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Old 10-08-2016, 07:17 PM   #276
Zoomad75
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTCK View Post
Awesome pics! Glad you have been getting out and putting the miles on.

Thanks! I know I'm not done, but being able to put this thing on the road is so nice. Got a plan to go take another run tomorrow. It's an easy trail, but great scenery. The wife wanted to go so she could see some fall color. It's late for that, but any excuse to get some dirt on the tires.
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Old 10-10-2016, 01:00 AM   #277
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Another day trip completed. The wife wanted to go up to the mountains and see some color. It's late for it, but any excuse for a trail ride right?

This time we went for a new trail we had not done before. Along for the run was my buddy John in his well equipped TJ and my buddy Bill with his sister and bro-in-law in his new to him Tundra (bone stock). The trail was Hayden Pass in Northwest Fremont County. It's one of only two trails that traverse the Sangre De Cristo range to the San Luis Valley. The other trail was the last one we did going over Medano pass. This area we were going to had a major forest fire early this summer. I made a call last week to see if the trail was open as the fire came right up to the trail itself. The USFS said it was open, so onward and upward!

Making a pit stop in nearby Cotopaxi along hwy 50 and the Arkansas river.


Looking down river.


Not as much color, but still a nice day to be on dirt.


County road 6 leading up to the trail.


Start of the trail.


Looking across to the next ridge you can see where the fire came over it.


Another ridge.


Driving through the burn scar. Amazing how the white aspen trees escaped burning.


More burned area.


Looking through the burn area back towords the Arkansas river valley below.


Above the burn area, but below the summit we came across this mess. John, big Bill and I made short work of this with a tow strap.


Made it to the top.


Stopping for snacks at the summit.


Poser shot.


Better color on the west side.


Almost back down.


Looking out over the San Luis valley.


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Old 10-10-2016, 08:07 AM   #278
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Great pics. Thank you for sharing your trip.
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Old 10-16-2016, 11:48 PM   #279
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Here's some video of the trail ride *turn up the sound or put headphones on for the exhaust tone:
https://youtu.be/ign3CDs5Ra0

Major burn section:
https://youtu.be/p8pk_m-vkNk

Trail Maintenance. Caution, my wife is a bit salty with the language...LOL.
https://youtu.be/n1YKMtg53Dc

West side coming down.
https://youtu.be/-jJyUuxeMsw
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:19 AM   #280
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Sounds gooooooood. That 241 has a nice low range.
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Old 10-17-2016, 12:30 AM   #281
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

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Originally Posted by MTCK View Post
Sounds gooooooood. That 241 has a nice low range.
Thanks I like it too. The low range is awesome in the 241. It's not granny gear with low range like the old 75 had, but I'm getting used to it. It helps having 4.10's in the axles vs the old one having 3.73's, but the 700r4 does seem to hold it back decently when I'm creeping downhill.

I only stomped my left foot on the floor where the clutch pedal was a couple of times on this ride. It's more point and shoot in this form. Crawls better with the tru-trac up front. Very pleased.

I didn't do much on it this weekend but sort out the CB that don't want to send or recieve. After much testing it seems like the antenna system is good, grounded correctly but the radio didn't want to talk. Tested with my Grandpa's 40 year old radio and it works. So a new CB is in the works.
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Old 10-18-2016, 12:26 AM   #282
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Cool! Sounds great with headphones. One almost needs a second pair of phones up their nose to smell the mountain air mixed with burnt fossil fuels. The bad thing about GoPro where we mount it on our trucks is the fact it doesn’t really show how steep the trail is. It takes a trained ear to decipher the exhaust when she is laboring up or compressing down an incline.

Wish I could have gone this day. Too much stuff going on lately it seems….

