Posted By: PaulLeMay 3600 vs 3100 - Sun Jul 25 2021 08:36 PM
This is my first post, I'm a total newb. I have decided I'd like to buy an old truck. Looking for an honest 49-55 with patina, not really restored. I'm surprised how much old Chevy's sell for, but they are super nice. I see that 3600's seem sell for quite a bit less than 3100's. Just curious as to why this is? They appear to be the same cab.
Posted By: KEVINSKI Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Sun Jul 25 2021 08:50 PM
Everyone seems to like the half tons,They make good daily drivers but there are a lot of bigger trucks out there that have been passed by .I think the bigger trucks are great also maybe a little bit more expensive to get drivetrain and brake parts if you want to keep them origional.
Posted By: 68ironhead Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Sun Jul 25 2021 10:01 PM
3600's have heavier frames and suspensions and are geared from the factory with 4:56's, which limits their high speed use somewhat.
They do share cab and front sheet metal with the3100's.
If you want a real truck, they fit the bill nicely.
Posted By: Barnfind49 Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Mon Jul 26 2021 02:19 AM
I use my gmc 150 3/4t (same as 3600) as a daily/weekend cruiser. The long bed is great and it will carry a healthy load of firewood or wood pellets no problem. I swapped in a 4:11 center section and I run a borg warner electric overdrive. Im not sure I’ve seen them cheaper in my area because normally they are rare because they were beat to death with commercial use while the 1/2 tons were dailys or light use trucks. I do like the idea of the full floater axle and the heavy duty 8 lug wheels and bigger brakes. I honestly find the long bed very useful. The only downside to some 3/4t stuff is parts availability is not as easy as 1/2t and some parts are even NLA and ones that are available seem to cost more $$$. That being said.....I dont mind the challenge and I love my 3/4t to death.
Posted By: bartamos Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Mon Jul 26 2021 07:40 AM
Hello Paul,
This is a touchy subject and hard not to be subject-ive. I will try to be objective. The big issue here is whether you care about resale or capability or initial price. Your personal feelings toward a certain look. Some folks are looking to match Grand Daddy's truck. So plain and simple: the 3100 is more popular, more valuable, better resale, more aftermarket parts, more available upgrades, less heavy duty tools needed, cheaper parts. It's more popular because it's a short bed lighter duty truck. Larger crowd of buyers. More suitable for restorers/preservers/fixers/cruisers/hot rodders/modders.... who want the best investment return. Those who feel a short bed 1/2 Ton is nicer looking. If you look around, you don't see too many TV shows, cars shows, magazine articles.. on long beds. 3/4 T does not come in short bed. I relate it to a 4 door 56 Chevy vs a 2 door 56 Chevy. 67 Mustang Coupe vs 67 Mustang Fastback. As the saying goes "is that a Hemi?"

3/4 T and up will certainly gain in value. Have many admirers and are very handy if you are hauling frequently. They are built stronger. If strong is what you are after. It is not necessary to pay for a short bed if you like long bed, want to keep it a long time and/or have a use for it's extra capacity.

If you have seen that 3100's sell for more than 3600's, in general, even though you "get more" with a 3600, it supports what I'm saying. It is true in most regions that 1/2T sells for more....and are WAY LESS AVAILABLE.
In the next era up, 55.2-59, where 1/2 T comes in long and short, the short bed values, popularity and unavailability is quite evident. They are even 2" shorter than AD. AD= 116". TF= 114".
Then in 58 came the fleetside. So a 1/2 T short bed fleetside is the "Coupe de Grass" of that era. Add big window, V8, 4x4..... for the Holy Grail.
The same "value quotient" runs on up the years to at least 72.

It's about preference and goals (subjective). I have given you the objective facts.
Posted By: ASU Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Mon Jul 26 2021 09:29 AM

I have a 3600, so I have a slanted opinion.
Yes the 3600's have 4.56 rearends, and are "slow", but axle swaps are fairly simple. 3100 guys have the same problems. a lot of them end up looking for 3.55 gears, or something faster.
The original 3100/3600 drivetrains would have been similar. a 216 or 235 inline 6, and either a 3 or 4 speed transmission (the 4 speed just gave you a low 1st gear to start out with heavy loads) neither had OD.
The 3100/3600 use the same hood/front fenders/cab so there is no difference there.

