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'81 K5, "BlaZeus"- How to NOT build the ultimate budget K5; 3 & 4 link build

BlaZeus

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Hey there folks. Ive been meaning to start a build thread for a while now but it seems that it has just never happened because there is always work to be done to the rig so instead i just spend all my time working on it and not writing about the work.
First off, I'd like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, for giving me my gifts and talents, resources and ability to do what I love and I am passionate about.

Second, a couple housekeeping things:
My name is Matt. The rig is BlaZeus.
I graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and am now working as a manufacturing engineer.
This is the first truck I have ever really built. I started off getting into off roading with my last truck, a 1994 k1500 with 6" lift and 35" tires. Learned how to work on that myself and started building up my tool collection because I couldn't afford to pay anyone else to fix it. Found that the Internet is your friend and fixed pretty much the entire front end. Sold that and got into motorcycles. Had a dual sport, then a Harley that I built up real nice and then got bored of it. So then sold it to buy BlaZeus off my buddy and make a sizable investment in tools.

I bought it off a good buddy of mine in February, 2015 after the girl who i had fallen in love with, told me she didn't see us working out. Well, guess what did work out? A badass, neck breaking, panty dropping truck that i have put blood, sweat, and tears into and that I can say I built this truck with my bare hands, with limited knowledge, tools, and money.
But what I do have is time, a hard work ethic, and a hyper functioning Autism Spectrum disorder, kinda like Aspergers. It is a complicated thing but one thing is that people like me usually become fixated obsessively over a specific, very narrow area of interest and then hyper focus on it and can't think about anything else but whatever they are working on. but enough about me; You're here to see how not to build the ultimate budget build K5. So unto thee you shall explore
 
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BlaZeus

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Here are some pics of BlaZeus shortly after i first got him. I immediately took the doors off to make it easier to build the cage and because i was always so jealous of jeeps with no doors. My buddy stripped the interior and did most of the base cage work and had it all just tacked together when i got it. He also put in a crate 350sbc with around 300HP and painted the body with a military grade desert light brown color.

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BlaZeus

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So, right when I got it, i immediately got to work. I found a complete 14bsf 6 lug LSD rear axle locally for $200, because i didn't want to have to buy new wheels just for the rear and have 8 lug in rear, 6 lug in front. I also found locally a set of 4, pretty much new, PRP suspension seats for iirc around $350? Also got some 64" leafs off a newer body HD chevy at the salvage yard. And Dove right in to what I had no idea what I was doing but Damnit, i sure was gonna learn......by failing.

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BlaZeus

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So as you can see, I got in a little over my head. I thought, for some stupid reason, the axle i bought was set up for a spring under axle set up. At this time, thats what I had wanted to do. I thought all prerunner trucks had SUA set ups because thats what was better. So.....I went about installing the axle....yep, you guessed it, upside down, which some of you may remember because I asked a question on here about why, after the axle install, my D was reverse and my R was drive. lol. and yes, yes i know. the install was janky as F, but, it didn't fall apart, so i mustve done something alright?

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Yes, I did try and make my own spring hangers. DO NOT TRY AND DO THIS. DO NOT be a cheap skate and try and make your own hangers out of cut square tubing. Even if the bushings in your leaf springs won't fit in the nice, legit hangers you bought. Oh, and DO NOT change the leaf spring bushings if they are still even remotely good. There is a metal sleeve inside that does not like to come out. but, you can't leave it in there cuz then the bushings you just bought won't press all the way in. just, don't ask.
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BlaZeus

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Bad stuff. So had a radiator hose burst while driving it one day. got stranded in the parking lot of the grocery store a block from my house. didn't realize and still don't know how! but the truck won't start if you lose coolant from a burst hose or whatever. So got that figured out. Then, broke a throttle cable after trying to troubleshoot why it wouldn't start. I had just got a job at a local mechanic shop so decided to get it towed over there as he said he would help me out with it. the tow truck driver takes forever to get my truck there and he shows up and my truck is missing one the front wheels. apparently, on the way there, one of the front wheels on my truck came off while the tow truck driver was driving. he said he looked around for the wheel but couldn't find it. we both went back afterward and looked and down the street for like 30 mins and never found it. it still has not turned up to this day. so $200 wheel lost and $200 tire lost. so pissed. but, ended up getting the truck started after replacing the ICM, then the coil and then put another ICM in and it started right up! i have a deep hatred for ICM's.

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BlaZeus

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These are some photos of when i was trying to play around with shackle angles. didn't really know what i was looking for or what a good shackle angle looked like.

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BlaZeus

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OKAY, so i think i am missing some pics cuz i just realized i did a lot of really good work to the truck since the last post. I did the front 52" spring swap using my stock rear leaf springs. I took the pack apart and made my own custom LT leaf spring pack which worked killer! It was a 150% improvement over stock. I just moved the front hangers forward and relocated the rear shackles back a couple inches and bingo, a killer front suspension set up that i was super happy with. I also found locally a guy selling his front 3-link suspension set up with beefy crossover steering off of his 74 k10 truck. i bought it without the coilovers he had because I didn't have the extra money. But i got an engine cage/shock mounts, beef crossover steering, and a 3 link front suspension set up with the axle brackets on the axle he gave me and frame mounts for the links and pan hard bar. I ended up just buying a 2wd steering gear box and installing the crossover steering set up with the leafs because i didnt have the money for coilovers to do the full front 3 link.

