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Vintage SM Block vs Big Block
(11-15-2017, 09:17 AM)UptownSport Wrote: "But you can argue night and day about engines, the component which will always end in catastrophic failure is the automatic transmission."

Thanks, Sport---
I have  *never owned*  a vehicle with an automatic transmission.  Long before I understood the mechanical
drawbacks of them, I simply liked the control one had while driving.  I have always enjoyed driving & shifting
always just felt "right" to me. 

An automatic transmission will always be out of the question.  The one absolute non negotiable in any truck.

Rolleyes Charlotte
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UptownSport (11-16-2017)
FWIW, many are looking for reliable vintage pickups. Big market for them but demand exceeds supply and hence price. Start researching the VW buses as similar example and see how many reliable stories are out there. Few and costly. There is a YouTube video of Jay Leno interviewing Gabriel Iglesius with his nicely restored Samba, and it breaks down during the interview.
Hot Rod magazine has a tour every year with all kinds of vintage cars, many restored and high dollar, and many break down.
I hate to be negative.
You're searching for a unicorn. It will cost a ridiculous amount of money to make it a reliable daily driver and even there, remanufactured engines and transmissions have short warranties for a reason. Mechanical systems all have a lifespan. You can have a reliable newer vehicle for a lot less money than restoring vintage.
FYI, Check out roaming Kat's build thread for similar to what you would be getting into. Endless mechanical issues.
I love vintage and have owned a couple classic muscle cars, SS, Z28, GTO, and if you don't know what you're doing, not mechanically inclined, do not tread there unless prepared to seriously lighten your bank account.
The reward to risk ratio is very low, almost nil for a daily driver without constantly inputting cash and hassle of breakdown and repairs.
Minivanmotoman,  Absolutely Positively.
Crystal Blue Persuasion, music video
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Charlotte's Web (11-15-2017)
I agree to make an older vehicle work you must be able to work on it yourself. but if you are a fair mechanic the right older vehicle is a huge plus. over the last 20-30 years I have help dozens of broke down vehicles in the back country. from what I have noticed the break downs fall into 2 categories. the first is the unprepared driver or doing stupid things they shouldn't be doing. the second is the failure of electronic engine controls. by far the most common of these is the failure of the in tank electric fuel pump. then there is the burnt/shorted wire harness/blown fuse, also the failure of a belt driven accessory. with a serpentine belt system the failure of any one part leaves the vehicle DOA. I always say if a part ain't there it won't fail and sooner or later if it's there it will fail. I do fine with my 40 year old truck but it's not for everybody. highdesertranger
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Charlotte's Web (11-15-2017)
(11-15-2017, 12:28 PM)Minivanmotoman Wrote: "...if you don't know what you're doing, not mechanically inclined, do not tread there unless prepared to
seriously lighten your bank account.   The reward to risk ratio is very low..
You are coming in  *loud & clear*.  Confused 
Thanks Man,
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It's not about you. And your 40 yr old truck that you manage to keep going. Great stuff. Love the old iron.
It's about giving the best advice to others in their situation. Right now she thinks she needs a 3/4 HP truck with high hp to torque ratio engine. How would she even find that info? Omg, where did she get that from? Does she sound like she should be getting into vintage truck mechanical issues and repairs with her current knowledge? And an online forum is going to be her tutorial?
Where will all this advice get her when she is half way up the back side of Mt. Olympia with a dropped drive shaft from a worn u joint ( which could tip her over and...) Or speeding down a California expressway and a rubber brake part ( hose, wheel cylinder, master cylinder, vacuum diaphram ) from her brake system fails leaving her with no brakes? SB or BB isn't important.
Out of curiosity HDR, when is the last time you did a full rebuild of the ENTIRE brake system on your 40 yr old truck? Including all lines, master, booster, calipers, wheel cylinders to ensure safety? Looking after your safety as well. And if you have, you are in the minority. Would any truck for sale have done this to that extent?
And how much would it cost? And should a newbie expect this to be done on a vintage truck that someone is selling?
Liability and safety issues should always supersede personal preference and experience.

Been down this road myself. Simplistic is more reliable than complex. Check. But when the simple mechanical is over 20-30 yrs old, no longer relative and will require costly replacement.

