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RSWORDS - A Family Wheeler - 83 K5


Jul 8, 2009
Member Number
Gatesville, TX
RSWORDS is more of a mobile user and less of a computer user, with his explicit permission I am copy and pasting his build over here

6 mo ago (Edited)Well.... I reckon I'll start a thread....

The wife and I have been a wheeling couple for a while.... i have a 85 toyota truggy and the wife a 87 samurai. The truggy is a complete and total raisin and trail only 100%. The semi is just small and the wife enjoys just driving around with the top off and very mild wheeling in it.

The issue we have now is much daughter is 2.5 amd neither vehicle has room for a 3rd butt and i have no real intrest in building the wifes Sammie into a more dedicated wheeler.

I've always wanted to build something we can do an ultimate adventure style trip in. And a blazer seems to fit the bill perfect. So after some searching a 83 followed me home. Going to be a pretty basic build. Tons with lockers, 40s, dual cases and 5.3/4l60 swap eventually.

First things first.... paint.




After getting it all one color it was time for more umph.

Pulled a 350 block out the stash and a trip to the machine shop and some fresh parts and we now have a vortec headed 10.5 to 1 360ci powerplant.




After tossing a reverse manual valve body with engine braking in 1 and 2 I installed a sidewinder shifter. IBEX has an awesome mount that fits perfect. An old street sign some nut carts and it went right where the old console was amd have room for triple sticks.

Also started swapping the interior to gray. Besides the old one being trashed that red is just famn ugly.





The wife and kiddo decided to come to my shop and help out which always makes a great day in the shop.

Annabelle making sure the ex inches will work. Because the rear axle needs to go back at least an inch.

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Found a Dodge D60 and a 14 bolt. Got a set of 4.55s and Detroits front and rear.

Jumped on ruffstuffs website and took advantage of the black friday 20% off.

Got a 14 and 60 simple swap setup and high steer coming.

Need to get up with lug nut amd order rear discs for the 14 bolt. And brackets to run my stock 1/2 ton calipers and 3/4 ton rotors on the 60 to help clear my 15" beadlocks.
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IEATRKS84 said:
Does the dodge front end bolt in place?

Build looks familiar.​

Yep. And alot cheaper. Paid 350 for that one.

Spring perches are like and inch narrower or something. You can either pull em together or get offset bushings. I'll do one or the other depending in how fat my wallet is.

And it should. It's pretty basic lol
cj8scrambld said:
The Dodge is 67" WMS vs GM at 69.5". If I have that correct....been awhile.​

The earlier external locking hubs are 67. The later (90-93) are 69 like the GM supposedly. We shall see.

YotaAtieToo said:
All Dodge king pins are 2" narrower on the short side and 1" wider spring pin width.

I like where this is going. I had a 77 that was stock and was a lot of fun. I've thought about building one into a very similar style as what you're doing. My dream is to run UA also. I swear I'm not a stalker :flipoff2:

I was always under the same impression about WMS but have seen a few comments to the opposite. Even billa vista bible says some are "reportedly" 69". I truly dont know, I'll measure when its together. Either way I've already bought wheel spacers figuring its 67" to push it out.

And you know you stalking. Lol

Nothing too crazy last night. Half way fabbed up a switch panel to mount on the side of my shifter. Waiting on dumb ass USPS for parts.
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jhama78 said:
I was wondering if you would ever start a thread on this thing. Its already less oily than the yota... hahah! :grinpimp: Looking forward to updates brother.​

Until recently it's just been kinda sitting. I put the engine in this spring and haven't had time to mess with it.
crashnzuk said:
What is that paint you used, it looks good. Assume you sprayed it with a gun.

Rattle can I forget what brand it was. It's a good 10' paint job.

Better picture of the panel, added a 12v socket. The top three will be random lights amd what not.

The white will be power on for in cab winch control (getting replaced with a locking switch to prevent accidentally getting turned on) and the red the winch control. The blank will get a dual USB outlet.

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Also got my first box of goodies from ruffstuff. 60 and 14 bolt simple swap. The crossover should ship any day.


sterlingfire said:
Cool build. Looks like you have a solid rig on your hands.

Good on ya for getting the wife and kid involved. I have been slowly getting my wife in the shop with me. It's good bonding time. My daughters love coming out there with me too. Speaking of which i have a few projects to get finished before spring lol

The kid absolutely loves working on the rigs. The wife enjoys spending time with me. Lol

Got some DOM for a cage.


So tonight I took an hour after work and tossed some 4" springs and ez inches moved with the axle in the 1.5" forward slot.

I think some trimming is in order. But gotta love that approach angle



Didn't feel like cutting fenders today so I started sand blasting dana 60 parts.... I'm not sure it was the better choice. 🤣


Posser mall crawler status achieved until I build my tons after the 1st of the year.

Finished trimming and tossed the front 40s on. No rubbing on level ground and normal driving. Need to flex it out and continue to trim and set up the bump stops. Also need to put the ez inch on the rear. It squats too much and could go back an inch.


