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Full-Blown Blazer

Posted in Project Vehicles on December 1, 2001
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p116479 large+1970 Chevrolet Blazer+Front Driver Side View
A heavily modified Chevy 350 V-8 with a 750cfm Edelbrock carb and BDS 4-71 blower is what lives under the hood. A heavily modified Chevy 350 V-8 with a 750cfm Edelbrock carb and BDS 4-71 blower is what lives under the hood.
A clean interior features comfy seats from a Nissan van, a Pioneer CD player wired to a 250-watt Earthquake amp, and Cerwin-Vega speakers. Other goodies include a Grant steering wheel and a variety of Auto Meter gauges. A clean interior features comfy seats from a Nissan van, a Pioneer CD player wired to a 250-watt Earthquake amp, and Cerwin-Vega speakers. Other goodies include a Grant steering wheel and a variety of Auto Meter gauges.
Rear grunt comes from a swapped GM corporate 14-bolt axle with a Detroit Locker and 4.56 gears. Custom ladder bars were installed to prevent wheelhop and axlewrap. Rear grunt comes from a swapped GM corporate 14-bolt axle with a Detroit Locker and 4.56 gears. Custom ladder bars were installed to prevent wheelhop and axlewrap.
A sturdy Dana 60 axle was swapped into the front and is positioned by 8-inch custom leaf-springs and four Superlift shocks. Tom modified the steering setup using a Superlift 4-inch drop pitman arm, Ford Super Duty tie-rod ends, a custom-made drag link and dual Superlift steering stabilizers. A sturdy Dana 60 axle was swapped into the front and is positioned by 8-inch custom leaf-springs and four Superlift shocks. Tom modified the steering setup using a Superlift 4-inch drop pitman arm, Ford Super Duty tie-rod ends, a custom-made drag link and dual Superlift steering stabilizers.
The specs. The specs.

When Tom Rajkowski of Fords, New Jersey, originally purchased his ’70 Chevy Blazer it wasn’t in the greatest condition. In fact, it had been sitting on the back lot of a local junkyard for years when Tom first set eyes on it. When he got around to giving this sorry old heap a close inspection, however, Tom noticed that the Blazer was in fairly good shape, with no rust or major body damage. He decided it would make the perfect project vehicle. While at the junkyard, he also spotted a Dana 60 front axle and a GM corporate 14-bolt rear axle. He bought the Blazer and the axles and brought them all back to his shop. Just under a year later, with the project complete, Tom’s junker had evolved into one of the baddest and cleanest Blazers on the East Coast.

From the beginning, Tom knew that the stock 350ci engine wasn’t going to give him the power he craved. So he immediately yanked the small-block and trucked it to his own shop, Tom’s Machine Shop, where it was bored 0.030-inch over, balanced, blueprinted and loaded with TRW Forged Turbo slugs. Cast-iron Chevy heads cap the block and contain stainless steel valves manipulated with a Competition Cam camshaft, Crane 1.5:1 roller rockers, and Comp Cam triple springs. A Melling oil pump and Moroso 8-quart pan provide and contain the lubrication.

Air and fuel are force-fed into the 350 through a 750cfm Edelbrock carb sitting on top of a BDS 4-71 blower and Edelbrock intake manifold. The combustibles are ignited with an MSD distributor, Blaster II coil, and 6AL ignition system. ACCEL 8.8mm wires and Motorcraft plugs make the sparks fly. The gases are expelled through Hooker headers, 3-inch exhaust tubing, and Flowmaster mufflers.

Mated to this powerful mill is a TH400 transmission modified for performance using a TCI torque converter with a 2,800-rpm stall speed, a B&M shift kit, aluminum deep-sump pan, and a Super Cooler. Power courses through the driveline to a stock NP205 transfer case. This assembly—engine, transmission, and T-case—was moved three inches rearward from its stock location when Tom finally bolted them into the Blazer’s frame, which he completely rebuilt and strengthened. To find those three inches, Tom modified the Blazer’s firewall.

The horsepower from this built and re-situated combination feeds into that harvested-from-the-junkyard Dana 60 front axle and GM corporate 14-bolt rear. Both axles house 4.56 gears. For now, Tom retains an open diff in the front pumpkin, though he’s installed a Detroit Locker out back.

The Blazer is slung upon 8-inch custom-arched leaf springs up front and stock springs with flipped shackles in the rear. The extra lift helps the fenders clear the 40x16.5x17 Denman Ground Hawg tires mounted on 16.5x12 Boyd Monster chrome wheels. To help control suspension movement, Tom mounted two Superlift chrome-plated shocks to each corner. The steering was modified to compensate for the lift and huge meats using a steering box from a two-wheel-drive Chevy truck, a Superlift 4-inch drop pitman arm, Ford Super Duty tie-rod ends on a custom drag-link, and dual Superlift stabilizers.

The body features an eye-catching Bahama Blue Centari spray-job, complemented by a custom Hickey double-tube lightbar. To help give the Blazer a finished look, Tom installed front and rear steel rollpan bumpers from Golden State Pickup Parts as well as a custom fiberglass cowl-induction hood to provide room for the supercharger.

Inside the cab, seats from a Nissan van were incorporated for comfort, while a Pioneer CD player, 250-watt Earthquake amp and Cerwin-Vega Kicker speakers move the air. Other modifications include a Grant steering wheel and a complete set of Auto Meter gauges including a Monster Tach with shift light.

All in all, Tom has done a fine job building his dream truck. What was once a beater has transformed into a full-blown, bad-to-the-bone Blazer, all of it built in a town named Fords.

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