So My Girlfriend Just Bought a Chevy K5 Blazer 6.2 Diesel

My girlfriend needed a car and she had always wanted something cool. We are all gearheads and won’t settle for a boring lease car. We were browsing the classifieds for some American iron and in our pricerange we came up with two – a 1994 Blazer S10 4×4 and the 1985 K5 Blazer. Actually the K5 was a bit out of our league in terms of the cost but we still wanted to give the seller a try. We firstly looked at the S10 and set up a meeting with the owner. Chevrolet K5 Blazer 6.2 Diesel in EstoniaThe car was quite nice all around, especially the interior. All leather and very well taken care of. However, there were the usual rust problems you’d expect on the bottom of the rear hatch and in the wheel wells. And the S10 really is pretty small, to be honest! After having driven the S10 we drove to the other side of the county to see and drive the Chevy K5 Blazer. Now that was an animal of a different breed! That’s what you call a truck – it’s even more of a truck than my 97 Suburban. Just pure steel everywhere except the interior and you can feel how tough it’s made. That’s proven by the fact that the machine weighs around 2.5 tons empty! That’s near the weight of the Suburban and the K5 is a lot shorter. The owner fired up the 6.2 Detroit Diesel V8 and smiles came to our faces right away. He backed the truck out of the garage and while warming it up, I immediately said to myself – now that’s the real USA! Although not so long, the Blazer was still huge. We went for a test drive and the owner drove it up a steep snow covered hill and we had fun offroading in the winter weather. That’s when we really fell in love. Although with a few issues here and there, we knew that’s the car we actually want. We left ourselves some time that evening to think what we would do and the next day we met the guy again to take the truck for an inspection. I drove it myself for the 20 kilometres and it was awesome. Chevrolet K5 Blazer 6.2 Diesel in EstoniaHowever, the car died on an intersection after having turned up the blower motor and some other electrical things. There was a 25 amp fuse for the whole system which simply blew. That’s when a normal guy would call the deal off. But what did we do? We re-wired the cable to pass the fuse directly (I know, not always the best idea) because I thought the 25 A fuse for the whole car could be a little too small and we didn’t have a spare. The cable didn’t even get warm after having turned on all the devices so we considered it safe. The car started up and we were on our way. At the inspection we found that the diesel did have some injector issues but everything else was very OK. A couple of leaks – one in transfer case and the other in front of the transmission, but the brakes were perfect, also the suspension and the rest of the underbody.

So we thought – there are things to do and we just won’t pay the full price the owner asked. But we would take it if he would take 500 EUR off the price. And he agreed! So we now have a Blazer! The truck has got a new paint job except the hood which was meant to go for rat-style but we will paint that too – maybe matt black. The rear end part of the floor had rusted out somewhat and the previous owner had it all welded. The rear window mechanism is broken like on 90% of the other K5’s. The motor is running but seems like the teeth are worn. Chevrolet K5 Blazer 6.2 Diesel interiorWe also need a new weatherstrip for the rear window. There are also electrical issues although I wouldn’t consider these problems too bad. I guess I can take care of them by myself. The biggest issue which I noticed already before buying is that the flexplate was somewhat damaged (worn teeth) and since I had such issues already on the Suburban with the starter and the diesel is a lot worse in this matter because of the 21.5:1 compression, I knew that’s something that needs to be taken care of. The 2nd day we had the problem I expected – on cold start the starter got a bit loose and the engine stopped where the teeth were very worn on the flexplate. That resulted in starter spinning around on its own and no engine start up to happen. I realigned the starter (thank god this vehicle has a good ground clearance!) and the engine spun a few other rotations before the same thing happened. I finally managed to start it up after several starter realignments. There was no other solution but to drive it to my friend’s repair shop American Beauty. These guys know their way around these machines like no-one else here and since some serious works were about to be done, I better had them do it.

The truck has been sitting there now for 3 days and we are hoping to get it back today. What I’m afraid of is that one of the bolt threads inside the block was somewhat worn and I hope they are able to fix it in an easy way. Chevrolet K5 Blazer 6.2 Diesel interiorSince the transmission came off with the transfer case, I had the rear seal of the case replaced and also the front shaft seal of the 700R4 transmission. The rear main seal on the engine was also leaking and we had that replaced also. Better do all the important things that need to be done when the transmission is off. They replaced a u-joint and today they are about to change the u-joint on the front left driveshaft to the wheel. I hope they finish the job today and get everything working. We want the truck back so badly!

I also figured out the possible cause of the starter issue – there is a bracket that needs to be attached to the end of the starter – it fastens it to the engine block to avoid excessive play due to the additional torque from the diesel starter. The bracket was even there but somebody had forgotten to fasten it. What a shame… I guess people are used to working on the gasoline engines and they just don’t know about the diesel differences. I read awful stories where starter bolts have cracked when not using the bracket and even chunks of engine blocks coming off! Now that would be bad.

I’ll let you guys know how things are going and I’ll try to take a video of driving it as soon as we get it back in running condition.

