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-   -   3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer (http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/showthread.php?t=718573)

CJM72 09-24-2016 09:42 PM

3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
Bought this 1972 Blazer last fall and I've slowly been picking away at some mechanical issues. Over the winter, I rebuilt the leaky transfer case and fixed a few electrical issues. This spring and summer, I struggled to get the Edelbrock carb tuned and the th350 leaked non-stop despite several attempts to reseal the pan. The steering box was leaking and the radiator still leaks.

With all these little problems and no backseat for the kids, the Blazer has barely seen the light of day! I have 3 children (4, 2, and 3 mos), and time has been extremely limited these days. But.....I've always loved the 67-72 era trucks and Blazers. I'm determined to build this into a fun, reliable family rig.

The Good:
- The body is basically rust free. Last owner was a fireman that had spent the last 20yrs doing body work part time. He patched the floors, replaced the rockers, fixed several of the other typical Blazer spots. I looked at a handful of other Blazers in my price range and all were major rot boxes (thank you New England winters!). This body is solid and that's why I bought it.
- I've rebuilt the transfer case, replaced the steering gear, replaced the broken front hubs, and fixed the lights/electrical gremlins.
- Came with a decent single wall top and a full bronco bob roll cage.
- Inside the tub was coated with bedliner after the rust repairs were complete.

The Bad:
- Basically no original interior. It has a pair of early 2000 Silverado seats that are prettu beat.
- Original 350 is fairly tired even after tuning the carb. Runs well but my expectations may be too high.
- Th350 trans leaks like a sieve. A new pan with nice flat rails and trying 2 different kinds of gaskets has not helped.
- The door alignment and satinblack paint couls be improved.

The Plan!:

Well, I planned to repower with a 383 that supposedly just had a blown head gasket. Unfortunately the blown head gasket lead to enough hydrolock to put a 2" crack in a cylinder wall, trashed the piston, and bent a rod. I got disgusted with the loss and decided I was going to do what I really wanted from day 1......LS Swap time! Not enough original parts to make me want to go back to OE.

Powertrain:
I've already bought a 2006 LQ9 from an Escalade with about 110k. I picked up a ridiculously built 4l65e from a high performance transmission builder in Rhode Island. Way overkill for my needs, but the guy had taken it back in on trade from a customer that was moving to 2 spd Powerglide for drag racing. He freshened it up and put the Advance Adapters output shaft in it for my 4l60e to NP205 adapter.

Interior:
Picked up second and third row seats from an 08 tahoe for my front and back seats. I already cut and machined the frame for the rear seats, but I need some welding help. Bought carpet, carpet strips, etc. to fill out a basic interior but that is on the back burner at the moment.

More to come....

CJM72 09-24-2016 10:04 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
2 Attachment(s)
I know, I know. Pics or didn't happen!

Attachment 1574227

Attachment 1574228

CJM72 09-24-2016 10:25 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
2 Attachment(s)
I decided it was time to commit last week. Sold the 350 on craigslist about 3 days ago, so time to start pulling. Removed the radiator, fan shroud, battery, and some miscellaneous wiring and brackets. Going to pull the front clip to give me better access during the swap.

Attachment 1574238

Attachment 1574239

The LQ9 is awaiting some attention. I busted the oil dipstick off in the block and after trying several methods of extraction, I damaged the remaining piece to the point that the lower section of the tube fell into the pan. I'll be pulling the pan to fish out and knock out what's left.

After that it'll be getting a degreasing and some paint. Better get my butt in gear! Goal is to get the frame and engine cleaned up and painted before the cold weather comes.

CJM72 10-05-2016 09:30 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
3 Attachment(s)
Update time!

I sold the original motor and trans so the pressure was on to get this truck torn down. Thanks to the common advice here on the forums, I decided to pull the front clip to make this whole swap easier.

Attachment 1578181

Definitely well worth the effort. For a guy that works at a snails pace, this really helped speed things up. It's amazing how accessible things become when the sheet metal is out of the way!

Attachment 1578189

With the front clip removed and the trans disconnected from the t-case, I was able to yank the motor and trans in a couple hours last night.

The new owners picked up the motor and th350 this afternoon. The timing worked out pergect and I have a whole lot more room to work in my garage!

Attachment 1578183

Time to clean up the frame and start prepping the motor and trans for install.

raggedjim 10-05-2016 10:14 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
Nice start, believe me, the rust and body being done is a great thing!

Good luck, Rg

CJM72 10-05-2016 10:29 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
Thanks, Roger. It took me a while to find something rust free that I thought was affordable. The body definitely isn't perfect, but all the major rust was repaired . Definitely needs some body mount and panel alignment. The SEM Hot Rod Black paint job will have to for now! Nice to see the original baby poop green peaking out on the firewall.

