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Old 05-21-2012, 10:09 AM   #1
Ford Assassin
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My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Hey guys, I starting posting some of this in my 5.3/4L80e swap build thread, but figured maybe it'd be easier to find in its own thread for those interested in doing the same thing down the road.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=489826

Anyway, the truck is a '86 K5 that already has a '73-'75 full convertible conversion and a 5.3/4L80e swap. After completing the swap I went off road a few times and realized that it just isn't my thing anymore. So if I am not going to use a 4x4 for its intended purpose I really don't wanna climb in/out of it for ever and wouldn't mind a little better MPG. Plus 2wd K5's are somewhat rare and never offered after '82.

Here are a few pics of the truck before starting the 2wd conversion:
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-'86 K5 Blazer: 6.0 LQ4 | Built 4L80e | Billet 9.5" 3600 Converter | 7875 Turbo | Custom 9.5" 14 Bolt | 4.11's | Detroit Locker | 2wd & Full Convertible Conversion
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:25 AM   #2
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

nice setup where did u get the bracket for the old a/c comp
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:45 AM   #3
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

After I decided to make the push, I started searching for parts, lucky for me I found a guy that bought a 2wd '87 long box just for the body and had no interest in much else (except steering box).

So I cut the whole frame off at the firewall and grabbed the 8.5" 10 bolt (open) with 3.42 gears (will add a Eaton True-Trac later). I also grabbed the rear leaf spring hangers (shorter than 4wd version).

After I got everything home I tore it all down, bagged all the bolts, and pressure washed everything. I knew since it was all apart I was going to 'snowball' and I'd end up rebuilding most of the the front end. Sure enough I bought all new urethane bushings, ball joints, rotors (1.25"), and calipers (reused 2 month old ceramic pads from 4wd).

A buddy also gave me a pair of 56" rear springs (stock K5 and most 1/2 tons are 52") with the center pin offset 4" to keep the wheelbase the same. The 56" springs have thinner leafs and the longer spring should provide a smoother ride, especially on a such a short wheelbase truck like K5's.
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-'86 K5 Blazer: 6.0 LQ4 | Built 4L80e | Billet 9.5" 3600 Converter | 7875 Turbo | Custom 9.5" 14 Bolt | 4.11's | Detroit Locker | 2wd & Full Convertible Conversion
-'88 R30 3+3: 454 TBI | Doug Thorley Headers | NV4500 Swap
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:46 AM   #4
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Quote:
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nice setup where did u get the bracket for the old a/c comp
Its not the old A/C compressor. Factory had the old radial R4, this is a Sanden 508. I bought the bracket from Kwik Performance (www.kwikperformance.com).

However, if you want to keep you R4 with an LSx, Novak sells the brackets you are looking for. Personally I like to avoid the R4's like the plague, they are junk IMO.

http://www.novak-adapt.com/catalog/a...cation_kit.htm
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-'86 K5 Blazer: 6.0 LQ4 | Built 4L80e | Billet 9.5" 3600 Converter | 7875 Turbo | Custom 9.5" 14 Bolt | 4.11's | Detroit Locker | 2wd & Full Convertible Conversion
-'88 R30 3+3: 454 TBI | Doug Thorley Headers | NV4500 Swap
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Old 05-21-2012, 10:56 AM   #5
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Then came time to tear into the K5... Sold everything....

Be prepared to use a grinder and a decent stone, because you will be removing a lot of rivets. Rear hangers, rear and front bumpstop brackets, front crossmember, front brake like brackets, etc...
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-'86 K5 Blazer: 6.0 LQ4 | Built 4L80e | Billet 9.5" 3600 Converter | 7875 Turbo | Custom 9.5" 14 Bolt | 4.11's | Detroit Locker | 2wd & Full Convertible Conversion
-'88 R30 3+3: 454 TBI | Doug Thorley Headers | NV4500 Swap
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Old 05-21-2012, 11:16 AM   #6
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Since I am going to use 56" springs, I needed to move the rear hanger 4" further to the rear. Most truck frames have the holes in the frame pre-drilled since 56" springs were optional, since K5's weren't offered 56" I just measured and welded them in.

More pics......
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Old 05-21-2012, 01:09 PM   #7
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

wow this is nice info man
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:16 PM   #8
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Cool project. With the full convert top already done, are you going to keep the newer front end or put on a 73 style front fenders and round eyes? That would be the icing on the cake so to speak.
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:19 PM   #9
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

