A Constantly Evolving New York Blazer
In 1990, 17-year-old Robert Szczepanik of Amsterdam, New York, bought a bone-stock four-year-old Chevy Blazer and hit the trail. Fast forward to 2005: Szczepanik, now 32, still owns the Blazer, but it's hardly bone-stock any more. As a matter of fact, the Blazer has morphed into an excellent example of an extremely capable, budget-friendly fullsize trail rig. It doesn't look too bad either.
The truck you see here represents the sum total (so far, at least) of years and lessons learned (and parts grenaded) on the trail. It sports some mainstream as well as some very unusual modifications that help it perform exceptionally well off-highway. Best of all, its still street-legal in his home state so he can drive it whenever he wants. So kick back and check out the righteous ride that this Empire State resident has been building.
A host of body and frame mods-both seen and unseen-reside on the Blazer. Most obvious are the cutout fenders, which help make room for the big 44x19.5-15 Boggers that are mounted on 15x14 Allied High Impact 32-bolt bead-lock wheels. Szczepanik chose to make modifications that would require less lift so the vehicle's center of gravity would be as low as possible. You'll notice that there is no front bumper and the Ramsey 12,000-pound-capacity winch is recessed in the grille on a custom mount. This was done to help improve the Blazer's approach angle. Hidden by the body are numerous improvements to the frame to bolster its strength. By the way, years of abuse, as well as a misadventure on a Pennsylvania trail, damaged the truck's original frame beyond repair, so a frame from a later-model Chevy was beefed and slid under the Blazer. The truck also sports a pair of front inner fenderwells fashioned from electrical tubing and covered by sheetmetal. Szczepanik also points out that he painted the truck himself for less than $30 with Case International Red paint purchased at his local Tractor Supply store.
General,br>Owner: Robert Szczepanik, Amsterdam, New York
Vehicle/Model: '83 Chevy Blazer
Estimated Value: $10,000
Type: 5.7L V-8
Aspiration: Holley Pro-Jection, dual 2.25-inch exhaust, Flowmaster mufflersOutput, hp/torque: 210/unknown
Transmission: 700R4, cooler with 10-inch fan
Transfer case(s): NP203/NP205, ORD Doubler kit, cable shifter
Front: Superlift 8-inch leaf springs, Skyjacker Nitro shocks, custom front spring hangers with 1.5-inch drop
Rear: Superlift 8-inch leaf springs, Skyjacker Nitro shocks, custom rear cantilever shackles
Front: Dana 60, shaved, Dynatrac 35-spline axleshafts, custom crossover steering, Dedenbear knuckles, AGR hydraulic-assist steering/Summit Racing spool
Rear: GM 14-bolt, shaved, TSM disc brakes/Detroit Locker
Ring and pinion: 5.13:1
Wheels: 15x14 Allied High Impact 32-bolt bead lock
Tires: 44x19.5-15 Boggers