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Wood Truck Dilemma

Post in 'The Gear' started by Agent, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Agent

    Agent Member

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    After 2 years of faithful service, my poor '82 GMC diesel seized up beyond my repair abilities.

    So that leaves me with the classic dilemma everyone's experienced - Do I just replace it with another <$1,000 beater on it's way to a junkyard, or do I lay out a few more dollars for something made in the past decade that I'll hope to keep a while?

    Both options have reasonable pros and cons, but I wanted to see what you Hearth-ers have to say before I need to make a choice.

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  2. salecker

    salecker Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Agent
    Swaping the motor in that truck is fairly simple.Is the rest of the truck ok?
    You can even swap in a gas motor if you want.That era of GM every motor from a p/u will bolt right in.
    Thomas
  3. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    6.2 diesel? You might find a military surplus motor to replace yours.
  4. Joe Matthews

    Joe Matthews Member

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    I have a 1977 chevy truck that I use for hauling whatever I need, including wood. It is a long bed and is great for hauling wood. Most trucks these days do not have beds that will carry as much as the old ones will. They also have lots more stuff to break these days than our simple older ones do.. A brand new GM Goodwrench crate engine will be somewhere between 1500 to 1900 dollars and comes with a 5 year 50,000 mile factory warranty. You and a helper should be able to do the swap in a weekend if you are somewhat mechanically inclined. If you are not, find a friend who is and bribe them to help. If the rest of the truck is in fair shape, that would be your best option.
  5. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    I second the "drop a 350 in it" approach so long as the rest of the truck is acceptable.
    ditchrider likes this.
  6. cygnus

    cygnus Feeling the Heat

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    I vote for a 'drop in 350' or other beater. Of course, my wood hauler is a 2000 Lincoln LS. :confused:
  7. Halligan

    Halligan Feeling the Heat

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    Since the OP said he wasn't into major repairs I won't suggest an engine swap. Have you considered a goverment surplus vehicle? A guy near me sell's them on the web and he must get them from govt auction. He frequently has an early to mid 80's diesel powered GM pickup for sale with the typical govt spec one ton running gear and these truck usually have low miles. The only down size is like most military trucks they use a 24 volt electrical system. He price's them around $5,000 and if I didn't already have a truck I would go this route.
  8. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    Not a GM expert...but didn't the diesels use a different bell housing on the tranny?
  9. salecker

    salecker Feeling the Heat

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    Nope all gm truck motors use the same bellhousing.Could put a 6cyl where a 454 was or throw, in a diesel.
    That was the great thing about that era truck lots of cheep parts.
    I have about 40 trucks between 50's to 90's there are lots of parts you can use right through the years.
    Thomas
    Dune likes this.
  10. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    Like I said...not a big GM expert just trying to think of anything that might be a problem. Sounds like you guys are steering him right.
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    He just said the engine repairs were beyond his abilities. I don't blame him for not wanting to resurrect a 6.2L oil-burner. As you said, a surplus motor/truck could be had if you were going to spend the money and were intent on keeping it diesel.
  12. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    Just curious..wasn't the '82 6.2L Detroit the first year of that motor after the previous 5.7L Olds diesel fiasco? Although I thought they used the 5.7L diesel in some cars through '85.
  13. Treacherous

    Treacherous Minister of Fire

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    I felt weird last year loading up some energy logs from Thomas in the trunk of my '07 G35x sedan. :)

    At least I had a good Weathertech mat in there to easily clean it out afterword.
  14. Backroads

    Backroads Feeling the Heat

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    That might of been what I was thinking with the different bell housing. Olds/Buick are different from Chevy if memory serves me right.
  15. flyingcow

    flyingcow Minister of Fire

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    MIA?
  16. MrWhoopee

    MrWhoopee Minister of Fire

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    I'd feel bad about it, but I'd probably ditch it and get another beater. Sell it to someone who wants to put an engine in it. Get a pre-smog and you don't have to worry about not being able to register it.
  17. Agent

    Agent Member

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    Yup - 1982 was the first year that GM brought out the 6.2 diesel. Honestly, it's a pretty good engine, but I personally feel alot of potential is lost by putting a 3 speed auto tranny behind it (I may have a slight preference toward 5 speed manuals).
    This conversation has definitely reminded me how much more built the trucks from this era are compared to newer ones - so for the moment, I'm thinking I might look into reviving a waterlogged 6.2 engine I bought just for the injection pump. If that works, I'll try my hand at an engine transplant for the first time. And if it doesn't, I'll probably follow MrWhoopee's thoughts and sell it all off to someone with more time and space and spare parts than myself.
  18. MofoG23

    MofoG23 Feeling the Heat

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    Keep it, then again I'm a bit biased on older trucks as well (see my sig) :)

    Seriously though, just this past week I was driving through the woods collecting wood for 2013/14. Did I care while driving over small shrubs and branches dragging along the side of the truck? Nope. Did I care much when I accidentally hit a tree while backing up? Nope.

    Would I have cared if it was a newer or new truck - yep!

    Personally I would try to revive your current truck or find a similar replacement. Parts are cheap, very simple to work on and built like a tank IMO.
    osagebow likes this.
  19. salecker

    salecker Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Agent
    I drive a 6.2 powered truck,90 1 ton crew cab 4x4,gets great milage for the work it does.It's the toughest truck i'v owned.There is a site Thedieselpage.com,it's great for info on the GM diesel.An engine swap is pretty simple in these trucks,lots of room under the hood.
    I hope i have enough parts gathered to keep mine going till they yank my licence.
    Thomas
    pen likes this.
  20. jhoff310

    jhoff310 Member

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    If you do decide to part with it may I suggest ( DONT LAUGH) a late 80's early 90's toyota pickup. I have a 90 1/2 TON and it has hauled it fair share of wood and has earned the respect it deserves. The toyotas are nearly impossible to kill, check out the youtube videos. just an idea

    Jeff
  21. Retired Guy

    Retired Guy Feeling the Heat

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    Used U-Haul Toyota. Cut off the box and build a flatbed. They make a great utility truck.
  22. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    As much as I don't like GM stuff, go with a CUCV (Mil surplus GM pickup), or get a surplus engine out of one.Mil surplus stuff has never let me down.

    I'm saving my pennies for a Deuce in the next year or two (farm dumptruck blew up this spring).
  23. Agent

    Agent Member

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    No laughing here! I know exactly what you mean, and if it weren't for the fact that I have a 140 mile round trip for each load of wood, I would have picked up one of those little guys a long time ago. Hauling anything less than a cord at a time is just not worth it.

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