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Work Truck Build : Now featuring a budget!


So despite my numerous endless projects Im taking on another vehicle. Not really because I want to, Ok I lied I do want it, but because I need it. For the past week Ive been doing heavy equipment welding/fab repair. It started out as a temporary one day thing working for a friend and kind of unfolded into picking up a very big repeat customer once they saw our work and drive to make some dough. Needless to say because my friend is so busy and I was doing 90% of the work he brought me in as a partner in his already established company with loads of brand new equipment. We went from having a one off side job to 2-3 months worth of backed up work.

We both discussed me getting a truck and knew it would happen. But it only took 4 days of work and having to stuff a mini excavator bucket in my wife grand vitara to say its time to go buy a truck now. Obviously I wanted a chevy. I told him I would burst into flames if we bought a Ford and a Dodge was out unless it was a Cummins and they're just too expensive. So tonight Im going to pick up a 92 GMC 2500 LD, 350/nv3500/241 with 4wd. This is going to be a work truck and its going to have a budget. Im paying out of pocket to set it up in the end as a capital investment into the business for him bringing me in as a partner.

So the start. Heres pictures from the ad.

And the ad:

I have a 1992 K2500, 5 speed manual transmission w/chevy 350. I bought it about a year ago and have dumped a ton of time and money into it, but recently decided to buy a newer truck because I have no time for odd repair jobs that it will require.

There are a lot of nice (and new) things about this truck:

- Clutch and transmission feel very strong
- Great tires plenty of tread - spare included
- PA state inspection (emissions exempt)
- New duralast platinum battery with side and top posts
- New front and rear shocks
- New upper and lower balljoints, upper control arm bushings, tie rod ends. Basically entire front end is rebuilt new except for torsion bushings.
- New front brakes and left front caliper
- New fuel filter, plugs, wires, K&N air filter
- New idle air control valve PCV valve
- New serpentine belt
- Brand new fluid in front differential, transfer case, and Syncrotech fluid in transmission. The only fluid I haven't changed is the rear differential.
- Brand new rocker panels and cab corners, no rust whatsoever on the panels and cab corners
- New front marker lights
- New supply and return fuel lines (not installed but included)
- Upgraded 4wd actuator, used to be thermal now is electric like newer trucks - engages right away every time.
- Truck is wired for plow with cab control.

Lastly, the body is an eye sore and has seen it's fair share of bruises (275,000 miles on this truck).

I am open to offers and will be as honest and transparent about this truck as possible. I hate to get rid of it but am running out of room. It would be a great reliable work truck with some luck or a new GM crate motor.

So the nice thing is the guy did the rockers and cab corners, and it looks like he did a decent job. He also said the body mounts are solid as he's had numerous GMT400s before and wanted to address them before they were terrible but found them to be good. Obviously the bad is its going to need a door and its got some miles. Im not overly concerned with the miles as I plan on showing this thing some love, on a budget though!

So now the best part of any build but with a twist. The initial plan list but this time with a budget and estimate too. Some items will be down the road more so.

BUDGET $5000 - Im starting with a decent budget because it going to include an engine driven welder. The other idea behind paying for my own truck is that when I move to Virginia I can take my whole rig with me to work.

Truck - $1500

Transplant the metric 33 duratracs from the tube frame - Im calling this a wash, theyre already paid for and if I dont put them under something theyll be ruined by the time I have the wheeler together.

Miller Bobcat - Still up in the air, might wind up being free for all I know.

Ditch the bed, Fab bed w/ boxes - $1000

Swap NV3500 to junkyard NV4500 - $400ish

Ferd driver drop Dana 60 SAS w/ leafs - $500ish

Change the motor out to something less used - ???
(Up in the air on a price, a vortec 383 w/ the TBI would be nice but Im gonna keep my eyes open for deals. I was hoping to find a TBI build I liked that there was already a proven prom out there for. Im not really looking to LS swap this truck)

The plan for now is to just drive it. Change the drivers door and the back window for junkyard replacements, do the bed for it, get the tires on with maybe a 1in body lift and make money with it.


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Well someone requested some pictures of the bed I'm working on in the tool shed. IMO its going slow but coming out really well. Heres a day and a half of work. Theres also a crappy pic of how my welds are coming alot. A straight bead and a stitch. Could always use advice on how to improve to please critique.

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