Fresh Truck

Functional Artist

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Well, I've been lookin' for a decent/used flatbed/tiltbed tow truck bed for a while, to put on my Isuzu cab & chassis

Then, last month, while lookin' on CL, I came across a 1991 GMC Top Kick with an aluminum flatbed on it.

The ad just said Flatbed Tow Truck $13,000.00
then, 1991 Top Kick in the description
...plus there were a couple of pics (see below)

So, after conversing back & forth, he told me about the steering having excess play & the throw out bearing (for the clutch) was "chattrering'
...he said he'd take $10,000 cash for it.

It seemed like a nice truck with a solid bed on it (that's mainly what I wanted)
...& he assured me it should/would make it back to Toledo
...so, me & the wife planned a road trip ;)

it was in Blanchester Ohio, down near Cincinnati (~200 miles from Toledo)SAM_1482.JPG
 

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Denny

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I just traded off last fall my 71 AM General m35a2 6x6 retired US Army truck for a 75 4 speed corvette with a 65 300 horse corvette 327. The guy I traded it to made it a rollback off road recovery vehicle. By the way the 327 is an honest to God vette engine. I ran the numbers my self.
 

Functional Artist

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Well, the 366 big block Chevy engine purred like a kitten & the aluminum bed was good-n-solid
...but, the truck as a whole had many, many issues. :eek:

Yup, he wasn't kidding, the steering was loose (loose-as-a-goose loose)
(like grip the wheel @ 12:00 & you could turn it from 10:00 to 2:00 without the front wheels moving, loose)

The power steering pump let out a squeal every time you turned the wheel
...the throw-out-bearing chattered so loud, at times that, you couldn't hardly hear yourself think
...& none of the gauges worked, not even the speedometer

The bed had hydraulic hoses hanging everywhere
...the slide hoses were laying on the frame
...& then, when you slid the bed back the winch hoses actually layed across the rear axle & on to the ground :(

So, I said "this thing is a lot rougher than you described"
..."you were towing with it like this?"
..."will it even make it back to Toledo?"
..."this truck is not worth 10K"

He said "well, what'll you give me for it?"
..."I just want it gone"

Thinkin' to myself, the truck is a POS
...but, the bed has a lot of potential

So, I said "the best I could do was 7K"
...& drove off with it for $7,300.00 :banana:

...even, loaded up my wife's car & towed it home (to save fuel & not rack up excess miles) :cool:
 

Functional Artist

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The first thing, after gettin' 'er home was to gather some pertinent info & then, to "trim" the rear of the frame of the Isuzu.

Next, was to remove that hideous "junk bar" off of the back
...it wasn't in any shape to ever be used again

Then, there "were" (22) 5/8" bolts attaching the bed to the frame.
...(2) hydraulic hosed (hi-pressure & return)
...& the wiring for the tail lights & such

Look how much lower she'll sit :cool:
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Functional Artist

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I got 'er lifted off, by a big 'ol forklift at a local scrap yard (cost $100.00)

Next was, some double checkin' of clearances
...& then, some adjustin' & alignin'

Then, I could start ta drillin' on the (22) 5/8" bolt holes to bolt 'er downSAM_1582.JPG
 

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Functional Artist

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I found the best way (for me anyways) to drill 5/8" holes, by hand, in 1/2" steel (1/4" frame & the 1/4" angle where I doubled the frame ) was to start off with a 5/8" bit & use the "outer" hole (where the bed mounts) as a guide to "pin point" & mark the center of the holes.

Next, drill a "pilot hole" with a 1/8" bit
...then, move up to 1/4"
...then, on to a 5/16"
...then a 3/8"
...then, a 1/2"
...then, on thru with the 5/8" bit

I work on (1) side of the truck at a time & mark all of the 5/8" holes, while I'm at it ;)
...then, drill all of the pilot holes
...then, all of the 1/4" holes etc. etc.

