Dismiss Notice

Welcome To CK5!

Registering is free and easy! Hope to see you on the forums soon.

Score a FREE t-shirt and membership sticker when you sign up for a Premium Membership and choose the recurring plan.

what to look for when buying 73 blazer?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by gotmud77, Nov 8, 2003.

  1. gotmud77

    gotmud77 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bellefonte
    Up till a few weeks ago i was just fine with my pick up and my cousin just went out and bought a 85 K5 with 6.2 and know i think i will have to find one and start working on it for my self. I have found a 73 K5 what should i be looking for? Problem areas? It has no motor,t350,205 and the farmer that has it is only asking $300 for it. Something seems a little fishy. Let me know what i should be looking for. It has to one with the full removable top.

    Thanks
     
  2. BEHJR

    BEHJR 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Posts:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Plano Tx USA
    Look for rust, rust, rust. With no motor you can build what you want in it. Rust is the problem with these old Blazers. But, let me tell ya, they are fun and the converts are appreciating in value. If you have the time and patience, $300 is a great price, assuming it is a good starting point.

    BH.
     
  3. gotmud77

    gotmud77 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bellefonte
    Thats good to hear and im looking for something to work on not to drive right away. As far as the motor gos i have a cad 500 sitting there looking for a new home. I just found a 75 in my local paper for $700 these should both be very simalar right? Is there still repair panels for the floor avaiable? Fenders, hood should be the same as my 77 pickup.
    thanks for the info
     
  4. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Posts:
    15,139
    Likes Received:
    565
    Location:
    Iowa
    Yep, like said above look for rust and I would also look closely at the frame. Is it rusted out or visibly bent. Major body damage migh suggest collision and bent frame but if not body damage are they body panels from the same truck or has somebody peiced it together. Look at how they line up. Kind of a judgement thing here. Good frame and Body and your half way there. The hard half. The rest is fun. Don't be afraid to climb underneath of it and get picky. Bring a magnet and knock on the panels and stuff. It's your cash so get to know what vehicle your buying before dropping the cash. Good luck. If you buy it and have good luck you won't be disappointed.
     
  5. BEHJR

    BEHJR 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Posts:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Plano Tx USA
    There are plenty of cosmetic parts available for $$. Junk yards are a better source. I have a '75 and taking the top off and getting the thumbs up and the winks from the gals are but two reason to get one. Of course, I am divorced, lol.

    Hmmm, Maybe that is the reason..........

    BH.
     
  6. gotmud77

    gotmud77 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bellefonte
    Thats going to be cool. Thats why i want one with the full top. I was looking at a jeep because of this reason but i just cant see my self riding around in a trud. I live only a few miles from Penn State and all the college kids drive jeeps and its just not cool. I am glad to hear there are still lots of parts is should make the job a little easyer. And as for being divorced the wife may do this is i bring home another project.. I sure hope not. LOL


    Thanks for all the great info, It should make the decision alot easyer.
     
  7. cybrfire

    cybrfire 1 ton status Vendor GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2002
    Posts:
    15,139
    Likes Received:
    565
    Location:
    Iowa
    tell her you bought it so she can ride around in it topless. I mean the truck topless of course. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  8. gotmud77

    gotmud77 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bellefonte
    That could work out. LOL
     
  9. BEHJR

    BEHJR 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Posts:
    141
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Plano Tx USA
    If you get it, check out the frame around the steering box. More than a fair chance it is cracked. Even if it is not, go ahead and put the brace in it. There is a thread on here about that. While the engine is out - easy to get close to, would be a good first fix or just planning ahead.

    Go ahead and paint the engine compartment after checking the wiring. Just the things I wish I had done while it was easier.

    BH.
     
  10. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

    Joined:
    May 31, 2000
    Posts:
    10,384
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Georgetown, TX
    I've spent way too much time working on my '75, so here are a few things to check. Look very closely at the rocker boxes. They are under the floor, below the seats, on both sides. They are what provides rigidity for the body when the top is off. If they're rusted out, the body will sag and the doors won't close properly. Fixing them is a pain in the a$$.

    Most likely the weatherstripping on the top, where the glass meets it, is dry rotted away to nothing. There is no upper window frame on the '73-'75 K5's, so that weather stripping is the only thing that keeps water out of the truck. You can buy new weatherstripping from www.lmctruck.com but you may want to price it out first so you don't have sticker shock. /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    I'm also pretty sure that a '73 with an automatic should have an NP203 full-time 4WD transfer case. But since '73 was the first year for the 203, it's possible that GM sold a few oddballs with leftover 205's from the '72 model year.
     
