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New to 4 wheeling, looking to buy a K5 Blazer but have some questions

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by dawson444, Jul 7, 2000.

  1. dawson444

    dawson444 1/2 ton status

    Jul 5, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Raleigh, NC
    Hello everyone, I am 16 years old. I am going to be getting my license soon, and I am shopping for a 1986-1991 Chevy K5 Blazer. The reason I am posting this is I have a few questions:
    1. Any advise such as things to look for that are good and bad when shopping for it?
    2. Are all 69-91 blazer's tops removable?
    3. Tires, I am going to be mostly just driving around town, in it, and then if I can find somewhere to go 4 wheeling in NC (anyone know of any where good for a beginner) I will be doing a little 4 wheeling, and I will definitely take it to the beach a lot and drive on the beach. What are some good tires to get, I am looking for something probably around 33-35" any suggestions on good ones? I like the look of the Baja Claws but I really doubt they will do well at all driving on concrete.
    4. How much of a lift will I need to give it?
    5. In order to get the bigger tires and to get the lift I need to convince my dad, he is afraid I am going to roll it, any suggestions like statistics I can use to try to convince him?
    6. If I do put bigger tires on it are these things I need to change/should change? Like gears, axles, brakes, brake lines, etc.? Also how much are bigger tires going to affect the gas mileage?
    7. For a soft top are Kaylines the best way to go? If I was to get one, could I attach it in the summer, and take it off in winter and put on the hard top?
    8. For a roll bar, the one in this pic http://coloradok5.com/projects/uav_topoff1.jpg is it meant to protect the driver or the people in the back seat? If any, how much protection will it give the people in the back seat if you were to roll it w/o the top on? with the top on? If you were to roll it w/ the top off and no roll bar how much protection is the cab going to give the driver? Is it going to crush? With top off?
    9. I have never been 4 wheeling, but I would lover the learn how, it looks like a lot of fun. I don't know of any around here (Raleigh, NC) any one know of any around here or any where in NC? Also if I would like to learn, any tips on how I should go about learning?

    Some of these questions may be stupid but I don't know very much about 4 wheeling and cars, but I would really like to change that, I just started writing down anything I was wondering about. I didn't mean for this to turn out so long but I just started writing and here I am. I would really appreciate any responses! Thanks for listening to me!
  2. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

    Feb 18, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Marietta GA
    1.Look for rust in the cab mounts and around the tail gate.
    2.69-75 full, 76-91 half cab.
    3.I like my BFG M/T's 35x12.50, Tellico is in NC, You can drive on the beaches Down East.
    4.Depends on alot of things.
    5.Your on your own with that one.
    6.Depends on how much lift and if you take it off road. With the 4" lift on mine I needed a front driveshaft & brake lines.
    7.Steve's Can-Back top looks great to me.
    8.76 & up the half cab is designed to protect the front seat in a roll over. A roll bar/cage is only as good as what it mounts to. The top is made of fiberglass, nuff said.
    9.Look up SFWDA.com and try to find a club you like.
    Good luck and happy hunting, Jim.

    BigJBear '80 GMC
  3. chevy4x4

    chevy4x4 1/2 ton status

    Apr 27, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Welcome to the great world of off roading!!
    I hope i can answer most of your questions.

    1)Take an experianced friend, relative, mechanic or someone that nows about 4x4 with you when you go buy one. You have to look through the whole truck. Everything
    2)Yes. 69-75 Blazers had fully removable hard tops.76-91 Blazers had removable hard tops too, but only half cab ones.
    3)I recommend BFG All Terrains. These tires are good off road and also on the streets. They arn't very loud when you drive on the pavement too.
    4) If you want to run 33s, you will need a little lift or fender trimming. I suggest a 2 inch or 4 inch suspension lift. If you want to run 35s, I'd recommend a 4 inch suspension and a little fender trimming.
    5) You could get a roll bar installed and that should ease his worries a bit. If you drive it normally, there isn't a really big risk that its gonna roll. I don't have any stats.
    6) There are a few thigs you have too change. The more you lift, the more you will have to change, the more it will cost. If you lift 4 inches or under, your driveshaft angles should be ok. You should extend your brake lines. For gears, go to http://www.4lo.com/geartable.html to find out how much you will have to lower the gears. Yes it is going to affect gas mileage. It depends on gears, tires etc. you run.
    7) Yes you could. You can take the top off in the summer and put it on in the winter. You will need someone to help you take/put it on/off.
    8) That roll bar is mainly for the driver. It would give you some protection but not a lot. The fiberglass hard top wouldn't help a lot in the roll over. If you roll without a roll bar or hard top the cab will give a little protection, but not a lot. If it would be a serious roll over, it would crush.
    9) I've never been to NC so I can't help you with your first question. Here is a tip for off roading: NEVER go alone. Always go 4x4ing with someone. If you get stuck, lost or whatever its not good to be alone. You can learn buy watching, reading and doing it. Watch 4x4 tv shows. Read 4x4 mags and posts on this site. Go 4x4ing. Take on easy trails. Remember, Never go alone.

