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Old October 14th, 2013, 07:30 PM   #1
rlu_tech
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Default Seeking late 70's 3/4 ton for a build...Ford or GM?

I am looking for a late 70's 3/4 or 1-ton 4x4 pickup to restore and build up. The problem is, I am torn between getting a 76-79 Chevy/GMC, or a 76-79 Ford. I like the trucks of this era that both companies produced. It won't be a hardcore abuse rig, but something that is definatly street legal and will be plenty capable when the backwoods terrain gets ugly. It will probably be lifted (if needed) to accomodate 33"-35" tires, preferrably be an automatic (but won't turn down a nice manual truck). May get headers, exhaust, intake, carb, and a cam. Preferably would have an NP205 transfer case and a Dana 60 front end, but I know the 60's where rare. So what's your opinion...Ford or Chevy. If you reply, please state why you choose the one you do. Thank You.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 08:05 PM   #2
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Old October 14th, 2013, 08:11 PM   #3
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The Chevy only had 60's in the one ton variant, the Fords had them in all F-250's with an 8,000 gvwr or higher.

For that era you can't go wrong with either. If you go Ford, I'd stick to 77.5-79 as they have better steering, brakes, frames, than the 73-early 77 models. The Ford also was available in an extended cab where the Chevy was not. Crew cabs are very sweet but rare.

The Ford also is limited in stock motor configuration. Most you find will have a 351 or 400M which are torquey motors that can return decent mileage, but won't win any races. Overdrive Automatic swaps in Fords cost more than Chevys.

The late 70's Chevys share the same platform as all 73-91 GM trucks. They are more rust prone than Fords of the same era but parts are more widely available for cheaper. They are also super simple to work on. The frames tend to have weak spots by the steering and behind the cab, so stay away from real rusty ones.

Just about any GM motor will bolt into those trucks, and overdrive swaps can be done reasonable. Honestly IMO the best of the solid axle chevys is the 86-91 with either a 6.2 diesel or TBI injection, plus those years have the upgraded front facia and better hood design that doesn't fold at the hinges like the older ones.

When it all comes down to it both trucks are pretty good. I've owned several of both and am fans of each. It all comes down to personal preference or brand loyalty.

One last thought though. I'm a big fan of cummins swaps. Both trucks can be swapped, but the Ford has more room and aftermarket support for that.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 08:21 PM   #4
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This may be better placed in the wanted forum? I like the chevys because they seem cheaper to buy lol but if you get a ford get one with the split grille because they are sweet
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Old October 14th, 2013, 08:40 PM   #5
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Great opinions so far guys, I really like the way the late 70's trucks look with the round headlights. The trucks of the 80's are cool, but in my opinion, the square headlights don't look as tough.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 09:18 PM   #6
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Get an 80s style chevy and hang the 70s front clip on it. Its getting hard to find the 70s trucks that are not rusted out unless your gonna drop some big $.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 09:20 PM   #7
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How much are you looking to spend
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Old October 14th, 2013, 09:22 PM   #8
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all the good trucks get snapped up for donor parts. they are hard to find if you dont want to shell out $$
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Old October 14th, 2013, 09:33 PM   #9
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Don't really want to spend more than $4000.00 for the initial purchase price of the truck.
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Old October 14th, 2013, 09:52 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Junkyard View Post
Get an 80s style chevy and hang the 70s front clip on it. Its getting hard to find the 70s trucks that are not rusted out unless your gonna drop some big $.
Thats some good advice.
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Old October 15th, 2013, 05:39 PM   #11
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I recently found a '76 F-250 Highboy at a swap meet with 44,000 original miles. It was an ex-brushtruck from a nearby fire department. Nice straight body with no rust. Had 35" Ground Hawgs on white steel wheels. He was asking $4250.00 for it. Very rare find here in Wisconsin. I could kick myself for not making an offer.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 05:13 PM   #12
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I've been looking at the M1008 CUCV military trucks. From what I gather, they were built from 1983-1986, and are basically a GM one ton K30 pickup. One of these would be great to find. What do these typically run for in price, and are there alot of them around?
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 09:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlu_tech View Post
I've been looking at the M1008 CUCV military trucks. From what I gather, they were built from 1983-1986, and are basically a GM one ton K30 pickup. One of these would be great to find. What do these typically run for in price, and are there alot of them around?
They are actually rated as a 5/4 ton due to some extras added for the gov.

All have the 6.2 diesel which is slow and loud but will pull a house down and get decent mileage.

All have a non-overdrive 400 with a 208 T-case. NV4500 manuals are an easy and poplular swap.

All have a Detroit in the rear 14 bolt. Some (less than 5% I've read) had an Eaton in the 60 front.

All have a hybrid 24 volt syatem that is gov specific but is fairly easy to convert to 12

Pricing seems to be <> $3,500ish for a cleanish one. Non runners can be bought all day on the gov sites around $1,200. Super clean ones around 5k from Boyce Equipment.

I'm a big fan of the trucks!
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 09:46 PM   #14
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^^
copied from steel soldiers:
m1008 Dana 60 open front, 14 bolt rear with detroit locker
m1010 Dana 60 open front, 14 bolt rear with Detroit locker.
m1028 Dana 60 front with trac-lok limited slip, rear depends on which revision. Can be either 14 bolt or Dana 70 dually rear with Detroit locker
m1031 Dana 60 front with trac-lok limited slip, 14 bolt rear with Detroit locker

buy a truck from out west and ship it - you can get a rust free vehicle shipped from the desert cheaper than you can buy it here.
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Old October 22nd, 2013, 09:56 PM   #15
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Oh, btw they have 4.56 gears. Without an overdrive swap or taller tires they have about a 55mph top speed.
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