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Old 02-08-2014, 01:02 PM   #1
67Steven
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1972 K5 4x4 modified build

I have had this blazer for a few years now, and I have posted some pics and questions, but I thought I would start an 'official' build thread to track work I have done and work I will be doing.

Started out as a 1972 CST, single wall top, AC, tilt, tach and so on. I had been looking for a plain jane for a while since I had planned on modifying it, but the price on this was too good to pass up. It literally came in pieces with boxes of unlabeled bolts, wires and parts.

This is not a purest build, I modified the truck to suit me, I am sure I will upset some members by desecrating this vehicle, but I like it.

This will be a camping, exploring, snow playing, ice cream getting truck. I want it to be strong and simple-ish, but fun.

I have a few pics, so here goes!

What I am ruining:


First time in the shop with my son helping:


PO had an aftermarket tank in addition to the stock unit. I will be removing it and putting one in the original spot


Filler hole on body


Fairly straight body


Supposedly rebuilt 350/350/205 combo. At this point I was thinking a fuel injection setup on this engine, punching it out to a 383 and going to a 700R4


Super awesome coil-over setup on all four corners:
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:14 PM   #2
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

It looked like a decent minimal rust body:


But, digging deeper:






Both rockers had rust and were paper thin in spots. So, I figured I would hang the doors and the front sheetmetal then install an Energy Suspension body mount kit that came with the project so I could start ripping out the bad spots.











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Old 02-08-2014, 01:38 PM   #3
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

More rust removal and repair pics:



I started on the passenger side rocker. The A pillar and part of the lower kick were toast, as was part of the floor support:






I realize the floor isn't perfect, but it is sound for welding, and I plan to bed lie the tub, so it will hide any small imperfections

Cleaned up a bit:


Test fit the inner:



Slight depression


Raised it up to match repair panel:


No pictures, but I prep washed the rocker box and any exposed surface to get rid of surface rust and painted it before assembly.

Crappy alignment of panel:



So I cut and moved the slice up to match the floor.
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:08 PM   #4
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

More passenger rocker repairs:

I lied; I did have a picture of the painted area:



I had to really massage the patch panel to get it to somewhat jive with the original steel:






Welded for outer rocker


Pillar repair




I bent and welded a repair panel for the lower B piller


The new outer rocker radius was atrocious, no where near the original


So I cut the end to get it tighter
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:20 PM   #5
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

I cut the old rocker end off and welded it to the end of the new one:






I also had to cut and massage the rocker/pillar intersections:






Rear of rocker:


And that will finish passenger rocker:
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Old 02-08-2014, 02:33 PM   #6
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Driverís rocker was a little farther gone:


Cut line for removal:




Floor support was shot:


I think the only picture of me working:


Removed the support:


Pretty bad but not as worse as some Iíve seen on the boards here:


I built a new outer piece and welded it on:




The rest was a copy of the passenger side, with the same amount of work:



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Old 02-08-2014, 06:37 PM   #7
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

I took my rear spring shackles apart, cleaned them up and tied them together:



I bought a TIG welder so I am teaching myself how to use it:


I had purchased a NWMF 37gallon fuel tank early in the build, but when I decided to go EFI, it made the tank not worth the hassle to modify. Besides, it hung VERY low. So, I decided to fab my own tank. I drew it out in a CAD program and had a local guy cut the pieces out of 16g cold rolled sheet on his plasma table.

Here I drilled and threaded the adapter for the fuel level sender:




And the fuel pump opening:


Everything was tabbed and slotted, so it went together easily:


I dimpled the baffles for rigidity:



I started to bend up and tack everything together:



Keeping it square:

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Old 02-08-2014, 06:41 PM   #8
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

WOW! I wanna see this thing on a trail crawling over something big... Nice work!
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:52 PM   #9
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Quote:
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WOW! I wanna see this thing on a trail crawling over something big... Nice work!
I hope to soon, thanks for the compliments!
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Old 02-08-2014, 06:55 PM   #10
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

I welded the lid on and checking for leaks. I pressurized the tank and sprayed soapy water to help locate the spots I missed:




I then stuck it up in the truck to check fitment:


Nice and clean. This allowed me to make the stops for the tank:



Here you can see the shackle reversal:


Good clearance which is what I wanted, and still should net 36~ gallons:


Shot from the back:


I also had the liberty of moving the filler neck and vent to the rear of the tank, this made a straight shot over to the tank instead of forward like the original:



I built the blurry rear axle shock mounts and welded them on. They look clearer in real life:
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:15 PM   #11
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

I didnít have a glove box interior, and since I used an aftermarket heater, I built my own out of 18g sheet:



At this point, I started to break it down for paint. I pulled the cage and finshed welding it:


Hereís a shot of the dash I modified for the Carling switches:


My tailgate hinges looked horrid, so I decided to rebuild them. I first cut off the original hinge mount wheel thing:


I then turned a couple of axle shafts out of steel:


I cut two new wheel hinge mount bearing things out of some HMW plastic that fit over the axles:


Welded the axles in from the back and bolted the bearing mount hinged wheel things to that:

And installed. They work great. No slop and easily rebuildable if the HMW plastic ever wears out:
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:32 PM   #12
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Body has been detached, on the rotisserie and is heading for the sandblasters. It has been about 2 years to this point since we started:



My frame looks so alone. You can see here the rear crossmember I had to fab to fit the fuel tank:


Body back from the blasters and has been sprayed with epoxy primer:



My son helping with the sanding:


When I started this project, I wanted to do most if not all of the work, fabricating what I needed instead of buying, building instead of farming it out and that included painting. I am by no means a body /paint guy, so this is not a high zoot job, but itís great for our use.

