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    1. #1
      Join Date
      Jun 2011
      Location
      St. George, Utah
      Posts
      1,629
      Country Flag: United States

      Jimbo the Pro-Touring S10 Blazer

      Hey all! I wanted to introduce project Jimbo's thread. I'd been daily driving Pumkinator for many years but he's got a new 12.5:1 406 engine transplant, and with lots of other upgrades is leaning more towards an autocross with a little bit of street driving car so I needed another daily driver. I picked up a second 79 Cutlass wagon, the Mad Wagon II for a mild LS build but now that one's gravitating towards a 550+ turbo 5.3 and more serious suspension and so will be stretched out a little longer.

      Just recently I worked out a deal with a Speedtech co-worker, who traded a shot gun for this '88 Blazer that has a locked up 2.8 V6, and I traded him my '74 Nova that used to be my street/ strip drag car. He's doing a pro Touring type build so I kept all the suspension and drivetrain and he essentially just got the gutted shell with lots of fiberglass panels. In the end everyone was happy with barter town.

      I graduated in '88 so S10s have a special place for me. I always wanted one, but later on when I started a family my heart switched to a dropped s10 Blazer but I never came across a good deal and a Caravan eventually obliterated that idea. My oldest son started messing with S10s about 2 years ago and is currently building a nasty 355 swapped '84 S10 short bed that should fry the corners too. Watching him do his thing ignited my want for a mini truck again and the timing was perfect for the Blazer to come along. We found it on Craigs List in Mesquite, NV, only about 30 minutes or so from our St. George, Utah location. Here are the pics from the ad, it's as clean as it looks, needing only minor attention in a few areas, aside from the junk V6. My son does youtube vlogs and will be covering the build there too. A walk around of the truck in his latest vlog is here.









      -Ben, Your friendly neighborhood Rendering dude

      SRD on Facebook

      79 Cutlass wagon build



    2. #2
      Join Date
      Jun 2011
      Location
      St. George, Utah
      Posts
      1,629
      Country Flag: United States
      It didn't take long to work out in my head the vision I wanted to go after and finally got to knocking out a rendering for it.



      A bunch of this build is using some spare parts I have in the garage, some I'll get new.

      Engine/Trans:
      About 10 years ago I had a 400 SBC rebuilt for a '73 Nova resto-mod project. That's on the way back burner so I pulled the short block out of storage for the Blazer. It's got fresh eutectic flat tops, 5.7 rods, and ARP bolts. The heads are factory 400 heads with my DIY head porting/ blending in the bowls, stream lining the valve guides and gasket matching the ports. At this point I'm considering the Comp Xtreme 4x4 268 cam. I have a generic Performer RPM style intake and a Holley Avenger 650 vac carb to top it off. Up front I'll be using a factory serpentine drive to keep it looking like it belongs there. Out back I'll retain the 5 speed action, either using a Camaro T-5 I have or maybe I'll pick up a little stronger NV3500 from a Chevy truck, whichever makes more $ sense.

      Suspension:
      When I first built Pumkinator I bought a pair of DJM 2" drop spindles for my G-body (same suspension as S10) but they had clearance issues with my 5.5" BS wheels so I never used them, they'll be perfect for the Blazer. Factory S10 springs are 590 lb spring rate so I'll keep and cut those for now and the S10 guys suggest the Bell Tech lowered shocks. I have Viking full coilovers on Pumkinator and have had great success with them, Viking's full bolt-in hybrid design coilover conversion is awfully tempting, and I believe they have one specifically for lowered S10s, so that may be in the mix.

      Most guys drop the back with 4" blocks and remove a leaf. I'm not a big fan of really tall lowering blocks and weakening the payload capability so Bell Tech 2" rear springs and tuning ride height with shorter blocks is in order. The Blazer has a decent sized front sway bar but a bigger one is something I want to check into. I planned to run Speedtech control arms up front but they were on way back order before I left working there so we'll see what other options are out there.

