Four Wheel Blazer Pop-up, Finally found one

Ok people here's a quick update of our progress on the Blazer FWC. My buddies and I have spent 3 different weekends on teardown and the beginning of the reassembly process. Word to those squeamish. We tore this thing up.

Here's the two worst parts of the camper. Coincidentally, they are the only parts in the structure FWC used particleboard on.

IMG_20170826_135322625_HDR by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Teardown in progress.
IMG_20170826_135341609 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Wide open.
IMG_20170826_135353249_HDR by Rob Zulian, on Flickr


Other side.
IMG_20170826_135357066_HDR by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Fridge area.
IMG_20170826_135401086_HDR by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

At this point a stage of "might as well" set in. After brainstorming, knowing my intended use and what I want in here we decided to gut the cabinet. Sink, water tank and stove got pulled. My rear bumper setup will include room to carry 4 Scepter cans (2 fuel, 2 water) so carrying water inside is not a priority. This also kills the required maintenance of Winterizing the water system and gains valuable storage space. The stove isn't a necessity inside for me. When camping I'm more inclined to cook outside. I'll have a camp stove to use outside that will tie into the camper's onboard propane tank for the furnace. The goal here is freeing up space for a modern 12v chest fridge and allow my driver's seat to go fully back and recline for my driving comfort.
IMG_20170827_122533857 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

The Cab-over floor has been replaced here. We doubled up 5/8" and 1/2". Overall thickness is just a 1/16th of an inch more than the original floor. They were joined with PL400 and zinc plated flush mount screws. We also had to repair/replace the forward lift panel and you can see we went with a different setup than stock. We had perfectly replicated the stock panels, cleaned up the hinges, but when we went to rivet the parts together we discovered the FWC rivets are a flush mount/thin design that I couldn't find that day. This is just a single panel hinged at the bottom as a proof of concept. This will probably change.
IMG_20170827_122542713 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

We did find some factory ID marks on the bottom of the countertop in our teardown..
IMG_20170827_153850750 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Some of the distruction.
IMG_20170827_153854990 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Clean slate.
IMG_20170827_154418120_HDR by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Rebuilding begins.
IMG_20170827_162619748 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Passenger side wood was completely replaced.
IMG_20170909_172350175 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Rather than replacing the driver's side we doubled up and tied it into the wall.
IMG_20170909_172354905 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Front cab wall installed. We added an oak block to gusset the joint between the cab-over floor and front wall. This tied the sides together and really brought the rigdity back to the structure. It's solid now.
IMG_20170909_191516905 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

From the inside.
IMG_20170909_191559917 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Passenger front corner. We will be adding oak blocking to gusset the horizontile and vertical corners here.
IMG_20170909_191608145 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Drivers side front corner. This area is altered from stock. The front cab wall in stock form had a smaller asymetric opening that went all the way to the inside edge of the cabinet floor. Problem for me is it blocks the seat back from reclining to a comfortable angle for me with the seat all the way back. So we cut the opening to match the other side the corner of the floor might have to come out, but we need to get the camper back in the truck to know for sure. Really the vertical wall was the biggest issue. We'll see when it's back on the truck.
IMG_20170909_191613533 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Beginning of the cabinet.
IMG_20170909_191620794 by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

We got a lot done so far. Still need to stain and seal the wood. Need to fix the roof, reseal and install the new roof vent.
 
Zoomad - Welcome to the Four Wheel Camper Blazer club! I've got mine mounted on my 72 Blazer.

I see that you are redoing all of your cabinetry. Would you be willing to sell a piece or two from your demo pile? In particular, I need the cabinet portion that is located under the fridge and to the right of the heater (long, rectangular sliding doors and shelf), if you still have them.

Thanks
 
Zoomad
Wow ,looking good there. You should really like the like new camper you and friends breathed life into. Great job.
Russ
 
Old Iron said:
Zoomad - Welcome to the Four Wheel Camper Blazer club! I've got mine mounted on my 72 Blazer.

I see that you are redoing all of your cabinetry. Would you be willing to sell a piece or two from your demo pile? In particular, I need the cabinet portion that is located under the fridge and to the right of the heater (long, rectangular sliding doors and shelf), if you still have them.

Thanks
Thanks for the welcome to the FWC Blazer camper club. I've checked out yours through some detailed searches when I've been researching the subject. Just a word of warning, ideas might be stolen...LOL.

I'm not sure what I have left out of the Demo pile. Next time I'm over there I'll look. John's got my stuff piled up near the camper. I'll let you know. (got the PM)

CougarCouple said:
Zoomad
Wow ,looking good there. You should really like the like new camper you and friends breathed life into. Great job.
Russ
I'm itching to use it. The last camping/wheeling trip proved it would have been worth it's weight in gold. Should be fun!

MattC said:
Cool stuff
glad to see you rescuing this old school stuff.
Thanks! These items are too cool to let fade away.


