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buying tips

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by s373n_rcr, Jan 1, 2003.

  1. s373n_rcr

    s373n_rcr Registered Member

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    Hey guys, I decided awhile ago to ditch my daily driver Ford Focus for something a little more suited to hauling some lumber home for reno's, trailering my little Austin Mini racer around to the circuit and hitting the trails by the cottage on Manitoulin Island up here in Canada. Jeep C/Y/T-J's are far too unpractical as I have the family of four gig happening. Cherokee's too unreliable from what I've heard, and Bronco's just plain boring. So I am dead set on a full-size Blazer or Jimmy.

    There seems to be many more Jimmys than Blazer <font color="brown"> </font color> /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gifs available up here with anything built in 1983 or before exempt from emissions testing. However as this will be my daily driver i am looking at 88-91 models. I know I want a 350 with a 700r4 rather than the 305, and 4WD etc..but I am wondering if there are any specific areas I should look at prior to purchasing one. Good body and floors are fairly obvious, but as this is my first 4WD truck...er, truck period, I was wondering if any of you professionals had some sound buying advice or tips for an admitted amateur like myself.

    I plan on a 3" suspension lift with some decent rubber, an onboard air compressor w/ air stored in rollcage, a winch, nice sounding exhaust and a soft top for upgrades on my future purchase. Any advice or preferences in these areas?

    All advice and/or opinions are appreciated, and I will update with what I find for and about the trucks I check out. Thank-you.
     
  2. TX Mudder

    TX Mudder 1/2 ton status

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    Hmmm, since you're in Canada make sure the heater is working. /forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

    I recommend staying far away from the 90 and 91 models - they have ABS that is, I gather, a nightmare. The 88 models do not have ABS, but the 89 is iffy - I can't remember if they do or not.
    You will get a 30-spline 10 bolt front axle and a 10-bolt rear axle. The front axle will be OK for what you are doing. The rear axle will be marginal at best. You can swap in a 6-lug 14bolt SF rear axle and not even have to change wheels. This is a little advanced for a 'first truck ever,' but just keep it in mind if that rear axle breaks.
    First thing you'll want to do is buy a steering box brace - the bolt-in is fine.
    -- Mike
     
  3. Itali83

    Itali83 1/2 ton status

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    Since you are up in canada and I'm sure you know what rust is, be aware of it!!! get under the truck if you can, look at the body mounts really closely, expecially the ones on the rear floor. Open the tailgate and look at the floor where the hinges mount to, thats called the tail pan and a very big culprit for terminal rust! So after the rust issue, you should try out the 4x4 system. What I usually do is put it in 4 wheel Hi make sure it goes in easy and doesn't grind, drive it around up to speed make sure it doesn't make any funky sounds. Then in a parking lot or somewhere, turn the wheels all the way to one side and drive slowly, make sure you don't hear any snapping sounds coming from your front axle. The truck will jerk but that is normal. If you hear snapping it means your front U-joints are bad and will need replacing. Then I'd put the truck in 4 Lo and see if that works all right. After that just try it out like you would any other vehicle. Hope this helps and good luck on finding a full size Blazer or Jimmy!!!
    Ben 87 Jimmy + 89 Blazer
    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  4. Highlander

    Highlander 1/2 ton status

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    The only thing I'll say is you have a Mini now thats cool /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif I've always wanted one of those, When I was a kid I spent a lot of time at Mid-Ohio race track when My Dad used to race Alfa's. I still love the Alfa Romeo's but a Mini would be so cool to drive around town.

    Eric
     
  5. s373n_rcr

    s373n_rcr Registered Member

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    WOW...busy BB. Didn't expect a response so quick. Anyhow, I have heard about certain 700R4's not being up to the job depending on the year of the vehicle. I guess they were beefed up post 1988? Also a friend told me about some type of throttlebody/intake manifold problem with warpage and coolant leaks into the guts on fuel injected 350s...any truth to this? The vehicles I have been looking at are 200000km+ (130000miles?) but I figure 350's are fairly bulletproof motors.....
     
  6. s373n_rcr

    s373n_rcr Registered Member

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    Eric...My Mini has raced at MidOhio on a few occasions with its previous owner in 1340+cc saloon class. And I am looking into having a 74' Alfa 2000GT coupe sent over from Montpellier in the south of France. It was my friend Domenic's high school car and sits in his garage and collects dust now. Yellow headlights and all. Thinking vintage rallying....
     
  7. s373n_rcr

    s373n_rcr Registered Member

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    OK... it is an 88' GMC Jimmy. Ex-government vehicle, so farely unluxurious ie; roll up windows, no air, vinyl seats and rubber floormats w/ no carpet, no tint, no nice chrome trim, but hey...it's supposed to be a truck right? It has 141000km's (80-90000miles?), 350 F.I., 4WD, 4speed (low plus 3-gears), zero rust under and over, new ball joints, tie rod ends etc.etc, and new 33x12.50's. $6900cdn. Think I'd pay $6000cdn. What's everyone think? THX
     
  8. Chaz88K5

    Chaz88K5 1/2 ton status

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    sounds like a decent deal if you can get it for 6000cdn /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif in 98 i paid 7200us for my 88 but it was a silverado power everything and clean as hell (what have i done to my baby! /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif) it had 78000 at the time.
     
  9. s373n_rcr

    s373n_rcr Registered Member

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    from what I've read its an sm465 and is a decent alternative to the auto...nice nice...another excuse to buy it.
     

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