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argh 63 c10 is gonna be a hefty price tag - info from my mechanic

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by neverwinter, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. neverwinter
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 313


    son of a b. just got a call from my mechanic and he said - you need to come down here. i trust this guy 1000% and so i gathered up what was left of my optimism and my 3 year old daughter for good luck and headed down. ugh not good.

    - all 4 drums need replacing
    - all 4 need new shoes etc
    - need 1 lower control arm since when i lost my wheel the arm got a bit flattened
    - rear axle has at least 1 leaking seal
    - he cant tell whats going but it looks like there is everything for power steering BUT the power steering pump itself. and what IS there he said is junk. so do i figure out how to go to manual steering? did these ever have power steering?
    - there were other items to address but i got overwhelmed at that point and my daughter was passed out.

    so do i keep this? try and sell it with full disclosure? on top of these fixes it needs a windshield and new tires to pass inspection. we are very easily talking about doubling the cost of my "investment" of $2500.

    i didnt expect the truck to be perfect, but i was led to believe it was a solid daily driver. and it did in fact stop and turn and go - albeit only "sort" of in all 3!

    but i know that if the mechanics are solid underneath and if i ever decide to drop in a newer engine ill have a pretty sweet truck for still under 7-8k.

    just trying to sort a plan and make some decisions. arghhhhhhhhhhhhh..

    any thoughts/opinions/ideas/game plans are truly appreciated. do i say to heck with it and sell it while fully disclosing all that i know? or look into disk swaps and sourcing a different rear axle and driveshaft? stuff like that would be tremendously helpful to understand. im not shy of a project but i need to keep my head and finances in order considering our 2nd child is due in oct.

    sincere thanks for any input.

    - jason
  2. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 49,556


    I bet if you learned to work on this stuff yourself, it would cost a LOT less to fix it all. You have plenty of virtual help here, too.
  3. the lights
    Joined: Apr 23, 2009
    Posts: 113

    the lights

    all of that stuff you can do yourself. If you want or need help I would be willing to offer some.
  4. Go find a mid 80's chevy truck.. Unbolt the front cross member. The suspension stays with it. Unbolt your crossmember. Bolt in late model stuff with disc brakes. It is almost a dirext bolt-in. There are several places that sell a simple adaptor plate to mount the late model steering box. This requires a master cylinder change also. I don't know about your area.. But around here, The donor trucks are easy picking...

  5. RichG
    Joined: Dec 8, 2008
    Posts: 3,919


    I'm with squirrel, nothing you've described is beyond the ability of a guy with a basic tool set. Get a good manual and some basic hand tools, and get after it.

    Cold beer is also good to have when you need some hands on instruction, lots of gearheads more than willing to help for some cold beer...

    Get after it!
  6. evil dead
    Joined: Apr 10, 2008
    Posts: 39

    evil dead
    from canada

    That sounds like the typical wear on a "daily driver" to me. I expect every car I buy to need brakes and full fluid changes at the very least. If someone was driving it also expect at least one other area to need immediate attention. I wouldn't lose hope just yet, brakes and rear end seals are an easy way to dive into working on your truck, a six pack and a sunny disposition could get you the help you need. just reach out and ask for it. So I would vote to keep it
  7. johnybsic
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 612

    from las vegas

    I know you said you trust the mechanic, But a shop is just that...a bussiness.
    Normally you can do stuff yourself for at least half the price a tech will quote...AT LEAST half.
    nothing you quoted is beyond your capability. I see your in boston? might not have a workspace?
  8. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,223


    Most all that work is simple to most of us...but, that oil seal can lead to misery on a true 63 1/2 ton rear end.

    The 63 was a one year only axle shafts, and I doubt you will find a good one...and there is a very good chance your axles are worn out where the bearings ride on them.

    The aftermarket repair bearings will not work on a 63, so bad axles means a swap to a different year rear end.
  9. zman
    Joined: Apr 2, 2001
    Posts: 16,594

    from Garner, NC

    How's the body? If it's a good solid body then I would say fixing the mechanicals is worth doing, and like Jim said, doing it yourself can save a ton of money.
  10. moefuzz
    Joined: Jul 16, 2005
    Posts: 4,950


    When I first got into cars, a mechanic told me about the same thing.

    That's when I learned how easy it was to do things like brakes....

    A motors manual covering your year of truck $20

    All New shoes should not be over $50 at the most.
    4 new drums ~$150
    a couple of cans of Brake Clean $6 (Always-Always wash your fingerprints off the fresh drums/shoes)

    A seal is a few $

    Control arm might be the most expensive thing at (just a wild guess) $110-$150 tops

    Windshield ~ $150

    Power steering pump or go to manual steering - pic a part items $50

    4 Tires at pick n pull probably less than $100

    Your time does not make up the other $1600 that the mechanic wants to charge you in labor.

    Last edited: Sep 7, 2011
  11. hoggyrubber
    Joined: Aug 30, 2008
    Posts: 572


    shoes and wheel cyl rebuild kits are pretty cheap for these 1/2 ton trucks. surely you could find some used drums. refinishing the drums is pretty cheap and you could mic them to see if they would still be ok. i don't know how many time i have been told drums need replacing and they are still in factory specs. i would think you could be done for less than 100 bucks. i wouldn't invest a ton of money in it, i doubt you would be able to recoup if you needed to sell.
  12. hotrod40coupe
    Joined: Apr 8, 2007
    Posts: 2,562


    All you need here is some ambition and determination. All of those problems can be fixed by yourself. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
  13. BCR
    Joined: Dec 11, 2005
    Posts: 1,262


  14. Boeing Bomber
    Joined: Aug 5, 2010
    Posts: 1,079

    Boeing Bomber

    Google REZ Engineering for the bracket to mount a late model steering box. It's a breeze. Like it's been said before... Welcome to the brotherhood of "Built it myself", and self satisfaction.
  15. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,163


    $6-7k for a '63 driver truck is not out of line, IMO
  16. You aught to be able to buy a beat 80s Chevy pickup or 2WD Suburban for scrap money, swap the front ends between the two, and scrap the later model and only be out the gas to haul it.

