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Old 05-26-2007, 06:49 PM   #1
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Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

Here goes the slowest, cheapest build thread you ever saw. I'm sure most of you are familiar with Rokcrln's low buck build. I'd like to say that is the inspiration for this, but I don't have that kind of cash or his skills. This is for the truly broke, parts scrounging, beater lovin', build as you can find it, that many of us really are.

I bought this 72 Jimmy from my local salvage yard. I had seen it and pulled parts from it over the last couple years. Not for my truck, but to help other members out. Which is why the rear hatch is gone and the spare tire carrier and one of the hold downs for the rear seat. I got what you see here, minus the wheels and tires, for $250.00. I think I overpaid a bit, but I'm OK with the deal.

It has front disc brakes (power), a fair top, windshield frame looks OK, rear seat is good, frame is straight and solid (I think), grill is OK with some surface rust, good visors and dash pad, front seats are there but need recovered and foam.

Now for the negative. Its rusted and dented as bad as I've seen just about anything. All of the drive train was missing except the axles. Front crossmember was cut out, big section of floor on the passenger side cut out, missing rear hatch, drivers door, passenger vent window, radiator, and probably a mess of other parts yet undiscovered.

Almost forgot, what are my plans for it?, you ask. Firstly is to make it move under its own power. Hows that for a lofty goal? Take a look at the pictures. It will be challenge to do on the super cheap. After that, make it street legal. I know that seems a bit much at first, but I have confidence in my mad build skills. Then comes the real challenge, make it a good woods trail crawler. I live on the prairie, so I'm not building a rock crawler, besides, they cost too much. Mudding requires large tires and lockers or spools. Go too large on the tires and the axles need to be replaced with heavier stuff, again, gets costly. But how about a good trail rig? You can get by with the installed axles, maybe add a cheap spool, NP205 is solid, get it running good with a good tranny and you can have a ball. Try and scrounge up a winch or make sure the trucks you're with have one and get good tow hooks. (BTW, this originally had tow hooks that are long gone. If it still had them, they would be sold to buy parts for this rig). So there it is, a man, a plan and a wreck.





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Old 05-26-2007, 07:09 PM   #2
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

To get it out of the yard, I needed to get it on some wheels and tires and also replace the rear axle U-bolts. The bolts were cut like he was going to pull the axle, then changed his mind and left it hanging from the shocks. So I scrounged a set of rallys without the caps or rings, but with 31 x 10.5 x 15 tires that have some tread left and hold air. Got them for $100.00. As a side benefit that has a value that I can't really calculate here, the same guy is allowing me to park the Jimmy near his shop. This pleased the wife quite a bit. Partly because she was not too thrilled with my new project and now she won't have to see how bad it really is.

The U-bolts were harder to find than I thought they would be. Napa wanted $60 for a set and had to order them, so I checked around and finally found a set through the local Auto Value store for a total of $19.99.

With the Jimmy sitting on the ground, getting those wheels on was not easy. The front was OK, but the rear was difficult because the axle was loose and out of position. Probably took 1.5 hours to get them on. Part of the delay was finding lug nuts. Salvage yard guy says to check on the cars out there, but 7/16" nuts are not nearly as common as 1/2" nuts, but eventually I had enough for 3 per wheel.

Getting the U-bolts solved part of the problem, but they don't do much good without the backing plates. He had moved the Jimmy around the yard after he cut the bolts, so they were missing. It took a lot of scrounging to find an axle with the correct U-bolts and plates attached, finally did find one the other day on a pile of axles. He cut them off this morning, I had to bring them home to drill/ream out the holes because of rust, so the new bolts would go through, then back out to the yard for the install. That went easier than just about anything done so far. New bolts are the only new parts so far.

I was supposed to be able to borrow a guys trailer to haul the beasty out of there, but the guy left his 68 parts chevelle on it and went out of town. I talked the salvage guy into towing it to town for me. Free.

For you guys that want to follow this thread and plan to subscribe, I would probably wait a while. This will be a slow moving build. Since the Blazer/Jimmy board doesn't have the traffic of the truck board, updates will probably not be missed, nor will they be super cool mods, at least not yet.

