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73-91 Crew cab trailer queen project, need advice

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by stoney126, Aug 31, 2005.

  1. stoney126

    stoney126 1/2 ton status

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    Hi all, I have been looking at buying a new diesel powered pickup. My choices were a dodge or ford since i can still get one with a solid axle. But i started thinking that maybe a 73 to 75 or crewcab w/ a diesel in it already would make a pretty cool project. I chose 73 to 75 or CC/ diesel so i dont have to smog it. Since most crewcabs have 1-ton gear in them already it seems like a good base to start with. What im looking for is info on what type of diesel motor would work efficiently in this truck. Anyone got some pics of some lifted crewcabs?
    Anyone took on a project like this? Am I better off just buying a new one?

    I dunno, i think a big ol' lifted crew cab with a current year diesel would pretty sweet :D
    Thanks for any info guys, sorry if i left anything out
     
  2. 3rdshiftdesign

    3rdshiftdesign 1/2 ton status

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    my friend is currently working on a similiar project.


    he did frame off, and a ton of mods to make it wheelable, capable of towing his camper/other wheeler. we just put the cab back on about a month ago and he still has some wiring and put an engine in. I think he's going with a 383 stroker-- anyhow, it's been just about a year in the making and still at least another 3 months before it's drivable, i'd imagine.

    he works on it constantly, too. he'll probably have about 20k invested into it, by the time it's complete. and he does all of the fab work, metal is next to nothing at the shop.

    i think by the time you replace everything that you deem necassary (depending on the person), you get yourself in pretty deep and damn near close in price to what a new truck costs. and he'll never get those hours of labor back if he sells it.

    i'd expect even more money if you're going to put a newer diesel into it, with all of the conversion stuff needed.

    however, his truck is awesome :D
     
  3. stoney126

    stoney126 1/2 ton status

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    20k aint so bad compared to 35 to 40 k for a new truck. Ive been looking around and you can get old crewcab for a few k in decent shape. I figure the hardest part will be getting a diesel engine in there, but im naive to such things. The more i think about it the more i like the idea :D
    Thanks for the info and get some pics of your buddies truck

    oh ya, i remember watching Monster garage and one of the Younger guys in the show had a lil shop and on his video bio there was a yellow crew cab that had a nice lift and some pretty meaty tires but they only showed for a second :mad:
    If i counly get that guy to send me sone pics :haha:
     
  4. resurrected_jimmy

    resurrected_jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    personal preference but I'd buy a new truck especially for a tow vehicle..... can you say WARRENTY
     
  5. MNorby

    MNorby 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I can't remember right off hand but chevy didn't start putting the 60s in the front till either 76 or 78 or right around there sometime.
     
  6. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    I'm working on a similar project but won't have near what some folks would invest. I didn't go so far as to remove the cab but it will see its fair share of work so I just can't justify replacing every nut and bolt and making it too purdy.

    By the time its all said and done(are they ever really done) I'll have approx. 10K invested. It is an 85 crewcab one ton 4x4 dually diesel. OK, it will be a 4x4 dually. The rest it is already. Eventually I'll find a turbo for the 6.2 or a 500 caddy. Whichever comes first probably. Gas prices the way they are i'll probably stick with the diesel and maybe try the greasel. It's getting a 6" lift and some 36's. No pictures as of yet though. Sorry.

    Should make for a capable tow rig. Not near what a new one costs and at the same time cheaper insurance and not so nice I'm not afraid to make it earn its keep.
     
  7. tiger9297

    tiger9297 1/2 ton status

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    I have been thinking about a similar project. I want a really nice truck to travel/tow camper in. I would like to have a crewcab 4x4 dually diesel but there aren't any out there. I have tried to find a 4x4 crew cab and thought I could cut the frame down and put a dually rear end, and dually short bed on it. I think that's probably the easiest way. I would also like to have a diesel but I don't want a 6.2 so I was trying to figure out what the best diesel engine would be. I'd like to have one of the Detroits out of a 6000-8000 series truck, but I don't know if it would fit or not. Anyway, I'm also looking for opinions, options, etc. I would definitely welcome pics and ideas.
     
  8. 3rdshiftdesign

    3rdshiftdesign 1/2 ton status

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    well, 20k + a ton of man hours and beer. that's to make it drivable, not even body work done to it. i love old chevy trucks, but if i was going to spend that kind of money on a tow vehicle, i'd buy a newer used one. spend $30k and put some mods into it. it certainly would be nice to have a vehicle like he's building, however, like resurrected_jimmy said, warranty, comfort, whatever else.. even he is getting fed up with it at this point. you were just looking for advice, and that's my .02 -- good luck with your decision.
     
