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View Full Version : Tell me how you would fix this Tow Vehicle up one up.


Monte
04-09-2009, 11:54 AM
First off I know that this is a Mastercraft forum. Thing is I trust the advice ya'll could give me over a lot of other forums I could join. My tow vehicle is a 1983 GMC pickup. It was my grandfather's work truck. It runs OK now, but has a valve seal leak. Instead of spending the money to rebuild a 305 I am going to install a late model 350. Of course I am going to carburate the motor, add shorty headers and flowmaster short mufflers.
The next step will be paint. Then suspension, wheels, and shoes. My question is (and I am open to any advice) What would you do?
Keep it as original as possible?
Drop it some?
Trick the paint out?
Just looking for ideas...
Thanks in advance
46013

46014

46015

46016

Sodar
04-09-2009, 01:09 PM
Slam it with full air bags.

cbryan70
04-09-2009, 01:13 PM
Slam it with full air bags.

for some reason i knew you were going to say that.........

ShamrockIV
04-09-2009, 01:17 PM
drop it with spindles.
20's
new paint
grandad would be proud of his truck.
"keep it classy, San diego"

Monte
04-09-2009, 01:24 PM
Slam it with full air bags.

I do plan to drop it a little, 2 or 3 inches in the front and 3-4 in the back. I will most likely use spindles and springs to do it though. Can you tow with airbags?

Monte
04-09-2009, 01:28 PM
drop it with spindles.
20's
new paint
grandad would be proud of his truck.
"keep it classy, San diego"

20's are not really my style. Plus nothing can "date" a refurb more than the wheels.. What do you think of late sixties/ early seventys 17" Corvette RallyE's riding on 55 series rubbers

03 35th Anniversary
04-09-2009, 01:30 PM
jet black!!!!!!!!!

Monte
04-09-2009, 01:45 PM
jet black!!!!!!!!!

I was considering painting the whloe thing "gun metal grey" that is the color of the big stripe:cool:

03 35th Anniversary
04-09-2009, 01:47 PM
I was considering painting the whloe thing "gun metal grey" that is the color of the big stripe:cool:

Thats the color of my truck. It actually does really with scratches and such.

Hollywood
04-09-2009, 01:59 PM
Engine
Real hitch
Tires

that's it.

SkiDog
04-09-2009, 02:04 PM
Trade it on a 1500HD!:D

M-Funf
04-09-2009, 02:11 PM
What's wrong with the way it is? Just do the engine and be done with it...

russlars
04-09-2009, 02:28 PM
Won't offer any advice on the truck other than scrap it and get a Ford.:rolleyes: Aside from that, is that your water playground in the background of the 4th pic? If so, I guess you don't have too far to tow.;)

Monte
04-09-2009, 02:31 PM
Trade it on a 1500HD!:D

I can pretend it is an HD once there is a 350 in it:rolleyes:

Monte
04-09-2009, 02:32 PM
What's wrong with the way it is? Just do the engine and be done with it...

The current paint is done for. The clear is coming off on the hood, and there are rust spots starting in the common GM places:(

Monte
04-09-2009, 02:36 PM
Won't offer any advice on the truck other than scrap it and get a Ford. Aside from that, is that your water playground in the background of the 4th pic? If so, I guess you don't have too far to tow.;)

Ha ha ha. No can do.. Grand dad had a ford at one time, but he sold it ahhhh like 26 years ago:rolleyes: Don't think I can track that one down:(


Yes, that is my water playground in the back. Unfortunately that is a little misleading it is about a mile and a half to the ramp... At least the little old lady across the street lets me park my boat at her dock all summer:)

Monte
04-09-2009, 02:41 PM
How in the heck did I screw the title of this thread up so bad?

denverd1
04-09-2009, 02:48 PM
Monte, Short-wides look awesome lowered and painted up. To add to your list:
bedcover
grille
I'd put inflatable bags for towing in the rear coils. With that much drop, you can't afford for it sag any.