      Brakes:
      I want to keep this build fast and simple so I can get to driving it sooner rather than later, so a simple brake upgrade is using 98-02 LS Camaro 12" brakes with dual piston calipers is on the game plan. I did this conversion on Pumkinator and it was 100X better than the factory brakes, so those will get swapped over to the Blazer and bigger brakes will come for Pumk. In the mean time I'll keep an eye out for a rear disc conversion from a junkyard Camaro or Xtreme S10.

      Wheels and Tires:
      My first stage of Puminator's build included some early 90's 16x8 Trans Am GTA wheels, so they're now fitted with BFG Sport Comp tires in 255-50-16 for the Blazer.

      Body Mods:
      I ordered a cowl induction hood from Car parts Wholesale, plus some ebay fender vents for a Kia optima and ebay 6.7L emblems to push it to a little more aggressive visuals. The name Jimbo comes from the GMC Jimmy, which I like the look of better as I fell in love with the Syclone and Typhoon back in the day, and from one of my favorite Disney movies, Treasure Planet (yes I have kids and enjoy Disney flicks, lol). I ended up locally buying a '93 Jimmy parts truck for the later 1st gen GMC conversion, and my son will be scrounging a bunch of parts for his S10 build as well. I'll be keeping the later radiator core support, the GMC grill, bumpers, factory fender flares and Jimmy emblems.

      Colors:
      The original charcoal gray paint on the sides is old and a bit faded but I'll try buffing it out. The roof paint is pretty sun baked and needs replacing. I've wanted to try my hand at wrapping a vehicle for a while so I picked up some 3M G227 Metallic Blue wrap and some supplies from Regional Supply up in Salt Lake City. This color has some serious metallic in it and gives off a really nice highlight. Needing a 3rd design element to waken it up and after playing with some color options in the rendering I decided on yellow for the body line stripe. I'll prolly just rattle can that for now.

      That's pretty much it in a nutshell. More coming soon...
      -Ben, Your friendly neighborhood Rendering dude

      SRD on Facebook

      79 Cutlass wagon build


    3. #3
      Join Date
      May 2010
      Location
      British Columbia
      Posts
      494
      This brings back memories , I had an 85 .

    4. #4
      Join Date
      May 2010
      Location
      kitchener,Ontario,Canada
      Posts
      2,263
      Country Flag: Canada
      I had a 87 with a late model front end swapped . Couple things my one gm buddy helped with . The 91...ish n up had a taller console a direct bolt in of course but you need the taller brackets , some people forget those if they rob one from a scrap yard . Also gm makes rear lift gate hinges without the spoiler... smoother look I found
      Spinnin'my tires in life's fast lane

      Ryan Austin
      On twitter @raustinss
      On Instagram austinss70

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Jun 2011
      Location
      St. George, Utah
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      1,629
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      Sounds cool Langley.

      Thanks for the insight Ryan. Except for putting the 93's 110 mph speedo and an upgraded stereo in there I think I'm going to keep the 88's interior stock. Mine doesn't have a spoiler out back so it's pre-smoothed. ;)
      -Ben, Your friendly neighborhood Rendering dude

      SRD on Facebook

      79 Cutlass wagon build


    6. #6
      Join Date
      Jun 2012
      Location
      South Lyon, MI
      Posts
      1,171
      Country Flag: United States
      Looks like a nice project.

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Aug 2016
      Location
      Waconia, MN
      Posts
      113
      Country Flag: United States
      Nice! I am definitely going to be following along.
      Ben, the rendering looks great. I need to talk to you about doing one up for mine.

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Jun 2012
      Location
      South Lyon, MI
      Posts
      1,171
      Country Flag: United States
      So what ever happened to Trogdor the Burninator? You know Novas are way cool...

      My mom had a 1984 Blazer 2.8L 4X4. It was so basic it had rubber floor coverings instead of carpet. Not quite as cool as Jimbo.

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Jun 2011
      Location
      St. George, Utah
      Posts
      1,629
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      @ Rich- Just hit me up with a PM when you wanna get something rolling.