  11. supersize75

    supersize75 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2002
    Posts:
    2,638
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    gilbert az......by Phoenix
    [​IMG]

    to this...
    [​IMG]

    to this..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    just decide early on what you want from it, look inside my profile and go to the link for my pics, there is a ton of build up pics.

    I also replaced all of my panels with oem = $$$

    now that I beat the piss out of it I wish I had of bought cheap japan panels, just depends on what you want a very nice daily driver..or a truck that looks are ok and you use on the trail /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  12. gotmud77

    gotmud77 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bellefonte
    I was reading over at chucks chevy truck page and it said that all of the 73 trucks came with the 205s. I just assumed that the k5 was the same running gear as the truck. That is to say if it was true about the trucks.


    Thats one sweet k5
     
  13. mastercraftkpk

    mastercraftkpk 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2003
    Posts:
    192
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Q: What should you be looking for?

    A: For between another $3,000 to $10,000 along with several hundred hours of work to fix it up.

    Don' misunderstand what I am saying. I am having a great time restoring mine, but this would be the most expensive $300.00 you may ever spend.

    /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif
     
  14. gotmud77

    gotmud77 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Posts:
    689
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bellefonte
    Yes i see what you are saying and i think that is why i have decided to pass on this one and keep looking. Maybe even save up and buy one that is is pretty decent shape.

    Thanks again for all the input.
     
  15. Desert Rat

    Desert Rat Fetch the comfy chair

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2002
    Posts:
    16,250
    Likes Received:
    3
    Location:
    Tri-Valley, NorCal
    Re: what to look for when buying 73 blazer? (long response)

    Well, having bought two 74's and now a 76, I have a certain perspective. Here are the questions I would ask yourself right up front:

    1. What type of wheeling am I going to do?
    2. How much time and money do I want to spend?
    3. Daily driver or strictly off road?
    4. Do I care what it looks like?

    Here is my story. I also thought that having a complete top off vehicle would be cool. Plus, in California 74 and prior is no smog. So, I decided 73-75 Blazer K5 was the answer. I had a 90 Bronco. I wanted to get away from fuel injection and all the electronics. I wanted simplicity. I searched for 3 mos. looking for a 73-75 for the right price. I had planned on a complete body off frame up resto. Crate motor, crate tranny, new drivelines, D60/Corp14ff axles, etc. Complete Line-X'ed interior etc. etc. So I finally find one in Fremont. Body isn't great but everything else seems ok.

    I pick it up for $3300. Turns out there is rust in both door channels, which is common. Also turns out there are frame cracks. Rust fixed with POR-15/fiberglass mesh/POR-15 putty. Frame completely sandblasted/welded/POR-15'ed. The engine was good as was the tranny. I decide to forego the crate stuff and save some bucks. Then I stumble on another 74. Body is in great shape but the engine is blown. Pick it up for $1500. Now the plan is to combine the best of both. Plus, I decide to go with the crate stuff after all. So, now I'm building one 74 to sell, one to keep. Good engine, tranny, and TC go on one frame w/ repaired body. Complete good interior combined from both goes inside. Now it's time to replace seals and rubber. $1200 later I have all the seals replaced and I've learned a valuable lesson.

    After dealing with sealing up the full hard top, I've decided that it is a royal pain in the ass. Originally I thought I could whip that top off and on depending on the weather and my mood. Not so. Getting the top lined up and sealed correctly is a nightmare. So now another decision. Keep the brand new soft top that came with the first Blazer and use it instead? Or put the hard top on and leave it on forever? After a lot of thinking, I come to the realization that my style of wheeling doesn't really need an open top. My fantasies of driving around with the top off were tempered by the reality of the use it would see. I don't rock crawl so thrashing the body isn't a concern. I don't mud run. I don't go to the Rubicon. I don't go to Hollister. I do go to the desert and explore. I do drive around in very dusty conditions. I do go where it can downpour in a matter of minutes and then be 100 degrees again 5 min. later. I also drive many miles to wheel, so on road comfort is a factor. I have to admit that my plan had a major flaw. Now what?

    After some soul searching, I realized that a full top off rig wasn't going to work for me. But, I wanted one that would be smog exempt as soon as possible. The solution was to get a 76, first year for cab enclosed and not too far off of smog exemption. At first I looked for a gutted one. Then I stumbled on one that had a lot of stuff already done to it that I wanted. Had a good engine with an Edelbrock Q-jet and intake. Had dual batteries. Had an engine oil cooler, tranny cooler, and power steering cooler. Had a Gear Vendor overdrive. Had an NP205 already. The body was right off the factory showroom floor too. So, I ponied up the $6500 for the 76 and am now selling the nearly finished 74, and the completely dissassembled 74.

