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operation k5 buggy build
#1
So here is the plan, I have been talking about it to some members for a while now and now it is time to put it in writing.
goals:
454 tbi swap.
narrow the front end,
narrow/bobtail the rear end.
narrow the bumpers
interior cage
hydro assist
box out the steering section on the frame
bigger tires.

Basically it is going to look similarly but a giant version of skitzo.
updates will follow with pics.

---------- Post added at 12:12 am ---------- Previous post was at 12:00 am ----------

I am needing some help removing the front clip on the blazer. I get off work at around at 6 each day this week (roughly).

I believe everything is ready to be pulled. I went over and over again on all the wires and hoses and bolts to make sure nothing was attached. I was also wondering if I could get a hand in pulling the 350 tbi out too. I know it is a weeknight. So maybe friday will work better. .. ?
Im pretty flexible,
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#2
Keep me posted on your tires, because I think I have a project that I'll need some bigger tires for.

I can't help out tonight, but I could probably help out another night this week.
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#3
what makes skitzo work so well pete is his low COG , his only sheetmetal is the cab so his axles stick out real wide clearing any DOT tire he wants without any lift .. this makes him very stable and easy to manuver thruogh the trees .

this next rebuild on the 85 buggy will dropping the truck as low as i can when i go full ford 1 ton drive train i want low and wide and use my tires for the ground clearance .

you could use your k-5 chassis and hang a s10 pickup cab on there and do the same a skitzo wich would make a nice short wheelbase rig and realy lighten you up and then you can drop it make u wicked stable and killer flex machine .
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#4
Wayne- I was planning on doing that s10 swap when the blazer body is just absolutely done and just had enough to the point of where I am saying "why do I still have this junk on here?!" Smile

I was thinking of friday night to do this, unless my ARB diff locker comes in for my daily driver- that NEEDS to be put in before snowfall. (priority)
Did I just type "ARB diff locker" and "daily driver" in the same sentence? I did! hahaha.
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#5
Kevin had a good idea a while back to use a S-10 crew cab for a swap, would be sweet
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#6
If you shrink the front and rear of your truck as much as we've talked about then I don't think you'll need to do an S10 swap. I agree with those above who have stated that having a low COG is the key. I'll be going that route with my full width axle'd mini truck as well.
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#7
My blazer is going to loose its lift in exchange for a shackle drop and stock springs.
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#8
Planning:
So I am taking Wayne's and Kevin's advice.

Wayne mention to me that having hydro assist is the way to go with my blazer. this allows me to switch over to hydro assist or just the steering gear box in the event one of them breaks on the trail. not only does this help with the steering, but it is also smart, and a good investment (ill be around for a while) Smile
I called performance steering components (PSC) and asked about the setup stuff I would need. the hardware, a sturdy gear box, and hydro cylinder from performance steering is only going to run me about $635 for everything (gear box is $379 and cylinder and hardware $256 ) not too shabby! I am returning my Napa gear box for a complete refund. PSC mentioned how they continually hear about the low grade quality of remanufactured gear boxes from companies like napa and schucks .

After the 55 mile trail ride of 2010 on sept 4th, I took the output shaft nut off of the gear box and removed the pitman arm, the snap ring and washer to the gear box fell to the ground immediately. maybe I got a bad remanufactured gear box? maybe the 39" boggers were too much for the gear box. .. too many maybes for me. Im going with what was built for offroading. Not only was driving without no power steering very dangerous in my opinion, I also dumped a lot of ATF on the ground. (not cool with me, but its how I had to get off the trail safely)

Kevin mentioned reinforcing my frame with another frame section and plate the rest. this sounds pretty simple! Smile[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 11:43 pm ---------- Previous post was at 11:28 pm ----------

[/COLOR]so Tomorrow I will be needing a little help pulling the front clip off and getting the 350 tbi motor out. This is about as far as I want to go tomorrow night (friday sept 10th) as My next task is to reinforce the frame at the gear box location.
I will be at my parents place at around 7 pm. It is at 7.2 mile chena hot springs road. off of Green Acres. 4th driveway on the right)

my number is 907 five 9 zero 3 zero 77. you can call or text me if you are wanting to stop by and help ( i prefer text because I miss a lot of phone calls).[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 11:45 pm ---------- Previous post was at 11:43 pm ----------

[/COLOR]note:
the front clip is unbolted and should be ready to move.
I also have kevin's engine puller, the engine is still bolted to the transmission via bell housing bolts.
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#9
I can stop by and give you a hand with the front clip, don't for get about the torque convert bolts.
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#10
sweet Smile
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#11
Thanks Don (88xj) and jeremiah for stopping by. I was not prepared for the amount of help Don and his son and Jeremiah lent today. Very much appreciated!
tonight with the help of Don and Jeremiah I Got the clip and bumper off, most of the motor accessories off. the engine is ready to be pulled tomorrow when I get more time on it. the girlfriend needs my time too. Smile Im lucky to have such a patient one!
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#12
The frame has been welded up and reinforced. I do not believe it will be cracking any time soon. Smile
So....
I got the gear box in with the ports for hydro assist, the hydro assist cylinder , and some hardware.

