1985 Chevy K5 Blazer CUCV one ton build

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    1985 Chevy K5 Blazer CUCV one ton build

    Moving my build over here since the old pirate is totally fucked.

    My plan is to have a 1-Ton truck that can carry me, my wife, our dog, possibly a youngin and all our camping stuff to and from the trails. So street legal in my state (for an antique vehicle) but still able to get on a harder trail if needed. My plan is to have a fully functioning and tested vehicle by Labor Day weekend.

    I was going to do a First Gen 4runner instead but, Jesus Christ, the prices for them out here on the east coast is fucking ridiculous. Square body chevys arent any better, but atleast i can find deals on them and the parts i need.

    So after watching the market i was able to find a sweet deal and i jumped on it. How it looked when i barely limped it home into my driveway.

    1985 Chevrolet CUCV w/ 61k miles

    350 GM goodwrench crate motor with Edelbrock carbureter

    TH350 with Manual Valve body


    10 bolt front

    14 bolt FF rear w/ gov loc

    Rancho 2-1/2" lift

    34x12.5 general grabbers

    The body has two rust spots, but not too bad. I found a pin hole or two in the floor boards. But the frame looks perfect. Its a miracle to find something that non-rusted in my experience of looking at square bodies under the $5,000 range. The motor runs great too, has plenty of oil pressure, didnt overheat on the way home and was very responsive to pedal input.

    The truck had been in the seller's family for like 20 years or something. Passed from his dad, to his uncle then to him. And the seller drove the truck as-is as a commuter vehicle for a few years 40 miles each way until recently when he got a newer truck.

    The truck came with a trailer and a truck bed full of spare body and drive train parts. I chucked alot of the stuff, but i will sell off all the unused drive train and body parts.

    So i gave the guy the money, had the wife drive the truck and trailer, and i drove the blazer the 20 miles home.

    It was the most dangerous drive i have ever made in my life.

    That fucking manual valve body transmission can suck a dick. If you are stopped, you have to slam it down into first gear and floor the gas or else the truck stalls. Then you have to hold the fuck on and hope nothing important is in front of you. The brakes are mushy too, so to stop the thing you had to pump and stand on the brakes, which makes the motor surge and push forward. I almost got pushed out into traffic trying to cross a highway.

    Fuck all of that.

    Sooo...... plans to be done by labor day:

    Chevy Dana 60 kingpin front axle swap 4.10 ratio (picking up saturday)
    ORD crossover steering
    SM465 manual swap w/ full hydro system (picking up saturday)
    52" swap w/ 6" shackles front with DIY4x4 Abomb
    63" swap w/ ORD shackle flip rear and moved front perches
    Bumpers and sliders
    38x13x16 TSL's (might change)
    Paint job
    Maybe some creature comforts


      started tearing into it and trying to find out what i really had.

      Here is the interior when i got it. Full of dirt, straw and oil soaked dirt and straw. What a mess.

      Here it is cleaned up and the old school leather seats installed. I actually really like these seats, very comfortable IMHO. Only the driver seat has a tear in it. I think they are staying.

      Here i got it turned around and the top mounted. Need mounting bolts for everything and the ant colony living in it killed off.

      Spent the afternoon yesterday checking on some things. Found the motor casting numbers and found out that it is a GM Goodwrench crate motor. The numbers (to me) read 100660(?)8. Which is good for me i think as they have a good reputation for being reliable, but not a good hotrod motor. Doesnt matter as im not looking to hot rod the motor at this time.

      Then I opened up the rear diff and found the ratio to be 11-45 (4.090909). So i dunno where this axle came from. Maybe someone changed them out, im not sure. The more research i find opening stuff up its more of a mystery. Oh well.

      Thats it for now until after the weekend. Ill have more parts and some panels replaced.


        Nothing to add but i picked up some parts and did some small stuff over the weekend. Cut the exhaust and removed the hitch setup they had.

        This week i plan on replacing a few body panels and tearing out the steering column to get in the new pedal assembly. I think im going to do the manual swap before i jump into the suspension.


          small update.

          I replaced a few panels

          I started the manual swap. I got the old pedal assembly out, but i think im doing it wrong. It was a PITA to get the old assembly out and i feel like the new one wont go in. I dropped the steering column and pulled the front seat to get it down. But i feel like the column needs to come down alot more to get the new assembly in. Should i remove the sheet metal panel surrounding the column on the firewall? The stuff i have seen online i dont feel like mentions this. Or am i just gonna have to muscle the new assembly in?


