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Newbie here. Just inherited '86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by tungsten, Oct 29, 2003.

  1. tungsten

    tungsten 1/2 ton status

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    Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    Hey folks...

    First of all, I'm a newbie here and was referred to this site by one of the users on a regional message board that I run here in Tennessee. Word about ColoradoK5.com gets around!

    Second, I just inherited a 1986 K5 Blazer 4x4 as a result of my grandfather passing away last month. The truck is what you would expect of a 17yr old vehicle that has had regular maintenance done but has sat out in the weather all of its life. Bone stock with a small 305ci engine and oxidized paint, but essentially a diamond in the rough.

    My plans for the vehicle are to use it as my daily driver this winter so that my wife can drive our Heap Grand Cherokee and my Mustang can sit in the garage. As soon as more favorable weather hits, I want to start restoring the Blazer and replacing things that need to be replaced. It has strong sentimental value for me, so there's no way I am going to let it become a true "beater" vehicle.

    From searching and reading here, it looks like I want to buy a Tuff Country lift kit for the ole truck. It's going to be a 99.9% onroad vehicle that may see 0.1% of light offroad use every now and again. Like I said, it's got sentimental value so I don't want to take it out and beat it apart on the trails. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    That said I am thinking along the lines of the Tuff Country 2" suspension lift. It would appear that springs for the rear are the IDEAL way to lift a vehicle if you don't mind the added expense, but from a purely practical standpoint is there any reason NOT to go with blocks instead for my application? Heavily street driven, rarely if ever taken offroad.

    I'm almost certain that I want to go with a 2" lift instead of 4" because I will likely stick with near-stock rolling gear and don't want the Blazer to look stupid sitting real high up in the air with training wheels beneath it. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif Probably 245/75R16 tires of some sort with some takeoff wheels from a newer Silverado. I can get those pretty cheap locally.

    Anyway... I will probably have more questions down the road. Just wanted to get this initial stuff out there and hopefully some feedback from you guys who have all been there and done it already.

    Oh, here's two older pics of the Blazer as it sat two months ago. I'll be picking it up this upcoming weekend and bringing it back to Tennessee, so more pics are forthcoming.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    BTW -- that bug deflector and front hitch are coming off STAT. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  2. BowtieBlazer

    BowtieBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    Clean lookign truck, welcome aboard...

    I would go springs all the way around, although on a 2" lift blocks aren't bad, having springs with a fresh spring rate seem to ride better than the old stock ones....

    Keep us up to date...
     
  3. tungsten

    tungsten 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    Thanks! I'm going to pick up some of the Gel-Gloss cleaner stuff (per another thread here) and clean the top real good and then apply some elbow grease and buffing compount to the rest of the paint. It should clean up nicely.

    What about rust on the floor pan and front inner wheel well lining? I see where Year One sells wheel well linings for the pickups but would that same part fit the Blazer?

    The floor pan definitely has a little rust around the step-up to the rear seating area and some right before the tailgate in the cargo area. My grandfather hit those spots with some Bondo ( LMAO! ) but I figure I will just section them out and weld in some metal as the opportunity presents itself.
     
  4. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    This place is really good with replacement body pieces. Nice clean looking blazer you got there, I can completely understand on your feelings and why you want to do what you want to do. Keep us updated on your progress and welcome aboard /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. tungsten

    tungsten 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    [ QUOTE ]
    This place is really good with replacement body pieces. Nice clean looking blazer you got there, I can completely understand on your feelings and why you want to do what you want to do. Keep us updated on your progress and welcome aboard /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Thanks for the link and the welcome. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    I will post some more pics as soon as I have the truck in my possession.
     
  6. bigjbear

    bigjbear 1 ton status Staff Member Moderator

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    Welcome to the site!

    Depending on where you are in TN, it may be cheaper to drive to atlanta and pick up body panels from Year-One. Of course, this is only true if they keep them in stock, if they drop ship from the manuf you won't save anything.

    For basic street and dirt roads I would go w/ blocks in the rear on a 2" lift. You are not going to get much axle wrap out of a 32" tire and that old 305. Put your new front springs on and decide if you want a 2" or 3" block in the back. I would recomend a 3". One nice thing about blocks, they are cheep and easy to swap.

    On the late model take offs. They are most likely going to have the wrong backspacing, also too small of a center hole to clear your front hubs.

    Good luck w/ your "new" truck.
     
  7. tungsten

    tungsten 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    [ QUOTE ]
    On the late model take offs. They are most likely going to have the wrong backspacing, also too small of a center hole to clear your front hubs.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Any idea what backspacing I need to look for in replacement wheels? I did a search here and didn't see any info on minimum backspacing for these trucks.

    Maybe I needed to search harder. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif
     
  8. boz42

    boz42 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    welcome i saw your post on TOR board, i am from TN also. usually back spacing veries from 3.5 to 5.5". i like my tires tucked under the body as much as possible i run 4.75"
     
  9. mudjunkie 82

    mudjunkie 82 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    For only 2" lift maybe a body lift?
     
