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

Spring is HERE!

Hey all,

Winter was a very busy time for me and I didn’t have much time to write in my blog. I’m so sorry about this. It’s still good to see you’ve been visiting me and plenty of e-mails have popped in during this time despite the lack of new posts.

But finally, Spring is here! We are all just SO happy about this since this Winter was extremely painful. There was so much snow, a lot of cold and that means a lot of pain in the a** for just about everyone living here. Cars don’t work too well in such conditions, on newer cars it’s easy to break the bottom frame protection plastic with the snow and so on. Those of you who don’t see Winter very often and are jealous at us – don’t be! Really, it’s not as good as you might think. Yes, there is snow. I think I can still find it from somewhere and I can send it over to Abu Dhabi in a box if you wanna see it so much :) Everyone should experience snow in their life just to see what it’s like and experience the winter “pleasures” like skiing and such. But having all that junk for almost half a year is NO GOOD. Alright, enough of this snow talk.

So, how did our cars live through the Winter? Well, first of all the Vette was ofcourse in the garage so she didn’t really mind. It was cold, yes, but what harm does that really do… However, the Audi and also Suburban were in constant use (especially Audi) and these did experience a few issues.  I can remember that in the beginning of Winter Audi showed its battery light and after some while the systems began messing up and everything died quite suddenly. All the electronic systems inside began to switch off one by one like in a crashing jetliner (yea, it was night in my case, too!) and soon even the transmission and engine began acting real weird. They are completely electronically controlled so what else would you expect… Anyway, I recharged the 110 Amp battery and drove it to service the next day. I first thought that the battery had finally died down in the cold and the systems didn’t want to charge it anymore. However, it wasn’t the case. In fact, the alternator brushes were gone so they had to replace those.

We also cracked the bottom protection a bit and managed to hit an ice ball so hard that a bit of the front bumper paint came off from one place. Should have it fixed soon I guess…  Although that didn’t break anything, I once drove off the road into the snow on a street simply because it was a curve, suddenly such a huge cloud of snow came at night during snowstorm that it just blocked my view completely and since I saw lights of another car coming towards me, I decided to keep to the right and that’s when I hit the snow wall. And there was no help of the Quattro there! We were so stuck that I asked a plow truck driving by to pull us out and he broke his towing rope. Then soon a Dodge RAM passed by who was gladly willing to help us and pulled us out with no big effort. The next time (well, 20 minutes later) I got stuck while just driving in the middle of the country road. The snow had blowed onto the road so much that it got really tough there. Ofcourse I didn’t push the ESP OFF button soon enough so the traction control didn’t let me push gas anymore which brought the situation to a stuck end. There was absolutely no way to get out of there by ourselves since the Audi was sitting completely on its bottom. Soon enough a tractor drove by and although we didn’t have a rope, he drove to the next fuel station, bought a rope for us and came back to pull us out. There are some nice people left in this world, huh?

We didn’t get stuck much more but it was just a lot of pain all the time trying to live your life normally.

But anyway, the spring!!! It’s here, just like I said. As you see, I can’t be happy enough about this fact. It’s a very important milestone this year, I’d say :)

Corvette C3 Daytime Running Lights LED

The Corvette is out of the garage and just before I took it out, I installed the high quality LED daytime running light bars to the front. They are invisible when they are off and nicely glow under the grilles in the nose during the daytime. Although the law requires them to switch on and off automatically depending on the headlight switch setting, I decided to wire them through a separate switch in the “cockpit” so I can always decide myself when I want them on. Interestingly, there is a feature on these lights which automatically dims the lights by about 50% if you shoot 12 Volts to one of the additional wires. S

 

o, I decided to configure them in an interesting manner somewhat resembling the new Audis. Whenever the turn signal is blinking, the LED light dims to 50% while the turn signal lamp is glowing. It’s a really nice effect and probably also adds a lot to safety. I’ll try

to get a video of that for you in a short while.Corvette C3 Daytime Running Lights LED with Sidemarkers

The Vette passed the technical inspection without issues and we’ve been driving it around for a couple of weeks now. The radiator was leaking from last Autumn so I had that repaired and the driver’s side electrical window had lost the last teeth from the moving mechanism so it wouldn’t move totally up and instead made terrible noises. The teeth were repaired and now everything is OK. Ofcourse I’ve been also configuring the carburetor but seems like I can never get it perfect…

The Suburban decided to fail big time… Driving it a week ago we noticed there was something dripping to the asphalt all the way behind our route and I figured out it was coolant. Firstly I thought that it could be the rear heating system pipes since the leak seemed to be near that area. However, it happened to be the typical Vortec engine issue instead – the intake manifold gasket. G

ot it from the shop yesterday and now it’s OK.

A year ago I had the starter and flywheel replaced on the Chevy. However, where I had that job done the guys apparently didn’t know how to properly install the starter on this car and by now the flywheel looks a bit like an elderly grandma with not much left of her teeth anymore. That was found out yesterday in the shop, as well. I was really mad about this because now I need to replace the flywheel AGAIN. And probably from my own pocket. At least I won’t take any of my cars to that shop from now, that’s a FACT. It was close to my home so it was always comfortable to take the cars there, but their job quality is now beginning to show itself. When fixing the starter a year ago they also managed to mess up the distributor clamps which hold the distributor cap in place. They had fixed that with a pair of cable straints and called it done. Now the distributor housing probably needs replacing, too. How can someone work like this? And how could I be so stupid not to act on these things earlier? Should have complained about their distributor solution at least!

Anyway, a  couple of photos from weeks ago of the Vette with the new lights installed :)

Oh, and a little Winter memory from a couple of months ago…

Estonian Winter Road