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Full Convertible Conversion

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by BAJA_BLAZER, May 17, 2001.

  1. BAJA_BLAZER

    BAJA_BLAZER 1/2 ton status Author

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    I just found ColoradoK5,com today, and it’s great. I currently own a 73 (some rust) and a 90 (very clean, and fully loaded) Blazer. I also have a 454 originally from a 73 3+3 Dually that has been built. My intent is to combine the two trucks and engine in to one. I live in California and am subject to very strict smog laws. Here is my plan: 73 and older vehicles (and engines) are not subject to smog inspections so major modifications are not a problem. I like the bodylines, front grill and rear seat foot space of the 90, and love the full convertible of the 73. I want to put the 90 body on the 73 frame so that the truck will register as a 73 and not need smog inspections, cut the steel half-cab off, the doors down, the windshield frame down and attach the upper windshield frame from the 73 so that the full hardtop will mount correctly.

    1) Has anyone had experience with putting a 78 or newer body (The frame was changed in 78 to position the body mounts outside of the frame to allow for the new rear seat design) on a 73 to 77 frame?

    2) Has anyone had experience converting a Blazer with the steel half-cab to a fully removable 73 to 75 hardtop?

    I would appreciate any help or input.


    Ramsey
     
  2. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    For the full convert, check this in the "project vehicles" section here.
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.coloradok5.com/moneypit.shtml>http://www.coloradok5.com/moneypit.shtml</A>

    On the body change, some people here were looking into it recently but I don't think much came of it. You can search back a month or two and try to find the old thread or maybe one of them will give you the low-down.

    Welcome aboard.


    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  3. Derf00

    Derf00 1/2 ton status

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    I recently met a guy that owns a full convertible '85. The Blazer has an '85 frame and engine, '73 tub, and a '91 front clip, with the interior of a '97 Tahoe. It is a very nice Blazer that someone put a lot of time and effort into.

    Derf00
    http://www.derf00.coloradok5.com
    "Four wheel drive allows you to get stuck in a more inaccessible place."
     
  4. shupach

    shupach 1/2 ton status

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    im in the process of making my truck a full convertible, right now im on the last phase and that is getting a roll cage built and installed. If you have any questions just email me, shupach@swbell.net

    phill
     
  5. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    I dont think putting the 90 body on a 73 frame will get you by the smog laws. They check the VIN numbers, and the VIN number on the 90 is located on the left front side of the dash board. That is the number they will go by no matter what kind of a frame you have under it.
     
  6. ChevyCaGal

    ChevyCaGal 3/4 ton status

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    Be cheaper to buy $350 Edelbrock TES headers that are smog legal! [​IMG] I live in CA too so I hear you....the laws suck. I'm having my own smog battle which I hope to win! Anyhow welcome to the site. Be prepared to be addicted! Good luck with your project. Take pictures and share them![​IMG]

    "Suck Fumes Ford Boy"
    "I love my country, I fear my government"
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.chevycagal.homestead.com/steph.html>http://www.chevycagal.homestead.com/steph.html</A>
     
  7. Bigd

    Bigd 1/2 ton status

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    I would have too say convert the 90 too full top with the window frame from the 73.Cut the doors and fix the bed tops.You do own both the titles right.SWap the motor into the 90 remove all traces of smog equipment and stickers.Then either pull the dashs off both trucks repaint the 73 and install it into the 90 or swap the vin plates but that would probably be noticible.Just think of it as a frame off restoration of your 73.And the body tub and frame where shoot so you had too replace them.Thats what i would try.
     