We got a little bit done during our last work session. Main target was the roof. Winter is coming and we need this sucker sealed up as it might have snow sitting on it sooner or later. I had a new to me roof vent a co-worker pulled from a RV he parted out to install. I picked up some fresh screws in a slightly larger diameter but with rubber/metal washers under the head. Got some stuff to put on the roof as well.

Started out removing the busted vent and cleaning up every dollop of silicone somebody put on every stinking bolt in the roof. We also removed the rack to allow better access to reseal. We took a wire wheel to peel up/remove the rest of the garbage smeared on in other spots over the rest of the roof.
37672586606_a080103342_b.jpg


We cleaned/scrubbed the roof and let it dry completely before sealing it up. Due to it being Sunday and a lack of RV stores locally I picked up a couple of quarts of Flex Seal and a handful of brushes from the local wally world. The stuff actually covered nicely but it took four of us working feverishly to spread it out and get solid coverage. As it was, the can said it would cover 37.5 square feet. My lying ass it would. One can covered one half of the roof, exactly. Good thing I bought two. Need to do one more coat at least.
37672581876_a08b9d5908_b.jpg


37463172200_1ea157b6bf_b.jpg


You'll also see in the above pic the modification made to the camper jacks. Rather than what I talked about doing before making it adjustable, we just added 12" near the top with some 1/4" wall iron pipe John had laying around. It worked perfectly and should allow us to lift the camper without the Jenga puzzle to reach the lifted Blazer.

Also, the plan for using the front of a Blazer top to make the connection between the camper and Blazer more sealed is getting clearer. Another guy on CK5 that found a killer 77 Blazer with FWC camper on it a few weeks after I found mine has started a discussion with me. It's interesting to see the minor differences made in a few years between our campers. His does have bolts attaching the forward wall to the vertical end of the Blazer cab. A free Blazer fiberglass top was found on Craigslist in Denver (he lives up there) and he went and picked it up for me. He even chopped off what I didn't need to make it easy to transport.

img_20171004_173208723-1-jpg.247273


This is still more than I need, but we can whittle it down to only fill the gap between the Blazer roof and the front wall. It might require a slight recess being cut into the wood of the front cab wall to allow it to fit but at least I'll be able to bolt it in right and use the factory Blazer top seals to seal it up. The small section of top will be bonded to the front cab wall.

The end result should be something like this (thanks for the pic K5nutt!)
36430583584_25536446d0_z.jpg
 
Cool!

The core of cK5 is a good group, the vigilante's not so much. Spent a lot of time there when I had the Subs.
 
Zoomad - Steal away on anything I have done. That is the point of posting up here! Thanks for looking into your scrap pile. Hopefully you find some or all of that piece I need. If not, I would still be interested in whatever scrap wood paneling you have. I have not been able to find matching wood paneling anywhere, and could use your scrap to build more cabinetry that matches the existing. Thanks.
 
Old Iron said:
Zoomad - Steal away on anything I have done. That is the point of posting up here! Thanks for looking into your scrap pile. Hopefully you find some or all of that piece I need. If not, I would still be interested in whatever scrap wood paneling you have. I have not been able to find matching wood paneling anywhere, and could use your scrap to build more cabinetry that matches the existing. Thanks.
I'll check out the pile next time I'm over there. Was planning on this weekend, but the weather looks iffy and I need to go back to Denver and fix my son's truck.
 
Took advantage of the crazy warm December weather to get a work day in on the camper. So John, Shane and I hit it again this time to get the Blazer top section grafted on the front wall of the camper. The stock top came off and we lined up the truck to get under the camper one of many times today.

27193806379_1c2ba0f8d2_b.jpg


We realized a good idea earlier wasn't such a good idea after all. We had installed an oak block to gusset the roof to the front wall, but it was too tall to allow the new section of top to fit in. Before we could proceed we had to pull it back off again. As you can see there isn't much room between the top of the truck and cab-over section of the camper.
27193764359_3084a73658_b.jpg


With the camper in place we measured in multiple spots for the amount of distance we needed to cover from the front wall of the camper and where the front edge of the stock top lands. Turns out we needed 1 3/4".

38255108554_f857beacfb_b.jpg


I then took a sliding t-square off of the front lip of the top section and marked out the needed 1 3/4" with an added 1/8th to cover the blade thickness of the cut off wheel we were using. In order to get a straight cut and have a "fence" to guide the cut we took some landscape edging and screwed it to the section of the top.

38255103424_8b9b4874f0_b.jpg


The actual cutting went smoothly. But damn the dust! Could have used two respirators!

38934634552_a60d429c56_b.jpg


With the outside cut, it was time to cut the inside. As it turns out there is a perfect ledge formed on the inside that is just over 1 3/4" from the front edge so we set the part down on the lawn and used the ledge as the guide. Worked perfectly.

25100018968_060a974225_b.jpg


The final product. It was amazing how many spider webs and wasp nests we cleaned out of the cavity after we cut it open.

38255094054_14e669e8ff_b.jpg


Test fitting with the camper to the truck. Fits pretty darn well.

