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1987 Chevy K5 Blazer - Trail Rigs

Posted in Features on September 1, 2009 Comment (0)
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4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility Magazine
Trail Rigs
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Big, Simple, Cheap...and Effective
Matt Black lives in Kamas, Utah, with his '87 K5 Blazer. "It's a work in progress, and my goal is to keep it street legal but to build it to be a fairly reliable and capable trail rig, especially because I like to take it out and beat on it occasionally," he writes. The stock drivetrain, a TBI 5.7L V-8, a TH700R-4, and an NP208 were retained, but Matt combined the front half of his NP208 with the rear half from a Dodge model NP208 with a fixed yoke. This combo netted him a cheap fixed-yoke T-case; a sort of home-brewed SYE. The axles are a Dana 60 front and a GM 14-bolt full-floater rear with the stock 4.10 gears at both ends and a Yukon spool in the rear. Future plans include a full roll cage, a soft top, custom bumpers, rock sliders, and a hydro-assist to go with the already-installed crossover steering. Matt has a long list of mods completed, but he's got an equally long list of nearby trails on which to 'wheel his Blazer. When it's good, it's good, eh, Matt?

Location, Location, Location
Matt Black and his K5 live in a good spot, but so do Tim Wearin and his '05 TJ Wrangler Rubicon. They call Fallon, Nevada, home, and like Kamas, Utah, it's surrounded by plenty of open land. From the Deer Valley Trail in California to the Bolivia ghost town trail in Nevada's Stillwater range, the Rubicon gets its owner there and back. Tim started with a great buildup base in the TJ Rubicon. To this he added a Rubicon Express 4.5-inch suspension system, a Warn HD Power Plant, an OR Fab spare tire and gas can carrier, 33-inch Dayton Timberline Mud-Terrain tires, and Mickey Thompson wheels.

An '81 Way Out Of The Ashe
We don't usually print photos of rigs on the street, but we'll do so this time for two reasons: first, Dennis Marcelo lives in the Philippines and we don't know where his nearest 'wheeling spot is, and second, it's rare to see an '81 Toyota pickup quite this clean. "It started off in really bad shape, and I had given up on it after spending a lot of time and money. Reading about the Phoenix Project injected me with new hope and got me back hammering and painting," Dennis told us. The '81 has a four-cylinder diesel engine under the hood and power steering swapped in from a 4Runner. Dennis and his passenger sit in the comfort of Recaro seats. Dennis, it's good to see that your truck made its way out of the ashes, unlike the unfortunate Phoenix. We hope seeing it printed and praised helps to make the effort worthwhile.


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