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Old 06-02-2005, 08:21 PM   #15
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1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
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Hi, 59toaster,

Thanks for the great links and information. It's YOU that I'll hang on for a second and you I should have addressed the rest of the answer to. I'm doing some interesting reading at the sites you mentioned and will be for a while tonight.

Thanks!

Lamar
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:03 PM   #16
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1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
Rutledge , Georgia
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It's a 1976!

Hi, folks,

I haven't been able to pick this old monster up (had truck troubles of my own to overcome), but a breakdown of the serial number, the GVWR, and some Pickup, Van, and Four-Wheel Drive articles indicate that the truck is a 1976 Big 10 model, I think.

http://www.73-87.com/7387info/Road_Test_7380.htm

59Toaster, does that jibe better now with what you thought?

Thanks,

Lamar
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:19 PM   #17
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gallons per mile

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Originally Posted by SafeHarbor
PS - My Dakota gets 12 mpg towing the Excella. How much worse could this old monster be?
My father's 1979 454 1/2ton suburban got 9 mpg going up hil, down hill, pulling a 26' argosy, or simply coasting in neutral. In fact, I believe if you left the engine running while refueling, the truck would draw on the pump. BUT what a great truck!
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Old 07-06-2005, 01:58 PM   #18
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The "Big-10" whas a nick name for that truck.If you are looking at that same truck shown that may be a bit bumpy to tow with. My experance with a Chevy "Step Side" that it was not a great tow rig, but looking at the "specs" on the truck it has all the right parts. I would like to buy that truck and restore it becuase it a real piece on Chevy history and a real cool tuck. Try to get all the stock parts if they are still around. Good Luck Jim
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Old 07-06-2005, 06:21 PM   #19
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1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
Rutledge , Georgia
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Hi, Jim and Ponz,

From what I can tell, it has the same heavy duty suspension (F44), but it's got the GVWR of the half-ton. Anyway, I'll find out next week. God willing, I'm going to pick the thing up next week.
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Old 07-06-2005, 08:55 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SafeHarbor
Hi, Jim and Ponz,

From what I can tell, it has the same heavy duty suspension (F44), but it's got the GVWR of the half-ton. Anyway, I'll find out next week. God willing, I'm going to pick the thing up next week.
Yeah they did some weird stuff in the late 70's to "circumvent some of the emissions requirements that were just being passed. A late 70's 454 was making the power of a 70 350. They were having to dump the compression to overcome detonation problems with unleaded fuel and the cats were very inefficient at that point and really sucked the power out of the motors.

If the suspension stiffness is an issue you can always put a set of 80's Half ton springs on it and soften it up. The late 80's they made HUGE improvements in the springs including friction reducing pads and relaxed spring rates to make them ride better.
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Old 07-06-2005, 10:22 PM   #21
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1979 31' Excella 500
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Rutledge , Georgia
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Hi, 59toaster,

No cat on this one at all. I supposed I'll need to use an octane booster/lead additive for it?

(I already use an octane booster in the Dakota to keep it from pinging when towing.)

Thanks!

Lamar
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Old 08-08-2005, 06:54 PM   #22
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1979 31' Excella 500
1975 28' Argosy 28
Rutledge , Georgia
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Images: 39
Hi, 59toaster,

I had another chance to look at it this morning (again in the rain). It does have a 12-bolt rear end. It also has rust on the firewall (and a couple of holes, actually), the bottom of the doors, the top rear parts of the doors, the lower fenders, around the turn signals, and around the cargo light.

In a break in the rain, I took it out and cautiously poked it to the floor. What can I say? It picks up its skirts and rushes forward in a most undignified manner. (I had forgotten just how cushy the TH400 with an always unlocked torque converter went through the gears.) After about five seconds I discontuinued that experiment. It turned out that I had forgotten about how big engines have compression braking, too.

The speedometer is slow. It says 40 around 60.( I'll use a GPS to get it to the house.)

As for the ride, it's already better than my Dakota. With that GVR, I don't think it will bad at all.

I need another project like a hole in my head, but in my mind's eye, I see this old beast and my Excella going down the road, and it's something that a person might have actually seen in the late 70s and 80s.

And, boy, this IS a project. The hood ornament is even missing.

Lamar
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