I like Overlanding... which is what they used to call car camping when I was a kid. I've built all sorts, and I have a range of options when I go outdoors - from an enclosed hammock to a class A motorhome. Currently, I use a 94 Suburban and it's perfect. So a Blazer would be perfecter... right? actually, I came very close to buying the Chalet Blazer that keeps trying to touch the stratosphere with its asking (I thought $7500 was too much). But it wasn't perfect, the size and shape, I like, but it's not a diesel, it's not a pop top, and it's not coil sprung front end.
Funny thing, no one has built a Blazer with those specs - add to those specs, I'd really like to make my Class A redundant. I travel with me, wife and the dogs - and the occasional racecar.
So we're starting with some requirements:
1) A Blazer with half-removeable top (so I can take the camper off)
2) a diesel
3) one ton running gear
4) Manual (nice guy, always does what he's told
5) coil sprung front suspension... to the purists, it's on tons, go away. To everyone else, buckboards hurt my back and the Broncos do ride better...
6) must be able to tow 12,000 lbs and crest the hills around here at or near the speed limit while towing.
7) absolutely stone cold reliable.
8) and finally, I go to SEMA so occasionally the 'needs' list gets longer when I find out there's something I never knew existed by now cannot live another moment without
There is more - one of which you may find interesting. My wife's Jeep I converted to have cages so that she could cart her Search and Rescue dogs. One of the latest options is we added a 24v powered AC unit to it. It should work just fine for the camper I'm building.... alright... pictures.... I have a minor question... but first...
The Suburban.... there's a story behind the hood open, but for now, there it is... 94 6.5 250k miles, paid $300 for it. Put a motor in it (though I didn't have to, shades of this is in the Blazer story), updated to a HX35 turbo and have literally driven the wheels off it... it owes me nothing
what is this called.. foreshadowing.. the 'burb with the Blazer nosing in
the Blazer, 1986, 6.2 diesel, broken crank (ran when parked - which, sure, but knocked like a sob). Not rusty, fully loaded, and a diesel
someone will ask... so here it is... 1971 FJ40.... linked, tons, 350 chev, 5 speed
what I race 1976 Corvette, I built every stitch of it... BB 427, 5 speed (there might be a theme with that), C5 front suspension, 5th gen Camaro SS rear suspension... I race autox and Optima Challenge ultimate street car. I have plans to do the Silver State Challenge and may do the Wilwood Corvette Challenge (though that would require a newer Corvette)
Back to the Blazer... I bought a set of one ton axles, Dana 60 front (GM), 14 bolt van rear. 4.56 gears detroit locker in the rear (I've done this before, was a bad idea then - but, well, that's what it came with) and limited slip front. All the suspension parts are from Ballistic Fab and, if they ever arrive, from a Ford F350 van (springs). It's 10" of lift and I'm close to being done with the suspension... need to install spring pockets and a sway bar...
sharp eye'd viewers will notice the tires seem to have been on the FJ40... you're right, they were and they were WAAAYYYYY too hard of sidewall so it wouldn't flex...
I do suspensions, but I love the 6.5 and 6.2 diesels.... I've had a bunch, never had a manual one.
this is what it looked like tonight
it's a 99 H1 civilian 6.5 diesel with 34k miles on it (maybe)... ebay... it is a 506 block and it is a van block - which puts the turbo between the heads. I swapped to the updated heads because I wanted stronger but more importantly the pickup style for the turbo. It's a DB2 fuel pump but it's from the 92/93 6.5 turbo. I've had LOTS of these motors. I've been pulling from my stashof parts to assemble this... I have 4 turbo set ups from 6.5 motors I've parted or sold. I've also turbo charged 3 6.2s - this is getting to be long, but pictures will happen eventually.
I've put ARP studs for the heads and a fluiddamper on it. I have a new HX35 turbo.. because it's a 99 H1, it already has the better water pump
the goal of this motor 300-350 hp, 550 lbs torque and reliable. Sure, I could turn up the boost in anger and make quite a bit more power, but, all honesty, I don't need it or want to deal with a motor that melts down. 15 psi max - and yes, I understand I could turn it up a lot more... but I don't think I'll need it.
As for the rest, NV4500, NP208 (until I find a NP205). I hope I never have to tow with the short rear driveshaft and 208 - but the benefit is the 208 gives me time to find the right 205....
and thank you. both for posting up so I could use your knowledge to build it better and for listening.
my question is how to block the oil holes in the top... I'm sure google will help me eventually, but that's the minor question.