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1-ton

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It seems like more and more people are posting threads about newer year trucks that are not square bodies on this web site. Since square body GM trucks are becoming harder to find, take more restoration work than they used to, which requires more shop space, in order to put back on the road the threads about square body GM trucks on this square body forum are becoming less and less.
 

77_Jimmy

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It seems like more and more people are posting threads about newer year trucks that are not square bodies on this web site. Since square body GM trucks are becoming harder to find, take more restoration work than they used to, which requires more shop space, in order to put back on the road the threads about square body GM trucks on this square body forum are becoming less and less.
I have one. Gonna keep it too.
 

diesel4me

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I'll keep mine until I have to sweep them off my driveway with a broom..
(might be sooner than I think though! :doah:..)

I keep my eyes open for any potential "replacement" square body trucks that might pop up for sale locally..
I prefer older trucks,ones I know inside & out and can still do most of any repairs on myself,and no hassles as far as emission tests or check engine light issues at inspection time..plus they aren't all "tupperware" inside...
 

skunked

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The IFS trucks are getting really cheap with many advantages over a square. I'll always have a square or two.....
 

obijuank5

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New trucks are such pieces of shit. Plastic and snap together, computer controlled, lowest bidder non serviceable part having, 10 pounds in a 5 pound bag, hail damage getting, paint peeling, front end wearing out pieces of crap.
 

Bent77

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New trucks are such pieces of shit. Plastic and snap together, computer controlled, lowest bidder non serviceable part having, 10 pounds in a 5 pound bag, hail damage getting, paint peeling, front end wearing out pieces of crap.
My square has rust
 

Truckman4life

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I see lots of square body truck driving around every day here in Idaho. I have never lived anywhere where there has been so many. Definitely square country here! If I had the $ I'd go around buying up every one I could find just to build a collection and start restoring/modifying them instead of them getting crushed for scrap by people that just want some cash and don't care what it is they are crushing.
 

skunked

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In the last year I've seen a lot less in the junk yards.
 

Truckman4life

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Yeah the high price of scrap a few yrs ago did in a lot of stuff I think and that stupid cash for clunkers thing. Most of them I see around here that aren't driving are just parked in a farmer's field returning to the earth slowly.
 

diesel4me

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Just about every "new style" '88 up GM truck I see around here has a rotted frame,a piss poor design being boxed in with no drains ,and made of thin recycled crap metal to begin with--most have a dying or about to fail overdrive automatic,issues with intake manifold gaskets that let coolant get in the crankcase,and many "for sale" under 3000 bucks on craigslist are showing over 300,000 miles and have all of the above sins--no thanks--I'd rather buy a $500 square body with some rot,and some new body panels,at least the frames on them seem to hold up better...and I know what the hell I'm looking at under the hood...

I notice when I drive a friends 2000 Chevy 1500 4x4,my truck feels like its "solid" in comparison..his truck rides like a caddy compared to mine,but you can also tell right away its suspension isn't anywhere near as rugged...my truck only has 5 leafs in the rear,his has 6,but if I put a 600 lb tractor in his truck,it sags almost to the bump stops--mine goes down maybe an inch...his springs look a lot longer though,so that probably doesn't help load capacity,just makes for a smoother ride..

I have seen a few dozen trucks like his with plows that rotted so bad the frames either cracked or turned into rust flakes and failed,and they aren't even 10-15 years old yet...my '82 GMC's frame is not perfect,but its in a lot better shape than many newer ones I see..

Square body trucks are getting rather scarce here,you see some around,but most are restored ones that never get used as a work horse,others like mine look whipped and rotted,but are still chugging around daily...

Due to the scrap prices going way up a few years ago and that cash for clunkers crap,a lot of them were crushed rather than left in salvage yards to be cannibalized,so you pay a premium up here for parts and whole trucks...

I'd like to go to Idaho or wherever there are still many of them around..its a double edged sword though--any place where they are still common,people seem not to care about scrapping them --no one here did,until they became an endangered species..unfortunately places that still have a lot of them are not selling any "cheap" either,they know they are gaining popularity and in declining numbers..
 

lamberthkp

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I sold my 89 K5 when I thought we needed the money. A friend gave me a 78 K5 a few years later and it will not be sold. Really regret letting my 89 go :(.

