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Potential k5 Noob

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by RotaryConcepts, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. RotaryConcepts

    RotaryConcepts Registered Member

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    Need some buying advice. Guy from our out of town office has a 78 k5 for sale, 305 auto, all stock, all original driveline. I don't know much about american cars or trucks. says everything works, trans rebuilt less than 50 miles ago. says needs tune-up but runs ok. around 175k miles. He said the body is kinda rough, I think his idea of rough might be more sensitive than mine. I'm not too concerned about rust as long as everything is solid.
    He bought from original owner 2.5 years ago. I haven't seen the truck, asking you guys if you think it's worth going to look at. he said he wants $800-$900.
    He didn't say much about the interior, don't know if that's bad or good.
    I'm mostly looking for a solid 4x4 i can tow and have a little fun with.

    What do you guy's think?

    Thanks
    Joe
     
  2. captaininsano

    captaininsano 1/2 ton status

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    Keep lookin, the 305 sucks nuts. Couldn't tow a booger with it.
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I dunno, $800 ish is a pretty decent price for a functional 4x4...and a 350 could be dropped in for not very much money at a later time.

    Have a look around the photo gallery for a few ideas of what kind of fun you can have and what some of the guys here have done to their K5's.

    http://coloradok5.com/photos/showmembers.php/cat/500


    Rene
     
  4. RotaryConcepts

    RotaryConcepts Registered Member

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    350's are dime a dozen though sure i'll be going with an efi 350 before too long, are the transmissions the same?
    Besides all i will be towing is a small ski boat and 4 wheeler trailer.
     
  5. hunterguy86

    hunterguy86 1/2 ton status

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    That sounds like a k5 worth looking at. I have a stock 86 k5 w/ the 305. To me its a sound motor. Dont get me wrong, you cant win any races with it but for small loads it does ok. Ive hauled hay behind mine. I pulled a trailer with 3 roundbales. The load was about 3000 lbs not counting the trailer and it did fine. My grandfather also hauled a jeep from texas to colorado w/ it when he owned it and it did great. I guess the point im trying to make here is that dont not buy it because it has a 305. 350's can be found and built fairly cheap when you reach that step. The tranny will work between a 305 and a 350 so you shouldnt have to worry about that.
     
  6. captaininsano

    captaininsano 1/2 ton status

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    I got my 78 K5 with a 350 for a grand. Runs awesome, never had anything done to the engine. I swapped out the slush box for a SM465 / np205 cause I like manuals. When I got it it had a th350/np203. Yes the 305 can easily be swapped out, but if the body is all rotted you'll have to swap that too. Could swap it for tube though. :D

    The 305 is just weak though, even with the 350 and auto trans I found power lacking...however with the manual and no torque converter power loss the 350 is perfect. My buddies 350/th350 equipped rig seems to stuggle over obstacles too. I guess I hate autos more than the 305. Hell I bet a 305 mated to a sm465/np205 would do just fine, especially with lower gears in the axles.
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Up until 81 the most common automatic in the K5's was the TH350. 3 speed, non lock up, no overdrive. It's a decent tranny, and it's inexpensive to rebuild should you ever need to.

    In 82 they intro'd the 700R-4 which has/had a much less stellar reputation as far as durability goes. It does have overdrive, and one of the lowest first gears (for an auto) out there though. They are pretty spendy to rebuild, and there are a lot of shops that don't know how to build them very well...but many people here run them and like them just fine.

    Quite a few guys have ditched the 700R-4 in favor of the SM 465 4 speed too. The SM465 was also offered in K5 right from 1973 up until 1991. Very stout, very deep first gear and pretty plentiful and cheap. Only downside is the lack of an overdrive.

    HTH

    Rene
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    One more thing, the 73-79 K5's with automatic tranny's all got the NP 203 "Fulltime" transfer case. Some people hate them, but they're actually pretty strong. There are 'part time' kits available for them and I'm pretty sure there is a tech write up regarding that on this site. I'll dig it up and add the link to this ost in a minute.

    Some articles you might find interesting

    http://coloradok5.com/auto2manual.shtml

    http://coloradok5.com/milemarkerpt.shtml

    Rene
     
  9. captaininsano

    captaininsano 1/2 ton status

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    One more thing to add here, if you did do the SM465 / Np205 swap like myself and keep the 3.08 gearsets, you get about 1700 rpm on the freeway going about 65mph or so with 39.5 IROKS. :D Add doubler or hold out for the Lomax np205, pretty sweet. Or like I'm gonna do, Lomax 3:1 np205 (assuming they ever get here...pray!) and a doubler for 5:1 gears offroad and still 1700 rpm freeway with the stout drivetrain.
     

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