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Inspecting a Prospective Truck II
#1393654 Thu Jan 21 2021 07:36 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
D
New Guy
Hello from Suburban Chicagoland!

I am new to Stovebolt and I am blown away by the sheer amount of information, knowledge, and experience on this forum and general site.

I've done a fair amount of browsing around but there's just so much to sift through; I might have missed what I'm looking for.

I am going to check out a rough (doesn't run, sitting for ~5 years, mostly complete from pictures) 1948 3800 soon and was looking for a "buyers guide" or a list of items specific to that year and possibly model to be on the look out for. Each of the beauties showcased on this site have their own congenital flaws and I was just looking for a laundry list of inspection points.

I would appreciate any and all advice related to purchasing my first truck!

Thank you all in advance!

Re: Inspecting a Prospective Truck II
daniel.toy1 #1393659 Thu Jan 21 2021 08:28 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 9,428
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
Normally the I would not approve this post since it is already in another forum but since you were erroneously told to post here by another Moderator I will leave it. You will get the same responses here that you got in the Welcome Center. Please take the few minutes and read the Sticky Thread at the top of this forum page entitled “Why posts are edited, moved or deleted” by the late Cletis Harden. It will provide you with guidance on how to use the forums. Welcome again.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2)
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe
USAF 1965-69 Weather Observation Tech (got paid to look at the clouds)


"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!

Re: Inspecting a Prospective Truck II
Justhorsenround #1393665 Thu Jan 21 2021 08:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2021
Posts: 6
D
New Guy
I appreciate your guidance. Just trying to figure this out. Sorry for any hassles!

Re: Inspecting a Prospective Truck II
daniel.toy1 #1393667 Thu Jan 21 2021 08:48 PM
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 9,428
Grease Monkey, Moderator General Truck Talk & Greasy Spoon
No problem you’ll get there.


Martin
'62 Chevy C-10 Stepside Shortbed (Restomod in progress)
'47 Chevy 3100 5 Window (long term project)
‘65 Chevy Biscayne 4dr 230 I-6 one owner (I’m #2)
‘39 Dodge Businessmans Coupe
USAF 1965-69 Weather Observation Tech (got paid to look at the clouds)


"I fought the law and the law won" now I are a retired one!
Support those brave men/women who stand the "Thin Blue Line"! Hug a cop!

Re: Inspecting a Prospective Truck II
daniel.toy1 #1393682 Thu Jan 21 2021 11:04 PM
Joined: Dec 2020
Posts: 51
M
Wrench Fetcher
Originally Posted by daniel.toy1
Hello from Suburban Chicagoland!

I am new to Stovebolt and I am blown away by the sheer amount of information, knowledge, and experience on this forum and general site.

I've done a fair amount of browsing around but there's just so much to sift through; I might have missed what I'm looking for.

I am going to check out a rough (doesn't run, sitting for ~5 years, mostly complete from pictures) 1948 3800 soon and was looking for a "buyers guide" or a list of items specific to that year and possibly model to be on the look out for. Each of the beauties showcased on this site have their own congenital flaws and I was just looking for a laundry list of inspection points.

I would appreciate any and all advice related to purchasing my first truck!

Thank you all in advance!

NADA says low retail $11,200, Average $26,500, High $ 69,100. It's a start.

Last edited by MJ Gordon51; Thu Jan 21 2021 11:05 PM.

Ask a question if you need a answer!
Resting up on Mon-Fri from Sat and Sun.
Re: Inspecting a Prospective Truck II
daniel.toy1 #1393690 Fri Jan 22 2021 12:13 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 831
L
Shop Shark
Welcome Daniel,

Starting with the one ton trucks on up to the 2 ton trucks, the rear brake cylinders have have an adjusting pinion,(instead of a slot for direct access to the cylinder like the front brakes). The pinion is kind of delicate and if rusted or seized you will destroy it trying to free it up or adjust the shoes. Pull the drums first to inspect and lubricate first. The pinion has a 5/8" hex head that you will see from the backing plate and there will be two of them for each cylinder.

I have 3 trucks with Huck brakes and I kind of like them but you will see a lot of negative opinions about them. They are just fine as they are designed as long as you use the truck as it was designed. If you want to go 75 mph on the freeway that is a different story. They do require frequent adjusting to keep a firm pedal, about every 1-2000 miles. It takes only about 20 minutes to adjust all 4 wheels once you get the hang of it.

Good luck,
Kent

Last edited by Lightholder's Dad; Fri Jan 22 2021 03:18 AM.

