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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 11-05-2014, 10:30 AM   #19
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Looks darn good!
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Old 11-06-2014, 06:44 AM   #20
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Thanks Tom, I am pleased with progress to date. The Jimmy is now over at the mechanical shop for a fairly extensive list of repairs. It will come back to the body shop afterwards for U-POL Raptor undercoating and completion of small items such as remounting the spare tire carrier.

One other thing they have finished is re-gapping the doors. Someone had replaced the body mounts without checking door fitment and the driver's side hinges were bad so that door was rubbing. The shop re-shimmed the body mounts as necessary and replaced the driver's side door hinges and now everything opens and closes as it should with good consistent gappage (is that a word?) all around.

As I like to worry about stuff and think ahead, I am now considering next steps after the mechanical overhaul. There is still a lot of expensive and time-consuming work to do on my vehicle even after accomplishing everything that I've logged here so far. Interior, chrome, exterior paint, trim pieces, and a general category with a lot of gnarly stuff that I'll lump together under the category of "detailing out". That includes things like removing the instrument cluster and sending it out for a makeover, replacing all of the body gaskets, repairing and repainting the top, detailing out the engine compartment, ad nauseum. Figuring out the order in which these things should be done, how to pay for them - and whether I should given cost vs. vehicle value - and when to jump in myself vs farming out the work will keep me tossing and turning for a long time. I know many of you have already been there and done that.

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Old 01-13-2015, 07:38 PM   #21
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Wow, it's been two months since my last post. One reason for the gap is because the project has shifted over to mechanical rebuild. It's a necessary phase but doesn't make for much in the way of progress pictures. It still costs a lot of money.

Before the mechanical work began I decided to spring for an undercarriage cleanup and undercoating. The shop degreased and wire-wheeled the underside of the tub and the frame and then coated them with U-POL Raptor. I have to say that I am not all that happy with the appearance which is much rougher than the example I was shown on another vehicle. In any event, at least the underside is clean and protected and I can always do something about it later if I can't live with the undercoating.

Phase I of the mechanical work took care of all of all items necessary for the Jimmy to pass PA state inspection, including a lot of brake work. The brake booster and hoses were replaced along with the windshield wiper motors and just about every switch on the dash. The shop also rebuild the left front hub and replaced the wheel bearing and put in a new set of valve cover gaskets and a battery. Phase two of the mechanical project will tackle some comfort items like the AC system, etc.

This week the Jimmy went back over to the body shop for a new phase of work that is more photogenic. I am having them strip the entire interior, including all of the dashboard components, and remove the top. I am going to have the interior painted and I'm send out the steering column and instrument panel to board members for rebuild.

The shop does a lot of Corvettes and they know their fiberglass so I am having them inspect, repair and repaint the top. I'll also strip and replace all of the weatherstripping while it is off the truck. I've been dying to see the Jimmy without its top so you can share the joy. These pics were taken today during the teardown of the dash and top.
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Old 01-15-2015, 06:09 AM   #22
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Here is the interior completely stripped and prepped for primer. I found out that the heater and AC controls are shot and will have to be replaced so I'll be hunting up a new or refurbed unit. There are some other heater and AC plumbing issues ID'd that will be dealt with during phase 2 of the mechanical overhaul.
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Old 01-18-2015, 07:32 AM   #23
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

I went over for a visit yesterday and had a look at the topless truck and the removed roof. The shop has sanded the roof down to the fiberglass to check for any issues and only found a few places that need attention. There is one fissure at the back left corner and a few other spots that need some epoxy but overall it is in very good shape. I have NOS weatherstripping for it that will go on once they have patched and repainted the top. My restoration shop specializes in Corvettes so the top is definitely in the right hands.

All of the body door and tailgate weatherstripping is out so I'm going to have the interior paint carried out to the door and tailgate edges. New exterior paint is still far in the future. I picked up the instrument panel and tilt steering column and am preparing to ship them out to board members for rebuild. As I mentioned before, the HVAC controls and ductwork are shot and I will be enriching Classic Heartbeat or GMC Paul soon for those.

Much to my relief, removing the top showed that the windshield header and the tops of the bed sides were in excellent condition. Rust repair is now behind me.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:07 AM   #24
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

Hi there Dave.

Glad to see the great progress on the jimmy.Its looking great.
All these steps are adding up.

I think you may need to look into a set of steelies and hubcaps. ?
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Old 01-19-2015, 07:03 AM   #25
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Re: Project Checkbook - 1971 Jimmy Custom

LOL, I have some large and painful parts and restoration service bills to pay first and then there are these piles of detail items to sort through.

Shoot me a PM and let me know how things are going with the Jimmy.
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