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Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by carcblackblazer, May 26, 2004.

  1. carcblackblazer

    carcblackblazer Registered Member

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    Location:
    Ft. Rich, \'Laska
    As the proud owner of a "newly" aquired 1991 K5 Blazer (since my mom wouldn't give up the 85 K5 I grew up with) I'm looking to beef it up for some good old trail fun.

    I have a large list of toys, considering I have a side job and semi-disposable income due to that.

    I have a couple of questions related to the "toys list" that I have ran up so far, that I want to install in the near future. The list generally goes like this:

    Shackle flip and actual shackle replacement with greasable shackles
    Ubolt flip
    Swaybar disconnect
    Replace the axles, both front and rear
    axle trusses front and rear w/ diff cover replacement
    Rear shock mount relocation
    Crossover steering/Tie rod replacement w/ heavier duty
    Comfortable seat replacement, 4 'racing' seats w/ 5 pt harnesses
    Internal roll cage

    Given that I want to run 35"s on it, what size steel rim/tire combinations would be recommended, and what type of locking diffs would you guys recommend?

    I am also looking for a good front and rear bumper replacement as well.

    I plan on eventually putting a rack on the roof of the shell in the rear, but building up a shim system so the roll cage instead of the roof itself is supporting the weight of my spare tire, recovery tools and the like. That same roof rack will also integrate a semi-slick rotation system for my lights I'll put on top to be able to face them down when not needed, and at the same time raise a sheet metal deflector to keep kicked up debris (Alaska only uses gravel on the roads, too cold for salt) from damaging some high dollar lighting.

    I also intend on finding a place in town that can help me build a trailer hitch rack that serves dual purpose, curved at the ends with a pseudo-T hitch so it can be mounted either out, to carry coolers/game/whatever, or be mounted vertically in close proximity to the body to keep out of the way when not being used. The wrap-around is intended to work somewhat like a brushguard for the taillights, although it's not really necessary. I just want it to be there when I go hunting and don't want Yogi to nasty up the inside of the truck.


    Any help is greatly appreciated... Ya'll have been driving offroad in these significantly more than I have... I'm limited to what I've done when the LT isn't looking at work /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  2. MTBLAZER89

    MTBLAZER89 3/4 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Cool congrats on your new toy /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Sounds like you got a pretty good list going there. Sounds like you are shooting for around 4-5" of lift right?

    What kind of wheeling is this vehicle gonna see I imagine in AK mostly dirt/mud/snowy trails and such.

    I'll try and help some good call on the shackle flip it maintains the factory ride but flexes very well. I wouldn't worry about the swaybar disco's unless you are palnning on towing some heavy stuff just remove the swaybar/s.

    As far as axle replacement are you ever going to go bigger than 35's? Maybe a 3/4 ton swap is right for you. Dana 44 or 10b front and a 14BFF rear. If you are easy on itand you aren't going larger than 35's you could run the 1/2 ton gear ok just carry some spare parts onthe trail. Of course if you want to thrash on it get a 14BFF and a Dana 60 front with 35's you would be almost bullet proof. For gearing with 35's and the OD tranny 4.56 would be perfect all around. Lockers I would go with a Detroit in the rear and can't really give a good front option cause I am open up front.

    Unless you are really gettin serious in the rocks I wouldn't worry about the rear shock relocation. Just run a good set of shocks in the rear, and you'll be fine.

    Crossover steering great idea. Check out Sky-manufacturing or ORD both have good quality crossover kits, and HD tie rods and such. I also reccomend the steering box brace kit from ORD or 84_Chevy_K10 on here sells them as well. You will need that with x-over steering for sure.

    Roll cage I don't know a whole lot about but S&W racecars makes a bolt in cage for our rigs that is pretty nice and affordable.

    Don't know much about seats, but somebody else will chime in I'm sure.

    Tires.. All around good tire is the BFG MT or the Goodyear MTR. If you are leaning towards a more aggressive tire then the SSR or TSL radial would be a good choice too. The Irok is also getting very popular and affordable. Wheels are totally up to you most people that wheel there rigs run a simple black/white/chrome 15x10 8 lug steel wheel. Check out stockton wheel for those or 4 wheel parts. They are available in 15/16/17 sizes stay away fromthe 16.5 size as they lose a bead easier due to the design of the wheel.

    Hope some of this helps and welcome to CK5 /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  3. pauly383

    pauly383 Daddy383 Staff Member Moderator

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    I run long travel autozone sourced gabriels for rear shocks, and 4 inch lift rears up front, gives a good ride and works off road. I run a shackle flip in the rear, working well, lots of flex from stock springs. You dont need to flip u-bolts on chevy's as they already point up. Have fun with the "new" k5 /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  4. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    Welcome aboard!

