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Thread: Bad news for Little Red

  1. #1
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    Bad news for Little Red

    Multiple people have mentioned in threads and PMed me about how they like my welding truck, an "89 GMC, 4x4. It's been my favorite truck ever and gotten me in and back out of some bad places to make me money. I have it set up to haul just about any material and it is so nice to work off of. That came to a halt day before yesterday. I left my place to go help a friend with broken plumbing. I got to the first curve on our county road and met some kid in a little car in my lane. I left the road and hit the end of a concrete culvert. It knocked the right side of the front axle back about a foot and blew both front tires. The front drive shaft went up into the bell housing and transmission, knocking big chunks out of both of them. One end of one leaf spring hung the culvert and bent it in a tight U shape. Didn't hurt me very bad, sore back and arm and that's about it.

    I have a mechanic friend coming out to look at it to see if it's worth fixing and about how much it will cost. Been debating with myself if I should just let it go or fix it. I hate letting it go because I would lose the A frame. I use it almost every day and can't see not having it. Guess we'll se how much it will cost.
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  2. #2
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Wow Bob, that does not sound like a fun ride at all. Glad you where not seriously hurt. Hopefully the other driver stopped. Looking at the picture I would it would be better to swap the bed to a newer truck.
    Mike

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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Main thing......you weren't injured. Everything else will get right with time. I don't see much hope for the truck if the frame is damaged.

  4. #4
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Glad you’re not hurt. Easy fix bud. If you get a newer truck you’re not gonna like it lol.


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  6. #5
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Sad day I’m glad your ok and that’s an awesome pickup just know it has a little brother out there! You’ll get her up and running


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  7. #6
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    That sucks, if the frame is ok Id just start finding all the parts to make it right again. For myself I usually ignore body damage on a work truck as long as the door opens Id be fine.
    On the other side of the coin This would be a great opportunity to start over with another truck and just swap the bed. A friend of mine just found this one a few months ago.
    He has since repainted the body and added new tires and a new flatbed. It is for sale btw.
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Glad to hear you weren't hurt too badly

    I'd swap the bed to a nicer '89 square body

    A few decades ago I build a roll-back wrecker out of a 1 ton square body. It was nice to drive
    Dave J.

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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Quote Originally Posted by farmersammm View Post
    Main thing......you weren't injured. Everything else will get right with time. I don't see much hope for the truck if the frame is damaged.
    Frame damage ain't the problem it used to be, modern frame machines use lasers to get correct measurements & corrections.
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Quote Originally Posted by CAVEMANN View Post
    Frame damage ain't the problem it used to be, modern frame machines use lasers to get correct measurements & corrections.
    thats right! a good frame man can get the frame within one millimeter now. but the frame machine is only as good and precise as the operator.
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  12. #10
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Sorry I haven't replied. Had a trip to the hunting ranch to fix plumbing problems from the ice storm. The truck in the picture that the hotrod posted is only the third one like mine that I have seen. These trucks are pretty rare. There was 3 bed lengths and 3 bed width available and mine and these other two are the ones with the shortest and narrowest beds. Even with duals they are not any wider than a regular pickup truck. I was so happy to find this one because at the time I was doing a lot of work for all the horse farms around here (I wised up after a few years) and it was so much easier to get it into all the tight spots in those barns. All 3 that I know of were red in color.

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  14. #11
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    It's awesome that you weren't hurt or not hurt badly, Trucks are nothing, things can be modified to fit, the truck can get some mode of needed, you walked away and that's what matters. BEST WISHES on finding a bolt-on Truck for your bed if you decide not to fix the truck you have.
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  15. #12
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Hey neighbor!
    I can only give you my opinion based on what I know about you.
    Your last comment pretty much confirms my guess that you would not be happy with anything else!
    If it were me I would fix it.
    What are the odds of finding another with the same rear axle width and wheelbase in any reasonable condition?
    Even if you could find one it would be more work "making it your way" than repairing yours!

    Just my opinion and it is worth every penny you paid for it!

  16. #13
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Well, the good news is that the rare back axle is still good. I can pretty much guarantee you have frame damage. As others have mentioned, it is repairable, but it won't be cheap. My vote is to swap your axle and front gears onto a better truck. A few inches of wheelbase won't make much difference and you could always squeeze another shelf or something onto the front of the deck.
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Funny how they build these trucks.

    I bought my F-350 because it was the "cab and chassis' model. Narrower than the duallies. I don't like a wide bed, it's dangerous.

    The bed on the F-350 is 90" wide. I built my little flatbed trailer to measure 94" wide. I hated pulling 102's back in the day when I still drove a truck. The lanes on most secondary roads won't safely handle 102's. Takes constant concentration to keep it between the lines.

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  19. #15
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Just go price a new one.
    That help you decide
    If you just think of payments only 72 back breakers. Miss one payment your on feet again.

    Dave

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    Multiple people have mentioned in threads and PMed me about how they like my welding truck, an "89 GMC, 4x4. It's been my favorite truck ever and gotten me in and back out of some bad places to make me money. I have it set up to haul just about any material and it is so nice to work off of. That came to a halt day before yesterday. I left my place to go help a friend with broken plumbing. I got to the first curve on our county road and met some kid in a little car in my lane. I left the road and hit the end of a concrete culvert. It knocked the right side of the front axle back about a foot and blew both front tires. The front drive shaft went up into the bell housing and transmission, knocking big chunks out of both of them. One end of one leaf spring hung the culvert and bent it in a tight U shape. Didn't hurt me very bad, sore back and arm and that's about it.