I want to drive this when the weather gets warm again, so the clock is ticking. I hope this can be a driving project if at all possible. It seems easy to get sucked down the restoration worm hole when you start taking stuff apart. Next thing you know, you're 4 years into a frame off resto with no end in sight. I'm already fighting the urge to rebuild the front end now that it's so accessible!

Working in 1 hour increments after the kids go to bed makes for some slow progress, but I wouldn't trade it for the world.

raggedjim 10-07-2016 12:29 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
I know what you mean, I have people ask why my jimmy is taking so long and I tell them it's because I've been busy raising a son!

Good luck, Rg

Tomo 10-07-2016 03:59 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
Sounds like there are several of us in the same boat - my boy just turned 1 earlier this week. Can't wait til my blazer is close to where yours is. I've wanted a blazer since the first time I saw one and waited ~16 years to get it, picked it up in May of this year. Now I have it and time is scarce but like you guys have said I wouldn't change it for the world either. Great work on your k5 I hope to do an LS swap also.

CJM72 10-07-2016 11:02 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Tomo (Post 7735752)
Sounds like there are several of us in the same boat - my boy just turned 1 earlier this week. Can't wait til my blazer is close to where yours is. I've wanted a blazer since the first time I saw one and waited ~16 years to get it, picked it up in May of this year. Now I have it and time is scarce but like you guys have said I wouldn't change it for the world either. Great work on your k5 I hope to do an LS swap also.

It's funny how quickly things change! After college I bought a 4cyl Jeep YJ and did a 350 swap with the help of my cousin. It was my first dive into a major project and I chased bugs in that thing for years. When my 1st son came 4.5 years ago the Jeep suddenly just sat. I sold it for short money and bought a 2004 CTS-V for my fun (but family capable) 2nd vehicle. I couldn't imagine having a project vehicle with young kids!

Well 2 more kids and 3 years later I'm neck deep in a major project! The V was a fun, fast car, but it was too nice to let my kids destroy and it wasn't really something I'd take to a car show or cruise. I wanted some modern muscle, in what I consider to be one of the best looking trucks around. Soon I'll have 5 seat convertible for the family and a reliable fuel injected 6.0 for me!

Best of luck with your Blazer and the children!

CJM72 10-07-2016 11:27 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
4 Attachment(s)
I jumped a major hurdle I've been scared to tackle for months now. I successfully removed the 3 broken exhaust manifold bolts in my LQ9 tonight!
Attachment 1578783
Like every other used LS truck motor, I was looking at 3 bolts broken below flush.

Everyone seems to universally recommend using a welder to weld on a nut to get the bolts out. I've done very little welding and the only welder I had access to was a 110v flux core Lincoln. A machinist friend convinced me to try a bolt extractor. After about 5 mins of drilling with a special drill/extractor it was clear that wasn't going to work out!

I worked up the cajones to try the welding method and I got all 3 bolts out in about 30 mins. I just welded a big enough booger to grab with some channel locks or vice grips (thanks youtube).
Attachment 1578784
Attachment 1578785
One hack welder, one weak flux core machine, 3 extracted bolts. Only had one bolt that I broke the weld off and had to retry.
Attachment 1578787
Major relief! Now time to tackle the broken oil dipstick I broke off in the block.

CJM72 10-17-2016 10:51 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
4 Attachment(s)
Small update: I successfully pulled the oil pan on the LQ9 and extracted what was left of the rotted dipstick tube. I cleaned up the pan and replaced the oil pump pickup o-ring while I was in there.
Attachment 1581811
Attachment 1581815

Since then I've been degreasing and wire wheeling my butt off!:devil: I really underestimated how much time it would take to prep the motor for some paint. Been using degreaser, phosphoric acid, and an assortment of wire wheels to clean up the engine.
Attachment 1581813
Attachment 1581814

It's insane how much rust, grease, dirt, and corrosion can accumulate on a daily driven engine in 10 years! Hopefully I can at least get some primer on this soon, but it's too humid tonight.

paul mora 10-18-2016 11:29 AM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
Next time you run into the bolt problem try welding a a nut to the broken bolt. Just place nut and weld your booger inthe some place connecting the nut to the broken bolt or stud.

bambbrose 10-18-2016 12:22 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
Following along, nice rig! The body is definitely clean.

I'm on the opposite end, I have a rough body 72 with a newer 350, but same problem with 3 kids (time!)

CJM72 11-06-2016 03:30 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
4 Attachment(s)
Been picking away at paint and engine clean up items. Pulled and cleaned the injectors.
Attachment 1587509
Used a little ultrasonic cleaner then fired each one with a power supply and momentary switch. An amazing amount of junk came out of these.
Attachment 1587510
Attachment 1587511
Finished painting the engine with VHT engine enamel. Painted all the aluminum for corrosion/ cleaning reasons. Just need to finish up the accessories and I'll move on to cleaning up the frame!
Attachment 1587512

Advanced Design 11-06-2016 06:59 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
The engine came out really nice! Moving right around...

