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car buying help, 85 s-10 blazer...

Discussion in '1983-2005 S-Series models' started by jekbrown, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    as some of you may know, my wife got in an accident and her ford escort got totalled. We're in car-shopping mode and want something that isn't an econo-box death trap. Anyway, the idea of a small SUV like an s-10 blazer might be a good solution. We spotted an 85 in the paper and are going to go look at it on wednesday. All I know about it right now is that its an 85, has an automatic tranny and Im pretty sure its 4wd too. Ive always been a fullsize guy, so I don't know jack about the 'lil blazer'.

    Anyway, what should I watch out for on these rigs? I'm not worried about rust or simple little nickle-and-dime stuff that I can fix myself... mainly just engine/tranny/tcase/axle issues that could cost $$. I know the 2.8L engine is out there... but what else is there? which tranny is it likely to have? All s-10s are IFS right? any problems there (this one ain't ever gonna get lifted or run oversize tires etc so no worries there!).

    Lastly, how are the frames on these things? I'm going to build a tuff a heck bumper out of DOM for her but are the frames on these rigs known to be a weak spot?

    thanks in advance! any advice you guys could offer would be greatly appreciated,

    j
     
  2. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    the 2.8 tends to have a lot of problems cracking pistions, the early 700's had some problems surviving even the 2.8, all the wear components in the front end ususlly will need to be replaced. I had a set o f ball joints in my s-10 only last me a year and they were dana parts! Also just like the big blazers rust is a problem. the rear quarter pannels trap water and rust out also the door bottoms and rocker pannelsa are major areas for rust.
     
  3. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    yeah, I have the 700R4 rebuild video now... I oughta be able to rebuild one myself at some point. Most worried about the engine. Were any of the available engines known for their long term reliability?

    j
     
  4. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    the 4.3 is known for lasting a good amount of time. i have one with 101,000 miles and it still has 140 psi on each cylinder
     
  5. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    yeah, Im pretty sure the 4.3 wasn't availble on these rigs until later... but if I ever had to do a swap, that'd definitely be an option. The 4.3 is basically a 350 missing 2 cyl right?

    j
     
  6. 1979jimmy350

    1979jimmy350 1/2 ton status

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    yea the 4.3 was not availble until 87 or 88 i belive. The 4.3 is a 350 with two cylinders missing they use the same pistions, valves, lifters etc.
     
  7. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    The '85 will most likely have the carb'd 2.8L, and the trans is a 700r4. Back in high school I had an '83 setup the same way....bought it with a little over 100k on the ticker and sold it with about 125k. I obviously didn't know the history of it but the 3-4 clutch pack went out so I couldn't use OD (4th) and the frontend needed rebuilt but it drove okay, and no other major issues......of course I may have just been lucky.

    The carb'd 2.8L is an absolute D-O-G and doesn't get that great of mileage.

    I would highly recommend getting a later model with the 4.3..........a MUCH better engine and the later years gives you a better 700r4.
     
  8. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    going to look at a 92 s-10 blazer saturday... hope it has the 4.3 / 700R4...

    j
     
  9. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    Thoughts on S series trucks

    I had an 87 S10 with a 2.8/7004r I bought new. It came from the factory with a stepside bed, tonneau cover and bigger wheels. it was pretty, but little did I know..

    I'll never buy an S series truck again. You are so better off buying anything else. they rust and are a serious bitch to work on. MY fun included a water pump, engine replacement, and 3 transmissions.

    If you HAVE to buy one, get a later one that has headrests..Lisa got rear ended HARD in the 87 ( it was hers by this time), and her head blew out the back window and pushed out the rear wall of the cab. Thank God I had smittybilt tube bumpers and a draw hitch on it to blunt the impact a bit.

    Truck was totalled, which pissed me off because I had just put a front clip on it and we were working to get it repainted.

    like an idiot I let her get a 4 dr jimmy with a 4.3.. it was a longer lasting motor, I suppose, but the engine bay is too small to do anything, and the remote oil filter setup was a PITA to get to, oh and the new fuel tank and sending unit didn't endear it to me either.

    8 weeks ago I gave up and we got her a 98 Durango.

    Do what you want, but to me, any task that is simple and straight forward on a fullsize, becomes twice as difficult when doing the same thing on an s series.

    For example, a wheel cylinder is easy to change on a fullsize, right? On the s series, esp. the earlier ones, the wheel cylinders aren't bolted on to the backing plate. They are held on by a little clip, and when they rust, you will put a big hole in the backing plate taking off the defective wheel cylinder.

    So, you go to change the backing plate, and they don't just bolt on either, you have to take the axle out.. ask me how I know this.

    No truck will enrage you to the point of wanting to burn it than an s series.

    Tom
     
  10. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    lol! great post. I "solved" the problem by buying an old exploder instead. :grin:

    j
     
  11. 4by4bygod

    4by4bygod 1/2 ton status

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    Good man.

    T
     
  12. 89GMCSuburban

    89GMCSuburban 1/2 ton status

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    Try to find an 86 and up. They redesigned the interior to look much better, the 2.8 got TBI and the 700's were a bit better. Better yet, 89 and up got 4.3 with 160 hp and in 92 they offered a 205 hp 4.3. You can tell the hi-po V6 from the unique intake manifold. They are good truck, my 92 with the hi-po engine has 150,000 and gets about 19 MPG with me ragging the hell out of it. Not only that, but it'll beat most those fart pipe cars in stock trim.
     

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