Now you have to look at what has been done to each individual truck over the last 70 years. Has the motor be changed/upgraded? Has someone added an overdrive transmission? Has someone changed the rear axle or gears? What other mods have been done? This varies a lot truck to truck, anything from the purist restoration, to the low rider on air with a big v-8, and everything in between.

It may be difficult, but think you have to decide what you want the truck to be, and make a personal decision. There is tons of information on the site from purist restoration, to hot rod, to ratrod, to restomod. engine swaps, axle swaps, suspension changes....The list goes on forever.

Good luck!
Posted By: cmayna Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Mon Jul 26 2021 02:29 PM
I would consider a 3600 only if I felt I needed a bigger truck for heavier loads, etc. If not, stay with a 3100 series for cheaper cruizin around, etc.
Posted By: PaulLeMay Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Mon Jul 26 2021 02:55 PM
Thank you for the help gentlemen. I do not need anything heavy. The biggest job I'll have would be to move a very small batch of firewood, or one piece of furniture. So it seems a 3100 is ideal for me. I have noticed they seem more expensive than I expected, even for original old rusty models but I'll just save some benjamins and read this forum a lot to make sure I don't buy a total disaster.
Posted By: Wally / Montana Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Mon Jul 26 2021 03:10 PM
I think the 3100 could be considered....dare I say.... cute while the 3600 is a hunk. I bought an 8-foot box for my '48 3/4-ton but didn't install it. The existing shorter flatbed looks great IMVHO.

The 4:10 rear end swap gives me all the road speed I want and feel as safe.

Attached picture SnowTruck800a.jpg
Posted By: bartamos Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Mon Jul 26 2021 08:18 PM
Well you certainly live in one of the better states to truck hunt. Suggestions about which one to buy:
1. Must have a legit title
2. It's all about Rust
3. Completeness
4. It's all about rust
5. No 2 and 4 are worth mentioning again
6. Don't get frozen by a higher price. If it meets the criteria 1 thru 5 and is a 3100, don't worry about extra dollars. In the length of time you will have it, it will continue to appreciate way past a reasonable market price you pay.
Posted By: Doc.Hall Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Tue Jul 27 2021 09:39 PM
bartomos, ditto, the time will very well come along for the 3600 and larger bodies. As I for see the bigger trucks will increase in value. I would love to have a Mack semi from the late fifties to early 60's but. the time has come and past for a good deal. Doc
Posted By: bartamos Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Tue Jul 27 2021 09:58 PM
Bart- A- mos Like two dogs named Bart and Amos
Posted By: fixite7 Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Sat Jul 31 2021 12:23 PM
kevinski Have run my 98 inch wheelbase 51 6400 about 9000 miles since summer of 2018,my best cruiser since the first v-8 one in 67. Has 8.25 rubber,sm 420,2-sp azle,handles like a sting-ray !!!
Posted By: fixite7 Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Sat Jul 31 2021 02:57 PM
kevinski Replied earlier about 6400's pretty good piece has plenty of braking andhas an insert 235 pretty happy at about 50,climb on the brakes will stop !!
Posted By: fixite7 Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Sat Jul 31 2021 03:06 PM
Doc.Hall You know here in the corn belt 6400 size trucks are waiting in the sheds because they are mostly too small. The combine holds more than those small trucks. Lot of semi's now go right in the field,
Posted By: fixite7 Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Sun Aug 01 2021 12:50 PM
68 ironhead Have a 52 3600 4;56 truck,a 5;13 punkin came to me,thought I might try the 5;13 with a saginaw 4 speed overdrive main box. How does that sound ?? May be off on those numbeers,have driven it gearedd to low.
Posted By: 68ironhead Re: 3600 vs 3100 - Sun Aug 01 2021 02:15 PM
Wouldn't the Saginaw have to be adapted to the front enclosed driveshaft ?
Might be simpler to change out the whole rearend. A Dana 60 with 3:73's went into my 3600.
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