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Convertible Conversion

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by SlyDog, Oct 28, 2001.

  1. SlyDog

    SlyDog 1/2 ton status

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    Hey, I really want to lose the roof on the 77 K5 for weight, coolness, and for the heck of it <img src="http://coloradok5.com/forums/images/icons/smile.gif"> But my dad is freaking out cause of the structural integerity which I understand ... but wouldn't a well built roll cage fix that ? I have been looking at MTPocket and other's K5's that have done this and it looks fine .. any good pointers for me to convince my dad with ? heh Thanks !
    Edit: Also I live in AZ so dont complain about gettin snowed on [​IMG]
    <P ID="edit"><FONT class="small">Edited by SlyDog on 10/28/01 12:18 AM.</FONT></P>
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Well you missed having rocker boxes by one year. A good cage will restore and improve on strength, but you need to have a hoop at the front as well as behind the front seats. Typically an 8 or 10 point cage. Smittybilt has a bolt in cage kit and S&amp;W racecars has weld in 8 and 10 point cage kits for K5's. The S&amp;W kit looks reasonably priced and Smittybilt has a good rep so either would do the job nicely.

    If you wanted to run a hardtop you could always try and find a windshield frame from a 73, 74 or 75 and graft it on. That way a hardtop could be an option.

    Full convertables rock...I got one (Cali 74) and will be converting my 81 soon.[​IMG]

    Here's a link to S&amp;W...<a target="_blank" href=http://wwwswracecars.com> Roll cages</a>
    I don't have a link to the Smitybilt cages though...someone will come through I'm sure.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  3. SlyDog

    SlyDog 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks Rene ! My dad is really good at welding and so his one of his friends who has his own shop in his backyard [​IMG] So we are going to make a custom cage ... When are you planning on doing yours ? When you do, make a write up on it [​IMG]

    <font color=green>[​IMG]1977 K5 GETTIN IT AWN[​IMG]</font color=green>
    GO BUSH
     
  4. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'm formulating a plan for my 81...it's had a hard life so it'll make the perfect trail rig. I plan on legal enough to get to the trails and the rest is up to my imagination.

    I'm hoping to start after the new year...if we can get into a house instead of this townhouse (with single carport and anal neighbors...[​IMG])

    Hopefully it will turn out half as good as some of the trucks I've seen here![​IMG]

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  5. SlyDog

    SlyDog 1/2 ton status

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    Hah yup, Im going doorless and tailgate less lol so I think complete conv. is the Only way [​IMG]

    <font color=green>[​IMG]1977 K5 GETTIN IT AWN[​IMG]</font color=green>
    GO BUSH
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Doors and tailgates are over rated anyways...although i might fab some soft doors.[​IMG]

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  7. SlyDog

    SlyDog 1/2 ton status

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    Yup, I am incorparating bar doors into my roll cage and on the stock hinges I think [​IMG] I was also thinking of soft doors ...

    <font color=green>[​IMG]1977 K5 GETTIN IT AWN[​IMG]</font color=green>
    GO BUSH
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Copycat...[​IMG]

    There aren't many 'new' ideas anymore...just proven ideas that we all see work. Trucks that inspire me are the UAV, Pete's trail beast, Stephen's ORD Jimmy, Laketex's Sawzall project and DBlazers beast. I hope to have something that'll work and look similar when I'm done...also hoping to be done before Moab.[​IMG]

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  9. Chris Demartini

    Chris Demartini 1/2 ton status

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    <font color=blue>Build rocker boxes BEFORE you chop the top off! A rollcage alone is not enough to suport the tub without a roof, you need to reinforce it underneath. Take a look at some 69-75 K5s to get the idea. As for the soft doors, both of you copied me! [​IMG] One of these days, I'll actually finish the cut-outs so I can then make the soft doors
     
  10. yeild2me

    yeild2me 1/2 ton status

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    sly dog, yep. your dad has reason for concern. i had the problem with the body sagging in the middle. so bad, that my doors would not close. i cut the rockers out and welded 2X4 tubing rocker knockers, but that didnt do too much. what i ended up doing was jacking the middle of my truck up at the rockers, and welding a piece of 1" angle iron conecting the roof to the cage. doing this was 2 fold- 1st, it supports the windshield frame like the roof used to, which allowed my doors to open and close like they are new. 2nd, it covered up the 1" gap across the roof from the sawzall. check out my website for the whole story. if you have any other questions PM me and i will help you out. topless is cooll [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    350 TBI, 700R-4, NP241, D44-14FF, 4:10's, 38.5 TSL/SX's, full conv., full cage
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.yeild2me.rockcrawler.com>www.yeild2me.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  11. yeild2me

    yeild2me 1/2 ton status

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    i agree, that doing the rockers first would have helped alot, but i dont think that either one could support it be itself. then again, i have seen a K5 that has the roof hacked off, no cage, stock rockers, and no problems at all. i do have a 3" bodylift, so maybe that extra leverage contributed to the sagging. i also wheel it kinda hard, so thats prolly a factor too.

