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phillipm 04-25-2016 12:19 PM

78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
We bought this 78 2wd Blazer about 6 months ago and have decided to take it on the 2016 Hot Rod Power Tour. So, in the last couple months we've been working on this truck that we pulled out of a garage in Pamona, CA. It had been sitting there for 16 years on jack-stands. Truck was originally from AZ and taken over to CA in the late 80s. Original color was I believe Russet? That copper brown color. Plan for the truck is to do a 2009 6.0 LY6 and 6L90E swap from a Silverado. New interior and a nice vinyl wrap on the outside. Suspension wise it already had a flip kit in the rear when we purchased it and just cut coils in the front. We've repaired the front with 2.5" drop spindles as well as drop springs. Here are some pictures.

Here is the first time it had been on the ground in a very long time. When we arrived the rear brakes were apart as the PO didn't know how to put them back together. While my Dad did that I prepared the trailer and put the wheels and tires that we brought with us on the front.

First thing we did when we got it back to the shop was, well, have a beer. Second thing was to see if we could get the SBC running. PO said he tried and tried with no luck. After about 10 seconds of cranking, my Dad noticed the HEI wire was off. Plugged it in and bam. Fired right up.

While we waited on the new LY6 to arrive. I decided to get started on the fuel tank. This isn't our first go around with LS power or with EFI by any means so we already knew the fuel system was no where to skimp. After doing some measuring and a little double checking. We found out that the 2005 Express van with a 6.0L's fuel module was the exact height we needed for the larger 31 gallon blazer replacement tank that came with the truck. Good thing because whoever had put this tank in just swapped the sending unit from the original and the pickup tube was about 4" off the floor of the tank. That wouldn't have worked very well. Haha.

Hole saw I used is from Home Depot in the electrical isle. Perfect 6.375" diameter needed for the late model GM fuel module ring I got from Carl @ Vaporworx.

phillipm 04-25-2016 12:40 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Once the LY6 arrived we went ahead and started getting it ready for mock up. This thing came from North Carolina and looked like it lived in the mud most of it's life! Haha.

We are running Hooker engine mounts that I ended up modifying to allow the factory Denso A/C compressor to sit down low in the stock 2009 location.

Ended up moving the engine forward about 1/2" to make that happen. That also helped our rear tunnel with how close the tail shaft was to the floor.

Here you can see that the stock oil pan works just fine in these trucks with these mounts.

I was originally going to use the stock exhaust manifolds from the '09 but I had these Stainless Works 67-69 Camaro headers left over from a project and decided to see if they would fit. Drivers side fit perfectly. Passenger side needed the #2 cylinder tube modified to clear the cradle. I cut off the flange and ordered a new flange as well as a new 90 degree 1.75" stainless tube from Summit.

With the new headers in place we realized that the exhaust wouldn't really clear the trans X member too well. So I modified it using some 1/4" wall steel tubing that I usually use for C notching.

Exhaust kit is a 2.5" from Summit. I think it is dynomax? Of course it didn't really fit that great with the flip kit and 2wd. Or at least not how I'd like it to fit..

We're also running 3" Magnaflow cats with full emissions with O2 sensors and evap canister for fuel vapor control.

phillipm 04-25-2016 01:04 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Seeing as how the new fuel sending unit is a 33-240 Ohm and the original gauges was a 0-90 I decided to replace the gauge with an autometer replacement. I did notice that the spacing on the screws looked the same as the new gauge so I pulled the autometer apart.

Here was the stock gauge.

and here is the new autometer after I pulled it all apart. It has the same spacing and 3 stud mounting as the stock one.

I initially pushed it in and thought oh man, this is great!

I then realized that the ignition power and sensor signal were on opposite sides as the stock gauge. So I had to flip it over which left it without a ground. Not a problem though, I just ran a ground jumper up to the gauge above.

After this I turned my attention to the couple very small rust repairs needed behind the rear wheel wells. I used repair panels from LMC.

Next we pulled parts off the front to start doing some painting and dent repairs.

I also filled the antenna hole and will be running a hidden antenna as well as an XM antenna.

I then started getting the fuel system hooked up. Here is the Corvette fuel filter mounted and the 3/8" feed that I used to connect the stock line to the new filter. I flared this line with the GM push lock flare so not adapters needed.

I crimped on some AN 6 fittings to Gates fuel injection barrier hose for the feed side.

This shows the space I have above the tank for the fuel module.

phillipm 04-25-2016 01:09 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Next we started in on priming the back sides of the front sheet metal as well as cleaning up the firewall.

In the mean time we also cleaned up the engine and shot it with some fresh paint.

Low Elco 04-25-2016 01:16 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Looks like a good one! Hope to see it in Valley Center!

phillipm 04-25-2016 01:19 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Once the jambs we're all painted we started putting some things back in to make room in the shop.

Here are the fans that I use. They are from Cooling Components Inc.

Next I started working on some wiring and getting the E38 ECU mounted. I ended up building a bracket and hanging it from the pedal box.