1937 Chevy 1/2 ton
1942 Chevy 1/2 ton
1947 Diamond T Model 509
1951 Chevy 1/2 ton
1950 Chevy COE Model 5700 ~ "Barney" ~ And more pix
Re: Inspecting a Prospective Truck II
daniel.toy1 #1393734 Fri Jan 22 2021 10:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 109
A
ASU Online
Shop Shark
Daniel,

At the top of the page is a link to "Tech Tips". If you haven't already, check it out. There are some things to look for, any help identify trucks. You may find that the seller knows little about the truck, or did not advertise it correctly.

My tip, Make sure it has a good title! In some states, you can get a new title, many states it is a BIG head ache to impossible.

Jon

Re: Inspecting a Prospective Truck II
daniel.toy1 #1393735 Fri Jan 22 2021 11:05 AM
Joined: Nov 1995
Posts: 4,837
J
Unrepentant VW Lover
Welcome aboard, Daniel!

I'm with Kent on the Huck brakes - mine work fine. But ... I drive defensively on mostly rural and suburban roads and try to avoid city and interstate driving. I will *not* drive my '49 3804 on the DC Beltway. So I do not have much experience with panic braking with the Hucks. I would prefer to keep it that way wink

Anyway, the main things to look for on the one-tons (assuming you are looking at a pickup) is rust in the hard-to-replace items like the running boards, and all of the bed pieces (splash/valance panels, too -- the curved part between the bed side and the running board. Rust in the cab and front sheet metal usually starts in the lower cab corners, floorboards and where the front fenders attach to the cab. The less rust you find, the better. Pull up the floor mats and look under the cab at the lower corners. While the do make patch panels to fix rust on these cabs (whole cabs, even), fixing rust takes time and money. The more rust, the more time and money. So the least rust you can start with, the better. The cab, front clip and rear fenders are all the same as the 1/2-tons and 3/4 tons.

If the truck runs, great. If not, well you have a little detective work to do (check out our tech tip on starting a dead engine). Even if it does run, an unrestored truck thats been sitting awhile will probably need to have its engine rebuilt or replaced. Before you replace the engine, though ... make sure the truck isn't titled off the engine number.

Any truck that's been sitting for a few years will not have working brakes, so expect any truck like that to need a complete brake job. 1-ton brakes are hard, but not impossible, to replace. Pulling the drums and inspecting the brake components is somewhat of a chore so it is not usually done as part of the buyer inspection. But you can use it as a price negotiation point ... ?

The interior should should worn and dusty, but not like a rats nest. If the truck interior stinks like rodent urine ... look for another one as the cab floor and interior is probably pretty rusted out.

Hopefully, any truck you find isn't sunk to it's axles in barn mud. If it is, you probably will have to replace all bearings and seals. You might have rear end damage, too.

If the tires hold air, great -- will make transportation easier. But you'll want to be replacing them anyway. The wheels, on the other hand, should not be too rusty. Surface rust is ok, pitted, bubbly rust is not.

I have to go to work now, so I'll leave it to the experts to finish this.

Have fun looking! One tons rock!

John


John
"Paul! Peggy barada nikto. PEGGY BARADA NIKTO!!!!"


'49 Chevrolet 3804

Re: Inspecting a Prospective Truck II
daniel.toy1 #1393740 Fri Jan 22 2021 01:41 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 3,887
E
Shop Shark
Do not try to turn the engine over by pulling, battery, etc. you need to pull the valve cover and make sure the valves are not stuck. Oil the valve stems, tap on each valve gently, 2 x 4 or such. Otherwise a bent pushrod or worse will occur.

Ed


'37 GMC T-18 w/ DD 4-53T, RTO-610, 6231 aux., '95 GMC running gear, full disc brakes, power steering, 22.5 wheels and tires.
'47 GMC 1 ton w/ 302, NP-540, 4wd, full width Blazer front axle.
'54 GMC 630 w/ 503 gasser, 5 speed, ex fire truck, shortened WB 4', install 8' bed.
'55 GMC 370 w/270, 420 4 speed, grain, dump bed truck from ND. Works OK.
Re: Inspecting a Prospective Truck II
daniel.toy1 #1393784 Fri Jan 22 2021 09:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2014
Posts: 766
M
Shop Shark
A lot of guys will tell you to watch out for rust in the lower cab corners, but don't let that deter you. Rust in the floor and lower corners is so common that it's almost like worn tires - no big deal, easily repaired, not a deal-breaker.


1949 Chevy Panel Truck
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