Cost $369.99
Time ~2.5 hours
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Old 05-26-2007, 07:37 PM   #3
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

There were a couple 67-72 trucks in the same yard, so I scrounged what I could for the Jimmy. Got some misc light lenses, brake and e-brake foot pads, little things like that. Probably the best score was a 2 core radiator.



In the Jimmy was a complete set of Chevy 4x4 hubcaps in very good condition, will be selling those. Also the original jack and hand crank (selling that too), and a headlight (one was broke).

I found a sweet deal on some other parts from a fellow board member that was trying to clear out what he had left. He had sold his truck and was getting rid of the leftover parts. For a total of $150.00 I got a passenger bed side for a Jimmy (good condition) pair of brand new floor pans, rear hatch (needs a little fiberglass work), a tilt steering auto shift column (too long to use for truck), a chevy tailgate band (selling) and a piece of a 67 grill (upper trim I think, selling).






The new floor pans will be going into my truck. The homemade pans in my truck will be used on the Jimmy. The hatch I will repair and install fairly soon.

Hard to judge prices for my Jimmy, the floor pieces are $30 each usually, so that leaves $90. We'll call it $90.00 for the Jimmy for a total of $459.99.
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Old 05-26-2007, 07:40 PM   #4
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

I'll be watching this with great interest.
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Old 05-26-2007, 08:58 PM   #5
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

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Old 05-26-2007, 10:29 PM   #6
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

Overpaid? The top alone, without the hatch is worth $250. Probably more. It seems like everyone wants a single-wall these days.
This should be a fun build! Why don't you have a board meet at your house? We could get a few people together and get a drivetrain in that beast.
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:44 PM   #7
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

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Overpaid? The top alone, without the hatch is worth $250. Probably more. It seems like everyone wants a single-wall these days.
This should be a fun build! Why don't you have a board meet at your house? We could get a few people together and get a drivetrain in that beast.
The only reason I say this is because I have a brother-in-law who is the king of scrounge. Also, when I start adding up the prices of what I think it needs to make it driveable, it's more than I want it to be. My neighbor bought a complete running fairly nice K-5 for $800. His is a newer model, like mid 80's, but by the time I have $800 into this, it will still be a rusted, dented, maybe driveable beater.

Thank you again for the parts deal. I am trying to sell some of those items now to help fund the Junkyard Jimmy. If I do get a meet organized, it will likely be a while, but you will be one of the first invited. Bring the kids, my girls would love to babysit.
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Old 05-26-2007, 10:52 PM   #8
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

Another brief update, I realized that I have a 350 short block in the garage. I bought it off ebay last year for about $45.00. The crank had been turned down once and it had been bored out .030". I need to finish dis-assembly and have the machine shop check the measurements. If it can be rebuilt without boring or turning the crank again, I'll use it for the Jimmy. I'll just need heads and a distributer and a carb and a fuel pump. If the crank needs work and/or the block, I will stroke it and use it for my truck, which was the original plan. Then either sell the 283 or use it in the Jimmy. I think I might be better off by selling the 283 and then buy another 350 for the Jimmy, but I don't want to get ahead of myself. The art of the scrounge is to leave all options open for the moment the pieces become available.
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Old 05-26-2007, 11:48 PM   #9
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

This should be a fun one! All those little parts do add up quick. I am sure I could have saved a few bucks here and their but I am going for a nice street/ work truck that you can hop in and drive anywere you want to go. So since you are doing a wheeler that is not ment to be a great looker that will save alot of money right their. Start checking the freebees for doner trucks. I have seen them for free that run from time to time.

