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Help buying a K5 Blazer or Jimmy?

Discussion in 'Chevy Blazer Forum (GMC Jimmy)' started by Richg421, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. Richg421

    Richg421 New Member

    Hello all, i just registered here and figured i would start my first thrread. Im looking into buying a 1973-1991 Blazer or Jimmy. Since im not at all familiar with these trucks, i would like to know if there is anything in particular i should look for when i go to look at a truck. Basicly, what major problem areas are there with these trucks?
    Any info would be great:great:

    Thanks Guys.
  2. bigburb

    bigburb Rockstar ROTM Winner 100 Posts

    Welcome to the site, from Loveland CO!

    The first thing that comes to my mind, is RUST. These old trucks (depending on where the truck has spent most of it's life) can rust away faster than anything I've ever seen. So be sure to check for rust anywhere and everywhere, top to bottom when looking at one.

    There's plenty of other stuff I'm sure. PLenty of people on here to help you out with that one :great:
  3. retired2001

    retired2001 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    Welcome to the site! Lots of those old K5s around and as mentioned, rust is probably the biggest concern. Ofcorse that is if the rest of the vehicle has't been trashed. I've owned one and it was one of the best vehicles I've owned. Good luck!
  4. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Epic Member Staff Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts Platinum Contributor

    Depending on the year theres changes to the truck to look for also.

    1973 to late 70's were full removable hard top. All 1980's were half removable hard top.
    Seals for either top can be a problem if their old. there are replacements available through aftermarket.
    The removable hard top can often times be responsable for interior corrosion, check interior floors real good, especially under carpet, check the wheel well arch's for corrosion.

    Early 80's the trans changed from turbo 350 3 speed auto to 700R4 3 speed w/overdrive. Early 700R4's had issues. I doubt you'll find an original 700R4 that hasnt been rebuilt and upgraded but there is always that chance.
    Either trans Turbo 350 or 700R4 is a great trans now days and theres lots of trustworthy shops that rebuild them inexpensively.

    Early 80's also saw the use of 350 and 305 V-8 and 4.3 V-6 engines vice the 350 V-8 and inline 6.
    I much prefer the 350 new or older version. 4.3 is underpowered for this truck, inline 6 has torque that when built right it can make the truck a great rock crawler.

    Early 80's saw a switch from optional bench front seat to bucket seats only.

    Late 70's round headlights gave way to square headlights.

    Early 80's started getting fuel injection systems.

    Almost any year front end body parts can be used to upgrade the trucks looks from Suburbans to Trucks and from 1973 to 1991 (1988-1991 Suburban/Blazer parts only). Many interior parts can also be used.

    Mid 80's got electronic transfer cases and auto locking front hubs.
    Probably not one of my favorite changes to an otherwise great truck. Usually used Blazers have had the auto locking hubs replaced with manual locking, it has better bearings, gearing, and is stronger off-road.
    Electronic t-cases are an individual preference, I prefer to shift into 4X4 not select it. Electronic t-cases are strong enough.

    Late 70's electronic ignitions were introduced, trucks ran better, MPG improved, and no more points.

    Theres lots other changes over the years, mostly appearance items.
  5. Richg421

    Richg421 New Member

    Awesome, Thanks a bunch!
  6. dwill3015

    dwill3015 Epic Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    Where are you located? I have an 87 that has been a great truck other than issues with the 700R4 tranny.
  7. KidHauler

    KidHauler Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    These guys' info will do you well. I had a '75 and a '78. '69(?)-'75 were full top convertables; '76-'88, I think, were half tops.

    The 78 was a good enough truck, and I sold it for more than I paid - with a cracked frame! Hey, I didn't see that above... check for frame cracks where the steering box bolts through. Gussets are available in the aftermarket.

    The '75 was my favorite, but that mean old rust got him, too. I'll have parts organized, sometime, if anyones interested. Look down in Steve's K5 forum for some pics.

    Good luck,

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