            So this is what i had to do. Nothing else was letting me get everything in right. But getting that column out was a PITA. i unhooked everything and i could not get the column to budge. I watched some videos, searched a little, then i stuck my face up underneath the brake booster and found some nuts buried in the firewall and totally covered with that black goo covering my firewall. I dunno if that is a chevy thing, a military CUCV thing, or someone did it aftermarket, but i had to dig out this goo shit just to get a wrench on the nuts. Took forever and i finally got them out and pulled the column. As you can see here, it was kindof hard to find the nuts if you cant see them (there is two in there somewhere)

            So then i got the column out and started rocking on the install. I measured the shit out of where the master cylinder went, got it to where i thought it was perfect, and cut the hole. But when i did that i knocked some of that goo away and found that my firewall already had dimples for the mounting bolts and master cylinder knockout from the factory. Duh. I had read about some had them already, but didnt check. It wouldve saved me like 10 minutes of measuring.

            Stopped to get some better mounting screws with locknuts. Jeez, this pedal install will take me like triple the time to actually swap the transmissions.


              m holding off on hydro boost. I want to see how the truck does with out. Since hydroboost seems like a huge PITA. But i might do it when i install hydroassist. Just get it all done at the same time. But that wont be until the fall.

              Just to update, got the old trans out. TH350 with manual valve body and a non-lockup TC. Gonna make some good money off this on the CL. Saturday, if it doesnt rain, ill have the new Trans set up in.

              Installed the new flywheel and clutch in the meantime.

              Also, i was reading up about possible floor board modifications. Since im installing a clocking ring for the NP208. Im not going full flat, bu only lifting it 2-1/2".

              But i got sucked into the low-hump/high-hump question. So i went out and found out that the truck has the high-hump trans tunnel with the manual hole dimple already from the factory. I dont know if that is a CUCV thing, or all blazers are like that.

              Lastly, I finished up the pedal install. But i didnt use the two legs on the clutch assembly to mount it to the firewall. One of the legs wanted to go RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the fuse box (which goes through the firewall, so you cant just relocate it). The other leg went right next to the hole for the clutch master and the hole for the wiring to pass through. I thought that drilling a hole there would weaken that area worse than it is. So i didnt install them.

              But i read somewhere that if you DONT install these legs, it can lead to a cracked firewall. Even though i havent read of anyone cracking the firewall due to this. Anybody ran into this?


                So, i had a busy weekend and i was fighting the rain the whole time. I called a bunch of my friends to come help me put in the SM465, because i knew it would be tough by myself, and everybody bailed on me. So i set out to do it by myself.

                Here i am dragging it into position. Fucking pain in my ass even on rollers.

                Here i am working it into position. I got it like within 1" of fully installed and my neighbor came over and helped me get it all the way in, for a few beers in payment.

                So i got it in, and using the DIY4X clocking ring and no body lift, i got some floor board contact.

                So i cut a little out. I dont think im going to weld anything up. I think im just going to put some heavy rubber mating over this, seal it with RTV and screw it to the floor board.

                The rain was trying to come down, but i was able to pull the rear axle.

                This is how i ended saturday.

                Sunday i spent it cutting off the shock brackets. Im going to wait until i have the axle installed before i weld new ones on. I dont know exactly how im going to mount them, because the 64" springs will move the axle back 4" or so. But i installed the spool, and degreased the axle to prep for paint and the final touches, and the rain just came down and fucked everything up. So i called it a night Sunday.

                I was going to do a mild shave on the 14 bolt. But, looking at it, i feel like im wasting my time unless i install a full shave kit on it. So i decided i hold off on that.


                  I didnt get much done this weekend because of the heat and other things going on. But i did button up some things from the manual swap, like mounted the reservoir. Which, surprisingly, the hydro reservoir connects right to the windshield washer spray motor mounts.

                  Buttoned up the 14 bolt, with a quick spray paint job. Kindof pointless out here on the east coast as it will be covering in mud the moment it leaves my driveway.

                  Removed the rear suspension and started knocking the mounts off. Took a while, after watching a few youtube videos and getting frustrated with these fucking rivets. So i just cranked my air compressor up and went at them with my air chisel. Which made quick work of them, but destroyed a chisel bit within 6 rivets. Today ill be able to knock the rest of them off quick once i get more bits.

                  I bought this set of aftermarket forward spring mounts, but i think im going to reuse the factory set, since i didnt mangle them that bad during removal. I need to move the front mount forward just an inch or two and this larger mounts will hinder that. Atleast i can use the mounting hardware.


                    I haven't had much progress to post lately since I've been doing a lot of small stuff to the truck and waiting on parts.

                    I couldn't get the factory mounts into a position I liked without them looking like total shit. So I abandoned that design and bought the new DIY4x long spring blazer mounts which replace the factory body mount. They are sweet (pic was taken for mock up). One thing of note during install, don't lazy like me, pull the fuel lines away from the frame or you'll knick the top line when drilling one of the mount holes.