I also worked on straightening the hood and getting the bottom painted. My Dad did all the sanding for me. Talk about some labor time!

Fenders back on and ready to vinyl wrap the outside.

In the mean time I ordered some wheels. I ordered the SBS Formula in 15x8 with 4" of backspace for the fronts. Let me just say that Wheel Vintiques built mine in a reversed hoop and those do not fit!

Also the rears needed quite a bit of machining to clear the face of the brake drum.

But in the end we got them working with the 15x8 with 4.25" BS in the front. The new wheels require a spacer to clear the tie rod ends but all will look great.

Next we got our first delivery back from the interior guy. Went light tan vinyl along with GM brown and tan hounds tooth.

Also got the interior plastic all painted including the console I bought here on the forum.

phillipm 04-25-2016 01:23 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Next we pulled the top so that the vinyl wrap could go over the tops of the bed rails. We also wanted to put new weather stripping on the top as everything else will be new.

And that leads us to this past weekend. Our buddy came over and wrapped this thing in an awesome Avery Dennison matte brown metallic that is just killer looking. Next we'll start putting all the doors back together with the new power window and power door lock kits and everything else. Need to do that so we can final adjust the doors and then realign the front clip and reinstall the hood. We've got about 50 more days to get this thing finished before we leave.

phillipm 04-25-2016 01:55 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..

Originally Posted by Low Elco (Post 7572763)
Looks like a good one! Hope to see it in Valley Center!

Which stop is that? Definitely come and say hi!

68Timber 04-25-2016 02:52 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
You guys make it look easy! On the cross member- what diameter pipe is that?

phillipm 04-25-2016 02:57 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Thanks John.

4.0" ID 1/4" wall. I've used it on 3" exhaust too. Works well.

phillipm 04-28-2016 01:05 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Had a few buddies come over last night and we got the top put back on with all new weatherstripping. I also glued in a nice headliner that should cut down on the sound. In addition we glued an XM antenna above the headliner as they go through fiberglass with no problem.

I also got the Vapor canister mounted underneath the driver side rocker area. Fumes from the tank will be collected and then scrubbed through here and then sent to the engine for burning. It also as a fresh air vent.

I also spent more time on the wiring last night. Had to open up the X1 connector on my E38 ECU to add in the Tach, Low, and High speed cooling fans circuits. As soon as my order from Mouser arrives I'll be ready to start crimping on the Delphi terminals and button up the engine wiring.

phillipm 04-30-2016 04:36 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
My Dad's really been working hard on this thing while I'm at real work. Here he's got the carpet laid out to let the wrinkles start settling.

phillipm 05-02-2016 01:17 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Got our new Performance Online upper control arms in last week so my Dad started tackling the drivers side. Also decided to install new lower bushings and ball joints at the same time.

68Timber 05-02-2016 01:36 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Very cool that you get to build this with your dad. Is he going on the tour with you?

phillipm 05-02-2016 04:01 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Oh yes. We always do the Tour together. We're actually taking our 65 Cutlass and a good friend of ours will be in the Blazer.

Willowrun 05-02-2016 10:39 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Great build. Your's and your father's skill sets are very impressive.

phillipm 05-03-2016 05:26 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Thanks Willowrun!

We are always striving to improve our build quality with every project. The more vehicles that I/we build the more and more I like to use OEM parts. They're so durable and have been tested every which way to Sunday.

While I was working on the wiring last night, finishing up the relay control center under the hood, my Dad has been finishing up the suspension and getting the wing windows installed.

eighteenninetytwo 05-03-2016 05:40 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Am I missing somethign here? The carpets do not appear to actually fit the bed of the truck. Do they get stretched out when you're installing them?

phillipm 05-03-2016 06:02 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
While I prefer that they would go all the way to the edge, there are side covers as well as a rear trim piece that account for the open areas.

phillipm 05-09-2016 01:28 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Okay we started getting the cargo interior items buttoned up. Starting to get a good idea of what it will look like, and we're pretty happy with it. This week need to finish up wiring the fuse panel under the hood and we really need to get the windows back in it so we can final fit the doors and fenders.

68Timber 05-09-2016 02:47 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
The side covers look great, don't see many that nice.

eighteenninetytwo 05-09-2016 02:51 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
They do look great. Are they original??

phillipm 05-09-2016 03:11 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Yes these are original from what I can tell. Do they usually get pretty destroyed? We had talked about recovering them but we didn't want to loose all the details. So we just cleaned them up.

68Timber 05-09-2016 04:28 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
If they get much exposure to humidity the "chrome" will peel off the plastic accent trim and the backing will warp where possible.

phillipm 05-09-2016 07:09 PM

Re: 78 2wd Blazer - LS Swap and more..
Okay, got a couple more photos of the rear with the new upholstery on the seat. Really starting to look great.

Also got picked up this grille from a forum member up in Canada. Much better shape than the ones sitting out in the desert here in Phoenix!

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