The trail maintenance video is funny. You leave your rig idling like some diesel puke leaves their stuff running all the time…..WTH? You're not a Chumpins, Powermax or Durajoke owner.... Didn’t I teach you anything? Okay, maybe I only turn my off because it is a manual trans and I don’t trust the park brake

The beast sure sounds nice! Glad you’ve been able to get it out to enjoy it a few times yet this season but dude, you need to get those rear brakes working before you get too crazy on these mountain jaunts
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Old 10-18-2016, 10:45 PM   #283
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Watching the video playback, I agree. That trail was a steep pull up and down. You can hear it for sure. Despite the tunes I put in the truck, sometimes just hearing the exhaust note is all I need. Good choice on the mufflers. The sound just as good on mine as they do on yours. Even with the almost 3 liters less of displacement!

We missed you out on the trail too. I've missed trail rides for the same reasons. It's all good. Pretty soon we'll have that budding gearhead little girl riding along for the fun.

Yeah I caught myself one time leaving the engine running. Other times I stopped I shut it off. Besides, Park works pretty good for holding the truck!

Speaking of getting after the rear brakes, you are right. Let me know when you got some free time coming up. We need to get that problem sorted out. I need help putting the top gaskets on before we start getting snow again. If we got time we can fit up the winch bumper too. My next two weekends have plans made for me, but beyond that I'm wide open.
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Old 12-10-2016, 11:30 PM   #284
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

There I go not keeping up on this again. Let's see where were we at? Having completed the last trail ride over Hayden pass with the wife a couple of things became clear that needed attention. First, the CB radio I've used for years stopped working. I had to borrow my buddy's handheld CB to keep in contact on the trail. So out it had to come.

That means, the Console and all it's gadgetry has to come out as the CB was a very tight fit.


I had tried many things to avoid this, but even with my old cable it didn't work. I even broke out my Grandpa's old GE radio and it worked with my current cable and antenna.


I had been having a discussion over on CK5 about the problem and he offered a Radio he was going to list on craigs since he didn't need an extra. I jumped on it. Uniden Bearcat 980SSB (sideband too!). It's a bad-ass radio for sure and I got it at a great price.


It needed some massaging to fit too. But it works great. Side band is fun for listening to anti-gov't whackadoodles late at night. Not sure how much I'll use that, but the normal CB bands has great range.


Next thing noticed from the last trail ride was the need for some secure grab handles. My wife is short and besides needing the step seen in the pics, didn't have much to grab to aid in getting in. Plus on the trail, she found herself reaching to grab something to steady herself on the rough stuff. After some mental brainstorming and surfing Amazon I came up with an idea. Jeeps having a huge aftermarket parts following leads to multiple options for handles. I found these on Amazon.


These things are for the current JK Wranglers and bolt in place of the stock plastic parts on them. I have none so I figured a way to use them. The passenger side already has threaded holes on the roof for a stock handle so one of these just bolts in place.


I've put my wieght on this one and it holds steady. Did I mention I'm a big boy? I think it will hold. I'll make it a point not to swing from it, but as an entry point it will work.


I wanted some up on the a-pillars too. Similar to what the 2015 and up GM HD trucks have and Dodge has been doing for a long time. I punched a couple of holes from the outside to the inside. I added a support plate of 1/8th inch steel on the backside to avoid stressing the sheetmetal. The slick part is the weatherstrip hides this completely.


Hidden from view..


A shot of the holes on the drivers side pillar. Note that the two sections of sheetmetal are not on the same plane. They angle away from each other, which was another reason for the backing plate.


My steering wheel and column thanked me for adding one on this side. I use it whenever I get in.


Moving forward a couple of weeks, Larry and I finally hooked up to sort out the rear brakes. Nothing really ground breaking here as it turned out the prop valve must have centered itself and the rears were working good. Still we pressure bled them just to be sure. Having knocked that out really quick and we both had open time on our garage passes from the wives we moved on to another needed item. The front bumper. Here's the gem out of Larry's stockpile.


We wern't sure on the ID of this despite the obvious sticker on the front, but after further sufing on the web I've confirmed it is indeed a Warn Classic bumper. It's beefy unit built out of 1/4" plate all the way through.


