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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States

      Project Frankenstein

      Meet Frankenstine, My '94 S10 2wd Blazer, It already has more "donor" parts than the good doctor's monster...

      2-1-16 178 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      I have done the following.
      S10 p-u front frame graft, (the suspension pickup points are aprox 2" lower in the frame of the Blazer than the p-u, someone at GM seemed to think the 2wd's needed to sit at the same nosebleed height as the 4wd... Ran into another oddity during the graft, the 2wd frame behind the kickup is 4" tall, the 2wd and 4wd Blazer frame's are 6", . much lower and I'll be getting hung up on speed bumps... :( )
      Early C-4 spindles and brakes (Had them on hand and got another 1 3/4" drop due to the location of the stub/bearing relative to the lower balljoint and bigger brakes, this turned out to be a bad idea...)
      Moog 5664 springs
      Ride tech HQ shocks
      2nd gen Blazer sway bar, 1.250 dia
      Custom A arms to make it work
      In the rear.
      Belltech 3"drop springs w/ 1" blocks
      KYB Monomax shocks
      2nd gen S10 Blazer rear swaybar, .90 dia
      Rolling on 16"X8" Trans Am wheels with 225/50/16 and 245/50/16 Riken Raptors
      The truck is powered by a mild sbc 350 (adding a bunch of weight to the front)...

      IMG_20170704_145509239 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      This shot was taken before I added the 1.250 swaybar and ridetech shocks. As I have mentioned in my tread "My frankenstine front end" https://www.pro-touring.com/threads/...tine-front-end
      I have put together parts to fix the handling/alignment issues, consisting of.
      Dropped S10 spindles (the drop closely matches what I got from the C4 spindles).
      4th gen Camaro brakes
      BMR g body upper a arms
      UMI bumpsteer kit

      I have finally found the time to do the swap.

      IMG_20171123_140935934 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      I still have to do the other side. I want to take a moment to do a product review on the BMR upper a arms, For the price They are very well made but... If you'll look closely at the front bushing you can see on the bottom side it's already distorted, that happened while greasing them, the back one is just as bad, also grease came out from between the a arm and bushing, not the bushing and the shaft. A arm also moves around the bushing, not the bushing around the shaft. I predict these bushings are going to live a very short life in the real world. (this truck is a daily driver first and gets driven every chance...) So my question to BMR, do you have an upgrade for the bushings, say like Derlin, or will I have to have some made???

      I have swung the suspension through it's travel and the only bumpsteer I can see by eye is a slight toe in in the last 1/2"-3/4" of droop/extension (LOL, if I manage to get into that, I've gone full Dukes of Hazard mode and the toe change is the least of my worries...), I'm very pleased to see how it's working out, can't wait to get it to the alignment shop and drive it.

      For my initial alignment I'm going to go with 8.5 degrees positive caster .25 negative camber and .065" toe in, I think this will give a good starting point, based on what I've been reading, at least... (before anyone asks the lower A arms have been moved forward, originally to compensate for the goofy offset the C4 spindles had, but now will work well with the new upper arms to get the desired caster).

      More to come, Joe



    2. #2
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Here is what I'm talking about with how tall the Blazer frame is, above the horizontal weld seam is S10 pick up frame, below is whats left of the original Blazer frame. Yeah the Blazer frame is 6" tall makes for a headache setting ride height, any lower and speed bumps and just driving around Denver just won't work. It would take a new frame or channeling the body over the frame, body drop for the younger crowd.
      IMG_20171124_122152192 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      Joe

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      It's back together, needs alignment, but not just yet, I've driven it enough to know it's done settling, Kind of surprised it's as high as it is, The C4 spindles I just took off gave aprox 2" of drop compared to stock S10 spindles. The new setup is based on 2" drop spindles for the S10, It should have wound up within a small fraction of an inch to where it was... not at least an inch high, like it is... I shouldn't complain, I'd much rather fix this problem than having to raise it.

      IMG_20171127_141326362 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      Even needing an alignment, it's "manners" are much improved, now the item needing improvement is the steering box. I have 2 ways I can go budget wise. first is the "quick" box as used on some models of the third gen f bodies and the Monte Carlo SS, ( I like this one because it's easy on the wallet.) Second, the Turn One box form ridetech, (I like that it will get 5 lbs off the nose, much harder on the wallet though...) I'm looking for input from anyone running the turn one box. There are some other things I'm going to do to take weight off the nose,

      The biggie is the next engine for it, Flat top roller cam 350 with aluminum heads and water pump, also going to move the battery to a compartment I'll build behind the passenger seat, after tossing the rear seat. (I've never had a passenger in it and can't see doing that to anyone I like... ;) )

