Was it a good idea to pass on this?

TDPalmer

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Apr 25, 2011
823
Cave City, Arkansas
I went and looked at this truck last week. It is a 1985 Chevrolet Silverado 10 4x4. It was sitting out in a guys yard and I called him about it, he told me it was a 2 owner southern truck, it had 96,000 original miles, clean title in hand, and it was an original A/C truck.

I went and met him at the truck and went to have a look at it. He told me the engine and transmission were rebuilt, but he could not provide any proof or receipts that they was.

I popped the hood and it still had all the factory stickers underneath, which supported the 96,000 original miles claim, but the engine was orange. He told me it was the original engine, but I don't think they was orange in 85 unless it was painted. The A/C did not have a belt on it but it was all there, but I could not get it to spin freely, I could rotate the pulley but it was very hard to move, it also had aftermarket rusted headers & Edelbrock air cleaner lid. There was also a lot of mismatched bolts.

The interior was also very rough, everything was faded or cracked. He said the power windows and locks worked, but there was no switches to test them. Everything looked like it would be needed to be replaced, but the doors did not sag and closed and latched perfect.

He fired up the truck and it fired up with 2 pumps and the choke worked good. It did not smoke at all, but it did have a BAD exhaust leak at the headers. He said the gauges worked but I did not check them at the time I was too busy looking at the engine and underneath and forgot. He also did not know if it burned any oil as he has not drove it in a while. He also said the 4x4 worked.

The body of the truck was very straight with no noticeable dents or dings. The rockers were rust free and the only rust I could spot was on the rear quarters in front of the tires. The paint was original and badly faded, but it looked like he had spray painted the top for some reason. The wheels were original and still had the 4x4 center caps. It also had dual tanks that he told me both worked.

The undercarriage looked good with no rust holes, I don't know what kind of exhaust these trucks had from the factory but it had 2 big mufflers and 1 cat on it, it all mostly looked untouched. It also had sunoco shocks?

The guy wanted $3,500 for it, and I felt like it was too much for a truck I or he knew nothing about powertrain wise, needed a new paint job, and that would need the whole interior replaced, not to mention exhaust, shocks, and springs. I offered him $1,500 and he told me that by the time it was fixed up it would be an easy $12,000 truck, and that it would easily sell for $3,500.

I don't really know the value of these trucks, and I want one. I just felt like for $3,500 he'd at least have a little more information, and the truck would maybe have a decent interior and body. But the more I second guess myself I think this is the most factory looking one I have found around here that doesn't have a 9 inch lift or flintstones floorboard.

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Mike N

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Jan 13, 2002
3,065
Spencerport, NY.
OP- $1500 was a fair offer for that. From what I see it's going to need a ton of work and it's not worth anywhere near $3500 as it sits.
 

hhott71

R.I.P 11/19/18
Lifetime Gold Member
Mar 30, 2001
14,377
Joplin Mo. 64801
$3500 for that POS!
I sold my 1990 for $2K. It was a fully loaded, everything worked C1500 with the Silverado package. All original gaskets in place. Quiet stock exhaust. 190k+ miles, it used one qt of oil in 3000 miles just like it did new.

I guess I should have asked $6000
 

BTTB71SS

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
May 10, 2006
4,797
Harris, MN
Mike N said:
OP- $1500 was a fair offer for that. From what I see it's going to need a ton of work and it's not worth anywhere near $3500 as it sits.

^+1... Can't see that being worth $3500


well lets see him fix it up and try to get 12k for that. Probably cost him more than that.
 

Gary S

Administrator
Lifetime Gold Member
Apr 14, 1999
24,421
Bismarck, North Dakota
The 81-86 GM full size trucks are likely the most reliable and solid trucks GM ever built, but they are at an age where you will spend a pile of money to put them back into original reliable and solid condition.
This one needs ton of work, but the guy wants $1500.
http://www.bismanonline.com/1982_chevy_k10_1_2_ton_4wd

Here's another one. $2000
http://www.bismanonline.com/1985_chevy_k_10

Notice that they are all in bad shape like they have been abused for 30 years, but if you want an old truck that you can rebuild cheaply and make work, these are what you need to find. Starting in 87, Chevy went to fuel injection, so the electronics will kill you. In 88, they went to independent front suspension, and the solid reliability of the truck was gone.

If you really want one, buy it cheap, and plan to spend a lot of money putting it back in solid driver shape. The best ones are un-modified trucks, but they are rare.

I've owned one for over 30 years, and it is without a doubt, the best truck I've ever owned.
 

Mike N

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Jan 13, 2002
3,065
Spencerport, NY.
BTTB71SS said:
well lets see him fix it up and try to get 12k for that. Probably cost him more than that.

Agreed. I've got a 79 K5 Blazer that is 150% salt and rust free. One ton axles, 454, 14" lift and like new 44" Super Swampers. I'd never get $12k for it, and it's 10 times the truck that 85 is.
 




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