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What to do with my 1973 blazer

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Tdogg1973, Jul 14, 2006.

  1. Tdogg1973

    Tdogg1973 Registered Member

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    Hello,

    I need some serious help here. I have a 1973 K5 Blazer with an original 454 big block. I have put in a Edelbrock intake, edelbrock 650 cfm carb, changed from points to HEI and put in an RV cam. The engine runs well but the headers and exhaust need to be redone due to rust, holes and an exhaust leak. This truck needs a lot of work still. There is a sufficient amount of rust underneath but no frame cracking. The wiring was done by the previous owner and it looks like a 5 year old did it.

    The thing is, Im about to go back to school and have run out of time to finish the project (too many other projects took precedent before this). I have looked into some great places in LA to do a lot of the work for me and this is where I have run into a problem.

    So finally, here is my question. I can quickly see how expensive this can get to make a real reliable vehicle out of this guy. I dont want a rock crawler but a good off road, camping, street blazer. I have found several blazers in good shape for 6K and below. It seems it would be much more expensive to have this one fixed up as apposed to just buying someone elses with all the work already done to it. I know theres no fun in that, but I wont have the time for another 3 years.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. supersize75k5

    supersize75k5 OrganDonorRacing.com

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    just replace evry piece of sheet metal on the truck...


    new fenders, doors, rockers, hood, tailgate, bed sides...makes the body work part a breeze:D if your already have rusty panels what do you have to loose? body work sucks anyways:thumb: all the black in these pics is new pieces except from the lower filler under the grill..

    lmc baby:D

    if you are like what you have and it is mechanicly sound I would go this route, you can do the the amount of sheet metal shown in a weekend if you have some help, the strait panels and lack of rust will save you on your body work and $$$$$$$$$

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    on the other side of the coin..

    the 77 next to mine I am or was going to build for my dad to do your basic light off road and camping needs. the truck is not what we want drivetrain wise, the body is crap, interior is crap..


    I am just going to find a clean blazer with no hacking and no rust and save alot of time..

    also a shop to build yours right will take a while and cost alot, most shops use collision repair as their bread and butter and unless you want to spend ALOT OF MONEY,projects like yours are back burners, just not much money in them and extensive amounts of time. A built not rust blazer lifted, clean paint can be found for alot less then what a shop would charge, and there is no waiting game...let someone else take a loss on their investment..
     
  3. Tdogg1973

    Tdogg1973 Registered Member

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    It really only took you about a day to get all that done? Where did you get all the sheet metal from? LMC? Do you mind if I ask what something like that costs? I know if I take the entire body off the frame as well, it will allow easy acces to the frame to remove the rust that is there and but something on it like Rust Bullet which I read about on this site or something else.
     
  4. supersize75k5

    supersize75k5 OrganDonorRacing.com

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    it took my longer then a day, I a simply saying with some help it easily can be done if a full day,

    for the rears I found one of them as nos "new old stck" at the cost of over 500.00 for the one.


    a cheapy japan for the other was under 200.00, fenders I recomend getting used ones in ment shape, rockers are cheap, 20.00 each, doors..same story as the front fenders, a quality used set is worth the cost.

    if you tried you could spend just a grand on sheet metal. drill out all the spot welds and weldem back up. I do agree though that from what you ae saying you should sell yours and find one in better shap with no rust issues.

    plenty of them out there despite what everyone thinks.
     
  5. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

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    The million dollar question here is how much time and money do you want to spend? I started by buying a 74 Blazer because I thought I wanted a full top off. The body was ugly but the engine and driveline was good and I paid way too much at $3,300. I pulled the body off, completely dismantled it, removed everything from the frame, sandblasted the frame, welded up the steering box area with an ORD frame plate, POR-15'ed it, etc. Then I started looking at replacing all the screwed up sheet metal. I wanted a pretty clean body when I was done so I was looking at hood, both front fenders, inner fender wells, radiator support, new doors, new tailgate, etc. Then I didn't like the dash so maybe an upgrade to a later model dash. Then I needed new door panels, windows, seals, seats, etc. By the time I added it all up, I was into it for many thousands of dollars. That wasn't counting the welding I needed done on the body. I was looking at replacing the fender wells around the both sides of the rear and the lower rockers.

    Then I looked at the body and figured I might as well have it media blasted to take of all the paint to see what really needed replacing. Now, this is all just body work so far. I was looking at a major project. This didn't count doing anything to the axles, driveline, bumpers, winch, rollcage, etc. So, my second solution was to find another 74 Blazer with a good body and bought it for $1,300. It had a clean body, but a shot engine. I was going to combine the two. Finally though, it got to the point where I decided it wasn't worth it. I was looking at lots and lots of time with serious bucks.

    My solution was to put both back together and sell both 74 Blazers and buy a 76 that was very clean. I had decided I didn't care if the whole top came off since I didn't plan on taking it off anyway. I found a 76 with tons of extra goodies that I was able to sell, or combine with one of the 74's that went to Hi Pinion. He got a steal since I had spent $1,000 on LMC seals alone and he got the front and rear axle from the 76 which were in good shape. But, I made my decision and started on the 76. It has been a two and a half year project and many many thousands of dollars even starting with a very clean rig. I will do a write up on my experience when it is all done. When I get around to adding up all that I have spent, I suspect I could damn near buy a Hummer for the same price.

    You need to really think long and hard as to what you want. My purpose in the buildup was to have a rock solid rig that will last me for the rest of my life. I don't do major rock crawling and will never do the Rubicon. I do a lot of exploration in the middle of nowhere and don't want to break down. I overbuilt mine but I wanted peace of mind. If all you are going to do is moderate off roading and camping, you don't need to spend a ton of money. I would consider selling the one you have and finding a clean Blazer, throw some minor fixups into it like minor lift, good tires and rims, maybe a winch and bumpers, and then enjoy it. Once you get into doing a serious build, you will find the money never stops flowing out of your wallet. Some pics of my projects can be seen here:http://community.webshots.com/user/douglasgrant Building a really nice Blazer and wheeling it is a lifestyle. It takes dedication, time, and money. Think long and hard as to how far you want to commit. Because you are in California, you have the issue of smog checks as well. If you decide to get serious about the sport, then having a pre-smog rig is a big benefit. The big block isn't hurting things either. But, if you really just want something reliable that will go where the average stock truck can't, then you can buy a late 80's/ early 90's Blazer that is in good shape and just tweak it a bit.
     

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