I love the square bodies! Wish I had the money to buy all I could. :k5: :truck: :burb: :crewcab: :D
 

diesel4me

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I find it regrettable I passed on buying more trucks cheap when I had the chance too...and wish I had kept many I used to own,the '56 was a cool truck,and could have been mounted on a 4x4 chassis pretty easily,but at that time I wasn't that aware it could be done..

My biggest regret besides not keeping many of the cars & trucks I owned was not building or even renting a place to store them inside--waited too long to build my garage,then decided to use it more as a man cave/hobby shop and equipment storage, than an auto repair shop,my back was shot by the time I got it built--then my vehicles ended up staying outside 90% of the time anyway..
My advice to you younger guys here,is get a place to store and work on vehicles before buying any projects if at all possible,the earlier the better...life passes quickly,and if you leave a vehicle inside,at least it will still be there 10-15 years later if your plans to restore it get sidetracked..

It kind of sucks GM had to change so many things after 1988--the fuel injection and computer prevented many engine swaps into older square bodies being done,then they went to the LS engines with the mounts in different spots,etc...
It was nice when any engine from 1955 to 1987 was pretty much a bolt in deal..not that its impossible to swap in the newer engines,it just seems too involved compared to years ago when everything was pretty much interchangeable,and the square body would have to be in nice shape to make it worthwhile..
Though I could probably muddle my way thru an LS swap I have no desire too--I'm to the point putting back in an identical engine is difficult enough..I'd just buy a truck that has one and drive it..(probably not like much it either,after being so used to my old junkers!)..
 

b454rat

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The newer the truck the more junk they are. I love my 99, and wish I did have square. But right now I can't afford one, let alone find one within reason. I remember when I had my '62 'burban. I got pissed at it one day and punched the door. I didn't do anything to the truck, no knuckle indentations nothing, just a hand that hurt like hell. If I did that to a newer truck it would leave 5 little dents along with a big one. I see more '99 ups rotted to death than I see any older truck in the same time period. There are some '08s with rust on them already. Even my Tundra has rust on it, luckily only the tailgate, but waiting for the frame recall on that. Hopefully the stars will align and I'll be able to get another square.....
 

beags86

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No doubt about it that the newer trucks have thinner sheetmetal to deal with the higher mpg requirements....
 

diesel4me

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Speaking of old trucks having thicker metal--(and virgin steel that didn't flake and crumble away in 10 years)..

My '56 Pickup decided to chuck a fan blade right thru the hood one day as I was winding it up in second gear to merge onto a busy interstate...

The hood had a gash about 6" long in it,the blade actually made it all the way thru the hood and flew off into the median,and that was after it had managed to slice the upper radiator hose,buckle the neck the hose slides over...it had some momentum!..sounded like a gunshot,I thought it tossed a rod at first!..

I limped it home by bending the opposite blade on the fan across from the missing one until it broke off,now it could run without shaking the engine off its mounts!--looked like a propeller now!.
I was about 5 miles from home,I filled the radiator with swamp water on the side of the road,after duct taping the hose up,and it got me home OK..

The hood on that truck was at least 14 gauge thickness,I remember my friends dad hammering the gash back down with a hammer and dolly,and he used his ARC welder to weld up the "seam"...try that on a new truck--the hoods are like beer can thickness today..
The welded seam looked like a scar,another battle scar in its long life,proudly displayed...it wasn't that noticeable unless you really looked close after I painted it black again!..

I used that same arc welder to weld some patches on the floors in that truck too--used an old snow shovel for the patches,it had the "ribs" in it that was a near perfect match for the original floor...
I only burnt thru in a few spots--my attempts at doing that to later model trucks wasn't quite as successful ...made more holes than I patched!--I had to buy a set of tanks and torches to braze the patches in instead..
 

beags86

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Older cars and trucks are 18ga, frames are 16ga and 14ga. Once you get into the late 90s they start going to 20ga and up. Some newer stuff is using 22ga...

A 56 Chev would have been 18.
 

diesel4me

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The old steel in the cars before the '70's was much more rust resistant and easier to pound back into shape after a collision too--many of the cars we had in the junkyard made in the 40's and '50's were only surface rusty,not "rotted" like the later ones,maybe the floors rotted away,but for the most part the rest of them just got "patina" rust..

Once they started using re-cycled steel in cars ,they really started rotting away fast,and salt only made it much worse...
 
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