'75 K5 Blazer advice build

  • This is my first build ever and looking for advice/help from the community through the process. I am handy and can some things but looking for what are some key things to do and not do. Apologize now for all the questions and thank you in advance for all the great advice to come.

    Desired Finish: A rig to drive around on nice nights with the wife and kid, maybe go to a local car show, just enjoy the ride. Not looking for an offroad or mudding rig. Willing to spend a few extra $ to ensure quality or increase resale value if I sell it in a few years. See attached pic of '73 rig for finished look.

    Truck Bio: 1975 K5 Blazer Custom Deluxe. original engine, transmission, quadrajet carb, 3 speed manual, 37" tires, 3" body, 4" suspension lift, always starts and drives fine, drive it about 300-500 miles a year, owned it for 7 years, new clutch, just started leaking a tiny bit from oil pan and transmission. Basically a great truck that runs whenever I want to pull it out of the garage for a drive.

    Planned Build Items: (est $12K budget)
    1. Rust - repair rusted out floor board on passenger side (to be done by professional), checked frame/body and no visible real rust except surface
    2. Seats - replace front seats, recover back original seat and new foam
    3. Interior - general costmetics, dash/gauge replace, new carpet & insulator, door pannel paint/refresh
    4. Exterior - replace front quarters, exterior and interior paint to match
    5. Engine/Transmission - tune up and seal/gasket replacements as recommended, no upgrades planned
    6. Suspension - replacing shocks and gear due to age, no change on leaf springs planned IMG_3877.jpg IMG_3879.jpg IMG_3881.jpg IMG_5316.jpg IMG_2284.jpg IMG_2285.jpg IMG_2286.jpg IMG_3877.jpg IMG_3879.jpg IMG_3881.jpg IMG_5316.jpg IMG_2284.jpg IMG_2285.jpg IMG_2286.jpg
    7. Misc - may replace fuel tank of concerns on 45 year old gunk running into the engine, windshield replacement, soft top to be added

    The Questions:
    1. Not choosing a frame off resoration because of perceived cost. However concerned that it will look great on top but old underneath the covers. It is worth it to have the frame done and what general costs/time does that take?
    2. Engine and tranmission seem to always be in good condition and run great. Should I take this opportunity to rebuild the engine? Concerns is messing with something that works and costs.
    3. Paint - concerned the exterior will look great but the engine bay will look old and rusted. Any way to freshen this up or do you need to simply tear everything down?
    4. Suspension - looking to lower the truck just a couple of inches to make it easier for the wife to get in and ride better, best recommendations? body lift removal vs suspension change.
  • Year:
    1975
    Make:
    Chevrolet
    Model:
    K5 Blazer
    Trim Level:
    Custom Deluxe
    Engine:
    350 (5.7L) V8
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