Now this is where it gets comedic. As well setup shop as the Bigassgas Garage is, we are lacking on the fab tools. So cutting the 1/4" plate for the brackets is relegated to a die grinder with a cutoff wheel. We did end up frying a $9.00 harbor freight angle grinder and wearing down a hacksaw blade in the process. Still we got stuff done.


We had called in some reinforcements to grab the steel we needed and one drives this killer GMC burb. Full tube exo with rack and rock sliders. 6.2 oil burner with a Banks sidewinder turbo, 3/4 ton axles and 37's. Fun rig.


With our help bailing out on us after some tacos from the local Mexican take out joint Larry and I finished up on the install.


Moving forward to Last weekend I pulled the Warn XD9000i winch from the garage and after punching a couple of added holes to the bumper mounted it up.


I did hook it up the winch to the main battery to test it out and it's working like it should. I free spooled out most of the 100ft of cable to line it up on the drum better. I can say this, the cable is darn near like new. No issues at all.


Fits pretty good in there. Plus there is room behind the winch for some type of an air tank for an onboard air system I'm planning to put in.


That pretty much brings this up current. I've borrowed a couple of tools from Larry to build the cables for the aux battery setup. Then I'll wire in the winch to the aux battery and be ready for our annual new years day snow run. That might be just a trail ride if we don't start getting some snow up there. It's been unseasonably warm around here this winter so far. I'm not complaining, as I've got more done outside this time of year than usual. But we need snow!!
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Old 12-11-2016, 08:34 PM   #285
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Another beautiful day in Southern Colorado for sure. Got some chores done outside, put up more Christmas decorations and finished out the dual battery project. I went simple in this case. I'm just running a 150 amp continuous duty solenoid and have it tied to a keyed on source to turn it on. If the key is on, batteries are joined, key off the second battery is isolated. Winch is hooked up to the second battery. This way I can winch key off and not kill the main starting battery. So on to the pics..

I had bought some 2ga welding cable off of Amazon a few weeks ago for this project. Larry loaned me his hydraulic crimper and cable cutter. I picked up some 2ga copper lugs to install on the cables at the local 'zone.


Further proof that there is a right tool for every job, Larry's hydraulic crimper works slick and locks the lugs on the ends of the cables.


A little shrink wrap on the ends to seal it off and the short cable from the 2nd battery to the solenoid is complete.


The Negative cable and main positive cables went together the same way. The negative was run to the serp bracket on the engine to an existing threaded hole. The main positive cable is secured to the core support all the way across.


Pardon the dust. Need to rinse it off. I verified the operation with my DVOM and it's switching on as planned and goes off with the key. Winch is powered up and works as it should. Ready for a snow run!!

I did check out another issue I've noticed when I drive it. I have to cycle the key at minimum 3 times before starting or it won't have fuel to start. Using Larry's fuel pressure gauge I can tell it's bleeding pressure off almost immediately after shutting the key off. Running pressure is right on spec, but it drops like a rock with the key switched off. Not sure if the fuel pressure regulator is causing this or if the check valve in the pump is stuck open. Based on another thing I noticed today the tank might have to come down eventually. The fuel gauge has never been right from the get go. Full reading comes in a 1/4 past full. I've filled almost 30 gallons before and the gauge indicated just under 1/2. Today heading out to take my battery charger off of my in-law's Caddy I noticed the fuel gauge going bonkers. Like the needle pointing past 3 o'clock on the face and wiggling up and down from there. I'm betting there's a dead spot on the resistor card. It's going to need some attention at some point.
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Old 02-27-2017, 05:40 PM   #286
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

I may have missed it, but did you guys clearance the frame rails for the truck manifolds? I saw where you had to clearance the block for the xmember and I'm just gonna nip that one in the bud JIC. Could be different for a suburban, but not wanting to find out after the fact!

BTW, Like many, I've been following Larry's builds from expeditionportal and here. Beautiful workmanship and attention to detail.
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Old 03-01-2017, 04:20 PM   #287
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

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Originally Posted by jimmyjammoto View Post
I may have missed it, but did you guys clearance the frame rails for the truck manifolds? I saw where you had to clearance the block for the xmember and I'm just gonna nip that one in the bud JIC. Could be different for a suburban, but not wanting to find out after the fact!