denverd1
04-09-2009, 02:49 PM
oh yea, shave the doors!

russlars
04-09-2009, 02:55 PM
Ha ha ha. No can do.. Grand dad had a ford at one time, but he sold it ahhhh like 26 years ago:rolleyes: Don't think I can track that one down:(


Yes, that is my water playground in the back. Unfortunately that is a little misleading it is about a mile and a half to the ramp... At least the little old lady across the street lets me park my boat at her dock all summer:)
Now that is the right kind of neighbor to have.:D I used to know one of those little old ladies that let me use her dock on occasion. The only payment was that I had to take her for a boat ride once in awhile. Fortunately she liked to go fast.

Kristie22
04-09-2009, 03:00 PM
If you want a girls opinion I'd say classic stock look is best. To me those why drop it and have all the flashy paint are compensating. But that's just my opinion.

pkskier
04-09-2009, 03:20 PM
I agree with the lady.

trickskier
04-09-2009, 03:25 PM
If it's insured...................Pour gas on it and strike a match.............:uglyhamme

scott023
04-09-2009, 03:30 PM
I was considering painting the whloe thing "gun metal grey" that is the color of the big stripe:cool:

Monte, that grey would look great on the truck... don;t lower it, it is already where it needs to be. Box cover and painted bumpers.

D3skier
04-09-2009, 03:32 PM
why does everyone always want to slam trucks to the ground? put a 6" lift on it some big mud tires and paint it solid black

ProTour X9
04-09-2009, 03:36 PM
If you want a flashy look, a deep metallic red might look nice...

trickskier
04-09-2009, 03:37 PM
why does everyone always want to slam trucks to the ground? put a 6" lift on it some big mud tires and paint it solid black

Like this one???

46022

46023

g-Dog
04-09-2009, 03:41 PM
Put some spinners on it...:D

pram
04-09-2009, 03:46 PM
Tricky you should get some spinners for that Shivvy



Jacked up City Trucks make me laugh

Forrest-X45
04-09-2009, 03:48 PM
I wouldn't lower it either, leave it where it is. Add some Firestone or Airlift air bags on the rear axle and paint it with some nice wheels.

Freshen up the tranny and drop in a nice 383 crate motor. That would be a fun truck!! If you want to hot rod it even more drop in a nicely built SB 406CI. They are getting harder to find these days but I know where you can get one.

trickskier
04-09-2009, 03:49 PM
Tricky you should get some spinners for that Shivvy



Jacked up City Trucks make me laugh

Don't be dissing my truck canuck boy................

KnoxX2
04-09-2009, 03:50 PM
Don't be dissing my truck canuck boy................

Your truck?????????????????

trickskier
04-09-2009, 03:52 PM
Your truck?????????????????

My name is on the title...................;)

Monte
04-09-2009, 03:54 PM
If you want a girls opinion I'd say classic stock look is best. To me those why drop it and have all the flashy paint are compensating. But that's just my opinion.

There is a part of me that wants to keep it stock, but I am not a fan of the stance or the lack of beef in the wheel wells. Kinda makes it look like an ostrich:(
Here is an example of stock look with a dropped suspension.. Does this fall under the "compensation" category
46025

KnoxX2
04-09-2009, 03:54 PM
So you got your son a truck!!!!

3event
04-09-2009, 03:55 PM
Also voting against lowering it. I would not go for super low profile tires either - cost, ride, loading. What about something like this, but toned down on the wheels? The matte black paint (not shown on this truck) is cool too, but might be more costly than it's worth. Make it "murdered out" as the young folks call it.:)

denverd1
04-09-2009, 04:30 PM
Leveled out and 2" lower would be the bizness IMO.

Also think flat gray or black would be very nice.

I agree with Forrest x45. If it were me, I'd put a little more meat under the hood. A mild stroker would sound good!

