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The Brandy Build

A build taking a faded, rusty, 1988 k5 and transforming it into a more or less restored, 1974 full convertible.

Jake_C_

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Jake_C_ submitted a new Build:

The Brandy Build

Hello to anyone reading. I figured it was time to start this build thread. So here it goes:

Here’s a summary of why I got the blazer to begin with: I’ve never really been crazy interested in fast cars, especially not new fast cars. My interests always lied in 4x4s, specifically old pickup trucks. For a long time my dream vehicle was a “70s style” (as I call it) Chevy pickup, single cab long bed. After I sold my last Jeep I started looking for a pickup. I just didn’t want rust, I was more than ok with faded paint and mechanical issues but I wanted a clean body.

This proved to be too tall of an order for southwestern Ohio. I had a $7000 dollar price limit and couldn’t find the right truck. I even would have settled for two wheel drive. I decided I would have to give up on this idea for now and maybe buy one when I was older with more money (I was 20 at the time and in college). Well somewhere along the way I discovered the K5 blazer and how it was a very truck like. It became my new favorite vehicle but still there was no finding a decent one.

Well after doing tons of research on bodywork and paint I decided that if I could learn to do those things I could have a perfect blazer. Those were by biggest problems. So I went ahead and bought a 88 K5 blazer. It had hit a deer so it had no hood, one fender, and needed radiator work. Which was perfect for me. It was $2300 with a very decent body. Someone at some point had swapped in a carbureted 350 which I like for the simplicity. It’s an automatic (th700r4) four wheel drive (np208). I white-knuckled it home from Kentucky on a crappy trailer.

My plans were to swap in 70s style front end body parts including fenders, core support, hood, and all pieces for the grill. There’s a family friend that I found out has a square bodys only junkyard about 15 mins from me so it took no time to get the necessary body parts. All this happened in March of 2019. Since then I have gotten it running, put on the new body parts, driven it a little, then stripped the entire blazer down.

As it sits it has no top, seats, doors, fenders, tailgate, hood, windshield, no interior whatsoever. It’s about as stripped down as you can get. I took apart the doors and tailgate completely, got wheels for it which I will be painting white and had all new vinyl upholstery done on the seats. Where I’m at now is stripping paint off one body part at a time. LMC truck is helping me out and giving me a big discount on all the trim and interior...

Read more about this build here...
 

Jake_C_

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I don’t plan on posting such minor accomplishments like this one but I’ll make an exception this time. I got the fender stripped.
D15494E5-D097-49C1-99CF-82B726E4FEF7.jpeg
and since I have all the moldings and badges I couldn’t resist:
2075CDEA-3CF0-4E1A-83C6-0B2894CD6135.jpeg D7990510-18A2-45C2-BC01-7281FC8F6311.jpeg
I don’t think I mentioned this but the way I’m having to strip the paint is I’m using aircraft stripper for like 6 coats because apparently the new paint strippers are weak and junk. And then I go over the remaining paint which is usually like half of it with the paint stripping wheel. It sucks but it’s slowly getting the job done.
 

Bent77

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Those inside corners suck to get to

Is that input shaft mangled?
 

Jake_C_

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yes they do, I got them afterwards with a smaller brush. And no it’s just dirty, it’s in great shape.
 

Jake_C_

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I have 2 quick updates, first is this Forney wire wheel is my new best friend. it works at least twice as fast as the paint stripping wheels and doesn’t wear out.
1CE4FD21-6DA4-4386-80CC-E2F957A7691D.jpeg
I know it looks really aggressive but it doesn’t tear up the metal and it doesn’t warm it up near as much as the wheels. The second update is that if you have this style:
B544D7D6-4F7F-4CD1-9B16-17B51BE1D4CE.jpeg
Switch for your reverse lights on your Sm465, then this style:
73528D1C-249A-42EB-9708-87F85A57AC6F.jpeg
Will also fit your top cover. They are interchangeable and the later style plug is watertight and better (so I’ve heard).
I just tested it out today and as suspected, it fits perfect. That’s it for now, I’ve got every cover that comes off the transmission painted and ready to go back on, I’ll pick up new gaskets tomorrow and once reassembled, I’ll paint the rest of the housing body. I even wire wheeled the bolts and screws! More pictures coming soon.
 
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Jake_C_

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Here’s a couple pictures to better show what I was talking about last night:
0D7A9CC6-746F-4762-880D-4715D2C58E82.jpeg
AB3F2D72-5FE5-4944-94DB-682922788EEA.jpeg
 

Jake_C_

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I got the second fender done (no picture). It went much quicker with the wire wheel, very happy about that, I also have the transmission painted, I’ll fill it with oil when I put it in but for now I’ll keep it empty while I move it around to save weight, that thing is heavy enough as is.
900E18BB-E3FB-418B-A690-3BEBA64D82EA.jpeg
I’m really happy with how it turned out I think it looks great. It has all new gaskets so I shouldn’t have to worry about leaks. Now I’ll do the same to the transfer case while continuing to strip paint. Next up is the last door then two small trim pieces and finally the body. More to come...
 
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RoccoK5

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Looking great! Love the pics of those fully stripped body parts. No need for paint, just clear them! :lol
 

Bent77

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Jake, you have 2 build threads going. Do you wanna bring your pictures over into one?

if I merge them, it will jumble the order of things, but is much easier/faster
 

Jake_C_

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Looking great! Love the pics of those fully stripped body parts. No need for paint, just clear them! :lol
Lol I’ve actually considered that, but it would be a shame not to paint it after all the work that’s gone into it already.
 

Bent77

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@Bent77 Yeah I made two, the first one was on the driveway build thread and the second was an actual build that shows up on my page, if you can merge the two that would be fine the order isn’t critical right now and I can shuffle stuff around. I only keep both up because there were some people watching on the driveway build thread.
I merged some of the posts, and left some in the other thread due to continuity
If you need/want what is in those posts, just copy and paste where you want it
Otherwise I may jumble the order of things
 

K5Devil

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I need to get me one of those forney wheels. I always stayed away from that type because, like you said, it looks like it would tear up the metal.
 

K5Devil

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I feel like im just spreading the sludge around and not really taking it off. Worried the primer and paint wont stick.
 

imiceman44

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I feel like im just spreading the sludge around and not really taking it off. Worried the primer and paint wont stick.
Degrease before you use it.
And when you start seeing the sludge spread degrease again.
Grease gets hot it melts and it spreads.
Those wheels only work well on dry caked on stuff
 

K5Devil

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Degrease before you use it.
And when you start seeing the sludge spread degrease again.
Grease gets hot it melts and it spreads.
Those wheels only work well on dry caked on stuff
Yeah ive been using a combination of super clean and brake clean. I put on a more aggresive wheel and its helping a lot.
 

Jake_C_

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Yeah ive been using a combination of super clean and brake clean. I put on a more aggresive wheel and its helping a lot.
Yeah I scraped the entire thing with a metal scraper and screwdriver and then wire wheeled the rust and corrosion off. You have to get the old grease and road dirt off first.
 

K5Devil

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Yeah I scraped the entire thing with a metal scraper and screwdriver and then wire wheeled the rust and corrosion off. You have to get the old grease and road dirt off first.

thats exactly what i did. It still just smeared. I went with a more abrasive wire wheel and it seemed to cut through better. Brake clean and degreaser id share a photo but i dont want to hi-jack your thread.
 
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