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? about 'Burb purchase

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 77crewcab, Nov 27, 2006.

  1. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    I recently traded my 77 crewcab for a 63 Nova project, now I find myself wanting another truck to replace our aging minivan. I am able to get a 86 burb with 305/700/unkown gears in decent condition other than paint for $1500. Or and 89 with a 350/700/unknown gears in about the same mechanical condition, little nicer interior, and better paint for $2500-$3000, maybe as low as $2000 with some trading. I am not sure which would be the better choice and need some opions. Here is what I am looking to get from the burb as far as needs and wants are concerned.

    Things that both offer:
    Family friendly with plenty of room
    Able to hold lots of cargo on vacations
    Able to take the place of my truck as far as hauling things like lumber
    Ease of maintenance/parts availability

    Things I am unsure of:
    Considering both are in stock trim and equal rearend gearing,which would give better mileage
    What would be a good gearing to have for daily driver with lots of highway miles and occaisional light towing (up to 5000 lbs)
    On the towing issue would the 305 suffice for towing 5K occaisionally (like taking a camper on vacation 2-3 times a year and towing the nova around to different shops)
    Is the TBI really that much better than a Q-jet? I have experience working on the Q-jet but have never had anything to do with the TBI, are they a hassle to work on.

    Are there any other issues I should think about before deciding on which one I want? It has been so long since I have driven a truck with a small block that I can't recall really what the power is like and even then I don't know if it was a 305 or 350 since it wasn't mine. I guess my biggest questions relate to the 305 and wondering if it would be enough for what I need without hurting mileage and daily driven performance due to the engine being smaller. I at least want it to be able to get out of it's own way, but I am not looking for a hot rod. That is what the nova will be for.
     
  2. cbbr

    cbbr 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I just can't see buying one with a 305. I didn't even know that was an option. Mine has a 350/th400/4.10 stock and I wish that it had a little more power.
     
  3. SkysTheLimit

    SkysTheLimit 1/2 ton status

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    If you can get the 89 with TBI and still be in your budget, I'd do that. My K5 had a 350TBI and it was great for DD stuff and hauling a boat around. Never really have to dink with it. Just keep your sensors in working order. I didn't have any greif out of mine except for the EGR valve sticking.

    That said, if you're more comfortable working on a Q jet, a 305 should pull what you need. A buddy has a Ferd 150 with the 4.6 and pulls his big heavy boat all over the place. My neighbor also has a F150 with the V6 and pulls his big lawn maintenance trailer around every day. If it feels anemic, gears can fix that. :)

    If you're used to BB power, you'll be dissapointed even with the 350. My vote is the 89. You'll get bigger motor, better edition of the 700R4 and fuel injection.
     
  4. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    How heavy was your boat and how often/length of trip did you tow it. It is pretty flat around here with just a few small hills to worry about. The budget is of concern but really I guess both burbs are within the budget. I was thinking that if the 305 would do what I want from it for now then I might just go with it and spend the savings on the nova. I guess I could always look for a 350 down the line. I really just can't decide since they are in comprable shape other than the paint which I don't care about anyway. Although the 89 does have a slightly cleaner interior. Both have a class III hitch already on them and are equal in options. I need someone to just make up my mind for me. I would like to get the cheaper 305 but the burb is a big heavy son of a gun and I don't want it to be such a dog that it would get horible mileage and wouldn't be able to do the light towing I am looking at. Of course on the mileage I figure both will beat the 454 in the crewcab hands down. I mean any thing is better than 9mpg. and both of these burbs should be hitting what 15-17 average.
     
  5. SkysTheLimit

    SkysTheLimit 1/2 ton status

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    I had for a short while a 21' center console but it was VERY large for being only 21' and a CC boat. It was on the order of 5k lbs on the trailer. I never pulled it very far. Max of about 20 miles 1 way. You could definately tell it was there. I'm in Florida so there were no hills or anything to contend with. My buddy pulls a 6k+ boat around with his F150. Made a couple trips to the Keys (500 miles 1 way) no problem.

    I'd still err on the side of caution and get the 350. No replacement for displacement as the saying goes.

    All my experiences mind you were with a K5 or F150 trucks. Not as heavy as the burb so there's some variables un-accounted for.
     
  6. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Okay I'll take that into account. Anyone else with any experience driving a 305 burb? This is 2WD if that makes a difference, at least no 4WD stuff to carry around.
     
  7. GMCJason

    GMCJason 1/2 ton status

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    Personally, I'd run from the 305. Looking at the brochure (http://brochures.slosh.com/) it appears the 305 only came in the 2wd 1/2 ton configuration so it's probably pretty rare. I've never seen one and didn't know they existed from the factory.

    I have a 90 3/4 ton with the same drive train as cbbr (350/th400/4.10) rolling on 35s and I wish I had more power, too - lots more power - and I don't tow with it.

    I'd try and drive them both if possible just so you know what you're in for, especially if you're used to the big block. I get frustrated going from my 2001 with the 8.1L to the 90 with the 5.7L but it comes with the territory.

    Good luck with your decision, since it is, ultimately, your decision. But, if you want help making up your mind - 89 with the TBI 350 :waytogo:.
     
  8. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Well just found out that the engine/trans on the 89 has been replaced with the engine/trans from a 91 Caprice 9C1 police car if that makes any difference as far as handling the weight of the burb and towing. Would I need to change the cam or anything? This would be a roller engine correct?
     
