind-up being the next abandoned project.

If you spend a few more months saving a little more money, you may find something that an older lady or gentleman uses every day, and that only needs a few new fluids and some bulbs, or the like.  Then, you can drive and enjoy it, and spend the weekends making it yours.


Just my $0.02.  Your mileage may vary.
I spent most of my money on Jack Daniel's, Copenhagen, pocket knives, and 4X4 trucks.  The rest I just wasted.

Offline wannak10

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Re: is a k10 too much of a project for a beginner?
« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2020, 09:26:03 PM »
ok I think I might stick with my original plan which was to get an early 2000s late 90s truck in good condition save up then sell that truck and get what I want at that point, we will see.

 and yeah a truck is pretty important up here you can't go anywhere without a vehicle.