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Buying '91 GMC Jimmy Full-size, what to look for?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Robert D, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Robert D

    Robert D 1/2 ton status

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    Hello, if any of you read the new-members post I laid you already know my situation. I am purchasing a '91 Jimmy 350 4x4 later today with 144k original miles. What the buyer (a friend of my roommate's girlfriend) has told me is he has owned the truck since 95. It was used as a DD and hunting truck, and it never went through any major service. He has changed the oil religiously and the transmission was serviced/resealed last year because a leak sprung when he was towing a trailer. The truck itself has no major body damage. There is no rust in/near the wheel wells. It looks like the only rust is minor-surface rust on top of the cabin and a slight amount on the hood and near lower windshield. Mechanically, it sounds very solid. The A/C is not currently working, but I'm not too concerned as it is almost winter.

    Is there anything I should worry about with this truck? Anything I should check/do immediately. It has been sitting for about a year now, as the owner purchased a new Z71. He says he started it up pretty often until the battery died. When we jumped it, the truck had cables connected maybe 20seconds before he turned the key...and it fired right up. I was very suprised as I am coming from owning an 88 Porsche for the past 6 years (nothing was easy with that car, except accel and braking).

    The truck will be my DD for the next year, until I graduate with a EE degree from UT Austin. I'm purchasing this truck for 1500. I have about 1k to play with as far as purchasing immediate needs for the truck. The interior is pretty clean, blue vinyl buckets. The only things I saw wrong were a cracked dash near the speaker openings and a tear in the driver's seat. I can buy new covers for the seats, where are the best/inexpensive cloth seat covers? Do they make decent direct replacements for the dash which are inexpensive or is a carpeted dash cover the way to go?

    Thanks for the help. I used to be an active member of the Rennlist Porsche forums and I look forward to bringing my knowledge to the table once I get a chance to wrench a bit on this truck!
     
  2. natehate

    natehate Registered Member

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    check the "dog legs"
    thats right behind the doors where the seat belt mounts
    i have a 90
    and both mine where totally gone
    and theyre a bit of a bitch to fix
    you should check the floor and the sides there
     
  3. The Butcher

    The Butcher 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Sounds like you got yourself a nice truck. I have a '90 K5 that was in fantastic shape when I bought it last January. It has 174,000 miles on it, and other than the a/c not working (like yours) it runs fine other than the tranny shifts pretty hard. I drive mine to the gym everyday (it's not my DD, but I like driving it), and it has yet to give me any problems (knock on wood).

    Other than doing the routine stuff (check the plugs, looks for fluid leaks, etc), I can't say that there is much to look for. If it has been lifted and has large tires you might want to check the frame near the steering box for cracks. I recently got my a/c working, and converted it to the newer system. I think the compressor, etc. set me back about $500. But, it is worth having an a/c in Texas! Even if winter is approaching. Hell, it's October and it was still nearly 95 degrees here on Saturday!

    If it drives straight, tires aren't worn in odd places, shifts fine, and runs strong, I'd say you got yourself a good deal. Let us know how it goes.
     
  4. Robert D

    Robert D 1/2 ton status

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    The truck appears to have a small lift, but I think it is a Rancher package of some sort...factory lift?? The front has a Ranch Hand brush guard. When I test drove it, the transmission seemed to shift fine (it is automatic). The brake pedal was pretty mushy, but he said the pads are new so I'm guessing the system needs to be flushed/bled. The truck has the standard 4 speakers in the dash, no rear speakers. There is a cheap CD Player also installed. I plan to put Infinity Reference 3 1/2's in the dash and buy a new CD player. The 6x9's I sold with my wrecked Porsche are coming back to me (the buyer says he will give them to me for free) so I can put them into 6x9 boxes I still have and set them in the back. As far as a new CD player, I thought of mounting it inside the stock console...has anybody done this? This way the cheap CD player will serve as a decoy in case someone tries to steal stuff when I have the top off.

    As for the A/C, I will get to work on it in January. I've done the A/C on the Porsche so this truck must be easier!
     
  5. Robert D

    Robert D 1/2 ton status

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    Good news, the loan information was received by the bank. Time ticks away until I officially own the truck. Quick question, I have to go purchase a battery for this thing tonight. I previously used Diehard in the P-Car, but I always wanted an Optima dry-cell. Are these recommended for the blazer? I am going to be installing an amp pretty soon, would an optima be necessary/better than a Diehard/off-the-shelf battery? The amp will only be ~150 watts RMS to power the 4 dash speakers; a 2nd ~150W amp would later be added to power the 6x9s.
     
  6. southernspeed

    southernspeed 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    My '91 has been a fantastic truck. dead reliable. Apart from servicing the only major work I had to do (just recently) is the top and bottom ball joints. Not bad for 162000miles!...and no rust! :D
     
  7. opfor2

    opfor2 1/2 ton status

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    I'm running two red top Optimas in my 90 Blazer. I kept having the "Wet" batteries puke acid all over the eng compartment when I was off roading. I would say that the Optimas are a wise investment.

