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'87 Chevy Blazer

Front Driver Side
Christian Hazel
| Brand Manager, Four Wheeler
Posted January 1, 1999
Photographers: John Cappa, Cole Quinnell

A Mud Truck That Done Growed Up

Step By Step

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  • Darin Pake's '87 Chevy Blazer.

  • Bushwacker cutout fender flares make room for massive gumballs. The 52x24 Firestone Terra tires on homemade six-lug wheels spank the goo. Ingress and egress is facilitated by owner-fabricated nerf bars.

  • Oh yeah! A locked GM 1 1/2-ton military rear holding 6.17 gears replaced the wimpy 10-bolt. Check out the ladder-type traction bars that extend past the transfer case. They keep the rear springs from turning into an “S” when the pedal is stomped. The disc brake on the driveshaft replaces the factory drums at the wheels and is much less susceptible to mud intrusion.

  • The interior is luxurious by mud-truck standards. Stock seats with most of the upholstery—and even carpet—provide a cush environment in which to monitor the Auto Meter gauges and row the B&M Star Shifter. It even has power windows!

  • The frontend is a closed-knuckle design that helps keep muck out of the axle tubes. Once again the 1 1/2-ton brakes have been replaced by a driveshaft-mounted disc.

  • A balanced and blueprinted ’72 468ci Rat replaced the anemic factory mouse. An 850 CFM Holley Double Pumper feeds 10.5:1 pistons through a Weiand manifold. Hooker Competition headers expel the gases after the Mallory HiFire IV ignition destroys the air/fuel mixture.

  • Is it a pickup or a Blazer? Darin installed the rear window and cab back to keep the nasties out. The fuel tank is strapped to the bed out of harms way.

  • Another 6.17 GM 1 1/2-ton military axle (this time open) resides up front. A trick hydraulic setup does away with the steering problems associated with huge lifts. An engine-mounted pump provides pressure to the frame-mounted box that connects to the steering ram. This is the system to have for turning monster meats in waist-high goo.

Little did this ’87 Blazer suspect when it rolled off the assembly line what would lie in store for it later on down the road. Long gone are the days of spinning 27-inch rubber over tarmac. The Chevy has spent the last two years growing into a mud flingin’, tire spinnin’, take-no-prisoners boggin’ machine with help from Darin Pake of Bethel, Minnesota. Darin says he began the buildup “because that’s what real guys do.” Well, real guys must also attend the Minnesota Mud & More event because that’s where we caught Darin and his ’87 playing with the big boys.