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1983 6.2 4wd new project. planning phase

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by skark_burmer, Jan 5, 2006.

  1. skark_burmer

    skark_burmer 1/2 ton status

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    Just picked up a '83 K5 with a 6.2 diesel in it. Truck has 70k miles on it and was used as a tow vehicle by a guy that was into horses and towed a 4 horse trailer around to shows and whatnot.

    I plan to use it as a daily driver / tahoe snow vehicle / moderate off roading and road trip vehicle but i need some help selecting drivetrain parts. Reliability is key and by far the most important factor to me. I will be doing long road trips and dont want to get stranded in the middle of Baja or Moab or Compton for that matter. But i dont have money to burn so cost effectiveness is also important, but i will pay for high quality components if they are worth it.

    The trans (700r4?) needs rebuilding. slips a little and takes forever to engage reverse. Fluid level is ok though so im thinking its a bit worn out. Should i get a rebuilt 700r4 or convert it to something else? Seems people dont like the 700r4 for some reason.

    Im going to replace the driveshaft universal joints just for the peace of mind. Should i go with stock or is there a better joint out there that will last forever and is cost effective?

    Is the driveshaft up to the tast of moderate wheeling or should be replaced with...?

    The diff's are probably open and i will need to tend to that. Im thinking of going with a limited slip in the back and a locker in the front. Any suggestions?

    While i am there are the 28 spline axles ok or should i take this oppurtunity to upgrade the entire diff to something like a dana or...?
    I have no problem welding in new suspension mounting points or large projects like that, i just want to rebuild the drivetrain once and have it last forever. Do it right the first time... you know.

    Is the transfer case prone to problems?

    any help you guys could offer would be great.

    Jeff
     
  2. DieselDan

    DieselDan 1/2 ton status

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    My original plan was to swap out my 700R for a manual. But the 700R started to slip long before I was ready (it's still a DD). The immediate fix was to replace the 700R with a "built" unit. I bought a stage II from BowTie Overdrives. It's been good so far (almost a year). I've grown kinda fond of my 700R, with it's steep 1st gear and OD 4th. The 6.2's narrow powerband loves the gears.:D
     
  3. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    Compton, no stops there. I thought the 700R4 was intro'd in '85, guess I'm wrong but the early ones were not known for stout, and having been used as a tractor for four horses, 70Km is not bad. A BTO built 700R4 is a good suggestion, especially if the man says it's a good combo for the torque band. All the other trannies, TH350, TH400, 4L series would generally be considered more robust than the 700, but a built/fixed 700 with it's gear spread, sounds perfect for you're intended use.:D
    chit, four horses and a trailer must of weighed 8K, K5s aren't built for that; maybe that's not the orig. tranny.?
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2006
  4. skark_burmer

    skark_burmer 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the input on the trans, i think i will get a good rebuilt unit or possibly a GM Goodwrench unit. Any trans shops that i should look for or stay away from?

    As far as the hubs go... I like having the auto hubs just for the sake of convenience but are they a weak point? I see posts about Warn manual hubs being swapped out but how much of a difference in strength are we talking? My style is rather smooth and flowing, I'm not one for just romping on the gas and blasting through stuff.

    I think i will stay with the stock 10 bolt axles, 28 spline and put a limited slip front and back because of cost. I don't think i need to upgrade to a 14 bolt full floater in the back although there is a guy that is selling one cheap down the road from me. If i were to go with a 14b in the back (overkill i know) what front axle would be appropriate? Dana 60?
    I just looked up an ARB air locker and a Eaton limited slip for my stock 10 bolt (about $400) and i looked up a ARB for the 14b and it was $900!! Is that right? wow! I think that changed my mind right there. Not to mention the 14b weighs about 500 lbs.
     
  5. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    Warns are what $100-120, less than two hours to understand the instructions, and you know when they are on or off; not the same with GranMa's hubs. Again, plenty of threads on that subject also.
     
  6. skark_burmer

    skark_burmer 1/2 ton status

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    Moved from the planning phase to the 'actually doing something' phase

    Well this weekend i gutted the horrible smelling interior and bright and early on Monday morning I'm going to have the inside sprayed with Line-x (rhino linings). When i got the soaking wet carpet yanked out there was some rust spots i had to take care of. I weighed everything i tore out, 184 lbs. It was wet though but thats still a lot of weight.
    Nothing too horrible under the carpet cause this is a California truck after all but seems i have some leaking seals and rainwater over the years created a few problem areas i wanted to address before i got it coated.

    Time to bust out the sawzall and MIG welder and get busy! My neighbors wondered what the hell i was doing.