    Dan..
     
  8. Robert D

    Robert D 1/2 ton status

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    Also, what companies should I go to for insurance? I've had USAA and Progressive in the past. For a 21 yr old with no marks on my record, the 108/month progressive quotes me seems high. Especially since this truck is a 5th of what my Porsche was valued and the porsche cost me 109/month. Anybody know of a cheaper provider? I'm only looking for minimal liability as the truck is costing me 1500 dollars.
     
  9. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    I worked at Sears and experienced both batts. I saw more off the shelf failures and crap-outs in the first three months with the red tops than I did with ANY of the Die Hard batts....and that includes those crappy Plus Start ones. Get the Group 35/78 Truck and SUV Die Hard. When I left it was $84.99 with 725 CCA with a 3 year warranty. Considering you aren't running a winch or excessive amounts of light, that really is all the CCA you need.

    I've seen people with older Subs get away with using a group 75 with 480 CCA and use them for years.

    Pedal is definitely going to be mushy, ESPECIALLY when coming off a Porsche. Shake the steering components (drag link, tie rods) to check for play. Drag link usually goes first. I bought mine with 182,000 on it and within a year it needed a motor and trans. The trans was 3 months after I bought it. It's a luck of the draw when you buy another car/truck, but that's part of the adventure.

    Getting the AC working will be a piece of cake, just post up when you need the help.
     
  10. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    I have progressive, best rate out of all I checked. Full coverage on my 89 Burb when I was 21 (2 years ago) was $160 a month, so consider that lucky. They're just thinking....younger guy, tall truck, V8 power.....jack his rates. look forward to it, our rates don't drop till we're 26.
     
  11. The Butcher

    The Butcher 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I run Optima Yellow Tops in all of my trucks (duals in my '03 3/4-ton suburban, 1 in my Blazer, and once i get it going, duals in my '81 dually). You can get them at Sam's Club for $132.00. Well worth it my opinion. Never had any problems with mine and I have been running them for the last 8 years.
     
  12. monster man

    monster man 1/2 ton status

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    I'd shop around, but not hold my breath. I just turned 26, but my rates didn't lower (not many men's rates do, I think that's an urban legend). But, I'm only paying $600 a year on a '73 Chevy, and that's expensive (I only went with Country becuase their motorcycle rates are lower). At Progressive I was paying $350 a year. I haven't got a quote on my '78 but since I only paid $600 I bet it's lower.
    You're not getting full coverage on a $1500 truck are you? That's not the best investment, and if you're 21 coming off a wrecked Porsche (your fault or not) I doubt you'll find anybody willing to write you less than Progressive does.

    In talking with all the companies I got quotes from, year doesn't matter, but value does, neither really does engine size since they don't expect a big heavy truck to be fast, nor did the mods. They did tell me the rates were lower on trucks cause they have less of a chance of being totalled.
     
  13. Robert D

    Robert D 1/2 ton status

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    I'm not sure if the Porsche will go on record. There was no damage to any auto but mine (I fell asleep at the wheel), and no ticket issued by police for property. My car I then sold to someone who wanted to part it out. The insurance company was not contacted at all. I ran a carfax on the VIN# of the Porsche and it comes up clean...it was a pretty substantial accident too. Would the insurance company know about that accident still?
     
  14. monster man

    monster man 1/2 ton status

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    hmmm... that's iffy. If the police clocked the VIN anywhere on their pperwork, it could come up, but I doubt it. I had to report to Porgressive that I rolled my truck (big mistake- they had no record of it, which means I only did it to "technically" follow their rules. My rates didn't go up though. They really only raise rates if they have to pay out. If your company didn't pay out, then I wouldn't worry too much.
     
  15. southernspeed

    southernspeed 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    SUGGESTION! Don't air your dirty laundry in public. Apart from having a few upstanding law enforcement dudes on these boards....your insurance broker could be a member!
    Hey Bubba...got ya ears on, com'on? :D
     
  16. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    With regard to insuring this truck

    I'd spring for fire / theft in addition to the liability insurance.. never know what kind of wiring issues this truck might have, or maybe a fuel leak could do you in.

    Better safe than sorry, and insurance is one of those things where you get what you pay for.


    One coverage that may not be worth anything (depending on your situation ) is medical payments. If you get hurt by someone else, and you already have health insurance, you can't collect on it.( you can still get money from the other parties insurance company, though.)..... if you hurt someone else, your bodily injury liability will pay for them. Where the coverage makes sense is if you don't have health insurance, and you drive into a tree or something..

    You can also save a bunch of money in premiums if you go with a higher deductible. the trick there is to have a no annual fee credit card that you don't normally use, that you can activate if you have to, so you can cover expenses up to the deductible amount.

    Tom
     

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