  8. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    First off visit the site listed for money pit. Second you can't put the 90 body on the 73 frame unless you plan on removing the rear foot well. The frame on the 73 comes up at that point. As for converting the 90 body to a convertable. Major structural problem when doing so. I got to see money pit last week at the tellico ride. He has had problems when flexing that the doors hit the rear fenders. The 73-75 body's had Rocker boxes in the floor. this is to add the strength to the body to keep the doors in line to prevent the problem Moneypit had. Now there are way's to get the strength. THE BEST is a full cage. This would need to be tied into the windsheild uprights to cure the problem. Another alternative is cut off the outer rockers make a L shapped bracket out of some 1x2 box. you can then put one end up into the A piller and blind nut it through the kick pannels and inner rocker. then you can weld the outer rocker back on. I did this when I replaced the floors in my 75 and dumped the rocker boxes in favor of a sub frame (pictures in the custy dollar section of my web page...link below). Personaly the full cage is the better alternative and will regain more strength that the top had if done correctly. My full cage will be done soon. even though my L brackets have prevented most of the problem Moneypit had I will be tieing the front legs into the windsheild frame to remove the last bitt of flex I still have. From what I understand my truck as it is has less of this problem than the truck did bone stock off the line.
    Now as to how to get the hard top to fit the 90 body. Best thing to do is cut off the windsheild header of the old truck and install it on the new truck. That header is complicated peice and without it you will not get the hard top to seal. Money Pit just went with a soft top since the whole point was to be a convertable. He then just boxed the inner and outer roof pannels to make it look clean. That is the easiest route and the fact of the matter is to replace the seals on the hard top will set you back $450. That's the price of the soft top. Bottom line is other than the door caps you need nothing off that truck to make the 90 a convertable. I personaly other than the 10 bolt rear axle even with the emmision issues would rather have the 90 for all the improvements that were made in the 20 years they built the truck.
    Now the Bad news. Kayline is the company that made the top that fits and is on MoneyPit. They folded. Best top makes one but I haven't seen it so I don't know how the quality is. That Kayline on Money Pit is really nice and fits extremely well.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/>http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  9. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    I thought about making my 90 a full convert but decided not to because it will be full time trail rig as soon as I can get another daily and need all the rigid parts on it I can get, also the full convert guys always run a bikini top the same size as my steel top anyway to keep from frying in the sun and getting soaked in the rain. I do plan on removing the soft top for the summer along with the tailgate and doors and rino line it with full cage. I didn't want to get into a ton of custom body work only to bash it or roll it (my luck). For the street it would be cool though, just think it through what you want to do with your Blazer before you fire up the sawzall.

    Steve
    [​IMG]
    Mall-Running poseur 4x4 with curb-feelers
     
  10. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Yeah thats a pretty good point also. I do find though since I have bare floors that I get a LOT of heat transfer into the passenger compartment even the bikini traps some heat when idling when the trails back up. Now down south we run through a lot of dense woods so I do run without a top quite a lot since I'm in the shade so that heat will clear out. Yeah in the desert I can see where the Bikini would be more desirable with the sun beating down on ya all the time and still be more. Around town where the tree cover is minimal I do tend to leave the top up for the shade with a breeze going since I'm moving (well most of the time LOL Atlanta just took #2 worst traffic and smog.). Sun goes down it's off all the time.

    Diging it in the dirt with my K5's
    Grim-Reaper
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/>http://grimsk5s.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  11. 85k5blzr

    85k5blzr 1/2 ton status

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    Houston beat LA for the worst air, like i always say, if you are gonna do something, do it well

    K5 just upgraded to rig status! [​IMG]
     
  12. BAJA_BLAZER

    BAJA_BLAZER 1/2 ton status Author

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    I saw the Money Pit site yesterday. The difference as others pointed out is that he used a soft top. I want to use the factory hardtop off my 73.

    Ramsey
     
  13. Bigd

    Bigd 1/2 ton status

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    I have a full cage and 3x3 1/4 inch rockers in place of sheet metal.So i probably didn't motice the excess flex.So what grim said would bea good idea and so would a cage.Mine can run a stock hard top.But if i whad too do it over again i would do it like money pit,Because after i got the soft top i've never gone back.
     

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