Let's take a vintage truck in the $10-$15k range. Be trouble free? Maybe. Odds are some things will require replacing shortly and ongoing. Seen some summer sales for a basic F150 in the crazy price of $18k brand new with the latest comfort and safety features.
Which one would be safer, better and more reliable?
Let's give this some more thought in the proper overall context of Charlotte and others reading these forums.
Imho, YMMV.
Vintage is fun, great for a hobby or second third vehicle. To count on in the backwoods if you haven't kept up on the multitude of maintenence, and preventative maintenance, it won't be bad luck like one online poster here claimed when her tie rod let go totaling her older van. She is lucky it was just the van totaled and she lived to tell the tale of bad luck.
Minivanmotoman,  Absolutely Positively.
Crystal Blue Persuasion, music video
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My wife shares a lot in common with the poster. She married a mechanic (me) and thought because I drove and used old cars she would too. I told her I wouldn't participate. She bought a 1988 Jeep Wagoneer. Frame off rebuild with mods, everything got touched by a better known 4x4 shop. First rebuilt AMC motor had lifter problems, second motor ate the distributor gear off and the third motor did great. Shop used the gas tank's vent for the after market fuel injection's fuel return and pressurized the after market 30 some gallon fuel tank so high it blew off the cap. After market alternator bracket failed and took out fan and radiator as well as trans cool lines which later blew off due to loose clamps. High output motor and her heavy foot blew out factory u-joints so heavy custom drive line. $28,000 later she sold it for $3,500 during the high gas prices as one 3 month traveling spree she spent several thousands of dollars on fuel. Electric windows, locks and seats were always an issue. Each of those breakdowns involved $800 to $1,000 tows. She now drives a Toyota when she needs to be somewhere and I suggest we take my old J10 says no way!
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wow a lot of anger there. didn't I say, you must be able to work on it yourself. I have always said in other posts that you must know what you are doing. but if you do, an older vehicle is the best choice.

as for when was the last time I rebuilt my brakes. in 2001 I rebuilt the whole truck. every wear part was replaced and yes the brakes were done then. I am in the process of doing it all over again. 2 years ago the rear axle was done. there is a thread on it here, I just linked to it 2 days ago I guess you missed it so here it is again,

after the RTR it will go down for the rest of the rebuild which will include everything from the rear axle forward, I have been stock pilling parts for over 2 years . BTW I don't have rubber brake lines, I have braided stainless steel lines. I only use high quality parts nothing from China. you are messing with the wrong person if you think I don't know what I am talking about.

basically if you pay over 5k for a vintage truck it's to much and at that price it better be in great shape. we just bought a 1974 Chevy 1 ton 4x4 for 2k. I estimate the parting out price to be over 8k, but my buddy and me are taking a lot of the parts ourselves. the truck I got my diesel engine out of was a 1987 Chevy 2wd 1 ton crew cab in excellent shape I paid 500 bucks for it and I pulled what I wanted of it and parted the rest out for just over 2k. so in other words I got a free diesel engine and money back. again I know how to do this.

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Charlotte's Web (11-15-2017)
(11-15-2017, 04:03 PM)bullfrog Wrote: "My wife shares a lot in common with the poster."


As much as I've appreciated the tips/advice given in this thread,
I take great exception to being compared to your wife.  I am not
a thing like her!  

Since the 1960's I have owned a series of three VW Westfalias, two
aircooled & my current water boxer.  Over the many decades I have
driven, usually alone, into Mexico & as far as Guatemala.  I managed
to do this successfully by understanding my vehicle's needs & limits.

I never hit the road unless my VW was in tip top shape. I lways carry
a full complement of spares & hoses, along with the Bentley repair
manual, for when I need to translate/supervise repairs.  My Spanish
includes a good working auto vocabulary & an understanding of how to
deal with the culture of Mexican repair shops. I carry good quality basic
tools, along with flares, a good tow strap, etc for roadside emergencies---
of which there were none!

Yes, my three VW's cost plenty to keep in good, dependable running order.
But that is how I kept them.  I have made literally dozens of long trips
south of the border, which should speak volumes.

HRD by now knows me well enough, I think, to offer sensible advice & help
in my truck decision, trusting I will weigh the matter carefully & make
the right decision for myself.  

Smile Charlotte
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bullfrog (11-16-2017), highdesertranger (11-15-2017)
OK fellas, here's some live bait for the shark tank!  Tongue

Remember, if I ask opinions re a CL truck, it has nothing to do with how much YOU
would be willing to pay.  Most of you are mechanics or view yours as hobbies/projects.
What I might buy would be something in excellent shape & ready to roll.

If nothing else, perhaps a few of you might enjoy a look at this CL find for the day.

Wink Charlotte
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No anger nor malice was said, inferred nor implied.
Am sure you know your stuff well, never said that you didn't. But it may not apply to others is all and there may be other more important aspects was all I was saying.

Early 70s Ford pickup is one of my favs btw.
Could tell you a story....
Minivanmotoman,  Absolutely Positively.
Crystal Blue Persuasion, music video
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