Cummins Swap: 1986 Chevrolet K30 Pickup

It can seem risky to buy a vehicle that’s been sewn together by the seller to fit his own vision of the perfect truck. But sometimes, the details are so well-executed that some of the worry is stripped away. This 1986 Chevrolet K30 4×4 pickup is already sought after for its four-door cab and heavy-duty dually axle set-up, but it also benefits from numerous upgrades that would make any truck enthusiast happy. However, like any true project, there are some loose ends the next owner will have to address. The Chevrolet is not stock, so purists should look elsewhere. Find the Chevy here on eBay where bidding has reached $10,000 with the reserve unmet.

Now, the tough thing when you begin modifying a vehicle like this is realizing you may not get some of your investment dollars back. The best way, in most cases, to see a positive return is to either gently restore a survivor or to bring a vehicle back to factory-spec condition. This Chevrolet is neither of those things, but I would argue the seller has made improvements that make it a better truck. First of all, this is a rust-free example, clearly benefitting from the Pacific Northwest climate that allows vintage vehicles to lead long and healthy lives. The seller cites some “patina work” he did where he apparently clear-coated over the original paint. New 4×4 decals were also added.

The interior has been replaced with seats from a “King Ranch” edition Ford F150. The heated seat elements still work on both seats, which is a feature that absolutely wouldn’t have been available to the first-time buyer of this crew cab truck. It’s hard to tell how clean the installation is, as that’s always where you’re a bit let down as the next owner: it may have been an ambitious retrofit job but it ends up looking sorely out of place. The seller also mentions custom-made gauges and sweeps and updated to manage transmission temperatures, EGT, and boost pressure. The window motors have also been replaced along with the door insulation and other rubber trim.

The Cummins turbo diesel obviously did not begin its life in a Chevrolet product. While you could spec a 6.2-liter diesel engine in a GM-built model, it didn’t necessarily have the same allure as the Mopar product. The seller lists many new parts, from the radiator and condenser to the steering box and transmission cooler. There’s just 75K miles on the drivetrain, which is barely broken in by Cummins standards. The truck will also come with rebuilt Danas front and rear and a rebuilt NP205 transfer case. The seller calls out “hose and wiring needs” which will obviously factor into how reliably this truck runs, and I’d want some more color around this before lodging a bid. Would you take a chance on a custom build like this?


  1. Connecticut mark

    Cool Frankenstein truck. But I want my Cummins in my dodge, my ford seats in my ford, and my Chevy truck with Chevy parts.

    Like 11
  2. greg

    Needs more air horns !!!!! Fuel filters in a bad place, Small air filter. Etc… A big pass

    Like 2
  3. Boatman Member

    Lose the brown Ford seats, and….maybe.

    Like 2
  4. Ike Onick

    It is probably being sold because it is a rolling headache. Good luck to all.

    Like 5
  5. CCFisher

    Interesting. It’s kind of a successful version of a “hold my beer” build, or, in other words, “Yeah, you *could* build it, but why *would* you?”

    Like 4
  6. Howard A Member

    Jokes aside, the “Cummings” [sic} is a welcome upgrade from that 6.2 slug of a motor. In the 80s, truck buyers here, had a specific use in mind, something a bit more drastic than a bag of dog food from Walmart. Municipal depts. railroads, anything that had a “crew”( get it, “Crew Cab”) needed trucks like this, to get the “crew” back somewhere, pulling something heavy, no doubt. The very last idea was they would become grocery getters, due to lack of any other credible transportation today. This is as good as any $75,000 truck today, and why buy new when used will do. Seems like a deal at twice the price.

    Like 6
  7. Bunky

    Cummins Diesel engine is NOT a Mopar product.

    Like 7
    • Tom

      Especially when it’s owned by Ford..

  8. Troy

    Looks like a nice ride, its in Tacoma Washington so if you win the bid have it shipped or drive out bring your gun and get out of town before dark

    Like 2

Leave A Comment

RULES: No profanity, politics, or personal attacks.

Become a member to add images to your comments.


Keep me in the conversation via email. Or subscribe without commenting.