BTW, Like many, I've been following Larry's builds from expeditionportal and here. Beautiful workmanship and attention to detail.
No way! These old frames are flimsy enough as it is. Cutting frames for late model engine swaps to make room for A/C compressors or exhaust manifolds is strictly against my religion. Nothing irks me more than seeing that hack work documented in other peoples build threads.

Actually, on Robís K5 the manifolds cleared the frame just fine with room to spare for when the exhaust shop made the exhaust pipes. I really had my doubts but Rob picked the right manifolds to make it all work without cutting anything. This was my first Gen III "LS" swap as everything else I have done have always been big blocks (mainly 454's and 8.1L's).

Thanks for the kind words!
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Old 03-04-2017, 12:41 PM   #288
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Yep, no cutting for us. Actually I had 2 pairs of 6.0 manifolds from a H2 that we used. With the dirty dingo slider engine mounts pushed back to keep the trans in the stock position there was plenty of room. The manifolds clear well.

If you push the engine forward from. The stock location you would have trouble clearing the frame with the manifolds.

I don't think the H2 manifolds are any different than the standard truck manifolds. Truck versions work. Hell if you want the extra pair I'll let them go for $50 plus the ride. PM me with your info if you want them.
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Old 04-29-2017, 01:05 AM   #289
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

After seeing Mikey and Gary's progress in their Father and son build I realized I've been lacking in the update department on my own thread. Since the dual battery setup went in I've added the beginnings of my onboard air system. 2.5 Gallon tank is mounted. Compressor is mounted and it's been plumbed up with hoses.

Onward to pics...

This is the smittybuilt air tank I picked up, which also came with all the lines and fittings to build an onboard air setup. I did have to pick up a pressure switch and check valve to complete it, but it's a decent start.


Looking up from underneath. This is directly behind the winch/bumper combo. I've moved the blowoff valve to a different port so it's not low hanging fruit off road.


My Jeep buddy John got me this for my birthday this year. It's a nice creature comfort item that is really nice to add to the truck.


Didn't take much to setup, but not having the interior paneling of a uplevel truck made it a little challenging to hide the wiring. I ended up stuffing it behind the gasket for the windshield.


Mounting point for the compressor. Fabbed up some brackets and mounted them to the core support with some rubber isolators for the compressor to the brackets.


Plumbed up. Unfortunately after getting this running I was fixing some minor leaks at fittings, I powered up the compressor and it stopped running when it hit 55psi. Earlier it had ran up to 115psi without an issue. It never worked again. Got to get a bigger one..



Oh yeah I finally got my electric speedo working. Long story short, having 12v on the ground to the DRAC module tends to keep the setup from working. Re-ran the ground and it started working again. Plus with the mods done to the DRAC with what I found online got the speedo dialed in dead nuts on accurate. Speedo is right in line with GPS readings from my phone.


Biggest addition is changing out the shocks. My right rear started leaking. Plus the rear shock mounts need to be cut off and replaced with ones in at a better angle. After much research one common thread came through. "Buy the best shocks can afford." I had my parts guy do some digging on the part numbers from Bilsteins website for K5's I found and he scored big time. Got all 4 for under $350. Fronts are in. Very happy with the results. Need time in Larry's garage to cut the axle mounts off the rear and weld on some new ones from Ruffstuff. Then I can pop in the rear Bilsteins.


Tried out the front shocks on a little sunday drive up to Cripple Creek last weekend. Amazing difference.


The road follows Four Mile Creek most of the way up. Sometimes it's close like this, other times it's a 100ft or better below. Probably where they got the name for the road. It's known as Shelf road for a reason thats for sure.

