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Old 05-09-2009, 05:38 AM   #26
northern 85
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Welcome from Maine! Very cool story,very nice trucks!
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:57 AM   #27
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

really cool story
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Old 05-09-2009, 08:56 AM   #28
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Welcome Keith. Like everyone said your story is amazing, and I really enjoyed reading it. It's great to get first hand knowledge of our trucks. Can't wait to read more of your posts, and follow your progress on your current truck. Hope you feel at home here, becuase we are glad you are here.
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Old 05-09-2009, 12:09 PM   #29
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Welcome to the board!
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Old 05-09-2009, 01:41 PM   #30
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Welcome, great story and great reading. Had me hooked. You should write a book. I know a lot of people that would love to read your story.
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:22 PM   #31
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Welcome to the board from Germany!
Very cool story and Job and pics!
Once we had a thread about the motivation that tightens us to these trucks and this story would fit in there perfectly!
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Old 05-09-2009, 03:59 PM   #32
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Welcome, Glad to have you on the site. Looks like you'll have lots of rare info for everyone.
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Old 05-09-2009, 05:15 PM   #33
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

The is a good reason the OP shadowed his truck went thru assembly.

Back in the day there was a RWD Caddy, Olds, Buick full size assembly plant in Linden NJ. I knew a few of the guys that worked there and they commuted on the weekend to their homes, wife's, and children in Northeast PA.

One story I remember is that of how they used to sabotage the vehicles. They saw a build sheet from a local dealer and noticed the name of the guy who ordered the car was a real local SOB.

They proceeded to place empty seven ounce coke bottles in the bottoms of all the inside doors and other things which I do not or care not to remember.
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Old 05-09-2009, 06:03 PM   #34
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Thank you for sharing your stories, they're welcome here anytime. As I was reading down in the story and looking at pictures, I thought that an '87 scottsdale with that MY6 manual transmission and a/c was a rather oddly optioned truck, like something I would build if given the chance. I think it's really cool that you're re-doing it and plan on driving it. Im in the GM Parts business so it's nice to see a GM plant "higher up" roaming around this message board. Anyhow welcome to the site and look forward to getting asked a lot of questions.
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Old 05-10-2009, 07:54 AM   #35
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Ah, more GM'rs coming clean.
I started at Clark Street in '85 building B/C cars, did a stint in Olds Service at Lansing, then moved to Warren for LAD / Small Car Planning, then Reliability and Test. Finally escaped to Manufacturing, launched the 92 Alero, was loaned to Saturn for the Vue, then back to GM and became a Product DE. I'm now over in AVDC doing Exteriors. It's been a wild ride!

I've owned some of your stuff including 81, 82, 87 trucks, a pair of GMT400's (including a 454SS and a W/T strippo) and currently look out the window at my 146K 99 GMT800. I report NO issues with the air box other than a heck of a time chaning the filter!
Welcome and thanks for sharing!
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:02 PM   #36
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

oh, GOOD JOB GUYS! you scared him away!!! btw welcome to the bored! from Everett WA.
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Old 05-11-2009, 10:24 AM   #37
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

I wasn't aware there were so many GM guys here on the boards. That's pretty cool!!!
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:00 AM   #38
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Keith....... welcome to the board man! I have two questions for you...

1..... any more of those manual overdrive trannies laying around ?

2..... Do you know who the asshole was that screwed my dash down in my 86 crewcab dually and put the center screw right through the center of the main wiring harness? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:19 AM   #39
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Thanks, guys, for the warm welcome and encouraging words! I'll post up some more stories as they come to mind and will answer questions as I can.

Had a good weekend these last couple days; polished up the inside of the cab roof (the "ceiling"?), touched up some places and plugged some holes. Didn't do very well as far as parts procurement: the vinyl floor mat showed up but doesn't look like it will fit and the replacement dash pad was back ordered. I'll post some questions on those on a separate thread.

K
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:22 AM   #40
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by 87 STEPPER View Post

BTW do you have and plant pic's of these trucks on the line and finished units sitting in the GM lot ? if so it would be really kool to see 'em.

Tnkx.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Driveway Dreams View Post
I too would like to see production line pictures! You may have seen mine built too. I got one of the lovely mint green Forest Service units.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3r!c84 View Post
wow what a job!....=]
do you have any pics of the line of trucks being built?
I don't personally have any photos, because as you know GM does not allow personal cameras on property. I may have some I scammed from the internet and as I find them I'll post 'em up.

Re: Mint green - I remember we used to build fleet orders in some nasty colors. Grand Trunk Railroad had an outrageous bright orange/yellow (lot's of crew cabs in those) but the worst was the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. They ordered Suburbans in a Red/Purple-Blue two tone combination...

Last edited by Keith Seymore; 10-28-2009 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:23 AM   #41
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

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Originally Posted by S10Fan View Post
Keith!

Wow!!

I nominate your post as the "Best Post Ever"!

