You might recall that I picked up a ’79 Chevrolet Blazer last month. I thought I’d give a brief update on what’s going on with it. The first order of business was the radiator, which had a habit of spritzing coolant all over the engine. That’s because it was completely full of holes.
I took it to the nice folks at ABC Radiator in Framingham, Massachusetts. You know, there used to be radiator shops all over the place. They’re all closed now, probably because they dumped all kinds of caustic chemicals into the groundwater for a thousand years, but be that as it may, it’s tough to find one these days.
ABC Radiator is an old-school shop. It’s a place that looks like the Malebolga from Dante’s Inferno, where Simonists are turned upside down in a hot boiling tank. Getting a radiator recored these days is pretty pricey. It was going to be about $300 to get it fixed. A new aluminum radiator with plastic tanks was only $120. For the short-term, I bought the cheap Chinese radiator, but I’ll have the original one recored eventually.
I also stripped off all the plow stuff. The frame and the attachment brackets came off fairly easily, but I had to drop the front sway bar to get the left side bracket out. While I did that, I figured I’d replace the sway bar bushings, which were only $15 from RockAuto.com, including a new bracket.
I’m also working on getting the shocks replaced. They’re literally rusted to pieces, and the truck will just sit there bouncing for an hour if a stiff breeze wafts through the garage. I placed the order for these at the same time as the sway bar bushings. I gotta tell you, Rock Auto is awesome. I ordered everything Monday and it arrived yesterday.
The thing I’ve been most pleased about so far is this: Every single time I’ve thought “God damn, there’s no way I’m going to get that bolt off,” I spray a little PB Blaster on it and it turns right off. I’ve only used the grinder and the Sawzall twice, and both times it was more out of convenience than actual necessity. So far, this Blazer’s been a real pleasure to work on.
I also spent $300 at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles getting plates. I’ll finish up replacing the shocks tomorrow, and if all goes well, I should be able to drive it around a bit this weekend. Stay tuned.