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**Project**Frame Off Restoration 73 K5 1 Ton Tow Recovery Vehicle

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 2High4U, Sep 3, 2006.

  1. 2High4U

    2High4U 1/2 ton status

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    http://s110.photobucket.com/albums/n101/fastgm400/

    I got this 1973 Blazer in California when I lived there.
    It was in very good shape or so I thought, I was unaware of the steering box\frame problem that is a common thing in these blazers. I am going to repair it myself with the weld in and bolt on kit so thats not much of a problem for me.

    I had been using this as a daily driver for about a year and a half replacing various parts to try and make it better with no luck the performance wasnt there and the looks\functionality wasnt either. It was a tedious and some what of a hard task to deal with while still depending on it as a daily driver, so up until recently I had it at my tiny little shop to fix a headlight (by this time i had purchased another car) and the next thing i know the radiator support and fenders are off.

    So I get the bright idea to just do a frame off restore with beefed up parts you know the usual 500\465\205 with the 14 Bolt and Dana 60. So far I have everything but the dana 60 so im well on my way.

    Im planning to make my own bumpers\skidplated and maybe steering box brace but i am a newbee when it comes to welding ive done it a few times and it looked damn good which is what a friend said thats going to school for it so that boosted my confidence.

    I have plenty of pictures I have to get on here they are on my phone and everytime I come here to get on the net I forget the cord to get them off my phone

    I am up to the point now where the body is off the frame its just the axle\frame\leafs left so I have quite a bit of sanding on the frame yet

    but I am open for any comments on some things I should do to this while I have it down this far. Im going to be using it mostly to tow a car\truck trailer for my truggy im building when this is done, so nothing to hardcore like a doubler looking at getting an 8" with 35's or 38's.


    Post your comments looking forward to any advice or ideas
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2006
  2. 2High4U

    2High4U 1/2 ton status

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    I am planning on getting some pictures burnt on a cd so that i can bring them over to the shop and put them on the net within the next week as well as some before pictures.
     
  3. Jishory

    Jishory 1/2 ton status

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    if i could go back and do it again i would use a 1 ton frame
     
  4. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    Well, having pulled two bodies off of 74's, completely stripped them, and put them back together, this is some of my observations:

    1. I wouldn't waste your time trying to fab up a steering brace to weld in. The ORD one is pretty cheap already. Just buy it and weld it in. Then use the ORD cross brace as well. I also am an amateur welder but I bought a Miller 175 MIG and the welds came out fine.

    2. I also bought a $100 sandblaster from Sears to do my frames with. I set up a booth by using plastic sheeting in the garage and a fan to vent. I sandblasted the frame and it came out nice. this assumes you are taking everything completely off the frame. If you are leaving the engine etc. in, then you will have to either completely seal them off with plastic, or use a wire brush which is very time consuming. Even with the sandblaster, it takes time. But it comes out great.

    3. You can rattle can the frame, have it painted with auto paint, or powder coat it. I went the POR-15 route. I love the stuff and it worked excellent for me as long as you prep it properly. The stuff is like armor.

    4. If you are going all the way down to the frame and building back up, now is the time to consider spending some bucks on replacing things. It will add up fast, but putting new springs in, new shocks, new engine mounts, etc. is so much easier when you have the frame all by itself.

    5. I would also think about headers while you have it apart. Installing headers on an engine that is sitting exposed is much better than doing it in the engine compartment of an intact rig. Same with starters and anything else engine related.

    6. Think seriously about how far you want to go with the project. You may say no doubler now, but if you change your mind later, it would've been much easier to do any fancy stuff with everything apart.

