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Hello Everyone! Very first post/new blazer and have questions :)

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

  1. eripley

    eripley 1/2 ton status

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    First off let me introduce myself and my truck.
    My name is Eric Ripley Im 29 years old and I live near Knoxville Tennessee.
    I just bought a 1979 blazer hunting truck and am converting it into my daily driver/offroad mudding vehicle. I have just cleaned up the truck and did routine maintenance on it (plugs/wires/cap/rotor/k&n air filter/changed oil/egr/fuel filter/wiper blades/carb cleaner and gas treatment to clean carb). Some questions have come up that I cant find answers and was hoping to get some help.

    its a 79 blazer with a stock 350 and stock transmission. It has 100,000 miles and is leaking around the valve covers but engine purrs.

    question #1. I have a gear shifter on the floor to shift into 4x4 after I lock the hubs. That shifter knob is labeled:
    loc low
    low
    neutral
    high
    loc high

    I have no idea what this means? The reason is the shifter only seems to have two positions. Forward and back. When pulled backward a light comes on my dash saying 4x4 is engaged. (Im not near the truck right now so I dont know the actual terminology). This is my first automatic ever so Im not familiar with using 4x4 with a automatic. I have drive and L1 and L2 on my dash console...but Im pretty sure that has to do with the column shifter and only applies when in 2 wheel drive. Basically when I engage the floor shifter by pulling it back and Im in drive I assume that is 4x4 high. I hope so anyways!! I dont want to ruin the transmission! Can you please explain these settings? How do I use 4x4 low and what does loc mean?!

    My other truck is a toyota manual with 4x4. The floor 4x4 shifter has 4x4 high neutral and low on it and It works like you would think. All those options labeled on the 79 blazer shifter knob and it only moving forward and back really confuse me.

    Other question.
    This one is about oil pressure. I put 5 quarts of oil in this engine after I changed it. The dipstick read about a quart to much. I was thinking all the oil did not drain out and some old was left in there. I drained out a quart and the dipstick reads fine. How many quarts does the stock 350 hold? I have been told 5-6!! but realistically I think there is 4.5 quarts in that engine right now.

    Now Im concerned about oil pressure. My guage read 5psi idle and about 5-10psi running hard. It was the stock guage and sending unit. Replaced the sending unit with a new one from advance. I get totally opposite readings now so I dont know what to believe. Now idling right after engine start it says 15psi and slow ticks up about 5psi at a time till it reaches 60 (note: not above 60psi but right on it). Sometimes it drops to 45psi but mostly stays at 60psi even when I stop at a redlight or put the engine into park. Can you offer any suggestions on getting a somewhat accurate reading? Does the 45-60psi sound right? Is that too high?

    Last question and Im very sorry for asking so many. I am very excited as you can probably tell to have such a nice capable 4x4.

    Steering is looose. I mean very loose.
    I dont know anything about steering. But there is at least a foot of travel between left and right. If I move it side to side I can see the steering column move but where the steering column screws? into the box thing it looks like it is "slipping" on the threaded thing that is coming out of the steering box thing. Oh man this sounds really bad...I think I probably should delete this question but Im hoping someone out there might know what Im talking about or know what questions to ask me back to better explain the problem.


    A few more no important oddball questions that you can answer if you feel like it.
    If I do a 3inch suspension lift will there have to be any other modifications? I have 10" rims and 31x11.50 tires that already look small on this huge truck. Will they look stupid with a lift?


    BTW does anyone know how to make the dash lights brighter? I replaced all the bulbs but there is not enough in my opinion to properly make the guages very bright. I have turned the headlight knob all the way to the left.

    Thank you in advance so much for helping with my new hunting truck that Im converting /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
    I removed the gun racks and the 6 NRA stickers off the glass. Took off the walmart from orange driving lights and put on Hella 500's and replaced the stock headlights with H4's. Now to tent the glass and lift the beast and more to follow!
     
  2. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    For the steering, 2 things to check. Check for cracks in the frame around the steering box & also check to be sure that the bolts holding the steering box are tight.

    The other thing it could be is a worn out rag joint.