    There were some spots in the bed area that needed 2"x2" patches and the drivers and pass door had rot under the front of the door seal along the bottom edge. on both sides i had to remove a foot long section that was about 3" wide that claimed the weatherstrip slot. (I will try to post some pics) I cut all the crap out and welded in a new metal strip and replaced the rusty sections with 16ga steel.
    Also the PO installed some sort of mounting base for a CB or amp or something under the drivers seat and under that was pretty much rusted through so that took a 1'x1' plate. Thank goodness i live close to an OSH, they sell 16ga plate steel for cheap, i spent 2 days removing and welding and prepping and about $30 and now the **** Box (as its affectionately known) is ready for the liner. After i get it back tomorrow night i will post some pics.

    This weekend i decided to go with an Eaton LSD in the front and rear. Cause this will be a daily driver and see much more road use than off road i didnt want a locker, plus i hear lockers can cause breakage with my 10b 28 sline axles. So i got 2 ordered but seems they are on backorder so i dont know when i will be getting them, need to find out on monday.

    Ordered a rebuilt level 2 700r4 from Bowtie overdrives so that should be here in a week or so hopefully. When that goes in im going to have a rebuild party on the **** Box. Im installing a new radiator, water pump, J code intake that im going to plumb for mild propane use, new glow plugs, a gear drive to replace the timing chain, replace the steering wheel, cheap stereo system, and i might even wax it while its in the garage.
    Tomorrow im going to order all the weather seals i tore out this weekend, if they are here in time they will go in during the rebuild session.
     
  7. skark_burmer

    skark_burmer 1/2 ton status

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    Check it

    K5 001.jpg

    K5 002.jpg

    K5 003.jpg

    K5 004.jpg

    K5 011.jpg
     
  8. skark_burmer

    skark_burmer 1/2 ton status

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    second set

    K5 012.jpg

    K5 017.jpg

    K5 018.jpg

    K5 019.jpg
     
  9. skark_burmer

    skark_burmer 1/2 ton status

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    Just so nobody thinks im that lazy...
    In the 3rd and 2nd to last pic I cut the corner so it was a square hole before i welded on the plate. Last thing i would want to do is leave a 4" shelf to collect rain and rust.
     
  10. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    This is cool. It's like following a magazine build-up series. I'm going to Moab second week in April for the EJS, do you think you'd want to try and make it?:D
     
  11. skark_burmer

    skark_burmer 1/2 ton status

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    Electronic Journal of Sociology? Thats not really my bag but Moab is cool.
    My roomie (and anyone else we can convince to go) head out to Moab for a week each spring for mountain biking and dirt biking anyways so that might be sweet to hook up and do some wheeling. We normally take the limo but im sure i can bring the sh*t box, i dont think the limo would wheel very well.

    Project note;
    This morning, before i dropped off the S Box to get the liner sprayed in i tried to fit the new wheels i got for it. I bought a set of '01 Burb factory alloys in 16x7.5" off Craigslist for $100, with almost new street tires.
    Unfortunately the hubs on my K5 are about 3.5" diameter and the hub hole in the wheels is about 3". Doh! Dont you hate it when that happens.
    I'll drop them off at a machine shop later this week and see if they can enlarge the hole so it shouldnt be too big of a deal.

    Where is a good place to buy replacement weather seals? I hear people complaining about LMC and some people are ok with them. Where else can i get a full selection of seals, do i have any other choice?
     
  12. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    I haven't been to EJS myself but I suspect it would likely be fodder for Sociologists. I attempted the same thing with the wheels, '04s on an '85. The lugs are different also. I resold them and bought black steelys & BFGs. The only rubber I've bought from LMC are the scapers at the window sills, Oh and the gasket and welt for that 4' Sub window, they were fine. Their stuff seems as good or better than others.
    Yea hooking-up for EJS would be great. It would be great to build a magnet caravan going east to UT. I think it's feasible too, what with everyone on cell and CB at close range. OK, proofreading here I see I just volunteered to add to the orig. thread, some verbage @ a caravan (crusade?).:haha:
     
  13. skark_burmer

    skark_burmer 1/2 ton status

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    Caravaning out to Moab would be cool. By then i should have my SVO tank installed so fuel will cost nothing for me. I've been thinking of getting a CB off e-bay but the thought of buying electronics like that sort of scares me. Plus i have no idea what model i would want or anything else like that.

    I picked up the S Box from the Line x place this afternoon and it looks pretty cool. I will need to add some carpet to the front to make it a bit more passenger friendly but i like it. Tonight i'll get the weather seals on order and decide what i want to do with the interior like seats and seat belts and such. The seats are pretty thrashed so at minimum they will need a quality set of K-mart seat covers. I have a set of BMW 3 series leather seats i can put in, but i dont know if that would really be appropriate. The stock seatbelts are uncomfortable and i otherwise dont like them. I dont know if i want to install a bar and harnesses or not but i want to keep use of the rear seat so i will have some thinking to do on that subject. I think a bar would pretty much block access to the back seat. Screw it, i dont sit back there anyways!
     