After looking for a place to eat in Cripple Creek we bailed for Victor which is on the other side of the states largest working pit gold mine. Had a great lunch and headed back on Phantom Canyon road. The road follows the old grade for the Florence and Cripple creek railroad that ran from 1894 to 1915. It has many wood lined bridges and two tunnels along the way. I like this photo as it really represents Three centuries in one shot. 1800's for when the tunnel was cut, 1900's when the K5 was originally produced and 2000's for when I took the shot.
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Old 04-29-2017, 11:48 AM   #290
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Excellent work on the additions. My old K10 with those shocks and ez ride springs was very comfortable on and off road. Bummer about the compressor.
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Old 04-29-2017, 07:25 PM   #291
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

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Originally Posted by MTCK View Post
Excellent work on the additions. My old K10 with those shocks and ez ride springs was very comfortable on and off road. Bummer about the compressor.
I'm not too bummed on the compressor. It was a unit I picked up on sale at Checker auto parts almost 10 years ago. Larry had got one too, his lasted a very short time compared to mine. I got a lot of use out of it as a portable compressor.

The main problem with it was that the CFM rating was low for what I had repurposed it for. It just wasn't up to the task. I'll get a larger unit and should be able to mount it up pretty quickly.
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Old 09-11-2017, 11:39 PM   #292
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

I've been a little slack in updating the build over here Lost most of the photo links with Photobucket's ransom. I don't have the patience to go back and rebuild the links with a new photo hosting site.

Since I last updated, lots have happened. Main one, Larry's desert trip. Trip report coming, but I got to finish writing it first. Next, exhaust routing sucks. Sounds great but over heats the fuel system on long runs. It's going to be completely reconfigured. last thing, I got something I've been looking for a very long time. I finally found a Four Wheel Camper for my Blazer.

So here starts the saga of the camper and its refurbishing. Like I said, I've been looking for one for a very long time. Camping with Larry out of his camper is a game changer. No fiddling with tents, sleeping on the ground or other fun normal to "roughing it". Park, level it out, pop the top and crack a cold one. I witnessed this for a week in Utah and knew I had to get one. Ironically, one came up for sale in Grand Junction while we were out in Utah. One night we still had cell coverage and while hunkered down in my tent in the dark hiding from the wind I found it. Timing couldn't have been more off as I was pouring cash into the fuel tank on the trip and couldn't go for it.

So a month later in July I'm running my normal search in Craigslist and come across one for sale out of Denver for $300. No joke. The guy is willing to split the camper from the Blazer which is almost unheard of. I burn up my phone trying to get a hold of the guy and make arrangements to check it out that next weekend.

Here's what I find..
IMG_20170806_112458422 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

It's rough around the edges, but complete.
IMG_20170806_112654253 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Biggest issue is rot. FWC used 1" particle board in the front cab wall and cab over floor.
IMG_20170806_112848660_HDR by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Rotten..
IMG_20170806_112856241 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Oh yeah, heres the reason for the rot. Roof needs resealed and a new vent installed.
IMG_20170806_113813081 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Vintage 1982 goodness.
00S0S_hdTDFugAbdI_1200x900 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Overall it's got good bones. I'm not out much if it is a turkey.
00k0k_euqpFcVK5Aj_1200x900 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

So I give the guy $150 and tell him I'll be back next week to pick it up with the rest of the money. The K5.3 is waiting in the wings for it's new house.
IMG_20170813_130235603 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Funny thing was, the camper was actually located about 10 miles from my parents house. I had left the K5.3 up there the week before to take a car home to work on. So My buddy John followed me up with his trailer so we could take off the factory top, load it on the trailer and put the camper on the K5 for the ride home. Why didn't we put the camper on the trailer? Because these are not true "slide in" campers. They actually bolt down like a factory top and the floor is separate to the camper itself. So the camper is open to the bottom. There really isn't anything to set it on that would hold steady. Smartest thing we could do is bolt it to the back of the Blazer.
IMG_20170813_122005971 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

The chief inspector checking out what I just got into. (my Dad)
IMG_20170813_131141147_HDR by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

I got lucky some more and had a guy offer up some like new camper jacks for cheap just before going after the camper. Couldn't do this without them.
IMG_20170813_142008963 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

