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1973 Body & Frame, 1990 Drivetrain - Can it be done?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Polaris, Feb 28, 2004.

  1. Polaris

    Polaris 1/2 ton status

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    I found a 1973 Blazer that I can pick up for next to nothing (maybe even nothing). The body is what can be expected from living in Wisconsin, but I've seen worse. The frame is not bad. I want a convertible sooooooooo bad, and not this half cab stuff! I wonder, have any of you taken the drivetrain from a "newer" Blazer & put it in a 70's model? I really like my 350TBI/700R4/NP241 (my SYE kit is on order, and then a Tom Woods custom shaft). My axles are the D44/14FF out of a 1975-ish 3/4 ton pickup and I know that won't be an issue. I am mainly concerned about things like transfer case crossmember & stuff. I'd like to hear from someone who has done this and can hopefully guide me through the process.

    Thanks!
     
  2. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Shouldn't be a problem. My '75 has an '87 Corvette engine, '80 1-ton tranny and transfer case, and '74 3/4-ton axles. The only "modification" required was to drill new holes in the frame for the tranny crossmember. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    You have some choices to make with the wiring however. You can either splice the ECM wiring into the '73 harness (doesn't take long at all. I just did one last Saturday.) or you can move the entire wiring harness, fuse block, and instrument panel over to the '73. /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif
     
  3. uao85

    uao85 1/2 ton status

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    Yeah that definitely doesnt sound like it would be that big of a deal to wire up, just get the wiring diagrams for both trucks and start matching stuff up, only problem I can think of is wiring everything to the computer. Personally I think you should do a 6.0 swap out of a new 2500 chevy. I did it on my 91 that "had" tbi injection and that thing is a beast now. Check out all of the late model gm engines though because with the mileage and power some of them make it can definitely be worth it. Good luck /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif

    Remington
     
  4. u2slow

    u2slow 1/2 ton status

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    I'd put the whole harness from the 90 into the 73. If that means swapping the column and cluster as well... so be it. /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif

    Also seen guys find a beaten full convertible, then keep the roof and splice the windshield frame. Even though you'd need to stiffen the body underneath (or go cage) it might be easier and make for a better end-result if your truck is pretty clean.
     
  5. T-ROY

    T-ROY 1/2 ton status

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    how is the body on your half cab? If it nice, why not just cut off the cab and use the parts from the donor to make it a full top? Leave your running gear alone and don't have to do the body work to make the 73 nice. It sounds like it going to be kindof a bastard child anyways. Thats what I'm doing to my 80 as soon as the rain lets up. My body guy said it'll run me about $500. I've heard of shops doing this for as little as a grand. If you're going to have to do body work anyways, it makes sence. Look around, I know others have done it. Just a thought.
    T-roy
     
  6. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    You have a cage in your '90, right? If I remembered that right, I would just cut the windshield frame off the '73 and swap it onto the '90. That way you can keep your big footwell (you haul kids in back, right?) and the newer body. If you need it to be a '73 for some reasson keep the VIN tag from the door jamb.
    BTW you'll love the full top /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif, my '80 has been parked since I got the '73 running.
     
  7. nofeartruckin00

    nofeartruckin00 1/2 ton status

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    From all my recent searches, it looks like Harry summed it all up. May need to drill some holes for the transfer x-member, then the wiring decision. Looks like we are on the same page, but you're going full topper. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  8. Polaris

    Polaris 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    From all my recent searches, it looks like Harry summed it all up. May need to drill some holes for the transfer x-member, then the wiring decision. Looks like we are on the same page, but you're going full topper. /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes, looking at a BIG job. Trevor thinks if your Jimmy still goes you should drive it til you really kill it /forums/images/graemlins/yikes.gif (if you trailer it for wheeling). The difference is, I have only one reason to do mine. I want the full convertible. Last month a tow truck driver that we know told me he towed in a '73 with a good frame if I was interested. Now that I look at the picture again, I'm wondering if I've completely lost my mind!
    [​IMG]
    /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
    [​IMG]

    Ooh wait, I got an idea... /forums/images/graemlins/hack.gif

    Woohoo! I guess what it comes down to for me is, I don't want a beater-looking pile of junk, but I don't want to invest much in a body that is bound to be bashed either. I'm leaning more towards picking up this '73 for parts and having the windshield frame grafted in. The '90 body has no rockers left, and the rear tailgate hinge area is so bad that the tailgate is inoperable at this point. Front of the floor is needing repair, too. Still, it beats driving a minivan /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif.
     
  9. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    I'm with BigJBear on this. I own a 75 and my biggest complaint is lack of rear foot well. I'm Ready to cut up the hard top and get rid of it.

    If I ever kill this 75 to the non salvage point I'd replace it with a 77 or newer to get the foot well. Better wiring.

    Work wise both trucks need about the same stuff. I can guarantee that Roadster has the same body problems you 90 has. I'd replace the Tail pan and floor in the 90. Put a set of modifies 4x4 Iron rockers on the 90 to add strenght and then a full cage. Sawzall the top. If you want the hard top then change the wind sheild frame.
    If you can get the roadster cheap then you can make half doors (fun with a roadster. It gives you the hard top and the windsheild frame
    Doing this would save the drive line swap. Heck Steve just did the same thing to the UAV.
     
  10. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    I would just cut the '90
    But another option is use your frame axles running gear motor and everything and just pull the tub off the '73 and then you have the full convertable and all your old parts are still there even the 90 front clip /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif And then just have a it painted
     
  11. Polaris

    Polaris 1/2 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif I wonder if that can be done, with the differences in floor & frame.

    Today we looked at a '91 Blazer with a 4" Tuff Country lift, 1" body lift from ORD, custom shaft, custom swing-away spare carrier with a 35" spare to match the rest of the tires - it even held a gas can - ammo cans mounted inside, steering box brace from ORD, HD front shackles from ORD and hardly any rust at all. I was hoping my hubby would buy it and save himself the trouble of building his Jimmy, but he's not interested. Anyway, my point is, I looked at the 2 and decided my truck is a bonified beater. It's just plain ugly. Time for me to get to work on it I guess, wether it's hacking the roof or replacing rockers.... I have got cabin fever big time! Seeing that Blazer today in nice shape did not help matters!
     

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