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How do I go about restoring a truck?

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by stis4222, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. stis4222

    stis4222 Junior Member
    Messages: 1

    I have a 1987 K5 Blazer I really want to restore. My hubby keeps telling me we need to trade it in. :( I would much rather restore it. It's in pretty good condition, but it definately needs some work. I have never done any thing like this before but I love my truck and I don't want to get rid of it. Any help would be wonderful. Stephani :D
  2. wyldman

    wyldman Member
    Messages: 3,265

    Welcome to Plowsite.

    Probably the best thing to do would be to search around on the internet first,to find some how-to's and possible upgrade paths first.Once you've decided what all you want to do,add it all up and see if it's within your budget.

    Personally I'd keep it and fix it up,they were good truck,with a solid front axle and strong drivetrain.Cheap and easy to fix.

    Try starting here first


    here is another good site

  3. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    I think first you have to determine what level of restoration you are looking for. I just completed an 86 K-20 converted to one ton drivetrain, but with the body, I made it look clean white and shiney. I didnt get carried away on making it all perfect, it is a work truck. If you are looking for to make the Blazer show room quality, then alot more detail will have to be put into the truck. Its the details that cost money, all the small trim and detail items cost alot from the dealer, even aftermarket can be pricey.
    www.lmctruck.com will have alot of the parts you will need, along with manuals. Most of all pick a project you are passionate about, which it sounds you are, and have fun. When it becomes a job, it can go down hill quick.
  4. Pelican

    Pelican 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Welcome to Plowsite!:drinkup:

    A very important point. I don't mean to discourage you, but you should understand that you will not see a return on the money you invest in your truck except in personal satisfaction. I had done a frame off restoration on an old pickup, and invested over $6000. It was totaled in a rear end collision 5 years later and the insurance company would only give me $1800 for it. It was just an old truck in their eyes.

    The process? Start dismantling, replace rusted or broken parts, and clean, paint and detail everything else. Plan on at least 50% more parts being needed than what you can see. Then reassemble. It helps if you have a bunch of small boxes for small parts and nuts and bolts. You can label these for each major part you remove, it makes it easier to reassemble.

    You also need to tag each wire and hose you disconnect so you know where to reconnect on assembly.

    The biggest cost will be your TIME! I spent 3 months on mine, spare time evenings and weekends. I often was working until 2 & 3 am only to get up for work the next day. Anything you can do yourself will save you money over hiring that part of the job out. Good luck!
  5. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    While Pelican lost his investment, there are insurance coverages out there for restored autos. However I am not sure that a mid 80's pick up would qualify for such an item.
    Also when looking at new vs a rebuilt older truck, you still will only spend 1/2 what a new truck will cost at the most. And besides you will have the best looking series of truck ever made, short of the 69-72 style of chevy truck.
  6. cat320

    cat320 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,224

    Well My brother in law had an '88 blazer And it had some serious rust on it the tailgate was area was one and under or in where the second row seatint is near the wheel wells rust right thru.And to fix it right you have to be handy with welding and a plasma cutter.They are a great truck but get the sh*t kicked out of them with the salt from the roads.