Chevrolet K5 Blazer 6.2 Diesel

Seven Things You Should (Always) Keep in Your Car

Odd things happen when you’re traveling from Point A to Point B. Used cars can break down, storms sneak up, and even with new cars accidents can occur. Fortunately, there’s little out there that you can’t handle if you plan ahead – just a bit.

Of course, we all know that jumper cables, a jack, a spare tire and basic tools – like wrenches, screw drivers, scissors and duct tape are must-haves, but what other items should you carry with you in case of an emergency? Read on to find out!

A Flashlight & Spare Batteries

  • Great for working in tight, dark areas or for helping you flag down assistance, a flashlight can be an invaluable tool any time of year.

Reflective Triangles and/or Road Flares

  • Not only can these handy items can help others see you in low lighting, but they can help draw the attention of others should you need assistance.

Basic First-Aid Kit

  • With gauze, antiseptic wipes, bandages, non-latex gloves, scissors, an emergency blanket and more, a first-aid kit not only allows you to care for those who may be injured in your vehicle, but gives you the tools you need to help others on the road.

Non-perishable Food & Water

  • If you get stranded overnight, food and water will be critical. Think energy bars, water, electrolyte tablets or even military-grade MREs (meals ready to eat).

Socks & Sneakers

  • You never know what you’ll be wearing when your car breaks down, so toss a pair of old sneakers and clean socks in your trunk. That way, if you need to walk a few miles into a town, you’ll be able to do it comfortably – and blister-free. While you’re at it, toss in an old pair of gloves, a hat, jacket, windbreaker and scarf – just in case the temperatures are chilly.

A Shovel & Tow Rope

  • You never know when you’ll find yourself in icy terrain or stranded on a sandy, snowy or muddy road. With these handy tools, you’ll at least have a shot at getting yourself out.

Spare Cell Phone & Charger

  • Although it may no longer be associated with an account, your old cell phone (that has been powered off with a full battery) can still be used to reach 911. Of course, it’s a good idea to carry your current cell phone with you at all times, but in the event that you’ve forgotten it – or it was destroyed in an accident, your spare may well save you.

Additionally, a small amount of cash and coins can be an invaluable asset. Not only can they give you the means to tip a tow-truck driver or make a call from a pay phone if you need to, but they can get you a hot cup of coffee and a sandwich while you wait for help to arrive.

BIO: Rose Fox – Rose is a guest author who just loves to write. She occupies her time word smithing about everything from user interfaces to used cars, from farming to pharmaceuticals.

Parts Combo For My Chevy 383 Stroker Engine 460+ HP

The parts list for building the 383 stroker engine for my 79 Corvette has now almost come to its final state. I must say that choosing the right parts has really been a pain because there’s just so much to choose from and every part needs to be Googled and checked through the forums. My friend Jim Barth from Salt Lake City, USA has given me a lot of help to build this 383 stroker and a lot of credits will go to him once the engine actually fires up. I certainly recommend him to anyone who wants to build a powerful 350 or 383 or any other Chevy engine.

SHORT BLOCK

Now here we go… first of all the short block. I took the original Corvette L-48 2-bolt main SBC 350 block out of my car and cleaned it up and removed all the original parts. The block was showing the usual wear on the cylinder walls and no factory honing marks were present anymore. It was as shiny as a mirror and also remarkably wider than it should have been originally – caused by the pistons over the years. Fortunately no big damages so I have sent the block to an engine shop where they will bore the original 4.0 inch cylinders over by 0.030 inches which will make the cylinder bore 4.030 inches – the proper bore for a Chevy 383 stroker engine. SCAT 383 Stroker KitThey will take care of the block and will also deck the cylinder head surfaces on the block by around 0.02 inches to make them straight and even and clean of all the old gasket remains etc. The important question now is what to put inside the short block – talking about the crankshaft, rods and pistons. The easiest way was to get a fine stroker kit which already contains all the important parts. I decided to go for the SCAT 383 stroker kit, already internally balanced in the factory with the included parts. The kit also contains forged pistons, the crankshaft is cast metal. The problem here in Estonia is that nobody properly balances a V8 engine and that’s why the safest way for me was to get an already balanced rotating assembly kit. In addition to the main components the package also contains piston rings, ARP rod bolts, oil rings, main bearings and a few other important components. What the kit doesn’t contain are the main cap bolts which hold the crankshaft in place – for these I have also decided to go with ARP’s. I’m yet to decide whether to get the standard strong bolts or studs.

