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Here starts the next phase in my "car guy" career. This will be the second fully commited build I've done. Im in a completely different place than I was when I first got my 94, so now I have a chance to do things differently than I did before, which means this new truck will be better than the 94 ever was. I'm very excited to bring whoever is left here along with me again. No more rambling, here is my new project: MiniSuv.

This is a 2004 Blazer, 2 door, 2 wheel drive. Dark green metallic, pewter interior, automatic, SOUTHERN truck with 153.000 miles. Emphasis on the southern. I swear, I will never buy another canadian vehicle thats not a beater. For how clean this truck is compared to my 94 on a good day, there was no way I could continue with a rusty truck. For anyone in the rust belt who has had the chance to work on a southern vehicle of any kind, you know what im talking about. It ruins your standards for whats acceptable, and OK.

Thanks to the friends Ive met from here, because without them this would not have happened. This truck lived its life in Florida, before being brought up to Ohio, where it lived for a few years. It was found on facebook marketplace, shared to a group of our friends, and then my brain started turning. It was the right place, at the right time, for the right price. Tyler (tytotheler), Tyler (turbotyler) and our other friend Ian, went and looked at this truck for me to let me know I wasnt buying a pile. It all checked out, and they purchased the blazer for me, and drove it back to their place to wait for me to pick it up. This started the journey back to Niagara, Canada. Here's a photo reel of its journey from the previous owners house, to Tylers house, to our friend Nick's house who is just across the border in Niagara Falls, NY, waiting for me to sort out the import paperwork. At this point, I had bought this truck sight unseen.

Pic from the original ad.

Picked up and headed to Tylers.




Tyler was kind enough to put a tinted rear window, and remove the hitch

Same height as a ZR2 blazer, what was GM thinking?


After a few weeks, It was finally time to take the trip from Ontario down to Ohio to pick up the blazer. It had crappy tires on it, so I brought my spare set of ZQ8's with some fresh 245/50's, to swap over when I got there. I planned to drive this turd home! Mounted them up, did some sight seeing and hit the road back to Niagara Falls NY where the blazer would sit for a few days, because the Import office is only open during the way, so we had to take a day off work.


The wheel gap is just hilarious.


Got back to Nicks late so no pictures from the night, so he took some the next day! His sonoma, and 94 s10 are sitting with it.


A few days later, it was Morgans graduation, so we had the day off work. Hopped across the border bright and early to bring the blazer back to Canada. With minimal BS we got back over the border, paid my tax and we were clear! Took it right to work, to do my safety inspection, so I could get it registered for the first time in Ontario. Taller than my moms 4x4 Jimmy.

I drove it like this for probably a week, and since I had bought all of the lowering components before I even received the truck, (as we all do) I got busy and did what any logical person would do, dump it on its nuts! Used Belltech parts aside from DJM coil springs. Knuckles, leaf springs, SP shocks, JTR rear blocks and setback plates.
Cleaned up really easy with a wire wheel, and parts of the frame are even still black from the factory! Unreal.
Hit everything with duplicolor bed coating, great stuff.

Fresh 5/6 drop. The front dropped about 5.5" and the rear dropped about 6, but it was sitting directly on the frame. That just wouldnt do, so I had to notch, and raise the rear up an inch due to the fact it dropped even more after the notch. When you go this low, you have to turn your brake hoses around on the caliper, and also move the hose bracket when you do your notch like this.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
I had a few small things done during the summer, I had the rear window trim and bumper corners painted, had the front windows tinted, removed the roof racks, installed a $20 sonoma hood that was green and did a full 2 stage paint correction to bring out the beautiful green paint. I love this colour! Heres a few pictures of that.








Favourite photo from the summer.

Tucked away in my garage, awaiting the giant pile of parts I have sitting in the house for it.


Okay, that catches us up to date! The only thing not pictured, was the fact that I did a complete interior swap in this truck. Took the grungy pewter interior out, and swapped everything over to charcoal. Ill post more on the interior later. For now, I will run down the current plans for this blazer.

This winter:
L33 Aluminum 5.3, leaving stock for now
Magnaflow dual exhaust with X or H pipe
AR5 Colorado 5 speed, with Fabbot Fab adapter
LS7 Clutch and Flywheel, which is what Fabbot recomends
CPW harness
Holley front accesory brackets, vette spacing
Various other Holley swap bits
All OG features will remain, ABS, AC, cruise etc.
QA1 tubular lower arms, and coilovers with 450# springs, speed way uppers
Heaps of little bits left over from the 94, which I will document over time

Long Term:
5.3 will get a cam of some sort
18" wheels, I have a few wheels in mind but need to decide
Big brakes, think Camaro Brembos. Fixed 4 pot calipers.
True Trac LSD for the stock rear

This truck is going to be what I call the next level. All the creature comforts that I skimped on with the 94 will be retained. Its going to be the fun cruiser I could lend to my mom if I want. Going for a pro-touring feel. Then I can start putting more power, depending how I enjoy it.