IEATRKS84 said:
Take a quick measurement before you buy anything. With the 14bolt, you can only go back at max 2" or so before you hit the gas tank. With my 64" spring swap, it moved my rear back 1" and with a Ruff Stuff cover, im like fractions of an inch within the gas tank when stuffed.

You dont own a hammer?

Its got to go back. It's stupid as hell looking lol

Found a pair of chassis unlimited tube bumpers in the book of faces for $200. Couldn't pass them up.




IEATRKS84 said:
god damn, thats a smoking deal! Can you take of pic of how the rear bumper mounts to the frame? Not that it matters for me now, but i was always wondering how they mounted as it looked stupid weak. So when i built my bumpers i tied them into the frame with more tubing further down the rail.

I haven't got the rear on but yes the mounts look weak. I'll be adding something
An update....

Mostly drive it around. ALOT been a fun little cruiser.

The wife and I decided to go wheeling the 25th for our 5 year anniversary since our cruise was canceled.

We have some friends that are coming and the Yota Truggy would be WAY overkill for the type of wheeling we want to do (potts mountain) So its been decided to get the K5 in full service. I've been driving it around and its running great but the 10 bolts sure won't live for anything other then street queen duty. Everything I wind the stout little 350 up and smack the shifter on the manual valve body i get excited when i hear a tire chirp and not a rear end killing itself. Lol

1st order of business..... Soft top. Ordered my softopper last week.

2nd. Winch. I've run smitty builts on every wheeler I've had and theve never let me down.

Now that I'm profiling and can pull myself put of dumb places I shouldt be.... let's make this thing able to get to those places

Tossed the 4.56s and Detroits in the 14 bolt and Dodge 60.


Swapped the 60 to 3/4 ton brakes with some ruffstuff brackets and rotors, calipers off a 75 k20. Went ahead and mocked it up for no surprises while waiting on other parts. To tight of a deadline to find out last min something doesn't fit..

Clear my 15" bead locks fine.
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little bit everyday when I could pull a few mins from work. Running a shop can have its downsides. Lol

Barnes 4wd diff covers FTW

I got the lugnut4x4 rear disc conversion on the 14. Went together like butter and been VERY happy with it.

Went ahead and got the old axles out. Frame was cracked about as bad as I've seen. Ground them out and welded them up. A frame brace kit and ORD brace got it straight. Also scored an ORD engine cradle for more room. Ruffstuff crossover took care of the steering and she was back on her feet
Took the truck wheeling on Potts Mountain end of September and it went great. No issues and worked better then I could have asked. No pics as usual lol

So next round here we come.

First up is on-board air. Got a 210 York from a Ford and went to town. Decided the easiest way to attach hoses was to drill and tap the inlet and outlet. A k&n filter will keep trash out. Hood clearance is gonna be tight but I can put it on a 90 if I need to. Has a 125 cut on, 150 cut off, and a 175 pop off in a manifold.
Decided to go to full size take over and do some."real" wheeling. Lack of cage kept us fairly calm but we had a blast. Truck did great other then the leaking rear maim seal that caused a smoke show everytime the nose got in the air.

I really need to get my hydroassist mounted and some better crawling gear.

But I don't have to worry about cutting out the rockers now at least!

Almost another year so time for another update.

Truck has sat alot. Haven't had time to really mess with it.

Did take it to Gore to take the family wheeling.... what a shit show. Blew a brake line the night before loading it on the trailer (beats on the mountain I reckon) lost a trailer tire on the way up. Went I'm the mud hole and lost the fuel pump half way through, after winching out and getting pulled out by a Juggy that broke a front RCV doing it unfortunately, we found the problem. Got a jump and the guy hooked his cables up backwards and smoked EVERY fusible link under the hood. Spent the next morning fixing that. Got everything running good and went up the mountain on the easy-ish stuff (kiddos 1st time). At the top of pinnacle we got back in, hit the key and the damn starter broke the snout off and busted the mounting boss on the block in the process. That was a fun tow back down. Spent the rest the weekend swimming and drinking lol.

So after months of it sitting again. I decided I had to do something as I love this truck.

So I picked up a 100k 5.3 from a buddy, got a Trick Norris cam, some DIY4x mounts ordered a Terminator X and started working.

One slightly used small block for sale.

If I had to guess I'd say less then 2k miles on full rebuild. I have the broken piece so it will need welded on, adaptor for manual starter, or run with manual tranny with starter mount provisions.

MSD Street fire HEI and wires, Headman headers, Holley Brawler 750 4150 double pumper, edlebrock performer intake, vortec heads with upgraded springs, comp cams XE262 cam and lifters.

Last edited:
Following. I'm starting the same project. What made you decide on the Terminator?
Following. I'm starting the same project. What made you decide on the Terminator?
All the adjustability, I'll be running a nitrous system so being able to have the progressive controller and the openness on tuning. It's really not that much more by the time you've paid for a good aftermarket harness and a Flash to your factory setup.
So the 5.3 was junk. At some point someone had water In it instead of coolant. It froze and split the bridge between the passages. Also found a small hairline crack on the outside of the block. We are gonna probably slap the heads back on it and make it a DGAF motor. Maybe I'll pit it in the crawler one day. But for the beating its gonna take in the blazer I won't risk it.

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