1979 Chevy Truck, is it worth restoring?

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Hey, ok i was hoping i could get some more experienced opinions on what i should do. Well we have a 1979 Chevy Silverado (fenders, box, doors, hood not original) but it still has the original 350sb 4 bolt main (rebuilt) and an automatic 400 trans. Most of the body will need to be patched or replaced but it has a solid frame and perfect engine (not run in 1 1/2 years). I like that year of truck but i dont know if it would be worth fixing up, i wouldn't really be going for a showroom condition but something that is good on the eyes and you'd be proud to drive around. I was thinking of talking to my dad to see if we could find an old chevy and maybe use the engine in it if we choose not to fix the truck. Almost every panel has atleast 1 rust hole (some bigger then others). I dont really know what else to say about it but i would love to hear some of your opinions. Thanx.

posted by  car_crazy89

Hey car_crazy89 beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. When I was in highschool in the early 70's and bought the 58 Edsel all my friends wondered why. If you see something there you like then get started. :clap:

posted by  Snappydwp1

if youy like it, and it has a rebuilt engine, why not restore/mod the truck? They are easy to get parts for, which makes it a great project.







posted by  ChrisV

Hey, thanx for your ideas, i was kinda thinking about the truck since its one of my more favourite years but it needs almost all new body panels. Where would you be able to find fairly cheap parts though? (new or used)

posted by  car_crazy89

Pick up a copy of Hemmings Motor News, or Classic Trucks magazine. Even JC Whitney has body parts for those trucks. Other than that, look into salvage yards. I'm sure there's one with '73-87 Chevy trucks you could get parts off of near you.

posted by  ChrisV

Ok, i started this a couple months ago and have tried talking to my dad about the truck. He said he would rather try to find another frame and body and then change all the good stuff from the truck we have now to the other (frame/body) cause he said the cab is too bad and isnt worth fixing it. As i've said, as far as i know its only body work that needs to be fixed (majority anyways). I was wondering, would it be cheaper and worth it to just find a 1977-80 or so cab and just switch it with our truck or to find a frame and body and then switch everything over? He said he'd rather get the frame/body cause it would be too much work changing a cab cause you gotta do the wiring and need people to help lift it in place. I can try to take pics of the truck (as it sits)and you can give me your opinions on what i/we should do. I dont need a show truck, just an everyday driver (maybe have it raised to go trail riding sometimes though). Any and all opinions are welcome and encouraged. Thanxs. :thumbs:

PS. Sorry for the length of this post kinda long and probably repetitive.

posted by  car_crazy89

You say the engine hasn't been run in 1.5 years? The gasoline may have turned to varnish by now. That's going to be a pain to clean out. You may also have a lot of gunk in your engine that's going to need cleaning.

EDIT: Oh wait, I just saw how old this thread is, you've probably already done that by now.

posted by  hondaman

Well its turned over but hasnt started (2 or 3 months ago) cause of a bad starter. The ground wire to the battery kept heating up and melting the coating off the wire.

EDIT: No, we havent really done anything to it yet. The last thing we've tried to do was get it started and just havent gotten a starter yet. We also fixed the brakes lines so they work. I'm more the one who wants to do things so it would probably have to be me to start it (cleaning and other stuff).

posted by  car_crazy89

changing the cab is common and not that big a deal where i'm from (farmland)... the truck will probably be easier to do than most cars, as you can unbolt almost everything (it's kinda modular that way), and chevy truck parts are common as catdirt (whatever that means). my friend's neighbor built a lifted chev p/u like yours when we were in hs, and it was about 8 different trucks put together on one frame... came out nice, though

posted by  dodger65

Haha sounds like what the truck already is, 8 different trucks lol. Its originally a 79 but its got 80 fenders, 84(?) doors, 78 box, 80 mirrors, and i think 81 hood. I like the truck though, and my plan was to raise it up (not lower) and make it look kinda like an off-roader with bigger tires (31's right now), suspension/body lift, roll/push style bumpers, rear roll bar, bucket/racing seats and harnesses and a few other minor things. I can take and put up pics anytime if anyone wants. Of the good and bad parts/places. Thanx fgor your help and opinions, please keep them coming if you got anything you wanna say.

posted by  car_crazy89

Okay, well just today my dad told me that if i want the truck then i can have it. I think that sounds better then scraping it. Now i'm just asking for your opinions on what i can and should do first. I've already explained in my previous posts the shape of it (all body needs attention or replacement, and needs a starter to get running) so i'm just wondering where would be the best place to start? Would it be better to try and get it running before doing anything else? And also, would it be better/cheaper to buy new or used parts for it (if new/aftermarket, do you know any Canadian sites or maybe American sites that have cheap shipping?) Any and all help would be appreciated, thanx.