    350 TBI, 700R-4, NP241, D44-14FF, 4:10's, 38.5 TSL/SX's, full conv., full cage
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.yeild2me.rockcrawler.com>www.yeild2me.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  12. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I wonder about welding cage to windshield frame, I guess if you don't have the cage tied into the frame it would be OK, I just worry about the windshield frame and the roll cage twisting against each other. I have nerf bars connected to both frame and body and they are twisting against each other causing stress, ie. dents.

    Steve

    Bandwidth FREE ZONE

    Mall-Running poseur 4x4 with curb-feelers
     
  13. 1990K5

    1990K5 1/2 ton status

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    i thought about that because when im driving down the road i can put my fingers between my cage and windsheild frame and feel them moving at different rates but i think it would crack the windsheild if they were tied togather without a bushing or somthing.
     
  14. pcorssmit

    pcorssmit 1/2 ton status

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    Would all of you guys please stop posting stuff about full convertible conversions, and how they're really not all that hard? I've got enough unfinished projects on my hands already.

    Pete

    '83 K5, 350 TBI (ex 6.2), 700R4, NP208, Dana 60/14 bolt, 4.56s, Detroits, 3" lift, 15-39.5x15 TSLs
    '97 Dodge 2500 4x4 CC LB Sport, Cummins 5 spd
     
  15. SlyDog

    SlyDog 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks guys ! Sorry Pete [​IMG]

    <font color=green>[​IMG]1977 K5 GETTIN IT AWN[​IMG]</font color=green>
    GO BUSH
     
  16. MTPockets

    MTPockets 1/2 ton status

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    peer pressure pete, come on everybody's doing it. :)

    i acutally didnt have problems with the body sagging, my problem was the doors were ripped where the upper hinge bolts to them. didnt notice until i removed them from the k5. so its my experience that a good cage will suffice.

    as for the cage to body flex thing, i was a little leary of tying the front mounts for the exo-cage into the core support thinking i would run into problems there. simple valve spring trick incorporated into the two front body mounts would fix that, but not an issue so far.

    steve ill bet its possible, but if your windshield was going to bust it would have happened in tellico rob. maybe a three inch body lift compensates somehow, they are just pieces of plastic.

    MTPockets

    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/moneypit.shtml>http://coloradok5.com/moneypit.shtml</a>
     
  17. yeild2me

    yeild2me 1/2 ton status

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    steve, i was concerned about that at first because of all the noise my hardtop made when it got twisty, but after tellico and driving around a few hills around here, everything is good to go. i welded the roof the full length of the angle iron, ground it down smooth, used some filler to really smooth it out, then painted it the same color as my cage. i inspected it after tellico, and there were NO signs of any stress. of course, my cage is not tied to the frame, so i guess it gives enough to prevent the windshield from cracking.

    here you can see how the 1" angle was used to mate the roof and the cage. the top piece of the angle slide under the roof sheet metal, and the down piece was welded 5 spots along the cage. www.yeild2me.rockcrawler.com
     
  18. yeild2me

    yeild2me 1/2 ton status

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    i felt the same thing, in fact my cage shook like crazy. the bed sides also shake at a different rate than everything else. i will probably tie them either in to the cage or the bed sometime this winter. in theory, all my cage does is what the roof used to. but instead of having a lot of extra sheet metal, its just tubing.

    i was really nervous about the whole windsheild issue when a read on the 1st Generation board that a dude was just cruising on a hill, and the windshield all of a sudden cracked. his top was off with no rollcage, so anything is possible.

    rob

    350 TBI, 700R-4, NP241, D44-14FF, 4:10's, 38.5 TSL/SX's, full conv., full cage
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.yeild2me.rockcrawler.com>www.yeild2me.rockcrawler.com</a>
     
  19. DesertDueler

    DesertDueler 1/2 ton status

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    I was going to do the door bars on the stock hinges thing, but you have to remember that if the body gets tweaked or damaged they may not open, or worse not close after you open them on the trail. Then you have to spend the time removing them. I am just putting a bar against the floor so my feet dont slip out.

    86Jimmy 4"&35"MTRs,87 burb 4"&35"MT,69Firebird w/525 hp,and 70GTO live in PHX,AZ<a target="_blank" href=http://www.geocities.com/modifierperformance>My vehicles</a>
     

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