Ongoing Total of Rustoleum Paint Job

Rustoleum paint on hood after fifth coat, buffing, polishing, and waxing

I have started painting the hood of the Chevy K2500. This is an on-going report of the supplies used and how much they cost. I will update it as I paint more parts of the truck.

Total (so far) – $194.66

Chevy K2500 Maintenance

An ongoing list of maintenance and non-fuel costs for the 1990 Chevrolet K2500.

| Date        | Miles  | Item/Work                      | Cost     |
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|
| 2016-09-05  | 214550 | Bought truck                   | $500.00  |
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|
| Total       |        |                                | $500.00  |
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|

Maintenance:

| Date        | Miles  | Item/Work                      | Cost     |
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|
| 2016-09-05  | 214550 | Air filter                     | $7.62    |
| 2016-09-05  | 214550 | Ground cable for battery       | $0.00    |
| 2016-09-18  | 214567 | Oil change                     | $24.13   |
| 2016-09-24  | 214607 | O2 sensor                      | $13.99   |
| 2016-09-29  | 214607 | Door hinge pins, driver side   | $4.89    |
| 2016-09-30  | 214670 | Wiper blades                   | $27.00   |
| 2016-10-03  | 214700 | Engine repair fluid/stop leak  | $9.50    |
| 2016-10-03  | 214700 | Transmission repair/stop leak  | $9.50    |
| 2016-10-25  | 215128 | Spark plugs                    | $32.88   |
| 2016-10-25  | 215128 | Spark plug wires               | $38.16   |
| 2016-10-25  | 215128 | Distributor cap                | $24.98   |
| 2016-10-25  | 215128 | Distributor rotor              | $7.46    |
| 2016-11-10  | 215195 | Serpentine Belt                | $21.27   |
| 2016-11-20  | 215442 | Flushed radiator               | $11.00   |
| 2016-11-20  | 215442 | Thermostat                     | $8.00    |
| 2016-11-23  | 215480 | New tires                      | $607.63  |
| 2016-12-01  | 215605 | New hood (salvage yard)        | $100.00  |
| 2016-12-01  | 215605 | Oil change                     | $16.58   |
| 2016-12-14  | 215715 | Oil change + MMO*              | $20.00   |
| 2016-12-21  | 215825 | New PCV Valve                  | $3.00    |
| 2016-12-21  | 215825 | New footwell bulbs             | $10.88   |
| 2017-02-26  | 216600 | Rebuilt brake wheel cylinder PR| $13.00   |
| 2017-04-13  | 216799 | Oil change + MMO*              | $20.00   |
| 2017-05-09  | 217173 | Manifold-back free-flow exhaust| $192.20  |
| 2017-05-23  | 217512 | Seafoam in oil and vacuum line | $7.05    |
| 2017-05-24  | 217550 | New brake wheel cylinder PR    | $13.00   |
| 2017-05-25  | 217550 | Oil change                     | $27.40   |
| 2017-07-12  | 217976 | Replaced rear axle seals       | $13.71   |
| 2017-07-12  | 217976 | Replaced rear axle bearings    | $71.92   |
| 2017-07-12  | 217976 | Differential fluid change      | $27.25   |
| 2017-07-18  | 218080 | New front brake rotors         | $95.97   |
| 2017-07-18  | 218080 | New front brake pads           | $36.85   |
| 2017-07-20  | 218100 | Rotated tires                  | $0       |
| 2017-11-07  | 220652 | Throttle position sensor       | $30.78   |
| 2017-12-30  | 221804 | Oil change (10w-40)            |          |
| 2018-01-10  | 221920 | Replace gas cap                | $7.22    |
| 2018-05-28  | 223700 | Water pump, fan clutch         | $127.49  |
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|
| Total       |        |                                | $1,583.71|
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|

“Unnecessary” items:

| Date        | Miles  | Item/Work                      | Cost     |
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|
| 2016-11-10  | 215195 | Painted grill                  | $6.00    |
| 2016-12-01  | 215605 | New headlights (glass)         | $90.88   |
| 2017-03-17  | ------ | Paint job (in progress)        | $194.66  |
| 2017-05-10  | 217173 | 95+ mirrors                    | $60.00   |
| 2017-05-10  | 217173 | New front seats (salvage yard) | $190.00  |
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|
| Total       |        |                                | $635.54  |
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|

Bought, but not installed yet:

| Date        | Miles  | Item/Work                      | Cost     |
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|
| 2017-07-15  | 217500 | non-cooler oil filter adapter  | $        |
|-------------|--------|--------------------------------|----------|

*MMO – Marvel Mystery Oil

Does your truck “bounce” at certain speeds?

