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1972 Chevy Blazer - The Trail Blazer

Posted in Project Vehicles on October 1, 2011 Comment (0)
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Mike Aros of Henderson, Nevada, always wanted a ’72 Chevy Blazer, so when he had the chance to purchase one in 2005, he jumped on the opportunity. And so began a three-year wrenchfest that transformed the classic rig into this capable, trail-savvy machine.

Aros, a line mechanic, is no stranger to four-wheel drive, and his motto is “4x or die.” In the early ’80s he purchased an ’82 Toyota pickup, which he proudly owned until it was stolen a year later. In ’93, he purchased a 327ci-powered ’71 Land Cruiser, which he owned for about 12 years. Throughout his years of wheeling in places like Southern California and throughout Nevada, he acquired hands-on knowledge about what works and what doesn’t, and he integrated some of what he learned into the driveway buildup of his ’72 Blazer. Yep, we said “driveway”: “This 4x4 was built in my driveway, almost exclusively by myself. I did have some help with the transmission and transfer case install. The rest was a solo operation,” Aros says.

So how does the finished product work? “I wanted this Blazer to work well in rocks and hills, and it does well. All 1-ton axles, lockers, and the 5:1 low-range in the Atlas lets me crawl very well,” he notes. We saw the Blazer in action at last year’s Hump ’N Bump event in Logandale, Nevada, and we’ll concur that the Blazer is indeed a very capable machine.

The entire frame of the Blazer has been sandblasted and painted. Speaking of paint, the cool exterior camo paint job was completed by Aros using $100 worth of Earth Yellow and Earth Red spray paint. Other exterior mods include a Poly Performance 3-inch body lift; a custom rear bumper (made from 2x6-inch, 0.120-inch-wall steel) with D-ring mounts and a 2-inch receiver; custom front bumper/brushguard (made from 1¾-inch-diameter, 0.120-inch-wall tubing) with 2-inch receiver, light mounts for the KC lights, and a mount for the Warn 12,000-pound winch. The Blazer’s fenders were radiused approximately three inches to help make room for the big 42x15.0-15 Super Swamper TSL bias-ply tires mounted on 12-inch-wide steel wheels.

And that, is a job well done.

The Details
General
Owner/Hometown: Mike Aros/Henderson, Nevada
Vehicle/Model: 1972 Chevy Blazer
Estimated value: $15,000
Engine
Type: GM 350ci V-8
Aspiration: Holley Truck Avenger 670 cfm carb, Patriot headers, Flowmaster mufflers
Output, hp/torque (estimated): 300/290
Drivetrain
Transmission: TH350, heavily modified, Flex-A-Lite cooler/fan
Transfer Case: Atlas 4-spd, 5.44:1
Suspension
Front: Rancho 6-in leaf springs, ORD Zero Rate kit, modified mounts and shackles, Rancho RS5000 shocks
Rear: Rough Country 6-in leaf springs, ORD shackle flip kit, U-bolt reversal kit, custom traction bar, Rancho RS5000 shocks
Axles/Differentials
Front: Dana 60, PSC hydro-assist steering, ORD crossover steering/Detroit Locker
Rear: GM 14-bolt/Detroit Locker
Ring and pinion: 4.88:1
Wheels/Tires
Wheels: 15x12 steel
Tires: 42x15.0-15 Super Swamper TSL bias-ply

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