  9. blazd88

    blazd88 1/2 ton status

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    Iv been averaging 22 mpg:eek1: in my burb (some highway of course) and its a 89 with 350/700. Oh and its for sale:D but its 2wd. I hate to sell it but too much going on. I bought it for parts because it only has 54k on it with perfect interior. The interior was going in my 83 K-30 and the engine was for my 72 blazer but after driving it I couldnt part it. Its now our bar hopper lol. Ive had 2 88s with the same combo and both were 4x4. Id love to have another!

    Either way hit me up. A good friend of mine is a wholeseller so his deals are usually pretty good. None the less nice to know someone else in town.
     
  10. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    22 JIGAWATTS?!?!?!?
     
  11. twoslo4five0

    twoslo4five0 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    if you are looking at spending some mone i know were there is a really clean 3/4 ton fuel injected one with lift and tires...pm if interested..
     
  12. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    The ones I am looking at are 2WD as well. That all I really need/want right now. I am actually getting them from the same guy (a coworker) that sold me the nova. Biggest advantage to it is that he agreed to basically give me which ever one I wanted and let me make payments when I can throughout the spring, so now I am really looking at the 89 but still considering the 86.
     
  13. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Went to take a better look at both tonight (inside a well lit shop) and the 89 has some rust in the floors. Not anything bad, but possibly more than what I want to get into right now. Aside from the peeling paint the 86 body seems to be in better shape. I couldn't drive the 89 cause it is still in the middle of having the engine put in, but I drove the 86 and it didn't seem too bad. It seems like it would probably do for what I want/need right now and I could always upgrade it. Still a little concerned about the 350/700 being from a Caprice rather than a truck. Would the cam specs from a police car be bad for the weight of the burb and towing. Also if I swapped a SM 465 in place of a 700 would it help the 305 do a better job of moving the big beast around? I am still pretty torn as to which one to get but I am seriously thinking of just getting the 86 with the 305 and then if it isn't up to the task swap in one of the GM Universal 350 crate engines. I would still only be in for about $3K total. I already have the SM465 and most of the swap parts since I was planning to do the swap on the crewcab so I could always put it in the burb along with a Gearvendors O/D down the line.
     
  14. cabledawg

    cabledawg Secret Squirrel Premium Member

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    Even though the car package worked great for the caprice, I'd be alittle sketchy on having it in a truck. The blocks aren't built the same and same with the trannies. If you dead set on one of these two, I'd opt for the older one that had the 305. You can always swap in a 350 TBI later with very little mods and the 305 was essentially the same block, so alot of parts work for both.
     
  15. JEBSR

    JEBSR 1/2 ton status

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    I would get the 89. Fuel injected, 350 instead of 305, 30 spline axles instead of 28, and better paint and interior. You would spend more than the differance in price getting the cheaper one into the condition of the 89 from the sound of it.
     
  16. SkysTheLimit

    SkysTheLimit 1/2 ton status

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    Not knowing the year of the caprice motor, just make sure it's not an LS1. Alot of the caprices were in the last body style they did (early to mid 90's). That would play a big factor if I were in your shoes.

    Each post sounds like you're set on the 86 so just go get it. I still say go with the 89 but you're going to do what you want which is the way it should be.

    Another consideration is emissions. It hasn't been brought up but if you're in a sniffer state the 86 is 3 years closer to exemption but the 89 probably easier to pass.
     
  17. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Well emisions are not an issue at all where I live so no worries there. While the 89 paint and interior look a little better it would need some floor rust repairs. The Caprice engine is a standard 350 roller engine from a 91 police car but as mentioned above not sure how it would do in a much heavier vehicle. I have pretty much decided on the 86 which would be a decent driver for now and I could upgrade to a 350 later on. Still wondering if the SM465 would be better than the 700 but just to get a decent driver I think it will be fine for now. I would like the 89 but it just seems to leave me with a lot of questions and doubt and feel it is best not to get it.
     
  18. 77crewcab

    77crewcab 1/2 ton status

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    Well I decided to get the 86 with the 305 and when I called to tell my friend my decision the deal was sweetened somewhat. Knowing that I would rather have a 350 but had some concerns about the Caprice engine in a burb, he offered me a seperate 350 and rebuild kit he was planning to rebuild for $50. This was kind of a "make good" deal since I was supposed to have gotten a 305/700 combo as part of the deal on my nova and that engine wound up spinning a bearing just before it was pulled. So now it looks like I have the 86 with 305 I can drive daily while I build up the 350. And once I put the 350 in the burb I can still use the 305 for my nova. As stated I have always had a BBC for major towing and have never really looked at building a SBC for a truck. Guess I will start a different post for advice on building the 350. Thanks for all the advice and opinions.
     
  19. cabledawg

    cabledawg Secret Squirrel Premium Member

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    The SM465 is bad for highway driving. With stock 3.73 gears I can barely maintain 65 on the freeway and thats only if I feel like keeping the engine spun up to 3500 RPM's. Great for pulling trailers, since most times your not bombing down the road with one attached (or at least you shouldnt be). The only reason I ditched the 700 on my 90 Burb is simply because I was tired of replacing trannies(went thru three in one year, never knew what the issues were, kept blowing pan seals). My 88 Burb still has the 700 and I have not had one problem with it even after a year and almost 12k miles since I've owned it.
     

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