      @ Bill- Trogdor got traded for Jimbo. It was a drag car that I didn't have much use for anymore, the engine is in Pumkinator now and it was a stripped down shell with drag specific suspension so I didn't feel too bad letting it go. I still have Tangermean, my 73 hatchback Nova on the back burner. I'm trying hard to avoid selling it if I can.
      -Ben, Your friendly neighborhood Rendering dude

      SRD on Facebook

      79 Cutlass wagon build


    10. #10
      Join Date
      Jun 2012
      Location
      South Lyon, MI
      Posts
      1,171
      Country Flag: United States
      I may have some experience building an over-the-top nova hatchback if you are interested in something extreme.

      Nova's are so overlooked, but very capable.

      Just don't let Jimbo grow into a big project so you have time and resources for Tangermean.

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      111
      Country Flag: United States
      Ought to be a cool build. I've thought about doing an all wheel drive s-10 using the Bravada transfer case.

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Jun 2011
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      St. George, Utah
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      Splatt- that would be ideal. Maybe one day if I ever find a dead one I'd convert it. :D
      -Ben, Your friendly neighborhood Rendering dude

      SRD on Facebook

      79 Cutlass wagon build


    13. #13
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by SRD art View Post
      It didn't take long to work out in my head the vision I wanted to go after and finally got to knocking out a rendering for it.



      Suspension:
      When I first built Pumkinator I bought a pair of DJM 2" drop spindles for my G-body (same suspension as S10) but they had clearance issues with my 5.5" BS wheels so I never used them, they'll be perfect for the Blazer. Factory S10 springs are 590 lb spring rate so I'll keep and cut those for now and the S10 guys suggest the Bell Tech lowered shocks. I have Viking full coilovers on Pumkinator and have had great success with them, Viking's full bolt-in hybrid design coilover conversion is awfully tempting, and I believe they have one specifically for lowered S10s, so that may be in the mix.

      Most guys drop the back with 4" blocks and remove a leaf. I'm not a big fan of really tall lowering blocks and weakening the payload capability so Bell Tech 2" rear springs and tuning ride height with shorter blocks is in order. The Blazer has a decent sized front sway bar but a bigger one is something I want to check into. I planned to run Speedtech control arms up front but they were on way back order before I left working there so we'll see what other options are out there.
      Love the rendering, need to talk to you about one for Frankenstine.

      The S Blazers have an issue when it comes to getting a good stance, first is where the suspension mounting points are on the frame, somewhere during development somebody at GM made the call that the 2wd Blazer's needed to sit at the same nosebleed height as the 4x4's, the result is that the mounting points are about 2" lower in the frame than the P-U...

      When I mocked up mine at ride height with drop spindles, it was setting on the bump stops. (this had me puzzled as I built a P-U in the early 90s' and didn't have this problem, took a little time at the wrecking yard to see what the difference was, truck and Blazer frames have a different amount of kickup from the firewall forward.)

      IMG_20171124_122152192 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr
      The other issue is how tall the frame rail is, the Blazer frame is 2" taller/deeper, creating ground clearance issues. The horizontal weld seam shows where the P-U frame lays on top of the Blazer frame.
      1205 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr
      Current shot of Frankenstine, needs another 1/2" of drop in the back, In this shot you can see how much the frame hangs down...

      I chose to graft in the front half of a P-U frame from factory seam forward, fixed the suspension travel issues, but will drag on bigger speed bumps... Knowing what I do now, I'd start with a P-U frame and modify the back to fit. (best of both worlds, good suspension and ground clearance.)

      As for front springs, with an Iron head and block 350, I found the stock front spring to be too soft, wound up with Moog 5664 springs (my research has shown them to have a rate of 760 lb), sounds stiff but work very well with the ridetech HQ's that I'm running. It's firm but compliant with no harshness and very composed.