I am unsure of how to go about mounting it up. Do I need to get another tie rod ( my knuckles tie rod ends have a hole that is not being used at the moment)
Do I cut into the current tie rod and have the ends threaded for the cylinder?
I remember seeing Waynes welded to the front axle, But failed to see how it was set up in detail. . anyone got some pics or info?
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#13
petey , on the front 60's ive seen the rams mounted to your diff cover and allot of guys i know like to weld to the tie rod and get it as close to the tie rod end so they dont bend the tie rods under pressure vs welding the brackets close center of the tie rod .
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#14
hmm im gonna have to see a set up that is well done .. gotta do it right the first time!
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#15
So I did some web searching and decided that I would like to have my ram assist mounted and secured to the differential cover or housing . Preferrably to the housing. can I weld on the housing? is this case cast or steel? welding tips? This will all have to be done above the axle because I dont want any steering equipment to be vulnerable to trail damage.


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#16
Thank you wayne for stopping by and showing me how it should be set up. A little welding on the cast iron and tie rod end and will have her all mounted very soon.

Wayne also talked me into boxing up the front of the blazer so that I can have my 63" springs in the front. I will have to fabricate an 8 inch spring mount drop to match the rear 8 inch spring lift though. by installing longer springs I believe I will have to get a longer front drive shaft made. those 63 inch springs are LONG.

I have further reinforced my decision to keep the rear stiff and make the front as flexy as possible for now. When or if I make the rear more flexy I will put 63 inch springs back there and make brackets to match the front.
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#17
so I have decided to go with the 63 inch springs.

I found a good pair at MSI for $150. The only thing I am worried about is my cross over steering's drag link being able to reach the axle as it is probably going to be moved up. I have a couple ideas to lengthen the drag link such as cutting, inserting some round stock steel, welding, and putting a sleeve over it and welding that too if needed.

---------- Post added at 06:34 pm ---------- Previous post was at 06:29 pm ----------

So this weekend it looks like I have a LOT of welding and cutting to do! this should be fun. Smile

fabrication list of things to make:
front cross member,
front spring mounts,
heavy duty rear hangar 3/8 " flat bar steel and 1 1/2 schedule 40 i believe...
cross over steering tie rod lengthen.

I got this....
but if anyone wants to join in and help to get experience in doing this they are more than welcome to !
So this is the reason i took welding class! Who would have known !? Big Grin
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#18
Did you find a set that had a small lift or did you get it off a regular truck? Was it 2wd or 4wd?
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#19
I found a set that was on a regular non lifted 4wd 90's chevy. usually you can find them on the rear ends of 3/4 ton trucks. the 1 ton trucks i looked at had heavy heavy heavy duty springs helpers in the pack. WAY too thick for me. but the 3/4 ton had the length but not the extra pack!

I found two sets. one at MSI and one at ChevyKev's place. I may pick both sets up, but then again I may reuse my dodge stock rear springs which are 58" long, kinda thick but flat nonetheless, being 3 inches wide they may prevent axle wrap more than the 2.5" chevy springs.

I will be doing about a 6-8" spring bracket drop on all 4 corners eventually. but the fronts will be done this weekend.
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#20
The debate /deciding rages on with more info:
The current spring hanger- on the back side is swinging forward. I believe it is supposed to swing backwards (away from the motor) so that the spring pack separates under droop. If I mount them at the correct (opposite) angle by flipping them facing backwards I can make it right, this will This is important information because it takes 2 inches away from where the current mount is at. So the following measurements will have 2 inches subtracted.
Current springs = 46 inches.
the longer the spring = more flex

63" springs will extend the overall spring length by 63-46=17". 17-2= 15 inches (new spring mount will go way past the frame-hard, lots of welding)
56" springs will extend the overall spring length by 56-46=10". 10-2= 8 inches (new spring mount will be on the new crossmember- easy)
52" springs will extend the overall spring length by 52-46= 8". 8-2 = 6 inches (new spring mount will be relocated an easy 8 inches forward- easy)

