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A K5 Blazer Pickup Conversion

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  • A K5 Blazer Pickup Conversion

    I was growing tired of my current K5 Blazer body and decided to replace it with a K5 Blazer Pickup Conversion. Checking the internet found that the half top K5 Blazers had several vendors that produced a pickup conversion kit for them. The kit was really just a fiberglass or metal rear panel that attached to the cab. So, an assembled RC4WD orange Blazer body was purchased (I didn't want to paint the white two tone trim) and action taken to convert it.

    (Click the picture or hold the mouse over it to enlarge the image)

    Here's the converted K5 Blazer.

    Blazer 1.jpg

    The custom rear panel fits nicely and was painted to match a pickup bed. The orange used wasn't a dead match to the pre-painted body but close enough for me. A roll bar and CB antenna was added to dress the truck up a bit.

    Blazer 2.jpg

    A close look shows the rear panel is indeed just a panel attached to the cab.

    Blazer 3.jpg

    A RC4WD Blazer decal trim set was applied. The decals give the white to orange transition a nice look. It's suspected, however, they will peel off over time. Glad they give you a spare set in the package.

    Blazer 4.jpg

    The roll bar is a TF2 roll bar cut in half and widened to match the Blazer body. Black tubing was added to increase the diameter and match the larger Blazer body. The roll bar attaches to the bed using the forward mounting holes for the full top.

    Blazer 5.jpg

    Dual exhaust was added for the 350 V8 under the hood.

    Blazer 6.jpg

    A wood trim look was attempted on the dash but unfortunately ended up to be just brown. The entire dash was raised up to better align with hood height. Also, moving the dash up allowed the driver to keep his legs and feet.

    Blazer 7.jpg

    Here's the rear cab panel piece. A fiberglass look was desired. I am surprise a scale RC vendor doesn't make one of these cab panels (hint, hint). A CCHand rear window guard was installed to hide my less than perfect window cuts. The cab panel is held in place with rubber bands which allows it to be easily removed so the regular white Blazer top can be installed if desired.

    Blazer 8.jpg

    My old Blazer body sat on top a modified 2012 Tamiya Bruiser chassis (the large black electronic box was eliminated). Here's what the chassis looks like.

    Blazer 9.jpg

    Everything sits low so the Blazer body doesn't touch anywhere except at mounting points. The chassis is wired for lights and a winch but this new body doesn't use them yet.

    Blazer 10.jpg

    Addition pictures in my reply.
    Last edited by RCtrucknut; 11-21-2017, 03:11 PM. Reason: Clarification on chassis used

  • #2
    Here are the additional pictures.

    (Click on the picture or hold the mouse over the image to enlarge)

    This is a close up of the steering servo modification looking down.

    Blazer 11.jpg

    A close up of the steering servo modification looking up. This truck has tight steering control.

    Blazer 12.jpg

    Close up of the transmission servo modification looking from the top. The servo is mounted to the custom bracket holding the battery tray. The Tamiya Bruiser transmission is a 3 speed. 1st gear is low and 4WD. 2nd and 3rd gear are 2WD only.

    Blazer 13.jpg

    A view of the transmission shift servo looking from the bottom.

    Blazer 14.jpg

    This picture shows how the front of the body is held in place. A custom bracket was made to capture the two front bumper posts. The bumper posts are simply slid into place and the rear bed posts secure the body down. Battery changes take less than a minute. The extra red wire connector shown is for the under bumper sidewinder winch (WIP).

    Blazer 15.jpg

    The K5 Blazer cutting a trail through the garden. Give me a couple weeks to get the truck to the river bed and dirty.

    Blazer 16.jpg

    The 2WD feature is nice to use and interesting to see what the truck can and can not do in 2WD. Two wheel drive in 2nd gear can handle these rocks with some difficulty.

    Blazer 17.jpg

    Two wheel drive works fine on many surfaces and greatly improves steering. If the throttle is hit hard in 2nd or 3rd gear the tires will throw a lot of dirt up in the air. In mud it's even more impressive.