CJM72 11-11-2016 12:01 AM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
3 Attachment(s)
Finished painting the accessories and brackets. Hopefully I'll start getting everything installed on the engine this weekend.

I did manage to modify my transfer case mount / adapter to fit with the Advanced Adapters 4l60e to np205 adapter. I cheaped out and reused my mounting adapter and splined coupling. Probably saved $200 compared to the full kit. Had to take .625" of the adapter.
Before:
Attachment 1588717
After:
Attachment 1588718
I also removed .250" off the splined coupler. It's nice to have access to a lathe and mill at my work!
Attachment 1588719
Meanwhile, I'm just putting off the dirty job of cleaning up and sealing the inner frame rails and undercarriage. I will test fit the trans and t-case soon and move on the next thing on the list!

CJM72 11-16-2016 12:07 AM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
3 Attachment(s)
Been picking away at some engine assembly over the last couple days. The 5 month old hasn't been sleeping well, so it's been hard to get into the garage after the kiddos go to bed.

Installed a new crank pulley and front main seal. A rib on the original pulley got damaged in the accident the donor was in. Wasn't terrible, but I figured it was a much easier job to pull off on the engine stand.

I slapped on the rest of the accessories after painting them. My last coat of paint on the pulleys came out terrible, but it will have to do. The paint is more about corrosion resistance and ease of cleaning. Not a show truck for sure!
Attachment 1590633
Attachment 1590638
Installed the starter, plastic transmission cover plates, oil bypass cover, and the temp sensor I'll be using with my stock gauges. (Autometer 2277 adapter + Autometer 2259 temp sender).
Attachment 1590635
My intake has been cleaned up already, so now I just need to paint and install my manifolds (2010 Camaro), change the plugs, clean up my coils packs and brackets, and get those installed. That should wrap up engine duties for now.

Need to fix a few T-case seals and fit up the trans adapter next. Then it frame clean-up time. :dohh: Not looking forward to that!

GMC-YA68 11-16-2016 06:45 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
This is looking good. I like the silver / black comb.

Low Elco 12-19-2016 01:47 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
I dig it!

dirish 01-02-2017 01:49 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
Very nice.

CJM72 04-15-2017 07:05 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
3 Attachment(s)
Per my title of this thread, I anticipated some work delays putting this swap together! Over the winter, I managed to fix some seals on my transfer case and get the modified adapter installed.

Best/worst of all was scraping and wire wheeling the floor pan and frame rails. After many terrible hours slingin dirt and rust in my eyes, I finally got everything cleaned up and painted underneath. Used Eastwood Rust Encapsulator and Xtreme Chassis Black to clean things up. This effort was 90% for rust prevention and 10% for show. Definitely not beautiful powder coat like some of you guys, but it's done!
Attachment 1642493
Attachment 1642494
Attachment 1642495

Next up: Advanced Adapters install on the trans, then the trans and t case will be installed.

CJM72 04-15-2017 07:12 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
Quick side story. While I was lying under the truck brushing on the Rust Encapsulator, the neighbors small but energetic dog came flying in the garage...right under the Blazer ..... and knocked the whole quart of paint out of my hand. :devil: Thank god I had some plastic down! Lost about half a can. That dog is lucky I like dogs and was too busy cleaning up to punt it down my driveway!

raggedjim 04-16-2017 11:33 AM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
Ha! My cats love the Ospho I've been using to remove rust. I'll spray down a panel and set it outside in the sun and they try to lick it off. I'm pretty sure all my panels will end up with cat tongue shaped rust marks... Ain't kilt 'em yet.

Rg

CJM72 04-20-2017 11:13 PM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
5 Attachment(s)
Back at for an hour or two the past two nights. I'm determined to get the engine, trans, and transfer case back in this rig. I got some loose ends buttoned up on the frame and got the transfer case and cross member installed.
Attachment 1644372
Attachment 1644373
Wrestling the transfer case in alone is always a challenge! I use a crappy Harbor Freight tranny jack, but the odd shape and balance always puts up a fight.
Attachment 1644374
Intalled the torque/ frame bracket for the transfer case as well. Used all new Energy Suspension mounts which worked out well.

Mounted up the Advance Adapters kit for the 4l60e to np205 conversion. Need to install the VSS, trans cooling line adapters, and get the transmission installed. Hoping to drop that in tomorrow night!
Attachment 1644378
Attachment 1644379

Not sure many are watching along, but I'll keep documenting my progress. It helps to look back and see how far things have come!

jaros44sr 04-21-2017 10:01 AM

Re: 3 Kids, 1 Wife, and 1 Lonely Blazer
 
nice work so far... I use my HF trans jack also, but I install it with the crossmembers installed, helps to sit flat on the jack.


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