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mr2s2000elise
mr2s2000elise UberDork
6/16/21 12:01 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

 

For what it's worth, on the construction sites I am on, most bosses drive Fords. But most of the real worker trucks (tool bodies, crew haulers, etc) are Chevys. Very few are 4x4. They are highway riding, fairly reliable, not too comfortable tow pigs. 
 

I used to drive a Chevy when I was working out of it. Now I'm a boss. Haha!

Depends on geography. Around here Bosses driving TRX or Raptors. They change them out every 3 years on a section 179 deduction, so the trucks always remain "reliable."

Us lowly poor folk, drive Tacomas. Because ours have to be reliable enough to get us to work, while the bossses can afford to stay home and diddle their misstressss

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
6/16/21 12:29 p.m.
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Seems to me like you've gone from trying to keep a pos rally car running, to trying to keep a pos tow vehicle running & functional. I'm not sure that gets you much closer to your goal of doing more rallying?

I know- but I can rent a tow rig when this one fails for under $200 a day, a rental rally car is like $5k+ per day, so I'm gonna go a little further down the "keep this thing alive" rabbit hole and see where it leads.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/16/21 12:41 p.m.

As much as I would love to say Frankentruck simply for the great threads you would post, I say replace.

I am in the process of the same thing.  I bought a van to replace my Branger because it keeps breaking.  Now I have to fix the Branger before I sell it.

golfduke
golfduke Dork
6/16/21 12:49 p.m.
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ said:
Pete Gossett (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Seems to me like you've gone from trying to keep a pos rally car running, to trying to keep a pos tow vehicle running & functional. I'm not sure that gets you much closer to your goal of doing more rallying?

I know- but I can rent a tow rig when this one fails for under $200 a day, a rental rally car is like $5k+ per day, so I'm gonna go a little further down the "keep this thing alive" rabbit hole and see where it leads.

I think this falls firmly into one question-  'does it have good bones?' 

If the frame, body, and general condition of the truck is okay, I think frankentruck makes a lot of sense.  Upgrade the faulty systems with safe, obtainable, parts, and trust that the rest of the truck won't fall apart around you. 

 

It's always a calculated risk, but the 8L won't grenade unless you let it via neglect.  If the frame is good, then I'd just run it into the ground.  Eventually with enough frankensteining, you'll stop breaking crap... eventually.   

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
6/16/21 12:51 p.m.

In reply to golfduke :

Yes.  It needed rockers when I bought it, so I pulled the bed, did those, and painted the frame and every suspected rusty bit I could reach.  It's pretty rust free by PA standards.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/16/21 3:02 p.m.

Genuine, face-value question... what is it about the 8.1L that is hard to find parts?  What parts are you encountering that are difficult to find?  I mean... it's an evolution of a BBC, and like most other GMs, it doesn't really use vastly different parts from something like an LS, or for that matter the 350 or 454 that came before it.

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
6/16/21 3:05 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

So far, the radiator and various cooler lines have been the big ones.  I'm a little concerned that various sensors will be hard as well.  Nothing is hard to get online, just when you're stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/16/21 3:10 p.m.

I just looked up a few parts to make sure I wasn't talking out of my butt.

Oil level sensor is the same across nearly all GMs from 1987-2010, including TopKick/Kodiak, Cadillac Northstar, Buick V6, etc.  
Oil pressure sensor - same thing on nearly every Chevy from 96-current
CTS - same across V6, LS, or BBC for a decade
 

Same goes for CMPS, CKPS, TPS, and MAF.

Like I said, genuine question, not being a jerk.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/16/21 3:13 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Gotcha.  You responded while I was researching :)

 

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
6/16/21 3:13 p.m.

In reply to Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) :

Genuinely appreciated- maybe I'm a little too freaked out after I found the one unobtanium part and then nearly killed Evan by asking him to install a replacement.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/16/21 3:16 p.m.

I wouldn't worry about sensors.  GM found ways of shoving the same exact part number in everything from an 80s Olds up to a 2015 Cadillac.

CKPS was a little specific as I think the 8.1L has a specific reluctor.  CMPS was the same, TPS was the same as an LS truck... you get the idea.

