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cheap used truck with plow, good or not?

Discussion in '<a href=http://www.plowsite.com target=_blank ?>Sn' started by dmk395, Mar 12, 2001.

  1. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ma
    Posts: 992

    Well I have never plowed before but have a lawn maintenance company, and am always looking for a backup truck. Today I saw a 1983 GMC Jimmy, with an 8ft Western Plow mounted on it. Now this truck was not beautiful, but looked as if it would pass inspection. It also has a nice towing hitch. Any ever plow with one of these trucks? I realize it may not be a smart move to buy it as a primary plowing vehicle but for $1500 it may be a nice backup for plowing and pulling my 6x12 trailer. Any intelligent thoughts? What should I ask in regards to the plow, since I know little about them?
  2. 75

    75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    I can't speak from experience regarding plowing with a Jimmy, but the driveline/suspension components would be equivalent to a 1/2 ton GMC pickup. Obviously, you would want to check out closely the normal mechanical things you would examine on any used vehicle.

    With regard to the plow, take a look and see if there is obvious evidence of overuse/abuse: dents or holes in the moldboard (blade), is the cutting edge worn out (I have seen them worn down to where the structure of the blade itself is wearing away!), are there any cracks or bent parts, has anything been repaired on the plow and A-frame and if so, how well was the work done, condition of the hydraulic hoses & cylinders, does the mount on the truck look like a proper installation or was it "butchered" on, and is there any frame damage (bending or cracks).

    If there seems to be a fair amount of what was listed above evident on the plow, you might want to stay away from it. On the other hand, if things are in fairly decent shape, for $1500 it may be worth picking up.

    UNCLE BOB LawnSite Member
    Posts: 99

    Is the Jimmy modified in any way? Susp. wise,What size tires? What engine? I know a couple guys with blazers"same truck" with plows and they work very well,but they have 33" and 36" tires with high arch frnt. springs.and 350 engines.But i think even if it's stock,it'll be ok with good tires on it.For light plowing,depending on where you live.Here in balto. md. it would handle anything we ever get.For $1500.00 I would buy it ! ! ! !
  4. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 849

    Around here, it would be a good deal for $1500. Might need some work, but even still. If you plan on putting about $1500 into it, you'll have a reliable truck, that will make you money. A the very least, the 8' Western, is worth nearly that, if in good condition. What's more, that same plow set up, including brackets, will bolt right onto any other 73 - 87 Chevy or GMC K model truck.

    What will the truck need? Well, you can almost gaurentee it will need brakes all around, including calipers, and all new brake hardware, maybe even drums and rotors.

    Check the drag link, from the steering arm to the pitman arm for wear / play.
    Check all the U joints on the truck, especially the ones on the front axle.
    Check the splines for play on the front drive shaft at the slip yolk.
    Check the U joint, and double cardan joint on the front driveshaft. (A rebuilt front driveshaft around here is about $300, I bought one 3 months ago. Mine was 21 years old.)

    Check the underbody for rust. Especially behind the rear passenger floorboard, where it rises up to meet the bed surface. They rust bad there on BLazers and Jimmys.

    As far as the plow, take a close look at it. If it wasn't maintained, it will show. Look for bends, and dents in the moldboard. Ignore paint peeling. That's common. Look for obvious hydraulic fluid leaks. Make sure the plow works well. Make sure the plow motor doesn't sound like it's straining too much.
    Look for rust and pits on the angle cylinders (the chrome part) and for rust and pits on the lift ram.

    On the plow, you can plan on replacing the trip springs and mounting eyes. The eyes get rusty, and are easier to cut off when changing trip springs. A properly adjusted trip spring, has the spring tightened to the point that the coils just start to separate. Often the mounting eye runs out of adjustment threads, so the spring has to be replaced.

    All in all, the less of these items it needs the better the deal is for $1500. I paid that for my 80 GMC, and made it back plowing 30x over.

  5. plowjockey

    plowjockey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 332


    When I bought my 7.5' Western blade I gave $1,100.00 for it, so if you look at it from that standpoint can you afford $400.00 for your Jimmy? I'd say if there are no major mecahnical roadblocks you've got yourself a pretty good deal. Pay attention to what Chuck points out..if anyone here knows that era truck he does.


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