Were The GMC Generals Ok?

Topic 26384 | Page 1

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John H.'s Comment
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I got offered a 1985 GMC General that's been on a relative's farm for 20+ years. $5000. All I know about it at this time is that it has very minimal rust. Big cam 400 Cummins. 660,xxx miles. No leaks. Tires 65%. Brakes replaced last year. I was told an oil test and dyno was done 2 or so years back with zero issues but... no receipts. Hasnt had many miles put on since then.

What's the consensus here on the Gmc General? Good truck? Proned to any failures? How about that Cummins 400? At 5k I know I'll have to turn a wrench. Just curious about the thoughts on the General from people who have experience with them.

PJ's Comment
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Welcome John. The question your asking leads to many more questions. In general, no pun intended that is an old long hood style truck. It was cool for its time. Alot came out with detroit power. The old cummins were good old motors for their time period. It won’t be shy on power. The sleeper trucks had small basic sleepers.

My thought is if its got little rust it could posdibly be a canadate to restore as a show truck.

As far as putting it in service that is a complex question. What will it be used for is the first major question.

Not sure this is much help, but if you provide more info on what you would have in mind we could offer more assistance.

Stevo Reno's Comment
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Well, John I rebuilt a few of them old Cummins 400, @ 750k-1 million milers and they were work-horses for sure! Easy enough to rebuild and last back in the day......GMC Brigadere was probably the model after those Generals (time period). The 2 Pepsi bottling plants I worked at ran a few dozen of em back in mid '80's-'90s....

They had an issue cracking frames, where the clutch pivot ball/rod attached on the frame. LOL I found them cracks prior to their CHP annual inspections, turning hard right in the yard, the truck would go into neutral as frame crack opened in the twist. When I told em they needed fixed shocked them, no one else had found them cracks before......The welding vendor did surface welds just to pass inspection, but of course, they cracked right afterwards in use

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Bruce K.'s Comment
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Hey John, can you post photos of the truck? It would be cool to see it.

PackRat's Comment
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What are you going to use it for?

John H.'s Comment
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My thought is if its got little rust it could posdibly be a canadate to restore as a show truck.

Now there's a cool thought!

Well, John I rebuilt a few of them old Cummins 400, @ 750k-1 million milers and they were work-horses for sure! Easy enough to rebuild and last back in the day......GMC Brigadere was probably the model after those Generals (time period). The 2 Pepsi bottling plants I worked at ran a few dozen of em back in mid '80's-'90s....

They had an issue cracking frames, where the clutch pivot ball/rod attached on the frame. LOL I found them cracks prior to their CHP annual inspections, turning hard right in the yard, the truck would go into neutral as frame crack opened in the twist. When I told em they needed fixed shocked them, no one else had found them cracks before......The welding vendor did surface welds just to pass inspection, but of course, they cracked right afterwards in use

Very helpful, thanks!

What are you going to use it for?

Well if it's in decent enough shape as I was led to believe, I'd offer 1k less and see what happens. Honestly, it would just be to play around with on the farm. Maybe get a used flatbed and make hauling hay bales go a lot quicker! Right now I use a wagon and a Farmall going down the highway and have to make four 17 mile trips. No big deal, just tedious. So maybe I could find a role for it but for now it would be something to tinker with here on the farm. But no, it wouldn't be doing any long hauls. My dad's a diesel mechanic 40 years in the business. He could come with and help check it out. I asked him "did GMC make a good truck with the General?" His answer- "fine". Lol. Short spoken. Just hoping to hear from guys with a little more insight on the General.

Im having a heck of time trying to post up a pic.

Thanks for responses!

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
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