Awesome story and welcome to the forum!

First question, why did you guys allow the rust monsters into the plant? LOL!

Heh, heh - it is Michigan, after all...

K
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Old 05-11-2009, 11:30 AM   #42
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

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Originally Posted by 75gmc454 View Post
That is a great story man. Welcome.

I think it would be nothing better than watching your own truck on the assembly line.

I see your truck has some unusual options. I have never heard of that trans option. I knew ford had a trans like that, because I have one, but not Chevrolet. (notice Chevy is capitalized). I have never seen one in a truck.
Also your truck has the tachometer. It is only the second truck that model I have seen with a tach. Nice. I love those 87's with the fuel injection. I am looking at one now to fix up.

We like all of those assembly plant stories.

Would love to hear about some of the more unusual options you saw go by while you were working on the 79-87 trucks.
--Clint
Re: option content - makes perfect sense to me, once you see where I was coming from. Dad had always ordered "base" trucks (ie, manual windows, stick shift, no air, vinyl floor covering, etc) so that's where I was heading with mine....until I found out I was moving to Arizona. Then it seemed like a good idea to have air!

I do recall there was some trickery with getting the tach. It was actually not available with my trans option, due to a bookkeeping error, but was available on the column mounted stick shift jobs. As a result, I knew it would fit and function, so I procurred one after the fact and retrofit it in myself. I noticed over the weekend when I had the cluster out that my wiring job, from 22 years ago, was still looking pretty good.

K
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:25 PM   #43
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

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Originally Posted by DirtyLarry View Post
Welcome to the best GM truck forums Keith! ...I lived near downtown Rochester throughout those years and the WCC division of Navistar still maintains a sales and service office in Troy on Stephenson Hwy near 14 Mile Rd, which I frequent about every 6 to 8 weeks.

Glad to see another GMer here and hope to see more of you. If you happen to see the truck below rolling around your neighborhood, it is my friend Tom’s truck that lives in Clawson. It is an unbelievably clean 1985 K20 native MI snow plow truck. I live at the Drury Inn at exit 69 Big Beaver Rd at least a couple days a week every 6 to 8 weeks. You will have to stop by and have a beverage with me sometime. The picture of this red snow plow truck was taken in the parking lot there in front of TGI Fridays at the Drury Inn. Who knows, you probably had a hand in building this plow truck!

Enough of my rambling.....Again, you have just joined the best GM truck website there is!

Thanks, Larry. Shoot me an email at keith.seymore@gm.com and we'll visit; let me know the next time you are in town and we'll get together.

K
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:32 PM   #44
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

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Originally Posted by larrystone View Post
The is a good reason the OP shadowed his truck went thru assembly.

Back in the day there was a RWD Caddy, Olds, Buick full size assembly plant in Linden NJ. I knew a few of the guys that worked there and they commuted on the weekend to their homes, wife's, and children in Northeast PA.

One story I remember is that of how they used to sabotage the vehicles. They saw a build sheet from a local dealer and noticed the name of the guy who ordered the car was a real local SOB.

They proceeded to place empty seven ounce coke bottles in the bottoms of all the inside doors and other things which I do not or care not to remember.
I didn't really have any problem with malicious, intentional sabotage with my guys except for one occasion: one of my regular workers, a really great, faithful "good" guys didn't show up one night, which was very unusual for this guy. He finally came rolling in just before lunch and he was high as a kite on something . He was in very good spirits, working his way down the line, socializing - until - he got to his locker and somehow got it in his head that someone had taken his boom box.

He went ballistic. He started threatening anyone near by, yelling, and starting running down the line banging the power tools into the side of the trucks. I called plant security and they tried to catch him, but he out ran them all the way to the parking lot, turning over trash cans and generally leaving a mess in his wake.

As my other workers came back from lunch, I remember them commenting (unknowingly) - "geez, boss, you should see the parking lot: looks like a tornado hit it with all the trash cans turned over..."




I don't recall that he ever came back. It really broke my heart because, as I say, up to that point he was a great worker...

K

Last edited by Keith Seymore; 05-11-2009 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:35 PM   #45
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony@AirRideTech View Post
Keith....... welcome to the board man! I have two questions for you...

1..... any more of those manual overdrive trannies laying around ?

2..... Do you know who the asshole was that screwed my dash down in my 86 crewcab dually and put the center screw right through the center of the main wiring harness? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...
1) Nope.

2) Again, nope - although the same thing happened on my '65 GTO, if that makes you feel any better

K
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Old 05-11-2009, 12:40 PM   #46
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

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Originally Posted by Tony@AirRideTech View Post
Do you know who the asshole was...

One more quick thought and then I'll quit: it occurs to me that I don't remember any of the "real names" of the guys that worked for me, only their shop nicknames.

There was "Radar", and "Banana" (...it suited him...) and "Mouse" and every group had at least one "Red" (including my own brother in law).

