What would you do, if you were me?

AaronW

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So here's my dilemma:

I'm starting on rehabbing my 89 V3500.

It needs: Cab corners, rocker panels, all four doors, bed, and driver's side fender.

I currently have two options:

1. I know a guy with a 1 ton dually single cab. Off this truck, I would have: front doors, two really nice front fenders, and a large flat bed that I could cut down to fit my truck. He'll take 300 bucks for it.

2. There's what appears to be an early-mid 80's 1 ton crew cab with the 6.2 diesel (not a dually). I'm currently in in communication with the owner. On this truck, the whole cab is good, I could actually just replace my current cab and not have to do the corners or the rocker panels. Doors are good (one has a dent, but little to no rust). front fenders are ok, too. Bed is shot. It's a stick, so assuming that the cab is interchangeable, I'd have to patch the hole for the shifter, but that doesn't seem like too big a deal.

So if you were me, what would be the max you'd offer the owner of the crew cab, before it wouldn't be worth it? (the 6.2 motor in it, is bad, by the way). I'm thinking $1000, since I'll need to redo all the weather stripping, repaint, and have all the time in changing out the cab. (I've never done that though, so I don't actually know how hard/time consuming that is.

Are there other parts on either of these trucks, that I'd be likely to be able to use, that you help me make a decision? Other thoughts?

Aaron
 

bucket

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I've done cab swaps and I've replaced a lot of cab corners and rockers. It's far easier to do cab corners and rockers than swap a cab and deal with all the details that go along with it.
 

AaronW

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Buy both of them, and then go looking for more. That's what I would do but I like hoarding things like these.

Yeah, I'd thought of that. My rathole is a 40 x 40 board fence. I swore to my wife that my stash would fit in there. I guess I could add on to the fence.

Aaron
 

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If you do go the cab swap route....i would put a man trans in it. You wont have to go through the work of adding the pedal. With the truck already being in pieces the trans swap should be breezy.

The cost of a good trans will be high...but adding a 5 speed to what I'm assuming is a 454 will pay for itself in fuel savings pretty quick, if you drive it often. I'm also a huge fan of being able to "pop start" vehicles and adds a modicum of anti theft security.

I'm about to yank the th400 out of my burb. As soon as I can find a Nv4500 that does not cost as much as the truck did lol.
 

Camar068

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my thoughts are (if the flat bed is in good condition) the truck is worth $300 just because of that. Everything else is a bonus.
 

Powerhouse Ranch

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Yeah, I'd thought of that. My rathole is a 40 x 40 board fence. I swore to my wife that my stash would fit in there. I guess I could add on to the fence.

Aaron

ATTA BOY!
 

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If I were you I'd buy both trucks on the cheap.

First I would put the standard tranny in mine and swap the fenders. Actually I'd swap basically the entire early-mid 80's front clip onto my truck. Then I would buy a set of patch panels and weld in the cab corners and rocker panels because cab swaps are a pain in the ass for many reasons. I would use whatever I needed from the non-dually bed to fix mine (or the other way around depending on how bad the bed really is). Depending on how bad the doors are I would most likely just patch them because our trucks are completely straight and flat and the doors take almost no skill to patch. If they're really that far gone to the point where the inner shell of the door is rotten I would first scold myself (or whoever let it get that bad before me) for not doing something sooner, then consider replacing what could not be patched, but realistically try to save whatever I could because I'm a cheap bastard. I'd sell that flatbed for a ton of money and watch it leave my property with a big smile on my face while I sigh and gently pat the side of my normal bed. After that I would either bury or scrap the 6.2 so it could never hurt anyone ever again, and most likely kill the 89 grille and headlights with fire. Then I would either part out and sell everything else (picking through it and keeping the best for myself, any little thing I need interior or trim etc) or just hoard it all if I can somehow find a way to get the wife to agree it's a good idea.

That's all hypothetical of course, but yeah pretty much exactly what I would do if it were me.
 
