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"Restoring" a 1979 K5 Blazer... Need some Help

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by m1ndless, Feb 18, 2007.

  1. m1ndless

    m1ndless Banned

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    Hello, first off let me say.. AWESOME FORUM... I found alot of answers so far. I am new to the k5 and the off roading/4x4 community as well, I used to be the typical teenager in a little zippy honda, but f that. :D

    I just bought a 1979 k5, from what the previous owner told me, they put a new motor in about 2 years ago, no idea what motor or anything, the lady was clueless. THe engine is REALLY dirty from all the times they took it out to the lake. Anyways, what she did know is it had a 6inch lift. It is pretty much stock besides the motor and the lift from what I can see... She sold this to me for $1000 and a case of beer. :haha:

    I am looking to put 500-1500 into it over the next few months.

    I am mainly going to be using it for taking my quad out to the lake, maybe a little romping/off roading, but nothing too serious (yet).

    What should I do to it first? It has 32'' tires, I was thinking maybe some 38"s? Or should I focus more on suspension or something?

    EDIT - Also, I am kinda a noob when it comes to engines, but I noticed where the air filter usually goes (on top of the carb right?) that whole thing isnt there, no filter or the thing that holds the filter, she said it came like that from the person they bought it from, it ran fine, but I am thinking she might have got alot of dirt in the engine? Should I swing by a junkyard or something to get that part?

    THANKS!
     
  2. MattK

    MattK 1/2 ton status

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    First off, welcome!

    You can fit a lot of tire under a 6" lift. The only thing that makes me hesitant to tell ya go go with some 37+ tires is the gearing in your axles. To go much bigger in tire size (35+) I would really wanna regear the axles, which is something that'll affect your budget. ($1000+)
     
  3. m1ndless

    m1ndless Banned

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    Hmm, i might just stick with the tires on their now then.. I should be fine for the basic stuff with 32's right? Its up high enough to go over basic stuff.

    I was thinking maybe a new carb?

    Also, I noticed the little tub for coolant next to the radiator was empty..I am thinking its either leaking and I didnt noticed, or they just havent filled it up recently?? Again, I suck at engines and such, so I might sound like a dumbass, but with k5's do you put it straight into the radiator or put it in the little thing?
     
  4. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    :eek1: They have been driving it around with no air cleaner and filter at all? :doah: :doah: :doah:

    Thats not good at all, especially if you say they had it down at the lake playing around and the motor is a mess. All it takes is to dust a motor a few times and it's done. You'll find out how bad or how long it was ran without and air cleaner. How does the oil look? It likely could start using a ton of oil now, if they did any damage, and that would mean the motor is permenantly finished.


    I'd stick a set of 35's under your new truck. You probably have high gears, 37-38's are expensive, eat gas, and won't clear worth a darn with a 6" lift and stock fenders.
     
  5. m1ndless

    m1ndless Banned

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    EDIT - I just called the lady, they took it off for some reason, I am going to swing by and pick it up in a few minutes, that a big relief. :haha:

    I am going to take it to my mechanic today and have him check it out, its been outside of my house for 8 hours and no leaks so far, there was like one tiny drop of oil i noticed, but thats it.
     
  6. m1ndless

    m1ndless Banned

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    Do you guys think I am going to have trouble passing emissions?
     
  7. 1BadK-30

    1BadK-30 1/2 ton status

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    Cant really tell you if it will or not, buy my guess is as the motor was rebuilt 2 years ago and was taken care of it should. I have a crate motor from 1991 with about 200K on it and it passes pretty darn good every time.
     
  8. Jrgunn5150

    Jrgunn5150 1/2 ton status

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    With your budget (which I suspect will get blwn away if you keep hanging out here, lol), I would say put your money into a nice set of 35's and all the maintenence thigns you can, fluids changed, steering like tie rods, ball joint's, etc (a brace would be nice there), and brakes. You'd be surprised how quickly a 27 year old 4x4 can eat 1500 in just maintenence!
     
  9. mouse

    mouse 1/2 ton status

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    I suggest waiting on tires for awhile. New tires might make it look better, and maybe wheel better, I would choose to spend your money on making the truck reliable to drive.

    Bigger tires demand correct gearing, brakes, and possibly stronger axles ($$$$$, way more than $1000).

    You can definitely have fun with 32's. Get it running reliably, good brakes, comfy interior and go from there.
     
  10. m1ndless

    m1ndless Banned

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    Where can I get decent seats for this thing? The ones in there now are missing half the foam and smell like smoke. Junkyard? Will seats from a newer blazer fit? I was thinking of doing a 4 barrel carb? I dont know what that is, but my friend said I should do it.
     
  11. primergray4x4

    primergray4x4 Registered Member

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    Hey, welcome to the board. You chose right by going with the K5 an small block motor to start with. They both are good for fisrt timers an low budgets. I bet there are alot of good used all-terrians for sell in your area. An really 35's is all you'll want with the 1/2 ton axles. Lessons learned by most everyone out here.
     
  12. m1ndless

    m1ndless Banned

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    Yeah, as a college student, I dont have alot of money to spend.

    How do I figure out what engine I have in there? I cannot tell if they rebuilt the stock engine, or replaced it with something else. Is there marks or something I should look for?

    And is it okay if i power wash my block (avoiding the electricals and intake and such) ? Its kinda muddy, the whole engine bay is.
     
  13. Jrgunn5150

    Jrgunn5150 1/2 ton status

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    On the back of the block, facing up if you climb up on top of it, is the casting number. You'll need a light to look down there, but once you have the casting number you can look it up and determine what the block is for. It may not be rebuilt still (usually ask for a receipt if they claim that0, but if it is out of something else, at least you know they were telling the partial truth. A compression test will tell you if it's healthy.

    Seats from a newer Blazer will fit, up to 85 I beleive, or if you are willing to cut and drill a bit anything you want.

    Powerwashing your block is fine, just don't get ridiculous with it .
     
  14. m1ndless

    m1ndless Banned

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    Alright, ill have to go out and check. thanks!
     
  15. m1ndless

    m1ndless Banned

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    Looks like its a 454!!










    JK!!




    Its a 350 woot!
     
  16. Jrgunn5150

    Jrgunn5150 1/2 ton status

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    Cool, now you are obligated to put up pics for us all to drool over, lol.
     
  17. m1ndless

    m1ndless Banned

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    Nothin to really drool over..yet. :D It needs to be cleaned up a little and it needs a grill. Anyone selling a grill? I dont wanna spend $60 on eBay.
     
  18. Jrgunn5150

    Jrgunn5150 1/2 ton status

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    Hey, u should see my truck, lol. I just scrapped a truck with a decent grill in it.
     
  19. 1978Blazerk5

    1978Blazerk5 1/2 ton status

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    do you want an original grill? if you don't want and original LMC Truck sells a reproduction grill for $40 http://www.lmctruck.com/icatalog/bzc/0065.asp
     
  20. Pookster

    Pookster 1/2 ton status

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    I'd highly recommend you work out all your kinks with the truck before you upgrade tire sizing. Oil change, tranny fluid change (very important), make sure there is adequate cooling for the tranny, and change the tranny filter too. Then dont forget the transfer case fluid, and the front and rear fluid.

    If you do it all yourself, you'll spend a day, and about 100 bucks for fluid and filters.

    You should also do a full drain and flush of the cooling system- it doesnt sound like these previous owners were very good at maintainance. will cost you about 20 dollars in distilled water to flush and fill, and about 30-40 in coolant.

    Do all this first- before you start lifiting, getting tires, and what not. Last thing you want is to spend 1k on upgrades, and then spend 2k on repairs for preventable damage.
     

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