    Have someone turn the steering wheel with the truck running while you watch the steering box. If it seems to jump away from the frame, you have a cracked frame or the box isn't tight.
     
  3. eripley

    eripley 1/2 ton status

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    Hello! thanks for the fast reply!
    The box does not jump away from the frame but does move away from the frame slightly. Is that the problem?!
     
  4. MJF

    MJF 1/2 ton status

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    I found that it doesn't have to move that much to cause loose steering. Luckily mine was just loose bolts & not a cracked frame. Your year model truck is famous for cracking the frame around the steering box.

    The rag joint is another good place to check for slop. After that you have to start looking at ball joints & tie rods. I'm not the best person to give advice on any of that though.
     
  5. 77Jimmy

    77Jimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Welcome to CK5!!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif Thanks for joining and supporting! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Re: oil pressure. I'd believe your new oil pressure guage. I'm at 30psi idling and about 55 driving so it sounds like you're right in that range. From what I've seen on the site here, that's about right. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  6. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    Whew, that's a lot of questions! Welcome to CK5, you'll love it here. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    OK... Transfer case is an NP203, the reason that the Low loc and hi-loc things are there is because that case is a full time one. Meaning that the truck is always in 4wd, but when the t-case shifter is not in "loc" mode, a differential in the t-case allows the front and rear ends to turn at different speeds so you can ster easily. The case may have been converted, it's pretty common to get better gas mileage. It sounds like the linkage needs to be adjusted to get the lever to go to all positions. I don't have a clue how to do this though, so maybe someone else can answer... I do know that the procedure is in the repair manuals that you can get.

    Oil questions - with a standard sized filter a small block chevy will hold about 4.5-5 quarts. 15psi at idle and 60 psi when running at high RPMs is pretty standard pressure for a good oil pump.

    If the steering box moves away from the frame at all then your frame is cracked. Very VERY common on these trucks. get yourself the weld in repair kit from www.offroaddesign.com and install it before you do anything else. If it goes too far then the box can tear completely off of the frame. That's bad, Mmkay? /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    As for the loose steering, if the steering shaft is truly slipping on the input gear to the steering box then that's your problem. IF there's just a lot of slack in the box itself then you can try to adjust the worm gear dealio in the box. I'd suggest a search on "adjusting steering box" and similar terms, if that doesn't work then a new post should get you an answer on the procedure in a hurry.

    A 3 inch lift *probably* won't require anything else, although these trucks are all a little different and there's no way to tell what's been changed on it already. You will likely be fine but there's always the possibility that you'll beed to do something else to make it all work. The 31s will look even goofier with 3" of lift. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    Dash lights - check all of your connections for the wiring to make sure that you're getting a full 12v to the lights, and make sure that you got all of the bulbs replaced. There's a bunch of em and it's easy to miss a couple.

    A quick note on tinted windows on off-road trucks - don't go very dark, it's hard enough to see out the the windows at night without making the glass even darker! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  7. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Welcome to CK5!

    My oil pressure gauge does the same thing. Runs about 60 tops, drops to nothing at idle. Don't think it's an issue.

    Your transfer case should shift into all those positions, not just 2. What the terms mean (loc, low loc, etc.) depends on whether or not you have a full time transfer case or a part time one.

    You should use HIGH for normal driving.

    BTW, if you have a part time kti in your transfer case, the part time cases require that you lock the hubs and drive it like that every 3-400 miles (IIRC) to keep the chain in the case lubricated properly.

    Found this on search. Hope it helps:

    (from weisel):
    Without part time kit-
    -Low loc- With hubs locked or unlocked-Front and rear driveshafts turn at the same speed because they are locked together. Geared down.
    -Low- With hubs locked- Power is sent to both the front and rear driveshafts, and they act like the tires in an open differental, whichever one can turn easier, will turn. Can shift on the fly to "loc", but do not go across the neutral selection to another gear range. Full time four wheel drive. Geared down.
    -Low- With a hub (or both, but will be same if only one is) unlocked- Power is sent to both the front and rear driveshafts, and they act just like the tires in an open differental, whichever one can turn easier, will turn. Since one or both hubs are unlocked, all the power will be diverted twards the front drive shaft, and the truck will not go. Geared down.
    -Neutral- Nothing
    -High and high loc are the same as low and low loc, but it is not geared down.

