1978 Chevy 4X4 Truck

There is a lot to like about a 78 Chevy 4X4 truck. The classic lines with that egg crate type grill give it a timeless look. The truck is built like a tank, and would probably run forever with a little basic maintenance. Change the oil every 3k and drive it, hard. These trucks like to be driven hard. Run it off road, use the 4 wheel drive for what it does best. If you’re lucky you can find one with a 454. That engine is totally beastly, with torque that won’t quit. In the LTE 8 engine models it has 360 ft lbs of torque which gives the 78 Chevy 4X4 plenty of scoot and low end pulling power. This is just what you need to power though mud and dirt.

The frame construction on these older trucks is solid and when you open the hood you can actually see every engine system you might want to work on. No computer, plastic shrouds over the valve covers, or any of that to get in your way. Just a honking 454 Chevy classic V-8 doing what it is supposed to do in a K series truck.

These trucks came with automatic trans, in 3 speed or 4 speed. A manual is a bit harder to find, but there are some of those equipped with Muncie 4 speeds out there.

Rear axles ratio is 4.10 which was the only one available for a 4X4 with the big V8 in this year model K20 or 1 ton truck. The ½ ton could have a 3.73 rear. Either way the power is there to move this big rig.

Chevy 4X4 trucks hold resale value well, and they are always sought after. This is especially true of a 4X4 with the right options and look. It takes a trained eye to spot the year models with the trim being much the same through the 70’s after 1973 and even up to the mid 1980’s.

Like any off road capable truck you need to check for rust, especially in the quarter panels and under the doors. If the frame is not rusted then the worst of body panels can be replaced or repaired. Parts for truck like this are always readily available, and it is not too hard to find what you may need locally, or by web search.

Interiors on these 70’s trucks are usually heavy duty vinyl which holds up well and also can be easily repaired or recovered to your taste.

It is important to decide if you are going to restore, or resto-mod the truck and then get your plan going. Decide the most important things that you want to address first. Being able to drive the truck would be our first choice, getting the motor, trans, brakes and tires up to where the truck can be enjoyed. Then move on to whatever level of trim repair and restore you want to do, setting your budget for parts as needed.

A good plan and a little work can go a long way to clean up and dress out your 1978 Chevy 4X4! This is a great truck to own and enjoy.

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