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74 or 80 or later Blazer - Which is prefered

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by malibu70, Jan 13, 2004.

  1. malibu70

    malibu70 Registered Member

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    Hey

    My first post here, and to open a pretty general question. I'm looking to buy a Blazer, I've got my eye on a 74 Blazer or a 81. I don't care about the motor or trans, they will be swapped out. I care more about the hubs, transfer case, rear end what ever else you experts may know about.

    I've done some research, and sway more to the 74, because it has the 12 bolt, and being a Chevelle SS 396 driver, I know the 10 bolt is weak. What about the Dana 44 and the 203 (not as good as Dana 60 and 205) but it's not going to be a serious off road truck.

    Does the 74 suffer from any problems, like how rigid is the body considering the top can be completely removed?

    Each truck has its good and bad points, what I'm wondering is your opinion, any ideas or info would be appreciated.

    Expecting...
     
  2. lt61173

    lt61173 1/2 ton status

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    I have a 74 & I love it. You will like the full top in the summer. Alot of people mod the newer ones to make them a full convertable.
     
  3. djsblaze

    djsblaze 1/2 ton status

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    I have been told that the 2nd gen (1/2 convertible) actually has structural supports built into the cab. Of course, Im sure its not as strong as a roll bar/cage, but as a starting point, it might make a difference to you. I own an 89, and have swapped out just about everything except the transfer case and TBI motor. Youve already said you plan on some swapping, so beware it goes beyond motor and tranny. Alot of people here end up swapping axles, T-cases etc., that probably never intended to do so when they bought their trucks. Keep that in mind in picking your rig. Good luck, and welcome to CK5.
     
  4. BranndonC

    BranndonC 3/4 ton status

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    i have an 89 also, but if i could start over i might go pre smog era, so i didnt have to worry about beefing up motor, and also i'd prefer full convertable.
     
  5. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Just so you know, the 12 bolt truck axle is different than the 12 bolt car axle you're comparing it to.
     
  6. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I personally think the 1989 blazers are the best blazer year ever. That was the first year for the NP241 t-case and still had a mechanical speedo, post 87' TH700R4, 30 spline 10 bolt axles, new grille with much more attractive horizontal head lights, different steering wheel, and if you live in California...the smog laws got stricter on the 90' models as far as total emmissions ouput. I have an 85' and I wouldn't have bought it now with what I know now because of their CCC setup and gobs of emmissions hoses, wires, etc. no fuel injection, yada yada yada. I am about to buy an 87' blazer to also and I would strongly recommend the later FI trucks for a daily dependable driver.
    The 70's blazers are very cool also and are easier to work on for a guy that want's to tinker with carbs and such. THe only thing is the 70's trucks have a less attractive front clip.
     
  7. bablazer73

    bablazer73 1/2 ton status

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    First...Welcome to the best damn blazer website you will ever find!

    I love the convertable blazers. I have never found one in my area worth rebuilding, so I had to convert an 87 tub. I would lean to the 74. Nothing beats a classic! But if you do go with the 74, check the "rocker boxes" as they are the main support for the body when the roof is off. What are your plans with the rig?? street, mild off road?? hardcore off road?? this will "truly" decide what axels and other upgrades will be best for your truck.
     
  8. malibu70

    malibu70 Registered Member

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    Hey guys thanks for the info. I really like the option of taking the top right of that the 74 offers, though I don't find the grill or body style as attractive as the later models. However, over time I have plans of fitting the truck with a TPI system/trans/computer out of a 88/89 camaro and giving it some lift (moderate) mostly with proper tires. Both trucks I'm looking at are in decent shape (being in Canada, in the salt zone, that's really a big problem) If the TPI won't work, I'll buy stuff for the Chevelle and donate it to the Blazer. Ah..sorry guys, my priorities. Either way, this is easier (legally at least) to do with a pre emissions vehical.