Monte
04-09-2009, 04:38 PM
why does everyone always want to slam trucks to the ground? put a 6" lift on it some big mud tires and paint it solid black

Oh believe me.. it would get the jack if it was a 4wd. Unfortunately the lack of 4wd means I would really look like an idiot if I got stuck somewhere:o

CantRepeat
04-09-2009, 04:41 PM
Like this one???

46022

46023


No no, like this one!

http://www.mikesell.net/set1.jpg

Monte
04-09-2009, 04:42 PM
Leveled out and 2" lower would be the bizness IMO.

Also think flat gray or black would be very nice.

I agree with Forrest x45. If it were me, I'd put a little more meat under the hood. A mild stroker would sound good!

The 2 front/3 back drop may be my ticket. Gun metal is right between the black and gray too so far that all sounds good. I will have to put some clear on it though.. I like shiny stuff:D

RexDog1
04-09-2009, 05:19 PM
I know nothing about cars … :(

But if it is a tow vehicle don’t lower it, get it reliable engine and running gear, headers will help on the gas mileage, but get a good muffler not to loud, it will drive you crazy if it is too loud,:( rims and tires, then go for paint last, I like the silver, or something to match the boat?? Keep away from darker colors endless you are going to do allot of body work to make it look good, don’t replace the missing chrome trim on the side, fill the holes and paint over them IMHO it looks better without the trim? pull off all the GMC emblems, pull off the chrome trim on the wheel wells when you look at the truck your eyes look all over the place, keep it clean, there is way too much going on when you look at the truck, it has a very square look to it, from the headlight to the overall look of the truck there is nothing you can do about that ……..so keep it as clean and simple as you can……………..:cool:

ProStar200
04-09-2009, 05:42 PM
I wouldn't lower it either. Swap the engine, trans, diff and new paint (black), wheels and tires (17"-18") if towing the boat. I would love to find an old classic like that (my grandfather also had one). If it were me, chop the roof 3", new wheels and tires (20"s-22"), slam it to the ground and new engine and transmission. Shaved door handles, dual exhaust, roll pan bumper, power door locks and windows, etc. My dream truck (GMC all the way, sorry Ford guys).

TMCNo1
04-09-2009, 06:30 PM
Paint it green, so you can park it in the grass and drive it in the bushes!http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/36/36_19_2.gif (http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb001_ZSfox000)

ski_king
04-09-2009, 06:44 PM
I would freshen up the drive train.
Body work and pain, following the orginal 2 tone, except with some modern colors.
A set of Craiger SS around and nice new rubber.
Tonneau Cover
Find a nice late model seat for the cab.

Get new bumpers or get the orginal ones re-chromed.
Lose the clading on the tailgate and most of the trim.

I would keep the ride height stock, if you drop it, you may have problems on some boat ramps.

PapaJoe
04-09-2009, 06:57 PM
Dude-

If its a tow vehicle, focus on the transmission and BRAKES......

trickskier
04-09-2009, 08:21 PM
Jacked up City Trucks make me laugh

I guess you didn't see that Z-71 Badge on the quarter fender now did you??? 8p

trickskier
04-09-2009, 08:22 PM
So you got your son a truck!!!!

I let him drive it.......................;)

Footin
04-09-2009, 08:29 PM
Paint it black and throw on a set of dubs.

I do like the idea of a set of old school Cragers.

shepherd
04-10-2009, 08:37 AM
Replace the engine and leave it the way it is. That truck has character. Take the money and spend it on something important, like a new trailer for your daughter.

JohnE
04-10-2009, 09:24 AM
Bert how much is your budget for this fixer upper?

I would leave the ride height alone. I'd keep it as original as possible. I'd probably keep the original paint colors, too.

