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requiem for a Jimmy

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ed rex, Jun 30, 2004.

  1. ed rex

    ed rex Registered Member

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    It is with heavy heart that I have to report one less 1970 Jimmy on the road. Back in Feb., whilst driving my daughter to school in the morning, a young lady in a Toyota Camry-type load decided to pull out in front of us. We were travelling about 45mph, slight downhill grade, had rained the previous night so the road was slick. I put on the brakes and started to slide towards the right immediately. Almost like we were picking up speed as we slid, I tried to aim for a fresh telephone pole, Jimmy had 5" pipe bumpers. We hit the pole and sheared it. That started Jimmy jumping a bit and also caromed us back into her car, striking it right behind her drivers door. Upon impact, I felt the rear end starting to come forward. We end-o'd right over the top of her car - didn't even hit her roof - and landed on the fiberglass top of the Jimmy a full 6 feet on the other side of her car. Top shattered immediately and my daughter and I were ejected while Jimmy kept a rolling and a flipping, ending up high centered on a pile of rocks about 50 feet away. Thank God - THANK GOD - my daughter (14 years old) walked away without a scratch. I was not so fortunate. I broke my back in 4 places, broke a rib and pulverized my sciatic nerve. In the hospital for weeks, painful rehab at home for months, I am only now learning to walk again. But I will be fine soon.

    The Jimmy was totaled 'body-wise'. Full roll cage ensured our survival. I owned her for 18 years, purchasing her stock. Over the years she had developed into a virtual monster....8" of suspension lift and 2 " of body lift. Fresh Targetmaster 454 w/headers, performer intake, Holley 850 DP, HEI. New TH350 tranny, NP205 xfer. 1-ton Detroit Locker rear, 3/4-T front. 4.56 gears. SLIDING SIDE WINDOWS!! 38.5 Super Swamps. 5" pipe bumpers, side 'nerfs'. Immaculate interior......she will be sorely missed.

    Now for the questions....since the tub was the only thing that got hammered, I figure to resurrect the lion;s share of the parts into another vehicle. Picked up a 'slammed' low rider burb - 1968 vintage - for $500.....with perfect body and a 6 cyl motor. I believe that everything from the Jimmy will simply bolt up. From bumper to bumper - everything, and I expect to have to have a new rear drive shaft made. The '68 is a 2wd. Were there any 4wd 68 - 72 suburbans made from the factory? Has anyone else here done the 2 - 4 conversion on one of these? What can I expect? Thanks!! Ed
     
  2. Yukon Jack

    Yukon Jack 1/2 ton status

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    First and foremost, glad your daughter made it out okay. Your both very lucky.

    Yes the were 67-72 4x4 Suburbans made. A buddy of mine converted a 1 ton 2wd 70 truck to 4wd so I know it can be done. He had both trucks and just started pulling parts from the 4wd and putting them on the 2wd 1 ton - takes some work but can be done.
     
  3. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I had a 1971 K10 Suburban,sadly it was too rotted to drive on the streets(I bought it for a parts truck for the 71 and 72 K5's I had then)so I parted it out--the side windows are still out in the woods next to my house,at least 10 years later(let me know if you need any rear glass!).I think the leaf springs are still out there too.Sorry to hear of your horrific crash--I almost die here several times a day in traffic--people are so stupid--I sometimes wish I was a cop,I seem to get all the boneheads that should not be allowed to have a scooter,never mind a car--hope you recover with no complications,and the loss of your truck must hurt more than your injuries,after all your hard work--thankfully your daughter didnt get hurt--makes you wonder what the outcome would have been if you werent in a solid,american built vehicle from the past.
    You should be able to convert all the blazer stuff to the suburban with no trouble---Good Luck!. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  4. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    --makes you wonder what the outcome would have been if you werent in a solid,american built vehicle from the past.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Prolly would have been able to avoid the Camry altogether. 38.5" Swampers, and 10" of lift with a 6000 lb rig doesn't sound like a recipe for the best handling, fastest stopping truck on the planet.

    Mostly I wonder how much better off he'd have been if he'd been wearing a seat belt and didn't get ejected.

    Rene
     
  5. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    Woah, luckily your daughter was okay. My best friends mom was in a motorcycle accident last september, she broke her spine and is now paralyzed from the waist down. Your lucky you can still walk /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. ed rex

    ed rex Registered Member

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    "Mostly I wonder how much better off he'd have been if he'd been wearing a seat belt and didn't get ejected. "

    Had belts on...both of us. Lap belts that we squirted out of I guess. The ironic thing was that for 18 years, I had no belts whatsoever. Finally, a week before the accident, I found a pristine pair of genuine GMC 'period' belts in black. As I was installing them I kept thinking I was jinxing myself....

    Yup....handling? Almost non-existant. I didn't even have time to do the old 'simulated ABS' by pumping them.

