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1994 GMC Jimmy SLE 4.3 CPI 4x4
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That's actually interesting to know, I always expected the global shipping option to be more costly and that Ebay would take a cut out of it. It's nice to know that it's actually a fairly decent deal.

I may pick that badge up, thanks for posting it. I've been searching for them recently but that one didn't come up in my search results. Plenty of 4x4 badges, but none like that.
This just popped up, way better deal.
Chevrolet Blazer Fender Emblems | eBay
 

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Just needs a nice clean up ! I like it .
 

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Boozebag
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BTW, A small block is an easy drop in.
Many of the parts are the same as a 4.3... Probably one of the easiest swaps into an S10
Sad part... Petrol thirsty
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
That may be the case, but I still don't need a V8. Nothing against V8 swaps, I think it's pretty neat to try and cram a giant engine into a tiny truck. But it's a lot of time, money, and effort for something I don't really need or want.

On a more related note, I'm going to start prepping my replacement fender this weekend. I'm hoping to get it in the spray shop at work before Christmas so I can at least get the fender painted black and clearcoated. I'll probably have to sand it down and paint it again when I take the whole truck in for paint once the rest of my body repairs are done, but it'll be nice to get some practice, and I can paint the backside and inner parts while I'm at it.

The rear quarter that I painted with primer and basecoat last September is still looking rust-free, so for my sills and any other small repairs I do I'll just give them the same treatment and that should be good enough to keep it from rusting untill I can get the final paintjob done.
 

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Boozebag
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A suggestion...
If you plan on driving this rig in winter time, a good rust preventative is Cosmoline. (sp?)
It's like a waxy compound that the military uses to prevent rust on stored equipment.
It comes in spray cans and works very well. I have used it on new (or rust free parts) as a internal undercoat spray.
Several coats and it seals the surface.

I understand that you want to keep this stock (no V8).
I guess I was making an observation about the similarities of the engines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
I'm familiar with cosmoline, a popular treatment people here in the UK use is Waxoyl. The Blazer has some sort of undercoating on it already, which may be why the floor pans are in reasonable shape while the outer bodywork has rotted so badly. It could probably do with re-doing, as it's crumbling off in many places.

I can't remember exactly what brand it is, but I have a brush-on undercoat that I painted the underside of my rear arch with when I did my first attempt at bodywork, it seems to be holding up pretty well after a year, so I'm going to keep using it.
 

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Boozebag
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There is a product called "Chassis Saver" sold in many auto body supply shops. It's a paint.
I have a 1985 S10 4X4 that has more rust than body. I replaced the driver floor and gobbed the Chassis Saver on it.
8 years later... the floor rotted away and the damn paint was still in (almost) one piece. It was a flexible film. I should have taken pix. FTW...
The carpet is keeping my boots from dragging asphalt...

I don't remember...
Heacham/Hunstanton didn't get any snow since they're on the Wash...
Ugh... Chilblains. No fun.
Do they salt roadways there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
I'll have to keep a look out for that, I will need to re-do my undercoating at some point so it's nice to figure out what I'm going to use ahead of time.

They do salt the roads here, but probably not as much as they do in parts of the US. We don't get that much snow or ice on the roads over the winter.
 

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Old Fart
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I'll have to keep a look out for that, I will need to re-do my undercoating at some point so it's nice to figure out what I'm going to use ahead of time.

They do salt the roads here, but probably not as much as they do in parts of the US. We don't get that much snow or ice on the roads over the winter.
I have had good luck with POR15.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Well the last year and a half didn't quite go to plan, I started work on my fender then got somewhat sidetracked.

My A/C pulley bearing went last October, so I replaced that and the clutch. Still no idea if the A/C actually works, but it's at least quiet now. While poking around mybelts and pulleys fixing that, I noticed that my front crankshaft seal looked like it was leaking. Pulled the balancer and found a nice big groove in it, which might be the answer to where all my oil keeps going. Replaced the balancer and seal.
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When I had my annual inspection in January, they failed me on the parking brake, so I had to get that replaced. I got stuck working overtime for most of the year after that so it wasn't untill June that I decided to do a nice quick and simple job of replacing a length of the rear brake line going along the frame. Every fitting I so much as looked at rounded off or snapped so I ended up replacing the ENTIRE rear brake system, from the master cylinder back to the wheel cylinders.
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Replaced some crusty fuel lines while I was on a pipe bending spree and learned that my neighbor's cat is absolutely enthralled by the smell of gasoline.
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After that was all squared away, I decided to try and get some bodywork crammed in before the winter came back, and started knocking holes in my rusty sills to patch them.
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Then laying on the driveway i wondered how much it'd cost to just get replacement rocker panels shipped over and do it properly. As it turns out, not actually that much, so I cut the rest out.
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I hadn't done any welding since I frankensteined together my wheelach back in 2018, which was my first bodywork project ever. So I wasn't sure how it was going to go. But I gave it my best shot, and I think it came out alright.
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It's far from perfect, but for my second bodywork project ever and a rattlecan paintjob I'm really pleased with how it came out. When it comes to do the other side I'm probably going to take the door off next time, welding and grinding in that corner is a bit tight.

