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Need advise regarding my recently purchased 86 K5 Blazer

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Beach Bum, Apr 17, 2000.

  1. Beach Bum

    Beach Bum Newbie

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    I just recently purchased a 86 K5 and love it, fresh paint, new tires, new interior, new brakes, everything is in mint condition, however I have a couple of problems I would like to solicite your advise on.

    First problem is that the tires(33" x 12.5") are rubbing the fenders when turning on a slightly uneven surface. I read about trimming on this site, but I prefer to have it done by a competent shop... how much money am I looking roughly to have this done? The rubbing is only on the front and fairly minor, its hitting the bottom of the fenders on both sides.

    Next, at about 30-35 mph the truck acts like its cutting out momentarily and only happens at this speed, a mechanic has told me the converter is going into and out of lock-up mode, probably due to the large tires.... does that sound right ? If yes, what is your recommended fix on this ?
    Also what do you recommend for stall converter speed for an off-road application that will also do some vehicle towing?

    I bought an off-road 4wd vehicle to precisely do that... off-roading... any tips for off road navigating with a 86... any weaknesses or strengths ?

    Does anybody know of any good trails in Southern California ?
    How about off-road clubs in Southern California ?

    The motor lacks power... without changing the displacement, any advise on proven combinations that build strong low to midrange torque ? Most of my experience is with Tuned port fuel injection...btw, anybody here ever convert their carb to tuned port ? computer probably would hate that is my guess.

    Sorry so long... thanks for any help.

    Beach Bum

    86 K5 Blazer
    85 Corvette w/383 Superram
    2000 Honda CRV SUV (wifes get around car)
     
  2. Kyle89K5

    Kyle89K5 1/2 ton status

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    As for the tires, A little lift would not be a bad thing. If you want to have a shop cut the fenders, it will all depend on who it is. One shop local wouldn't do mine cause he hated to cut original sheetmetal, another said $50 a side. I've got a sawzall now, and plan on doing it myself.

    As for the cutting out, If it feels like it is missing, I doubt it's in the tranny. If it's shifting in and out, then that might be because of the larger tires and a gearing problem.

    Offroad, DON'T go alone. Don't ask me how I know about that. Get ready for some weird feelings if the truck is doing things your not ready for it too. Just think back to when you first started driving and each different car was a new experience. Now you can hop in a car and run it down the road and not have too many problems. Wheeling a Blazer is like that. It feels top heavy and ready to tip alot. Be careful of those tires, when you get to moving around they are gonna rip some sheetmetal. Once you've done it a couple of times it feels like an old broke in Barkalounger. Pretty Damn Comfortable. Welcome to the allmighty world of the K5.

    If you truck is lacking lowend torque, this again can be related back to your tires. You're probably not geared for those tires, and it's sucking up some of the power. A couple of things to help out would be to get more air in, and let it breathe easier. A K&N Filter would be an easy, as is flipping your air cleaner lid. Once your getting more in, you might want to look at getting it out too. I'm not talking about a monster dual exhaust system, mine jumped volumes by going to a single 3" over the smaller factory. There were a couple of threads on here about switching to TPI, do a search and see if you can find any. There is some good info, and I think (correct me if I'm wrong) BlazzinOR did one on his.

    Hope this helps, if not, I'm sure plenty of people will tell me.

    Kyle
    89K5
     
  3. Corey-88K5

    Corey-88K5 1/2 ton status

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    As far as the tires hitting issue, I'm with Kyle. Do a lift. Even if you can clear the tires now and pay a shop to cut the body, you will end up lifting it later. So, save the money and lift it. You will be happier overall.

    One thing I will argue with him on is the "cutting out" issue. I have a 700 in my truck also. And my truck feels like it cuts out. I've found out that its because of the transmission "bunching up" because of the oversized tires. Same problem as you are experiencing. My truck will also feel like it gets bumped in the rearend when stopped. This is because of the trans problems. So, I'm sure you are correct in this issue. Oh, also my truck does it at the same speed as your truck. I currently have 3.42:1's in my 88K5. I currently have a replacement trans (again...)

    Also, I've rethought my opnion on "what to do first" when upgrading your truck. Some will say tires, lift, winch. It is all worthless unless you do this one thing first... Recovery points! Get those inexpensive tow hooks they sell at autozone or where ever. I've ripped off a few bumpers in my day trying to recover a friends truck. I now give them the chain and tell them to put it where they want their truck to get broken. It never fails. So, get recovery points first. I have a moderatly built blazer and still manage to get stuck most of the time I go out, but its not a big deal. Just unspool and recover. So, please. Make your first add-on recovery hooks/points. Even if its just a empty trailer hitch receiver for your class III and a large clevis. Don't, repeat DO NOT hook a strap or chain upto a trailerhitch ball. Somebody will get killed. The shank is not designed for shockloads.