    Rear axle - upgrade to a free-floating 14-bolt (AKA 14FF). They're about as bomb-proof as axles get for our trucks. Avoid the Gov-lock axles (also affectionally known as a Gov-bomb or Grenade-lock) and get one with an open diff. A Detroit Locker is almost a drop-in operation in an open 14FF, and it's what just about everyone runs. Unless you're planning a link-type suspension, you really don't need a truss on a 14FF. As I said, it's pretty bomb-proof.

    Front axle - Your choice: an 8-lug Dana 44, or a Dana 60. D44 has oodles of upgrade parts available and is pretty safe with 35's. D60 is expensive, and I personally consider it overkill with 35's. But then again, you're in Alaska, so maybe a D60 isn't overkill... For locker, I'd go with a Detroit Truetrac. It's a gear-type limited-slip, meaning there's no clutches inside to wear out. Not quite as much traction as a Detroit Locker or a selectable locker (ARB, OX Locker, etc.) but it's also a lot easier on axleshafts, axle u-joints, and hubs. A truss might help on a D44, but unless it's an overhead truss (on top of the axle vs. underneath), it's gonna get hung up on stuff, and act like a snow/mud plow.

    Gearing - You didn't ask, but I'll suggest it anyway: either 4.11 or 4.56 gearing. If you keep the 700R4 transmission, I think the 4.56 is the best option.

    Wheels - My personal feeling is to go with a 16" wheel. With a 15", you'll have to do some grinding of front brake parts, and I'm a bit uncomfortable with that. A 16.5" wheel has a smaller safety bead, which means the bead is much easier to pop at low tire pressures. 17"-and-up are just too expensive right now in my opinion...

    Tires - This will start an interesting debate... With frozen gravel roads in winter, I'd go with Interco Super Swamper TSL radials. The 36x12.5x16 is a 10-ply tire, so it'll be pretty tough. OR, Goodyear MT/R's in 315/75R16 (which is very close to a 35x12.5x16), which is another tough tire.

    U-bolt flip - They're already oriented threaded-end-up from the factory; it wouldn't gain you anything to flip them over. You'd actually lose a inch or two of clearance under the axles in that area...

    Rear shock relocation - To run 35's, you only need about 4" of lift. Unless you're planning on a super-flexy rear suspension, there's really not much need to relocate.

    I'd avoid putting the spare tire and tools on the roof. Kinda hard to get up and down, but more importantly, it adds a large amount of weight well above the truck's center of gravity. Generally you want to keep as much weight down low as possible, which keeps the truck more stable both on-road and off-road. Look around the Member's Rides section, and click people's links in their post signatures. You'll see many approaches to spare tire & tool storage to get alternative ideas from...

    Unless you're a good welder & fabricator already, I'd advise you to have a good fabricator (plenty here on CK5) critique your cage design, and have a pro do the welding. In my opinion, a cage is NOT the place to get started on backyard fab work.
     
  5. carcblackblazer

    carcblackblazer Registered Member

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    LOL... Thanks for the tips and pointers. I do NOT plan on building the cage myself. No tube bender, and although I can make a weld that holds, it isn't pretty.. yet. I'd have a pro build it. Since I'd be pulling the stock rear seat and putting 2 buckets back there, I'm sure I could think up something somewhat functional that could securely keep it inside. probably the best bet. Looks like I'll be spending even more money than previously expected on finding axles to swap and the like.
     
  6. 84gmcjimmy

    84gmcjimmy 1 ton status

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    I don't remember seeing anyone mention anything about bumpers, but 4x4iron, and dp_90k5 makes some you might wanna take a look at... and also ORD is making some I think /forums/images/graemlins/dunno.gif
     
  7. speedyvision917

    speedyvision917 1/2 ton status

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    if ur goin to run 35s, to save money you could just run a 12 bolt in rear and 10 bolt up front, it should be fine i no a kid running that setup on his k5 with 39.5x18.5s.

    just my 2 cents
     
  8. jarheadk5

    jarheadk5 1/2 ton status

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    He's in Alaska. I don't know exactly where, but Alaska strikes me as the kind of place where you build for reliability, because the price of being stranded in the bush can be a cold, lonely death. That's why I recommended what I did. Plus, he asked about lockers. I know open 10B's behind a stock 305 can stand up to 42's on the street (owned by a guy that lives in my town - 80's shortbed Chevy poseur rig - never been on a trail), but when you throw a locker into the mix, I feel it's a bomb just waiting for a time & place to go off. And Mr. Murphy is a sadistic sonofabitch, so that bomb will ALWAYS go off at the worst possible moment, in the worst possible place.
     

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