Advice on buying a class 8 truck

Discussion in 'Trucks [ Eighteen Wheelers ]' started by 67jeeptruck, Nov 24, 2014.

  1. lovesthedrive

    lovesthedrive R.I.P.

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    Since the truck is to be yours you can do anything you want with it. Yes you can upgrade the older trucks. But if it is worth it? That depends on you. It isnt worth it if you want to flip it for earning money. Why do it? You would only be doing it for the love of that truck. Trucks are like antique tractors. When they get old enough, the only people that want that style are the people whom like them.

    Cost. Refurb the old or get something newer. I would get something newer. The old stuff is great for the tire kickers and for collecting dust. Also good if you want to use at antique shows. Something newer will have some to most of the upgrades already done. So you will be into it with less money than if you were to do a complete refurb of the dust collector. Again it really boils down to how much you love it. Money has no value when it comes to love.

    RV. Your getting a Class 8 truck to haul a boat, another RV, and a jeep. Personally I would take the Class 8 to a truck shop and have them lengthen the frame and what not. Then either go to a cab company that makes custom sleepers and make the Class 8 into a RV. There are companies out there that will do wonders with a sleeper if you have the money. Then your only hauling the jeep and a boat.

    Engine. Engines are like fruit. Everyone here on the board has their own appreciation of what has a better flavor. Yet since national companies tend to have Detroits installed in more of the trucks, there will be more companies that are set up to get / repair a detroit. There is little wrong with the other engines other than the flavor. Rembember, its only fruit, get what you like.

    Before you go planning on doing the above listed items.... Have you looked on Ebay for a custom Class 8 with a custom sleeper? There may be some one out there that has had ideas like yours with a truck ready to roll.

    Just my thoughts.
     
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  3. maggard359

    maggard359 Medium Load Member

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    You can rebuild all those items, but I advise getting a running complete unit just for cost and knowing major components are not damaged. The Dallas area will be full of shade tree guys that can do all the work for a fraction of the cost. Stay away from dealerships, major shops, forget the warranties, just ask around for a good mechanic with a small shop and talk to him explain what you are doing. You can use the auto shifts with detroits, I couldn't tell you anything about cost or reliability never dealt with one or even drove one. You can inframe a detroit for around 5000-6000 depending on who does it. Like I said you won't get a warranty or genuine detroit parts but for what you are doing the clevite parts will serve you well. Have them take bull gear off and remove bearings go down to advance auto and order new ones. Detroit wants to sell whole gear with bearings and says it's not serviceable but it is. Don't be afraid to hire some Mexicans that only have a pinto for a tool truck I have seen some of those guys in that area work magic with detroits. Like I said ask around and you will find. Everything else you mentioned fairly cheap except tires, stay away from recaps last thing you want is side of your camper missing because you wanted to be cheap.
     
  4. 67jeeptruck

    67jeeptruck Bobtail Member

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    Nov 24, 2014
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    I don't care about resale, and not even thinking about flipping it. Trying to put together a power unit that can carry more of my equipment for a long range trip/adventure. Cost of 1 tons 4500/5500 is prohibitive, and still won't serve my needs.

    I agree with newer having more whistles and bells, but the question posed was what would be reliable, and easiest on the wallet. Most of the readers mentioned the DD 12.7 in 430 to 470 hp range, and 2003 and earlier. As mentioned early in the thread, I was a company driver, and never involved with maintenance more than making sure my fluids were good, the truck drove straight, no vibrations, tires in good shape, and I would flag unsafe items and refuse to drive a unit until safe. My main goal by posting is to find out more about costs of owning a truck, common fail items, and what brands give you the most bang for the buck. Obviously I am retired, on a fixed income, and flush enough to get a truck built for my needs, but the newer you get, the more expensive you get.

    Here is where I have been with this idea. LOL Which has me at the point I am now. We looked at motorhomes, used and new. Diesel pushers, Gas units, etc. Yes there is a guy out there who builds an exposed double stack trailer designed for Jeeps and Pickups on the bottom, and Boats on the upper stack. In my opinion, MOTORHOMES are WAY too expensive for what you get. Yes there are companies out there that build motorhomes off a big truck chassis. Even used these are going for way high dollar. I cannot imagine what getting one custom built would cost. I did go see a sleeper company in Fort Worth, and they want more for just a sleeper than many higher end 5th wheels. We already have the RV trailer. If we get sick of it, we can buy another one. Building the truck into the living unit REDUCES our living space considerably, and costs a lot more. Yeah I could probably go that route, but the cost is very prohibitive. I want to do what I can do for a decent power unit, pay cash for it, and no big payment.

    I agree with you. However, I know that costs of rebuilding a BB or SB Chevy is way cheaper than rebuilding a Mopar 360 or 426 Hemi, or 440. Again the purpose of the thread is trying to find the most bang for the buck on a very dependable power unit, educating me is my goal here.

    I have looked everywhere, EBay, Craigslist, local dealers, etc. Have found a few possible trucks, but nothing with the mods I am planning. I found one that was close, but the owner had to be hitting the pipe pretty extensively with the amount of money he was talking. I am just plain getting sick of looking for something that would suit our needs. The ones I have found that were close, are still being used by their owners, and not for sale. I have just come to the conclusion I am going to have to find the right truck, take it for the stretch, have my flat bed built, and be done with it.

