My 1988 Chevy K5 Blazer Project

(7/03) I found this 1988 K5 Silverado with tow package and bought it from the original owner.  There was no body damage, no mechanical problems and great interior.  Think I'll leave it stock for now.

The worn out 32" street tires had to go so I decided on the new 33" Intraco TrXus M/T tires for the Weld SS 15x8 wheels, which came on the truck.  Since it has 3:73 gears and im not going to lift it, 33's are fine. I found an external tire carrier and drilled my first holes in this clean truck.  Since I added the tires I figured I would add some simple axle upgrades like an Eaton Posi in the rear and a Auburn Posi in the front. That's probably all I'll do.

I decided I needed to install a CB and 2 Meter radio for communications and a Garmin GPS12 for navigation.  I found this storage box on eBay and thought it would be good for trail goodies.  Note the eyebolt above the box lid.  I replaced 3 shell hold-down bolts on each side with 5/16 eyebolts and use them as tie-down points. 

BB

Well the truck just didn't look right sitting on those 33" tires at stock height.  Somehow I started to "collect" pieces of suspension parts thinking a lift would be pretty simple and probably wouldn't hurt the ride too much....Thanks to all the good info and parts I found on the ColoradoK5.Com website, I decided I would lift the truck over the weekend.  Five days later, I had it back on the road.  Here's the latest upgrades: 

Front Suspension: Superlift Superride springs which were taken apart, ground/sanded smooth and reassembled with UHMWP Anti-Friction strips between leafs, Off Road Design Greaseable Bushings and HD Shackles, ORD Steering box brace, ORD Swaybar Disconnects, Raised Steering Arm, Modified F-250 Shock Towers, Doetsch 8403 Pre-runner Shocks, NAPA Extended Brake Lines, and Performance Friction Z-Rated Brake Pads.

Rear Suspension: Stock Springs which were taken apart, ground/sanded smooth and reassembled with UHMWP Anti-Friction strips between leafs, Off Road Design Greaseable Bushings, ORD Shackle Flip, Doetsch 8403 Pre-runner Shocks, and NAPA extended brake line.

Shackle flip on the left and anti-friction pads and extended shocks on the right.  I figure the extended shocks on the stock mounts are going to be a problem someday.

The Shackle Flip causes the pinion to pivot up.  After the lift I had to lower the rear of the transfer case to reduce the drive train vibration due to the increased u-joint angle at the transfer case.  At first I moved the factory spacers around to the other side of the cross member.  Eventually I replaced them with 1x2" solid blocks. The right way is a high angle driveline.  This helped with rear vibration issues but it also tilted the front drive shaft u-joint up increasing that angle making things worse in front.    I had a muffler shop install a new dropped exhaust crossover.  The driveshaft unhooked and hanging at full droop just clears it.  Ill probably smash it up on rocks but hey, as least my driveshaft wont hit the exhaust pipe when I'm flexed out!

View of ORD Swaybar disconnects, Steering Arm, Extended Brake Lines, HD Shackles and Extended Shock Setup.

   

 I trimmed the inner fenders for the shock and tower to clear.  Note how the shock tucks up just under the floor.

The Shackle Flip caused interference to the factory dual-tip exhaust.  I had to cut the tailpipe off at the hanger and have a new piece made.  Here's another picture of the modified exhaust crossover and swaybar disconnect. 

Since my wife was having a problem getting in and out of the lifted truck, I found these sliders with steps that she actually likes!  Well, that's all I plan on doing for awhile.  Not sure what's next but stay tuned....

(Update 7/06)

Well its been about three years since I started this page and I'm still driving the Blazer daily.  Over the past couple of years, the good old GM paint had flaked off and rust was starting to set in.  Since I've decided to keep the Blazer and my wife couldn't stand to look at the half primer, half white, rusting paint, she had it painted for my birthday. Way to go Wifey!!

 The colors are GM Bahama Blue and GM White.

Well remember what I said a couple years ago about the rear shock mount with extended shocks??  It finally snapped off the frame...

Guess its a good time to In-board the rear shocks.  I bought this custom mount from CK5 member "MuddyTazz".  Fit perfect!! 

I wanted the lower mounts low on the axle and in the stock position.  I got some lower mounts from DIY4X and did some trimming so I could mount them on the opposite end of the stock mount in case I ever wanted to de-modify it. I measured the stock shock angle to be 30 degs. In this position, the shocks are around 34degs. and rides great.

Picture from the rear looking at the shocks.  The exhaust pipe had to be moved again to clear the relocated left shock.  The stock muffler was too long for this mod so I had a muffler shop install a Flowmaster 50 series then immediately bend it out and route it outside the frame rail.  Got this idea from CK5.com

Well...the old 33" tires were gone at 30K miles so I opted for a new set of BFG MT 35's.  Looks like I will be changing gears to 4:56 so I can get back to the stock 3:73 ratio.  I also moved the CB antenna mount to one of the factory trim mounting holes. 

That's the latest for now but I do have a Warn 8274 winch and a stereo upgrade awaiting installation.  Maybe a 14FF/D60 setup is in the future. I don't know. Stay Tuned.

(Update 10/07)

Remember that Warn 8274 Winch I mentioned above that needed mounting............

I found this Warn bumper and bought it from a CK5 member.  It was missing the top plates.  When I went to mount it, I discovered the brackets were for an earlier year truck.  This is where the mount needed to go and it didn't line up.

II got some 1/4" 4x8" and 3/16" thick steel plates and laid the 1/4" plate on the inside of the frame rail. I cut and used the 3/16 as a shim to make up for the frame thickness, drilled 5/8" holes and bolted it together. I drilled and installed the last top center bolt and painted them black.

Here's what the bumper looks like mounted.  As I mentioned the bumper needed top plates.  I got some 1/8" thick Diamond plate from the local metal shop and traced and cut out the plates.  They came out nice.

I didn't want to use the old 5/16 cable that came with the winch and I just couldn't afford ~$280 for 125' of 3/8 synthetic rope, so I got new 3/8" 7x19 Aircraft grade galvanized soft lay wire rope with a heavy duty swivel hook from Pierce towing winch company for $75 and a new roller fairlead and used the extra $$$ to buy the parts for a dual battery setup.

And here's what the bumper looks like with the winch mounted and new cable on the spool.  I added some D-ring mounts and install some 130W off-road lights. 

Since I've always wanted a dual battery setup, I figured now was the time to install it.  The main battery is a Costco deep cycle and the aux battery is a Optima Blue Top.  I installed a PowerStream smart 150A solenoid isolator which engages the auxiliary battery when the voltage is above 12.6 for charging and disconnects it when it voltages drop to 12.6 (considered fully charged battery).  I can remotely engage the solenoid to pull both batteries together for winching or starting.   The Alt cable is 4 gauge, the Starter and Aux Batt charge cables are 2 gauge and the Winch cables are 1 gauge.  Now its starting to look like a Blazer....Stay Tuned for more.