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Which year K5 Blazer 72-91 to buy?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by tomy, May 11, 2004.

  1. tomy

    tomy Registered Member

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    I am planning to buy a K5 blazer and I want to know the pros and cons of each year before I buy. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  2. BlazerGuy

    BlazerGuy 3/4 ton status

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    First off, K5's started in '69. Second, it all depends on what you want to do with the truck...
     
  3. civicstomper

    civicstomper 1/2 ton status

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    I'm definitly not the most knowledgable person to answer this question but i'll try to help in any way I can;

    The early years (i believe 1970 to 72) first style are cool IMHO, they are getting to be hard to find around here, and they have really nice styling.

    The first generation k-5's and the second generation ones up to 75 (someone correct me if I'm wrong) have a fully removable roof, and that is really cool too. K-5s after this only had the rear removable roof.

    I think it was 81 that the newly styled fenders and hood came out for the K-5, and around this time they also got a new grill and headlight layout of 2 stacked on top of each other with turn signals hidden beneath the grill.

    In 1987 K-5 came with throttle body fuel injection. This is better for gas milage, power, etc. This is the year that I have, and the only problems I ever had were mainly jsut not knowing what to do when it started acting up. If you are fairly knowledgable of TBI and sensors and all that stuff, thats good. If not, then you may need to get a code scanner if things go wrong.

    Again, not 100% sure on actual year but I think it was 89 that the K-5 got the new style grill and headlights. Its the black grill with the side by side headlights above the turn signals.

    As for knowing which year to buy, for me that would depend mainly on cost and what my uses would be. If you want better fuel economy, go for the 87+ years. If you are anything like I used to be and scared to death of fuel injection, go for the early years.

    A nice feature of the 73-91 K-5s to me is the interchangability of parts. There are a lot of them out there so it isnt too hard to find most parts. At the same time, this is what makes the pre 73 K-5s kinda special in their own way, they are rare were I live, and I would consider them to be valuable.

    Well, thats all that I can think of, and its very likely that I may have some bad information, if so let me know. I dont have much experience with these trucks, and there are many members on here who really know their stuff.

    Sorry for such a long message, and good luck picking one out /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    -pete /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/truck.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
     
  4. MTBLAZER89

    MTBLAZER89 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    1989 is the best year /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif

    [​IMG]
     
  5. BAJA_BLAZER

    BAJA_BLAZER 1/2 ton status Author

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    Great advice! For the most part, every year brought more improvements and features. Having owned them all over the years, my preference is for an 89 to 91, the power options and trim are great and you can’t beat the drivability. My 74 is like a Model T compared to my 90. I do like the full convertibles though, so I converted my 90.
     
  6. sandawgk5

    sandawgk5 3/4 ton status

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    I have an 87 however best I believe to be 73 1. beacause of the full convertable top and 2. because it is old enough that no emissions equipment at all is required and any engine swap is possible.

    Just my .02
     
  7. mikeperez22

    mikeperez22 Registered Member

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    How hard and what was involved to convert your 90 to full convertable. I thought about trying to find a 73-75 to restore, but it may be easier to find a nice 89-91 and just cut the roof off. Any advice would be great.

    Mike
     
  8. TxK5Blazer

    TxK5Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I think it was 81 that the newly styled fenders and hood came out for the K-5, and around this time they also got a new grill and headlight layout of 2 stacked on top of each other with turn signals hidden beneath the grill.

    [/ QUOTE ] the only thing I can add to this is the 81 and 82 are they only two year second generation that the blinkers were in the front bumper....Jason
     
  9. tomy

    tomy Registered Member

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    Thanks for all of the quick replies. I appreciate your help. I am planning to use the blazer for mild off-roading. Here in the Chicago suburbs the terrain isn't too rough except for potholes. So far I've only looked at one blazer,a '90 with a 6 inch lift and 35"s but it was too tall to fit in my garage /forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif.
     
  10. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    My personal fav year of the K5 Blazer is the 72. I really like that body style.
     