Emboldened by my successes with the rocker panel, in the last couple of weeks I decided to find out what the heck was going on with my tailgate and give it a makeover.
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Continuing in the next post, as I've hit the image limit.
 

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1994 GMC Jimmy SLE 4.3 CPI 4x4
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Not too shabby, I was wondering what happened to you. Did you ever end up getting the fender badges?
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
So anyways, I started stripping.
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I'm not entirely sure what the last guy did, it was a very thick layer of paint over what looks like a coat of body filler. I thought it was a wrap at first so i stripped the majority of it of with a razor blade. Eventually when I had a weekend free, I pulled it off and sanded down the rest

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And in doing so, accidentally sanded through to the original paint, and found the original CHEVROLET lettering, and the original dealership's mark.
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PAUL SMITH, ALBERSTVILLE ALA. I knew it'd come from Alabama, but not where exactly untill now. Pretty cool!

Wire brushed the small amount of rust off, filled and primered it, and gave it a two-tone job and it came out... okay. I made a lot of rookie mistakes with the paint prep and sanding, and I was trying to beat the weather as I'm working entirely outdoors, so it was a little more rushed than I would've liked. It's not that bad but you can see the sanding marks and where I dug in with the razor and didn't fill it. It really could've done with a lot more primer and sanding, but it is what it is. I do intend to come back and at least clearcoat it to try to match the gloss of the rest of the paint, but that'll probably have to wait for next summer now it's getting cold again.
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And the final touch, something I've been meaning to do for three years.
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It's far from perfect, but I'm really happy with how it looks. This is my first project vehicle so it's a learning experience the whole way. I do really enjoy the bodywork side of things, I still have both quarters and another rocker to do, along with my fender and a bunch of other body repairs. Once I've dealt with all the rust and it's solid, I'd like to try to get it into the paint booths at work and give it a proper paintjob that isn't out of a rattlecan, but for the moment I'm just doing the best I can with what i've got.
 

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1994 GMC Jimmy SLE 4.3 CPI 4x4
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For a rattle can job she looks good, and as long as your happy that’s all that matters right? You forgot to put the Summit sticker back on, nobody will know it’s a serious performance machine without that…
 

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Discussion Starter · #34 ·
For a rattle can job she looks good, and as long as your happy that’s all that matters right? You forgot to put the Summit sticker back on, nobody will know it’s a serious performance machine without that…
Thanks! I did manage to find another fender badge, the other one fell off while I was washing it yesterday, so I've got both to stick back on it once the fenders are finished.
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And today, after weeks of hard work to get it ready in time for the two road trips I have this weekend, as i'm pulling back into my driveway... the rag joint decides right now's the best time to explode...
Road surface Asphalt Grey Wood Flooring


Bloody typical. My brother's volunteered to check our local US car parts store in the morning to see if they might have one in stock, so then I might be able to take it on Sunday at least... but if not then it's game over for this weekend. It is what it is.
 

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1994 GMC Jimmy SLE 4.3 CPI 4x4
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I feel bad for you I do, but after all the problems I’ve had with Land Rovers I’d be lying if I said this doesn’t make me feel a little better. Like a “oh how the tables have turned” feeling ya know? Anyways good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I think when buying a british car you just have to expect them to be broken half the time, that's a given. It's why we all buy foreign cars over here. I expected far more reliability out of a rusty, clapped out, thirty year old GM product.

At least I have a smaller backup hoopty to get me where I need to be going tomorrow.
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If my brother can find a replacement rag joint, I'll be taking the Blazer on Sunday. If not, we'll take his Explorer. But whatever we take to get there, we'll be bringing home another Chevy to join the fleet.
 

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Looking at some of the other project threads here, I feel the need to start off with a bit of a disclaimer. I'm not planning any engine swaps or extreme building here, just a newbie learning to wrench and trying to turn a cranky, crusty, neglected Blazer into a presentable daily driver, and show a bit of what it's like to own and maintain an American car in a foreign country.

This is my truck. It's a 1990 Chevrolet S10 Blazer. 4.3L V6 with automatic transmission, two door, two wheel drive.
View attachment 344841

Some of you might be wondering, how does an S10 Blazer end up in England? I wondered this myself, so after some detective work I actually managed to contact a couple of the previous owners and peice together most of the story.

Built in December 1989, it was purchased in Alabama before the owner moved to Mountain View, California. It was registered in the UK in December of 1990, so only spent a very brief time in the USA before the owner had it shipped over to England, where he was working as a government contractor at RAF Feltwell, a deep space tracking radar station. When the original owner left the UK, he left the Blazer behind, opting to take a Lotus he'd purchased in the UK home with him instead.

The Blazer then moved around the country, spending some time in London before going up to Aberdeen in Scotland. There's a three or four year gap in the vehicle's MOT (Ministry Of Transport) inspection history, so I think it sat rusting in a field for a while, and a number of parts went missing, but in 2018 it ended up being auctioned and purchased by a car dealer in Blackburn, who quickly decided they didn't want it, and listed it up on Ebay. Here's where my part begins.


