Customizing a Squarebody K5 Blazer: A Badass Makeover with 547 Horsepower LS Engine

A Drop Top of the Highest Order

Squarebody K5 Blazers, to many, are the quintessential truck/SUV, and for good reason. Style for miles, a removable top, impressive off-road capabilities (yes, even the 2WD models are decent in a pinch), and the reliability of a GM all made the Chevy Blazer (and GMC Jimmy) the favorite of truck enthusiasts worldwide.

Now, there are those who love their Blazers to be completely stock (which is totally rad and commendable), and there are those who are a bit more open to modifications that improve upon both the looks and performance of these iconic rigs. Dewayne Stephens, as you can see, falls into the latter category. No newcomer to custom trucks, Dewayne has owned a few Blazers and knows what he likes and doesn’t like about them. That’s not to say that he doesn’t appreciate a nice, completely original example, but modernized Blazers are where it’s at in his mind.

K5 Blazers K5 Blazers

BADA$$ K5

When Dewayne picked up his latest K5, he knew exactly the direction he wanted to take it, and it can pretty much be summed up in one word: badass. But to do that, he would need to invest the following year and a decent chunk of change in the process—a small price to pay for perfection, especially with results like this! A lot of changes were in store, each one designed to make this one of the best K5s around.

When Dewayne picked up his latest K5, he knew exactly the direction he wanted to take it, and it can pretty much be summed up in one word: badass.  But to do that, he would  need to invest the following year and a decent chunk of  change in the process  —a small price to pay for perfection, especially with results like this! 

Although the Blazer is a late K5 (a 1989 model, to be exact), Dewayne much prefers the looks of the earlier models. So, one of his first modifications was to swap over the front sheetmetal from a ’73-’76 truck to bring the Blazer back to those 1970s oil-crisis days. All joking aside, with so many folks over the years swapping to the newer Blazer/Suburban frontends, it’s nice to see a good ol’ backdate every once in a while! And while Dewayne made the frontend look older, everything else on the Blazer was brought up to 21st century status.

UNDER THE HOOD SITS A FULLY BUILT, STROKED 6.7L LS! IT PUTS OUT 547 HORSEPOWER AND 519 LB-FT OF TORQUE.

One of the more subtle mods is the custom wheel openings, which were reshaped to fit the 37-inch BFG mud terrain tires mounted in 17-inch Method wheels. Of course, those tires weren’t going to fit anyway without a bit more help. So Dewayne fit Fox coilovers all around to lift the Blazer a total of 4 inches, with custom front and rear 4-links by Vice Unlimited to keep things in check both off-road and on. The front and rear Detroit lockers with 4.88 gearing make sure that the Blazer doesn’t just look the part of a capable off-roader, while the RockJock AntiRock front and rear sway bars make the truck’s capabilities even more obvious.

While Dewayne’s Blazer may, at first glance, appear to just be a simple and clean cruiser, once you dive into it,  it’s so much more and really  makes you appreciate all of the time and work that went into it.   

POWER AND TORQUE BOOGIE

But then, a quick pop of the hood reveals where the real boogie comes from—a fully built, stroked 6.7L LS! Assembled by Prestige Motorsports, the block is stuffed with a Callies Compstar forged crank, Wiseco pistons, and a Vengeance Racing Kaotik camshaft. This potent bottom end is topped with LS3-spec 821 heads, a FAST LSXr 102mm intake manifold, and Holley Terminator X fuel injection setup, with Flowtech shorty headers exiting to a pair of Magnaflow mufflers. That equates to 547 horsepower and 519 lb-ft of torque making its way to the Stage 2 4L80E transmission and NP205 LoMax transfer case, built by Vice Unlimited.

DEWAYNE’S BLAZER MAY LOOK TO BE A SIMPLE AND CLEAN CRUISER, BUT ONCE YOU TAKE A CLOSER LOOK AT ALL THE EXPERT DETAILS, YOU FIND IT’S SO MUCH MORE.

With the rest of the truck now up to snuff and in fresh, shiny, black and silver paint by Carolina Auto Direct, Dewayne’s attention moved onto the interior. The first obvious addition is the custom six-point cage built by Vice Unlimited. Once inside, you’ll notice the PRP seats, Holley Pro Dash instrumentation, and custom billet dash accessories by Vice.

While Dewayne’s Blazer may, at first glance, appear to just be a simple and clean cruiser, once you dive into it, it’s so much more and really makes you appreciate all of the time and work that went into it. So go ahead, pour over the photos, but try to keep the drool off the paper!

K5 Blazers

Build Specs

OWNER

Dewayne Stephens
Asheville, NC
1989 Chevy K5 Blazer

Chassis & Suspension

Custom front and rear 4-links by Vice Unlimited
Front Fox 2.5 coilovers, 4-inch lift
Rear Fox 2.0 coilovers, 4-inch lift
Dana 60 front axle w/RCV axles, Yukon gear hubs
Bolt rear axle with RCV axles
Detroit lockers front and rear
4.88 gearing front and rear
RockJock AntiRock front and rear sway bars
Wilwood brake master cylinder with hydroboost
PSC steering box

Wheels & Tires

17-inch Method model 312 wheels
37×13.50-17 BFGoodrich KM3 tires

Engine & Drivetrain
Stroked 408 cubic-inch (6.7L) LS engine
Wiseco pistons
Callies Compstar forged crankshaft
Vengeance Racing Kaotik camshaft
LS3-spec 821 heads
FAST LSXr 102mm intake manifold
Holley Terminator X fuel injection system
Billet Specialties Tru Trac serpentine accessory drive
Flowtech shorty headers
Custom stainless steel exhaust with Magnaflow mufflers
Custom engine mounts from Vice Unlimited
4L80E transmission with Jake’s Performance Stage 2 rebuild by Vice Unlimited
Transgo HD2 shift kit
PATC 3-disc billet torque converter w/3,500-RPM stall speed
Winters gated shifter w/triple stick transfer case controls
NP205 LoMax transfer case, 5.33 low-range ratio
ORD Magnum gear box

Body & Pain

Work performed by Carolina Auto Direct
Black and silver PPG paint
1973-1976 Chevy front sheetmetal swap
Front and rear wheel arches modified for tire clearance
Custom bumpers by Vice Unlimited
Custom Holley fuel cap
KC roof-mounted lights

Interior & Stereo

PRP seats
Five-point harnesses
Five-point roll cage by Vice Unlimited
Holley Pro Dash gauge setup
Custom dash pieces by Vice Unlimited
Vintage Air climate control
JL Audio stereo

 

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