It is primed and ready for paint. I guess:
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:51 PM   #13
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Paint is on. It turned out okay. I reshot the tub and tailgate twice as I had a couple of runs:


I sanded the tub down to spray Monsta-liner bed liner. I used a Shutz gun and it came out awesome!


I didnít want black liner. I really wanted to keep the black to a minimum, and I thing the dark grey next to the orange looks good:
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Old 02-08-2014, 08:03 PM   #14
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

I sprayed liner on the entry points of the cage also:


And a couple more of the tub:


I painted the frame a charcoal grey and started to assemble it:


Fuel tank in and plumbed:


Started the exhaust. 2-1/2” mandrel bent tubing with Summit Magnaflow copy mufflers:


Plenty of clearance for the driveline:



I built a steering box brace:

Last edited by 67Steven; 02-08-2014 at 08:09 PM. Reason: Added picture.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:47 PM   #15
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Looks awesome, I agree the gray / orange combo is great looking. Keep up the progress you be driving in no time.
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Old 02-09-2014, 04:35 PM   #16
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Since I am using the Winters/Art Carr shifter, I needed to fab some kind of reverse switch. So I went to Radio Shack and picked up a micro roller switch and built a mount to attach to the shifter:


My idea was to use the existing holes in the shifter plates to engage the switch as it comes around. So I turned some aluminum bar stock down as a ĎwheelĒ


I cut two just in case I wanted to activate a switch in the future (park/neutral) The wheel will sit between the gold plates:

I cut some aluminum angle scrap and mounted the switch. I can adjust it up/down and back/forward for proper engagement:


Wired it up to a relay as a switched ground and it works great. Here a couple of close ups:
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:15 PM   #17
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

The cool work continues, need a friend. I do think the truck is a very nice achievement. Won't be any others around close to it for sure. What are your future plans with it when finished, any mud use, competition, or fun mud use or maybe just cruise around and enjoy it, could show it but that sounds boring. Took my beast out today and tore up some 2-3ft deep snow. Funny the big block with over 500hp just seems to need more power now, think I am just getting to used to it. It kicks but easily, will literally smoke the 40" Mud tires taking off in 2nd gear, think I may need to step it up to 600 plus. Won't make the gas mileage part of the forum.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:28 PM   #18
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Quote:
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The cool work continues, need a friend. I do think the truck is a very nice achievement. Won't be any others around close to it for sure. What are your future plans with it when finished, any mud use, competition, or fun mud use or maybe just cruise around and enjoy it, could show it but that sounds boring. Took my beast out today and tore up some 2-3ft deep snow. Funny the big block with over 500hp just seems to need more power now, think I am just getting to used to it. It kicks but easily, will literally smoke the 40" Mud tires taking off in 2nd gear, think I may need to step it up to 600 plus. Won't make the gas mileage part of the forum.
Thanks again. Your truck sounds like a beast, I would love to have that horsepower- but 40" tires are expensive!! I think the future plans are the same as when i started it. I wanted a reliable, fun truck to camp, explore, run to the grocery store and definitely play in the snow- as a matter of fact, if I didn't feel like dog poo I would love to be out in it now. I am not a car show kinda person, I might go to a local show and shine once or twice, but I'd rather be out in the woods.
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Old 02-09-2014, 06:30 PM   #19
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

I got the ducting from the heater ran and installed the console side panels that I cut out of sheet aluminum:


Threw together the front and rear skid plates:


I installed the shocks and bump stops:



Here is a better shot of the fuel filler adjustment. I forgot I did have to cut and turn the steel neck below the bed to make a straight shot to the tank. You can also see the cage to frame tie in point:


Another couple of pictures of the cage tie in points:

Above the rocker box:

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Old 02-09-2014, 11:49 AM   #20
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Man oh man!
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:18 PM   #21
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Thanks for the compliments! I am very close to driving. I will update with more pictures of my progress today.
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Old 02-09-2014, 12:34 PM   #22
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Fantastic build - I wish I had your skills! One thing to consider, GM painted the upper part of the dash between the windshield and the dash pad in a flat color to reduce glare on the windshield. For an orange truck this would be black or I guess saddle depending on interior color but none were left orange. I did the same on my orange K20 build, which has a parchment interior and a black dash.
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Old 02-09-2014, 02:58 PM   #23
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

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Fantastic build - I wish I had your skills! One thing to consider, GM painted the upper part of the dash between the windshield and the dash pad in a flat color to reduce glare on the windshield. For an orange truck this would be black or I guess saddle depending on interior color but none were left orange. I did the same on my orange K20 build, which has a parchment interior and a black dash.
Thanks! I do wish I knew to paint the dash black when I had it on the rotisserie, it would have made it a lot easier. I now need to figure out how to paint it where it's at.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:08 PM   #24
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

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Thanks! I do wish I knew to paint the dash black when I had it on the rotisserie, it would have made it a lot easier. I now need to figure out how to paint it where it's at.
You bet! I suspect in the long run you'll be glad you did and it's a nice OEM detail (and practical) that often seems to get overlooked. Have pics of mine in the link on my my signature below.
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Old 02-09-2014, 03:16 PM   #25
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Re: 1972 K5 4x4 modified build

Well, I tried and tried to start it, but it would just backfire. After going round and round with PSI, I decided to use the original harness, which is what I should have done in the first place.

Since the harness is from an H2 Hummer, the ECM needed to be mounted in the engine bay. So I bent up a new one to sit on the driver’s inner fender:



I took pics of the wiring I was extending so I wouldn’t screw it up:



I then extended the wiring for the fuses into the tub and mounted it above the throttle pedal:


I was ready to start it, but I read I should clean the injectors, so I did. This is what came out of the fuel rail when I took it apart. And it STUNK. I still don’t know what it was:


Put it back together and it fired right off! I was pumped.

Here is the ECM mount in the bay:

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