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Needed K5 Upgrades for daily driver/weekend warior.

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 90_K5 Blazer, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. 90_K5 Blazer

    90_K5 Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Hey yall,

    First off, I have to say that yes I did search the forums so don't slam me because I misssed something, yes, I am a newbie!

    Anyhow, I just bought a 1990 k5 blazer with only 90,000 miles on it, and because it was owned by an old man, it is in pristine condition! I have to use it for my daily driver, and being a college student, i'm on a very tight budget, so there will be no dana 60's or 14bolts in the near future! It is a 350 with a sm465 4 speed trans and the np241 trasfer case along with 3.08 diff gears with locking diff in the rear, all factory stuff.

    But my main question is, what are NEEDED upgrades to keep this thing reliable for occasional offroading? I'm not putting any bigger tires than what's already on it (31's) or anything radical, just needed upgrades to keep this thing preety strong? I've heard about transfer case snap rings breaking?

    Thanks guys, I appreciate all your help! and remember, i'm in college, so i'm POOR! : )

    Eric
     
  2. 1990k5fan

    1990k5fan 1/2 ton status

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    Just all the maintence and don't kill it trying to do something stupid :P.
    Cap and rotor, spark plugs, oil change, fuel filter..You know basic stuff.
    Just get it running good and it will last for a while.

    My 90 has 136k miles ( my dads the original owner) and it still runs strong every day.
     
  3. Thunder

    Thunder 3/4 ton status

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    I really don't think you need anything if you are going to stay with the stock 31" tires. You already have a good strong basic 4 wheeler. The SM465 &241 xfer case is a very good combo. They are both strong units
    You really don't need to beef up the drive train unless you get over 33" tires.
    If you money is tight you should keep it close to stock for now you will get the best gas MPG and should not have any breakage issues.
    The weak point in your truck is the gov lock locker. They hold up ok with stock tire sizes as long as you don't hot rod them. Loosing traction and nailing the gas, or trying to light up your tires around a turn is the fastest way to break them. Off road use your 4 WD Don't try to power up or thru something just to show you can make it in 2wd. Use the front axle to take the strain off the rear and equalize the load and your Gov-bomb will be a lot happier.

    If you have the automatic hubs replacing them with manuals is a real good thing to do. The automatics have a tendency to not work when you need them the most. A set of Superwinch or Warn premium hubs is under 100 at most auto parts stores. It is an easy swap.

    IMO the best money you could spend on your truck would be on the engine.
    When was the engine last tuned? A good tune up with wires, plugs, cap and rotor really helps if all the stuff is old.
    Adding a performance muffler like flowmaster or dynomax ect

    Check out this site:cfm-tech.com
    The power plate, power Charger, and injector spacer are very good cheap mods to do that increase power and you will get a little better gas mileage too.

    Change all your fluids. Oil, trans ,xfer case, and espically the rear and front end. that way you know everything is in good shape and you are not running wore out oil that may have 90K on it in the drive train.

    And Welcome to Ck5 !
     
  4. 1990k5fan

    1990k5fan 1/2 ton status

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    Also look into getting a hi-flow cat to help the engine breathe better.
     
  5. 90_K5 Blazer

    90_K5 Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    Hey guys, thanks for all the great info!

    Well it did have new ignition stuff put on a little while before I bought it, but it starts and run's so smooth I sometimes have a hard time telling it's still running! Although a throttle body spacer would be a good idea...
    Well that is great to know I don't have to watch out for any major problems, I go preety easy on this thing, I save the speedshifting and burnouts for my lemans ; ) My only question is, what type of "locker" is in my stock rear? In my lemans, with a 3.23 10 bolt- 8.5 inch and a "normal clutch type posi", I can do burnouts for days end and nothing ever happens and i've been beating on it for 3 years now! That is a great point about 4wd to evenly distribute the torque and strain.

    I do need to check the case and rearend fluid though, as I know most people never change it which is just horrible! :doah:

    Well as I bought it, it has manual hubs, but their not Warn or another good brand, could you get manual hubs from the factory?

    Yah, I am a pontiac engine guy, but the 350 chevy will go forever!

    How much would a high-flow cat be? I live in michigan, so there are absolutley no laws governing emmisions on older cars, or emmision checks or anything like that (thank god), so could I just go with no cat and a straight pipe?

    Thanks everyone again!,

    Eric
     
  6. 1990k5fan

    1990k5fan 1/2 ton status

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    oh in that case, run some true dual exhaust man :D.
    Just headers to long pipes out the back.

    I ENVY YOU :D
     
  7. mello_yello

    mello_yello 1/2 ton status

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    X2 :doah: :mad: :bow:
     
  8. chromewontgetyouhome

    chromewontgetyouhome Registered Member

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    Dont forget to check and lube all of the u-joints and drive shafts.
     
  9. 87BrnRsd

    87BrnRsd 1/2 ton status

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    Chances are its the infamous gov-lock locker....nicknamed the gov-bomb. If your original options code list is still on the inside of the glovebox, the code for the gov-lock is G80. The reason why you can do that in your lemans is because it doesnt weight nearly what the K5 weighs, and im guessing the lemans tires are a bit smaller than 31's too. The gov lock usually fails because it allows one tire to lose traction and start to spin pretty quickly before it tries to lock the other one in....and the huge speed difference between the two axle shafts makes the rearend go boom. With 31's and light wheeling it should work good for you though. As other said just dont try to hot rod it. I definitely try to hot rod mine and I like to turn the tires over on asphalt...they are 37's...then again I have the bulletproof 14ff/Detroit combo.:p:
    -Harrison
     

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