      Cheers Beers n Gearz, Joe

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Aug 2013
      Posts
      111
      Country Flag: United States
      Quote Originally Posted by SRD art View Post
      Splatt- that would be ideal. Maybe one day if I ever find a dead one I'd convert it. :D
      I don't know about your area but around these parts Bravadas are dirt cheap. My only real gripe with them though is the ugly body cladding.

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Jun 2011
      Location
      St. George, Utah
      Posts
      1,629
      Country Flag: United States
      Thanks for the info Joe! Some questions-

      How much drop do you estimate you have? It looks wicked, I love the slammed trucks but for practicality reasons I think it's just a bit lower than I was expecting/ planning.

      You said the mounting points are 2" lower on the Blazer, I'm assuming you're meaning the points on the under body and essentially it's like putting a body lift on the truck. So then, can I do a body drop and run thinner body mounts to drop the body closer to the frame?

      What's the ideal combo and amount of drop I can pull off to get a decent look and ride if I keep the Blazer frame as is?

      I bought Belltech spindles and leafs and 1/2" taller lower ball joints, planned to run maybe a 1" or 2" block out back and cut the front springs for roughly a 4 to 5" drop. Would I anticipate having the ride on the bump stop issues you mentioned with that?

      What size wheels/ tires are you running? For now I have 255-50-16s on 16x8 GTA wheels but will likely upgrade to 18's when these wear out. My 255s are 26" tall.

      Thanks for any insight you can share with us! -Ben

      - - - Updated - - -

      Splat- where are you located?
      -Ben, Your friendly neighborhood Rendering dude

      SRD on Facebook

      79 Cutlass wagon build


    16. #16
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Location
      Cincy
      Posts
      5
      Country Flag: United States
      Ben

      I have 2 of these a Jimmy & a Blazer
      On my 86 S-10 Blazer I put BellTech 2" dropped Spindles on it in 1986 or 1987 - to long ago to remember. I originally put 2" lower blocks on it - but didn't like the axle wrap. So I took a pair of 1976 Chrysler Cordoba Leaf springs & adapted them to the Blazer main leaf & ran them that way for 400,000 miles. Ride in rear was very nice, but gave up a lil with load capacity, but how much can a 2.8L V6 & 5 speed manual pull anyway. Never had any bottom out issue.

      The blazer is currently take a dirt nap in my back yard for a few years body to rusty to deal with - so I use it to store parts in.

      On my 1993 GMS Jimmy I put BellTech 2" dropped Spindles on it in 1993 with BellTech 1" drop springs ride is decent in the front but do get some bump steer. For the rear I machine some 2.5" Aluminum spacers with a taper on my ShopSmith wood tool. Stock 3 leaf Jimmy spring were bottom spring is overload. This has always road way to rough - For a few years I swap my springs to Brother in laws 2nd gen S-10. Ride was way decent, but he wanted them back.

      I plan to remove the overload spring and go to a Air Bag helper this winter. I have 5" plus ground clearance at bottom of frame. I don't have a C-notch in rear but I occasionally bottom out the back

      Hope that helps

      Fred

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Jun 2011
      Location
      St. George, Utah
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      Thanks for the info Fred. It's nice to know about the ride and payload capability. I probably won't tow anything more than a small utility trailer, on occasion I'll drag my Pumkinator to events but will use a tow dolly for that so there's not much tongue weight.

      Any chance you have pics of the rear spring set up?

      Did you do anything to correct the bump steer or did you just live with it?

      Thanks!
      -Ben, Your friendly neighborhood Rendering dude

      SRD on Facebook

      79 Cutlass wagon build


    18. #18
      Join Date
      Jun 2017
      Location
      Edgewater Co.
      Posts
      150
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      Quote Originally Posted by SRD art View Post
      Thanks for the info Joe! Some questions-

      How much drop do you estimate you have? It looks wicked, I love the slammed trucks but for practicality reasons I think it's just a bit lower than I was expecting/ planning.

      You said the mounting points are 2" lower on the Blazer, I'm assuming you're meaning the points on the under body and essentially it's like putting a body lift on the truck. So then, can I do a body drop and run thinner body mounts to drop the body closer to the frame?

      What's the ideal combo and amount of drop I can pull off to get a decent look and ride if I keep the Blazer frame as is?

      I bought Belltech spindles and leafs and 1/2" taller lower ball joints, planned to run maybe a 1" or 2" block out back and cut the front springs for roughly a 4 to 5" drop. Would I anticipate having the ride on the bump stop issues you mentioned with that?

      What size wheels/ tires are you running? For now I have 255-50-16s on 16x8 GTA wheels but will likely upgrade to 18's when these wear out. My 255s are 26" tall.

      Thanks for any insight you can share with us! -Ben

      - - - Updated - - -

      Splat- where are you located?
      I used an earlier pic, this is a better pic of it's current stance, I'd like to get both ends to sit like the front does in the first pic, It still rode decent but I felt like I gave up Just a little to much ride quality
      IMG_20180623_105837334 by Joseph Martin, on Flickr
      Page two of my build gives good detail on what it took, the truck rides very well, smooth nicely controlled, The steering box is the only thing that holds the front back at the moment.

      On the mounting point, I'm talking about suspension pick up points, upper and lower A-arm mount points steering box and idler arm mounts as well are 2" lower relative to the body mount points. This is why the 2wd rucks sit lower than the 2wd Blazers

      Joe

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Aug 2016
      Location
      Waconia, MN
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      113
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      Name:  My black '92 Jimmy2.jpg
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Size:  39.3 KB

      Name:  early Hooters meet av pic.jpg
Views: 3590
Size:  91.3 KB

      I'll throw a couple more lowered S-Blazer/Jimmy reference pics into the mix.

      I look back at these now and think "that was lowered?"
      By today's standards, (check wheelwell gap) not so much but yes, quite a bit actually.

      Black Jimmy is my first '92 about 3 weeks from the dealer's lot.
      Step one was reduce nosebleed ride height. If memory serves this was -3/4 from stock.
      4" angled blocks in the back and no notch. Stock 15" rollers.
      You might be able to make out the shadow of the frame rail and how little daylight there is under it.
      This thing would bottom the axle, drag frame over every speed bump in the county, rode like a brick but damn if it didn't look cool.
      (Were we all this dumb as kids or was it just me?)


      Red Jimmy is the truck in my build thread. This was -3/4 also but had 3" Belltech drop leafs and a 1" block. Rolling on 17's here.
      Rode much better but could still drag frame every now and then.

      The frame and mounting point issue Joe is talking about is the reason mine now has an S10 pickup front clip grafted to the custom frame rails that are only 3" tall.

      Based on how thick the stock body mount assemblies are, you might be able to get away with about a 3/4" to 1" body drop by fabbing up some thinner mounts.

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Location
      Cincy
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      Ben - I just lived with the bump steer. But I had it out this past weekend & my LCA & the steering arms are level to the ground.

      I also have some aftermarket sway bars front & rear, don;t remember who's but I prolly could did up the receipt. Rear is like 3/4" or so - front is 1.25" or so they really help over stock.

      Mine looks like the above red one except the grille is body color. I barley drive it anymore as I have 7 cars & spend 90% of the time on my Triumph Tiger 800. I doubt I put 600 miles on it this year

      So for the rear I forgot how I did it. But since I had it out I checked. I have a 2" lower block & then I got a 1" block & machine it down to a taper & made it 1/2" thick on the back side. I do have some so indication of where the axle hit the frame at one point, prolly when I was towing my motorcycle trailer.

      my biggest issue with the drop is that I have a posi & the terrible axle wrap when u get on it form stop. really bad. I was wanting to flip the the front leaf spring brackets form side to side which would then raise the front mount higher & see how much of the lowering blocks I could get ride of, as well as remove that overload spring which makes the ride way to stiff - but haven't had a chance to try it - been think about it for 10+ years though.

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