      Joe

    4. #4
      Join Date
      Jul 2009
      Location
      Sackville, NB, Canada
      Posts
      164
      Country Flag: Canada
      I didn't realize the blazer frame was so tall, it should be substantially stiffer than the pickup version. Fun project, I've done a lot of similar things to my truck. Did the changes you made in the a-arm pickup points negate the need for tall ball joints? Those made a huge difference for me.
      Tyson
      '95 Firebird Formula: suspension + 315's
      '09 G8 GT: baby seats
      '72 Stingray convertible
      '66 Mustang Coupe

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by rentedmule View Post
      I didn't realize the blazer frame was so tall, it should be substantially stiffer than the pickup version. Fun project, I've done a lot of similar things to my truck. Did the changes you made in the a-arm pickup points negate the need for tall ball joints? Those made a huge difference for me.
      Between the frame being taller and the body as one unit vs cab and bed, the Blazer feels much "tighter" than the S10 pu I built in the early '90s'.

      IMG_20171128_132054344 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      The mounting points for the lower control arm were modified originally to compensate for the C4 spindles which have the axle centerline about 3/4" behind the the line through the balljoints, (I've never seen this in any other spindles I've worked with.) it's sheer luck that it helps now in getting the positive caster numbers I want without having to go to aftermarket lowers. I had thought about tall balljoints, but had decided that was creating to many variables at one time.



      As it is the only stock parts left in the front are the steering box, pitman arm, center link, drag link, inner tierod ends and the lower a arms (and they have been moved...)

      Joe

    6. #6
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Fun with steering boxes, as much as I'd like to just pick up the phone and order a Turn One box, this is a daily driver first and that $800 can do a lot of good in other places... so I went to my local Pull and Pay, they sell boxes for 29.95 with a $10 core charge, with tax it's still less than $40, $30 if I take the core back. Pulled a box from a '96-'98 Jeep Grand Cherokee. (they had 11 to chose from)

      IMG_20171213_172106726 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      On the left is the stock S10/G body 20-1 box, on the right is the Jeep box, The 20-1 box took 4 1/8 turns stop to stop, the Jeep box is 3 turns stop to stop, I've read that the box has better "feel", (ok we know how the internet is, we'll see)I hope to get the box on tomorrow...

      Joe

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Got the box on the truck today, this is easily the best $40 I've spent on the truck, another big improvement for the front of the truck. the box is still a bit "numb" on center, but for what I spent, I'm not complaining... Other than setting the ride height and final alignment, I'm done with the front of the truck.

      Overall the mods have made dramatic improvements in the trucks driveability and this was done while improving the ride characteristics. At this point the truck turns harder than I can explore on the street, next spring this thing hits the track...

      I want to take a moment to thank Ron Sutton for his input on my thread over in suspension, his help allowed me to make an educated choice regarding shocks, the other info he gives on the forum helped me understand how caster and steering axis inclination work together along with other aspects of the front suspension.

      Joe

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Fun with fiberglass.

      So, I picked up a fiberglass cowl hood off Craigslist for cheap recently.
      as you can see it has a slight problem, the po had cut a big hole in it for a 6-71 blower he was running...

      IMG_20171116_192620086 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      My fix was to do a quick splash off the old hood, if you look closely you can see some of the hail damage it got last spring...

      IMG_20171228_144815315 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      IMG_20171230_161004645 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      Here I have it dry fit in place need to grind and glass..

      looking forward to a good 2018, Joe

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Jul 2006
      Location
      Chesapeake, VA
      Posts
      511
      I really like the way you're building this truck...garage tech and lots of pondering to come up with good solutions while conserving your money. I have great respect for high dollar builds in professional shops, but my heart is in your sort of build.
      Cars are meant to be driven.

      John B

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by jaybee View Post
      I really like the way you're building this truck...garage tech and lots of pondering to come up with good solutions while conserving your money. I have great respect for high dollar builds in professional shops, but my heart is in your sort of build.
      Thanks, the truck will continue to evolve on a budget, I'm having too much fun driving the truck to tear it down to make a "big" project of it (I have to many other projects and not enough space). I'm hoping the other stuff is far enough along to give space for the rear suspension and engine change next winter... (I'm done doing the big stuff in the driveway when I have a decent sized shop)...

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States

      Brrrr...

      IMG_20180121_071149039 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr
      It was pushing 70 here two days ago... Glad I got Frankenstine out for a drive yesterday...

      After living with the Jeep GC box for a bit, I've come to the conclusion that it's feel is still to light, I want to try the box that's on my '87 Trans Am GTA, but expect that I'll have to step up and spend the money for a Turn one or similar.

      Joe

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Feb 2010
      Location
      El Segundo, CA
      Posts
      268
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by Motoracer838 View Post

      I
      The mounting points for the lower control arm were modified originally to compensate for the C4 spindles which have the axle centerline about 3/4" behind the the line through the balljoints, (I've never seen this in any other spindles I've worked with).
      Joe
      Interesting. I think what you describe would be called "pin-trail". I've normally read about "pin-lead" where the axle centerline is in front of the steering axis. This is done so that a lot of caster can be used which leads to negative camber gain on the outside front wheel when turning (good - to a point). But without the heavy steering due to excessive contact patch trail. And with less jacking effect on the inside front tire.