Tear down on the blazer will start once the 94 is hauled away, and I have all the parts for the swap.

Anyhow, Merry Christmas to all you guys, and gals. Hope its great.
 

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LOOK AT MY NIPPLES!
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YEEEEEES!!!!!
You did a stupid good job on the 94, so I can’t even imagine how nice this is gonna turn out. Very much looking forward to seeing this progress. Maybe I’ll even see it in person someday.
 

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I've been following the progress of this on instagram. It's a very nice start and sounds like it will be a great truck in not too long.

I'd suggest bumping up to at least 550# springs on the coilovers if not going 650. Stock ZQ8 coils are around 600# and the spring mounting geometry isn't much different with the coilovers. Even going for a cruiser the 450 rate is softer than anything GM put on any of the S Trucks and while QA1 has been recommending 350 to 450# springs for years my experience and several others has been they're way off.

I ran 350# when I first got my QA1 coilovers. They rode like junk and trashed the shocks quite quickly. @rentedmule had a similar experience running 450s on his extended cab. I have 650# on my Blazer, now, with the iron 5.3, but I've shed some other weight on the front end too - no A/C, no ABS, battery relocated, etc. It can be a bit harsh, but after dialing in the double adjustable shocks I'm very pleased with how it rides and handles. I'm also running Delrin LCA bushings with greased metal in the UCA.

Sounds like you're planning to run tall ball joints with the speedway uppers? If not you'll want to.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I've been following the progress of this on instagram. It's a very nice start and sounds like it will be a great truck in not too long.

I'd suggest bumping up to at least 550# springs on the coilovers if not going 650. Stock ZQ8 coils are around 600# and the spring mounting geometry isn't much different with the coilovers. Even going for a cruiser the 450 rate is softer than anything GM put on any of the S Trucks and while QA1 has been recommending 350 to 450# springs for years my experience and several others has been they're way off.

I ran 350# when I first got my QA1 coilovers. They rode like junk and trashed the shocks quite quickly. @rentedmule had a similar experience running 450s on his extended cab. I have 650# on my Blazer, now, with the iron 5.3, but I've shed some other weight on the front end too - no A/C, no ABS, battery relocated, etc. It can be a bit harsh, but after dialing in the double adjustable shocks I'm very pleased with how it rides and handles. I'm also running Delrin LCA bushings with greased metal in the UCA.

Sounds like you're planning to run tall ball joints with the speedway uppers? If not you'll want to.
Thanks for the input! Yeah I’ve heard of folks using higher rate springs, and I had 550’s in my 94, they felt stiff to me. Hence the drop in rate. Since I’m going aluminum block, I’m treating it as if I’m spec’ing springs for a stock truck. I have a friend with 400’s in his short cab iron block truck, and even those feel stuff to him. Not exactly a concrete comparison but I guess it comes down to preference. I’ll see how the 450’s go and if all else fails I have the 550’s to fall back on. I went a little softer in hopes for a little more low too. Hehe. I do have tall ball joints isn’t the lower arms and plan to put tall ones in the Uppers. The front set up is all coming over from the 94!

YEEEEEES!!!!!
You did a stupid good job on the 94, so I can’t even imagine how nice this is gonna turn out. Very much looking forward to seeing this progress. Maybe I’ll even see it in person someday.
Thanks Tim! Very excited on this one. I’ve always wanted a 2wd 2 door blazer.
 

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Thanks for the input! Yeah I’ve heard of folks using higher rate springs, and I had 550’s in my 94, they felt stiff to me. Hence the drop in rate. Since I’m going aluminum block, I’m treating it as if I’m spec’ing springs for a stock truck. I have a friend with 400’s in his short cab iron block truck, and even those feel stuff to him. Not exactly a concrete comparison but I guess it comes down to preference. I’ll see how the 450’s go and if all else fails I have the 550’s to fall back on. I went a little softer in hopes for a little more low too. Hehe. I do have tall ball joints isn’t the lower arms and plan to put tall ones in the Uppers. The front set up is all coming over from the 94!
Part of the stiffness could be the rate is too low too. If the spring is bottoming out that isn't going to feel good haha which is what @rentedmule was experiencing, but I wouldn't expect that so much with the 550s. Shock adjustment can make a huge difference too. I've liked the ride/handling of the ZQ8 truck I setup too (600# springs), but that was OEM springs and new replacement factory Bilstein shocks. I still stand by my 650 recommendation from what I've seen, but the good news, regardless of what spring you choose, is they're relatively cheap compared to the other parts of the system, so trying out different rates isn't super cost prohibitive.

