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1974 or earlier?

I recently read in here somebody mentioned 1974 0r earlier for a project because there would be no computers and or oxygen sensors ect ect.
Can somebody clarify. I want a 4x4 truck that i can fix anything on. Preferably late 60’s early 70’s



How much are you willing to spend? You can get a truck from that era in great shape for $10,000. But if you only want to spend $1000 up front, it will likely cost more than $9000 to fix it up to the level of the $10,000 truck you passed on.

Where do you live? I have resurrected some mid 80s trucks and installed pre-feedback carburetors and non ECM controlled distributors with good results. 4x4s usually take quite a beating and few last even 30 years in one piece. I would strongly advise avoiding the full time 4-wheel drives of any make. Look closely at any that catch your eye. It is much easier to polish a truck than to properly restore it.

Trucks can be later. Cars, '72 or older to avoid most pollution controls and those ugly battering ram bumpers.

O2 sensors on domestics didn’t really come along until 1981 but some European cars used things like that starting in the mid 70s.

I agree with texases about finding something older than 72. Around that time is where engines (due to government mandates) had to resort to more complicated carburetion, various solenoids and thermovalves, along with a country mile of vacuum hose in an attempt to conform.

Some of those older trucks are pretty desireable and prices reflect that desireability; at least for one in half decent shape.
The main thing I would advise you to look out for on an older vehicle is rust. Mechanical repairs can be picked at here and there but major rust can make you wonder why you even bothered.

I found a 1970 3/4 ton chevy. Now to go check it out. Thanks


1975 was the BIG changeover year…Most cars and about half the trucks got catalytic converters and electronic ignition. No points and condensers after 1974…Also, these vehicles required the new unleaded gasoline. The next big jump occurred in 1981 when sealed carburetors, their mixture controlled (theoretically) by an oxygen sensor and “computer” became standard…Some of the worst cars ever made were made between 1981 and 1986…By 1987, computer controlled fuel injection and the OBD-1 diagnostic system was starting to provide half-way decent cars again…But since none of this stuff was standardized, repairing them was STILL a nightmare…

“Heavy-Duty” trucks escaped most of this stuff until well into the 1980’s The cut-off was 8500 pounds GVW, something like that…

Thanks a Bunch!

This brings to mind a question … Gasoline. How would i compensate for the 70 engine that wants leaded gas?

I agree with everything that’s been written. I’d like to add the question: how safe would you like to be?

Even a '70s truck brand new off the manufacturing line could not come close to the safety required of today’s vehicles. A 40+ year old one might just be totally unsafe unless it’s totally restored.

As for using unleaded gas, the engine needs hardened valve seats, not that expensive to do, many old cars have had that done.

I’m not so sure that the removal of lead has much effect on older engines. Propane certainly has no lead and many of the older trucks and industrial engines were operated on Propane with no problems.

Leaded gas has been illegal since 1996, and was phased out leading up to that. Unless the truck’s been sitting since the 80s, it’s probably had a few tanks of unleaded run through it. I suppose it’s possible that whoever owned it has been adding the lead substitute additive at every fillup…

I talked to the guy that owns it. He said “you can burn anything in it except diesel”

My guess would be he has been running unleaded in it…

1970 3/4 4x4 chevy

Those older Chevys are great old trucks, a 4x4 that hasn’t been trashed is somewhat rare. Good luck!

The older pickups pre 70&early 70 are tough as nails with good parts availibility,but honestly all the older cars I’ve ridden in dont hold a light to the new ones.Dont fear the new systems,I dont miss the carburater and ignition snafus from the old stuff,really no lead is great the valve seats are about the only thing you have to contend with-Kevin

I don’t think unleaded gas has been an issue in the old cars and trucks, 50’s -70’s. You can buy an additive that compensates for the lack of lead and is intended to lubricate the valves. Maybe using such an additive every year in a tank of gas is helpful.

The greater issue today is the increasing alcohol content (gasohol) that is in virtually all the gas commonly available. For old cars there is an additive to protect the rubber and plastics in the fuel systems that weren’t designed to handle the alcohol. These additives are available in all the auto parts stores and in marine supply stores too. If you get your oldie truck I’d strongly recommend using an additive to contend with the alcohol. I use it in my '87 ski boat which uses a PCM marine version of the 351 Ford windsor motor with a 4bbl Holley carb.

Im not in fear of the new systems. Its the simplicity of the old systems i want as i can fix anything that goes wrong myself.

Simple is Beautiful

Agreed. It’s not a matter of fearing the new systems; rather, it’s that all that computerized control has removed so much of the interaction between man and machine. There’s a lot to be said for the experience of starting and driving an old truck (maybe even with a mechanical choke?) and shifting through the gears. Extra points if it’s not a synchronized transmission!

I don’t have a problem with simplicity, but I do like the great power we have available with today’s vehicles; made possible by computers, sensor and variable timing. In the 1960s, cars with more than 300 HP were beasts. Today, a lot of cars have that much. Today’s beasts of the highway have well over 500 HP. You can even buy a station wagon with almost 560 HP.