KnoxX2
04-12-2009, 11:29 AM
I know nothing about cars … :(

But if it is a tow vehicle don’t lower it, get it reliable engine and running gear, headers will help on the gas mileage, but get a good muffler not to loud, it will drive you crazy if it is too loud,:( rims and tires, then go for paint last, I like the silver, or something to match the boat?? Keep away from darker colors endless you are going to do allot of body work to make it look good, don’t replace the missing chrome trim on the side, fill the holes and paint over them IMHO it looks better without the trim? pull off all the GMC emblems, pull off the chrome trim on the wheel wells when you look at the truck your eyes look all over the place, keep it clean, there is way too much going on when you look at the truck, it has a very square look to it, from the headlight to the overall look of the truck there is nothing you can do about that ……..so keep it as clean and simple as you can……………..:cool:

Thats great advice. Good post Rex!
You can never go wrong with the Clean look.:)

SkiDog
04-12-2009, 11:40 AM
Are you towing the boat to CSM with that truck? If so, bring a bunch of Sharpies so we can all sign it. Then Clear coat it!:D

flipper
04-12-2009, 12:41 PM
I can pretend it is an HD once there is a 350 in it:rolleyes:

X2

If you want a truck you can use as a truck, drop a motor in it and use it. If you decide to lower it, put some nice rims on it(no spinners:D), and at least air assist is a must. I laugh at people that lower their truck, hook a boat or something to it and it sags. Air springs will keep it level for you.

I had a '73 Chevy 1/2 ton that I had all tricked out. Built a screaming motor for it, beautiful interior, lowered a little, nice paint. It turned heads, nice truck, but couldn't use it as a truck. Didn't want to scratch it, or throw stuff in the bed for fear of tearing it up. That all went to hell when I barrel rolled it, then went end over end though:D

If it were me, leave it alone, but it all depends on what you want it for. I'd paint it to match the boat if you paint it.

JimN
04-12-2009, 01:52 PM
First off I know that this is a Mastercraft forum. Thing is I trust the advice ya'll could give me over a lot of other forums I could join. My tow vehicle is a 1983 GMC pickup. It was my grandfather's work truck. It runs OK now, but has a valve seal leak. Instead of spending the money to rebuild a 305 I am going to install a late model 350. Of course I am going to carburate the motor, add shorty headers and flowmaster short mufflers.
The next step will be paint. Then suspension, wheels, and shoes. My question is (and I am open to any advice) What would you do?
Keep it as original as possible?
Drop it some?
Trick the paint out?
Just looking for ideas...
Thanks in advance

When a motor has a valve seal leak, it needs a new valve seal, not a rebuild or a new motor. You can get a set of intake and exhaust seals for less than $30. All you need is a compressor to keep the valves in place, a manual to tell you how to set the valves, a valve spring compressor and a few wrenches. Mine got new seals in '02 and doesn't burn a drop.

If you're going to replace that much, it won't be "your grandfather's truck" anymore, will it?

TMCNo1
04-12-2009, 03:30 PM
Are you towing the boat to CSM with that truck? If so, bring a bunch of Sharpies so we can all sign it. Then Clear coat it!:D

What a novel idea! I'll bring some rattle cans, my lettering/striping box and with some flames, striping and the signatures you can cruise 'Lil' Mehico' all night long, senior!

zkesler
04-12-2009, 05:09 PM
Ram-Jet 502

bridomine99
04-12-2009, 07:00 PM
As others have said....lift it. It was cool for cruising, but trucks are for pulling.

ProStar200
04-12-2009, 10:20 PM
Nice Bowtie bridomine99, bet you were sorry to see that go. I would love to find an old Chev or GMC like that.

cbryan70
04-12-2009, 10:28 PM
the lowering the trucks thing must be a west coast thing and a hispanic thing......I dont get it.

h2oskifreak
04-13-2009, 12:40 AM
I have done what you are thinking about. Mine was also grandpas truck. Don't lower it if it's a tow rig. Put a R.V. cam in it for torque (roller/rocker would be nice) good headers and large exhaust and it will sound mean. Rear end 4:11 if top end is not an issue, otherwise stay or go with 3:73, Holly 4 carb, Transmition cooler if you are pulling very far is good too. Paint scheme to match the boat is cool too. I did mine with white body and silver metal flake stripe and did accents to match my Lake Powell boat. I can very easily pull my pin stripes and minor changes to match my S & S if I want. Key is to do what you will like. I think of my grandpa every time I turn the key and that is cool as can be. He got to see and hear it before he passed I hope yours is still around to see you giving the old truck some love. Don't forget to put a kickin sound system in her. Look under the seat in the springs and see if you can find the orig. build order and that will tell you what is in her know.

bridomine99
04-13-2009, 09:00 PM
Nice Bowtie bridomine99, bet you were sorry to see that go. I would love to find an old Chev or GMC like that.