So after i got everything straightened out with the rear suspension and axle, i built a prerunner-style front bumper cause i just really like the look of them and thats what i was building it to be and it got wrecked on the first trip out with a couple friends to a local water falls place called "Big Falls". Super fun trip. Truck died a couple times in the water. Don't know why but it always eventually started back up.....Thats me in the grey flannel jacket/ grey chevy shirt.

who said California was in a drought?? lol

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Here you can see the crossover steering links are painted red, and they look kinda offset. So i had to mount one side on the top of the knuckle and the other side on the bottom to clear the leafs because the set up was designed to be run with coilovers. I also had to move the tie rod mount higher up on the drag link.
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BlaZeus

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Front Bumper making. Welded ubolt studs into the tube to make it easily removable.

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BlaZeus

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This is the engine cage that i bought as part of the 3-link front suspension set-up. Has removable middle crossmember that make it super easy to do engine work. it is currently for sale if anyone is interested. Put the doors back on because its loud, and also looked better when i put the decals on.

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HAD TO PUT DECALS ON BECAUSE RACE TRUCK BRO.
haha so i thought about building it into and having it resemble an old-school, vintage baja race truck, like a class-3,( the production, short wheelbase 4x4 race class) rig for awhile because the front leaf suspension was working really good and i knew the truck was not going to realistically be competitive in any other class out there.
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This was probably the last time the truck looked this good/clean.
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BlaZeus

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Temporarily mounted tire gate.

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Tabbed up some mounts for a third row bench seat that my parents took out of our suv and not use. So, BlaZeus has a removable bench seat with optional third row seating that accommodates up to 6 passengers. #FamilyHuckster?

On this trail run, my buddy took his 1988 4runner with all original suspension, rebuilt engine 22re/5 speed and tried to keep up with me....and he kinda did, and didnt break anything. i was impressed. however, i was in 2wd and he was in 4wd. haha. but i railed on my truck on this trail and ended up braking a shock from bottoming out and not having bump stops. i have a video of it...not sure how i post it tho.

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BlaZeus

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On this drop, my driver side shock bottomed out and broke. They were 18" travel, bilstien smooth body shocks with reservoirs. This is done with a custom stock front 52" LT leaf pack.

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BlaZeus

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well thats it for tonight. i still have a lot of progress and upgrades i still need to upload but now y'all get the background story so you can appreciate where its at now haha. thanks for looking and ill update the big progress stuff soon. just kinda had to get this build thread started somewhere and why not at the beginning? haha thanks! God bless!
 

truck-oholic

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This basically means that I have the same type of gift that Einstein, Newton, Tesla, Da Vinci, and Bill Gates, to name a few, have. It allows me to see things in pictures and in 3D in my mind and visualize how things fit together and how they are going to work and look. I also tend to work on my truck for sometimes 5,6,7 hours at a time and not feel any need to drink or eat anything. Oftentimes, I will just stand in my garage and stare at my truck for stupid amounts of time and just think and let my creativity and imagination run wild.

I'm pretty sure the last two sentences in the above paragraph are typical of any average person on here. Not really seeing the Einstein come out in any of this design or build yet but interested to see what you end up with. What degree are you getting from Cal Poly?
 

BlaZeus

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I'm pretty sure the last two sentences in the above paragraph are typical of any average person on here. Not really seeing the Einstein come out in any of this design or build yet but interested to see what you end up with. What degree are you getting from Cal Poly?
Haha yeah I'm sure you're right. And I Am not saying that I have the gift to the extent that those genius minds do, because I don't. I am really not that smart. I am just really good at solving problems and being creative when it comes to my area of obsession: Vehicles. I also have left out a ton of the little details that i do not have the time or patience to write all about on here. But thank you.
I am in Industrial Technology doing Operations.
 

Greg72

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I'm pretty sure the last two sentences in the above paragraph are typical of any average person on here. Not really seeing the Einstein come out in any of this design or build yet but interested to see what you end up with. What degree are you getting from Cal Poly?

If he really has Autism, that might explain some of the statements that came across as pretty arrogant in the initial post... People with autism can be socially awkward and say things that seem really insensitive or conceited.

I'm willing to let it slide if he continues to deliver the goods on this thread! :waytogo:


-G
 

BlaZeus

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If he really has Autism, that might explain some of the statements that came across as pretty arrogant in the initial post... People with autism can be socially awkward and say things that seem really insensitive or conceited.

I'm willing to let it slide if he continues to deliver the goods on this thread! :waytogo:


-G
I couldn't have explained it better myself, thanks! Yes I very much come off very strong and insensitive to most people and when I meet people who dont know me, they get rubbed the wrong way when I have not a clue why. It has been a battle to try and build relationships with people and gain friends.
Thanks for the support!! :)
 

Greg72

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I couldn't have explained it better myself, thanks! Yes I very much come off very strong and insensitive to most people and when I meet people who dont know me, they get rubbed the wrong way when I have not a clue why. It has been a battle to try and build relationships with people and gain friends.
Thanks for the support!! :)


Kinda what I figured.... :D

Looks like you've got some cool stuff going on, I'm interested to see more of it.


-G
 

jekquistk5

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Interesting approach. That setup to pull stumps out scared the crap out of me.
 

BlaZeus

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So here's the pic of the broken shock eyelet.

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Also, found that somehow some of the header bolts for my headers had come out while wheeling, making the truck run like crap.

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Also, heres a pic of the *temporary mounting for the fuel cell. Its smaller than I would've liked (17gal) but i picked it up for super cheap, with stainless steel hoses. Planning on getting another one of the same size, and mounting one on each side of the bed, in between the the bedside and the cage.

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