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When buying a K5.....

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by wadinator, Jun 8, 2003.

  1. wadinator

    wadinator 1/2 ton status

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    What are some of the typical things to look for?

    This question is for those of you who have had several K5's and have more experience with them than I do. I've never owned one, so I'm wondering about things to look for.. Such as RUST, CRACKED TOPPERS, etc... typical what-to-look-fors when you're buying a K5.

    Thanks!
     
  2. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    rust around rear tailgate..rear floor..the way the floors are they are ver easy to rust..and the thing is with these that when the floors rust its usually in a kinda hard ot fix spot..and are a real pain to mess with when they get bad enough so make sure you find a solid one..check all the usualy spots.. look at the floor underneath...mounts, supports, all that. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif also..if your lookinh for FI...look at 87-up trucks. you probobly know that though. the hard tops are usually the only good part on a rusty blazer lol..like mine..
     
  3. gravdigr

    gravdigr 1/2 ton status

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    Cab supports, there are 4 of em that mount the cab to the frame. @ under the floor by your feet on driver and passenger side. 2 more back from those 2 or 3 feet. make sure they aren't rotted. Look at the body mounts coming off the frame. They have a tendency to rust through and drop the whole body bushing right through the hole. Ask to take off the rear trim panels and check the floor and wheelwells behind them. Check the tailpan for rot, kinda hard to do with the gas tank in but they have many places for mud and funk to hide and rot.
     
  4. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Unscrew the sill plates and have a good look under the carpets. Chances are it's either wet or has been recently...and the carpets hold the moisture against the steel floor causing rot.

    Lower seat belt mount for the front seats...that area is a common rot area. Grab a flashlight and with your head in the rear wheelwell look forward with the flashlight and you'll be able to see that area and if it's solid or not.

    Tailpan rot is common and can be best seen from under the truck. Bring a screwdriver to move the mud and crud from the crevices there. If the tailpan is even a little weak you could be in for major repairs.

    Bring a tape measure, measure the tailgate opening top and bottom. When things get weak the box sides will begin to lean outwards. This is a good indicator of strutural strength of the rear of the truck.

    Mechanical stuff, loose or clunky steering could be a frame crack at the steering box. All the rest of the mechanical is similar to what you'd check buying any car or truck. A bit a smoke at start up is pretty common and not that big a deal. It can be a good bargaining chip too...

    Power windows and tailgates usually don't work well either. A healthy power tailgate should raise or lower the glass in about 4 seconds with no noticable change in speed. The key should work for the glass in the talgate too.

    Floors often crack where the seats mount. Give the seat a wiggle, if it doesn't feel solid check from underneath for cracking around the bolts...

    Those are the major problem areas I have run into (without listing the really obvious stuff like visible body rust) and I've had 4 K5's and helped a buddy of mine check over his too. My buddies K5 which is an 89 proved to me how decieving overall condition can be. The truck had many good indicators for body condition and yet the floors needed to be repaired. It was savable but still a major undertaking, fortunately the tailpan was still solid in the rear...overall I still feel he got a good deal though.

    Good luck and take your time, be thorough, and don't be tempted to take anything the seller tells you at face value. Most likely if they do know how bad something is they won't tell you or they aren't aware of how bad it really is (or can be) These trucks don't give up their dirty secrets easily...

    Rene
     
  5. Root Moose

    Root Moose Registered Member

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    I'm shopping for a K5 also.

    Is there any merit in trying to get a 90-81 for the galvanized steel panels? Does it really make a difference in the real world?

    r@m
     
  6. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    the thread from the dead...

    my friend mentioned to me that a co-worker is selling a 305ci K5, not sure of the year, he's gonna get the details from him tonight. ive heard that it's a good idea to stay away from the 305ci. what tranny/TC combo should i be looking for? it's got no lift, and BFG M/Ts that are apparently in good condition, he says there's no rust, and that the drivetrain is in excellent condition. I'm interested, 305 or not, so i'm gonna go take a look at it in the next couple of days. if the body is in good shape, what's a good offer?
     