The next important thing is ofcourse the camshaft. First of all, one needs to decide whether to go for hydraulic flat tappet (the factory standard for First-Gen small blocks), hydraulic roller lifters or solid roller lifters. I will write another article on the difference between them just to make it understandable also for the beginners (like I was a few months ago). However, since the hydraulic roller kit is 2-3 times more expensive than flat tappet and gives perhaps about 20-30 hp extra in my setup, I have opted for the hydraulic flat tappet solution this time. I can always convert to hydraulic roller set-up in a couple of years when I feel I need the extra power.Comp Cams Kit When choosing the camshaft you need to consider the intake duration and exhaust duration at 0.050 inch lift. You also need to think about the valve lifts and lobe separation. It all depends on the components you choose and cannot be explained in one paragraph – it’s always easier to ask people’s advice in the forums like Hotrodders, Chevelles.com and Corvette Forum. In my scenario the perfect camshaft would be the COMP Cams Xtreme Energy 230/236 camshaft with grind number CS XE274H-10. When deciding on the valve lift the cam provides you need to consider the max. valve lift available on the particular cylinder heads you get. With AFR heads it’s 0.690 inches and the hyd flat tappet only lifts to 0.490. Plenty of room there and the AFR would actually feel more comfortable with hydraulic roller cams which lift the valves more. The 230/236 camshaft also provides the nice choppy idle while giving enough vacuum out of the engine to power the brakes and suck enough vacuum into the reservoir found on the 79 Corvette to lift and close the headlights. The particular kit from Summit comes with the Comp Cams lifters and double roller timing chain and gears.

Another thing to replace inside the block is the oil pump. After doing the research in the forums I’ve figured out that Melling makes the best budget pumps. For such engine it’s also important to get the high output version. There are stories that Melling’s pumps used to be good in the old days but a few years ago they changed their castings to cut on costs and this resulted in cracked and malfunctioning pumps. People still say that they’ve recently gotten rid of these issues and these pumps are anyway the best to get.

Melling Oil Pump SBC

All the bolts on the short block as well as the rest of the engine should be replaced with better ones, preferrably ARP produced bolts.

LONG BLOCK

Now the long block part which means everything above the block itself – cylinder heads and intake. I have decided to go with the Air Flow Research AFR 195 cc Street Eliminator aluminum heads which are pretty much the best on the market today for such an engine. They do cost more than the Trick Flows and even more than budget stuff like Darts, Edelbrock lower end aluminums, Patriots and such. The AFR’s produce more horsepower and torque in the end so the extra few hundred bucks might be well worth it. The AFR heads also allow for 0.690 inch valve lift so they are perfect with hydraulic roller camshafts to get the maximum out of the heads. The valves on them are 2.02 intake and 1.6 exhaust. AFR SBC 195 headsThese AFR heads already come CNC ported from the factory and there are people who port them even better to achieve the maximum performance. But note – when choosing the heads you need to check on the intake chamber size – 195 cc is the optimum for a street 383 stroker engine and 180 cc is better if you build a 350 or 355. The larger these chambers the more low end torque you sacrifice to achieve more horsepower in higher RPM’s. That’s cool if you go to the strip. But on the street you don’t want to keep the revs up all the time. That’s where the lower cc heads come into play. The 195 cc heads are perfect for a street 383 performance engine to provide the best of both sides – lower RPM torque and 6000+ RPM horsepower. Another factor on cylinder heads is their flow. This is different – the better the heads flow the more power you get in the end since the heads won’t be limiting the fuel mixture getting into the cylinders. That’s where many of the cheaper heads lack the good numbers. When buying cylinder heads it’s possible to get them in bare configuration or factory assembled. Bare means that you only get the heads and none of the springs, valves and other stuff that need to be on them, too. Assembled heads come with valves, springs and installed valve stem seals. Everything is assembled already for you and you just have to bolt them onto your block. This is the better solution in most cases unless you want to go with some specific components. Assembled heads are often cheaper than to order the stuff and assemble them all by yourself.

The hydraulic lifters come in the camshaft kit from COMP Cams. The lifters need to drive the valves on the cylinder heads and there you need to get a set of new pushrods. Jim Barth recommended the Trick Flow 4130 chrome moly pushrods which retail in Summit for about 120 bucks for a set of 16. You can ofcourse also buy new rocker arms but I believe I will stick to the factory ones since I won’t be revving the engine too much and the roller rocker arms are still very expensive. These are easy to replace items at a later time so I better leave these for the future.

To get the most out of the Chevy 383 stroker engine you should get a fine intake manifold to complement the great heads. Edelbrock produces pretty good aluminum manifolds and they can be bought for fair prices. Edelbrock Performer RPM intake is a good one although the Performer RPM Air Gap is even better. I couldn’t get the Air Gap because it’s even higher and won’t leave enough hood clearance with the 79 Corvette.

At this point I’m leaving the repaired Rochester Q-Jet 750 cfm carburetor on and I will get an electric choke add-on for it. I will also leave the factory HEI distributor in its place. Since the new engine will be revving a lot better than factory and there’s a danger to over-rev it and cause damage, it’s the best to get a rev-limited distributor. If you stick to your stock HEI like I will, you can get a special RPM limiter module from MSD or other ignition system producers. Better be safe than sorry, you know.

I am still about to decide what kind of flywheel to get since I’m building it for the 4-speed Super T-10 manual transmission at this point. I will write another article about it soon when I have gotten some more information and won’t be telling lies to you. Since my engine will be internally balanced, I need to get the harmonic balancer and flywheel to be zero-balance. The harmonic balancer will be probably SCAT Powerforce Series 8000.

balancer sca-d-80020_w

I will soon write some more articles – first of all some clarifications about different camshaft and lifter set-ups and once I have the proper information, I will also tell you about the flywheel choice.