    Thanks for the kind words...sounds like it will be no sweat to transfer the parts from the Jim to the Burb. Really looking forward to this project...plus the Burb should be quite a bit more stable. Another reason for the lack of control....38.5" tires on 15" rims......never again.
     
  7. 1-ton

    1-ton 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I am surprised your truck flipped over from hitting a Toyota Camry. I spent a few years as an Over-the-Road truck driver, and one thing I learned is if you are driving a large vehicle, and a smaller vehicle pulls in front of you, and there is no way you can stop, then just drive right into them because you are much more likely to get yourself killed trying to avoid them, and much more likely to live if you just drive it right into them.

    I had a lady blow a stop sign in front of me, while I was driving a 78 GMC 1-ton 4X4 I used to own. I broadsided her 1981 Chevrolet Berretta at about 45 to 50 MPH, and the Berretta flew about 100 feet, but I barely felt a nudge from hitting her. I was able to pull my GMC to the side of the road, turn it around, and drive back down the street to the scene of the accident. The lady in the Berretta broke her leg, and had some cuts and bruises, but she survived the accident.
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Had belts on...both of us. Lap belts that we squirted out of I guess. The ironic thing was that for 18 years, I had no belts whatsoever. Finally, a week before the accident, I found a pristine pair of genuine GMC 'period' belts in black. As I was installing them I kept thinking I was jinxing myself....

    [/ QUOTE ]

    unreal...

    I hope you make a full recovery. (and get better belts /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif)

    Rene
     
  9. jrsheets

    jrsheets Registered Member

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    Makes me want 4 point harnesses REAL bad
    Hope everything works out for the best man. Glad you atleast had the armor you did on the rig.
     
  10. ed rex

    ed rex Registered Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I am surprised your truck flipped over from hitting a Toyota Camry.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Me too....here's what seemed to happen. She jumped out about 25 feet from me. I should have just blazed into her t-bone style but having a young daughter myself I tried to avoid hitting her as I knew the pipe bumper would open her up like a can of Starkist Tuna. So I aimed for the pole in the hopes it would slow me down somewhat - it didn't. Here's another ironic thing....the people who's pad the pole was in front of had gone 9 months without phone service. They finally got the phone company to put in a pole 3 days before I took it out. Anyway, the force of the impact with the pole sheared the pole so fast that the portion of the pole above the break stuffed into the ground next to the stump hard enough to replant itself.....the pole never fell over, they never lost service.

    Hitting the pole got the Jimmy's front end bouncing though, and caromed us back into the Camry (or Mazda). We hit right behind the drivers door kind of on the 'down bounce' and bit into the metal of her car hard. I could 'feel the weight' of the rear of the truck coming up behind me and remember it starting to pitch forward. I stuck my right arm out as a reactionary move to try and hold my daughter in place. The next thing I knew we were both sitting on the pavement, upright, right next to each other just like we were still sitting in the truck, only the truck was about 50 feet away, WOT, on a pile of rocks.

    Somehow, in that brief second, we were slimed out of the seatbelts and managed to fit exactly through the rollcage in order to be tossed out rather than to be half tossed and caught in the rolling mess. The rollcage is rather 'tight weaved', you have to contort to get through it in the best of circumstances. During the 'lost time' - the time from impact to sitting on the pavement - it felt as though we were gently grabbed out and placed on the ground - like we were cocooned or enveloped in a peaceful bubble while all hell was breaking loose around us. I am not a religious person - do not go to church on Sundays, never have. However, I will never again question the existence of a 'highter power'. Something very weird happened to us that morning that defies analytical thinking. There was a debris field of broken fiberglass, truck innerds, and glass starting from where I was sitting on the ground leading up to where the truck came to rest. My little girl was just outside the debris field, untouched, I was just inside the debris field, sitting in glass - had glass imbedded in my palms and elbows - and like I said, we were not more than 1.5 feet from each other. I was evidently blown right out of my shoes which were smack dab in the middle of the debris, about 25 feet away - between the truck and me. My cell phone which was on my belt loop at the time of the accident was ripped off and was near my shoes.....
     
  11. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Wow, amazing that both you and your daughter were ejected from your seatbelts and that you both were ejected cleanly through the cage. Im glad to hear that you are recovering and that your daughter is ok. It just wasnt your time to go........in 1999 my wife died from being partially ejected in a rollover (she wasnt wearing her seat belt) and my son was uninjured belted in the back seat. You just never know.

    Like you said, there are times in our lives when it is truly out of our hands whether we live or die, its hard or impossible to understand why and it becomes obvious that God is in control.....those that it has happened to understand what Im saying......
     
  12. ed rex

    ed rex Registered Member

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    Jeff....my sincerest condolences for your loss. Yet another sobering reminder of the risks involved. We do know.....
     
  13. bigyellowjimmy

    bigyellowjimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks brother, life marches on and time has a way of healing.....Im re-married, my son is doing very well, life's not perfect but its good! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     

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