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Thread: 78 Blazer Build - The Zebra

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    78 Blazer Build - The Zebra

    hello all, my name is Wesley. i'm 16, and live in Ontario Canada. i'm new to the forum but not really off road. i was pretty much raised into off road, grew up around trucks and mudding and dirt biking. my dad used to race mud trucks and has owned over 5 blazers/jimmy's, his best one was a blue Chevy blazer on 44's and a small block Chevy that put out over 450+HP at the wheels, it was a saweeettt ride. anyway figured i would introduce myself before i start this build thread. anyway here it is.

    well we acquired a 1978 Chevy blazer from my uncle. it was sitting out in a field for the past two years and its pretty rough but me and my dad decided to take it on as a project.






    its running 39.5" TSL Super Swampers, a carburated small block 350, automatic tranny, Dana 44 front and Chevy 12 bolt rear, 4 inches of lift and 2 inches of body lift. we are planning on dropping the 12 bolt rear since honestly its a weak rear end and putting a Dana 60 from one of my dads old trucks in there. we are gonna get rid of the body lift and the 4" lift blocks and put in some 6" lift leafs. we are also (cross your fingers) getting my dads motor out of his blue blazer which would be awesome. we are also going from 6 bolt to 8 bolt so we gotta get rid of the bart wheels sadly. we are also hopefully getting a safari top for it and painting it like a zebra, hence the name.

    anyway we got started and got the tires off so we could get her in the garage.










    little bit of rust no biggie.




    continued in next post.

  2. #2
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    stocker small block.


    then got to work getting the cap off






    hmmm is that body mounts i see coming through the floor?




    typical blazer tailgate window gone off the track


    last pics of her before getting into the garage.




    continued in next post.

  3. #3
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    well we got her in the garage, and got the doors and the tailgate off.


    she just barely made i in the garage.


    got the dash all out and man did we find a horrible wiring job. he had 5 wires spliced into one wire and when i say spliced in mean like cut ad twist it. so connectors, electrical tape, not even shrink wrap just bare wires*shakes head dissaprovingly*.






    well we weren't expecting this much rust at all.




    the tailgate is supposed to mount to this... looks like swiss cheese.


    the only thing keeping the left quarter and wheel well from falling down.


    continued in next post.

  4. #4
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    rear view of the rust bucket.


    anyway we picked up a new racing wheel from out buddy


    also went and picked up new floor pans, inner and outer rockers and cab mounts.






    also some new gears for the front end to match the ones in the Dana 60 thats on its way


    more rust.


    seized hinges.


    started cutting the back of the bed out.




    continued in next post

  5. #5
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    well this is supposed to be under the floor.


    apparently to install the body lift in the front he cut a whole and just folded the metal over and left it.. just sad.


    why it needs new rockers.


    where the seatbelt is supposed to be.


    this just takes the cake, the hose he was gonna use for the gas tank was too small, so he CUT IT to fit over and just clamped it in.... like it just makes you go wdf was he thinking. i honestly don't know how this sucker hasn't gone up in flames yet. this poor truck.


    with back of the floor cut out.


    somehow rust behind the tail light.


    gas tank, looks/sounds solid bud needs to be fixed up.


    anyway thats all we have done at the moment. we will be working at getting the truck on stands and getting the rear end out and some more body stuff done. but we have a question. we are going to need this sucker to be road worthy and we are worried about the emergency brakes. the Dana 60 doesn't have any on it and we were wondering what calipers should we use that have emergency brakes that will fit it. its just running some 1/2 ton rotors. my dads friend said something like Cadillac Deville or Seville calipers bolt right on but he said to check and make sure so i figured i would ask you guys. anyways thanks for looking at out build and we would really appreciate some help on the emergency brake issues and expect some more updates!. -Wes

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    its a nice start. i wish i has a project like that when i was 16... about the brakes, caddy seville calipers are equiped for e-brakes, but you might want to look at 80's camaro rear calipers. if it were me, i'd just walk through the wreckers and see what i could find. the biggest problem i see for you is that the truck rotors are pretty thick, and it could be hard to find calipers that have the right opening size. F-it, just put drums on. problem solved.
    currently building a toyota. i'm sorry.

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    right on, nice project. looked like there was more rust there than truck. cant wait to see what you do with it man. Keep up the good work!
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    I was going to pick up one of those when I was 16, but I bought a Honda instead (kicks his own ass and he types that!!!!)
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    I prefer to build it and not buy it, you see it, I probably made it.

  9. #9
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    It looks like an ambitious project that only a 16 year old would take on... I remember many summers spent mastering the art of fiberglass. Was able to do complete box sides out of glass..lol

    Its good you and your dad share the same hobby.. If everyone had a decent dad there would be less bastards out causing mayhem and actually learning some talents to keep them busy until the are too old to remember.

