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Total Tear Down???

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Truckfan2, Apr 19, 2001.

  1. Truckfan2

    Truckfan2 1/2 ton status

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    Well... I'm to the point that I just want to strip the '89 Jimmy to the frame and rebuild everything. I've got $10k in it now and engine has been rebuilt but it still needs new heads so I was thinking of vortec heads. The tub is pretty shot but I really don't want to go through the hassle of switching to a new one though if I kept it MAJOR body work needs to be done to the rear floor and rockers (already have new doors & tailgate). I want a full convertable so that'd happen with the body work. Wiring needs to be replaced as do the gauges. 700r4 trans needs rebuild so i'm thinking of an SM465/NP205 combo or rebuilding the 700r4 to be bullet proof and a B&M shifter. I already have the 3/4 ton axles on it with a 6" lift but thinking of going to an 8" lift and Parnelli Jones Dirt grip tyres (36x14.5x 16) which also means new rims. Oh yeah, disc brakes on the 14 bolt and all new brake/gas lines. Roll bar and 5 pnt harnesses are going in too.

    My question is... should I do it???
    For all you guys with fullsoft tops is it worth it?
    Automatic or manual?
    Already have 355 ci motor but debating going to 383 w/TPI or keep the 355 and trick out the TBI w/vortec heads and custom chip (going to do the chip burning myself).
    What gears in the rear?
    WHAT COLOR??? It's black now but I want a Black anodized look... kind of a Gloss Silvery Black (no metalic)

    Please help because I'm pretty set on tearing it down but I can't decide on what I'm going to put back in it.

    Oh yeah... I'd do a ton of write ups too because I'm planning on doing everything with my brother and dad.

    Have been stuck (once) as of 8/12/00
     
  2. Wheels

    Wheels 1/2 ton status

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    If you have the help.....go for it. I did mine starting in Nov 99 and finished in Oct 2000, Nov 2000, Dec 2000, okay you get the idea, it's still a work in progress. I had a ton-o-sheetmetal that I cut out and replaced. Get a good MIG welder. As far as cutting the top....do that last and think long and hard. If you do, make sure you can go ahead with the roll cage. Motor-go with the 383. I built a good strong motor and now I'm looking to build a 383 with Edelbrock injection instead of a carb. Gears 4.56 or 5.13 with 36" tires. How about Rhinolinig the whole thing???
     
  3. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    On the frame off, what your asking for is basically an opinion so, I'll give mine. Don't do it! I went down this road in my old CJ7 many years ago. My CJ7 was in nice shape and had I6 with split headers (duals), LS D44 front, DL in a D44 rear, and 33" Mud tires. I had allot of fun in it and decided to start "fixing it up".

    I eventually had pulled the body, painted/detailed the frame/suspension, very nice paint/detail on the body (top, bottom, and under hood all matching and shiny). Added some expensive wheels, fancy stuff under the hood, and a late model hard top with the flush door handles. Don’t forget nice seats, stereo, and carpet. By the time this was all done, I got nervous driving it in traffic or leaving it in a parking lot, much less driving it off road. I grew to hate it. It had all the “bad manners” of a trail rig driven on the street and I was too worried about messing it up to get “the good stuff”.

    So, unless you want a “mall running poseur” or you have money/time to burn keeping it nice and pretty, I would recommend against it. My K30 will likely be painted with cheap paint (probably desert camo). I will spend little time and less money making it “look nice”. Then, when it rolls over, or screeches along a rock, instead of getting pissed, I’ll just smile and think of all the time and money I saved on a rig I can enjoy for what it is.

    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  4. walt88

    walt88 1/2 ton status

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    As for doing the engine and tranny and the major body work i would do it. Although doing a soft-top would be a nice novelty item, i would leave it and go with a the roll cage/bar and bedline the interior. As for paint, i had a nice silver paint job on my truck when i got it, 1 year later, a tree left its mark on my door, and i have some nice white pinstriping. This is all assuming that you take your truck off-roading.

    [​IMG]<font color=red>1988 Chevrolet K5 Blazer, Middletown, NJ (07737).</font color=red>
     
  5. freeforever

    freeforever 1/2 ton status

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    I was all up into makin my truck pretty and chromed out and all and the more I think about it im just gonna rino line the Whole thing in and out, fix the rust beef the motor, axles, tires and add a rool cage and go have some dune hoppin fun!! you love it more it it's not all pretty! scraches and mud add character!

    "Fool me once shame on you...fool me twice shame on me"
    ---------------
    "A closed mouth gathers no foot."
     