* Also, be aware of any fuel lines or brake lines or even wiring when drilling thru the frame of a truck.
...cause, I um...drilled right thru one of the fuel vapor return lines (like a dummy) :(
...& then, you'll have ta fix um :mad:
 

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machinist@large

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I found the best way (for me anyways) to drill 5/8" holes, by hand, in 1/2" steel (1/4" frame & the 1/4" angle where I doubled the frame ) was to start off with a 5/8" bit & use the "outer" hole (where the bed mounts) as a guide to "pin point" & mark the center of the holes.

Next, drill a "pilot hole" with a 1/8" bit
...then, move up to 1/4"
...then, on to a 5/16"
...then a 3/8"
...then, a 1/2"
...then, on thru with the 5/8" bit

I work on (1) side of the truck at a time & mark all of the 5/8" holes, while I'm at it ;)
...then, drill all of the pilot holes
...then, all of the 1/4" holes etc. etc.

* Also, be aware of any fuel lines or brake lines or even wiring when drilling thru the frame of a truck.
...cause, I um...drilled right thru one of the fuel vapor return lines (like a dummy) :(
...& then, you'll have ta fix um :mad:
Yeah, that has bad day written all over it. Of course, I've never made that mistake, oh no...:banana::banana::surrender::surrender::surrender:
 

Functional Artist

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It was an easy (5 min) fix (tube cutter & a short piece of 5/8" fuel line) ;)
...but, I still shouldn't of dun it.

Finally, got all of the holes drilled
...& the bed pivot, lift tank & slide lock are all now, bolted down "good-n-tight"

Next, I had ta install the PTO (power take off) to make the bed "functional" :cool:
* It takes "power off" of the idling engine to operate hydraulics that make the bed work.

First, I mounted the control/actuator knob right next to the heater controls
...& ran the cable from it, thru the cab, down to where the PTO was gonna be.

Then, I parked 'er on an incline (so, most of the trans fluid would "puddle up", on one side (away from the cover I was gonna remove)
...then, removed "said" cover from the side of the transmission
...after checking & setting the tolerance (gear lash) I bolted 'er on

Next, was to mount the 15 gal. per min. hydraulic pump to it
...& then, to install ~$1,000.00 in hydraulic hoses, fittings & clamps. :eek:
 

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machinist@large

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It was an easy (5 min) fix (tube cutter & a short piece of 5/8" fuel line) ;)
...but, I still shouldn't of dun it.

Finally, got all of the holes drilled
...& the bed pivot, lift tank & slide lock are all now, bolted down "good-n-tight"

Next, I had ta install the PTO (power take off) to make the bed "functional" :cool:
* It takes "power off" of the idling engine to operate hydraulics that make the bed work.

First, I mounted the control/actuator knob right next to the heater controls
...& ran the cable from it, thru the cab, down to where the PTO was gonna be.

Then, I parked 'er on an incline (so, most of the trans fluid would "puddle up", on one side (away from the cover I was gonna remove)
...then, removed "said" cover from the side of the transmission
...after checking & setting the tolerance (gear lash) I bolted 'er on

Next, was to mount the 15 gal. per min. hydraulic pump to it
...& then, to install ~$1,000.00 in hydraulic hoses, fittings & clamps. :eek:
Would you rate one these trucks as being more useful than a pickup, or not??? I might be in the market for a vehicle soon (6 months~a year), so I'm wondering if one of these would be doable as a daily driver. Any thoughts???
 

Functional Artist

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Would you rate one these trucks as being more useful than a pickup, or not??? I might be in the market for a vehicle soon (6 months~a year), so I'm wondering if one of these would be doable as a daily driver. Any thoughts???
My truck "is" my daily driver
...& toy hauler
...& I even tow cars, every now & then ;)

I'd say their way more useful :cool:
...& mine even tilts so, ya don't have ta lift stuff :banana:

*FYI: I sold my last car (1972 Monte Carlo SS) back in 1991 (~30 years ago)

I was just starting out in business & had ta make a truck payment
...& the truck was more important/useful. :p
 
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