  7. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    If the body really is rust free I;d scoop it up. Year is the difference. What should you be looking for? what you want pretty much. Like I said find the year and what the body is really like. Never make an offer before really looking at it. My k5 had a 305 when I got it. Drove ti a while then killed hte 305 so now I've got my 355. Motor isn't a horrible thing to replace.
     
  8. wadinator

    wadinator 1/2 ton status

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    Depends on the miles and year (EFI or Carb). Pretty tough to guess an estimated value.

    Good dig...how you gonna climb back outta this hole you dug looking for this thread? /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  9. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    haha, i'm definately gonna get a good look at it before i make any kinda decision. i guess i want the perfect K5, cause its either that, or the SFA conversion on my yukon. i don't want to have to go about swapping engines and transmissions to end up where i would have started if i had waited a while and found one that might have had better components. i need a job.... /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  10. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    Thing is your always gonna be workign and making your K5 what you want. My k5 came with crap 10 bolts, a 305, and not great 32" tires. But i'm very happy I bought it. I have a K5 with a good SM465 trans and NP208 TCase. Short of a doubler this is my perfect setup. Someday I will go doubler, I'm installing my 14 bolt FF in the next week or two, and my Dana 44 as well. End of winter I'm puting in a Dana 60 and some 37" tires. I have 4" BDS front springs and soon to be rear shackle flip. I know I'm ranting but sometimes you have to settle and just build it. SOmetimes you end up buying a frame and a title. It all depends on you.
     
  11. thezentree

    thezentree 3/4 ton status

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    i guess what im askin is, would a 305 with an auto tranny (not sure what model) and 10 bolts be a good base truck for maybe 35s and moderate wheelin? maybe down the road i can go to a 454 and 46s, but i want something thats gonna be able to take what a throw at it and keep going without too much modification.
     
  12. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    It will take some abuse but sooner or later it will break. That will be nature telling you to upgrade.
     
  13. firefighter184

    firefighter184 1/2 ton status

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    I had an 85 Jimmy with the 305. Had 3:73 gears and 31s, then 33s. What a nightmare. The motor and the gears conspired to make the trip up the hill crappy. Once you get on the trail, mud was fine, but noit only is the 305 weak, it has no torque at all. Not to mention carb instead of Fuel Injection. Look for something 87 or newer with TBI or EFI, and a 350. Around here, there are tons of K5's in the Truck Trader, lifted with tires and goodies, running around $4000.00 to $7000.00. I prefer buying stock and building to fit your needs and wants. It all depends on what you want your rig to be able to do. Good luck...
     
  14. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    if I was buying a 2nd K5... the only feature I would put on the "required" list is that it had fuel injection. Almost everything else is gonna change in a full on build up anyway. Hell, I'd prolly look for rigs that had rust and toasted axles/trannys etc... make the rig cheaper! most rust issues can be solved with some TLC anyway.

    j
     
  15. sled_dog

    sled_dog 1 ton status

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    I'm on the lookout for a rusted out piece of crap myself. FI would be a plus. But I want to build a buggy.
     
  16. TrcksR4ME

    TrcksR4ME 1/2 ton status

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    There are a few ways to approach it. A Blazer in Stock form will never be good enough. They never made a 3/4 ton or bigger version so its not the best thing to start with really. But where you have to make the decision is whether to buy one with 10 bolts and a 305, or get one someone else has already done work to with better axles etc. There is a trade off though. The stock one will likely be better overall condition, but will require many upgrades. A modified one will have some upgrades already, but likely has issues to work out, has been driven harder, and is being probably in only a moderately safe to drive state.

    I got a already built truck, and it was not a good decision. You pay more and I ended up having to replace things and make upgrades that I "thought" were taken care of. At least when you start out stock you get to do the work and choose the parts you put on. Hate trying to figure out WTF the PO did to a vehicle. Not exempt from this by buying a stock Blazer, but I think overall the odds are better /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     

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