This LS3-Swapped K5 Blazer Makes Modern Off-Roaders Look Tame

Do any of you remember the reaction people had when the Chevy Blazer returned to production not as a true-to-form boxy off-roader but rather a milquetoast crossover SUV soccer mom-mobile that looks like it'd mess its trousers crossing a grassy field, let alone some genuine rough off-roading? Well, the upcoming all-electric version isn't going to numb the blow if you were expecting a return to form for the Blazer brand; it's much of the same crossover nonsense as its ICE alternative. But this GM LS3-swapped 1969 Blazer might cure what ails you.
LS3 Swapped K5 Blazer 9 photos
Photo: Rock Bottom Off Road
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This particularly awesome custom Blazer build comes to us from the team at Rock Bottom Offroad based out of Lake Elsinore in Southern California. As you'd expect from the hottest and most vibrant car culture anywhere in the world, this build sports all the fixings an off-road build needs in its life and nothing that it doesn't. In its day, gen-I K5 Blazers left the factory with a plethora of different straight sixes and V8s ranging from 250 cubic inches (4.1) liters up to 350 cubic inches (5.7 liters) in the highest trimmed V8 examples. These were some fairly solid engine options for the day, but this 6.2-liter LS3 engine, most famous for its use in base-model C6 Corvettes from 2008 onward, has all this legacy hardware done and dusted.

With the added benefit of the 1.9-liter Eaton TVS supercharger you'd also find on the GM LSA V8 found in various Camaros and Cadillac models from the mid-to-late 2010s adds a boost of power that totals 470 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque in its current tuning configuration. It's not exactly the most powerful LS V8 out there, but you don't need the king's share of horsepower out on the trails when you're liable to cross the ten-mile-per-hour threshold maybe once or twice on a given woodland trail. Anything more than that would only make the CV shafts shatter into a million pieces, in all likelihood.

All this power is fed to a customized GM 4L80E four-speed-automatic transmission linked via a split driveshaft to a Dana 60 axle up front and a 14-bolt axle at the rear, and an NP 205 dual-range transfer case and ARB locking differentials running 5.13 gears for. Add on the custom four-link suspension at all four corners with four-wheel disk brakes all around, and this is the kind of restomod that can legitimately humble modern Ford Broncos, Land Rover Defenders, and Jeep Wrangler 392s while maintaining a classic look that modern 4x4s can only hope to replicate but never hope to achieve on their own. Congrats all around to the Rock Bottom Offroad team on what might be the coolest 4x4 restomod we've seen all month.
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