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mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 8:19 a.m.

Hi, all!

Long time lurker, first thread.

I have a 1999 Chevy Blazer (4WD, 4 door) named Cherry that I got for dirt cheap for a friend.  She is my DD at the moment and is in quite rough shape.  However, I'm getting a motorcycle soon for my DD since I can ride just about year round in Dallas and I'm inspired by this forum to give Cherry a new lease on life.

She currently has about 208k on the original engine and rebuilt 4-speed auto.  She has a slightly tweaked frame with a small crack from where one of the POs got hit and never bothered to repair. 

This is more of an information gathering thread than a build thread at the moment - feel free to move if I opened it in the wrong section.

The direction I want to take her is:

New frame

Diesel

Possibly manual or to a better auto (unless the engine I get works nice with the old 4-speed AT since it shifts great)

Fix the frame or replace it

Mild lift

Nicer wheels and slightly larger tires

The needed bodywork and paint

Etc.

Usually, I like stuff lower, but I don't think that the S10 Blazer looks very good like that. 

Any suggestions and ideas would be appreciated, even if they stray from my original ideas.  I trust the opinions and expertise of the folks here.

 

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
11/15/17 8:48 a.m.

Welcome aboard ! You hooked me with the 'D' word like in LB7 DuraMAX? wink

759NRNG
759NRNG Dork
11/15/17 8:53 a.m.

Sorry, thought more about the diesel after posting........here in Texas you may have to pass an emissions test.....so if you can wait 'til 2024 (those vehicles older than 25 are only required to a visual SAFETY inspection)

Hence my fascination with a LB7/ZF 6sp swap in my 1991 silverado ext cab 1/2t. 

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth MegaDork
11/15/17 8:57 a.m.

Emissions was going to be my question too. It looks like in the Dallas area you need testing if you're in: 

  • Collin
  • Dallas
  • Denton
  • Ellis
  • Johnson
  • Kaufman
  • Parker
  • Rockwall
  • Tarrant 

If you're outside that, then you're golden. 

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 9:01 a.m.
759NRNG said:

Welcome aboard ! You hooked with the 'D' word like in LB7 DuraMAX? wink

I'm a huge fan of diesels.  I think an SBC can be shoehorned, but I'm not sure whether the frame rails will support an LB7 at approx 835 lbs based on my research.  If so, that'll be a fun project.  I'd consider a Banks/VM 630T but that is way out of my price range.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb Dork
11/15/17 9:02 a.m.

If it were me swapping a diesel in, i would be looking for a 4bt cummins. Of course the 4l60e isnt going to like all the torques, plus the shift points and gearing would be all wrong, so you would need to upgrade that and also the transfer case. Probably the easiest solution using a cummins dodge for a driveline donor. Use the axles from that also, because your 10 bolt rear and ifs front wont handle abuse. If you could find a dodge the engine has been stolen for something else you should be able to get it for dirt cheap. 

 

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 9:02 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I'm in Dallas and likely moving to Collin soon.  I know I need an emissions inspection.  Last time I checked, I could use an engine with emissions controls from the model year of the vehicle or newer.  Has that changed?

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 9:07 a.m.

While I'm dreaming, I'm wondering if  whether it would be feasible to find a 2001 Silverado with the LB7 driveline, modify the frame, and drop a Blazer body onto it.

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 9:09 a.m.

In reply to gearheadmb :

I've seen 4BTs get dropped into Wranglers quite a bit.  How do you think a 4BT would deal with high speed running?  Texas commutes and trips are very freeway-heavy from what I've found.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth MegaDork
11/15/17 9:20 a.m.
mcbacon said:

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I'm in Dallas and likely moving to Collin soon.  I know I need an emissions inspection.  Last time I checked, I could use an engine with emissions controls from the model year of the vehicle or newer.  Has that changed?

That's true, but you can't replace gas with diesel. Different rules. Or at least you couldn't in the past. The loophole is that diesel trucks didn't have emissions so you could buy a recent diesel and do whatever you wanted with it motor swap wise. If you're set on a diesel in a Blazer you just need to go back to a 1992 or older. It's not like the older trucks are any worse. cheeky

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 9:45 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

Ooooo sweet!  A few minutes on the Interwebs and I found that the simple rule in TX is that, with engine swaps, the vehicle only needs to have the emissions components from when the vehicle was originally manufactured.  Maybe I'm reading it wrong.

Linky for your perusal.

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 9:52 a.m.

In reply to mazdeuce - Seth :

I'd actually love to convert my front end to sealed beams.  The 1997+ headlights are terrible and sealed beams would allow me to easily swap in some LED retrofits like this

Daylan C
Daylan C SuperDork
11/15/17 10:07 a.m.

As somebody who has a stillborn 4wd S10 blazer project in his yard, I'd say make sure it's actually what you want before you do anything. I vote go hunting for a 4wd LS powered donor truck if you decide to dive down this rabbit hole.