    Lastly, I know most of us aren't made of money. But, I tried to do it right the first time so I wouldn't have to do it again later. This meant I spent a lot more than I planned on at first. But, sometimes time is money. You can save yourself a lot of headaches by hanging out here and on Pirate absorbing as much tech as you can before you attempt something. Doing things during a body off resto is much easier than changing your mind later. Look hard at all kinds of rigs and pick the best of each one for your application. I'd ask questions in the tow forum too if you are going to pull a trailer. Seems to me that 8" of lift and towing don't mix that well. I did 6" on 35's and I don't look forward to having to tow anything any time soon. If you go 8" with 38's, you are going to have to do some serious driveline mods to get decent angles. For a trailer queen/trail rig only, no biggie. For a tow rig, I'd think hard about that one. I went with HAD driveshafts front and back with a Corp14ff and D60 up front and I still had to do a 1410 yoke on the Corp14 w/ 1350 CV and a 42 degree CV up front with 1410 yoke on the D60 to help out with angles. That again is with 6" of lift and 35's.

    The most important thing you can do is research, research, research before you make a decision. I spent hours and hours here and elsewhere and still made mistakes. But, had I not gone slow (2 and a half years) I would've been much worse off and much poorer. You can see lots of my projects here: http://community.webshots.com/user/douglasgrant

    I ended up selling the two 74's and going with a 76. Here is a list of what I did:

    350 crate motor (came with truck)
    Built 700r4 replaced the TH350. Custom built by a local shop using Bowtie Overdrive specs
    ORD doubler setup with NP205 and NP203 and adapter from ORD
    Triple stick on the doubler w/ WFO billet knobs
    HAD front and rear driveshafts
    4x4 Iron front and rear bumpers
    Doug's Headers (ceramic)
    Dual Flowmasters
    PSC steering box and steering pump
    Corp14ff in back with 4.56's, Superior chromoly shafts, Detroit Locker, rear disk conversion from TSM, and Crane High Clearance cover
    D60 up front with 4.56's, ARB air locker, Dedenbear 5 stud knuckles, ORD crossover steering, ORD HD tie rod, and Crane High Clearance cover.
    Borgeson steering shaft
    Bilstein 5150 shocks
    Ford Super Duty shock towers up front
    NWMP 45 gallon steel tank

    This is what I can remember so far. It is in the shop right now getting a roll cage done. I am installing two racing style seats in the roll cage and a Tuffy center console. After the roll cage is done, I am Line-X'ing the whole interior. As I said this has been a long and expensive project. You need to do some good soul searching on how deep you want to go before you start. I had an idea, but I had no idea..............:doah: :D
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2006
  5. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    8" of lift, and 38s on a sub 110" wheelbase? that thing is gonna be scary with a small utility trailer behind it, much less a car trailer. :eek:
     
  6. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    That was kind of my thinking too.
     
  7. 2High4U

    2High4U 1/2 ton status

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    Well Im not going to be too particular with the offroading scene with this due to its use for towing(functionality utilizing both towing and light wheeling wouldnt be bad though). I could handle a smaller lift but would like it sitting at a nice stance (It had a 4") I was thinking along the lines of a combination body\suspension lift to compensate for the towing issue.
    4" with 2" Body
    or
    6" with 2" Body

    That way the frame isnt heightned the full 6 or 8"

    The 38's could be replaced with 35's

    This is my main concern really is the lift as far as the driveline I know what I want to do with that pretty much keep it 500 Cad SM465 205 Dana 60 and 14 Bolt FF w\Disc

    The only extra feature that i want is the on board air setup and a winch that I can relocate to the rear bumper or front bumper
    because as I said its primarily going to be used for towing\cruising, no need for a doubler or super expensive shocks and what not


    Im eventually going to get another 73 blazer to put the doubler and crossover and the rest of the good goodies in and its only $400


    Keep the input comming in I will go and look into the towing forum and get some information to study.

    The body is off the frame and all that is left is the axles and suspension. motor\tranny\tcase gas tank\steering box are out and laying in my storage.

    Thanks for all the replies keep them comming I will go and look into the towing forum and get some information.
     