                    So after getting them on I looked at the shackle angle. Do you guys think this looks good? I think it's good but not great. I have the shackle mounts backwards already. I think I'm going to move the springs back one hole and re drill the shackle mount a few inches back. I'm trying to keep the factory fuel tank in its OEM location.


                      Nobody answered me and i had the afternoon off, so i just went ahead and moved the shackle mounts back and moved the spring the the back hole. Then I went ahead and mounted it up and the angle looked great.

                      It looked so good i went ahead and mounted the axle. Shit kindof sucks doing this in gravel by yourself. Fuck all of that.

                      So here it is. If anyone is looking to duplicate this, im using 4 leaf chevy 63" springs, the ORD 4" shackle flip, mounted backwards, and mounts moved 2-3/8" to the rear. Using DIY4x UDSR 6" shackles, and their Blazer Long Leaf mounts, on the back mount hole. Looks like it will clear the Gas tank just fine but only looks to have given me an extra 1"-2" of wheelbase. Looks like the actual lift is around 4"-5".


                        I havent updated this in a month because ive been on vacation and i got lots of boring stuff done. Rebuild the front axle, put in a spartan locker, pulled the front suspension. Im sick of those damn rivets. I swear i knocked out like two dozen of them.

                        Here is the ghetto shock mount i wleded in. We will see how it goes, but its just a 3/16" angle iron with holes dirlled in it. Plan on running 14" Bilstein 5125.

                        Pulling the front suspension

                        finally, after a few weeks of work, sitting on 39.5" Iroks. I used 6" shackles for the front, but it needs to come up like an inch or two. So im going to put in 7.25" shackles and maybe a zero rate. Its weird how the 39's look so small on the truck.

                        The steering is temporary. Im going to put in a high steer driver arm and a new ruff stuff tie rod.


                          I havent updated in a while but ive been putting alot of work in. I been cleaning up the front suspension install and put in ORD add a leaves. I moved the front axle forward one inch using them. Installed ford shock towers with bilstein 14" 5125's all around. I think i measured wrong in the rear and i might have to knock them down to 12" travel shocks. But once i check clearances ill make that decision.

                          On the front shock tower install, the passenger side went in great. but the driver side is tight. I think the shock might contact my steering shaft at full bump. Ill have to check that out and see where i can move the mount to. But its super tight and i cant really see where else it will go.

                          Also started putting a base layer of paint down.


                            Finished up the spray job and cleaned up the front. I did not like how this spray job turned out. The paint i used i had not used before on a vehicle and it left lines everywhere i sprayed. I tried just putting tons of layers on but they wouldnt go away. So, dont use the Rustoleum Camo paints.

                            I have less than a month to labor day which im planning on being my first test run; 3-1/2 hour trip to WV. I hope to have this thing running on the road by this weekend. Just have to bleed everything and fill up all the fluids. Im sure it will all go as planned with no hiccups

                            Gonna pick up a load of steel friday and i hope to be bending the sliders by sunday afternoon.


                              So i figured out why the dizzy wasnt getting power, i mustve knocked loose the power wire to it when digging around behind the motor.

                              so last weekend i started it up to test drive it as a last ditch effort to prep for labor day weekend. Only to find that the rear brake line is leaking and that the motor runs and sounds like shit.

                              The brake line pisses me off. Its the main one that comes off the frame to supply the rear brakes. I had to cut the end off because it ripped off when detaching the old line to install the ORD extended brake line. I flared it, leaks. I bought a nice double flare kit, double flared it, leaks. So i guess im just going to have to buy a whole new line to replace it.

                              The motor thing is a big miss on my part, i shouldve been working on it since may. It sounds like shit and runs like shit. Looked under and found that both manifolds have holes at the collectors and the driver side leaks at the manifold gasket. I think im just going to buy a new exhasut system from the muffler forward. Any suggestions? There are a metric fuckton of small block headers out there, the choices are crazy.

                              Also, ive decided since i wont make labor day, i might as well do it right the first time. Im going to reset the carb to baseline, install their offroad needle kit, set timing, and adjust from there. It seems the motor is off ignition time and the carb is not set properly


                              So, ive never done a car carb before, ive done lots of dirtbikes/atvs/lawnmowers, so ill get to set this Edelbrock 1406 600 cfm to baseline. Also i it has an electric choke and i dont think the PO has it hooked up. Im gonna be hooking that up too. This will push this build into the spring for sure.

                              Since im stuck waiting to order new parts, i decided to go ahead and start fabbing stuff. Here is the passenger side slider i did sunday. I cut the main tube, and bent the outer tube only to realize i had welded it up before putting in a support tube. So i cut up some diamond plate and welded in a like foot hook in the middle for support and so my wife has something to grab her foot when getting in. She's excited.