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Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by sandSStorm, Dec 17, 2006.
What was the year that the k5 came with a full removable top??
Thats what I will be looking for as my next project..
1973 - 1975 are pretty much the same truck.
any 73-91 will do but if 76 and newer just graft in the top and winshiled section if you cant find a good 73-75 tub.http://coloradok5.com/full-convertible-conversion.shtml
Has anyone tried to just fab up something to make a full vert work on a 76+ w/o using a 73-75 window frame? I have been wondering about trying something like that since I have a friend who does custom fab work. I'm plan is to get rid of the fiberglass top all together and just run a removeable top all the time.
You mean a soft top?
Yeah a lot of people do a custom chop and put a custom soft top, I don't have any pics bu have seen plenty, some looked good and some... well to each their own.
Ya the softop. I'll probably have my friend give it a try eventually and see what he can do, he does very nice work so I can't see it being a hack job. I would like to use the 73-75 softop if possible in the end.
Then get the soft top and match the body to be able to take the top.
I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the '73-'75 K5s and Jimmys have "rocker boxes" welded in to give them extra support when the top is removed. I know my rust-free '73 Blazer does. The '76-'91s rely on their permanent steel roof for that extra support and GM then did away with the rocker supports. I see lots of potential for body flex if this isn't addressed on a full-top conversion project...especially if it's an older truck with undercarriage rust.
The '73-'75 K5s and Jimmys do have "rocker boxes" welded in to give them extra support when the top is removed. All Blazers and Jimmys up to '75 did. But since Blazers and Jimmys have full frames I'm not sure how bad it would be to remove a roof from '76 on up. It definately can't hurt to add them.
Interesting bit of trivia...the '76 also got rocker boxes even though it had the steel half cab. It was the weird crossover year. If you're gonna chop a K5 a '76 is easiest to do without inducing body sag (provided the rocker boxes are intact).
As for support, you would be quite surprised to see how much sag you can get right after whacking a steel half cab off. I would strongly recommend a cage or other sturdy support for the cowl/firewall.
Did not know the 76 had the boxes too. Wierd. So when you hacked the roof off your 81 you could see the body had sagged a bit? Were the doors not fitting correctly anymore? I wonder if better body bushings would have helped with that?
I went back and read the link posted about the Full Convertable Conversion and sure enough they mentioned the rocker boxes.
There might have been a few 76's with the rocker box, but both 76's that I had don't.
My 73 and 75 both had those and they make a big difference with the stiffness of the body, I would not chop off the top before reinforcing it with a cage first.
A cage would do much better than a rocker box, that only is used when you want to leave a clean open look, we all want protection and the view of a cage is sexy not repulsive.
I don't like to use my truck as any example of what might be typical when doing a top chop. The body had already been cut and spliced and some gusseting underneath got overlooked. I chopped and it sagged a bunch to be honest. Even with the full cage it still has a lot of flex at the cowl. What I need to do is tie the 'A' pillar to the cowl at the height of just below the dash bar.
The plan is to carry the tube work through the firewall and cage the engine bay soon anyways.
Even with the rocker boxes a 73-75 will have enough flex to destroy a hard top. Ask me how I know .
Details please, if you would.
My buddy destroyed his. But he was really twisting it up.
i did a 1989 to full 1975 clone that uses a hard and soft top. just don't mess with the hard top it's not worth it. put a pickup tailgate on and run the soft top. also you will want to put some supports in to take care of the body flex. i have all the pictures of my build if you need any.
T/Rusty...never seen a 76 with the boxes....seen a 76 chalet from gunnison co. with saddle tanks...but no rocker boxes for cab support...
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