    Hope I could help a little bit.
    If you have anyother questions, feel free to send me an e mail chevy4x4@post.com

    [​IMG]<font color=orange>chevy4x4</font color=orange>[​IMG]
  4. Balou

    Balou 1/2 ton status

    Apr 15, 2000
    Likes Received:
    back to Germany
    Agree to the above, just one more thing:

    BLAZERs eat money !!!

    So have a look for a good job and avoid stress with daddy, lol.

    "Size DOES matter!!!", said the girl last night.
  5. MudFrog

    MudFrog 1/2 ton status

    Feb 23, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Daleville, Va
    When you increase the width of your tire (bigger size) you actually decrease the chance of flipping. Your tires are more stable against the ground. Take a bicycle for example, sitting on 2 narrow tires it is sure to fall in a second, but put a wider tire on it and the chances of it falling decreases. (And YES I did read this in a 4 wheel magazine, so I'm not just BS'n). Just watch out for the bodylift, With a bodylift it alters your center of gravity really bad, and you would be more likely to flip with a bodylift as opposed to a suspension lift. Before you take the blazer off-road, make sure you drive it around town for at least a week so you can get use to the size of the blazer. Practice backing up into tight spots. I promise this will save your blazer some body work.

    89 K5 Silverado
  6. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

    Apr 20, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Ahh another young one
    3.BFG All Terrain's
    5.fat chance on rolling a blazer, unless your doing some hardcore wheelin'
    7. Kayline is good, but Can-Back is better(and expensive!)http://www.can-back.com
    8.A rollbar can't protect much unless it's connected to the frame. You will need a full rollcage, not just that factory rollbar, if you want to protect the rear passengers, too.
    9.Go with a buddy!, And just go through the little stuff first so you'll get the hang of it. The blazer kinda feels weird in an off-camber situation. Have Fun!!

  7. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

    Jun 1, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Lubbock, TX
    For 33s you need a 2.5" lift and for 35s you need 4-6. If you put a 2.5" on then it raises the truck that much but if you put 33x12.5x15s on it about equals out because it makes it wider by about 2" on each side so the higher center of gravity is not a problem. Also stiffer springs make it. less likely to roll than the soft OE ones. The front rollbar helps a little but the fibergalss top will likely break off if you roll it. It happened to my neighbor on the highway when some b!tch cut him off and he had to swerve a lot. Check for rust, a leaky top and it would be a good idea to have a mechanic or somebody go with you to drive it. Be prepared to get 10-11 mpg in the city. Also if you get an 87-91 they have EFI and you will have about 30-40 more hp stock.
  8. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

    Feb 17, 2000
    Likes Received:
    North Texas
    I'd say if you've never been wheeling before, you ought to drive it stock for a while and get a feel for what it's like. I've had 3 4x4 trucks and this is the first one I've lifted. And I'm in the final stages of that project. When you lift one, it puts more stress on the entire driveline so you'll have more chance of breaking stuff. I'd say throw on a good set of tires, like 32's so you don't have to lift it, and maybe a locker in the rear just to get the feel of the girl. Then when you're ready to upgrade, you really aren't out anything and you'll know better what you want. Things to look for when shopping:
    stress cracks around the steering box
    standard body/ mech problems. A too clean engine, an oily undercarriage, etc.



    Durant, Ok
    '79 Blazer in progress
  9. rem7600

    rem7600 1/2 ton status

    Apr 16, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Coeur d\'Alene, Idaho
    Hey BlazerGuy, Consider that some of us drive
    in SNOW... Flipping is a possibility then, short
    WB and lifted app equal a hazard in snow! :-)
    I know the orginal post said NC so there shouldn't
    be a problem but here in the NW or in Maine, where I
    grew up it, sure IS an issue! 2WD's(rear wheel)
    are all but useless without chains or at least studs...
    Oh, and ever try to steer a 4wd in 4wd on
    snow/ice when "you've lost it?" if not, try
    pushing the toothpaste you've squeezed out
    by mistake back into the tube sometime.
    That will give you some idea of what it's
    like. This isn't a flame.. Blazers/
    Jimmy's ARE stable rigs when used properly.

    Dawson, welcome to the group. All info given from
    the group(above)is good. If I were 16, cash would be
    an issue... Consider 33's or less. I liked LakeTex's
    post on 32's and the locker. Consider starting
    Off-Road real slow. Make sure your rig is good
    mechanically and then "go play" with some friends.
    You'll learn fast that the goal is to "DON'T GET STUCK".
    And that the harder you push, the less you get stuck
    but the more you break stuff! It's always a trade-off!

    I'm not a "serious" off-roader my self but have
    been in a predicament or two... The above are
    just my observations... Good luck with your
    new venture AND your DAD! :-)

    <font color=purple>REM7600 - '89 Jimmy</font color=purple>
  10. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

    Apr 20, 2000
    Likes Received:
    Rem, please excuse my ignorance as I have never even seen snow let alone drive in it. Sorry, for the misleading post.


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