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Cool project. With the full convert top already done, are you going to keep the newer front end or put on a 73 style front fenders and round eyes? That would be the icing on the cake so to speak.
Nope, keeping the '86 front end. Might put a phantom grill on it next (headlights behind the grill) or putting a '89-'91 front end on it. Never been a huge fan of the round headlight front end.
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-'88 R30 3+3: 454 TBI | Doug Thorley Headers | NV4500 Swap
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Old 05-21-2012, 07:43 PM   #10
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Here are my wheels and tires, 245/45/20's on 20x8.5" rims and 275/40/20's on 20x10.5" rims.
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-'86 K5 Blazer: 6.0 LQ4 | Built 4L80e | Billet 9.5" 3600 Converter | 7875 Turbo | Custom 9.5" 14 Bolt | 4.11's | Detroit Locker | 2wd & Full Convertible Conversion
-'88 R30 3+3: 454 TBI | Doug Thorley Headers | NV4500 Swap
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:18 PM   #11
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Cool project.
I see you already swapped the rear hangers.
Some people that do a "flip-kit" in the rear actually use the 4x4 hangers, so the rear won't be so extremely low.
(lower than the front)
I'll be watching this thread.
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Old 05-21-2012, 08:31 PM   #12
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolife99 View Post
Cool project.
I see you already swapped the rear hangers.
Some people that do a "flip-kit" in the rear actually use the 4x4 hangers, so the rear won't be so extremely low.
(lower than the front)
I'll be watching this thread.
Hopefully the rear won't be too low, I guess time will tell. As much as I hate them, I might install air shocks in the rear as a bandaid if the rear is too low, especially when I tow my camping trailer. Long term plans include going to a behind/below axle mounting air bags and removing all leafs except the top and overload springs.
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-'86 K5 Blazer: 6.0 LQ4 | Built 4L80e | Billet 9.5" 3600 Converter | 7875 Turbo | Custom 9.5" 14 Bolt | 4.11's | Detroit Locker | 2wd & Full Convertible Conversion
-'88 R30 3+3: 454 TBI | Doug Thorley Headers | NV4500 Swap
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:06 AM   #13
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Do you happen to remember which transfer case that was and do u have a pic of the crossnember. I just converted to a th400 and the transfer i got with it was that one but i dont have the correct crossmember.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:02 AM   #14
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Hey guys, in the interest of keeping this thread from getting off track from the 2wd conversion, please PM me or ask questions in my original LSx swap thread.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=489826

Thanks!!
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:31 PM   #15
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Thats gonna be one awesome blazer.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:02 PM   #16
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

I installed the 10 bolt this morning and just as I feared, its a tad too low. So it looks like air shocks are going to be a must for the time being.

The wheels/tires pictured are just temp so I dont scratch my Boss 20's...
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:52 PM   #17
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

That sits perfect in the back! I like it.
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:30 PM   #18
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Subscribed!
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:32 PM   #19
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford Assassin View Post
I installed the 10 bolt this morning and just as I feared, its a tad too low. So it looks like air shocks are going to be a must for the time being.

The wheels/tires pictured are just temp so I dont scratch my Boss 20's...
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You'd probably be better off using a different shackle to give a little extra height. Air shocks are just going to be money down the drain because the first time you have any weight in the back and hit a big bump they're just going to blow out anyway. Those things don't last long even in lightweight cars...but in a full size Blazer? Forget about it.
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Old 05-22-2012, 08:37 PM   #20
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cue-Ball View Post
You'd probably be better off using a different shackle to give a little extra height. Air shocks are just going to be money down the drain because the first time you have any weight in the back and hit a big bump they're just going to blow out anyway. Those things don't last long even in lightweight cars...but in a full size Blazer? Forget about it.
I ran a set in an old '73 Pontiac Catalina for YEARS and they never missed a beat and that boat weighed AT LEAST 4400 lbs. Plus I towed often. Even my '91 Roadmaster wagon has factory rear air shocks with an on board compressor and load leveling.

Anyway, I am running the factory shackles, do they make shorter versions to raise the ride height?

Thanks.
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-'88 R30 3+3: 454 TBI | Doug Thorley Headers | NV4500 Swap
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:01 PM   #21
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

The quick answer is to install your old 4x4 rear hangers.
Re-arching the springs is another option.
Maybe an "air-over-leaf" air bag install?
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:20 PM   #22
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by lolife99 View Post
The quick answer is to install your old 4x4 rear hangers.
Re-arching the springs is another option.
Maybe an "air-over-leaf" air bag install?
I welded the 2wd to the frame, I'd rather not un-do that. I'll go back to the axle being under the leafs if need be, but I might just have to go the air bag route earlier than expected.
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-'88 R30 3+3: 454 TBI | Doug Thorley Headers | NV4500 Swap
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Old 05-22-2012, 10:34 PM   #23
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Another shot leveled out and on jack stands...
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-'88 R30 3+3: 454 TBI | Doug Thorley Headers | NV4500 Swap
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Old 05-23-2012, 01:09 AM   #24
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

Looks perfect.
Make sure you check the area directly above the rearend's center section.
It will be really close to the bed floor.
(nothing a notch won't fix,...)
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:50 PM   #25
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Re: My 4wd to 2wd Conversion

5.3 & 4L80e are back in the truck....
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