When I bought my truck, it had been sitting in field for two years. You can read more about that here: About the Chevy K2500. Sitting for that long in one spot is not good for tires. I knew I needed to replace them but I didn’t realize how they would affect the ride of the truck as it went down the road. They held air, so they should be fine for a bit, right?

With those tires (pictured above), the truck would have a pronounced bounce at 45 mph and 65 mph. It would be relatively smooth at other speeds. So I thought something might be wrong with the rear axle or something. I finally got around to getting new tires and the bounce went away completely. The ride is now buttery smooth on pavement.

So if your vehicle is bouncing at certain speeds, check your tires. It might be time for new ones. I got some like these (245/75/R16, the stock size for this truck) and they have been great.

The Cab Panels Have Arrived

The cab panels for my 1990 Chevy K2500 have arrived! These will be used to repair the rusting common to this generation of Chevrolet trucks. The driver’s side wasn’t as rusted so I could get away with just getting the smaller/cheaper panel for it.

I plan on trying to use body panel adhesive to attach these. I don’t have a welding setup and the heat from welding can cause a fire in the insulation behind these panels.

I’ll be getting this started in the next month or so hopefully and I’ll post updates as they occur.

Update April 2020: I did replace the driver side panel using a manual panel flanger and panel bonding adhesive. It turned out well enough that I want to try it on the 1990 GMC K1500. The K2500 has went back to my father’s house but I will try to get a picture of the panel replacement soon.

Chevy K2500 Fuel Economy Log

This is an ongoing log of the fuel economy for my 1990 Chevrolet K2500. You can see more info about the truck here (engine, tires, etc): About the Chevy K2500.

  • Total Miles: 6,981
  • Total Gallons: 503.54
  • Average MPG: 13.9
  • Best MPG: 15.9
  • Worst MPG: 12.0
| Date        | Miles | Gallons | MPG  |
|-------------|-------|---------|------|
| Oct 06 2016 | 223.0 | 17.912  | 12.4 |
| Oct 14 2016 | 145.0 | 12.015  | 12.1 |
| Nov 10 2016 | 253.0 | 21.061  | 12.0 |
| Nov 21 2016 | 254.0 | 20.730  | 12.3 |
| Dec 07 2016 | 219.5 | 17.256  | 12.7 |
| Dec 24 2016 | 268.9 | 20.987  | 12.8 |
| Jan 02 2017 | 164.8 | 11.106  | 14.8 |
| Feb 08 2017 | 254.7 | 19.588  | 13.0 |
| Mar 09 2017 | 277.6 | 19.095  | 14.5 |
| Apr 21 2017 | 246.7 | 18.611  | 13.3 |
| May 09 2017 | 298.7 | 20.693  | 14.4 |
| May 21 2017 | 314.7 | 20.488  | 15.4 |
| Jun 25 2017 | 269.3 | 19.468  | 13.8 |
| Jul 14 2017 | 232.5 | 14.935  | 15.6 |
| Jul 22 2017 | 290.1 | 18.784  | 15.4 |
| Aug 06 2017 | 268.9 | 19.746  | 13.6 |
| Aug 27 2017 | 267.6 | 17.650  | 15.2 |
| Sep 07 2017 | 269.7 | 18.162  | 14.9 |
| Sep 15 2017 | 303.3 | 19.076  | 15.9 |
| Sep 26 2017 | 305.7 | 20.105  | 15.2 |
| Oct 11 2017 | 262.3 | 18.217  | 14.4 |
| Oct 20 2017 | 247.9 | 20.623  | 12.0 |
| Nov 18 2017 | 270.1 | 20.152  | 13.4 |
| Nov 28 2017 | 243.7 | 17.041  | 14.3 |
| Dec 15 2017 | 252.9 | 18.367  | 13.8 |
| Dec 29 2017 | 296.9 | 21.625  | 13.7 |
| Jan 14 2018 | 279.5 | 20.048  | 13.9 |