Lift:
First, before I go into angles, lift must be addressed. I am debating on how far I need the the spring bracket mount to drop. 4-8 inches is the range of possibilities. I know 8 inches of spring drop is pretty extreme but sacrifices my goal of a lower COG, It would put my COG where it has been with the 8 inch spring lift. I like the height my lift gives me because it allows my tires to fit. Keep in mind the extending of the springs forward will give me added clearance. I am thinking that 4-5 inches of lift is perfect.
lift options (ideas of how to do it)
- welding a sub frame up on to the blazer to drop my mount and achieve my desired lift. (will result in more than 5 inches of lift)
- weld up some new brackets and brace the heck outta them. (4-8 inches possible)
- B52 Kit. (money I do not need to spend when I can fab it up myself- designed for 4 inches of lift)



Approach angles:
The axle perch mount sits @21.5 inches. Assuming that that new springs are going to sit level, I have calculated the new approach angles according to the spring perch mount:
63" = 34.3'
56" = 37.5'
52" = 39.5'

I think at this point I have decided against the 63 inch springs, I would have to really modify the frame forward and lose some approach angle. Ill see if the junk yard will exchange the 63s i pulled for 56s.
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#21
the blazer is sitting on the new springs. turns out I have 4 inches of lift without the weight of the motor in the front. Just a little more bracing and Ill be good to go.
The axle sits 8 inches more towards the front! I can now fit any DOT offroad tire under my blazer!
Just have to bolt up the gear box and see where I may need to adjust things.

My front driveline is no longer connected. it will have to be lengthened, I am more worried about the steering setup. I am eager to see if the drag link is going to be long enough to reach the passenger side knuckle tomorrow. If I have to lengthen it ( Drag link and driveshaft) what are some good options to consider? Ive got my own already, just wondering if someone else can think of it so i can verify that I am on the right track.
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#22
As for the DS you can do it yourself. that is if it isn't going to see higher speeds. It's not hard but wont be balanced.

The drag link you can buy all the stuff to make your own as well.
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#23
id be worried about how far foward the box may sit to stay parralell with the tie rod . if this is a issue and try to keep it as parrelell as u can.
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#24
What about getting the tie rod bent and extended? Would it be possible to get my drag link on a bender?[COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 06:27 pm ---------- Previous post was at 06:27 pm ----------

[/COLOR]If so, who is willing to try it out Smile
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#25
ok I goofed up. It turns out my blazer sits at about the same height as it did before Sad I was hoping to have a lower COG. but on the plus side I have a flexy front with the added bonus of clearance. I wanted to gain most of my ground clearance by going to a larger Agriculture Tire or get ahold of some BLEMS. I almost sold the boggers this weekend but the buyer backed out, or at leasst I think he seemed not interested in them anymore. I dont mind keeping my boggers either. Smile it doesnt bother me! They have plenty of tread on them left, good tire too.

So If I dropped the frame mounts to 4 inches lower, that makes the springs about a 4 " lift. When the thing is done I am hoping to score in the 400's on the RTI ramp. I dont think that my score will be very high due to my wheel base being stretched.

It still needs the motor swapped in. Sad I believe that will be the fun business for next weekend. I should have my truck back at that time, so when I drop the motor on the mounts I will be able to return the borrowed engine hoist immediately.

It seems that I get about only 9 hours a week on average to work on my blazer. so this is going pretty slow.

---------- Post added at 01:00 am ---------- Previous post was at 12:00 am ----------

I am saving all the old shackles from the springs in case i decide to reuse them later for the rear. I just cut the flat bars for the rear part of the springs.
[Image: 100900_160000.jpg]

Here I saved my front spring perches. they will be reused and welded onto the new mounts.
[Image: 100500_014500.jpg][Image: 100900_205600.jpg]
[Image: 100900_205601.jpg][Image: 100900_155900.jpg]


Front crossmember welded into place. If I find I want to tear into it at a later date to achiecve a lower COG, I will make new perches out of this crossmember.
[Image: 101000_104200.jpg][Image: 101000_004900.jpg]

and the bracing of the new spring mounts:
[Image: 101000_104203.jpg][COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 01:23 am ---------- Previous post was at 01:00 am ----------

[/COLOR]This is the passenger and drivers rear part of the springs. I like the angle, but it is really close to the frame. Is this going to be a problem? if so, fixes?
[Image: rearshackleposition1.jpg][COLOR="Silver"]

---------- Post added at 01:24 am ---------- Previous post was at 01:23 am ----------

[/COLOR][Image: rearshackleposition2driverside.jpg]
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#26
Pete, with the shackles like that, you spring cannot flex much, as it has no where to go. You want your shackles to be nearly straight up and down when you are making your own mounts. Your springs need to go forward another inch or so.
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