  6. Brian 89KBlazer

    Brian 89KBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    I'm in the middle of a frame-off myself and believe me, it's nerve racking at times. I find myself often stopping and looking at my Blazer & thinking" What in the hell have I done?"
    I had a perfectly good truck & now all I've got is a pile of parts! Then I look at the bent & rusted frame, the rotten floors, the cracked up tranny housing & I'm happy I didn't sink money in on top of broken parts! I agree with Baddog to a point about keeping it from getting too pretty to use but there's nothing wrong with beefing it. The engine, tranny, t-case, axles, driveshaft, rollcage (optional) and in my case new boxed tube frame will only make the rig "look" & perform that much better on & off-road. Maybe the best thing is to make sure the paint job matches your intended use. ie all street - pretty; some off road - clean paint job; all off-road - cheap paint or maybe even primer [​IMG]

    Good Luck & I say go for it on the frame-off but be prepared to find things to replace that you never even suspected were bad!!

    Brian
    89KBlazer
     
  7. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Oh, I'm not saying it should not be beefed up and otherwise improved. I was talking only about cosmetics. Fixing holes in the floor, stopping rust from doing more damage, fixing/upgrading components... you should *absolutely* do that. I'm just saying that tearing it apart and painting/detailing (beyond simple efforts while upgrading components) can lead to a point where you won't be able to bring yourself to actually use all that cool beefy equipment because you might mess up the pretty stuff. Unless you have really deep pockets and don't mind making it pretty again, and again, and ...

    Oh, and lets not forget the loss of use for a few months at best, sometimes YEARS.

    I’ve been there and it wasn’t fun. My CJ7 was a VERY capable truck but eventually I didn’t even like driving it on gravel roads because the tires would throw rocks up and mess up all that work I did on the chassis. I guess my problem was I could afford (barely) the time/money to fix it up that nice but didn’t have the resources to just casually blow off all that time/money. So, after all that time/money, I felt that I had ruined it and the only thing I could do was sell it. Of course I took a big loss because you can never get back what you put in when you go that far with a vehicle.

    Just my $0.02 based on a bad experience that I had. That stuff works ok for street cars (I loved my ’39 Chevy and my 66 GTO which both were stripped to the frame and built back with every bolt cleaned and painted). It just doesn’t make sense for trucks used off-road. If you want one of those “mall runners” then, hey, have fun, I won’t knock it. But if you want to build a functional truck *and use it* then the only reason to pull the body off the frame is to replace a broken frame, beef up the frame, replace a thrashed body, etc. Of course, I’ll qualify that again by adding, unless you have money and time to burn, I don’t. I’ll be pulling the body off my K30 eventually but that will be to cut the frame down and install a K5 tub or maybe even build a custom tub that is shorter with less rear over-hang. But, I will not be painting/detailing the frame at all...

    Bad Dog

    85 K30 CUCV, 350 TBI, TH400, NP205, D60/C14, 4.56 Locked
    Soon: 4" lift, 40" tires, massive cutting, shorter wb and rear overhang.
     
  8. CK5

    CK5 In my underwear Administrator Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    Well said BadDog, if you want to use those cool parts off-road just beef everything and have fun. Stay away from the pretty paint job if you like the rocks and paint everything underneath black, I try to clean up things and paint them so they look good for a review (easier to see as well) and prevent rust but after that I let the oil drip over everything, after a couple of days it looks like it did before I painted the part. [​IMG]
    It's no fun having a pretty rig that your to afraid to scratch or dent for that matter.

    Steve
    [​IMG]
    Mall-Running poseur 4x4 with curb-feelers
     
  9. Truckfan2

    Truckfan2 1/2 ton status

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    I'm not afraid of taking it off road... thats how I blew up two transmisions and the stock engine and 10 bolt... you get the point. I do all the work and money will go into it as it comes. I'm ready to do this because i feel it's become unsafe to drive it. First the tranny needs to be done and then the heads. On top of that the rust is so bad the body sags to where the tailgate doesn't line up right and close. The most important thing though is it needs seat belts... the rust ate the panel that the shoulder belt mounts to and it needs to be fixed. My dad has money in the truck and he kinda wants me to stop beating it so I decided that I'll give my Jimmy a break and make it nice... maybe pretty but not overkill. I want to get out of this rust belt!!! Baja... here I come, well Arizona really (for college).

    You guys are mentioning beefing the frame... where should I put the extra strength and how?

    Have been stuck (once) as of 8/12/00
     
  10. Truckfan2

    Truckfan2 1/2 ton status

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    ttt

    Have been stuck (once) as of 8/12/00
     

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