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Old 08-30-2014, 04:00 PM   #1
tristan
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Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Being completely devoid of any mechanical skills, yet desirous of owning a Jimmy and interested in the restoration process, I finally located a nice example that spent most of its life in NM and had it shipped here earlier this year. I found a local restoration shop that does high quality work and they agreed to take on my project. The truck is highly optioned and very sound but, as usual the rockers are bad along with a few A pillar-area holes. I have stared enviously at the projects being carried out by those of you who know what you are doing with grinder and welder. Since I can't do that I thought that those like me who love these trucks but who can't work on them personally might like to follow along with a professional restoration.

To get started, here are a few pictures of the Jimmy upon arrival at the shop.
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:06 PM   #2
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

After a wait of several months to get into the work flow, the body shop has stripped the interior, removed the inner fenders and gotten to work on rust repair. For some reason the rocker boxes were missing so Classic Heatbeat got the call for new boxes, caps, supports and rocker panels. There is some floor patching to do by the A pillars but nothing too bad.
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:15 PM   #3
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Even in NM the GM K5 tinworm gnaws away...
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Old 08-30-2014, 04:22 PM   #4
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

But now that the raggy old carpet has been removed I can see that the floor is very sound and even the factory paint on the floor looks very good (although covered with blasting grit). The door bottoms have some surface crud on them but are quite solid. The driver side door hinges were bad and replacements have just arrived, and some adjustments need to be made to both doors for proper gap alignment. So far, so good. Keep your fingers crossed for me and stay tuned, I'll provide updates and pictures as work progresses.
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Old 08-31-2014, 01:58 PM   #5
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

I'm in the same boat. I'm learning as I go along. Subscribed to your journey.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Nice truck. Keep the updates coming.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:07 AM   #7
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Lots of gritty but necessary rust repair work is continuing on the rocker box/panel area and driver's side A pillar. My new rocker boxes and panels won't go on until this work is completed. Please note the before and after pictures of the passenger side which didn't need as much work as the driver's side. Is the chalked number on the frame some kind of assembly code? It doesn't look like it matches the truck's VIN from what I can make out in the picture.
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Old 09-11-2014, 06:08 AM   #8
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Two more from the update that I got yesterday.
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Old 09-11-2014, 02:00 PM   #9
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Following along. Looks like a good Jimmy to start with.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:30 PM   #10
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

The new passenger side rocker panel and box went in today. Progress!
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Old 09-14-2014, 10:12 PM   #11
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Subscribed!........if you can, I'd appreciate a picture of where the rear bench seat, front hold downs bolt down. My new carpet is glued down and they only put in the back bolts. If I have an idea of where the holes are, I can poke around and find them without having to poke everywhere along the bar. Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2014, 12:03 AM   #12
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Looks like a great start.
And its a Ochre GMC !
Very nice.

Is this the Jimmy you had listed for sale ?
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Old 09-15-2014, 04:43 PM   #13
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Hi Rich, I'm going over to the shop on Saturday and will try to get some pictures of the rear seat mount areas on the floor that you mentioned. mx289, this is my other 1971 Jimmy. I decided to sell the one posted in the Trucks for Sale section and use the proceeds to help fund the work on this one.

The salvaged roll bar that I bought from Bill's Bowtie in VA was dry fit today and looks great. I was worried that the light bar brackets on top might not fit under the top but they just cleared it. It's a nice heavy duty bar with what looks to be 2.5 or 3" tubing rather than the lighter stock used on Hickeys. I had to drive 1,000 miles round trip to get that roll bar and an entire cut-up floor for patch stock and am now glad that I did it.

I was presented with my first bill for the body work earlier this week and it's a biggie, but represents about 70 hours of shop labor for the rust repair that I pictured in other postings. Hopefully most of that is behind me now.
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Old 09-16-2014, 09:15 AM   #14
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Thanks but if it's any trouble, don't worry about it. I finally got a Service Manual and even from their rudimentary sketches, I think I have a pretty good idea where to start poking around. Not in that big of rush anyway, heck, I don't ride back there!!
Nice looking roll bar.
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Old 09-19-2014, 04:50 AM   #15
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

I'm going over to the shop tomorrow to personally review progress as I'm told all of the rocker and floor repairs are now completed and primed. Here are a couple more pics of those repairs in process.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:54 AM   #16
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Rust repair completed (!!) and epoxy primed this past week. The next steps are to knock out the dents in the front and rear passenger side quarter panels and to lose the non-factory radio antennae and their hold-downs decorating the bed sides. After that the Jimmy is headed to the mechanical shop for a general going-over.

Here is the passenger side. That's just primer and is a temporary color, not a goofy two-tone job. The rocker boxes aren't bolted/welded in place permanently yet.
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Old 09-21-2014, 06:58 AM   #17
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Here is the driver's side which was in much worse shape than the passenger side. It required some floor and A-pillar repairs in addition to replacement of the rocker panel and box.
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Old 09-21-2014, 07:03 AM   #18
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Just a few more. I have to add that the replacement rocker panels, boxes, caps and supports from Classic Heartbeat fit perfectly. I forgot to say that next week the roll bar will be bolted in place also.
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Old 09-23-2014, 09:36 PM   #19
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Looking good Dave.
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Old 09-25-2014, 09:14 PM   #20
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

More progress - roll bar is now bolted in with reinforcement plates welded into place beneath the floor. The "de-CBing" is now in progress with the antennas and their hold-downs removed on both sides and the ensuing holes prepped for being welded up. I was told today to start thinking about interior stuff so a new chapter in the restoration will dawn soon. As you can see, the old side panels are thoroughly roached. In the mean time, there are still dents to be knocked out on the passenger side corners and undercoating to do.
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Old 09-28-2014, 06:11 AM   #21
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

The doors are in excellent shape but had a little surface crud and spot rust on them, particularly in the corners. Not any more! Note the picture where they bent out the passenger door skin at the lower corner to get at some rust behind it and then bent it back in.
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Old 09-28-2014, 07:22 AM   #22
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

You have some talented people working on this, looks Great.
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Old 10-08-2014, 07:20 PM   #23
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

The "de-CBing" continues with hole weld up and priming where the antennas and their hold-downs were situated on both sides of the rear quarter panels. I got my first look today at the dent repair on the right rear quarter. I asked the shop to remove and clean up the Hickey spare tire holder and its brackets since they were into that area anyway. It looks like they found a few more bad spots judging by the new hole in one of the doors and the grinding around the one wheel well. The inner fenders are now cleaned and primed although there is still some repair work to be done to the one on the driver's side.

I paid another big rust and rocker repair bill yesterday and am going to have to slow things down soon as my truck repair budget is getting low. I'm hoping that they can finish all of the cut and weld work and get everything primed before I'm broke.
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Old 10-08-2014, 08:10 PM   #24
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Here's my big part pick for the month so far - $20 at an outdoor antique market.
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Old 10-18-2014, 05:20 PM   #25
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

A couple of historic milestones today. First, the departure of my original 1971 Jimmy to its loving new home. Many thanks Tom and good luck with her. I can't wait to see the build thread.

I've been trying to decide what the next steps will be as rust repair nears completion. There are still a few things to finish on the antenna patches and the cowl but not much. The dents on the front and rear passenger side are now history, and good riddance. The shop is straightening out a few bends in the front bumper. The engine compartment has been power-washed in preparation for the U-POLing of the undercarriage.

I think the next stop will be at the mechanical shop for a complete safety and convenience-level overhaul.
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