75 GMC owner in FL

Disclaimer: Links on this page pointing to Amazon, eBay and other sites may include affiliate code. If you click them and make a purchase, we may earn a small commission.

Gunther

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Posts
6
Reaction score
2
Location
Sebring FL
First Name
Rt
Truck Year
75
Truck Model
k10
Engine Size
350
Hey- My name is Ralph but people also call me Rt or whatever they feel like. I live in Fl and currently I have a 1975 GMC.

For a quick write up basically I have my 75 GMC basically so rusty it will just be used for its running gear and will to promote it to project truck once I find a donor body.

I am currently going back to school and am in English comp right now and I get carried away with my writing so past this point just think of this as an article from a magazine, maybe an interesting read, which in some part most vehicle lovers, can relate.











I purchased my truck while I was stationed in Nebraska the body has been garbage since I bought it but with the running gear it has (350, granny gear 4 speed, NP205 and Dana 44 front 12bolt rear) I knew what the truck was and the $750 I gave up was no problem at the time for a gem in the very rough.

I knew what the truck was because as a young child my dad had an 83 Dodge W150 with the same granny gear 4 speed and t-case and the other parts are comparable his was a 318 with I believe the Dana 44 front and a 9 ¼ rear. So although not the same exact truck this has potential to be every bit as off-road capable I am a fan of all the chevy/gmc/dodge squarebodys.

Back to reason of purchase… at the time I had just bought a new car... After having a 2001 dodge pickup I found not having a truck bed extremely inconvenient and AWD does not equal 4x4. Prior to deploying I got rid of the car and bought a Jeep Rubicon while in the desert. Loved my Rubi but last year, end 2012, I returned from S. Korea and my wife had a baby on the way so that was traded in on a 2013 Jetta TDI which I have to say is one of the smartest vehicle purchases to date, the fuel economy is amazing. I also had a 93 first gen dodge 12v that I had from being in Nebraska and I was going to fix up as a project truck, however, the frame was rusted (spot behind the fuel tank under a flat bed) and work involved was too much considering before I knew it my kid was here and I had no time. Got rid of my first gen, sold my wife's car, and fell into a beautiful 1 owner 2004 dodge 2500 4x4 with the Cummins. I need the 4 door and automatic so my wife could have it be her driver with room for a carseat. Now this truck is eating my funds (saving for bumpers and a winch), the fuel economy is good by truck standards but my wife is still learning how to drive a manual, so when I take this she is kind of stuck at the house with the Jetta. This is the prime mover and I have seen the effect of a good steel front bumper and how it easily can save a life, and also money, so I like having my daughter ride in this and with bumpers it will just make me feel safer knowing that the wife and kid have the added protection.

A bit about my history and reasoning why I feel the need to do a project truck build- I was in the Air Force for 8 years, the thing I disliked most about choosing that career path was that I felt I missed out on many many mechanical/hands on learning experiences. Now with my dad having 2 kids by the age of 20 and never having money fixing vehicles became his specialty due to necessity. I was only put in that predicament once, but at the time I lived on base so it wasn't that bad, I just had to replace the throughout bearing in my 01 dodge. With all this I am not saying I'm mad about missing out on hard times, but it’s those times you learn things that will stay with you for the rest of your life and my hard times, involving the military, were more time spent away from family and incompetent idiots having control of my career and a large aspect of my life.

So here I sit itching to have a project that I can do to learn about being a shade tree mechanic, I have paid attention and known about parts and how things work with vehicles but have never actually been involved in a vehicle transformation. Even with my Jeep I was in Iraq at the time of purchase and just sent parts to my dad and he was glad to bolt them on and use it as his weekend cruiser.

The thing that sparked my interest was my dad just got an 88 1500 that he is going to tinker on over the next year for our hunting truck as our current hunting truck will be stolen from us by a 15 year old girl(my youngest sister) next year. Last weekend while out at our hunting spot I had the opportunity to look at my old 75 GMC and to say there wasn’t much to look at is an understatement, the body is terrible. Now the reason I mentioned my dad’s, new to him, hunting truck project is that we had the thought of taking the running gear out of the 75 and putting it in the 88. The more I thought about it I had to say no.

