As I have been rebuilding my truck and working on this site, I have received many emails, asking all about these old trucks. Unfortunately, I a lot about other people wanting to “improve” their old truck by putting in a brand new Chevy big-block engine so it will go faster, or installing independent front suspension so it will handle better. I have stated my opinion about this before; I think it is a waste of time and money. The real value in these trucks is to appreciate their historical significance, which can only be done in their original form.
Now don’t get me wrong – I love to hear from people rebuilding an old truck. I enjoy swapping stories about trucks and discussing how to I went about rebuilding my truck. I just don’t want to hear about somebody’s plans to make an old truck “better than new.”
Here I have listed some of the more frequent questions that I have gotten from people looking to “improve” their old truck. If you have a question that does not appear on the list below, then by all means, please do contact me with your question, or leave it as a comment below and I’ll do my best to answer it.
Can I fit a larger engine into my old truck to get more power?
Probably, but if you do, don’t tell me about it. The worst thing in the world is to see someone take a beautiful truck like one of these, and completely ruin it by trying to make it run like their new F-150.
What kind of suspension can I put in my truck to get a smoother ride?
Simple – there are some very weak shock absorbers and some very stiff leaf springs that work just great toghether! It is an old truck, and it is going to have a stiff ride to it. If you want it to ride smoothly like a new truck, then you should buy a new truck.
Will my truck be able to drive at highway speeds?
Your truck may be able to keep up at highway speeds, but it’s unlikely you will be able to keep it on the road. The steering on these old trucks is pretty loose, and they tend to get shaky above 45 MPH.
Can I put power steering in my truck?
I have seen kits for doing this, but what is the point? This is an old truck, and it is supposed to drive like an old truck. If you want to be able to steer easily, don’t own one.
Is it true that I don’t have to put seat belts in my old truck?
Many states do not require seat belts in vehicles that did not originally come with them. But this is definitely one part of the truck I would recommend modernizing; an all metal dashboard isn’t very forgiving.
How much is my old truck worth?
If the truck has been restored to its original condition, not much. If it has been modified at all, even less. Rebuilding a classic truck is entirely a labor of love. I’ve seen one old truck after another come up for sale on eBay, and I have yet to see a “customized” truck sell. The owner expects to get as much for the truck as they have put into it, and they just don’t realize that their truck isn’t worth that much. Don’t rebuild a classic truck with the expectation of making money from it; do it simply for the love of these old trucks.