My new "big" 4x4: 1989 Chevy K1500


I've been needing (OK, wanting) to get back into a pickup truck for quite a while now, and after having a couple deals fall through, I finally landed this beast yesterday for $1200. '89 K1500, 4.3 V6, 4 speed with a granny low, just under 200,000 miles. Runs and drives just fine, thank you. As you can probably tell by the color, it's a former US Forest Service truck. It has no options at all except AC, just how I like 'em.




More photos this weekend, after I've had a chance to clean 'er up...


The color is something else! Love it. Very square.
That's "Forest Service Green." It's the original color, and as far as I can tell, the original paint. I really like it, it's a nice change from all the white/silver/black trucks everywhere.

Had a 4.3 in my first truck. Was an S10 though.
I'm hoping it means it gets better mileage than a V8 would, at least a little bit. Feels like plenty of power, especially with the gearing this thing has got.

Oh, and it goes without saying, especially on this site, that a "mini-me" version will be built at some point...


Spent the day tinkering around with this beast. Replaced half a dozen burned-out dash bulbs, repaired a broken hinge on the glovebox, and cleaned EVERYTIHNG. Good lord was it nasty in there. But it cleaned up nicely, and it no longer smells like an ashtray.


True story: I have bought 4 used pickup trucks in my life, including this one. Every single one has had bullets or empty shells somehwere in the interior. For a while I thought I was going to strike out on this one, but then, stuck in a puddle of sticky gunk under the glovebox, there they were...


The streak continues unbroken. My world makes sense again.

I also ordered new upholstery for the seat, because it really is trashed. I'll post some before-and-after photos when the time comes.


So I just did some math, out of curiosity: 6.55 granny gear * 2.72 4WD Low transfer case * 3.73 axles = 66.45:1 lowest possible gear ratio. Good grief... I can pull a house with that, just very slowly...


Took care of that nasty seat today. Found 3 more cigarette butts stuck under the upholstery. Bleah. Took the seat out of the truck and brought it inside to work on it.

As removed. Old and busted.


After 3 hours with some hog-ring pliers. New hotness.


And here it is in the truck.


The new vinyl isn't a perfect fit, but this isn't a Rolls Royce, so what the hey. It's comfy, looks a whole lot better than it did, and the last of the cigarette smell is finally gone, as far as I can tell. It was a good truck day.


Still Learning

That must be weird to shift... I have never seen a shift pattern like that :). Three on the tree ain't got nothin on this one!

Also, I would have just used the couch in place of your bench seat. Less work and so comfy!

Great find. I too am jealous of the west coast lack of rust on vehicles like these.

Keep on keep'in on.


I want to either put a nut under the knob so I can tighten it down in the right orientation, or see if I can pop out the center piece and straighten it up. It's bugging me.

If that doesn't work, maybe I'll just replace it with a plain white ball knob...