    With part time kit-
    -Low loc- With hubs locked or unlocked- operates the same as "Low loc with hubs unlocked or locked" above.
    -Low- With hubs unlocked- power is only put in the rear drive shaft. The tront drive train (axle shafts, and driveshaft) dose not spin. Can not shift on the fly to "loc". Not full time four wheel drive.
    -Low- With hubs locked- power is only put in the rear drive shaft. The tront drive train (axle shafts, and driveshaft) does spin, but only because the rolling front tires push them. Not full time four wheel drive. Can "shift on the fly" to the "loc" position, do not, I repeat, do not shift on the fly across the neutral position to go to a different gear range.
    -Neutral -nothing
    -High, and high loc operate the same as low and low loc above, but is not geared down.

    The big difference in the part time kit is that it eliminates the differental in the x-case, and when in high or low (not loc), the power is sent only to the rear driveshaft.

    With a part time kit, keep the hubs unlocked durring normal driving, and drive in the high position. Loc the hubs and switch to one of the "loc" positions for the use of four wheel drive.
     
  8. eripley

    eripley 1/2 ton status

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    Im confused. My truck has warn hubs and also a sticker on the dash that talks about " this truck is equiped with locking hubs etc" Also the shifter does not seem to go in any positions but two. Forward it stops and back it stops there is no in between and not much space (less than an inch) between all the way forward and all the way back. I pretty sure that the shifter cant go into 5 positions unless my shifter is really messed up. It kind off clicks into place when pushed forward and then clicks into place when pushed back. The light on the dash goes off the on.
    So to be on the safe side the floor 4x4 shifter should be back when Im in drive and the hubs are not locked. To put into 4 wheel drive I should lock the hubs then push forward on the floor shifter then my light comes on. So now im in 4x4 high. Does this sound correct? I'll worry about 4x4 low later. All I do is get muddy anyways.

    Also to the guy about steering. I'll search and see if I can find out how to tighten it up. I searched alot before I became registered and could not find the answers. The reason I registered was to ask these 3 questions.

    I like dark tint 20%. I dont offroad at night and roll the windows down when I do. Whats a little mud on the door panels. Anyways, I was very surprised when I went mudding in this truck yesterday. It caked on the underside of my bumpers and wheel wells but that was it. These 31x11.50's are completely under the wheel wells. makes it hard to get the truck dirty. My 31x10.50's stick out on my toyota pickup and throw the mud everywhere!

    Also thank you those who posted about the oil pressure! I was very very concerned that I didnt put enough oil in when my pressure was reading 5-15psi. Im glad 45-60 is about right. The sending unit was $16 but the piece of mind is worth it. I want the 350 to last. It already had 100,000 miles on it when I got it. I hope it can make it a few thousand more with some pampering.
     
  9. weisel

    weisel 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Also the shifter does not seem to go in any positions but two. Forward it stops and back it stops there is no in between and not much space (less than an inch) between all the way forward and all the way back. I pretty sure that the shifter cant go into 5 positions unless my shifter is really messed up.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Are you in Neutral when you try to shift the x-case? It must be in Neutral to get across the gap from H to L. Try that and I'll bet you get 5 positions.

    [ QUOTE ]
    push forward on the floor shifter then my light comes on

    [/ QUOTE ]

    If I remember correctly, the light comes on when the shifter is pushed back? Is this how yours is, or was it a typo?

    [ QUOTE ]
    So to be on the safe side the floor 4x4 shifter should be back when Im in drive and the hubs are not locked.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Yes that would be safe. Just lock the hubs for four wheel drive.

    Let us know how it turns out and if you have any more questions. The np203 trancefer cases are confusing, but can get the hang of it.
     
  10. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Eric, sometimes it's a shifter, sometimes it's the linkage, sometimes it's because you are not in Park, sometimes the truck needs to be rolling a little and in neutral (on the column). They're all a little weird.

    That said, although it might take reading thru other posts until your eyes bleed, it will give you enough understanding of the oddities to figure out what it is with YOUR transfer case (also called "x case").