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Jul 2009
      Location
      Sackville, NB, Canada
      Posts
      164
      Country Flag: Canada
      Quote Originally Posted by Motoracer838 View Post

      After living with the Jeep GC box for a bit, I've come to the conclusion that it's feel is still to light, I want to try the box that's on my '87 Trans Am GTA, but expect that I'll have to step up and spend the money for a Turn one or similar.

      Joe
      Are you planning to keep the narrow wheel/tire combo? My ZQ8 box is light with 225 winter tires on but feels decent with 275 race rubber.
      Tyson
      '95 Firebird Formula: suspension + 315's
      '09 G8 GT: baby seats
      '72 Stingray convertible
      '66 Mustang Coupe

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by Dr G View Post
      Interesting. I think what you describe would be called "pin-trail". I've normally read about "pin-lead" where the axle centerline is in front of the steering axis. This is done so that a lot of caster can be used which leads to negative camber gain on the outside front wheel when turning (good - to a point). But without the heavy steering due to excessive contact patch trail. And with less jacking effect on the inside front tire.
      Thanks for your input, that offset made fitting the spindles to the truck a bigger headache than I expected, (there's an engineering axiom that says, changing one thing will affect three others, I wish it had been that easy...)

      The worst part was the surprise I got when I finally dropped the complete engine and trans in the truck, (mock up had been done with bare trans case and block.) you could imagine my surprise at how much the frame rails rolled in when I set the engine in, (yes, I could see the movement.) At that point two things became apparent, 1 I understood why the Moog problem solver offset cross shafts existed and 2 There go my chances of a decent alignment, (the best we could do was -1 degree caster, that just added to the twichyness that the setup created.)

      Removing the C4 spindles was one of the best things I've done to the truck yet...

      Joe

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by rentedmule View Post
      Are you planning to keep the narrow wheel/tire combo? My ZQ8 box is light with 225 winter tires on but feels decent with 275 race rubber.
      Thanks, I may want to wait, the truck will be getting a set of C6 replica wheels, the front being 17x8.5 with either 245 45 17 or 255 40 17. (I'm leaning to the 255's.) I'm not sure if it will be enough of a change but worth waiting to see what the results are. as it is now the '05 GMC Sierra 4x4 company truck I drive has better feel...

      Joe

    16. #16
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Got a chance to work on Frankenstine today, cut a coil up front and using a combination thinner spacers to dtermine the final thickness for the spacers, test fit the C6 wheels, I think I'm onto something here...
      IMG_20180304_150804730 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr

      Cheers Beers n Gearz, Joe

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Mar 2012
      Posts
      87
      Country Flag: Canada
      Those 16" WS6 wheels looked better on that blazer than the trans ams they came on.

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by Yukon Cornelius View Post
      Those 16" WS6 wheels looked better on that blazer than the trans ams they came on.
      Funny thing, I picked up an '87 Trans Am last year, that has a hideous set of centerlines that just scream '80s... The car is in serious need of having the ugly knocked off.

      Joe

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Jul 2009
      Location
      Sackville, NB, Canada
      Posts
      164
      Country Flag: Canada
      I ran those same C6 reps in 17x9.5 on my firebird until last year. I tried them on my truck once but they wouldn't clear the UCAs with the 2.5" spacers I had - they looked better on the truck than the car

      C6 wheels by Rented Mule, on Flickr
      Last edited by rentedmule; 03-05-2018 at 01:03 PM. Reason: found pic
      Tyson
      '95 Firebird Formula: suspension + 315's
      '09 G8 GT: baby seats
      '72 Stingray convertible
      '66 Mustang Coupe

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by rentedmule View Post
      I ran those same C6 reps in 17x9.5 on my firebird until last year. I tried them on my truck once but they wouldn't clear the UCAs with the 2.5" spacers I had - they looked better on the truck than the car

      C6 wheels by Rented Mule, on Flickr
      That's interesting, I needed 2 1/8" to clear the outer tierod and see no other interference issues. at that point going out any farther will require fender mods. (just noticed you were running 17x9.5, my fronts are 17x8.5 and that's all it will take. the second gens must have a bit more room.is your wheel back in the wheel well from High caster settings?)

      Cutting one coil dropped the truck a bit more than I expected/wanted, I think my next set of mods for the front will lnclude 1/2" taller lower ball joints and another set of 5664 springs with a half coil off.

      I ultimately see replacing the frame with a back halved truck frame to gain some ground clearance, this would be a perfect time to do a 4-link and coilovers in the back.

      Joe

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