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Body Swap, Powertain Swap, or lots of welding?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by BGKYK5, Apr 25, 2007.

  1. BGKYK5

    BGKYK5 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I have read up on a few previous posts about body swaps vs. powertrain swaps and also about welding in new floor pans, but still can't decide. Which route is the least difficult? I have an '89 K5 that is going to need every floor panel replaced from the front seats to the tailgate due to rust (I can stick my arm through some of the holes). The exterior somehow is in Ok shape and the frame is a little beat. There are no known issues with the powertain.

    Should I.....

    Find a good roller from a similar year and swap the powertrain over?

    Or, find a good body from a similar year and swap bodies (I do have limited access to a frame hoist).

    Or, weld in new floor panels (I am a fair welder and can borrow a MIG) It doesn't have to be pretty, just hold together.

    Or, wheel the piss out of it until big parts start falling off (the tailgate will be first).

    Or, take it in the shorts, sell it for a couple hundred bucks and start over.


    Other Details: This was suposed to be a fun project vehicle LOL!. I don't need it for my daily driver. I am in Kentucky and older vehicles are available, but their condition is hit and miss (this one was a miss). I also have more time than money to spend on this. Let me know what you think. Thanks.
     
  2. boz42

    boz42 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    i would defently consider selling it & starting over. if not i would try to find another k5 that needed a engine or other d-train parts & swap that. i prefer to work on d-train than body.
     
  3. dhcomp

    dhcomp 3/4 ton status Premium Member

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    I agree, but wheel the piss out of the body you have first. When its too broke to go on....swap to another truck, or transplant your drive train.
     
  4. mr.smartass

    mr.smartass 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Or since it doesn't have to be pretty then patch/clean it up a little at a time... You said you have more time then money, use some scrap shee metal to make new floor panels... just a thought.
     
  5. BGKYK5

    BGKYK5 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    If I went the welding route, I was figuring on buying new panels from LMC or JCW, but that can add up pretty fast. I wouldn't want to use just any scrap sheet metal - it would need to be corregated or something for stiffness. Any ideas? Cut up the bed of a junker pickup and use that? Has anybody tried it?
     
  6. Big Swampthing

    Big Swampthing Newbie

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    New york rust bucket

    Hey, I'm from New York and up here there are no rust free donors. My frame and drivetrain are modified enough that it was worth fixing. I just cut off what ever gets rusty unless it is nessesary. My body had totally settled down over the frame and began messing up the shift linkage and steering.My advice is jack it up and cut it all out body mounts, cheesey sheet metal bracing and all. make a subframe out of angle iron or square tubing, tie it into the body mounts on the frame and weld in some flat sheet metal. Plain old sheet metal mightbe cheaper than repalcement panels. The thing is fairly flat and square so its pretty easy. mount the seat belts and body mounts right through the new sub frame. I just finished the front end and the thing is solid as a rock and even handles better from the added stiffness. I did buy new rockers and reinforced them with steel as well. I'd be glad to give you some tips or pics. keep in mind my goal was for maximum stength and offroad driving.
     
  7. BGKYK5

    BGKYK5 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Big Swampthing, I know what you mean - I lived in Michigan for five years before moving to Kentucky. Here the older vehicles that come from Ohio are junk and the ones from Tennesse are mostly rust-free. Of course some previous owner of my K5 didn't bother to fix the power windows and left them down in the rain all the time by the looks of things. If it had carpet over it, it is rusted out, if not it's fine. If you have any pics of your fix to pass along that would be great.
     
  8. W7NB

    W7NB 1/2 ton status

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    Eighty Somthing K Blazers with blown motors seem to be a dime a dozen around here, and probably are where you are as well. I would look for a good roller and spend the $800-$1000 they seem to go for rather then try to fix a rust bucket. If you add up the cost of panels, rust mort or Pour 15 and all the other oddball parts and fasteners you will need to get it halfway decent you will be way ahead.

    Besides, the roller will probably have tons of spares for when you break parts!
     
  9. BGKYK5

    BGKYK5 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Well the consensus is......??? I was kinda hoping everybody would have the same opinion to make it easy for me to decide what to do. For now I'll decide not to decide anything, but I'll keep an eye out for a good deal on parts for any of those options and keep on trying to win the lottery (yes, that is my master plan).

    Are there any issues with the interchangability of '76-91 Blazer bodies, frames, and powertrains? As long as I keep the fuel tank, wiring, and ECU with my TBI 350, will I be OK with any combination of frame, powertrain, and body? If I can find a late 70's K5 roller with a D44 and 12 bolt, that would be ideal.
     
  10. dremu

    dremu Officious Thread Derailer Premium Member

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    Frame and body changed in '78, so 73-77 frames have the old style floor in the back, and 78-91 frames and bodies are all essentially identical.

    Ignoring legal issues with changing VIN's and motors and such, I'd stick with a 78+ body on your truck, and swap bodies.

    -- A
     
  11. gmc4cw

    gmc4cw 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    wheel the piss out of it. you don't need it to get to work so don't waste money on it. take the tailgate, doors, roof and anything else of weight off. hack the wheelwells and install a good 5 point harness and some bigger tires. Go have fun.
     
  12. muddermilitia

    muddermilitia ThatTrazerGuy GMOTM Winner

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    Thats the best idea yet :D
     

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