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 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck 
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Joined: February 5th, 2015, 10:01 am
Posts: 747
Location: Hercules, Ca
Post 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
Hey all,

I just joined today and figured why not start a build of my trials, tribulations and hopefully a lot of glory!

Ive been around the offroad world in terms of dirt bikes for over 15 years and ive had the opportunity to ride all over the place, including the rubicon. After going over the rubicon a few times and camping a lot at loon lake i knew i had to increase my small stable of toys. Ive always had an interest in building a 4x4 but just didn't have the money or space until about a year ago. I began researching about everything from toyota's, jeep's and even fullsize, trying to narrow down what worked best for me. I kept getting hung up on a few things, one being cargo room. I loved the idea of toyota's but the price has sky rocketed since they have became popular/destroyed. I looked into jeep's but again the lack of cargo room meant a frame stretch was in order and i just didn't feel like reinventing the wheel.

Finally my searching came to a head, i wanted a Chevy! I'm pretty familiar with them and its a solid platform so i figured why not! I scoured Craigslist until i found the deal of the century...a 1985 k5 that didn't run too good and wouldn't pass smog. It had a 3/4 ton axle swap and its a sierra classic which means AC and power windows! The truck was in san jose and the owner was young like me and didnt know much about it. The truck sort of stumbled at idle and had many issues but nothing that was a complete show stopper. After peering under the truckl i could see a spark plug wire dangling from the frame and it had spider webs all over it. It became clear to me the truck was a burden to him and he wasn't mechanically inclined so i offered $1000. It was mine! loaded it up on a trailer and towed it home with my Tundra.

With some hard work fixing electrical gremlins, blown u joints, bad catalytic converter, a bench seat that wasnt bolted down, no seat belts and a bad o2 sensor I had it moving on its own power. In fact it passed smog on its second attempt!

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Shes got the regular old 350 chevy, 700r4, np208 for power-train and at the time the drivetrain consisted of dana 44 outers on a 10 bolt front with a 14 bolt semi float rear end. 4.10 gears in both, open/open. Tires are some knock off swampers that are a small metric size (31.5 inches or so)

Goals:
Get this truck to be able to drive to the trail, wheel through the trial and make it home in one piece. I live in the east bay in northern California so im about 2.5 hours from the Rubicon which I have my sights set on to successfully get through a few times this year. Im almost all the way through a crossover steering dana 60 swap and the semi float will be swapped out with a full float, which i have. I have sliders already that need to be installed and some 35's sitting around that may or may not go on. Ill try to speed you all up on where im at so bare with me. Im also picture happy which is good to have around!


February 5th, 2015, 1:53 pm
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Joined: October 23rd, 2007, 1:37 pm
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Location: Gilroy, California
Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
picture happy aint a bad thing

so far so good. good to have another chevy bronco or ford blazer around

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February 5th, 2015, 4:13 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
Nice work, glad you got it to pass smog.

Keep the updates coming!

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February 5th, 2015, 4:28 pm
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Joined: February 5th, 2015, 10:01 am
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Location: Hercules, Ca
Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
Garlic Bronco wrote:
picture happy aint a bad thing

so far so good. good to have another chevy bronco or ford blazer around



Yeah its always good to have a mix. I have ford shock towers and toyota sliders lol.


February 5th, 2015, 8:38 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
chexmix wrote:
Nice work, glad you got it to pass smog.

Keep the updates coming!


Yeah thanks it was quite the challenge but I did it. Pleasant Hill huh? You're in my backyard! I live in crockett and im always in that area. Updates coming tonight!


February 5th, 2015, 8:46 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
Was it repainted? The paint looks sharp, body appears pretty straight too. Or maybe I've just gotten used to the jacked up paint and body on my Bronco... :mrgreen:

I hear ya on the size thing. I'm usually pretty overloaded in my full size bronco (need at least 1 beer cooler right?), I don't know how these Jeep guys do it! The blazer is a great platform.

TBI 350 or carb'd? You gonna keep the 208? Assume it'll be leaves up front?

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February 6th, 2015, 9:42 am
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
Dan90FSB wrote:
Was it repainted? The paint looks sharp, body appears pretty straight too. Or maybe I've just gotten used to the jacked up paint and body on my Bronco... :mrgreen:

I hear ya on the size thing. I'm usually pretty overloaded in my full size bronco (need at least 1 beer cooler right?), I don't know how these Jeep guys do it! The blazer is a great platform.

TBI 350 or carb'd? You gonna keep the 208? Assume it'll be leaves up front?



As far as i know its original paint...its a little shotty here and there. At some point ill repaint it but its low on the to do list.

As fun as buggies look i also wanted more of a challenge as well which the full size will entertain. Im going to try my best not to overload and it really helps when you go with a pack of people so you dont need to drag along 14 sets of 1/2" sockets, but its also important to be self sufficient so ill need to find a happy medium. Im thinking i need to get one of those deep short truck boxes to store my tools and recovery stuff.