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Old 05-26-2007, 11:56 PM   #10
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

I'm gonna watch this thread.Whats the plans door wise?They couldnt find the drivers side?Are you planning on cutting down truck doors to use or buy some from a k5 or jimmy to use?
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:19 AM   #11
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

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I'm gonna watch this thread.Whats the plans door wise?They couldnt find the drivers side?Are you planning on cutting down truck doors to use or buy some from a k5 or jimmy to use?
They are all cut down truck doors

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Old 05-27-2007, 07:45 AM   #12
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

The passenger door is good enough for now. It opens and closes, just needs vent glass. The yard offered a driver side door from a truck because he thought he had it around somewhere, but couldn't find it. The two he had on trucks were useless (latch cut out, or smashed in). I thought I found a good one in a pile. The outer skin looked OK, but it had been sitting in the grass for god knows how long and the bottom inside was gone and dented in on the inside (how does that happen?). I would have got it for free and could have then parted it out, but I have enough work to do.

A body shop near here has doors for $50.00. I have parts for sale on the parts board and sold some other things for about a $45 profit. I'll get a driver door soon. I want to get that and the hatch fixed and installed to close it up from the elements.

Rokcrln, I am not attempting to compare our builds, it's apples and oranges. I love what you do and you are showing how to build a really nice truck using your own abilities and saving money on the labor, etc. You do quality work and get quality work done for you (exhaust, alignment). Your truck will reflect on your future business.

My goals are way more modest here, mainly useable and safe, looks when the opportunity arises. Most of us don't have the disposable income to do what we really want to for our trucks. I have a great job that pays well, but I'm not a financial wizard for lifes daily expenses and am paying now for mistakes of the past (thank you MBNA, Wells Fargo Financial, Citibank Financial, etc. for your outstanding ability to suck in customers in need with low payments and high interest) Many of us have found great deals here and there, but not for the entire project.

If anyone following this build can see a need and has a means to fill that need, either in parts or ideas, please post or PM me. I am located in southern MN and travel all of that plus SW WI for my work territory. Iowa is an hour south of me, SD is 2 hours west. For a great deal, I'll drive. I have a company car (Dodge Magnum) with free gas and I can fit just about any part in it except the top and the hood, which I don't need. I even hauled the blazer bed side and hatch in it. Personally, I'm kind of surprised at the attention this has drawn so far. I hope I can make it work.
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:45 AM   #13
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

Looks like a fun project to watch - good luck with it!
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Old 05-27-2007, 03:14 PM   #14
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

I tore down the short block this morning. All of the cam lobes were good. The pistons looked OK. Double roller timing chain looked real good. Some of the bearings were showing copper, but the journals looked ok. The main bearings were already .030" over and the rod bearings were .010" over. I don't have a mic, just a dial caliper, so I'll have to wait to see what the machinist says. Hopefully a polish will do. The cylinders were punched once already to either .030" or .040", hard to tell with a dial caliper. There was no heavy ridge at the top, the pistons slid out without too much effort. It is a good casting, extra nickel and tin. Same casting as a Z-28 302, but only machined for a 2 bolt main. With some luck, I can just have it cleaned up, new bearings, rings and gaskets, oil pump, cam and lifters for a good short block. If I can ID the cam and find it fits my needs, I'll try to use it to save some cash.


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Old 05-27-2007, 04:44 PM   #15
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

This is gonna be great!
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Old 05-27-2007, 05:55 PM   #16
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

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This is gonna be great!

I don't know about great. It may be better entertainment for you spectators watching this experiment fail.

Anyway, started fixing the rear hatch. It has a section cracked out where the support strut attaches and a crack by one of the hinges that goes down to the glass. First thing was to check on how to repair fiberglass. Couple web sites talk about how to repair boats from impact damage, which is a little different, but the idea still applies. They suggested using epoxy. Well, heck, I got some of that. So the support plate that was busted out is now epoxied into place. I will re-inforce that area with more epoxy on the inside and a little outside. After I'm satisfied I'll close up the hole using epoxy to hold a slim wood backer (door shim), then lay the busted piece back in after trimming. The crack I will spread open slightly and push more epoxy into.

The handle is missing a couple clips and the key, so I will have to investigate that problem. I don't care so much if it locks, I just want it to latch and open. Seems like there have been threads discussing this in the past. I'll search, but if anyone has some good info, please pass it along.