FYI stock trucks range from 430l# for a Z83 base truck to 600# for a 4.3 ZQ8 to 660# or higher for the Z85 HD suspension.

It's hard to get the super low on the Blazers without mucking up the suspension geometry sadly. Their built in 1.5" frame lift moves the suspension hard points downward that entire distance to make it happen. Just means to get the same height as an S10 the suspension will be 1.5" further off in control arm angles. It does leave more room for the engine though. I remade my swap mounts to move the engine down about 1/2-3/4" and still had the hot rod pan sitting above the bottom of the frame.

I think I ended up with about 4-5" suspension drop with the coilovers, control arms, and drop spindles.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
Part of the stiffness could be the rate is too low too. If the spring is bottoming out that isn't going to feel good haha which is what @rentedmule was experiencing, but I wouldn't expect that so much with the 550s. Shock adjustment can make a huge difference too. I've liked the ride/handling of the ZQ8 truck I setup too (600# springs), but that was OEM springs and new replacement factory Bilstein shocks. I still stand by my 650 recommendation from what I've seen, but the good news, regardless of what spring you choose, is they're relatively cheap compared to the other parts of the system, so trying out different rates isn't super cost prohibitive.

FYI stock trucks range from 430l# for a Z83 base truck to 600# for a 4.3 ZQ8 to 660# or higher for the Z85 HD suspension.

It's hard to get the super low on the Blazers without mucking up the suspension geometry sadly. Their built in 1.5" frame lift moves the suspension hard points downward that entire distance to make it happen. Just means to get the same height as an S10 the suspension will be 1.5" further off in control arm angles. It does leave more room for the engine though. I remade my swap mounts to move the engine down about 1/2-3/4" and still had the hot rod pan sitting above the bottom of the frame.

I think I ended up with about 4-5" suspension drop with the coilovers, control arms, and drop spindles.
I wouldnt suspect bottoming out either, it felt good, honestly. No jarring or anything. I have the econo versions with no valving adjustment. On the whole they rode great. I remember finding his thread with that issue when I was deciding on a spring rate the first go around! So Im picking up what youre putting down. Thats all good info to know! I never knew what the stock spring rates were. I have 3" DJM springs in there now and they ride great, no complaints there. I suspect they would be similar to the ZQ8 rate to compensate for the low?

I knew that going into blazer ownership they were higher, but I never intended to have this blazer as low as my 94 was. Being its more difficult like you say. Just need a little cheeky bit more.

That reminds me, I saw in your blazer thread you mentioned the modified mounts. Have any photos handy of what you did there? I had thoughts of cutting those mount pads off the frame, drilling holes and mounting the engine as it would in an s10. I have the holley 302-1 pan from my 94, so theres no issue with it hanging low.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
(y) (y)(y) right on Condog! Glad to hear of your recent successes. Looking forward to watching this build. Love the color too.
Thank Neil! Im very excited on this one. One of the little bits I kept from the 94 was the billet bowtie. You bet that will make its way onto the blazer!
 

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Welcome back... Long time!
Finally found a serious no rust rig! Amazing how much less work it is.
Super nice looking shoe box, great colour. (Canadian spelling eh?)
Looking ahead to see the improvements with this baby
 

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LS1 powa!
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How did I miss this build thread?? The Blazer looks amazing after the paint correction! I look forward to seeing it in person!
 

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I wouldnt suspect bottoming out either, it felt good, honestly. No jarring or anything. I have the econo versions with no valving adjustment. On the whole they rode great. I remember finding his thread with that issue when I was deciding on a spring rate the first go around! So Im picking up what youre putting down. Thats all good info to know! I never knew what the stock spring rates were. I have 3" DJM springs in there now and they ride great, no complaints there. I suspect they would be similar to the ZQ8 rate to compensate for the low?

I knew that going into blazer ownership they were higher, but I never intended to have this blazer as low as my 94 was. Being its more difficult like you say. Just need a little cheeky bit more.

