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thinking about buying a '62 chevy truck..

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by rivera, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. rivera
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 57

    from Ogden, UT

    hey guys. fairly new member here from the jockey journal. i've been toying with the idea of buying an older truck have as a daily driver. usually the only ones i've came across were too expensive, or not in good enough condition for the road. just recently i came across a '62 with a 235 and based on my research i'm thinking this truck might be the one. i know nothing about these motors but i've searched around and saw that with a better intake manifold and exhaust you can get about 20mpgs, does this sound accurate? it has the single barrel rochester that i hear leaks a lot, what would be a easy/good replacement? this truck has a three on the tree trans with a hydraulic clutch, is this practical for daily driving? freeway capable? the truck has a new master cylinder, wheel cylinders and brakes. just got a new paint job about a year ago and the interior is all re-done. what sounds like a fair price? here are some pictures and thanks in advance for any advice given.



  2. jchav62
    Joined: Jan 30, 2007
    Posts: 1,932


    Hey rivera-
    I have a '62, but it's not near has a '73-'87 subframe, disc brakes, p/s, 327/350 with overdrive, and 3.73's... I love it.

    As for the 235, the old Chevy stovebolts are bullet proof engines....they'll run forever. As for freeway capable, anything's capable, but you probably don't want to push it to the speed limit. In '62 the most common rearend gear ratio is 3.90...some came with 3.38's but those were usually on the v8/auto trucks...a little rarer. My guess is that truck has 3.90's. It would be a cool around town cruiser, but not a great 'long' commuter.

    A little info:

    60-66 chevy trucks have some common rust areas to look for...the lower rear tip of the front fenders, the front of the inner fenders, floor boards and rockers. Just some advice when looking at these rigs.. Good luck. jc62
  3. rivera
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 57

    from Ogden, UT

    around town is what i'm mainly after since i live close to school and work. thanks for the reply.
  4. sixbangr
    Joined: Jul 17, 2010
    Posts: 211


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  5. Doug B
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 478

    Doug B

    Nice big back window....whats the asking price?
  6. mickeyc
    Joined: Jul 8, 2008
    Posts: 1,011


    Check the front suspension. I think you will find a torsion bar type system. G.M. used this for a couple of years only. It was not very popular
    with truck guys. Parts may be difficult to locate, but I am not sure?
  7. str8axle55
    Joined: Dec 19, 2006
    Posts: 355

    from MA

    I had a 65, 283/ glide, great truck. Watch the rust as mentioned. Truck in pics looks nice, how much?
  8. I say buy it. Thinking about it only leads to someone else with it. As far as it being a "good" daily driver, that would be up to you and what your comfortable with. If you like the truck, then you will want to drive it. I would use it for my daily.
  9. scrubba
    Joined: Jul 20, 2010
    Posts: 938


    Used to be Mac's Auto had suspension , so did RareParts . Then too, theres AntiqueAuto in Arlington Texas .............. scrubba
  10. David Chandler
    Joined: Jan 27, 2007
    Posts: 1,101

    David Chandler

    If that's a 62 somebody changed the hood, I think. My cousin had one that had Bowtie shaped parking lights on it. However it could keep up with traffic with no problem with a 235 and a 3 on the column.
  11. '61 was the last year of that hood and '63 was the last year for the semi wrap around windshield. check the motor it might be a 230 as i think '61 was the last year of the 235. the 230 is a good motor and a smaller version of the later 250. i have a '64 panel truck with a 230, 3spd and a stock rear (3.90), sucks on the freeway but good around town. i found a car 3spd with overdrive, it bolted right in and i just had to shorten the drive shaft. also you can use a brake master from a '67 4 wheel drum, it bolts in and all you have to do is run a new line to the front brakes (gives you a dual master for safety). and yes they have the torsion bar front end till '63
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2010
  12. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,265

    from texas

    I thought they had the torsion bar also. It is expensive to repair...........
  13. Brad54
    Joined: Apr 15, 2004
    Posts: 6,008

    from Atl Ga

    My daily driver is a '62 Suburban (I've changed everything over to make it a '61).
    That IS a '62-'66 hood on that truck.

    '60-'62 trucks had a torsion bar front suspension. I'm not aware of the torsion bars being available new as a replacement, but if one should need to be replaced, there's a lot of used ones out there.

    The ball price of the ball joints will take your breath away. The control arm shafts aren't real cheap either.

    All that being said, the torsion bar front suspension is an EXTREMELY comfortable ride. And the damn thing turns on a dime. My truck has the tightest turning radius of any vehicle I've ever driven. It takes the land you're in, the lane next to you and the shoulder to do a 180 degree u-turn.

    And when I say my truck is my daily driver, I mean exactly that. I've driven it all over, every day, it's been to Joplin twice, Florida three times, Virginia, and a 3,000 mile trip up to the Midwest this summer.

    If I were you, I wouldn't hesitate to get that truck you showed us and drive it around town.

    Buy a shop manual for it too.