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 10:20 a.m.

In reply to Daylan C :

The biggest reason I'm looking at an engine swap is because the 4300 is thirsty and not all that powerful.  It's like driving my old Mk3 Jetta with the two.slow and slushbox - I have to make any passing or merging decisions well in advance.  It's possible a 4.8 gasser would be the easiest and most cost-effective swap to more power.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ UltraDork
11/15/17 10:26 a.m.

My vote is that you get a complete donor GMT800/900 and use everything- 3/4 ton 8.1 blazer?  Why not?  You could even shorten the chassis and put your body on it rather than trying to adapt everything.

More importantly, is it "McBacon" like a McDonalds menu item, or "M.C. Bacon" like you're about to spit some gnarly breakfast based rhymes?

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 10:34 a.m.

In reply to ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ :

I was actually thinking of an HD chassis swap, shortened, with a Blazer body on top.  I wonder what the width of the chassis is in both cases.  She's getting a whole new interior anyway.  Finding a rolled/wrecked Duramax 2500 with a good drivetrain might be easy enough.

Then again, I may take the cheap route and find a solid Blazer chassis in the youpick and put in a 4.3, which isn't that much bigger.

McBacon is actually a family joke.  One time, my cousin and I were playing CoD at something like 0330 and were hungry, but there wasn't much in the house but bologna, so I fried the whole pack up in a skillet.  Our last name is McBeigh, so we called it mcbeighcon (finding it hilarious in our sleep-deprived state), which over time lead to my nickname of Bacon or McBacon.

barefootskater
barefootskater New Reader
11/15/17 10:39 a.m.

Have you considered a sy-clone? Fresh up the 4.3 and add boost? Should be roughly the same as an engine swap cost wise. Even the stock syclone/typhoon was good for something like 0-60 under 7 seconds and 14 second 1/4s. With modern engine management I think that could be improved upon a little. 

Edit: and maybe an AWD t-case from an astro. It's nearly a bolt in replacement...

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 10:47 a.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

Oooo I like the way you think.  A modernized Typhoon.  Apparently, the OG Typhoon would run 0-60 in 5.7 and the quarter in 14.5 @90mph.  That's more like it.  Comparable to my dearly departed (rear-ended) FX35.

I might end up doing RWD instead of 4WD just for weight reasons.  Not a whole lot of need for 4WD in Dallas.

edit: maybe 4WD would be better from a performance standpoint due to the axle hop of the Blazer/S10.

barefootskater
barefootskater New Reader
11/15/17 10:50 a.m.

In reply to mcbacon :

I may or may not have a slight bias concerning small gm trucks. And who here doesn't have fantasies of putting boost in all the things? Add AWD? Fuggedaboudit.

Axle hop is a real ...problem... in my 2wd s10. I can't imagine that more power would help the situation.

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 10:55 a.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

This is tempting.  I was leaning towards the SBC with bolt-ons mainly for sound, but the blown V6 may be a better bang for my buck.  TC would be pretty fun, but SC might be tempting as well.  What's your take?

If it's even slightly slick, I get hop and wheelspin in my Blazer without trying.  The 4WD is inop until I replace some vacuum lines.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb Dork
11/15/17 11:13 a.m.
mcbacon said:

While I'm dreaming, I'm wondering if  whether it would be feasible to find a 2001 Silverado with the LB7 driveline, modify the frame, and drop a Blazer body onto it.

Suburban would be better because the frames are flat, they don't have the big step up in the rear that trucks have. I assume they made diesel suburbans in that era, I really don't know. Either way, there is going to be some major firewall reconstruction to get it to fit. I don't mean to sound harsh, but are you really that in love with the blazer body? You would make your life a lot easier to buy the diesel donor vehicle, and just fix it up. Or if this is all about the 4.3 is thirsty and underpowered, you can buy a LOT of fuel for what this swap is gonna cost. I like the turbo 4.3 idea.

gearheadmb
gearheadmb Dork
11/15/17 11:15 a.m.
mcbacon said:

In reply to barefootskater :

If it's even slightly slick, I get hop and wheelspin in my Blazer without trying.  The 4WD is inop until I replace some vacuum lines.

Leaf springs are the problem. You can add traction bars of some sort, or go four link or ladder bars.

barefootskater
barefootskater New Reader
11/15/17 11:23 a.m.

Turbo. Sounds better IMO and I think they're cheaper. Easier to adjust boost levels. 

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 11:25 a.m.

In reply to gearheadmb :

Which would you recommend for traction bars?  Slappers or Caltrac?

mcbacon
mcbacon New Reader
11/15/17 11:26 a.m.

In reply to barefootskater :

The Wynjammer SC kit is about 2500.  *goes off to research turbo kits*

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