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1983-1993 Chevy S-10 Blazer - Cheap Little Boxes

Posted in Project Vehicles on July 1, 2007 Comment (0)
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With so many new models of four-wheel-drive rigs on the market today, we've noticed a steady price decline in many of our favorite 4x4s from the past. We began to wonder, how hard would it be to find a budget beater and turn it into the ultimate trail machine? Our goal was to find a vehicle that was not only readily available anywhere in the country, but one that has many of the key elements we look for in a four-wheel-drive. We chose the legendary Chevy S-10 Blazer because for our money, the "box" series was the best buy.

We like how basic the interior and dash are in the Baby Blazer. This '92 was equipped with the pushbutton four-wheel-drive system and electronic dash that even with 145k on the odometer still seemed to work without issue. Don't get too hung up on cosmetics with these things, as they may have served hard time as someone's beater. Remember that a spray-in liner is only a carpet pull away.

A good wheelbase, plenty of cargo room, and a reliable drivetrain were a few of the determining factors that made the little Blazer stand out from the pack. What we've compiled here is a list of some of the highs and lows associated with the '83-'93 Chevy S-10 Blazer. Although there were dozens of packages and frilly options available through the years, we simply couldn't care less about automatic dome lights and redesigned cup holders. We found online classifieds (e.g.,,, and to be the easiest way to track down a variety of Blazers in our area and we strongly recommend at least taking a few minutes to see the variety of prices and vehicles available around you. This is helpful when gathering an idea of an average price and will allow you to find the best deal possible.

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The most powerful of the box bodies and the one we would most like to get our hands on is the '93. The extra 35 horses gained by the optional 4.3L CPI (Central-Port Injection) version of the V-6 sends this Blazer to the top of the list along with a beefier transmission and improved transfer case. Although we prefer the dimensions of the two-door, we believe both lengths are more than capable.

High Points
* 4-Wheel & Off-Road 4x4 of the Year
* 100.5-inch wheelbase
* Insta-Trac four-wheel drive (first system to have a lighted action display of the gear position)
* Optional 2.8L V-6 rated at 110 hp and 145 lb-ft of torque
* Available locking rear differential
* Off-road package

* Power steering
* 3,106-pound shipping weight
* Tech IV 2.5L I-4 introduced in 1985, producing 92 hp and 134 lb-ft of torque
* '86 offered a fuel-injected 2.8L V-6 boosting hp numbers to 125 and 150 lb-ft of torque
* Readily available

Low Points
* Changed from V-belt to Serpentine setup in '87
* Tech IV 2.5L I-4 introduced in '85 producing 92 hp and 134 lb-ft of torque
* Open front differential
* Independent front suspension
* 2.0L I-4
* NP207 transfer case

PhotosView Slideshow

High Points
* 2.8L V-6 standard
* Beginning in April 1988 the legendary 4.3L V-6 became a powerful option, delivering 160 hp and 230 lb-ft of torque
* '89 introduced the New Process 231 transfer case with a 2.72:1 ratio
* 4.3 becomes standard in 1990
* Horsepower gains and a 4L60E transmission were both standard in '93
* 107-inch wheelbase four-door version
* '93 last year of "box" body style

* CPI version of 4.3L, 195 hp
* 5LM60 five-speed transmission
* Spacious interior and more cargo room with the addition of the four-door

Low Points
* "Locking sleeve" used in the front end to engage the central disconnect to power the front axleshafts
* 3.08 gears
* 207 transfer case
* Electronically actuated transfer case
* '93 last year of "box" body style
* Independent front suspension

From 1983 until the end of production, S-Series Blazers were only available with a 7.5-inch rear axle (also known as 7 5/8-inch) and the 8.5-inch.The front axles all have a 7.2-inch reverse-cut ring gear that uses a vacuum diaphragm to engage the front axle. Both 7.5- and 7.2-inch are 10-bolts with a front spline count of 27 accompanied by a C-clip 26-spline in the rear. Torsion-bar suspension controlled the independent front end, while a spring-under axle system carried the rear. One of the engineering advantages of keeping the springs below the axle was to aid in wheelhop and axlewrap prevention. Though not as common as the automatic transmissions, there was a stronger five-speed Hydramatic 5LM60 manual-transmission option starting in early 1991, thus replacing the 290 five-speed units that the earlier models received.


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