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Old 07-09-2019, 07:04 PM   #1
Paul72
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K/5 Tahoe build thread

OK - I'm officially starting my build thread. I recently picked up a 71 Blazer and have plans to put the body on the frame of my '99 Tahoe. I don't plan on starting the work until next month, but I read thru a bunch of build threads over lunch today and am getting the itch to start!

Step 1 is to put a '71 front clip on it

Step 2 is new rockers and bed rails

Step 3 is parting out the Tahoe and shortening the frame

Step 4 - body swap

Step 5 - paint

Sounds easy enough, right?

Here are the 'before' pics:
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Old 07-09-2019, 07:34 PM   #2
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Personally I would keep the 1968 front clip?

I have been toying with the idea of swapping a blazer onto a trailblazer SS frame but haven't really looked into if it is doable?
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Old 07-09-2019, 08:21 PM   #3
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Of course anything is possible with enough time and money! I believe the Trailblazer has about 2.5" narrower tread width, so that would be a bit more of a challenge.

The Tahoe and Blazer have the same tread width, but the 4 door Tahoe has a 13.5" longer wheelbase, so the frame will have to be shortened. And I'm pretty sure the body mounts will not line up either, so I'll have to fab up mounts to mate with the Blazer tub.
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Old 07-10-2019, 09:00 PM   #4
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Iím in. Is Waterloo that tropical looking year round?
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Old 07-16-2019, 04:05 PM   #5
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

LOL - I'm still using the CL pics (found it in FL).

I was just up in Black River Falls last weekend - met member 'leisure67' to pick up a right side fender. Great guy! Lots of toys!!

Will have to find another reason soon to run back up there and say hi!
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Old 07-17-2019, 07:34 AM   #6
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Sounds good. Definitely pay a visit if you venture this way.
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Old 08-03-2019, 10:03 PM   #7
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Start of August, start working on the Blazer transformation. Swapped the tailgate today, but had to straighten the rust free one...

Filled the upper trim holes in one of the fenders, and cut out the rust on the bottom of the other...
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Old 08-05-2019, 12:37 PM   #8
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

At the risk of criticism, here's a pic of the patch panel welded in (and the area on the Blazer which donated it!). I promise my welding skills will improve as the project evolves!
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:58 PM   #9
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

One fender down. Gotta finish the other fender and then I can start the swap. Going to run it in primer while I take on the rockers, doors, and quarters over the winter...
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:20 PM   #10
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Progress pics from last weekend:
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Old 08-21-2019, 07:56 PM   #11
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

It's looking better already!

Good luck, Rg
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Old 08-21-2019, 08:14 PM   #12
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Quick work. Big improvement imo.
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Old 12-11-2019, 01:48 PM   #13
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Removed and gutted the doors - passenger side bottom is decent and only a couple minor dents to repair.

Driver door bottom is more swiss cheese - may have to look and see if I have another door in better shape - otherwise it's cut/fab a patch panel out of the 67 hood.
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Old 01-25-2020, 09:32 PM   #14
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Finally found some time to spend with the Blazer again. I addressed the rusty bed rail on the passenger side. I got the rear piece located, next will be to cut/replace the front half as well. The donor bed rails came off the original '72 K20 box. I just received the inner/outer rockers from GMC Paul's too, so more fun ahead!!
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Old 02-03-2020, 01:20 PM   #15
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Finished getting the bedrail in place and started on the passenger rocker:
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Old 02-03-2020, 09:33 PM   #16
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

In the post that started with "at the risk of criticism" the spatter marks in the paint looks as if you're using a flux core welder. Is that the case and if so does it have the option to hook up gas?

Not to criticize but it looks like you are getting a lot of burn through on your welds. The proper setup can fix a lot of that.

Flux core typically burns too hot for butt welding patch panels (not impossible but damn hard especially for a beginner). If your machine is capable of it I recommend running 75/25 and .023 wire. If you're stuck with flux core I recommend getting one of the cheap pneumatic flanger tools ($35 from harbor freight) and lap welding your patches.

If I'm wrong and you're not using flux core let me know what you're working with and the settings. I'm no pro but I might be able to recommend setting and share some tips to get you a better result.
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Old 02-04-2020, 11:53 AM   #17
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

yes - I'm using a flux core setup with no gas. I've been playing around with the settings to get better quality - making a bit of progress...

I'm certainly open to suggestions/recommendations - been quite a while since I've been around welders and even when I was I still wasn't good!
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Old 02-04-2020, 12:47 PM   #18
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

One thing to remember that some people miss is to reverse the polarity of the welder if you go from fluxcore to gas.

I used fluxcore on my floor pans (I had a lot of it so why not???) and switched over to gas and .023 wire for the outer sheetmetal.

Great work so far, Rg
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:06 PM   #19
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Glad to see you're making progress Paul!
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:26 PM   #20
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

On flux core for sheetmetal I’ve found the best size to be .030. And make sure your metal is clean. Other than that all normal welding practices
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Old 02-04-2020, 02:38 PM   #21
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Re: K/5 Tahoe build thread

Are you using .030 or .035 wire? If .035 you should switch to .030.

Even with .030 butts will be a struggle especially if there are gaps during fit up. If I were going to use flux core I'd try one of the two types of flange methods shown below. Manual and pneumatic tools are available for each and are pretty cheap. The additional metal in the weld should eliminate most of the burn through. The lap type is the most forgiving. The type that rolls the edge 45 degrees provides a nicer repair IMO as there is no lapped joint to hold dirt and moisture, however you'll have to have your fit up near perfect.
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