It made for some interesting conversations, especially as we get older:

"Hey, did you hear Harold so-and-so passed away?"

Me: "No, I don't think I knew a Harold so-and-so".

"Sure you did; he worked back in repair for 35 years".

Me: "No, that's not ringing a bell..."

"Sure, we called him 'Mouse'. Mouse passed away".

Me (gasping): "MOUSE! Mouse passed away??!! I didn't even know he was sick!!"
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Old 05-11-2009, 01:21 PM   #47
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Here's a link to a bunch of old assembly plant stories, for those who are interested:

http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=556607

(I'll have to be careful not to repeat myself).

I've also added a link in my signature to my Pontiac biography, for anyone who might be interested in early/mid 60's Pontiacs.

http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=560524

K
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Chevelle intro: http://www.superchevy.com/features/s...hevy-chevelle/

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Old 05-11-2009, 04:39 PM   #48
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigblock73 View Post
Keith, welcome to the board. Loved reading your introduction, the photos are cool too!

You may have seen these...heck, you may even be in one of the pics..but here are some pics GM sent me a couple years ago. Might bring back memories!

http://www.73-87.com/7387info/Assembly%20Line.htm

BB73 - Those are some great photos!

I didn't see anybody I knew, but they do bring back some memories. I'll share some thoughts you all might find interesting if I may:

Photo 1: Line 1 motor set (b&w). You can tell it's Line 1 (the pickup line) because of the V6 engine, which was not available in Blazer/Suburban, and because of the side-saddle fuel tank (also unique to pickup). This was a very "physically intense" and critical job, so you wanted some strong boys who were willing to show up every day for that job.

You can see racks and racks of various material in the background; also note the brake master cylinder which is "slaved" in an upright position. The brakes were already evacuated, filled and tested by this point.

Photo 2: Line 1 motor set (color). Looks like a similar photo of the same location, but from the other side of the line. The yellow "chute" in the upper left is where the engines would come down from the overhead accumulator fed by the "motor line".

Photo 3: Motor line (color). This is not the start of the motor line but a location where the engines are coming down after crossing an aisle. The motors arrive in racks, with just the base engine present. After choosing the appropriate engine, the operator hangs it on the conveyor where the transmission, accessory drive, exhaust take downs, air cleaner, etc are installed as required. I don't recall for sure if carburetors/tbi units were already installed, but I do recall that spark plugs and wires were on there as received.

Photo 4: Frame line (color): You'll notice at this stage the frames are moving sideways (toward the camera). I should mention frames were received as individual side rails and crossmembers and then riveted together (on a "pedestal") as required. [Some of you might remember Ben Hamper, the author known as "The Rivethead". This is the area that he worked in]. After the frame is squared up it is hung on the chains that you see, upside down, to facilitate the installation of the front and rear suspension and axles. After those are installed it is rolled over, using a chain hoist (you want to give that operation some space, because the frames will dance around a bit when they slam over) and work on the topside progresses. You might notice in these pictures that the drive shaft is already installed and is supported at the front by a bungee cord. The operator will guide the shaft into the end of the trans at motor set.

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Chevelle intro: http://www.superchevy.com/features/s...hevy-chevelle/

Last edited by Keith Seymore; 10-28-2009 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 05-11-2009, 04:48 PM   #49
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Body shop (pics 5, 6 & 7): this is the "Line 2" body shop (Blazer, Suburban), located at the north end of the plant on the second floor. You can tell, not only because of the cab floor as shown, but because Line 2 was a very "manual" operation. Material was clamped in place in these big fixtures and then the individual operators would reach in there with their weld guns and hit the individual spots. They got very good at making the sparks fly in any direction at will and could easily melt holes in your stylish polyester pants or cardigan sweaters (lol).

The Line 1 cab shop, by comparison, was highly automated. Formed sheets of steel (fabricated individual parts) were fed into one end and finished, completed pickup cabs popped out the other. Cabs were built at over 70 jobs per hour (to feed the main/final line, which typically ran at 60 jobs per hour - that's one complete truck every minute). I should mention Line 2 was much slower, at 30 - 36 jobs per hour, and at a ratio of 1 Blazer followed by 2 Suburbans.

The Line 1 cab shop was located at the extreme south end of the plant, on the first floor, and had an "accumulator", or body bank, which could allow the paint and trim lines to run up to 8 hours in the event of a shut down in the cab shop (which was often).
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Intro from an Old Assembly Guy: http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=342926
My Pontiac story: http://forums.maxperformanceinc.com/...d.php?t=560524
Chevelle intro: http://www.superchevy.com/features/s...hevy-chevelle/

Last edited by Keith Seymore; 07-28-2009 at 10:59 AM.
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Old 05-11-2009, 07:11 PM   #50
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Re: Intro from an old Assembly Plant guy

Keith,
Welcome to this Forum , I also have recently discovered a great group here as well, Loved your intro and pics. Keep up the post , Great reads...

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