That reminds me, I saw in your blazer thread you mentioned the modified mounts. Have any photos handy of what you did there? I had thoughts of cutting those mount pads off the frame, drilling holes and mounting the engine as it would in an s10. I have the holley 302-1 pan from my 94, so theres no issue with it hanging low.
I don't know anything on the aftermarket rates, but with a 3" drop spring you're likely riding on the bump-stops up front. It's not necessarily a bad thing as I believe they were designed as part of the suspension, but are definitely helping compensate for a weaker spring rate.

I bought a set of S10 mounts and recreated the engine side with the mounting tabs being that much shorter. You'll be fine knocking off those extra mounting pads on the Blazer with the Holley pan. The transmission mount will have to be lowered a similar amount too. I didn't even measure the height change on mine, but set the engine angle in the 5-6° range, which is what GM sets these engines at from the factory.





 

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Discussion Starter #18
Welcome back... Long time!
Finally found a serious no rust rig! Amazing how much less work it is.
Super nice looking shoe box, great colour. (Canadian spelling eh?)
Looking ahead to see the improvements with this baby
It’s unbelivable how much better it is to work on. Suspension stuff was all done with hand tools! Props to the proper spelling ;) thanks for following along!

How did I miss this build thread?? The Blazer looks amazing after the paint correction! I look forward to seeing it in person!
I just recently made this! So far it’s mostly catch up. Thanks man! The paint looks so good in person, it’s not perfect but I really can’t complain for 16 year old paint!

I don't know anything on the aftermarket rates, but with a 3" drop spring you're likely riding on the bump-stops up front. It's not necessarily a bad thing as I believe they were designed as part of the suspension, but are definitely helping compensate for a weaker spring rate.

I bought a set of S10 mounts and recreated the engine side with the mounting tabs being that much shorter. You'll be fine knocking off those extra mounting pads on the Blazer with the Holley pan. The transmission mount will have to be lowered a similar amount too. I didn't even measure the height change on mine, but set the engine angle in the 5-6° range, which is what GM sets these engines at from the factory.
In the s10, with the 550’s the tires would rub on the inners with no bumpstops, but after the QA1 arms it would hit the bumpstops because the tires didn’t rub anymore. I agree with the bumpstops being a crutial part of the suspension. Rode great with proper bumper stops. Im working out adding some ZQ8 bump stops for the rear since it still bottoms out a bit in the notch on bigger bumps. This truck will be a daily driver in the summer. Likely will never see a track, so a little softer suspension isn’t a bad thing for me!

I like what you did there! I’m thinking cutting those pads off will be more of a pain than it’s worth. The NNBS intake I have will still clear the hood, and the vette accessories wil keep the alternator down lower. That way the engine angles normal, which was another concern I had. I assumed the trans crossmember was made to be in line with the higher engine. Thanks for confirming that for me!
 

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In the s10, with the 550’s the tires would rub on the inners with no bumpstops, but after the QA1 arms it would hit the bumpstops because the tires didn’t rub anymore. I agree with the bumpstops being a crutial part of the suspension. Rode great with proper bumper stops. Im working out adding some ZQ8 bump stops for the rear since it still bottoms out a bit in the notch on bigger bumps. This truck will be a daily driver in the summer. Likely will never see a track, so a little softer suspension isn’t a bad thing for me!

I like what you did there! I’m thinking cutting those pads off will be more of a pain than it’s worth. The NNBS intake I have will still clear the hood, and the vette accessories wil keep the alternator down lower. That way the engine angles normal, which was another concern I had. I assumed the trans crossmember was made to be in line with the higher engine. Thanks for confirming that for me!
I did the ZQ8 bumpstops in the rear, but I'm not as low as you. I just drilled and bolted them to the bottom of the frame once I removed the factory mounts.



I'll be curious to see what you do with the lower ride height and notch.

And yeah the factory engine/transmission has the same dimensions to the Blazer Hood/Body as it would be on the S10. The frame is pulled downward, if that makes sense. So using the bolt in mounts/crossmember designed for an S10 will need the transmission crossmember modified if the engine is lowered any.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I did the ZQ8 bumpstops in the rear, but I'm not as low as you. I just drilled and bolted them to the bottom of the frame once I removed the factory mounts.
I'll be curious to see what you do with the lower ride height and notch.

And yeah the factory engine/transmission has the same dimensions to the Blazer Hood/Body as it would be on the S10. The frame is pulled downward, if that makes sense. So using the bolt in mounts/crossmember designed for an S10 will need the transmission crossmember modified if the engine is lowered any.
I’ll post up what I end up doing for sure!

Yeah I think I got what you’re putting down. I’ll leave the mount pads alone, knowing that the hood clearances should be the same as the s10. Makes sense
 
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