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Just got the Jimmy home!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by wy4tt, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. wy4tt

    wy4tt 1/2 ton status

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    First of all, what a great site! Seems to be a lot of smart people here. Well, I got a '79 Jimmy last week for under $1k. I'd wanted a pre '76, but I couldn't find one for the right price. Besides, I'm building this rig for my father-n-law. The engine was supposedly toast (spun bearing or something) so after towing it home, I figured I'd just try to crank it over. Put in a fresh battery, and it started right up! Good news. I'm not too worried about the engine, as I'm having a 383 built to throw in. But, it was nice to drive it around the block! Definitely has a knock. But the tranny feels good, brakes are ok considering how long they've been sitting. AC blows cold. Stereo works great. Can't beat it for $900...or maybe I got taken? Doesn't matter, most of the drivetrain will be new or rebuilt. Can't wait to get some new parts and really start working on it. This is my first real experience with one and it's fun stuff. Spent most of my time lately worrying about my '70 Chevelle. But this project will prepare me for the '75 Blazer that might be heading my way in a year or so. So I guess the bug has already bitten. And I love it. So tell the new student here what you guys think of the project:
    Have Dana 60 front and Corp 14 rear (4.56) to go in next week or so
    Having a 383 stroker built, not sure of specs yet...price will determine some.
    Having the stock HT350 rebuilt just in case (remember, it's for pops and I dont' want to hear about him breaking down on the trails in Colorado).
    Getting a np205 rather than the 203 that's on it.
    Picking up a set of H2 17" rims and possibly 37" tires.
    I'll have the brakes gone through.
    The steering wheel is looser than...well, it's loose at the tilt and all the way down. Have to tighten that up, if they didn't ruin it driving it that way too long.
    It already has what looks like a 6" lift or so. Could be 4", I'm not good at gauging some of them.
    Anything else that you'd recommend? Thanks.

    Here's a link to a pic I took of it:
    http://users.adelphia.net/~wy4tt/
    Apparently it doesn't play well with others.

    Not crazy about the paint job on it, but who cares at this point.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2005
  2. MTBLAZER89

    MTBLAZER89 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Looks like a pretty nice K5. Sounds like you have got a pretty good feel for building these trucks..you seem to have found or know what all the "good" parts are. The one other thing I would recommend would be crossover steering...if ya can afford a 60 you can afford crossover. Check out www.skymanufacturing.com for all that stuff. You didn't mention suspension what are your plans for that?


    P.S. Forget about the paint job if you are gonna wheel it. Spend the $$$ on something like lockers or a cage.:D

    ohh yeah Welcome to CK5:waytogo:
     
  3. blackblazer717

    blackblazer717 1/2 ton status

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    thats definantly a 4inch lift

    sounds like you understand the concept of these trucks and they are supposed to be built for beating
    but that one is pritty clean hope pops dont wreck it out on the trails
    good luck with it

    luke
     
  4. wy4tt

    wy4tt 1/2 ton status

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    MTBlazer, thanks for the welcome. I've pretty much decided against paint, although I will clean it up some. The paint probably looks better in the pic than in reality. Someone did a halfcocked job...painted right over the driver side emblem. As far as suspension, I'm not sure yet. Looks like it has Ranchos on it right now. Has blocks in the back. May replace those with springs instead. What do you think? Oh yeah, I'm going to have to come up with a cage as well. From what I understand, a real cage should bolt onto the frame, but that this limits articulation? Front locker, not so sure about yet. I don't think pops is going to need it, but I might. :D

    Luke, it looks cleaner than it is-mainly the paint was a hack job. Everything is pretty straight though. I may just take the Jimmy emblem off and clean off the overspray. Pops won't be trashing it too bad on the trails. He said to build it like it's mine, and he'll pay for it. Sounds good to me. I'll get to use it here for a few months, then whenever we visit Colorado. Which might be pretty often.

    Thanks again guys.
     