    Blazer 18.jpg

    Of course there are time when four wheel drive is a must or it's a no go. These wide Mickey Thompson tires have superb traction on everything but mud. The truck easily pulled itself up and over this large rock without spinning the tires in 1st gear (4WD). The rear bumper, however, did get dragged across that rock under it.

    Blazer 19.jpg

    Enough for now. Heading out of the rock garden and looking forward to a RC outing at the park in the next several weeks.

    Blazer 20.jpg

    Hope you enjoyed the pictures.


    • #3
      K5 Blazer Pickup Conversion on a Tamiya Bruiser Chassis

      Here are some more pictures from last weekend's work.

      The under bumper winch was installed. To give the truck a cleaner front look, an air dam was installed to help hide the low front frame ends. Not sure if the portion next to the tires will limit performance yet. The Tamiya Bruiser body has a bumper that attaches to these lower chassis points.

      Blazer 1A.jpg

      The winch fits directly behind and under the front chassis cross member.

      Blazer 2A.jpg

      Bench testing of the installed winch. The Land Cruiser didn't budge (likely due to its heavier weight) and the Blazer was dragged/pulled forward. A wireless winch controller is used.

      Blazer 3A.jpg

      LED lights were added to aid in night driving. Installing those four rear lights were a major test in manual dexterity. The tailgate will need some work as the LED wires push out the sides of the bed a little causing the tailgate to pop open at times.

      Blazer 4A.jpg

      Man's best friend was placed in the pickup bed and a trailer hitch added. Don't have a trailer but it may come in handy as a rear pull point if the truck gets stuck.

      Blazer 5A.jpg

      The truck is schedule for a park run this coming weekend.


      • #4
        Good looking K5! Can't wait to see how it does on the park run


        • #5
          25aniv - Thanks for the comments. Sorry but I can't post any pictures of the park outing as there are family members in them and I don't want the people shown. This was a family Thanksgiving get together with RC action tossed in. We had three trucks running but all pictures focus on the people with their trucks rather than the truck specifically doing its thing.
          Based on the park run a couple of changes were made. (Click picture or hover mouse over picture to enlarge)

          The two front tow hooks kept hitting rocks when a high AOA was needed to crawl over them. The soft "air dam" wasn't a problem. Thus, a new "air dam" was made and the two tow hooks moved up. In addition, the winch line was increased from 3 feet to 6 feet in length. Seems like the nearest anchor point, if not a friends truck, is always more than 3 feet away.

          Pic 1.jpg

          A member of our group liked the Blazer pickup conversion but indicated his experience with the after market product was the back panel was bolted on. I knew this but didn't really want to bolt it on. However, since the Blazer is not a true pickup it seemed appropriate to bolt the back panel on. May paint the bolt heads orange but black looks Ok for now.

          Pic 2.jpg

          While working on the truck in the garage my neighbor's son came in to see what I was doing. He is an inquisitive 10 year old and loves RC trucks. He doesn't own one yet but his father is thinking about one for Xmas. He was looking to drive one of mine now. I told him to wait until I finished a couple of things. During that time he had to touch everything and was squeezing a tire when he asked how do I put air in the tires. Well, that started quite a discussion that ended up in me adding a valve stem to each wheel. I am not a hard core scaler but I think this 10 year old is going to become one. I only want my RC trucks to look reasonable and have some eye candy. Whether it worked or not this little guy thought a valve stem had to be there. So, I encouraged his thinking and added valve stems. The Tamiya wheels are plastic so putting a hole in them took little effort and was not a big deal if I wanted to replace them afterwards. The valve stem is a small brad nail with the head painted black (he did the painting). Look close and you will see the valve stem. This stem is a bit taller than the other ones. The 10 year old was ecstatic that his idea was implemented. We took two trucks out for a run.

          Pic 3.jpg

          Ya gotta love this hobby and the endless changes that can be made to a build.


          • #6
            If that keeps him engaged and curious about why things do what they do, I'd put valve stems too! Well done Sir.

            The changes you made will definitely make a good thing better. Good thing about scale you can change or modify anything and it won't break the bank.