I did see that the radiator was 2-years only.  Odd.

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/16/21 3:19 p.m.

I hear you on the unobtanium parts.  The Branger has a 4.0L which was used for a billion years, but being a 94, it was part of the few years with MPFI but before the OHC.  I had trouble finding intake gaskets for it last year.

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/16/21 4:16 p.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

Note:

You haven't mentioned anything bad about the motor or trans. You've mentioned radiator, coolant lines, sensors, and AC parts. 
Those aren't the primary core truck. 
 

You've got a solid body and frame with a decent motor and trans.  It's an oddball year which has made some periphery parts harder to get, but that doesn't make it a bad truck.

I know you dislike GM, but Frankentruck really is your answer.  But you may  need to get your head into some positive mental space.

Its a $4K truck.  There isn't any way you will get anything near that price point in today's market that doesn't need to be dragged to the scrapyard.

frenchyd
frenchyd UltimaDork
6/16/21 4:58 p.m.
Ian F (Forum Supporter) said:

Option 3.  Newest, and lowest mileage as you can stomach/afford.

Do you really want your tow vehicle to be something you have to burn brain cells on?

Working on the tow truck is the least productive unrewarding work.  If you can afford it buy new.  When I was in my 20's even early 30's I didn't mind that work, but with family time and hobby time pushing you. You'll reach a point where the savings in depreciation isn't offset by the time invested. 

Gaunt596
Gaunt596 Reader
6/16/21 5:23 p.m.

I'm in the middle of option 3, sold my 2002 silverado 2500hd, with the 6.0/4L80E combo, and am working on buying a 2005 or older Isuzu NPR/W3500, that has either the same motor/trans combo, or the 350 chevy motor. Put some more common axles under it, should then be able to get parts nearly anywhere, and it's more than enough truck for anything I'll ever get into. Will probably end up with a solid front axle 4x4 swap while I'm at it.

SVreX (Forum Supporter)
SVreX (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/16/21 6:11 p.m.

I don't think option 3 is viable with a $4000 (+-) budget. 

Curtis73 (Forum Supporter)
Curtis73 (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
6/16/21 6:44 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

I don't think option 3 is viable with a $4000 (+-) budget. 

At least not right now anyway.

I was able to weasel a deal for $6500 on the Kandy Van to replace my Branger and I hope to capitalize on the market and get a slight premium on the sale of the truck.  But right now, it's buy high/sell high.

I agree with your comment about the core truck being good, but I finally reached a point with the Branger that it was just approaching insanity.  Take it out for a trip, coolant temp sensor goes bad.  Fix that and next trip the EGR valve goes bad.  Fix that and I get a bad fuel gauge.  Next trip it's a seized e-brake cable.  Every trip ended up costing me $100 extra to replace something.  It doesn't sound like he's there yet but I can understand his temptation to cut and run.

Antihero (Forum Supporter)
Antihero (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UberDork
6/16/21 7:06 p.m.
SVreX (Forum Supporter) said:

I don't think option 3 is viable with a $4000 (+-) budget. 

Agreed.

 

I want an extra cab 90s i6 powered 4x4 work truck because I like them and they were stupid plentiful in my area, well.....maybe not the exact combo but something close enough to it. 

I passed on 3 for various small issues, A/C needed rebuilt on one among other issues, one had major electrical problems etc. These are $2000 dollar trucks around here at all times..... except now.

 

The last one I saw was listed at $9k and sold in hours. It's insane

irish44j (Forum Supporter)
irish44j (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/16/21 10:11 p.m.

- I'm getting rid of my tow rig for a newer one, but because of rust getting to the point where it makes me nervous and I want to cut bait before it's too fargone. If it wasn't rusty, I'd keep it and deal with the regular flow of "stuff that needs to be fixed on an old truck"

- Would you want another similar truck, or something totally different? If the former, probably just fix stuff since a similar truck may have similar issues? If the latter (say, a Tundra that would likely be more reliable), then may be worth puling the trigger. 

- For the radiator - do they make the "ebay Aluminum" radiators for it? I've been using those for years on the rally car and others and never had an issue (and, no plastic!).

 

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