1986 C10- Is it reliable enough for a daily driver?

1987 GMC Jimmy

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A few thoughts from me. Price was way too high. I grew up with all the antiquated tech in them, which is a big part of the romance anyway, so all the fancy schmancy does nothing for me whatsoever except tell me to run faster. I didn’t do the work, and unless you know the person who did (or know of their work), that’s asking for trouble.

Two, the 700R4 is a solid transmission, especially with a Transgo improvement kit, an external cooler if you plan to tow anything, and lockup has to work. I could see dogging it in a K30 pulling ungodly loads, but in a half ton truck that sees a mostly highway and light towing, it’s perfect. Granted, the early ones were not so hot, and they got better over the ten years they made them, but I’ve got one that’s late-1985, and it has creeping up on 300K miles unrebuilt, and it works great for highway use. The torque converter was the weak link on mine, but the shudder fix additive quells almost all of that anyway. The 200-4R is weaker, but that’s what I’d prefer in a car, not a truck.

Finally, unless you’re born with it (I more or less was not), it takes time to cultivate mechanical skill. I started this thing of ours knowing only how to change a flat and check fluids, and this was five years ago. It took me days to do things, and I screwed up as much as I fixed. Fast forward to now, and I’m fairly decent relative to who you find on here. I’m like the Dodge brothers compared to your average grease monkey. Moral of the story, though, is it took a lot of screwups and practice to get to the position where I am now, and I still have plenty to do before I would classify myself as a master tradesman with it.
 

Grit dog

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Good talk. Bottom line, these trucks aren't rare. Rust free ones aren't that rare and unmolested ones aren't super rare. Find one that is a better value or one that you can't live without and don't make it a daily unless you like "retro" all the time and don't put any value in the comforts of 21st century features.
 

Rusty Nail

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Yes. Not much on the road is more reliable than a squarebody pick up.

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I'm not at.all. impressed lookin at that truck. WTF did he spend $9,000 on?!
+ the battery means it's full of AutoZone garbage for car parts AND I bet the brakes suck.
Dude that truck isnt what you want. That's just a new engine on top of a bunch of ratty old parts.
AND it's 2wd?!
14, 000 what?

PESOS?

Ain't got no pix of the undercarriage?
Let's see under the carpet first - I wanna see it on jackstands for that kind of money...:rolleyes: got any mechanic with a lift to inspect it?

How much?
 
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Mossyman

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If I was going to try and sell it for 14k I’d at least make sure there wasn’t any dust on it!
 

Curt

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He probably didn’t even really wanna sell it,but this economy blows for so many people.Maybe he thinks the 14k will make him feel better?

The engine and serpentine system probably 5k.

For a daily driver,a Toyota car works pretty good.

Then you can buy a different squarebody,preferably a K and not a C.I never really understood why having a 2x4 truck,but that’s just my opinion.However,put a 502/572 in a c-20 and punk out rice burners,sounds like a good time.
 

Catbox

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As for reliability, I put my kid into my 1979 truck and it takes him where ever he wants to go.
I have no real concern about it and I bought my truck for $1500 a few years ago.
It is tough and pretty deadnuts reliable.
 

SirRobyn0

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I got my square last fall. It was not my intention to daily it at the time, but it quickly turned into my daily. I my commute is fairly long, mixed starting out on country roads with 45 and 55 mph speed limited, a short time on the freeway and then ****** backed up city roads into the shop run. My truck has not let me down once. Seeing and working on the newer rigs, just makes me more and more want to keep my old rigs. Seeing the money that has to be forked over to keep anything newer on the road as it starts to age is ridiculous. These old rigs, the worst thing that could possibly go wrong would be to have to rebuilt an engine or a tranny, some parts on the newer rigs like computers, cause more to replace than a tranny on a square.

I'd say the biggest thing when buying a 30 - 40 year old rig and plan on driving it daily is to find something that has been at least reasonably cared for, and hasn't sat to much. People are always attracted to that rig that's lower mileage, or been driven less, but sitting year after year especially outside can really take it's toll. There isn't anything tremendously complicated on these old rigs either so it's pretty likely if you have much mechanical ability you'll be able to do your own work or at least some of it.
 

Grit dog

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As for reliability, I put my kid into my 1979 truck and it takes him where ever he wants to go.
I have no real concern about it and I bought my truck for $1500 a few years ago.
It is tough and pretty deadnuts reliable.

Yeah, but you n your kid wrench on stuff all the time. I've seen you multiple posts and pics and it's awesome. Everyone has a different idea of what reliable is to them.
What might take you 30 minutes and $40 to fix may not sway your opinion of reliability at all. But to someone else, that may be $180 + a tow bill + 4 days of the truck sitting at a mechanic shop and no ride to work.

