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K5 Blazer advice

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It's time for me to get rid of the Jeep and move on to something bigger and i am starting to look at the old K5's. I was wondering if anyone here has experience with them give me the good the bad the ugly. What should i look for and what should i stay away from?

Thanks

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Thanks! With the top off and the rear seats could you fit a bike in the back?

Nope!

Just tow a small trailer, it's easier to deal with anyways.

If you get the np203 (Full time) transfer case, pull the hubs apart and get the hub gear from an international harvester, 3x the gear surface and will help those hubs last a lot longer.

Through 1978 they don't have emissions equipment on them.

The fiberglass top with sliding windows on the sides are worth more than the truck.

There is an HD version of these, although rare they sit higher and can fit 34" tall tires under them stock.

They rust like crazy...mainly from the underside around the wheel wells not getting cleaned out very well.

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Look for frame cracks around the steering box.

Had this problem with ours. It was a beast though and fun to drive.

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Had this problem with ours. It was a beast though and fun to drive.

My K5 just had a bent frame it was my 2wd C10 that had the cracks.

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Thanks! With the top off and the rear seats could you fit a bike in the back?

with the rear seats out and top off I fit a CR250 in a '81 Bronco I had

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Nope!

Just tow a small trailer, it's easier to deal with anyways.

If you get the np203 (Full time) transfer case, pull the hubs apart and get the hub gear from an international harvester, 3x the gear surface and will help those hubs last a lot longer.

Through 1978 they don't have emissions equipment on them.

The fiberglass top with sliding windows on the sides are worth more than the truck.

There is an HD version of these, although rare they sit higher and can fit 34" tall tires under them stock.They rust like crazy...mainly from the underside around the wheel wells not getting cleaned out very well.

Are you referring to military versions? I've seen a few around here for sale locally and they go quick. I think they had a 2inch lift and the beefed up NP205 transfer case with the 14 bolt rear end. My uncle was in the army and got to drive one one summer for some training. He said the thing was a beast and he wasn't able to get it stuck. I had the chance to buy one about 10 years ago really cheap and I passed because it needed a fender put on. :busted: if I knew then what I know now....

Edited by kyle450rider
left out information

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Not just the military version. My '78 was an HD, like I said hard to find, but I did have 305-75-16's under it....34" tall tires...and they fit awesome. The only way to tell if it's HD is by the VIN or original window sticker. Mine had the 203 transfer case in it and I don't care what anyone says, it is my favorite transfer case in older rigs...PERFECT in the snow and rarely ever have to actually shift it..oh yeah and street-able low range! With a performance motor you can spin all 4 tires from a dead stop and drive away:smirk:although I don't recommend doing this.

The NP205 is a beast of a transfer case and is only really needed in 1 ton and up trucks that tow a lot or mud racers...the 208 is aluminum cased and will be found on later models, it does it's job but the auto-locking hubs:foul:don't always work.

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I'd run from that 86 for sure! "My husband built this for me" is why. Try to find one that hasn't been lifted/"built" etc. You are going to get a better life span out of an unmolested truck, and it should be less than $6000. I agree with going efi if you can, you can also grab the EFI system off a newer truck (don't forget the computer and harness) and put that on a carbed motor......up to '95 truck/van TBI should work....if you have to.

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I'd run from that 86 for sure! "My husband built this for me" is why. Try to find one that hasn't been lifted/"built" etc. You are going to get a better life span out of an unmolested truck, and it should be less than $6000. I agree with going efi if you can, you can also grab the EFI system off a newer truck (don't forget the computer and harness) and put that on a carbed motor......up to '95 truck/van TBI should work....if you have to.

I agree, find a factory EFI unit that hasn't been molested or abused, and you'll be golden.

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Thanks guys! How many miles until things start to go wrong and what usually goes wrong in these?

The later TBI versions?

Valve cover gaskets start to leak, the cheap tin center bolt valve covers just don't hold their spring after a decade or so. Best solution is to replace the gasket with premium silicone ones and get some cast valve covers (stiffer, stronger, and purrrrrddyyyyy!)

Intake manifold gaskets may start to drool. Not hard to do, just time consuming.

The wiring in the tilt column tends to wear through the insulation if the driver is a tilt up/tilt down every time they get in or out of the vehicle.

The multi function switch (turn signal, cruise, hi-lo beam on the LH side of the column) tends to crap out. Just a poor design, my 94 is on it's 3rd one.

700R4 trans (OD), sun shell gear shelling out. If it's been overhauled and upgraded, they're not a bad trans.

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And the hub gears for manual locking hubs, the "actuator" for the auto lockers. Also replace all of the u-joints and closely inspect the slip yoke on the drive shafts.

I really enjoyed my blazer, they are IMO the best and only real SUV, I really wish that GM would start making them again

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I like the Blazers. MIne is 1991. It all depends on who you buy it from and how did they maintain it. I was an idiot and bought mine off ebay. Was lied to about condition, lesson learned. Have fixed several issues and have several more to go. I definately would steer clear of the molested/lifted trucks. Most get hammered on the trails and even though they are tough....things break or get ready to break. Mine isn't lifted. The biggest issue I hate about the truck is the rear electric window. I've replaced parts, greased it, and sometimes it just dont want to work. Probably needs a new window motor. Engine wise, have replaced a ignition control module, power steering pump, bracket bolts, alternator, and needs the AC redone. Good luck with yours

Tom

http://s1229.photobucket.com/albums/ee466/Maknwine/?action=view&current=cr250ltSmall.jpg

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Manual tranny's are the most reliable, but your gonna drive it every day so, it depends on your needs. If your in stop and go traffic a lot I go with an auto, otherwise I really don't have a preference. A T350 is a hellofa tranny and will last a long time and about as cheap to rebuild as a clutch is to replace.

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