  9. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

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    There is an 8.2 detroit diesel on ebay right now. Don't have a link. Saw it yesterday. Not sure if it'd fit either. Surely be heavy.
     
  10. camiswelding

    camiswelding 1/2 ton status

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    The Cleanest low mile v3500 crewcab in the US

    This is just a tickler!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    Im about to put my v3500 dually crew up for sale in the next day or two....



    Its the cleanest low mile (54k)crewcab v3500 ultimate tow rig left in the United States....

    Watch for the ad and pictures

    ....... and my broken heart
     
  11. REDCRO_REDNECK

    REDCRO_REDNECK 1/2 ton status

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    how many people buy a new truck and never have any warranty work done? I have not seen too many yet, and with all that cheap crap on newer cars/trucks they are pretty crappy at 80K. Than there is my 1987 chevy truck with 190k still going strong, never pick a new chevy over "ole reliable".

    as for diesel choice go 6.5L swap should be pretty simple most people are happy with them even though they don't have the reputation of cummins, or the power of d-max.
     
  12. 3rdshiftdesign

    3rdshiftdesign 1/2 ton status

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    not to hi-jack, but 4 of my friends have went through at least 4 injectors (one went through 9, and probably still going) on the duracraps. i'd buy a new ford or dodge.
     
  13. tiger9297

    tiger9297 1/2 ton status

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    Maybe I'm way off here but seems to me that this truck could be built for under 10K. If you do the engine work and body work yourself I just don't see how it could cost 20K, especially if you bought a truck w/ no engine and bought the engine out of a junkyard. Although, I have heard people on this site talk about a paint job for 10K, and I can get an excellent paint job here all day for 2-3K. I guess alot of it depends on where you live and the demand for that kind of thing.
     
  14. greywolf

    greywolf 1/2 ton status

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    here in DALLAS a used cummins start 4500. same with powerstrokes
     
  15. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    One thing to note... at least for the pre-smog years (are you in Napa CA, yes?) ... there are C20 (3/4) crewcabs, but they're basically C30's (1-tons) in fact. I suspect Chevy was doing weird things with GVWR and emissions laws.

    Mine is on paper a 3/4-ton, but the sixpacks *all* have the thicker frame, narrow spring spacing, etc. After much digging through the parts books, we discover that the C20 crewcabs get all the same parts as the C30's, except for the rear springs, which are the same as 1-ton regular cabs. I don't know about later years, but I suspect that all of them are, essentially 1-tons.

    And as someone pointed out, K30 (4wd) crewcabs (possibly K30 pickups of any flavour?) didn't happen until 1977 or 78 or so, i.e. in the smog years.

    If you are going to get a later (smog) truck, I'd hold out for a 1991 with the 4L80E tranny and fuel injection.

    -- A
     
  16. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    I bought my Crew for $1K. It is has a dente3d front bumper and fender but other wise decent. I have seen several used dodge/cummins 12V combos going for about $1500-2000 in good running shape. I can get a 88 K30 Dually frame/suspesion/axles/dually fenders for $1000 from the salvage yard. Figure rebuild of engine, trans, axles, new tires, interior etc. you can come in well under 10K. I say Crewcab+Cummins= PERFECT! BTW up until 77 the crew will fall under HD emissions, which is basically nothing. And from what I can tell the 3/4 tons are a 1 ton just rated at a lower towing rate. Everything for my 77C20 Crewcab is the same as a C30 of the same year. Things like shocks, brakes etc you might as well tell the parts counter guys you have a 1 ton cause their computers dont have the right parts listed under 3/4 ton.
     
  17. 3rdshiftdesign

    3rdshiftdesign 1/2 ton status

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    i guess everyone has different views on putting things together. personally, i'd prefer to do everything at once, then to have to tear into it again later on. everyone is different.
     
  18. stoney126

    stoney126 1/2 ton status

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    thanks for all the info guys. I dont know where i heard it from and not if it's true but, are cummins the easier of the 3 (powerstroke, duramax) to swap in?
     
  19. REDCRO_REDNECK

    REDCRO_REDNECK 1/2 ton status

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    cummins would be the "easiest" of the others but just remember the weight makes it that much harder on a d60! 1100lbs :eek1:
     
  20. stoney126

    stoney126 1/2 ton status

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    ouch, 1100 lbs?
     

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