    Funny thing happened locally. I talked with the local Volvo dealer, telling him I was looking for a used unit. He proceeded to make an appointment, we showed up and he had me drive a NEW 780 fully loaded. Nice truck. Including the stretch, adding the flat bed he shot me a decent price. Way cheaper than a new motorhome. But I am not wanting to add another payment. Used is my goal. But it sure was a sweet ride, very nice. So if I won the lottery, that is what I would do. :biggrin_25519:

    Thank you for your input.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2014
  5. 67jeeptruck

    67jeeptruck Bobtail Member

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    maggard359: Thanks again for info. I am hoping I can find a truck good enough where I can just do minimal maintenance, and then do the stretch I need, and my flat bed. I found an excellent local welder that can build my bed for not a huge amount, so that is good. Found a couple shops that can do a stretch, so probably good there too. It is tough to find a good truck to start with though. There are so many things that can be done to hide major issues to get a truck sold, so this is why I am asking about the costs to fix major issues, if in fact I get burned. Honesty certainly isn't the highest on many sellers list these days. Example: Found what looked to be a decent Volvo 780 for not a bad price. When I showed up there was body damage that wasn't disclosed. Tires were mis-matched, and the cab was very dirty. After looking at it, I wouldn't offer him half what he was asking. When we were talking and I pointed out the problems, he got pissed off. To me, maybe I am wrong, but isn't seeing mis matched obviously used rubber, mean cash problems, and thus more maintenance has been probably neglected as well? I guess maybe he could have taken new bought tires off and put on trash for selling the truck.. Other than that, I don't know all that I should be looking for. Some folks have said to do a dyno on a prospective truck. Then I had a seller tell me that an auto shift truck can't be dyno tested. Other say it can. I wouldn't mind paying somebody to help me find a good truck. Is there anyone out there can do that type of service?
     
  6. 67jeeptruck

    67jeeptruck Bobtail Member

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    Nov 24, 2014
    Ft Worth, TX
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    Ok I found a 2000 Volvo with a Detroit that they are saying is a 430/500. Is that a 12.7 and what is the variable HP mean? I got an email into the seller, but haven't heard a word yet. It has 639,000 miles on it, and a 13 speed. 3.58 ratio with the 22.5 should give me 1260 rpm @ 60 mph give or take a bit. No, I haven't looked at it yet.
     
  7. Pedigreed Bulldog

    Pedigreed Bulldog Road Train Member

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    Long wheelbase single screw would probably be your best option. No real need for a tandem, since you won't be carrying the weight. Something you also might consider is a rollback tow truck to haul the jeep, and you can tow the RV trailer on a ball mounted on the wheel lift. The wheel lift might even be able to be raised high enough to handle a gooseneck trailer, if you should ever upgrade. A 5th wheel type trailer might be a little trickier or require additional modifications to make work, so it might just be easier to get the hitch on the front of the RV converted to a gooseneck ball. If you mount all of that up on a true class 8 tractor, especially once you load the jeep, you ought to have plenty of weight on the steers even with the gooseneck/5th wheel mounted so far behind the rear axle...
     
  8. 67jeeptruck

    67jeeptruck Bobtail Member

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    One of my first thoughts was getting a flatbed/rollback. I was surprised that most are spring ride, low HP, and low geared. Then I got why it is that way. Most are used just locally. I really need air ride. As I have gotten older my back is just not taking long rides in the pick up towing the RV. The ride is pretty bad on me anymore. Yes I could get away with a single axle, and might just do that. I have seen times though that I liked the extra traction with the locked tandems. With balancing the load with the stretch, is why I am wanting to go with a 24' flat bed. This way if we ever go to a 5th wheel RV, the tandems will be way back. When I end up adding the upper deck for my boat, the upper deck will be shorter to allow for a 5th wheel. The longer lower deck will give me enough room for a small drom box, or for other gear, (quad, or a couple of bikes maybe, a freezer, etc.) Since the weight of a 5th wheel can be put in the box of a 1 ton, the weight shouldn't be that bad if it is behind axle center a bit. I really am hoping to find a flat top or mid roof sleeper truck that will work, this way the boat could extend over the cab, making the upper deck even further up from the tail of the truck. The boat and trailer doesn't weigh much, but the boat is 20 ft long.

    Look at this Volvo set up to haul RV's with a Smart car crosswise.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. magoo68

    magoo68 Road Train Member

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    Most 430/500 are 430 foot 500 cruise some are also 430 till you lose x mph then switch to 500
     
  10. Pool6710

    Pool6710 Medium Load Member

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    Multi trq tunes are garbage. If the motor runs good just put a better tune on it and it will pull amazing
     
  11. 67jeeptruck

    67jeeptruck Bobtail Member

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    Nov 24, 2014
    Ft Worth, TX
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    This is why I posted this thread. When the technical end of a truck surfaces, I am ignorant.

    When on manual pedal, it 430 max hp, when on cruise it jumps to 500 max hp? But is this engine the Series 60 12.7 that was recommended to me at the beginning of the thread?
    I wonder why it is set up that way? Whether on the pedal, or on cruise, if you need the 500, then you need it. Is this a good DD motor?
     
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