EDIT: And if anything, it will be raised and not lowered, they look better sitting high. :smoke:

posted by  car_crazy89

go for it man....

posted by  RcCola

Okay, well i took some quick pics (will take better/more this weekend) but i dont know how to make them smaller so i can put them on here. They came out kinda big (digital, on computer already). Anyone know how to make these smaller or should i just post them anyways? (Theres 11 plus one of the Fifth Avenue)

posted by  car_crazy89

just open it in "paint" and change the image attributes...

posted by  dodger65

Thanx, i figured it out and made a new thread.

posted by  car_crazy89

alright man, you should get it running so that you have the push you need. a running truck will get you motivated to repair the body and all. i had a 69 nova that was rusted out of this world. i just got it running and started from there. it really makes you want to get it on the road and looking good.

posted by  frizzal

I can get the metal parts, but is it possible to convert from flat long bed to a flare side?

posted by  joker3119

1. Unbolt original bed, remove.

2. Set flareside bed in place, tighten bolts.

3. Why is your question in this thread. :doh:

posted by  vwhobo


Hobo's answer assumes one thing.

A: You're going to install a flare side long bed

If you want to install a flare side short bed... either you'll have some pretty stupid looking body gaps... or you're going to have to move the rear spring perches forward, lop off the back of the frame... and perhaps reposition the bed mounts on the frame (for all I know they may actually be in the correct location... but most likely they're not).

If you're going for the latter, you'll need a short bed pickup rear driveline. You'll also need to shorten your brake lines accordingly. Some of the wiring may need to be shortened (shortening the wiring/brake lines isn't absolutely necessary, but it would make for a much cleaner conversion)... some other details as well.

posted by  Bino

So Peter...how goes the truck repair?...If you haven't yet, and you still have it, I'd suggest getting her running first, to be sure it won't require too much in repairs, other than a starter...

BTW could you post some pics if you have her? :smoke:

posted by  chris_knows

Actually I haven't been able to start any work yet except for making a quick list of parts wanted/needed and as I dont have any money yet I'll have to wait till after christmas.

Thought I posted some pics but if not then I can post some of the ones I have, alittle snowy to take new ones right now. Found a truck on Ebay that gave me some ideas for mine when I get there also.

posted by  car_crazy89

Alright, well I don't really care to copy all the links to each picture, so let's see if this one link will take you to all of them lol: Truck Pics (http://photobucket.com/albums/a220/carcrazy89/?multi=10&addtype=)

I have more but they are of the rust on the fenders and that... and a few of the Fifth Ave.

posted by  car_crazy89

Not without a password! :doh:

posted by  vwhobo

Damnit, well I'll just post it then lol, it should be 426hemi lol

posted by  car_crazy89

You do realize that you just gave everybody the password to your account. it's okay, I've already deleted all your pictures. :clap:

posted by  vwhobo

That's alright, it was a free account and I have all those pics on my computer anyways.

posted by  car_crazy89

Let's post girly pictures on there :laughing:

Nah, I won't touch anything on it :smoke:

Thanks for the pics though :wink2:

posted by  chris_knows

Haha well as long as they are hot girls :hi: but then you could just email them to me lol. As I said though, free sign up, still have pics saved on computer, just signed up to that so I could post pics (didn't like Imageshack as much).

And no problem about the pics, hope to get something done sometime after Christmas (and also maybe check out this Mustang II I kinda like that's been sitting) :thumbs:

Wow, I actually made this thread soon after I joined lol, and still haven't made any progress :laughing: , my excuse will be no money and now it's winter.. :mrgreen:

posted by  car_crazy89

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