  14. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    SVO tank? I can't recall what research I conducted to settle the CB ? I didn't want Gizmo or esoteric. I bought the Cobra 148NWST, there's a lot of "radio" i am ignorant of and all that stuff on the unit doesn't get in the way of me using it, and it works great. BMW seats inappropriate? I guess, only if they get wet. Later, still want to get some wrenching before sack time.
     
  15. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    You'll need to get a trans temp gauge kit, 4 wheeling really puts the ATF through the paces and you will need to know when to back-off and let it cool. I already had VDO gauges, but they didn't have the Ttemp to match, so I bought the B&M. TCI just came out with theirs, but I see its lowest indication is 180*? B&M starts at 160*. I'd rather know when its warmed-up. Neat trick @ B&M gauge set is the sender is 1/8 NPT which threads into their trans pan drain plug kit. Bingo. I'll post a pic this afternoon when I get home.
     
  16. skark_burmer

    skark_burmer 1/2 ton status

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    cool, thanks for the heads up about the trans gauge. Thats a wise investemt from the sound of it.
    I am also thinking of adding gauges to the dash, not sure how i want to do it yet but i have a tach i need to fit in there somewhere along with oil temp and pressure. Im going to go with the autometer gauges, i think they are 2 1/16" or so.
    I also need a slew of fuel temp and pressure gauges for the veg oil system that is going in because it has to be at 130* before i can switch over. Otherwise its a pain to deal with the resulting sludge in the injectors.

    I looked up the weather seals i will need from LMC, they are a lot cheaper than i thought.
     
  17. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    There was a thread just before the holidays, pics of members gauge solutions; I'll see if I can find it, thats right I had a pic also.
     
  18. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    I'll post this first but there was a thread on different gauge panel layouts, I'll keep looking. Another "device" you'll need is a trans fluid cooler, IN ADDITION TO THE IN TANK COOLER IN THE RADIATOR. The non-recurring outlays up front are worth it when traded against replacing the trans every X thousand miles. The info packet you'l get from BTO will back-up all that I have recommended. OK, two pics.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2006
  19. maynardogle

    maynardogle 1/2 ton status

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    OK I'm hooked... Somebody with enough money to do in a couple months what will take me a couple years. So what kinda seats are you gonna use. My K/5 is currently in about the same shape as yours, i.e. no interior except the door panels. I really loved the six way power seats in my father-in-laws Silverado pick-up, so I boughta set out of a wrecked 99 Blazer.
     
  20. skark_burmer

    skark_burmer 1/2 ton status

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    For the gauges im thinking of replacing the entire gauge panel and building a custom panel so i can space them exactly where i want to and add a few more. I dont need a fuel gauge so big i can read it from my back yard so i want to use that space more efficently.
    Id rather not slap the tach on the top of the steering if i can avoid that, i want something that looks more factory. I saw a thread by a guy that replaced all his gauges with Auto-meter units and he did a super clean job. But i want to do it and not use the facotry spots, so i will have to construct a new panel. Shouldnt be too tough of a job. (Famous last words)

    For the seats i will either use my BMW seats or go with something like the Beard seats or Mastercraft seats sold by 4wheel parts wholesalers. Im thinking the BMW seats might be cool, plus they are free, The Mastercraft seats are $400 each so the BMW seats would keep $800 in my pocket which is a good thing.
    All i need to do is weld up the appropriate brackets which should be an afternoon project. The seatbelts still suck so im still not sure how i want to address that issue but its weighing on my mind these last few days. I havent started putting it back together since i got it sprayed yesterday but i am really resistant to bolting the stock seatbelts back in. I might just end up going with a harness type approach because i have a spare set of simpson 6 points and weld up a custom bar to not block off the back seat. But that would mean i have to buy a tubing bender and i dont think i have the scratch for that right now. Decisions decisions.

    I ordered the Eatons this morning, come to find out that they are in stock afterall and shipped today so those should be here soon. I also ordered a set of gears for the back but will re-use the front set because those gears should be in good shape.

    That brings up the transfer case... i need to start doing some learning about that to make sure it is good to go. Heck, i dont even know what model they come with. time to use the search feature... Man, this forum kicks ass.

    Tonight i'll order the weather seals so we will see how much that sets me back. And the Bilsteins i ordered came in so i can toss those crappy Monroe specials i have on there now. That should make a world of difference, not to mention the front shocks are the wrong model. The front shocks are too long and the shock bottoms out about 3" before the bump stop hits, so i have almost no front end travel before i bash into the bottom of the shock. Makes for a nice BANG!!! sound. And the ride sort of suffers too, especially how i drive.
     

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