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Juggernaut

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Prices you gave sound pretty good. Square bodies are becoming more and more popular, and I don't see the prices going down. If you're not good with welding and body work, a cab swap is not hard, just time consuming, and as long as you have a way to move the cab, it's pretty heavy. You may also have air conditioning to deal with. Look closely for ground straps before trying to pull it off. Before buying the crew cab, make sure it really is in good shape. Climb underneath with a screw driver and poke at the inner rocker panels and front cab mounts. Someone weigh in if I'm wrong, but I think the crew cabs are identical on the heavy trucks until 91, that is except from 2wd to 4wd, those have different center humps. If you decide to go with replacing the rockers and cab corners, and you have to replace the inner rockers, make sure to support the cab on the front and rear corners with a bottle jack or something before you make any cuts. You will be amazed how much the cab will sag even when its still bolted to the frame. Throws everything off.
 

AaronW

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thanks, everyone, for the suggestions. I see that this forum is full of hoarding enablers. :)

I've got to price out the cost of the steel for building the flatbed myself, and then compare that to the time to cut the existing one down.

I should have mentioned, too, that part of my reason for wanting to replace the doors is to covert over to manual crank windows. My front window motors are pretty shot, especially when it's like 20 below zero around here.

I've got a couple other parts possibilities to check out in the next few days, so I should be more or less making a decision on this by the end of the week. I've got 15 acres, so I've also been mulling over some wild ideas about what I could do with the 350 and man trans and chassis on the dually, if I end up buying it.

Aaron
 

SquareRoot

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If you do go the cab swap route....i would put a man trans in it. You wont have to go through the work of adding the pedal. With the truck already being in pieces the trans swap should be breezy.

The cost of a good trans will be high...but adding a 5 speed to what I'm assuming is a 454 will pay for itself in fuel savings pretty quick, if you drive it often. I'm also a huge fan of being able to "pop start" vehicles and adds a modicum of anti theft security.

I'm about to yank the th400 out of my burb. As soon as I can find a Nv4500 that does not cost as much as the truck did lol.
Adding modern EFI will pay for itself faster than OD, but, as you may or may not know, once you lose the carb there is no more "pop starting".
 

Grit dog

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To add, IMO, a guy needs to “want” to part out the trucks if you go the route of buying multiple donor rigs.
I’m trying to be a productive “enabler” here, lol.
I don’t mind stuff laying around that is actually “in progress”, but personally not a big fan of stockpiling junk vehicles, or junk anything, whether they’re squares or not.
Some folks can’t pass up a garage sale without buying a bunch of old chit they didn’t need before they stopped by and others are a bit more focused than that.
I’m in the latter group. Just because you have 15ac, doesn’t mean it needs to be @AaronW Pick n Pull! Lol. Unless you’re motivated enough to have a little side hustle actively parting them out.
I’d be more in the camp of replace cab corners and rockers on the existing cab unless there’s more to it. Window frames rotted out or something…
 
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AuroraGirl

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Adding modern EFI will pay for itself faster than OD, but, as you may or may not know, once you lose the carb there is no more "pop starting".
if the efi is manual trans application shouldnt you still have popstart or.. well.. hmm.. nvm I think i see why
 

AuroraGirl

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To add, IMO, a guy needs to “want” to part out the trucks if you go the route of buying multiple donor rigs.
I’m trying to be a productive “enabler” here, lol.
I don’t mind stuff laying around that is actually “in progress”, but personally not a big fan of stockpiling junk vehicles, or junk anything, whether they’re squares or not.
Some folks can’t pass up a garage sale without buying a bunch of old chit they didn’t need before they stopped by and others are a bit more focused than that.
I’m in the latter group. Just because you have 15ac, doesn’t mean it needs to be @AaronW Pick n Pull! Lol. Unless you’re motivated enough to have a little side hustle actively parting them out.
I’d be more in the camp of replace cab corners and rockers on the existing cab unless there’s more to it. Window frames rotted out or something…
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Other than that Chevrolet Logo and a fan shroud laying on the body elsewhere, If I could go back in time I would be keeping up with my gpas lifetime and keeping things not just rotting, but gone through, and scrap the things he was gonna otherwise yeet off a hill in the woods. One day.
 

bucket

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Other than that Chevrolet Logo and a fan shroud laying on the body elsewhere, If I could go back in time I would be keeping up with my gpas lifetime and keeping things not just rotting, but gone through, and scrap the things he was gonna otherwise yeet off a hill in the woods. One day.
Wish I could have seen that '70 before it got to be like that. I'll bet there's still a whole mess of good parts in that pile there.
 

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