I also found the cam ID. It's a Comp Cams 268H, described by them as: "268H High Energy™ is our most versatile cam. It is a great high performance cam for small blocks and a powerful cam for big blocks. With its noticeable idle and great all-around power, the 268H cam is great for daily driven performance vehicles. The 268H cam is an ideal cam for pickup drivers who want major power increases. It is also good for big blocks towing heavy loads equipped with lower optional rear end gears."

I think that may be about as perfect as I could get.
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:02 PM   #17
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

I was looking over the pics and it looks like some of the rear frame has been cut off too.
Shouldnt be too much of a problem though,if you plan on running a "sport" bumper then you will just need brackets like off a truck to use.Or try to weld in some frame from another 72 K5 or jimmy to replace what's gone.

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Old 05-27-2007, 06:32 PM   #18
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

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I was looking over the pics and it looks like some of the rear frame has been cut off too.
I think 1972 frames were like that.
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:36 PM   #19
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

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I was looking over the pics and it looks like some of the rear frame has been cut off too.
Shouldnt be too much of a problem though,if you plan on running a "sport" bumper then you will just need brackets like off a truck to use.Or try to weld in some frame from another 72 K5 or jimmy to replace what's gone.
Yeah, it looked a little short, but there were no cut marks or anything. It must have been done long ago for a homemade bumper or something. I don't think it will be much of a problem though. Like you said, get some brackets, or I'll just fab some from plate steel and build a stout bumper with hooks or shackles on it.

As far as the back end goes, my biggest worry is the gas tank. It's been banged pretty hard and I don't know if it leaks or not. At least they left the gas cap on.
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:39 PM   #20
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

Sorry to hijack your thread.71swb4x4,If I remember correctly,the 69-71s had the rear frame like the trucks but the 72s had a closed in rear frame sorta like the front frame horns.I also think I remember reading that when you put a older 69-71 tub on a 72 frame that has the boxed in rear frame there is clearance issues.Hence the notches in the 72 tub for the boxed in frame...as circled in red below.
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Old 05-27-2007, 06:48 PM   #21
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

If anyone has picks of what a 72 jimmy/blazer frame is supposed to look like, please post.

Found the thread on hatch handles for cheap:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...t=hatch+handle
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:40 PM   #22
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

Some pics of what a 72 blazer or jimmy rear frame should look like...Notice the notches in the back of the tub.1 pic is Fuel Cell Guys,and the rest are of Luv's famous un painted K5 ("GQ")---which he claims is for sale
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Old 05-27-2007, 08:53 PM   #23
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

Wierd. I think I'll keep it as it is. I looked through the LMC book and it doesn't show any difference for parts like bumpers and brackets.
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Old 05-29-2007, 10:00 AM   #24
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

Another '72 with the notches
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:34 AM   #25
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Re: Junkyard Jimmy Super Low Buck Build Thread

My kind of build!!!!!!!! A vote of confidence to all the "MINIMALISTS" out there...LOL! Did you mix up those pistons when you disassembled the motor?

Just a note on my minimalist approach. I like to get them running and rolling first so I can at least drive it around the pasture and in and out of the garage. This always keeps your interest up and increases the entertainment value of the project. Also a running project is always worth more if you find a better one or need to sell it.

I bought an engine for $100 that I knew had driven once but needed timing set (jumped a cog). It turned out to have great compression etc. Put about $100 into the motor and it is now running in my truck and looks like new. It will do until ALL the body work and interior are done.

Search craigslist for free parts, you will be amazed what you will find. Other good sources are used parts from guys doing "full boat" restorations...thanks gr8scott51! Put the vehicle together so that everything works so you can drive it safely. Next do one body panel repair at a time starting with the front clip. Leave the most difficult sheet metal work for the last item (cabs on trucks and body on the Blazers).

I will bet that only about 25% of the vehicles ever completely disassembled ever get put back together and running again. Even fewer with the guy that started the restoration. Just my 0.02. Good luck and I will be watching and enjoying this one.
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'72 C20 Halfhorn (Longhorn w/o cab and front clip)
'69 Flxible Cruiser (look up ugly in the dictionary)
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