It's off. Sketchy as hell but it's off. We had to take the jacks as high as they could go as the difference in height between the stock K5 and mine was large.
IMG_20170813_142906896 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

It's back on.
IMG_20170813_150719087 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Got the top popped at John's house. He offered up a place to unload it at and his brother is an excellent carpenter to help fix it.
IMG_20170813_192341476_HDR by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

You can see the extent of the damage with the daylight coming through the front.
IMG_20170813_192906968 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Deconstruction begins.
IMG_20170826_135322625_HDR by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Wide open..
IMG_20170826_135353249_HDR by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Here's where the snowball started rolling right down hill. After discussing with John and Shane about what I want, we found the cabinet in the stock form was all wrong. I don't want to cook inside this small space. Water storage is less than 5 gallons and uses a little hand pump for the sink. Not to mention you have to winterize this stuff when it gets cold. I carry water when camping and plan on Scepter can storage on my rear bumper setup. The 3 way fridge does a bad job at keeping stuff cold on any source except 110v power. It's from 1982 remember? So it went bye-bye too. I plan on a 12v chest fridge that is much better with a low current draw. The cabinet got gutted as a result.
IMG_20170827_122533857 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

The end result.
IMG_20170827_153854990 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Cab floor replaced. We doubled up here. 5/8" and 1/2" plywood glued together and screwed together. It's 1/16th of an inch thicker than the crappy particle board. Very strong.
IMG_20170827_122542713 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Blank slate.
IMG_20170827_154441244 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Passenger side replaced.
IMG_20170909_172350175 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

We doubled up this side.
IMG_20170909_172354905 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Front cab wall is in place. Added gusset block of oak to support the cab-over floor to the front wall joint.
IMG_20170909_191516905 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Inside.
IMG_20170909_191559917 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

What you see in the work on the camper has taken place over 3 different weekends. Still have to seal the roof. Stain the wood and seal it. The outside of the cab wall and cab-over will be faced with aluminum.

The goal here is to have it ready to ride for the 18 desert trip.
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1975 K5 350/465/205/D44/12b 4" lift on 35's- RIP
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Old 09-12-2017, 03:35 AM   #293
MTCK
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

YES!!! That is awesome. Spare tire will go on a rear swing out? Compressor fridge is the only way to go. I ran mine constantly unplugged from shore power in my driveway for a week and batteries still showed full charge. Granted that was during our 20 hours of daylight time of year, but still... 100w solar panel and two 6v house batteries. Can't wait to see the finished product and write up on the Desert Trip.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
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Old 09-12-2017, 09:22 AM   #294
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

That's really cool!
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:44 AM   #295
Zoomad75
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

The rear bumper plans are to look similar to Larry's rear bumper but reversed. I want the tire on the left and the can carrier on the right. Rear vision is different with the camper, but with a window in the passenger side rear corner I don't want to block what little vision I have.
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1975 K5 350/465/205/D44/12b 4" lift on 35's- RIP
1991 K5 5.3L/700r4/241/D44/14b Under Construction
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Old 09-12-2017, 11:23 AM   #296
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Food for thought, but while you have it all apart it would be easy to install and wire a backup camera. PO on my camper did it, and I'm going to get a little stand alone monitor that auctions to the wing window for about $80 for full time rearward vision.
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1991 V3500 L29 454 4L80E NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's
1984 K30 292 TH400 NP205 D60/14 Bolt 4.56's flat bed 7'6" Meyer Plow
Project Daily Driver
Project Heavy Hauler
Project Plow Truck
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Old 09-13-2017, 12:28 AM   #297
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Re: My K5 Blazer Story.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MTCK View Post
Food for thought, but while you have it all apart it would be easy to install and wire a backup camera. PO on my camper did it, and I'm going to get a little stand alone monitor that auctions to the wing window for about $80 for full time rearward vision.
I'll think about that. The dash is getting busy with electronic gadgets though. I'm might look for one that is bluetooth enabled to work with my Ipad I use for navigation.
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1991 K5 5.3L/700r4/241/D44/14b Under Construction
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