    I'd do a search for np203 (which is what I think you have) and then start playing with your rig a little to see what does what.

    There is something going on if you only have 2 positions and the shift length is only an inch. Mine is maybe 3-4" from end to end.

    Re: the hub thing. These trucks came stock with automatic hubs. You didn't have to turn them at the wheel to get them to engage, but they explode on a regular basis. So most people replace them with manual hubs (like the Warns you have - very popular brand) which require that you turn them to engage and disengage the 4wd to the wheels (so the front wheels also have power to them).

    What that means to you is that even if the transfer case shifter is in 4wd, that power from the transfer case won't be transferred to the front wheels unless you lock those hubs.

    Here's a post that explains transfer cases pretty well: x-case link
    And another: great explanation
     
  11. SCJimmy

    SCJimmy 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for joining, and welcome to the greatest 4wd site there is /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Looks like many people have you on the right track.

    Look at the steering box and rag joint first, by all means!
    I replaced my tie-rod, drag link, ball joints and stabilizer, only to find the box was the culprit! /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    When you search, use different specific key word combinations, I have yet to come up empty handed!

    Welcome again, and enjoy!

    Byron
     
  12. ankarback

    ankarback 1/2 ton status

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    Hello !

    I think you have the same modification to the NP203 as I have on my -76. I have freewheelinghubs int he front axel and just to ways on the shifter, hi and low and nothing in between.
    I found out that the linkage is modified in the way that someone removed the bolt that makes the two "shifterarms" (dont´t know the correct term) move at the same time.
    This means that the transfercase always is in LOC and you turn 4wd on and off with the hubs in the front axel.
    I´ve heard that this is bad for the transfercase but mine works. It´s very hard to find a new shifterlinkage here in Sweden so I let it be untill it brakes down /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    /Johan
     
  13. eripley

    eripley 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks guys this is alot of information to digest. Im going to mull it over and play with my truck and see what happens!
    I'll report back shortly. Thanks again all!!
     
  14. eripley

    eripley 1/2 ton status

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    Well I have not figured out the loose steering.
    But the shifter now does go into 5 positions. Thanks! The linkage was froze up. I guess the guy who had it before me never used anything but HI and Hi lock. Honestly I probably wont use anything but HI and Hi loc either.

    I'll just research the steering problems by reading about others and then post a more informed question later. Thanks for all your inputs!
     
  15. BlazerFarm

    BlazerFarm Texagonian Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I removed the gun racks and the 6 NRA stickers off the glass.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Your new K5 will not operate properly without these essential items. Please replace the gun racks and put some guns in them (preferably assault (homeland defense) rifles). Please get new NRA stickers (by subscribing to the NRA) and place them strategically on every piece of glass in the K5. This will ensure that your K5 will serve you faithfully for years to come.
     
  16. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Now that we're talking about dash lights, is the printed circuit board the only thing that can cause a total loss of dash lights?
     
  17. cashew

    cashew Registered Member

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    Hey there Eric,

    I have a 1975 with the NP203, unconverted, that some joker who owned it before me put locking hubs on. The locking hubs come with a sticker, that most folks put right next to the fulltime 4wd sticker on the drivers side visor.

    Others have posted correctly, you can't get from HI to Neutral or Low with out putting the transmission in neutral. Here are some other tips for you until you either replace the NP203 with a NP205 (Good idea, expensive idea) or get a part time conversion kit (marginal idea, cheap idea).

    If you are going to run with the front hubs locked or unlocked, no matter what you do, the front drive line is going to spin. BUT, if you have the Tcase set to the HiLOC position, the front and rear driveline will spin at the same speed. You want this, if you are going to be running off the rear only. If you are going to have the hubs unlocked, and you put it into regular HI, the open differential in the center is going to try and put more power on the drive line that is acting like it's slipping, which would be the front driveline, just spinning away in that front pumpkin. So, if you are going to keep the hubs unlocked, run it in HiLOC. Trust me on this, i learned it the hard way.

