K5 project

Discussion in 'Tech Discussion' started by rohuie, May 11, 2018.

  1. rohuie

    rohuie Full Access Member

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    Going to see an 81 K5 this weekend. It hasn't been on the road in several years.
    Appears to be stock from the pictures except for the wheels/tires.
    I'll search all of the normal items before any purchase; rust, driveline, any wreck damage, see what's missing...
    For this truck I assume it would be a 350 with a TH350? Would the transfer case be a NP205?
    Did they use other combinations in these?
    I'm sure I'll have to go through everything to make it road worthy.
    Any big items that should make me walk away?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Crispy

    Crispy Full Access Member

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    Could be a 305 or a 350. The transfer case I think was the NP208. The only auto trans offered was a TH350. There was a 3 speed and 4 speed manual offered. Only thing that would make me walk away from a 37 year old vehicle are rust and high price.

    Whats the seller asking if you dont mind telling.
     
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  3. rohuie

    rohuie Full Access Member

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    Ok, so maybe the chain driven transfer case. It's an auto so TH350 it has to be.
    I think rust will be my make or break.
    I'm trying for less than $2k
     
  4. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

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    LE9 305 would be the most common engine option and the NP208 aluminum chain driven part time case would be the Tcase. IMO, better than the NP203 heavy ass cast iron Full Time Unit.
     
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  5. 1987 GMC Jimmy

    1987 GMC Jimmy Full Access Member

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    I think 2K is an excellent price for a Blazer if it passes all the things you said you’re looking for. I can’t say that I’ve seen many in passable shape for that price, though, and I started looking at them almost ten years ago.
     
  6. rohuie

    rohuie Full Access Member

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    @HotRodPC, it probably is a 305 but hopefully a 350. I was lucky to find my R10 with a 350.

    @1987 GMC Jimmy, good to know. Hopefully it passes my inspections. I'd like to have one but don't want to spend a fortune and yrs to make it useable.
     
  7. 1987 GMC Jimmy

    1987 GMC Jimmy Full Access Member

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    What you’re not wanting to do is kind of what I’m doing. The Jimmy marque was nostalgic for me, and I went to great lengths to find one that wasn’t hacked all to hell, lifted, aftermarket wheels, rust to Timbuktu, etc. so that probably hurt me on savings. It’s taken me years of henpecking during vacations and summers to make it solid, and it’ll take years more to get it where I want it. Time is what I can’t afford, though. The money isn’t too bad to work on it. I paid five, and the original motor spun a bearing not long after so go figure on that. I wanted one so bad I could taste it so the expenditure didn’t hurt as much it could have.
     
  8. rohuie

    rohuie Full Access Member

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    I went through this for my R10 Silverado. It had to check all the boxes, original 350 TBI engine, 700R4, all power options, cruise, tilt, stock suspension, short bed, dual gas tanks, rally wheels, original paint...
    It took months to find and I actually went to Atlanta to buy.
    I got lucky.
    It took a good 18 months of effort to go through all components from mechanical, to interior but in the end it was worth the work.
     
  9. HotRodPC

    HotRodPC Administrator Staff Member

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    I don't think it matters much. It's hard to find a K5 for a reasonable price that isn't beat to hell or rusting away so if it's a fair price, minimal rust and frame isn't all tore up then it wouldn't make a damn to me what engine was in it or if it even had one so long as all the underhood wiring is there in usable shape. Hopefully it's in the condition you're expecting or better and a deal is made.
     
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  10. rohuie

    rohuie Full Access Member

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    He just sent me the vin, looks to be the 305. Agree, as long as the truck isn't a POS parts only K5 it's worth it.
     
  11. peats

    peats Full Access Member

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    if you think you are going to spend 2k on this truck after purchase and be satisfied with it, then walk. i've done a couple these old and older and to do it right and make it safe is going to take an additional 4k or 5k. and that's without paint. on the other hand, you will still have a very desirable blazer and be well under it's real value. don't expect to get any financial reward for your time spent working on it. an engine swap or trans rebuild will boost that estimate. i am not familiar with rust issues in Texas but i would expect to fix the floor pans, rockers,rocker boxes and more here in PA. you didn't say what you'r total budget for the k5 is
     
  12. rohuie

    rohuie Full Access Member

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    I'm with you. I've estimated ~4k for repairs. Paint would be on top of that but it will be a while before I'm ready.
    Since it's been sitting for so long mechanicals will be the focus first. Not sure the shape of the driveline. Engine could be seized, trans slipping, brakes shot...
    Would be my 3rd square if I move forward but first k5.
    I think if the engine/trans are shot I may go the LS swap route.
    Do you know if the 5.3/4L60E bolts up to the NP208 without too much fab work?
     
  13. peats

    peats Full Access Member

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    unless you are going for a custom or long distance daily driver the ls,4l60e swap make no sense. if it has a 305 and its shot get rid of it for a 350 or 400sb. that k5 is off the road for a reason, engine trans, rear or brakes. expect to put an exhaust system on it as well.
     
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  14. Rusty Nail

    Rusty Nail Build the wall - deport them all!

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    Base engine was a straight 6.
    The back seat is an option - not standard.

    I bet a 1981 K5 has a 305 with #601 heads , a th-350, a 208 , 10 bolts front and rear annnnnnnd 308s?

    A 208 is a fine transfer case. It's a 203 wrapped in cast aluminum.

    Post picks lol.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2018
  15. Frankenchevy

    Frankenchevy .

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    not including the price of the vehicle, my "engine swap" has been around $10k and I'm not touching the body work. I'm saving body and paint for a few years down the line. not to mention, I've done all the labor myself. all depends on your expectations of the vehicle when completed. there may well be a few odds and ends left when it's all said and done. if you plan on touching every aspect of the vehicle and making it like new again, I'd take your number and double it unless you've done this a half dozen times or more in the past...lol

    if you're just fixing it up to run it as is, that's a different story. I'm with those who've said it all depends on what you expect to come out the other end...
     
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