My kid is going into the '86 and I'm making him learn how to repair it and do bodywork and paint, so he can be smarter and more resourceful than the millions of Xbox junkies.

I'm with you, but most people in the world (NOT most people on a forum dedicated to old pickup trucks) are not.
Jump on a _____ (pick your title, golf, cooking, how to save the planet 1 plastic bag at a time...) forum and ask who knows the firing order for a Chevy V8 and how to tell a Turbo 350 from a Turbo 400 and what is the difference between those and a turbo 475 and 3L80HD trans.

A $1500 40 year old truck, no matter how good it runs would not be deadnuts reliable to most of those folks.
 

SquareRoot

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Yeah, but you n your kid wrench on stuff all the time. I've seen you multiple posts and pics and it's awesome. Everyone has a different idea of what reliable is to them.
What might take you 30 minutes and $40 to fix may not sway your opinion of reliability at all. But to someone else, that may be $180 + a tow bill + 4 days of the truck sitting at a mechanic shop and no ride to work.

My kid is going into the '86 and I'm making him learn how to repair it and do bodywork and paint, so he can be smarter and more resourceful than the millions of Xbox junkies.

I'm with you, but most people in the world (NOT most people on a forum dedicated to old pickup trucks) are not.
Jump on a _____ (pick your title, golf, cooking, how to save the planet 1 plastic bag at a time...) forum and ask who knows the firing order for a Chevy V8 and how to tell a Turbo 350 from a Turbo 400 and what is the difference between those and a turbo 475 and 3L80HD trans.

A $1500 40 year old truck, no matter how good it runs would not be deadnuts reliable to most of those folks.

Grit dog hit it on all 8 cylinders. Well put!
 

1987 GMC Jimmy

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I got my square last fall. It was not my intention to daily it at the time, but it quickly turned into my daily. I my commute is fairly long, mixed starting out on country roads with 45 and 55 mph speed limited, a short time on the freeway and then ****** backed up city roads into the shop run. My truck has not let me down once. Seeing and working on the newer rigs, just makes me more and more want to keep my old rigs. Seeing the money that has to be forked over to keep anything newer on the road as it starts to age is ridiculous. These old rigs, the worst thing that could possibly go wrong would be to have to rebuilt an engine or a tranny, some parts on the newer rigs like computers, cause more to replace than a tranny on a square.

I'd say the biggest thing when buying a 30 - 40 year old rig and plan on driving it daily is to find something that has been at least reasonably cared for, and hasn't sat to much. People are always attracted to that rig that's lower mileage, or been driven less, but sitting year after year especially outside can really take it's toll. There isn't anything tremendously complicated on these old rigs either so it's pretty likely if you have much mechanical ability you'll be able to do your own work or at least some of it.

Agreed. Something used fairly often on the highway but not beaten to hell is a safe bet. A vehicle that has sat will be hit or miss. My Jimmy was only driven a handful of miles between 2000 and when I got it in ‘15, and while it wasn’t horrible, that gave way to a lot of bugs that I don’t see on similar vehicles that are used frequently. A friend of a friend has a ‘92 Suburban with over 325K miles (same guts as the Jimmy), it’s never stopped since day one, and that thing just keeps running sans fault.

My Olds sat for 15 years, it’s only been back on the road since early last year, and I put about 1600 miles on it last week, mixed driving, and it didn’t miss a step. Of course, you have to address all the stuff that comes from sitting, mostly the fuel and cooling systems, but I was lucky. I didn’t think it would do as well as it has, but those little W Bodies, at least up through the early-90s, were a strong entry for GM.
 

DoubleDingo

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Yeah, but you n your kid wrench on stuff all the time. I've seen you multiple posts and pics and it's awesome. Everyone has a different idea of what reliable is to them.
What might take you 30 minutes and $40 to fix may not sway your opinion of reliability at all. But to someone else, that may be $180 + a tow bill + 4 days of the truck sitting at a mechanic shop and no ride to work.

My kid is going into the '86 and I'm making him learn how to repair it and do bodywork and paint, so he can be smarter and more resourceful than the millions of Xbox junkies.

I'm with you, but most people in the world (NOT most people on a forum dedicated to old pickup trucks) are not.
Jump on a _____ (pick your title, golf, cooking, how to save the planet 1 plastic bag at a time...) forum and ask who knows the firing order for a Chevy V8 and how to tell a Turbo 350 from a Turbo 400 and what is the difference between those and a turbo 475 and 3L80HD trans.

A $1500 40 year old truck, no matter how good it runs would not be deadnuts reliable to most of those folks.

That leaves more for us to enjoy. Let them buy the plastic vehicles and blow their money on car payments, and we can spend way less on preventative maintenance, or other goodies if we so choose.
 

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