  8. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    the issue isnt so much the height, but rather the length, or lack thereof. :rolleyes:
     
  9. 2High4U

    2High4U 1/2 ton status

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    Ok I see what your saying now... just go ahead and shoot down my whole idea wont you;) j/k

    the frames are different from truck to blazer by a lot right? how would that work without being a chop job plus I would be concerened about the V.I.N. matching. that would be an awsome idea for a truggy or offroad ride though.
     
  10. beater_k20

    beater_k20 Banned

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    just trying to keep you safe, and out of any hairy positions.
     
  11. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    If you are going with a nice off road rig later, and this one is primarily for towing, I'd stick with 4" of lift and 33's. You won't have nearly the issues with driveline angle and it will take you most places you want to go off road unless you get into the serious stuff. I personally will never do a body lift again after having done one. While they are cheap, the amount of crap you have to deal with under the hood and elsewhere is a PITA. I'd do strictly suspension lift if it were me. Also, if you go with 8" of lift and 35's, it will look goofy.
     
  12. 2High4U

    2High4U 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the input on the body lift, I guess that is what I will be doing then 4" with 33's. with what everyone is saying that would be the logical way to go.

    Has anyone hooked up and onboard air with A/C? I was also thinking about daul alternators and dual batteries.

    I will post some pictures up right now so I dont forget to do it later, I finally have them with me.
     
  13. 2High4U

    2High4U 1/2 ton status

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  14. tiger9297

    tiger9297 1/2 ton status

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    I don't wheel my '90 K5 at all. A little mud when hunting is about it. I mainly use it just to get me where I'm going on weekends (not a DD), tow my boat, and a 28ft. camper. I have 4" lift w/ 33's and I have no trouble at all towing. However, I do use an equalizing hitch, and anti-sway bars. Also, have trailer brakes.

    In my opinion (and its just that- my opinion) I think as far as looks go a 4" lift w/ 33's is the best look for a K5. I wanted my truck to have a sporty stance, but not really look lifted. I think the 4" w/ 33's does that. I am very happy with mine and wouldn't change a thing. Good luck with your build.
     
  15. Brians89K5

    Brians89K5 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I have towed with my blazer before and Im going to tell you they don't make the best of tow vehicles. In the begining it had a 4inch lift with 33's and I was towing my 19 foot Toy box with all of my toy's in it. The trailer weighed about 5300 lbs and it was loaded down pretty good. The wind, plus the short wheelbase on my tow vehicle made for some interesting towing characteristics. I now have a 6 inch lift with 36 inch tires and no more toy hauler. I towed my 19 foot boat to the river and that wasn't even much fun and that boat only weighs about 2000 trailer and all. Looking back because I do a lot of towing I wished I had bought a burb or a crew cab 4x4. These blazers were just not ment to tow much and with a lift they are down right scary. I just keep it easy now with my boat and am in the market for something that will tow better in the near future. Heres a pic of my old setup... Just cause I felt like picture whoring. :D Frame off looks like fun, gives you all the options for doing it right the first time with easy access!

    ~Brian

    Misc Pictures 006.jpg
     
  16. bear76

    bear76 1/2 ton status

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    I got an idea, come get my 91', with no title,vin, and use the TBI, power everything, and 241. Plus you'll get alot of extra stuff. :laugh:
     
  17. 2High4U

    2High4U 1/2 ton status

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    sounds tempting but I already have a TBI motor and am not into the power features. lol Im running out of space to store the parts that came off of it to begin with. Im probably gonna sell some things off of it to fund my project cause the motor and tranny only have roughly 5000k miles on them and I have the recipts for warranty if they still apply. plus I have a bunch to get rid of.
     
  18. chevyguybc

    chevyguybc 1/2 ton status

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    id love to hear more about your build, although very close to mine in a build, im going with 4:88s. air locker dana 60 front, hydrulic assit..39.5 iroks.. and fully convert with cage..

    x-ling the interior is awsome, im going to paint mine the same as my truck at my work, should be sharp im thinking orange black (stock but not stock colous) or red/silver:confused: :confused: :confused:
     

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