  14. rivera
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 57

    from Ogden, UT

    thanks, seems like a great resource.

    i love that window, i haven't discussed a price yet but the rumor is $3000

    can anyone verify this? parts for the whole truck are hard to find or just the suspension?

    how about the freeway? whats a comfortable cruising speed for this thing?

    do they fail very often?

    so suspension parts cost good money, how can i check if they're good or needing replacement?

    i'm hoping to go look at it this weekend but i'm waiting to get some questions answered before i seriously consider it. as of right now i dont want something thats going to give me a lot of trouble, thats what my harleys for. if this is a solid runner with no big problems i will buy it, but time will tell. thanks for all the replies.
  15. terd ferguson
    Joined: Jun 13, 2008
    Posts: 3,646

    terd ferguson

    If it runs nice, that's a little on the high side. But that may be my area, lots of farm trucks around here. I think I'd be comfortable offering $2,500 for that and maybe meeting in the middle. I wouldn't feel ripped off at $3,000. That interior is pretty nice.

    Check for rust in the usual spots. In addition to the places jchav62 mentioned, check above the windshield, rain gutters, and all along the bottom front edge of the hood.

    These trucks are cheap to lower. It should have torsion bars up front. You can crank those down for a couple of inches. That's free. Some Jeep Wrangler TJ rear coils in the rear will lower it around 3" or so depending on stock springs' sag. Should be between free and $25 for the jeep coils at a 4x4 shop. They take them off when doing lifts and usually have several sets laying around they can't bring themselves to throw away.
  16. 4 pedals
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 667

    4 pedals
    from Nor Cal

    I run a stock 235 in my 55.2, with a 3.55 rear it cruises comfortably at 65, more on demand and will pull 20mpg on the highway. no overdrive, just upgraded rear. Tires are 30x9.50s.

    That truck looks pretty clean. I don't get and wouldn't expect much for mileage in town, maybe 10, and that truck is heavier than mine. I like the wrap around windshields, but they don't seem so popular, everybody seems to be after the later 64-66 trucks. Check the suspension over real well. Jack it up and shake the front tires top to bottom and side to side.

  17. BISHOP
    Joined: Jul 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,572


    Its a long bed.
  18. You will need to swap the front end out to a 73-87..the torsion front ends arent the will get a better ride and disk brakes..can run a drop spindol but will change it to 5 lug from 6..good luck with your truck
  19. Oilcan Harry
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 906

    Oilcan Harry
    from INDY

    I had a 60 Chevy pickup with the torsion bar setup. It was the best riding truck I've ever owned. And I've owned several a lot newer than a 60.
  20. rivera
    Joined: Oct 5, 2009
    Posts: 57

    from Ogden, UT

    I have two main concerns now:
    1 - the gas mileage, I'm a college student and I'd like to keep gas from killing my wallet. Can anyone verify how their 235s run with a good intake/exhaust set up?

    2 - suspension - some say its good, some say it isnt. I don't care so much about the ride as I do durability and cost of replacement parts. How long do these torsion bars last and whats the story on parts availabilty (ball joints, new front ends, etc) and cost?

    Thanks again for everyones help.
  21. specialk
    Joined: Sep 28, 2005
    Posts: 598


    don't need a 73-87 for a better ride, torsion bar front end is the best riding truck chevy ever made.

    disc brakes though are nice (and can be done with the front end you have in 6 lug or 5 )
  22. i would say around town your looking at 12 to 15 mpg and freeway about 20-22mpg if you stay under 55. mine has a tach, without the o/d trans it was about 55 at 2000rpm and with the o/d about 70 at 2000rpm. to me anything over 2000rpm is just wasting more gas. i get about 17-20 mixed town/freeway.
  23. Hawks
    Joined: Sep 9, 2010
    Posts: 14

    from Floyd, VA

    I drive my 62 step side with a 235 and 3 speed every day it starts up every time no problem. i drive it every where it rides good but not the best. it gets around 10 mpg but the carburetor leaks a little and could use a tune up i thank it should be getting around 13 mpg. thats what people have told me. that truck looks nice enjoy it if you get it!
  24. Gretschplayer
    Joined: Nov 7, 2010
    Posts: 15


    I've got a thread going about my own '62 (a Suburban). I've owned a couple of these trucks over the years (a '64 and a '66), and my '62 /torsion bars was/is the best riding of the three. Some parts are spendier than the later '64-'66 models, but all in all I've got no complaints. 3k for yours sounds very fair. One other rust concern: the firewall side of hood, behind the support braces, in each lower corner.
  25. F&J
    Joined: Apr 5, 2007
    Posts: 13,217


    A very elderly guy i used to buy these old chevys and GMCs and parts from in Oklahoma, told me the same thing about the torsion bar trucks....He said they were the best they ever used out in the country with bad roads and good roads.
  26. chevyshack
    Joined: Dec 28, 2008
    Posts: 950


    If the truck is only $3000 id jump on it. Looks like its in great shape other then it must leak some fluid. In one of the pics theres a fluid spill matt laying under it on the driveway. By the pics id say its worth about $4000 to me. As of fuel economy it all depends on what your comparing it to. 20mpg might not be to far off but i dont think it will be better. They werent built for economy. They were a working mans truck. Gas was .20 back then.(im guessing because i wasnt around then.)

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