  5. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    sounds good to me except the th350. You can get od with a 700 and a lower first gear without losing any strength. If your going to be dropping a stroker in there I would seriously look into building up whatever you put in there. a th400 doesn't have od but you will have a hell of a time trying to bust one. Most of the monster trucks on monster jam run beefed up th400's. I would say go with a built 700. you get strenth, lower first, and od.
     
  6. supersize75k5

    supersize75k5 OrganDonorRacing.com

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    ill bite, say wheel it and enjoy it for a while before you do any crazy upgrades,

    a 383 is a fun motor to build, but for less than the cost of building one you can go get a gm crate motor witha 3 year warrenty on it, and it will get you on your way quicker.


    the 350 will get you by fine, wheel it and enjoy it if it works,

    as for the 203, a good working 203 has its place, and despite the lack of low range should not be frowned on too much if it is in good shape.

    if you are serious about the 205, a good option would be to score a t-400 trans and 205 combo together, hell you might even get the shafts with the deal.

    also, dont deal with a 700r4, just read from the head aches others have had, if you want a low range get a doubler, a 700r4 is great that it gives you an over drive.....but what good is an over drive tranny when its broke and you are waiting for 1500 bucks to get it rebuilt... a t-400 cost a few hundred to get rebuilt and will take more abuse..not to mention alot of tranny shops have them cash and carry, rebuilt ones ready to go.


    for steering get the cross over and buy or build a beefy tie rod, DONT buy a factory replacement tie rod for over a hundred bucks...:doah:

    as for the one tons...it is almost always cheaper to score a 1 ton trucks than it is to buy the axels, you just have to look real hard, if you do buy a truck you could get lucky and have one with a t-400/205 set up in it along with your 1 tons.

    I have learned from the "I need a dana 60 hype"

    for alot of us that leads to a truck that is in the drive way or garage for a long time while everyone else is out having fun four wheeling.

    I say you ge the motor situation figured out, then go on some trail runs and figure out what upgrades you need for the wheeling you want to do.

    upgrade as you deem required..


    oh and if money is not a concern, or you are paying some one else to do the work.....the the hell with anything i said and go all out:pimp:
     
  7. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    you do know that the 700R4 had some "bad" years then some good ones right? a 700 is a good tranny if you know what your looking for. a th350 is the same strength wise stock and the 700 has better low and od. If your going to take it out and get it rebuilt for 1500 why not get a better tranny? Its all up to you in the end but IMO it doesn't make sense to kill your gas mileage on the freeway and buy a doubler just because you want a th350.
     
  8. supersize75k5

    supersize75k5 OrganDonorRacing.com

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    yes I understand that pre 87 has bad reps, I also understand that 1500 bucks for a rebuilt tranny is a nice chunk of change. From the info he is giving, it sounds like he is trying to BUILD his blazer. I would like to assume that when you are building a truck for a purpose, in this case 4 wheeling...you make some sacrifices such as a few less miles per gallon. It also sounds like he has another set of wheels to get him around.

    A 700 r4 can be a great tranny, if built right and you can keep it cool, but how many people on here seem to have that kind of luck with their tranny or tranny builders? Like I said, I would rather have an easy to replace tranny, that is cost productive and strong..not to mention easy to locate and any tranny builder with 1/2 a brain can rebuild correctly..the first time.

    saying you need a 700r4 is like saying you have to have a dana 60 if you want to wheel.....
     
  9. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    Ask your father if he would like a stick. The sm465 / NP-205 is a great combo. Crossover steering is good, and if you're dumping the blocks, I like the Shackle flip.
     
  10. wy4tt

    wy4tt 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for all the advice guys. Great stuff here.

    DirtWarrior, I thought about a t400, but there's a local tranny guy that rebuilds for around $500. And from what I understand, a well built t350 will do the job ok. If I found a good deal on a rebuilt t400, maybe. As for the 700, it won't need OD. Once in Colorado, it'll be offroad mostly with an occassional drive into town. Isn't the 700 swap also a little more involved?

