1994 C1500 Fleet Truck

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Erik the Awful

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I've mentioned that I've been looking for a cheap vehicle for my son, and last week I spotted this 1994 C1500 on Public Surplus.

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I put a reasonable bid in and got it for $1275, which was $1530 out the door. The local community college bought it new - just a few months after I left the college for vo-tech and their physical plant used it for 30 years. It's been pretty well abused. but also pretty well maintained. It was advertised as "runs and drives", but when I got there I found the battery was missing. Come to find out, somebody recently stole it and joyrided it until it ran out of gas, and then cut the catalytic converter off it. My son and I made a quick trip to get the battery out of his Altima, and then by O'Reillys to get side post adapters. We splashed half a gallon of gas into it and tried to crank it up. With a judicious application of starting fluid and another gallon of gas in the tank, it finally fired right up and ran solid. The air cleaner only has one stud and no nuts, so I used my vise grips to hold it in place.

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We thanked the physical plant mechanic for his help with the starting fluid, and we started driving it home. These pictures? Where it died, 1/4 mile away, still on campus. It was fuel starving with any serious throttle application and finally died right out.

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We went and bought a fuel filter and threw it on, but it didn't help. I wasn't feeling too well (been sick all today), so I paid to have it towed to the house.

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It's not pretty, but with a little work it will be serviceable, and that's what he needs. On the plus side, as soon as he saw it he said, "That's my favorite body style of those trucks." It has A/C and a radio, but no telling how well they work, and really that's a much lower priority. I finally got out of bed at 10 am this morning and ate a cookie and drank some green tea, and took just enough time to order a fuel pump and sending unit from RockAuto. Then I went back to bed.
 

Erik the Awful

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Why didn't I tow it home with WCJr? It's spitting oil everywhere, and I don't know that I could keep enough oil in it for a drive into town and back. Also, the new transmission is still shifting hard, and I'm not sure if it's because I blew the rebuild or if the TV cable is adjusted wrong.

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Whenever we get out of the current burn ban, I'll weld up the exhaust. It's kinda loud with an open hole where the cat used to be.

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There are some wiring issues to clear up. The parking lights are staying on so long as the battery's connected, but I think that's a backfeed after I took the ground next to the battery loose to fit the Altima battery in place. There are also some random additions and some broken wires. It doesn't help that there's a single rust hole, and the wires are chafing on it.

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This truck has almost nothing for options. It even has crank-up windows.

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It's worn off so you can't read it, but it has a boat anchor 305. It seems to run strong, so it'll remain in place. He doesn't have the money for a 350 swap.
 

Erik the Awful

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Holy crap! I crashed out Tuesday after getting the truck home, and felt guilty that I hadn't ordered the fuel pump and sending unit. Yesterday morning around 10 am I finally woke up and ordered them. I was hoping they might make it here before the weekend. They just arrived at my door, 26 hours after I ordered them. I'm still not feeling well enough to get out there and raise the bed, but I'm glad the parts are on hand.
 

454cid

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Holy crap! I crashed out Tuesday after getting the truck home, and felt guilty that I hadn't ordered the fuel pump and sending unit. Yesterday morning around 10 am I finally woke up and ordered them. I was hoping they might make it here before the weekend. They just arrived at my door, 26 hours after I ordered them. I'm still not feeling well enough to get out there and raise the bed, but I'm glad the parts are on hand.

Amazon? How close is the nearest warehouse? They have so many now. Even Rockauto can be super fast if it's coming from nearby. Sometimes it amazes me, and somerimes I wonder why shipping is so slow.... like each step is taking a full day on tracking.
 

Erik the Awful

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Amazon? How close is the nearest warehouse?
RockAuto. I think their nearest warehouse is Sugarland, TX, about 7 hours away. Amazon's warehouse is twelve miles away.

Hopefully the new fuel pump fixes it. I'd be curious to know if the fuel pump isn't working because of a grounding issue though.
Yeah, I didn't troubleshoot that, but it doesn't work in fits and spurts. It runs great and slowly starts dying out as you drive. There's no "suddenly it's better moments", but rather a steady decline in the ability to handle throttle input until it finally dies. It's getting a Vortec fuel pump and a new sending unit for peace of mind.
 
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