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How to deal with major rust...

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by 73BlazerT, Mar 18, 2002.

  1. 73BlazerT

    73BlazerT Registered Member

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    I just purchased a 73 K-5 Blazer with a 383 Stroker, a NP-203 full-time transfer case, Turbo 350 tranny, Dana 44 up front and the 12 bolt rear with 3.08 and positraction for $900.

    The tranny (rebuilt 2 years ago), transfer case (rebuilt 2 years ago) and engine (rebuild with about 20k on it) seem all in good shape, it runs and drives just fine. The body however is shot, there is hardly anything left of the rocker panels and underneath the layer of metal before you get up to where the seats are mounted is as flimsy as cloth. The floorboards are not rusted but I need to knowwhat I can do with this rust on the body such as underneath and along the rear quarters. Should I just cut that crap out and start with the metal thats still good? I know a lot of guys that are cutting off sheet metal and putting bars and such underneath for protection on trails and such, and eliminating all that flimsy metal.

    Any opinions would be appreciated as this is my first fullsize Blazer, I want to build it up into a trail rig and need advice on getting started with asthetic beauty, i.e. I HATE RUST!! And this thing has a ton!
     
  2. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    Watch for the muzzleflash!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.lmctruck.com>lmc</a>
     
  3. zakk

    zakk 1/2 ton status

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    body swap time! remember to do a write up on it so i have some info when i do mine/forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  4. 73 K5 Blazer

    73 K5 Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I have a 73 with some body cancer. I am in the process of replacing the rear quarters and inner and outter rockers. There are a bunch of company's that sell parts just do a serch. Here are a few more to try
    www.browns-of-tworivers.com
    www.4autobodyparts.com
     
  5. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    Watch for the muzzleflash!
    <a target="_blank" href=http://www.jcwhitney.com>JCWhitney</a>
    and fill out your profile newbie.../forums/images/icons/laugh.gif there might be someone in your area willing to help or know of some other options near you.../forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  6. CaptCrunch

    CaptCrunch 1/2 ton status

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    I have to agree with body swap... no good way to patch up something all rusted, cause rust loves to come back. Find a rust free tub and go that route.
     
  7. Greenblazer-AZ

    Greenblazer-AZ 1/2 ton status

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    Well... um... you could go here and look up your aplication and never have to worry about rust again. Not cheap but it won't rust. http://www.dragglass.com/DragGlass.htm
    They make one that will end your rust problems forever.
     
  8. 73BlazerT

    73BlazerT Registered Member

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    Thanks all...unfortunately I'm in an apartment right now and have no place to put another body if i was to buy one, local junkyards around here act like their stuff is new and it would cost me a fortune to buy a complete tub + my lack of funds doesn't help. I hate having nowhere to work. I appreciate the suggestions and I know work like this involves a lot of time. I will prevail though!!
     
  9. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Cut it out. look on my site. I made a sub frame out of 1x2 to replace the rocker box.
     
  10. 73BlazerT

    73BlazerT Registered Member

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    I kinda see what you mean but there isn't really a picture that shows it too well. Basically you removed all that flimsy sheetmetal and fabricated some rocker guards that also protects the underneath part of the floorboards?
     
  11. ChevBlazin

    ChevBlazin 1/2 ton status

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    I've had a bit of experience in this area. I have an 86 K5 As a result of hail damage and rust I replaced both box sides (yep the whole inner and outer 1/4 panel), both doors, rocker panels, tail gate, rear floor, tail gate support, hood, and front fenders. Hey the roof is still original! I would strongly discurage anyone from replacing the rear box sides them selves unless you have LOTS of experience in this line of work. This part was a pain in the a$$. I got them bolted and lined up ok, but the body shop still had quite a bit of work to do on them. On an older blazer w/ a fully removable top it would be easier, If you can find the box sides anywhere.
    I would never attempt a project like this again. It would be much easier and cheaper (in my oppinion) to either start with a rust free body tub, or the whole blazer. However understand I was trying to make it look as nice and original as possible. If I was building a wheeler then I probably could do w/ hacking apart a rusty blazer.
     
  12. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    did you find this page?
    http://communities.msn.com/OffroadK5s/shoebox.msnw?Page=3
    MSN reformated and this page is sort of hidden now.
    THere is a picture of the sub frame before it's installed in the truck.
    The problem is GM didn't even get paint on the inside of the rocker boxes. There are gaps on both ends where junks gets slung off the tires and ends up in their. Ad restricted ventalation and it stays nice and humid in there once you get some dirt sitting in the bottom.
     
  13. chevyfumes

    chevyfumes Court jester

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    I like that second to last pic Grimmy I had to flip my monitor upside down.../forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  14. 1BAD88

    1BAD88 Registered Member

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    Well it all depends on what you want to with your truck. if you need a reliable everyday driver then you need to repair all internal rust .especially around the front floor seat holes .I have an 88 and when I got into a slight fender bender my seat completely ripped out of the floor and took the side seatbelt panel with it .Since then I completely restored my interior using new sheet metal from www.autobodyspecialt.com .The prices were great and the pieces welded right in with a little cutting-trimming but overall it was well worth it now I have a rust free solid truck that I drive everyday .Check around for prices and decide because I can gauranty that once you start cutting THE MADNESS NEVER ENDS and it will be a costly project .............good luck and let us know how it turns out...............................
     
  15. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    E-town baby!
  16. jcg

    jcg 1/2 ton status

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    Well, if you ever get the time and a place to work, you could always do this...<a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/moneypit.shtml>http://coloradok5.com/moneypit.shtml</a> MTPockets did a hell of a job on his rig. I've gotten happy with the sawzall before but he kind of went to the extreme, hopefully someday when I get a new daily driver I can do the same!! /forums/images/icons/laugh.gif
     
  17. ChevBlazin

    ChevBlazin 1/2 ton status

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    tRustyK5, Did you cut the back half off of a nice tub, or did you get the floor, box sides, and wheel wells and put it together from that? I would have been to scared to cut the bottom half off of the rear cab pillars. Nice Job!
     
  18. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I literally stumbled onto that donor rear half while mini-van shopping with a friend. The salesman took one look at my rusty truck and said "I have what you need"...
    It was a 73 Blazer that had been all gone through at a body shop. It had 88 box sides on the original tub so it has the fuel door, but the floor itself is 73 and rust free. The Blazer was in a bad head on wreck so all that was still good was from the windshield back. The windshield frame was bent and wrecked too or I would have grabbed that as well. I paid $200 for the rear half and used a 7" grinder to cut it across the front floor area.
    When I cut the pillars I supported the roof of the half cab with some 2x4's down to the floor of the truck. I cut them about 1" longer than needed so it would force the roof up a little and allow me to slide the donor under the pillar's.
    The hard part (OK there wasn't really an easy part.../forums/images/icons/smile.gif) was that I needed to build/modify the body mounts nearest to where the splice was. The 73 mounts are way different than the 81 mounts in that location.

    The rear half only weighs about 300 lbs...me and a buddy carried it into a rented delivery truck to take to my work.

    Rene
     

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