1987 K5 Daily Driver and trail build

gtrainor21

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Joined
Feb 8, 2023
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134
Location
AZ
Taking a break from being employed for a bit so I took on a project for my cousin.

So here it is, 1987 K5 blazer. Showed up here with a half installed lift kit, hydrolocked small block, a dead mouse or two, and some minor fire damage under the hood…
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The goal is simple. Put something together he can drive everyday and take out on the weekends and enjoy. We’re staying ORD custom leaf springs on all 4 corners to keep the cost down, dropping a LQ9 in it, crossover steering, true-tracs front and rear, and 4.10 gears. The 10 bolt rear is going away in favor of a 6 lug semi-float 14 bolt out of a mid 90s Chevy. There’s quite a few things to hash out yet but for now I’m in full blown tear down and clean up mode to make way for the 6.0.
 
So far I’ve got all the drivetrain out, interior gutted, and I’ve started the process of cleaning up 36 years of grime… the thing has solid bones for it’s age! If anyone needs a TBI 350/700R4/NP208 combo for cheap let me know!
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Still grinding away on this K5. More cleaning than anything at the moment. Even though this isn’t a restoration by any means I still can’t leave anything dirty. I patched up the floors under the seat mounts and now I’m prepping to repaint the firewall because of a previous engine fire. Interior is cleaned up as well and ready for a layer of Dynomat…
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Also the owner provided his own LS swap for this so I went and picked it up this last weekend.
6.0 LQ9…. 👍🏼
Paired to a 4L65E 👎🏼
He’s wanting to keep the 6.0 stock so I’m hoping the trans will be fine. The 6.0 will go on the stand next week for a reseal and whatever else I might find wrong
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I also found a passenger drop electric speedo 241 to finish off the LS conversion. New seals and a slip yoke eliminator kit are on the way for it 🤙🏼
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Update!
quite a bit has happened this past week in the interior and that part is pretty much done as far as I can go until the engine is in and I can start wiring everything up.

I laid down a layer of Kilmat in the floor and bed sides, installed new carpet, a Tuffy console, put the side panels in, and got the seats back in. My cousin plans on getting everything reupholstered once the truck is back together. Initially this was supposed to be just mechanicals but after fixing the floors the interior part just kind of happened…

Sound deadening in
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I carved up a chunk of 4” flat strap and made the mount for the Tuffy console. This mount makes it 100% bolt in to the location of the stock console
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The radio will be moved to the single din slot in the Tuffy console so I built an extension harness from the stock radio location to the console. The plan is to leave the dash in tact and mount a small switch panel in the stock radio hole with a nice ABS plastic bezel.
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New black carpet to help offset all the red… console location came out 👌🏼
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Any plans to strengthen the frame around the steering box, or add some bracing to the front of the frame?
 
Any plans to strengthen the frame around the steering box, or add some bracing to the front of the frame?
I’ve got a winch mount kit from Engineered Vintage that will really stiffen up the frame horns and the front half of the steering box. I’ve also got an ORD steering box brace that will grab the back half of the steering box to stiffen it up. The frame on this one is still solid around the box too so after those components are in he should never have to worry about it.
 
It’s been a busy few days, I forgot to get pics of the progress before I tarped the truck up tonight but I figured I’d share the winch mount that I installed. Super trick piece from Engineered Vintage. Might have to get one for my Jimmy!
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Try to get up to date on this K5 from the past weeks worth of work! I really need to be better about taking pics but I’ll share what I have so far.

So for starters the firewall got repainted to eliminate what was left of the fire damage under the hood. Then I got the passenger drop NP241 resealed and a fixed yoke kit installed from JB conversions. Once that was done I got the 4L65E set into place and the transfer case mated to it in the truck.

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Then it was on to getting the engine checked out and resealed. Unfortunately it had a bad head gasket and sat for a while with water in the bottom end. We opted to reseal it and resurface the heads and run it until he decides to get another 6.0 built for it. Nothing was bad enough inside to not run it but at the same time why just slap a few new parts in an already half worn engine? So the LQ9 got sealed up and dropped in

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We used Dirty Dingo engine mounts with an Offroad Design engine crossmember. The pan was uncomfortably close to the crossmember and the transfer case really close to the tunnel as well. So I used some 1/4” plate to space up the engine mounts and space down the transmission crossmember. That gave me good clearances around ever and should make driveline angle a little better in the end all while keeping the engine as low and as far back as possible.

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Had a couple bad weather days to prep accessories so as soon as the drivetrain was secured in its final home I went straight to getting the HVAC equipment in and the rest of the engine together. New P/S pump, water pump, Dirty Dingo Sanden 508 compressor brackets, intake, etc. Also got the PSI stand alone harness routed and hooked up on the engine side so from here it’s plumbing and wiring 🤙🏼

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