    As long as you get it, keep the rearend. It's not a bolt in, but you could put the brackets on it to make it so.
  17. Mattilac
    Joined: Oct 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,150


    Hey man, if you want to do it yourself and could use some help, I'm up in Billerica. Be glad to give you a hand.
  18. dseale4888
    Joined: Feb 11, 2011
    Posts: 31


    Get the shop manual and start to fix it yourself. When doing the brakes do one wheel at a time so you can see how it is supposed to go. I don't see how anyone can afford to have all the work done in a shop. Do some reading and call some friends to teach you how to do repairs.
  19. You've got a wealth of info here to either do it yourself,or pay someone.Either way,if you learn along the way,it's only bennificial to you.Part's get marked up,as well as paying a labor rate. If time frame is a concideration,and you are unable to tackle repairs,then you need to decide if it's feesible or not. If time is on your side,then dig in and learn some things.If you can do plumbing,electrical,build a tree house..... it's not that hard. Just eat the elephant one bite at a time. It can be done. You'de be surprised.....

    Attached Files:

  20. neverwinter
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 313


    wow - a tremendous THANK YOU to everyone for the assistance and the offering of help. I am fortunate to have a work space - actually in Reading mass. My initial concern was almost instantly negated when i really thought hard about the truck I've wanted for a long time. I did a complete driveline swap on my 67 dart in the driveway over 4 weekends after never even changing a battery before, and i feel pride every time i drive that car. I've wanted a 4 speed V8 longbed for a while and found one, so i will be KEEPING this.

    just need to sort the best plan. i know for some folks with experience or a natural mechanical aptitude that things would go more smoothly. i alas am what the aftermarket companies would call a "golden egg" - i know just enough to get in trouble and excited seeing nice pretty parts lol.

    and ill def be hitting some of the locals up for help and advice. i always have beer, food, tunes and will offer whatever help i can in return.

    again many thanks
    - jason
  21. tommyd
    Joined: Dec 10, 2010
    Posts: 11,375

    from South Indy

    Sniff.......I love happy endings.:)
  22. Im down to help . I like bbq and new castle .
  23. stay away from mag parts ... you can get stuff wicked local kid .. ..let me know if i can help .
  24. wristpin
    Joined: Aug 31, 2009
    Posts: 48


    you need to puta wrench in your daughter's hand and get busy showing her what makes daddy stay in the shop all the time.
  25. If you do the suggested front end swap to disc brakes, you will need to be able to accurately drill some holes for the steering box and the idler arm from the newer truck. The suggested way of doing what has been said has been entirely correct. There are many more details that haven't been touched on. There are a lot of good pieces of advice in this thread alone. I can provide some more if needed, I did a conversion on a 65 about 20 years ago.
  26. And if you need help- the plane ticket for me to come out is $$$,but info is always free.... now GET AFTER IT!:cool:
  27. I say just get the thing in working order . ... before swaps flips and backsprings
  28. i can lend a hand if need be, not too far away
  29. S.Sutherland
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 134

    from Fontana,CA

    I suggest buying a service manual for your vehicle. The kind they used at the dealer, and from a classic truck place. These have a wealth of info. in them, especially if you're working with what you've got. It sounds like you've got a head on your shoulders so must of what needs to be done is stright forward stuff. As far as the fam goes they come first. Good Luck with your project.
    BTW, front end swaps are seldom easy nor cheap...
  30. neverwinter
    Joined: Aug 31, 2008
    Posts: 313


    ok all, i am putting together potential scenarios to fix the truck.

    i think the whole donor truck idea is out. i just cant fill the driveway with another jalopy. my wife has been VERY uderstanding but being 7 months pregnant i dont think she'd be too happy to have 2 old trucks, a dart and 2 daily cars in the driveway. actually i know she wouldnt. on top of that in a way i feel like id be replacing old parts with slightly less old parts - and assuming the same logic that id need to replace the rotors and calipers and pads, the only thing i am really getting fo the brakes are the spindles? id also need to hope the tires were good or replace those also.

    i do plan on keeping this truck for a while. so that leads me to the whole new parts vs old parts debate. id like to keep my 6 lug rims and i already have drop spindles. but there seems to be no bracket kit to let me swap to a disk setup. they have one for a 5 lug conversion but that brings new rims into the picture.

    what i am thinking, and i know it will cost more up front in parts but if i do the work myself ill save 100$ per hour from the mechanic - is to go with:
    - a 6 lug disk setup for front - about 575$ inc shipping unless i can figure out how to piecemeal it? can stick with the drums too. about a 250$ diff between disk kit and drums not counting the master cyl and the prop valve.
    - classic chevy has a new front suspension setup for $75 (just the helper power assist stuff. i need to find out if this is the only issue with the truck)
    - fix drums in back
    - pick and pull a rear axle with better hiway gears?
    - source a decent master cyl and prop valve

    im not trying to go all brand new billet stuff. however i have learned also that its better to spend wisely and a little more upfront then spending double to replace worn parts or a change in visual direction.

    id be pretty stoked to go to the pick and pull and get some bits. i am going to see the mechanic and get a list of all the items he said need addressing and then i'll post that. maybe i can get some help in at least putting the right game plan together. as others have said, learning is key i just want to spend wisely and in a logical manner.

    thanks again
    - jason

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