  10. tungsten

    tungsten 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Why bother lifting it at all to run 32's, particularly when you're going to keep it on the street anyway? If you want just bigger tires you can run skinny 33's with the stock suspension, and they will fill up the wheel well nicely.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I'll definitely give that a shot first as the tires have got to be replaced before it's road worthy for winter conditions.

    However I do anticipate taking it for some light offroad driving at the inlaws farm, some of the more sedate trails around middle TN and maybe back to a few fishing holes or hunting spots as well.

    That plus the advantage of a more stable, predictable suspension from a lift kit would be motivation enough to give it a little 2-inch boost in height I'd think.

    Plus it'll just look a little cooler.
     
  11. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    [ QUOTE ]
    From searching and reading here, it looks like I want to buy a Tuff Country lift kit for the ole truck. It's going to be a 99.9% onroad vehicle that may see 0.1% of light offroad use every now and again.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    TC ez rides are VERY soft springs... for road handling purposes, you may want to get their HD springs or a different brand like BDS which is a little firmer.

    [ QUOTE ]
    It would appear that springs for the rear are the IDEAL way to lift a vehicle if you don't mind the added expense, but from a purely practical standpoint is there any reason NOT to go with blocks instead for my application? Heavily street driven, rarely if ever taken offroad.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    for your app, blocks are fine IMO. While you have everything apart, ya might wanna take your factory spring packs apart, clean them up, shoot em with some epoxy-based rattle can paint, and then slap some UHMW-PE between the leaves. Maybe install some ORD greaseable poly bushings too. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    [ QUOTE ]
    I'm almost certain that I want to go with a 2" lift instead of 4" because I will likely stick with near-stock rolling gear and don't want the Blazer to look stupid sitting real high up in the air with training wheels beneath it. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    [/ QUOTE ]

    to each their own, just dont make it a lowrider and all is good. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    [ QUOTE ]
    Probably 245/75R16 tires of some sort

    [/ QUOTE ]

    with 2" of lift, I'd run 33s. You prolly dont wanna trim the body panels... but 33s oughta fit fine, especially if your rig isnt especially flexy.

    [ QUOTE ]
    Anyway... I will probably have more questions down the road. Just wanted to get this initial stuff out there and hopefully some feedback from you guys who have all been there and done it already.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    wise decision. /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif

    j
     
  12. tungsten

    tungsten 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    Thanks for the replies! I'm definitely going to take all of the suggestions and mull them over as I begin working on the Blazer. I think my first order of business after throwing some new tires on there (and upgrading the rolling stock from 15" stamped steel wheels to 16" something or anothers) will almost have to be the engine.

    But that's a whole different topic for a whole 'nother round of discussions. Suffice it to say that the little 305 with over 200,000 miles will probably get replaced with a warmed up 350 fairly soon.

    As for suspension lifts and so forth, *IF* it happens it will most likley be this kit as it seems to meet all of the requirements that I've thrown out so far...

    http://www.suspensionconnection.com/cgi-bin/suscon/147154.html

    There's only a $20 difference between the kit with rear springs and the kit with rear blocks, so going springs just seems to make good sense.

    Again, not saying for sure that I am going to lift it any at all. Just saying that if I do, that looks to be the best candidate so far based on what I'm reading. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    Thanks again!
     
  13. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    assuming you're not doing an axle swap on this rig... why not run 15" rims? they are cheaper and the tire selection is MUCH better than with 16" rims...

    j
     
  14. tungsten

    tungsten 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    [ QUOTE ]
    assuming you're not doing an axle swap on this rig... why not run 15" rims? they are cheaper and the tire selection is MUCH better than with 16" rims...


    [/ QUOTE ]

    Heh... that's the suggestion of the hour it would seem. A guy on our local forum suggested the same thing. I'll definitely check into it. /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
     
  15. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    i do what i can. i just dont see any reason to run bigger rims on a truck. some of the por rock crawler guys like big azz rims (17" and up) cause in off camber crap the sidewalls have less tendancy to give etc. other than that situation, I cant think of a single reason to own a rim bigger than 15"... but thats just my opinion...

    j
     
  16. tungsten

    tungsten 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    [ QUOTE ]
    than that situation, I cant think of a single reason to own a rim bigger than 15"... but thats just my opinion...

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I understand completely. I'm quickly seeing that I have to unlearn a lot of things that are just "accepted" in the pony car world and think differently for the 4x4 world. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    I'll just stick with 15" wheels and go from there. It makes life a lot easier when shopping for tires anyway! /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  17. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    does it sound to you like this guy wants to do a 1-ton axle conversion? /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif

    grinding is sorta a pita... but I'd still rather do it than have "i cant find any tires" aka 16s... or "oh crap, i blew a bead" 16.5s... or "I borrowed these off my sisters ricer" 17s / 20s. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    j
     
  18. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    any time is a good time for givin the jek-ster an elbow to the ribs eh? I see how it is!! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    j
     
  19. stallion85

    stallion85 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Newbie here. Just inherited \'86 K5 Blazer 4x4. Got questions.

    [ QUOTE ]
    any time is a good time for givin the jek-ster an elbow to the ribs eh? I see how it is!! /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    j


    [/ QUOTE ]
    Did you just refer to yourself in the 3rd person? /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     

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