While in Nebraska on a cold frozen winter’s day, I was on the volunteer team to shovel deployed members driveways for their wives. My Rubicon did fantastic in the snow but dirty snow shovels belong in the back of a truck. Me and another guy hopped in my truck and headed down the road. In 4-hi the truck did amazing, for whatever reason I decided to go 2-hi on this day and down a hill and over a railroad crossing I went, followed by swerving, crossing the incoming traffic lane(thank God nobody was in at the time) and into a rather steep runoff that put me in a corn/bean field. I had 31” BF Goodrich A/T nothing special but when I went 4-lo and reversed I drove about 100 yards backward down this ditch line to a point where I could get out. That day I said to myself “I…am…. never…….. getting…….rid….. of ….this ….BEAST!!!!!” So the thought of just using it for parts although crossed my mind, I can’t do it.

So my plans for the future, due to the fact that I have little money to devote toward a project, which is a good thing I have a squarebody, I will be attempting a very low cost build. I plan on doing some trading and maybe a little bit of money toward a body candidate. I plan on it taking 6 months to a year to find the right scenario of |trade equity- vehicle condition- vehicle options| to allow me to continue forward. I am a firm believer that these trucks can be had for next to nothing in decent shape with either a bad or missing engine/transmission it just takes time and persistence. With rust being the main reason all of my projects 73 Nova, 75 GMC, and 93 First Gen failing, I will lean toward limited rust, making sure to check the real hard to fix areas like floor bracing around a windshield on the frame… I have full intent of building a flatbed for this truck so that makes my search even easier. With everything from wreckers to k/c 10-30 to even some box trucks using these cabs the search is wide open and I know that the cab differs from 2wd to 4wd (one of the reasons I’m here, to check!) due to the hump in the center of the cab but it just so happens my dad has acquired many a tool over the years, with a plasma cutter being one, so some rust fixing is probably going to happen but I don’t want to have to do this again once done.
I most certainly do not plan on this truck being fancy but I think to get it running and driving on the road mechanically sound and rust free should be doable for a very reasonable amount of money. Now I am not planning on a horsepower monster with 44” tires and a brand new paint job just a very capable 4x4 that can without question be driven anywhere in the state of FL and when money allots upgrades here and there. This will be my learning experience renewing my hatred for busted knuckles, teaching me how to weld for bumpers, body panels, and a flat bed, teaching me patience because I have spent thousands on vehicles over the years to only have me throwing away money, and giving me the opportunity to catch up on some time lost with my pops. I don’t know how active I will be with this site as my research will come and go, with the problems I encounter and when a lil extra money falls in my pockets.

-Rt
 

Irishman999

Full Access Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2010
Posts
6,989
Reaction score
202
Location
Safford Arizona
First Name
Jason
Truck Year
1985
Truck Model
K-1500 High Sierra
Engine Size
305
Good to hear you got away from Dodge trucks, you are headed in the right direction. I got to experience a death wobble the other day in my friends 1-ton, you could not GIVE me one of those sumbitches now.

You might check out the build thread on my 85, sorta along the same lines minus the body swap. Everything for these trucks is cheap, parts are all over wrecking yards so you can easily keep yourself busy every weekend for 100 bucks. Usually I would just plan on focusing on one thing I want to fix, order parts throughout the week and devote a weekend to doing one thing, usually costing about 100 bucks or so.

As far as your body parts, wish you were closer because we have parts trucks like crazy down here with zero rust.
 

Old77

Administrator
Staff member
Admin
Joined
Aug 19, 2010
Posts
28,255
Reaction score
8,701
Location
Kansas City, Mo
First Name
Jacob
Truck Year
1977/1990/1991
Truck Model
C10 longbed/R1500 Burb/R3500 Dually
Engine Size
350/350/454
:welcome:
 

Gunther

Junior Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2013
Posts
6
Reaction score
2
Location
Sebring FL
First Name
Rt
Truck Year
75
Truck Model
k10
Engine Size
350
thanks for the warm welcome. well, Irish I have to say I'm not far removed from the ol dodges yet but I will say my rust bucket is the vehicle I have owned the longest! I have an hour drive separating me and my pops house and he has all the tools and the best shade trees!
 

Mr Clean

Super Moderator
Staff member
Super Moderator
Joined
Aug 18, 2010
Posts
9,864
Reaction score
8,560
Location
North East Texas
First Name
Shawn
Truck Year
1982 & 1985
Truck Model
K10 Extra Cab w/ Proper SWB, & 85 K5 Blazer
Engine Size
454 BBC, & 383 Stroker
:welcome: from N.E. Texas!
 

Forum statistics

Threads
42,013
Posts
907,437
Members
33,510
Latest member
dstack12
Top