I'd learned to drive the year before and while I already had a daily driver, I wanted a cool American car as a project to learn to wrench on. My brother had briefly owned a 1988 4x4 S10 Blazer with the 2.8L V6 in 2008, so we knew a little about the S-series going into it. Most importantly, we knew they were relatively small trucks and well suited to the narrow country roads around here.

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I bought it off Ebay in October 2018 for about £2,300, which is about $3k. From the other Blazers i've seen for sale here since buying mine, I paid a little more than i should have for a truck in this condition. I've seen nicer trucks sell for less, but it is what it is.

Seeing as it was built in December of 1989, and could possibly be one of the last vehicles built in the 1980s, I played with the idea of giving it a cool project name like Reagan's Revenge or something appropriately 1980s themed, but nothing's ever really stuck. It's just the Blazer, and seeing as my intent is to keep it fairly plain and stock, I think that fits just fine.

So, the 'project' part? Well, I wanted a daily driver, so the first thing I had to do was make it work properly, then think about making it look pretty later.

Though it had a valid Ministry of Transport (MOT) inspection and it was technically legal to drive on the roads, it was plagued with problems from day one, and took a lot of work and frustration to get it running right. I replaced the fuel pump, radiator, starter, shock absorbers, most of the ignition system, and a whole host of other small repairs. At the start of this year, during the lockdown we had here in the UK, I was off work for a couple of weeks and spent the time replacing my valve stem seals.

When the lockdown ended and I went back to work in June, I decided to see if replacing the valve stem seals had helped with my oil consumption issue by driving it for just a few days. I ended up daily driving it for the entire summer. Besides a week where I had to park it up to drop the fuel tank out of it and replace a crumbling fuel hose, it ran like clockwork.

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Though it was perfectly reliable as a daily driver, I took it on a long camping trip later in the summer and discovered the oil loss issue hadn't been fixed. but I did a little work to it the other week, replaced the timing cover crankshaft seal and the harmonic balancer which had a large groove in it, and I'm optimistic that I've fixed the issue for good this time. But unfortunately now we're in lockdown 2.0, and while I'm still going to work, the long trip I had planned to test it on is now cancelled.

There's still a few mechanical gripes that I need to sort out, but I'm comfortable that it works well enough for me to turn my focus to the bodywork and aesthetics again. I replaced the passenger side rear quarter panel in September last year, but it was my first attempt at bodywork or welding, and it didn't really turn out all that well. It's solid, but it's ugly. I ran out of time and the weather was about to turn on me, so I rushed the filler and it ended up looking like it's carved out of stone.

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I'd like to cut it all out at some point and do it properly with an actual patch panel, but shipping entire quarter patch panels to the UK is hellishly expensive and I'm holding off on that for the moment.

I found someone in the UK parting out a 1992 S10 pickup earlier this year, so I managed to score a less rusty fender to replace my rotted passenger side with. I plan on repairing it over the winter and getting it ready to paint next year. The guy only wanted £25 for the core support, and mine does have some rust in it, so i brought it home with me knowing it might not fit my 1990. Turns out I was right, it won't fit my old style front end, and I don't want to change grille, so I'm probably just going to end up repairing my original core support instead.

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I have an inspection coming up in January, and I have a feeling they might fail me on the holes in my rocker panels. so my task for the fall/winter is to get those fixed and prepare the fender for paint. I have access to a spray shop at work and the guys have said I can probably use it, so I'm going to try to get as much bodywork as I can done over the winter and then get it sprayed and looking a bit prettier in time to go places next summer.

Again, apologies if this isn't as interesting as some builds out there. I just felt like sharing what I've been doing over the last two years. This is my first real foray into wrenching and as much as it sucks sometimes, I've found it really rewarding to see the pile of garbage I started with actually turning into something pretty nice after all the hard work.
This is awesome to see. Glad they'res a bit of gm passion across the pond. Bet you get a good bit of looks if you daily that sassy rig👌
 

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Boozebag
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All considered, the coach work (ha.. British wording) you did looks great from 5 feet (lots of cred).
Seriously, looks really good.

One point. I hope you rust treated the inside of the rocker panel. The aftermarket rockers have rustomatic built in.
I replaced the floor in one of my S10s, 4 years later - no floor.

BTW, those rag joints are the same as almost all of the GM RWD vehicles. Should be easy to find (Hopefully)
Check eBay too - they have Delrin replacements that last forever. They even come in red to match your colour scheme.
Nice work keeping this rig alive (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I sprayed some eastwood internal frame coating inside the rocker and gave the backside a coating of waxoyl, so it's all good in theory. It's been raining pretty much non-stop the last two weeks so I'm glad I got my bodywork finished in time, just wished I'd had the time to get my windows re-sealed this year now. Oh well.

In other news, I ended up taking the Jimny to pick up that new project truck I was talking about.

Now the Blazer doesn't quite feel so big and uncouth anymore, it's practically a luxury SUV compared to the M1008.
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