    As far as trying to get more power out of your truck. Well in all honesty, doing engine upgrades or rebilding your transmission will only delay the death of a major part. What you NEED to do is: Regear the axles, (4.11:1 for 33's) rebuild and add a trans cooler for the trans. This will solve a lot of problems for your truck. You will gain power and most of the things you want. Later if you want, do some engine upgrades, ignition and exhaust upgrades.

    Hope this helps. I know its not what you want to hear. Its pretty expensive venture, but you need to do it. Sorry. I'm in the same boat. Wanna help row?

    Corey
    88K5

    [​IMG]<font color=red>Girls Like Guys In Bow Ties
    http://www.geocities.com/corey_perez
     
  4. BurbinOR

    BurbinOR 3/4 ton status

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    Kyle is correct, I did a TPI conversion on my 79. It was from a carbureted original Q-Jet truck, as opposed to your conversion from a TBI. Should be as simple or more so, need to get the correct wiring harness (Painless Wiring sells them), correct sensors (not sure if the ones a TBI uses are the same), and of course the hardware (including computer). Saw an IROC parting out in the Pittsburgh POst Gazette (yes, still live in Western PA until early June) for $300 for the top end of the motor, which included heads, TPI, computer, etc. So point is it CAN be done relatively inexpensively. I spent around $1000 including a valve job on the heads, wiring, etc., and had some body work done at the same time (damn rust belt and their gosh darn salt!), so probably only cost me $800 for the TPI conversion, all sensors, wiring, etc. WORTH doing, especially for the carburetor guys out there.

    '79 - 406 w/IROC TPI - K5#5 - a <font color=orange>sickness[​IMG] <font color=blue>you never get enough of!! [​IMG]
     
  5. Beach Bum

    Beach Bum Newbie

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    Thanks for the help all, it is greatly appreciated !!!

    Kyle,

    $50 a side certainly sounds reasonable... how much was the Saw thingamajig... and where do you get one?
    Whats a rough estimate on lifting up the truck dollar wise? And how high should I go ? The thing I am scared about lifting it up... seems like that would make it more top heavy.
    Why not 4 wheeling alone... sounds like you have a good story you're keeping to yourself.

    Corey,
    Tranny bunching up ? Does this mean the tranny is toast. I just had my 700r4 rebuilt in my vette...not cheap? Do you have anymore information on what was happening?
    Good tip on the "recovery points" sounds like wise advise... its at the top of the "to get list"

    Blazzin,

    I have quite a bit experience with TPI... I know the torque increase from 2000-4000 rpm can be dramatic. Its something I will seriously consider in the future. Right now, I wanna solve the fender and tranny problem first.

    Thanks again for your very courteous help !!!

    Beach Bum

    86 K5 Blazer
    85 Corvette w/383 Superram
    2000 Honda CRV SUV (wifes get around car)
     
  6. Grey Thunder

    Grey Thunder Registered Member

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    where in southern cali are you?????

    " If it ain't a chevy, don't raise it up"
     
  7. mudfanatic

    mudfanatic 1/2 ton status

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    at speeds under 45 MPH drive your rig in Drive! you'll not only take care of the "cutting out" problem you'll save the life of your transmission. Believe me those 700 R4's aint cheap to rebuild if you have them done right with the upgrade parts.
    '77 K5

    <font color=red>mudfanatic</font color=red>[​IMG]
     
  8. getsome

    getsome 1/2 ton status

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    My 84 K5 with 35's and a 700r4 gets left behind all the time because of the gearing. I have 4.11 and they realy need to be 4.56 or 4.88s. With the overdrive tranny you can afford to go a little higher(numerical) gear then you would with a th350. I don't use forth gear because of this. My only choice is to put 33's on or change gears to 4.88 or 4.56. I have a 6" lift installed and the tires don't rub at all. Sounds like a great K5 you bought.