    Keep us updated on your progress. Cheers!
    badass tj " Hey bro I would really like 2 grab tht rear end."

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    Great project, and that much rust is really not that surprising. You have one ambitious project on your hands.
    Welcome and good luck
    WARNING! I am about to do something really fawking STUPID!!!!!!
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    i love my jeep but have always wanted a k5... looks good, keep the updates coming
    If its a mechanical device i can fix it

  12. #12
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    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	63475Nice project, had one worse shape, used a 2x6x1/4" steel tubing along the back to fix the sub frame and mount the tailgate too, worked great, never rust out again.
    Sold---YJ 6 cyl, 5 Spd, 4' Suspension Lift, SYE, 35" Tires, Lockers. Built, Not Bought.
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    Good luck on the build. Always thought those trucks had a lot of potential.
    Tri-City Jeep Club

  14. #14
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    nice project looks like alot of work....so what are ya doin with the tsl's?selling???

  15. #15
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    buckinbollock- yeah i talked to a brake guy over on pirate4x4 who makes brake kits for dana 60's and he said to get 1976 Cadillac Eldorado calipers. and yeah we would love to go with drum brakes because it would make our lives a hell of alot easier but then we have to buy all of the hardware to convert it back to drums.

    swizzle- aha thanks man!

    jkmotorsports- ahahaaaaa bad choice man:P

    craveneh- lol yeah its quite the project and yeah well there wont be much fibreglass on this truck but in sure by the time we are done ill be able to weld anything. and thanks for the kind words man and will do

    thing1- thanks man and no it isnt especially after sitting dorment outside for 2 years in a field.

    markr1001- well a rigs a rig man dont matter who makes it as long as you can wheel it:P thanks and will do.

    twisted- thanks man and yeah that sucker look just as bad as this one, and yeah my dad wanted to just get the stock one so there was no messin around.

    tonka- thanks man and yeah i think they do too.

    littledevil- thanks man and yeah theres tons of work to be done to this sucker. and we are keepin em, just storing them at my unlces farm for the winter.

    i finally got a pic of his old truck-


    ill try and go through some of the albums and get pictures of all the trucks he has had when i get the next post up.

    anyway back to the rust bucket. we finally got to work on the sucker. we went and picked up a new rear tailgate hinge mount and quarter panel supporter.


    looks muchhh better than the one thats in there aha


    we had to get the tank out before we went nuts on cuttin and such so we threw an old leather weldin jacket on there and got to work cuttin the bumper off




    got it off


    then just barely squeezed the tank out. both straps were rotted right out, surprised it didnt just fall out. we're gunna take it to my dads buddy's to get it sent out and fixed up.also sorry about the crap pics from here out the camera eats battery like thats its job so i had to resort to using my cellphone for pics:mad3:


    then we got to work on the hitch mount




    more in next post

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    then out with the rest of the floor




    then we took out the old tailgate hinge mount


    we are also gunna have to redo all around the interior floor with new metal so we have something to weld the new floor to


    and heres the pile of rust we anded up with


    anyway thats all we got done so. we'll hopefully be going back out again tonight and moving the truck around and getting that rear axle out and anything else we can because we are making a scrap yard run on thursday. also i forgot to say that we are taking out the old 3.73 garbage gears that are wayyy too small for these tires and putting in some 4.56's so this suckers gunna be a stump puller for sure.

    well thats all for now hope your enjoying the build as much as i am and as usual comments are welcome -Wes
    Last edited by johndeerekid; 01-27-2011 at 06:34 PM.

  17. #17
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    Double Post, Please Delete, thanks
    Last edited by johndeerekid; 01-27-2011 at 06:34 PM.

  18. #18
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    Any updates on this beast?

  19. #19
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    well its been a long time since I've updated this but we've got a bunch of work done to the truck. we tore it all down and removed both doors and scrapped em, and taken the front fenders off and the hood and tore the rear end out of it and scrapped it too-








    rear end out-


    we got some new headers and exhaust for it along with all the spring bushings. so we started by takin the old headers and exhaust out because it was all holey-






    and got some new holley headers and exhaust-




    more in nxt post

  20. #20
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    all in-


    also my uncle complained alot about how the heater and the switch never worked, well we took the heater core box apart to inverstigate and well we found a huge mice nest. the whole box was full so we took it all apart and cleaned it out and sent the heater core to get tested-




    and we got another pair of free front fenders and they look better than the ones we have so we are gunna use these ones instead and use the other ones for spares-


    we also picked up the free dana 60 from out buddy, but the only problem with it was that he used it in his race truck and he jumped it and still hammered the throttle in the air and when it hit the ground it went from all out to dead stop and broke the yoke. so we got a new yoke and seal for the axle. we are still waiting for out new washer and jam nut befrore we can put it in though-




    more in nxt post

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