    I have a mechanic friend coming out to look at it to see if it's worth fixing and about how much it will cost. Been debating with myself if I should just let it go or fix it. I hate letting it go because I would lose the A frame. I use it almost every day and can't see not having it. Guess we'll se how much it will cost.
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  21. #16
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    There's a group of Chevy truck aficionados up here with a swap meet in June: https://milwaukee.craigslist.org/pts...287418360.html
    Maybe there's one in your area.

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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob View Post
    The truck in the picture that the hotrod posted is only the third one like mine that I have seen. These trucks are pretty rare.
    He said it's for sale....
    Who is John Galt?

  23. #18
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    I'm amazed at southern trucks. Your 89 would be a treasure in VT. Seeing a faded beauty like that up north is rare. Up here, the State slobbers the roads with salt brine every night. Several years now they don't wait for snow, if there is any chance temperature might fall below 32 degrees, they brine the roads.

    89 trucks do not look that nice up here.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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  25. #19
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    If you do swap trucks, and end up with one '99 or newer with an LS engine,, you will be Sooooo happy,,,

    I went from an '87 Chevy with a 350,, to a 3/4 ton with the 6.0 engine,, literally, the 6.0 feels like it has twice the power.

    I now own two trucks with the 6.0 engine, they are amazing to drive,, I do have the 4.10 axle ratio in both,, that does help,,,

  26. #20
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Hmmmmmmmmm,, you could cut the bed and frame off of your truck right behind the cab,,
    then, fab the part behind the cab into a gooseneck trailer,,

    THEN,, you could pull it around with a Toyota,, problem solved!! and you get to keep the rear axle,,,

  27. #21
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    what's the update on the truck?

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  29. #22
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Quote Originally Posted by SweetMK View Post
    If you do swap trucks, and end up with one '99 or newer with an LS engine,, you will be Sooooo happy,,,

    I went from an '87 Chevy with a 350,, to a 3/4 ton with the 6.0 engine,, literally, the 6.0 feels like it has twice the power.

    I now own two trucks with the 6.0 engine, they are amazing to drive,, I do have the 4.10 axle ratio in both,, that does help,,,
    In the day, my friend had a 1990 crew cab 8' Chevy 3500 with 454. I had a 2500 van with a basic 350.

    Me loaded, likely weighing over 8000, him empty, but towing a 500LB boat trailer, I passed him on a hill on interstate highway. He was giving the old pig all the accelerator it had!

    He hated that engine! Said it was a dog & claimed 6 to 7 MPG.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

  30. #23
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    In the day, my friend had a 1990 crew cab 8' Chevy 3500 with 454. I had a 2500 van with a basic 350.

    Me loaded, likely weighing over 8000, him empty, but towing a 500LB boat trailer, I passed him on a hill on interstate highway. He was giving the old pig all the accelerator it had!

    He hated that engine! Said it was a dog & claimed 6 to 7 MPG.
    Not sure if it applied to the 90's fuel injected 454s, but the ones from the mid 80's with carbs had some serious issues with HEI distributor advance curves. My 86 was breaking exhaust manifolds left and right, took it to a tune guy to have the carb done and he said he was pulling the distributor and checking it on his machine first. He reset the centrifugal weights and put an adjustable vacuum unit in and it made a huge difference in power and fuel mileage. Totally different truck, I'm not a gas guy, but he made it so simple. If he was still with us I would have him do the same for my motorhome. The motorhome does good though for being 14,000 LBS power wise and 7.2 MPG isn't bad.

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  32. #24
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Quote Originally Posted by 12V71 View Post
    Not sure if it applied to the 90's fuel injected 454s, but the ones from the mid 80's with carbs had some serious issues with HEI distributor advance curves. My 86 was breaking exhaust manifolds left and right, took it to a tune guy to have the carb done and he said he was pulling the distributor and checking it on his machine first. He reset the centrifugal weights and put an adjustable vacuum unit in and it made a huge difference in power and fuel mileage. Totally different truck, I'm not a gas guy, but he made it so simple. If he was still with us I would have him do the same for my motorhome. The motorhome does good though for being 14,000 LBS power wise and 7.2 MPG isn't bad.
    Do you not have a V10?

    Between us, Seth & I have two GM 6 liter gas jobs in an 8600 LB van & a 9500 LB pickup. Long trip fuel economy is 16 to 17, 9.5 with a 6000 LB travel trailer, and no shortage of power! I wish I had a gas 6 liter in the Top Kick. The 6 liter gas engines have 50% more horsepower than the 10.4 Turbo diesel in it.
    An optimist is usually wrong, and when the unexpected happens is unprepared. A pessimist is usually right, when wrong, is delighted, and well prepared.

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  34. #25
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    Re: Bad news for Little Red

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie B View Post
    Do you not have a V10?

    Between us, Seth & I have two GM 6 liter gas jobs in an 8600 LB van & a 9500 LB pickup. Long trip fuel economy is 16 to 17, 9.5 with a 6000 LB travel trailer, and no shortage of power! I wish I had a gas 6 liter in the Top Kick. The 6 liter gas engines have 50% more horsepower than the 10.4 Turbo diesel in it.
    Yes, my F250 has the V10, the motorhome has a carbureted 454. The F250 is a retired work truck and gets around 14-15 MPG on long trips, I figured that spending a little more on gas was better than new payments.
    Regarding that little CAT in your Topkick I think you would be much happier with a small 10 speed Roadranger behind it. That would give you about a 250 rpm split between gears. That's what I have in my F800 with the 7.8L Ford engine at 210 HP. Seems to be a good combination on hills. Your 4 speed Allison just doesn't have enough split for hilly terrain.

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