    What I would recommend, if you have a good set of front locking hubs on the truck (I've got some heavy duty Warn's, so this works for me) is to lock your front hubs, and put the truck in Hi. That way, you are running as the truck was intended, the front driveline isn't spinning with nothing to show for it, and the truck handles a little better. The problem with this, is your fuel mileage will go down a bit (mine went from 10 mpg to 9 mpg, not a big difference in my book), you tire wear will go up, and the front driveline will get worn as well. However, like I said, this is how the truck was intended to be driven, and is the least destructive solution until you can get that NP203 out of there.

    Good luck with your Blazer, they are a blast!
     
  18. eripley

    eripley 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Hey there Eric,

    I have a 1975 with the NP203, unconverted, that some joker who owned it before me put locking hubs on. The locking hubs come with a sticker, that most folks put right next to the fulltime 4wd sticker on the drivers side visor.

    Others have posted correctly, you can't get from HI to Neutral or Low with out putting the transmission in neutral. Here are some other tips for you until you either replace the NP203 with a NP205 (Good idea, expensive idea) or get a part time conversion kit (marginal idea, cheap idea).

    If you are going to run with the front hubs locked or unlocked, no matter what you do, the front drive line is going to spin. BUT, if you have the Tcase set to the HiLOC position, the front and rear driveline will spin at the same speed. You want this, if you are going to be running off the rear only. If you are going to have the hubs unlocked, and you put it into regular HI, the open differential in the center is going to try and put more power on the drive line that is acting like it's slipping, which would be the front driveline, just spinning away in that front pumpkin. So, if you are going to keep the hubs unlocked, run it in HiLOC. Trust me on this, i learned it the hard way.

    What I would recommend, if you have a good set of front locking hubs on the truck (I've got some heavy duty Warn's, so this works for me) is to lock your front hubs, and put the truck in Hi. That way, you are running as the truck was intended, the front driveline isn't spinning with nothing to show for it, and the truck handles a little better. The problem with this, is your fuel mileage will go down a bit (mine went from 10 mpg to 9 mpg, not a big difference in my book), you tire wear will go up, and the front driveline will get worn as well. However, like I said, this is how the truck was intended to be driven, and is the least destructive solution until you can get that NP203 out of there.

    Good luck with your Blazer, they are a blast!

    [/ QUOTE ]


    Hello!

    I think Im FINALLY starting to understand this. All this information is complicated for a newbie (newbie to blazers and 4x4 in general).

    I guess I was taken because I was misinformed. Lesson learned. I told the guy I had bought this truck from that all blazers were all time 4x4. I didnt stand my ground because he was very confident that this truck was an exception.

    My truck has warn locking hubs. Good quality ones. I have been driving around town hubs unlocked and the transfer case in HI.

    So what you are saying is right now since I dont have "part time kit" (how do I tell if I do or dont?) I should lock the hubs and drive around in 4x4 lock. This will make the 4x4 light come on in the dash. If Im reading your post right this is the best use of the already spining transfer case. I dont care about tire wear not right now anyways. They are just generic tires. I would like the engine and transmission to last as long as possible till I get my toyota 22r engine rebuilt. When it gets done I will probably drive that truck more (no offense to you chevy guys but is a 4 cylinder....I get twice the gas mileage and I think its a good looking truck). Then when my toy is done I will look into beefing up and modifying my blazer more.

    Can you please confirm that I am understanding correctly?

    Also anyone know a easy visual way of telling if there is a part time kit without taking stuff apart?

    Thanks in advance!
    Eric
     
  19. Shaggy

    Shaggy 3/4 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Now that we're talking about dash lights, is the printed circuit board the only thing that can cause a total loss of dash lights?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    When I got my truck the gauges worked but the lights didn't, turns out that the wiring harness was not fully seated into the gauge cluster. I just reseated it and the lights started working.
     
  20. stallion85

    stallion85 1/2 ton status

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    Your new K5 will not operate properly without these essential items. Please replace the gun racks and put some guns in them (preferably assault (homeland defense) rifles). Please get new NRA stickers (by subscribing to the NRA) and place them strategically on every piece of glass in the K5. This will ensure that your K5 will serve you faithfully for years to come.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Don, I am with you %100!! If you own a gun support the NRA!! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     

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