1974 Chevy K5 Blazer Roll Cage Install- Building a PremudderPosted in Project Vehicles on March 1, 2007 0) (
It was about 10:30 when I left the shop Friday night in my big-block blue Blazer. I was supposed to be in Boise, Idaho, by noon, with a truck that no one had ever seen before, had ever driven before, and on top of that had certainly never been off-road before. What Fabworx Off Road had done in just under seven weeks was unbelievable. They basically took a totaled-out '74 K5 Blazer and brought it back to life. In less than two months, Fabworx was able to produce a (basically) turnkey truck from scratch. In fact, less than scratch. The repairs they had to do just to get a decent platform were horrendous.
In the last two days, more progress was made than in the last two weeks. The entire team buckled down to get out what was to be one sweet K5; that is, if it left the shop under its own power.
We had most of the truck together up to the last 48 hours, but it's those last little pieces that eat up so much precious time. The interior had really not been started save for the rollcage, and the power steering had been left until the last minute as well. By the time this K5 would leave the shop Friday night, most of the team had already sacrificed dinner, and I think Bryan McCully was ready to strangle me. It came down to Dave Williams and myself, at 10 p.m., with Williams trying to talk me off of a ledge after I realized there was a chance I might not actually pull this off. We had been up for 24 hours, and I still had to drive up the west side of the country in less than 14 hours if I wanted to keep my job.
I drove through the night, as there were more important matters at hand than sleep, like getting to Ultimate Adventure. Unfortunately, about 5:30 a.m. in the Nevada desert, the rod ends walked out on one of the four suspension links in back and allowed the axle to move over far to one side. This pushed the coilover shock against the frame and snapped my hardened shock shaft in half. I was out. There was no way I was going to make it to the start of the U.A.. Now, it was a new race to see if I could join the group at all. Six hours later, I was on the back of Carolyn Schmid's tow truck of A-1 Towing Service and headed for Winnemucca, Nevada. At the tow yard, I was able to use a miter saw to cut down my Hi-Lift I-beam and put it in place of my Radflo coilover to support the rear. I lowered the tire pressure down to 15 pounds, and I was on my way to meet the rest of the group in Elko, Nevada, where the Ultimate Adventure group (and coincidentally my shock) arrived two days later. Radflo two-day shipped me out a coilover shock, and the Eibach coil had enough resiliency to allow me to finish the trip before replacing it. It was amazing how the coil showed almost no signs of fatigue after being bent in half under a 1-ton K5 Blazer. As soon as the replacement Radflo coilover was on the truck, it was on to nonstop abuse again. So far this Blazer has been good to us, getting us up to Idaho and back to Southern California. That's more than we can say for a lot of trucks that we drive daily. Nice job, Fabworx, and thanks again for everything.