    Getsome
     
  9. Corey-88K5

    Corey-88K5 1/2 ton status

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    As far as my Tranny "Bunching Up", at 30-35mph, the truck tends to lose a large amount of power when in OD. The truck is capable of powering through it though. The only other problem I've found is like I said, when sitting at a light the truck will actually jump! It lurch's forward. The best example I would have is if you idled your truck upto 900-1200rpm and dropped it into drive. I don't know much about trans, and every time I have a problem I have to contract it out. This is the 2nd trans in the truck. This one didn't even last a year and I paid about $1300 for a rebuild on it. I currently have a 84 700r4 sitting in the shed. Its out of a 2wd Diesel, and has a bit of work done to it: valve body, hd clutches. The previous owner wasn't sure if anything else had been done. He drove it for aprox 200 miles before the motor let loose. The local trans shop quoted me $75 to change the output shaft between the 2wd & 4wd version.

    Well, I hope that helps. As far as the trans being destroyed, Its still driving, and as long as I keep it out of od, I don't have a problem. I just don't wnat to get 200miles from home or something and have it go out on me. May as well fix it now instead of paying 2x the rebuild price just to get it home to fix it anyway!

    Corey
    88K5

    [​IMG]<font color=red>Girls Like Guys In Bow Ties
    http://www.geocities.com/corey_perez
     
  10. Kyle89K5

    Kyle89K5 1/2 ton status

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    A sawzall can run anywhere between $100-SKY'S THE LIMIT. I got a cheapo one for $60. Check out Sears, Home Depot, Lowes, bout anywhere. Don't worry about lifting the truck. A good susp. lift will run you about $600 for springs front and rear. Depending on how much articulation you're gonna get, a smaller lift might be better for ya. Corey can get his 33's to hit w/ a 4" lift. Then again, his truck flexes like Arnold. Don't go with a body lift. That's when you're gonna start putting bad stresses on things.

    On the wheelin' alone thing, I decided one night to go for a little nocturnal solo wheelin'. Went down a little trail not far from my house and was doing good untill I misjudged where the dropoff was. Bounced the truck around pretty hard and ended up with a grocery list of broken parts. Half of them I broke on the way down the side of the hill and half on the way back up. Never rolled the thing, but got damn close a time or two. No cell phone just me and the truck trying to get home. I still beat my wife home but I wasn't able to get the truck put back together before she got there. Let see....
    Busted leaf in drivers side spring pack (thank GOD for Mil. Wrap)
    Busted drivers side shock in HALF
    Busted out one of my new superwinch hubs
    Pass. Side rear shock.
    Bumper tweaked (Front and Rear)
    Stearing Stabilizer TOAST

    All in all a good trip.

    Kyle
    89K5
     
  11. Esteban86K5

    Esteban86K5 1/2 ton status

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    I have the same question as Grey Thunder, where are you in So. Cal.? I'm in Torrance. There's a guy on here that's also in Torrance(Blaize) and we are planning on going wheeling sometime soon. Drop a line and we can hook-up.



    Esteban
    SEMPER FIDELIS TO MY BLAZER
     
  12. Beach Bum

    Beach Bum Newbie

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    Grey & Estaban,

    I recently moved from Newport Beach to Fountain Valley. Let me know on any outings you guys are planning, more than likely you can count me in... I haven't even gotten the truck dirty yet. I'm ready too... well as soon as I trim the front fenders, and figure out this tranny/converter problem.

    Mudfanatic,
    I usually do leave the truck in 3rd, which is the gear the stutter is happening. It happens during accerlation. I haven't noticed the problem in OD. I'm leaning towards this being a converter lock-up problem.

    Getsome,

    Thats a lot of gear!!! But considering the size of your tires I guess it balances things. As a note, my mechanic told me I have 3.07's... which obviously with my 33" tires, I've been hit pretty hard in the torque arena. I think new gears in the near future are a must with my situation.

    Kyle,

    Right now the truck is extremely stiff and tight. While I'll consider lifting later, right now I'm gonna hold off and trim instead. I think with a lift I'd also wanna go to bigger 35" tires and of course more gear... however my 33" tires were purchased by the previous owner only a month ago... they're brand spanking new... I'd better put some more miles on these before I discard them.
    Sounds like an interesting night escapade you had... I think I'll make sure I have company when I hit a trail as you suggested.

    Corey,
    Thanks for the info, dunno if we have the same problem.. but maybe. I don't have any idle surgings. I believe the truck is okay in OD. I'm thinking the solution maybe to tear into the valve body and program the converter to only go into lock-up mode in OD, and stay in non-lock-up mode in 1st through 3rd.... this however will typically build up heat in a 700r4 quicker... but the converter bouncing from lock-up to non lock-up constantly will do that as well.

    Thanks for the advise everyone... my to do list grows by the minute.

    Beach Bum

    86 K5 Blazer
    85 Corvette w/383 Superram
    2000 Honda CRV SUV (wifes get around car)
     

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