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Camino LS6

A V6? A Half ton?

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Maybe.

I have been quietly continuing the search for a plow truck to replace the ROPOS, and I went to see and drive this truck today: http://philadelphia.craigslist.org/cto/3265427508.html

Not at all what I really want , but it is the only truck I've looked at that doesn't have serious rust issues.

It won't tow and haul the way I'd like, and pushing a heavy snow might be a challenge, but time is short and I haven't found much else.

The only real concern I have with this truck is the mismatch of the body lines between cab and bed. It can be seen in the pics, and measures about an inch. What I don't know is why. I don't know if it is just trashed cab mounts (they seem a bit rough, but are still intact), or it means that the truck took a hit to the rear putting an upkink in the frame.

It tracks straight, and drives just fine.

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Looks like a nice clean, honest work truck. Low miles for the age, low price.

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar

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Looks like a nice clean, honest work truck. Low miles for the age, low price.

It's pretty good overall.

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IIRC, these 400s are supposed to have a mount in common between the cab and bed that should prevent just such a misalignment.

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Well, the ones I've seen that were hit in the back have a different misalignment problem than what is apparent in the photo, usually the top front edge of the bed hits the cab and then the gap stays tight at the top between cab/bed and wide at the bottom. From the photo, it appears the bed might be level and the cab is down at the back. Now that you mention it, I think you're right about that shared cab/front bed mount.

I'd need to see it in person or at least in full profile on level ground in a photo before guessing further.

At work we have an 800 2500 ext cab 4X4 with a wheel hoist on the back, used as a lot truck to haul wrecks around mostly. Those guys have abused the heck out of it and it is bent in the middle in the opposite direction... bed tight to the cab at the bottom, wide at top. Not awful, but just enough to notice.

EDIT: after looking at the single photo once again, and if you say there are no visible rust issues on the frame or cab/bed mounts, it might just be a bit of bending from heavy snow that otherwise hasn't hurt anything as long as the driveline isn't stressed from some geometrical issue related to the misalignment.

That 4.3 is a workhorse that can take a good bit of stress, imo. I think you're right, this is your best bet so far, Camino.

Edited by ocnblu

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Thanks for the input!

What you say points to cab mounts as the culprit.

The rear bumper is definitely angled downward from where it should be, but there is no sign of contact between the bed and cab.

And the front fender to door gaps look right.

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Make sure it has good door hinge pins and bushings, too. Those brass bushings are pretty soft. I hate to see a GM truck of this vintage with saggy doors because people don't pay attention and eventually ruin their doors.

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The issues with the '97:

- both bumpers are rotted out

- sway bar end links rotted away/detached

- all brake lines need immediate replacement (wouldn't drive it the way it is)

- tires iffy

- Major oil leak (I think from pan gasket). When I checked the oil, it didn't even register on dipstick.

- Filthy interior

- A/C inop

Edit: bottoms of both doors badly rusted and diver's side has huge dents up from bottom (drive through accident at McD's).

Make sure it has good door hinge pins and bushings, too. Those brass bushings are pretty soft. I hate to see a GM truck of this vintage with saggy doors because people don't pay attention and eventually ruin their doors.

Very aware of this due to a hack repair on my Tahoe by previous owner (still needs to be fixed). The 1/2 ton is excellent in this regard. Much better than expected.

Edited by Camino LS6

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The interior on the little half-ton is clean as a whistle, if the photos aren't committing perjury.

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The interior on the little half-ton is clean as a whistle, if the photos aren't committing perjury.

It really is just about that clean.

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Well, a clean interior is generally a clue. This truck was likely taken care of. Buy it! :)

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I might just do that.

Still a bit concerned about the bed/cab alignment.

EDIT: It has lots of service records too - stretching back about 30,000 miles or so.

Edited by Camino LS6

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Oh and the '97 needs rad support mounts (maybe cab mounts too).

That truck is saveable, but there is little time, and the things it needs makes me value it at about half of the asking price.

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Well, it isn't what I want - but I made an offer on the 6-banger.

We'll see what happens.

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I think this is a six cylinder, too, in case you have reservations...

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Well, it isn't what I want - but I made an offer on the 6-banger.

We'll see what happens.

Now that you've made the offer, maybe what you really want will emerge...

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Oh come on, ya gotta throw in more than $25.

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Oh come on, ya gotta throw in more than $25.

LoL...18yr old truck in good shape w/ only 106k miles for $4k seems pretty reasonable, considering the plow probably costs $2-3k or so?

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Meh, he didn't counter-offer. I won't pay what he's asking, and I'm not too inclined to up my offer much.

Thinking it over.

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