Inherited a 1986 Chevy K5 Blazer

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by Whalephat, Oct 21, 2003.

  1. Whalephat

    Whalephat Conservative Bastard

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    My grandfather passed away late last month and one of the things that he left behind was a 1986 K5 Blazer 4x4. Rather than watch my family let it rust apart from neglect, I asked if I could have it and now it's mine. It'll be the perfect winter "beater" to give my GT a rest over the next few months and makes SUV #2 in our garage (the other is a Jeep GC).

    My questions are fairly simple:

    What are the notorious rust-spots on the K5 Blazer? It has some in the front inner wheel well, I think, as well as some in the cargo floor pan. Also a bit of surface rust on the roofline right above the windshield.

    Second, what do I need to invest in to properly lift it about 2" - 3" without screwing up the steering and/or suspension geometry? I hear that these Blazers are the easiest damn things to lift, so fill me in.

    Third, are the rear drum brakes sufficient or do I really want to do a rear disc conversion on it? It sounds like there's a late 1970's model Cadillac ElDorado that has rear discs that can be swapped over to the Blazer. Is it worth the hassle?


    My goals are to restore the vehicle to "like new" condition over the next year by addressing paint and body issues, swapping the tired old 305ci engine out for a freshened up 350ci, and to get rid of the stock 15" stamped steel wheels and put some 16" wheels and beefier tires on it.

    The vehicle has strong sentimental value to me because it was my grandfather's, so I don't want to do anything that will ruin it. It will definitely serve as my daily driver but should be equipped such that I can take it out into the woods or on the trails if I wanted for some very minor off roading.
     
  2. Smash

    Smash Crossfit

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    go to www.fullsizechevy.com and check out the forums. Do a search and most likely you find more information then you could ever imagine. If you dont find what you are looking for in a search then post a similiar thread in the 'Off-Road' section and people there will be glad to help you.

    It is a great forum, with tons of helpful people. I have learned alot over the past few years about my Blazer from that site.
     
  3. cdemdec26

    cdemdec26 Destroy Erase Improve

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    The notorious rust spots are the rear tail pan where the tailgate bolts to, rocker panels and (the worst) where the front seatbelts bolt to before the step-up to the rear floor. Pull the carpets and check these areas

    as far as lifting goes, you dont have to do anything for a 2 or 3" lift, just ft springs, rear blocks and shocks. You can fit 33s as long as the stock springs arent sagging. I drove an 89 K5 for a year and a half, and I loved it! They're great trucks. coloradok5.com is also a good forum
     
  4. reido

    reido New Member

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    if your only looking for 2-3" think about a body lift. It will probably look ok(no gap between frame and body ect. and only costs $100 - 200. You will also keep the stock ride characteristics. Some suspension lifts give a rough ride. But hey if you got the money why not go for the suspension lift.
     
  5. rezalb

    rezalb Guest

    Yeah, K5's RAWK!

    Look for rust in the tailpan, rockers, rear floor and front floor under seats...

    For a lift, if id depends on how much you wanna spend...YOu can get away with front springs, rear blocks and shocks...Personally I would go 4" lift (BDS 4" springs in front, with ORD 4" shackle Flip with stock springs in rear)That will be SUPER flexy...To correct the steering geometry you will need to replace the steering arm with a raised steering arm or add a dropped draglink...with a 4" you can fit 35" ...Check out www.ck5.com I bought my K5 using advice form that site and have been a commited member for 2 years now...

    As far as the brakes go, it depends...If you really wanna whell you are gonna need big tires...big tires need big breaks...If you are serious about wheeling, look into swapping in 3/4 ton axles (or 1-ton if you wanna get a little more spendy) and with the 14bolt corporate rear axle, adding dic brakes is only about a $250 investment...and the axle can be had for around $150...CHEAP and fawking STRONG, esp compared to the stock 10bolt axles...
     
  6. Whalephat

    Whalephat Conservative Bastard

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    Thanks for the info guys. I think the cargo floor already has a little rust near the tailgate and I am pretty sure that it is rusted somewhat where the floor steps up to the rear seating area as well.

    What's the best way to repair those areas? Just section them out and replace them with aftermarket metal? Does someone sell pre-stamped panels for those problem areas?

    The Blazer will actually become my daily driver so that I can finally garage my Mustang and start doing some major mods to it. Especially during bad weather. I'd like to turn the GT into a garage queen. ;)

    I really doubt that I will do any serious 4-wheeling with the Blazer but it might occasionally be called upon to take me across some fields up at my inlaw's farm. Like during hunting season!

    Definitely no rock crawling for me. I'd be too afraid of rolling it and ruining it. Again, the Blazer has sentimental value to me... so I really don't want to put it in risk of being damaged or destroyed.

    Will check all of the links you guys provided and do some reading! Thanks again. This thread is proof that OT rocks. :wiggle:
     
  7. Smash

    Smash Crossfit

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    good luck with the modding! keep us updated
     
  8. Whalephat

    Whalephat Conservative Bastard

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    Just by way of an update... we were supposed to drive back home and pick the Blazer up (among other things to do) this weekend but that's been postponed until next weekend.

    As soon as I get the Blazer home, I'll take some before and after pics. It is in dire need of a good wash and some rubbing compound to clean up the paint where it's oxidized. :hs:

    Also, would anyone here happen to know what bolt pattern the wheels are on these vehicles and what the offset / backspacing is? I'm guessing that 16" wheels from the newer Blazers / 1500 series trucks / Tahoes would fit it.

    Would love to ditch the stamped steel 15" wheels on there now and go with some newer factory 16" alloys and maybe some Yokohama Geolandar AT+II tires just to beef up the appearance some.
     
  9. Whalephat

    Whalephat Conservative Bastard

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    Well I was wrong... I did have two photos that included the Blazer in the shots. They were taken at 5-megapixel and then summarily cropped to just show the Blazer itself.

    That bug shield and front hitch are the two things that are coming off of the truck as soon as I have it in my possession. I love my grandfather and wish to preserve his memory by keeping this vehicle alive, but those things have got to go. :big grin:


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  10. FlameRedXJ

    FlameRedXJ Professional Lurker!

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    I would get rid of the chrome things over the driver and passenger door windows. I would consider keeping the one on the back window on. I had an '86 K5 diesel, if I had that back window down the fumes would blow back in going down the highway and mine didn't have that wind deflector. I had a 4" suspension lift on mine with 33" Pro-Comp muds and it drove really good. pictures here - http://www.geocities.com/m1009_86 just go to the photo page and the mud pictures.
     

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