I like your story about the 86. I've got an 88 s-10 2.8, no 4x4 though, but he's on his last limb. The tranny is failing and slips going into forth and usually won't go into OD. The engine is real loud and the exhaust train leaks. I want to fix it up and you sound like you have done a lot of work on these blazers and I'm hoping you can tell me what you know. I'm 18 now and have had it since I was 16 and we just rolled over 161000mi a few weeks ago. Id love to get into working on cars, but I don't know much. If you could give me some info or email me @ email@example.com Id really appreciate it.
La Mirada, CA
Yoiu exaggerated the water crossing up to the hood part. No stock blazer has a snorkle. You would suck water badly and would have to keep the engine at like half throttle to keep water from going up the exhaust pipe into the cylinders. I don't think you have a smokestack either...
But its okay to exaggerate, we all do.
I totally agree the s10 blazer is extremely tough in 4x4 a little weak in power though. I use mine to go camping in the back woods with only mud roads and lots of hills. Let me also mention I haul a supply trailer to this camp that weighs more than the blazer itself. It always kept crawling forward against all odds. Only problem I do have is my motor finally let go and can't find an affordable replacement.
I owned my S-10 4X4 for 11 years now. I completely went through the truck and recently installed new gears front and back and a rear limited slip differential. The truck has been been mainly on road, but is set up now for a little off roading due to the 3.73 gears and limited slip rear axle. The 2.8 L has been rebuilt and I installed a new BW 5 speed in place of the stock 4 speed and rebuilt the NP 207 transfer case. I have installed 235X15 Michelin's all the way around on after market rims. The AC is new, but could work a little better in the summer. Strong tough and a keeper that's my S-10.
I'll be getting my license in about 6 months and an 86' S10 blazer will be my first. My father has let me drive the vehicle off-road and it did remarkably well considering the bald tires. There are a couple things you've mentioned in your story that I object to. Problems we have with the vehicle are the dependability of it starting. It will start after it has sat for awhile, but if you attempt to start the vehicle after it has ran for awhile it won't start it simply clicks. The starter has been replaced about three times in 4 years under low miles because it used to never start also the vehicle cuts in and out while being operated. Obviously I have the "unlucky blazer"
I have a 2000 S-10 Blazer. The bearings are going out at a rate of 1 every 20,000 miles, sometimes less (and I don't have over sized tires). I'm told by my tire dealer that the GM sealed bearings are poorly engineered and fail. Furthermore, there's no way to get into them so it costs me $300 per bearing to replace. I'm out over $1000 in three years. Keep this in mind. By the way my 1989 Blazer is still going strong at 250,000 miles. I'm selling the new one!
In 1993, I purchased a used 1989 S-10 Blazer with the 4.3 liter engine. The mileage is now about 290,000 miles. Most of this is city driving with occasional 60 mile trips.
I have replaced the digital dash, starter coil, and 2 alternators and the upholstery - nothing else. The engine starts easily at the touch of the ignition key. It runs very smoothly. It has never used oil between changes. Recently, there now seems to an oil leak at the rear main seal and no inexpensive way to fix it. My solution is to be careful where I park and use oil absorbents in the garage.
I have a '95 S10 blazer and it can sit at an idle in water and not suck water back up the muffler.
I just bought a 86 s 10 blazer.. hope I get good service from it as my dad did on his 85 he had over 300 thousand miles on it when the head gasket blew, but other than normal mainteance that was all that was ever done to the little 2.8.
I have an 85 S10 4x4 with the little 2.5L 4 cylinder, and I have to say at 165000 miles it still runs great!
I bought it not too long ago for cheap (650). It had a little trouble getting home. Quick tune up the next day fixed it. Haven't had a problem since then.
I've climbed some pretty nice hills in the woods with it, 4 low and first gear can't be stopped!
The only issue I have with it is the stock 4 speed manual and a rattling exhaust shroud. All in all one awesome truck.
My advice to anyone who doesn't have one, buy one!
I just bought an 80's blazer today for 350 bucks, that 2.8 is freakin slow, but good god that thing can't be stopped on the trails.