Driving description: 50% Highway (60-65 mph), 40% City (40-45 mph), 10% Farm (5 mph)

Notes:

  • May 09 2017 – first tank with The TBI Air Flow Enhancer, 1.4 mpg (10.8%) gain over average
  • May 21 2017 – first tank with new, free-flowing exhaust, 2.3 mpg (17.5%) gain over average
  • Sep 15 2017 – 100% highway trip

The Most Important Tool for Restoring a Vehicle

If there is one tool that you should buy first for restoring a vehicle, it’s a repair manual. Here are two examples from Amazon:

These manuals will tell you how to accomplish every normal maintenance job and many less-common jobs on your vehicle. I know that most things you need to do you can learn how to do on the internet, but it’s very handy to have a manual that you can grab and take to your vehicle with you. And often the manuals are better written than most internet guides, if there are even any guides out there for your vehicle if it’s rare.

About the Chevy K2500

  • Year: 1990
  • Engine: 5.7 liter TBI
  • 350 cubic inches
  • Horsepower: 210 (157 kW)
  • Torque: 300 lb-ft
  • Trim: Scottsdale
  • 4-wheel drive
  • Tires: 245/75/16
  • Miles when purchased: ~214k
  • Current miles: ~219k

I bought the 1990 Chevy K2500 in September 2016 from my father for $500. I’d say it might have been worth more like $800, but I got a “family discount”. My plan for the K2500/Silverado/Scottsdale/GMT400/OBS Chevy (they have a million names apparently) is to “restore” it. I put restore in quotes because I don’t have a lot of hope in it ever looking nice in the general, “oh, nice truck!’ sense. But I do plan on making it something I enjoy.

My second truck was a 1990 Chevy Silverado (actually the Silverado trim, as opposed to this truck’s Scottsdale trim). So getting this truck brings back a few memories of that truck too.

This thing had 214,000 miles on it when I got it and had been sitting in a field for a year (more like two years, but my dad claims one year). A mouse had made its home in the K2500 and apparently wasn’t house/truck broken because it pooped everywhere.

Also, the door pins (and hinges?) were worn out so the doors didn’t close or open easily. I think at least one door was not closed completely for a while and a lot of rain water made its way to places we don’t want it. So what does old rain water, mouse poo, mouse pee, etc smell like? Not great. Oh, and a colony of ants also created their home under the door trim. And they didn’t like it when I moved their home.

Stay tuned for more work on this truck.

The above picture is how the truck currently looks (May 2017). Below is how she looked the day I got her (September 2016).

Truck Smokes When Starting and When Accelerating

Since I got my truck a few months ago, it has been smoking. It would put out smoke the worst when I started it. It would also smoke some when I would idle for a while then hit the gas. Everything I read pointed to bad valve seals or piston rings, so I assumed I would have to replace those soon – hoping it was valve seals as that is easier. While going through some regular, higher mileage maintenance I saw that I should inspect my PCV valve. It turns out that the valve was horribly dirty and the PCV valve inlet into the throttle body was completely clogged with oil gunk. You can see the gunk that I scraped out in the picture below.

Here is the old PCV valve. It was servicable, which you can test by shaking it and making sure it rattles, but it also likely had over 100,000 miles on it so I replaced it.

Once I cleaned out the PCV port on the throttle body and replaced the PCV valve, the truck stopped smoking completely. This is because the PCV, which stands for positive crankcase ventilation, keeps pressure from building up too high in the crankcase, as well as sending blowby gasses to the throttle body to be burnt up in the combustion cycle. The pressure was building up in my engine and forcing oil into the combustion chamber, past the piston rings I’m assuming. So I will probably need new rings sooner rather than later but my truck does not smoke now, which makes for a happier time all around.

Supplies used: