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Best year for Blazers?

Old 04-20-2016, 04:14 PM
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Default Best year for Blazers?

I hate to ask this, for fear of opening a can of worms, but is there a consensus on the "best" year for Blazers?

Here's the deal. My basically-stock '98 has about 230k miles, and has the usual maintenance and repair list. It isn't a bad truck, and (despite my grumping about it) I don't mind the repairs too much. After all, it gets me where I'm going, and two feet of snow or 5" of rain on dirt roads doesn't generally stop me. I've put 50k miles on it myself, and have some ideas of what I like/don't like/would like to improve.

In other words, I'm contemplating a project truck. Over the next couple years, I'd like to get another truck and rebuild it as a generalist rough-country daily driver (rather than an off-road truck or rock crawler. Not quite zero-time it, but take care of all the delayed.deferred maintenance issues that cause headaches when your Blazer is your DD/only vehicle.

What year is best, from a standpoint of fewest problems? Which year or years is going to be the least expensive to keep running, once all the initial problems are fixed?

Old 04-20-2016, 04:24 PM
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I would start with a zr2 myself
Old 04-20-2016, 11:19 PM
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I'd love to see any Blazer, of the smaller type, and a ZR2, that can make it through two feet of snow with no problems. Heck, even a K5 for that m oatter!

I don't know what you are wanting let alone asking for. Seems to me you are asking for the elusive "unicorn". My ZR2 is lifted slightly and there is no way I'd feel comfortable going through 2' of snow on a regular basis. I have done it in the past out of need but would never do it for fun.

Let me put it this way, I just don't like to be stuck. Doesn't matter if it is snow or whatever. It doesn't matter that I have a winch, getting unstuck isn't fun!
Old 04-21-2016, 10:47 PM
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Let's see if the Gods of the Internet are going to let me reply now. . . .

Hooray! I had a dandy response written this AM, but somehow managed to not post it.

Our last major snowstorm of the season dumped about 14" of snow here. The first five miles of my trip to work were through snow drifted to depths of 22"-24". I left a couple hours early, put it in 4-Lo, and drove. I averaged about 20 minutes per mile, and mostly stayed on the road. (I, um, accidentally drove through a ditch and across a cornfield for a hundred yards or so. In near-white-out conditions, I couldn't tell.) The next five miles were a straight shot south in about 10"-12" of snow, and I got up to 10 mph!

I don't drive in that for fun, I drive in conditions like that to get to where I can have fun, or work, or get coffee when I run out. The last time the roads were that bad, I didn't have to be anywhere so I stayed home.

In much the same way, I don't work on vehicles for fun, I work on them so I have a reliable vehicle. My current truck is currently being a headache; if I wasn't fixing mission-critical stuff like fuel pumps and brakes, I'd be fixing the less-critical stuff like door hinge pins and rusted out rockers.

I want another truck to do all the repairs on before it becomes my DD. I know to avoid the '95 model year; I've worked on a couple of them, stripped a couple more for parts, and NONE of them were the same. I hadn't considered the ZR2, I'll have to take a look at one.
Old 04-26-2016, 02:45 AM
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Originally Posted by newguy View Post
I would start with a zr2 myself
Originally Posted by AJBert View Post
I'd love to see any Blazer, of the smaller type, and a ZR2,... "unicorn". My ZR2 is lifted slightly... !

Starting to see a trend...

So, basically, start with a ZR-2, with a G-80 (posi rear []) like mine ) go more than 130 miles, (since owned in sunny weather) and ya have a beast!!

I can NOT confirm this A-SSumtion... but once I get it up to spec., it could be a little bad-ssa ride... It has a shorter wheel base than my K, so better turns, less likely to "hi-center", better traction (an empty 8' bed SUCKS!)
but no snot - 4.3 VS 5.7...

The only thing I can compare this to, is a F(lucked) o(ver) r(egurgitated) d(odge) Bronco II - Had one for a year or so.. Short turning radius was it's ONLY attribute.. 2.9l v-6 sucks (along with warping heads) 2X Ignition module (bought the "special" socket after the first change, had a spare in the glove box, not knowing when/where it'll quite..) rode like a wet noodle.. a snow CHICKEN - slip, spin, slide...

Ask me again in April. 2017, then I can give you "real-world" feed-back...
Old 04-26-2016, 07:44 AM
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My mostly stock ZR2 has always done great in snow as long as its got good tires on it. I've had mine in snow about 2 feet deep as well and managed to get though it. Not gonna say I wasn't worried but it made it lol. Also had my Subaru Legacy in a snow drift so deep I couldn't open the doors and somehow managed to drive it out as well!
Old 06-24-2016, 03:14 PM
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I would suggest a 92-93 4x4 two door Tahoe with the short wheel base and vortec 4.3L...I have owned a multitude of S10 blazers and these are by far my favorite...they are posi rear end and push button 4X4....My current truck is a 92 tahoe with the Vortec and you couldn't ask for a better truck...I've owned it 11 Years and it has 300K on it and only broke down twice...
Old 09-09-2016, 02:47 PM
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That's a tough question. I've just finished a total restoration of my 88 K5, which I feel is (if not is close to) Possibly the best. I'd like a early Tahoe, But I really don't have to much experience with the LS engines, or the 1992 to 2000 if I'm correct. But I have heard a lot of folks complain about the 5.3 V8. I had a 2003 Corvette with a LS1 and it had "piston Slap" which is something you don't expect for a $50.000 vehicle.

I have never been a FORD fan, but I don't begrudge them that they do build a good vehicle. And I rather walk than buy a Dodge. But of course a lot of folks love a "Land Rover" and my sister owned a Mercedes Benz SUV, but it was very uncomfortable and I'm not tall but I can't read or make sense of German symbols in the interior. So my only other pick would be a GMC Yukon. But very few people are Brand loyal anymore. And the blame for that sits right at the 14th floor at the GM building.

Not too sure what to say about Jeeps ?

Last edited by JTWard; 09-09-2016 at 03:12 PM.
Old 09-09-2016, 02:56 PM
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Thumbs up

Originally Posted by newguy View Post
I would start with a zr2 myself
Got a '98 ZR2 that sometimes (like today) wants to make me tear my hair out. But I can't help but to love both driving and working on the truck!
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