I was hell bent on getting something pre smog but this opportunity came up on this smogger and i went for it. Its carb with a stock ramjet so its not terrible on the rocks but ive stalled it once on steep drop off. Future plans are to likely to be a 5.3l lm7 motor but im far off from being able to concentrate on that at the moment. The 208 will probably stay for a while until i go the doubler route. Im a machinist so its very likely ill make my own adapter to save some money.

At the moment its leaves all the way around. Its got some 4 inch lift kit on it which seems okay but the ideal chevy set up is stock k5 springs up front (52") and stock chevy truck spring in the rear (56")


February 6th, 2015, 3:43 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
So once i got the truck home which was about 8 months ago i quickly got to work. The interior was more or less shot (5 quarts of oil got squished by the spare tire so carpet was disgusting to say the least. I want this truck to be sort of a simplistic and easy to work on so i tore the carpet up and started to bedline the inside of the truck. I used herculiner which has rubber in it and it came out great. It takes a gallon and a quart to complete the inside from the pedals to the tailgate. There was also a bench seat that wasnt bolted down and obviously didnt belong in there...that had to go so i bought summits racing seats which are really nice quality and pretty affordable.

Day one:

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I believe at one time it had the underside coated with some heady duty paint of some sort.

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It actually fit in the garage! for now...

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Start off the tear down:

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Previous owner said he was told the top had never been on...i believe it so i had to change that!

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February 6th, 2015, 4:06 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
The seats showed up and i started fabbing up some brackets to get those safely mounted. I also bought RCI 5 point harnesses so the brackets needed to incorporate the mount points for the belts.

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Heres the start of my seat brackets which worked out great and are as sturdy as can be.

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Made some bushings for the seat belt mount points to spin freely as opposed to locking them down with a bolt, just gives them a little more freedom to move around.

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Herculiner time:

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February 6th, 2015, 4:13 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
Looking Good. Nice platform to build and welcome to the forum.

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February 6th, 2015, 7:16 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
Nice looking K5. I had an 87 that looked just like that. On your carb stalling issue, the stock quadrajet (ramjet is a GMpp efi system) is actually one of the better carbs so if its stalling more than you like EFI is the way to go. The easiest is to swap in a TBI system off an 87-94. If you're interested in the swap its well worth it and I can give you lots of info on it. The 5.3 would be cool but lots more money. Tbi swap can be done for under $500 and a couple weekends of work. If you have plans of a bigger lift ,look into the b52 swap in the front, it makes them ride super good

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February 6th, 2015, 7:47 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
Ptack1 wrote:
Looking Good. Nice platform to build and welcome to the forum.



Hey thanks! Looking forward to wheeling with you guys sometime soon. Any hollister trips coming up?


February 6th, 2015, 10:25 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
LuckyLindy wrote:
Nice looking K5. I had an 87 that looked just like that. On your carb stalling issue, the stock quadrajet (ramjet is a GMpp efi system) is actually one of the better carbs so if its stalling more than you like EFI is the way to go. The easiest is to swap in a TBI system off an 87-94. If you're interested in the swap its well worth it and I can give you lots of info on it. The 5.3 would be cool but lots more money. Tbi swap can be done for under $500 and a couple weekends of work. If you have plans of a bigger lift ,look into the b52 swap in the front, it makes them ride super good

Hey thanks! haha i cant believe i said ramjet...knew it was quadra! EFI is definitely the way to go, which i hope to turn my attention to after i finish my 1 ton swap. Yeah the truck will be getting 52s up front, not sure when but sometime this year most likely.


February 6th, 2015, 10:30 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
After i got the herculiner done and the seats installed i ended up trading a coworker 2 cases of sierra nevada for a roll bar. It came from a 72' which was full convertible of course so i wanted to try my luck to see if it would magically fit...it didnt.

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So i made a few sawzall cuts on it and it fit like glove! I then ordered some plate to tie it down to the body and further down the road to the frame.

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Also picked this guy up free shipping along with a bunch of other recovery things:

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After i got the cage in an opportunity came up to wheel at slickrock up near lake alpine. I trailer-ed it up there because i literally had about 4-5 miles of driving on this truck and didn't know if it would give up the ghost or not. Turns out it did way more than expected and i had no problems. Slickrock is a super small but fun trail Ive run many times before on the dirtbike. Really opened up my eyes to what the truck could do and how much fun this can be!

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Got a little sideways and got my first dent but it came out decent with a hammer.

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February 6th, 2015, 11:01 pm
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Post Re: 1985 Gmc Jimmy----The redneck battle truck
this is really making me want another blazer. My wife loves them (my '87 was mostly hers) so maybe she'll let me buy another one. looks like you have a pretty good plan for a build. I'll be watching this one

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February 7th, 2015, 11:39 am
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