    I'm not planning on doing lots of off roading, this is more something to throw the Mountain Bikes in the back and head off into the woods with. It's pretty flat around here.

    I just want a good platform.
     
  9. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    As far as axles go, don't worry about them because the vast majority will swap out the 1/2 ton axles in favor of 1 ton or 3/4 ton. If you won't be doing any major off roading, you probley won't need the 1 tons. Do you plan on large tires ??? (Ya know these trucks look cool lifted with big tires) Anyways, the reson I bring that up is because the bigger the tire, the lower the gears you'll need, and you can usely find a set of 3/4 ton axles with 3:73, or 4:10 gears fairly cheap. I paid $250.00 for mine.
     
  10. malibu70

    malibu70 Registered Member

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    From my research it seems the 15x10s with 33 inch tires are pretty popular. Not sure about body lift, haven't really looked into it yet.

    Can you swap in most mechanical parts (hubs, transfer case, rear ends) from any 73 to 91 model. Are they similar
     
  11. one ton burb

    one ton burb 1/2 ton status

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    go for the 74 it is a classic and there is no emitions to worrie about
     
  12. bablazer73

    bablazer73 1/2 ton status

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    Hey, If you don't like the front sheet metal, Change it!
    [​IMG]
    This is my 76 with an 84 nose on it. Most of the sheet metal will swap right on. The only real mods will be the wiper linkage, cowl panel, and hood hinges. Easy enough if you already have the doner truck.
    With the type of wheeling your talking about, I'm sure the stock axels will do the job. Maybe a gearing upgrade and a posi in rear. do you know what gears are in it now?
     
  13. malibu70

    malibu70 Registered Member

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    Hey BaBlazer

    Did you dig your FI 454 out of a late model or buy a FI kit for an existing 454.
     
  14. MTBLAZER89

    MTBLAZER89 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    [ QUOTE ]
    but it's not going to be a serious off road truck.



    [/ QUOTE ]

    I think many of us have said this.........be careful of CK5 /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  15. malibu70

    malibu70 Registered Member

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    No info on the gears, but I've requested the VIN and RPO codes so I'll decode when I get there. But I think stock, the 74 only had 2 options. (3.07 and 3.73). The 3.07 would definitely be nicer for cruising.
     
  16. CHEVY 4WD

    CHEVY 4WD 1/2 ton status

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    3/4ton bolts up in a K5 transfer cases and trans mission will also theres somethimes a FEW things to look out for but most all of it is interchangible for all K5's and even K10 20 and 30's /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  17. bablazer73

    bablazer73 1/2 ton status

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    No. The 454 came from a 79 dually. Completely rebuilt, pistons, rollor cam, all kinds of performance goodies, but using a Holley Projection. So far no problems with it. Although I have heard many horror stories with these.
    [​IMG]
     
  18. malibu70

    malibu70 Registered Member

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    Serious about off roading?

    Well maybe if I lived in Arizona, it's pretty nice down there. Up here it's nice for 6 months and cold for 6 months, it was -41 f last week with the wind.

    Anyway, this is my summer ride, so it's going to be a fight.

    web page

    Is that going to work?

    http://206.191.28.66/chevelle/reartopquarter.jpg
     
  19. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    personally, if the 74 is pre-emissions in your area, I'd go for that one. I like half cabs the best, but I'd sacrifice that for not having to deal with emissions bullcrap. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Emmissions crap just sucks. Every time I take off my aircleaner, this is what I see...

    [​IMG]

    a big mess of wires and vacuum hoses and other useless crap that does little more than cost me money and lose HP.

    j
     
  20. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    No info on the gears, but I've requested the VIN and RPO codes so I'll decode when I get there. But I think stock, the 74 only had 2 options. (3.07 and 3.73). The 3.07 would definitely be nicer for cruising.

    [/ QUOTE ] Only thing with 3.07 gears is if you do go to larger tires (1) it'll be a pooch. (2) Automadic Transmission will overheat and burn out.
     

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