    There is always a silver lining to every cloud. On the bright side, I completely dissassembled and re-assembled every nut and bolt on one of the 74's. This was a good way to become very famliar with the rig. I had done most everything before with other rigs, but now I know the Blazer like the back of my hand. The down side was thousands of dollars spent and I have to sleep with one eye open so the missus doesn't go Lorena Bobbitt on me. The lesson I learned was that I should've thought a lot more about those four questions. I do care what the rig looks like and should've been patient enough to wait for a good body and paint (not to mention save up more bucks). I should've been honest with myself on whether or not I really needed a full top off. I also should've saved my money and gotten the better rig with lots of the stuff done already, rather than get a rig that would take a year or more to finish. I still have a lot of stuff to do with the 76 including the D60 and Corp14ff sitting in the garage, along with the 6" TC lift, ORD shackle reversal, and all the other stuff I will do to it. But, I am light years ahead of where I was.

    This doesn't mean this necesarily applies to you, but it was my experience. I think I bit off more than I could chew at the time. I was impatient and overestimated my free time and resources. Good luck /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  16. blazer_boy03

    blazer_boy03 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2003
    Posts:
    17
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bellefonte Pa
    I think you will kick yourself in the ass if you get rid of your truck. With as much work as you have in it I think you will. Save your money and buy your wife a nice roll cage for christmas. Or you could buy me one for the blazer.
     
  17. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2003
    Posts:
    1,001
    Likes Received:
    597
    Location:
    Pueblo, CO
    Speaking as someone that picked up a '75 for $500, I might also lend a perspective.

    First of spending less than a grand for anything is not going to get you pretty ready to run ride. Mine had a seriously grenaded 350 and has rust in one quarter, little in the doors and outer rockers. Nothing major, but like it was said before it all leads to what you want to do with it. For less than a grand you get what you pay for and sometimes that aint much. Expect to spend money. Always!

    My plans are simple. Don't worry about the body. The fenders are getting cut (free) and rock sliders installed when $$$ permits. I'm going to run the trails in Colorado on the weekends, if I bash a tree or a rock I'm not going to sweat it.

    For $500 I got a untouched suspension, grenaded 350, 465, 205, D44 and 12b. The PO already swapped in 4runner buckets and rear bench that are much more comfy than stock. I got lucky when my buddy and I went to yank the junk 350 to find the PO installed a MSD HEI distributator. So I got lucky on a couple of things.

    Since we dropped the engine in I've already swapped out the bling bling 13 inch polished aluminum steering wheel for a stock leather 88-95 chevy truck wheel. Also the starter got swapped out due to the fact that it was junk and the headers cooked it. The replacement went in with a heat shield due to the headers. Still having a starting problem it looks to be a battery that wont hold a charge. one more thing and I havent even got to do a lift yet.

    Bottom line, weather you spend 500 or 5000 you are going to dump more into it. Typically the more you spend up front the less you should have to pay out to get the new ride running, as compared to the cheaper truck. The issue you hit on the more expensive rig could be that you are buying someone elses problem, that you got to pay to fix. Finding cheap unmolested early rigs is harder to do, but in my case is the better deal for what I'm going to do. I know whats been replaced and what will need to be replaced or added.

    My route definately is not for the mall cruiser, its downright ugly and lacks any apeal to the fairer sex, top on or off.
     
  18. atlantak-5er

    atlantak-5er 1/2 ton status

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2003
    Posts:
    225
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    From another perspective. I bought my 75 for $1,100.00 it has a new engine/tranny and gears in the axles. the tcase was good and it has a lousy 4" rough country lift. And came with a ghetto home carpet job and velour van captain chairs! Body is ok but needs rocker repair and a paint job.

    The good thing is I am able to drive it and go wheeling as I build it up. I have spent at least 2,500 on upgrades, seats, roll cage, shakle filp, shifters, sway bar disconnects, soft top, new doors, bumpers, etc. And I plan on spending another $2,500.00 or so to get it to where I will be somewhat content and it will still be functional for my love of outdoor activities of fishing, camping, mountain biking etc. (i.e. not too tall, 35" tires max.)

    So, yes I bought a cheap truck and will have probably $7,000.00+ in it. But, I am able to enjoy it while I build it, and I can spread the $7,000.00 over several years and sell it for near what I put in it (+/-$5,000)if I want to or have to. These years (73-75) will hold their value! Full converts rule!

    As for what to look for, I second the rocker boxes. make sure the doors open and close without rubbing and that you can't move the windshield frame by pushing on it when the top is off. Mine are rotted and it will be an extra $1000.00 or so to get it totally repaired ( new doors, welding, etc.)that I didn't expect.
     

Share This Page