Thank you....

You know I have not looked back on that one. The truck was lots of fun, but I allways tell people, "if you want to get into classic cars/street rods, you need to either have deep pockets or be very handy, have a fully equipped shop, love working on them, and most IMPORTANTLY it can not be your driver". The truck was great, but the maintenance and projects never end on these types of vehicles. I sold it and bought a bike that runs like a top, is faster than most anything on the road, and short of oil changes / tires requires zero maintenance. Some day I will get back into it, but for now I'll do my cruising in the Craft.

Hammer
04-13-2009, 10:55 PM
the lowering the trucks thing must be a west coast thing and a hispanic thing......I dont get it.


Have to disagree! I'm not hispanic nor am I on or from the west coast. Red neck all the way! One of my trucks is lowered just a little 2 inches in the front and 4 in the rear. Gives a nice stance. And have no problems towing the boat with it. This is at CSM '08.

Hammer
04-13-2009, 10:57 PM
Another shot of the truck.

KnoxX2
04-13-2009, 11:06 PM
What year is that? A 72?

Thrall
04-14-2009, 11:09 AM
I'd paint it the lighter color unless you want a whole lot of work painting the inside of the cab, rockers, firewall, inside of bed, behind the cab, etc. Other wise, no matter how good a job you do, it'll still look like Earl Scheib when you open the doors, hood, etc. I painted a similar truck, it was chevy silver with a black stripe. Used Dodge "Light Driftwood". Matched all the factory paint in the inconspicuous places mentioned above close enough, but it's a nice metallic with some gold in it, so it kinda changes shades in different light. It was on the mid-late 90's Dodges.
Give the engine some more snort if you want to. The 200R4 trans is kinda weak, but if it works, run it til it pukes and replace with a 700R4.
Get the factory rally wheels shined up and paint the rims black or color matched to the truck.

Monte
04-14-2009, 11:14 AM
Bert how much is your budget for this fixer upper?

I would leave the ride height alone. I'd keep it as original as possible. I'd probably keep the original paint colors, too.

Bugdet?? HA:rolleyes: Kidding of course. Paint is $1500.. 350.. $550.. Then there is the rest of the stuff that I need to do.. I have decided to go back original with the paint. I will see how the rest of it looks when all of that is done. Of course I'll have to do the engine stuff first..

Unfortunately Uncle Sam just laid it to me:( So much for ME boosting the local economy for a while:(

Monte
04-14-2009, 11:19 AM
When a motor has a valve seal leak, it needs a new valve seal, not a rebuild or a new motor. You can get a set of intake and exhaust seals for less than $30. All you need is a compressor to keep the valves in place, a manual to tell you how to set the valves, a valve spring compressor and a few wrenches. Mine got new seals in '02 and doesn't burn a drop.

If you're going to replace that much, it won't be "your grandfather's truck" anymore, will it?

It will always be the truck he drove, but I see your point. I will have to look into the less expensive fix that you speak of. Everyone I have talked to has said it needs at a minimum the top end rebuild. If you are correct, you may be saving me hundreds:cool:

Monte
04-14-2009, 11:24 AM
Another shot of the truck.

Good looking tow vehicle there hammer:cool:

ShamrockIV
04-14-2009, 11:55 AM
the lowering the trucks thing must be a west coast thing and a hispanic thing......I dont get it.

lol nope we did it alot in tn in the early 90's. i would like to lower my yukon xl about 2 inches. gives it a better stance