    Supersize, I was initially going to just get a crate 350, but a good engine builder here can do a 383 for almost the same price if I provide the core. I like his work, and a little more torque here seems like a good thing, for the same $$. Also, you're right about the 1-ton truck. I'm pretty sure it won't "need" a D60, but I can get the front/rear end off it for cheap, and that will likely include the truck. Except, the engine and trans are gone. Same guy has a few 205s on hand. Another thing, is that whatever is done to the Jimmy will have to be done before it leaves for Colorado (I'm in CA). I've got the tools, workspace, and help here. Once it's out there, it's a different story. Oh, and money is a concern (though I'm not paying!), but most of the parts are lined up and are a fairly good deal. Looks like the crossover steering is the way to go. Need to add that to the list. Thanks for the good info. And you're right, I have other wheels. This can sit for as long as it takes to get it done.

    Z3PR, I was initially looking for a stick. But this deal came along and we went with it. Since this isn't my rig but I'm doing the work, swapping to manual probably isn't going to happen. However, there's a '75 with the sm465/205 down the street from me. Orig owner and that one is probably going to be mine in a few years. What I'm doing now will give practice for my own. What's the shackle flip?
     
  11. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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  12. wy4tt

    wy4tt 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks Z3PR.
     
  13. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    You're welcome.
     
  14. dirtwarrior17

    dirtwarrior17 Banned

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    If you can get the built th350 for $500 then yeah plop her in there. I don't know about going from the th350 to 700 swap. Probably would need an adapter. the only reason i said that about the 700 is because it is exactly the same strengh as a th350 and it has lower 1st gear and od. I never said you need one to wheel.

    There would be less sacrifice with the 700... thats all i was saying. Im not saying the 700 and nothing else. If you put a built 700 and a built th350 in two trucks with tranny coolers on each of em they would last for the same amount of time and stand up to the same amount of punishment. there is a lot of posts about 700's on here but i bet 50 % of the members on here have one and thats alot of trannys. Also alot of the people that post 700 problems have 180,000+ miles on em. They can be a good tranny but if he can get the th350 rebuilt for 500 then forget the 700.
     
  15. wy4tt

    wy4tt 1/2 ton status

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    Update on the new Jimmy

    A little update for the guys that helped out:
    I did go with the th350. I was out the door for under $500, including a core he had. So I guess I'll find some other use for the orig th350. Also went with a crate 350/330hp rig. Simple to throw in and it runs great. I've got the D60 and 14b sitting in the driveway, so I still have to swap that out and get driveshafts.

    After getting it running solid, i took it to the trails and quickly found a few limiting factors. First, I'm not sure who thought open differentials were a good idea in any condition. Some ground caved away and I got stuck in a small (well, 3-4ft hole). Had I already put the rear on I wouldn't have had a problem getting out, as it has a locker. Also, it's pretty bouncy, the shocks are shot. I have some Rancho 9000s ready to go as soon as I do the frt/rear end swap. Oh, and I'll be putting 37's on the h2 rims I bought.

    Still have to get the cage, bumpers, and a wench, as well as a few small things here and there. So it's turning out very well so far. Thanks again guys. This site has already been a great help!
     
  16. SUPER'BURB

    SUPER'BURB 1/2 ton status

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    I second z3 on the shack flips.

    I would also look into a rear locker.

    As far as spring height it depends on how much "trimming" :hack: you want to do, if you keep the 4" lift plan on it.

    other than that sounds like you got the right idea so have fun with other peoples $$$$$$$$$ :saweet: .
     
  17. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    After having a K5 with a 6" lift, I think next time I'd do a 4" lift and trim the fenders as needed for tire clearence.
     
  18. wy4tt

    wy4tt 1/2 ton status

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    The 14b I have has locker already. Just need to clean it, paint it, and throw it in.

    And I'm with you Z3PR, I dont' want to go any higher than 4" if I can get away with it. Time to warm up the saw.
     
  19. supersize75k5

    supersize75k5 OrganDonorRacing.com

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    sweet, sounds like you are having fun with it :D



    cough: shackle flip :couph:
     
  20. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    having killed 4 700R4s, and only one TH350. AND after rebuilding both a TH350 and a 700R4, and saw the smaller parts inside the 700R4, i'm going to call BS. the TH350 is considerably stronger than the 700R4.
     

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