  11. Jonny-K5

    Jonny-K5 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]

    1989 is the best year






    [/ QUOTE ] i second that. i have an 89 and wouldnt trade it for any other year. the 89 has the same motor/tranny from the newer body style pickups(88-99?). it also has all the factory upgrades on the stock 700 tranny. 90 and 91's have an electronic speedometer which i've heard gives some trouble. when i bought my truck i didnt know squat about fuel injection or anything, but with a simple trouble code scanner, and a dealer service manuel(lifesaver) i now would never go back to carbs. the 75 and older trucks are cool with thier full convertibles, but i've found that i'd much rather be able to roll all the windows up and turn on the AC. and with the side and back windows rolled down, it flows plenty of air thru the truck.

    i would look for a stock 89 from an older gentleman that doesnt use it for a DD and has never been offroad or only light offroad use.keeping good service records is also a definate plus. this will most likely be hard to find, but worth the effort.i wouldnt buy something that already been built up unless it was a dirt cheap trail machine. if you do buy something thats not stock, check the frame around the steering box for cracks or loose bolts. very common on these trucks.
     
  12. Bhintz

    Bhintz 1/2 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    My personal fav year of the K5 Blazer is the 72. I really like that body style.

    [/ QUOTE ] I agree the 71-72 are the best looking and full convertible or the 87-91 with tbi
     
  13. gm guy

    gm guy 1/2 ton status

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    I would like one of each bodystyle, first and second gen. /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif I say get a stock one, and build it how you want!! /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif
     
  14. juanblzer

    juanblzer 1/2 ton status

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    89-91 (easily replacable body)usually has A/C
    fuel injection (great for climbing or descending)
    np241 (slap a slip yoke eliminator kit on it)
    700r4 (beef it up when its time to rebuild)
     
  15. rjfguitar

    rjfguitar 3/4 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I'm another vote for an 89'..but only if you plan to take good care of it. The later models have great creature compforts like cruise, power mirrors, usually A/C, better interior, and a very attractive headlight and grille design.

    Don't get a mid 80's K5 in an emmissions area because they are probably the hardest of all the years to deal with. I found that out after I already had my 85'.

    If you plan to build a wheeler out of one and removing sheetmetal than I would save some cash and just find the cheapest one out there that runs.
     
  16. ryoken

    ryoken Puppy Fabricator Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    welcome to the search... /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

    i've been on the hunt for about a month for a second gen.. anything from mid 70's to late 80's... most trucks i've seen have been mid 80's auto/350 TBI trucks... i'll learn to love whatever years nuances i get tho..

    got a line on a 1 ton 79 (really starting to like the grills on 79's), 383, SM465, 205....

    its cheap cuz it wont start, no spark. he thinks its the fusable link... couple jumper wires will have it running in 5 minutes once i tow it out... i'm stoked tho about the 14bff/D60 combo... 4.10's with 36x14.5 TSL's...

    good luck on your search. /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif
     
  17. nstarry

    nstarry 1/2 ton status

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    No No No the best looking years were the 73-75, 35s the top off the doors off, QUOTE " you are straight up pimpin " /forums/images/graemlins/pimp1.gif /forums/images/graemlins/pimp1.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  18. bajaviking

    bajaviking 1/2 ton status

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    If you are going to take care of it buy what you like but please don't buy a nice classic truck from the earlier years and thrash it, for that might as well buy a Blazer from the later years, there are plenty of those around.
     
  19. James670X

    James670X 1/2 ton status

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    IMO the 69-72 Blazers are by far the nicest looking. A good setup would be a "stock looking" 69-72 K5 with 3/4 or 1ton running gear, a 350 or 454 Vortec motor (come in 96-00 trucks), maybe a 5spd. or even 6spd. manual tranny from a 93-up truck (easier to live with as a daily driver) but more likely an SM465 4spd. (purely for it's strength, durability and first gear). Like bajaviking said if you're going to thrash it don't buy a 69-72!.
     
  20. tomy

    tomy Registered Member

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    Any opinions on the '92 and up models?
     

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