38971243771_31207221b1_b.jpg


25099998978_44aaaa20ed_b.jpg


While we had the tools out we finished out our rough cut for the cab wall to match the contour of the cab opening.

38255081044_d6ff1bd9a7_b.jpg


With a location line traced where the top section is to sit we added a temporary screw on each side to hold it so we could drill out the holes for the bolts that will attach the camper to the roof of the cab.

24106277157_d355ba6a96_b.jpg


With the camper on we took care of another issue too. The forward section of the driver's side cabinet floor encroaches on the driver's seat going back all the way. A quick radius was drawn and cut out with a jigsaw.

38971264651_df15089670_b.jpg


38084719565_cf077bc8ff_b.jpg


Now the seat can go all the way back and tilt to a comfy angle. All in all, this was a major milestone in the construction phase. We can now move on to cabinetry and rebuilding the bench/storage area. Not too much more and it's getting mounted permanently.
 
Zoomad: where did you get the modern-looking jacks?
my friend's old jack's gear broke. He needs one for his 85 Fleet. thanks
27193806379_1c2ba0f8d2_b.jpg
 
Living The Dream said:
That is looking good! Is there any rubber or foam or anything that also goes on that seal? Or will it be a permanent sealant like silcone?
The fiberglass section is sealed to the front wall of the camper with silicone. You can see the rubber gasket on the leading edge of the fiberglass section. On a stock fiberglass Blazer top there are actually two seals working together to seal the top to the cab. The one you see on the front of the section I've cut will get removed and a new stock seal installed. I'll also install the body side seal that fits in the channel. This way two things are accomplished to improve on the original way the camper installs to the body. One is the factory rubber seals will seal much better than just butting up the camper to the back of the cab with camper tape. Should be air and water tight. Second is now I have the ability to add 6 more attachment points to the vertical part of the cab. Mine was only attached to the bed rails. Now by doing what we've done we had a very easy way to match up where the holes are in the body and transferring them to the cab wall of the camper by drilling front to back. It may not seem like much, but what I felt on the ride home from Denver with just the side bolts the front of the camper was lifting with speed. Part of that had to have been coming from the gaping hole up in the bed area out front, but north of 65 mph I could see the gap from the cab to the camper increase. That's not good. So bolting them to the cab this way the camper isn't going anywhere.

longhorn1 said:
Awesome job. Is the exposed plywood on the front of the camper being covered with aluminum, or just painted? jd
Yeah we aren't leaving the wood exposed. I've got some sheet aluminum I need to pick up from a co-worker to face it with. We will still be sealing the wood prior to that though.

pollux said:
Zoomad: where did you get the modern-looking jacks?
my friend's old jack's gear broke. He needs one for his 85 Fleet. thanks
Actually I got those from another member of this forum. He caught me prior to buying the camper and offered them up to me for $100. I jumped on them. You might notice mine have been modified slightly. We had to get some more up travel on the jacks to reach my higher bedsides. There is an extra 10 inches we added to get the reach we needed. The guy I bought them from bought them from some other dude. Not sure where they came from.
 
Been behind on updating. Work has been done. Actually got some weather around here so I couldn't get anything done this weekend, but here's a quick rundown of the latest work completed.

We still need to skin the outside exposed wood with some sheet aluminum one of my co-workers had stashed away.
Work day on the camper. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Cab floor section glued and screwed in place.
Work day on the camper. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Cab wall trimmed out with the fiberglass bolted in place.
Work day on the camper. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Cabinet rebuilding started.
Work day on the camper. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

John had some oak paneled doors from another cabinet he salvaged and didn't have any use for them we could repurpose them for this project.
Work day on the camper. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Work day on the camper. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Work day on the camper. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Framework completed.
More work by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Front corner was cut back to allow for clearance to my drivers seat. You'll notice the cab wall opening is cut open larger than the original version. Again this was done due to interference with the front seat not allowing it to move all the way back and have the seat back in a position I find comfy.
More work by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

This area will be very usefull. Lower cubby will contain the fuse panel and be the wiring hub for the camper. The middle vertical panel will be where the solar control panel, battery monitor panel, usb charge ports and switches will reside. The upper cubby will be for storage of small items.
Cabinet work. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Cabinet framed out with the oak trim. Still need to hang the doors.
Cabinet work. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

Cabinet work. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

The countertop will be cut out of stainless steel and inset on the top.
Cabinet work. by Rob Zulian, on Flickr

The cabinet is a large hurdle to get completed. All that is left to it is hang the doors, sand, stain/poly. Next phase is the inside of the roof. The stock headliner was water damaged and falling apart. So it's getting pulled along with the fiberglass batting insulation. Higher density foil backed insulation will be going back in, wiring run for the solar panel, lights and vent fan. The headliner going back in will be a plain white shower wall board. The wallboard is fairly thin/light and the white will brighten up the interior even with the lights off. Plus side is it's water resistant. We will probably reconstruct the lift panels in round metal electrical conduit and make a stronger setup than the plywood panels that are warped to hell.

From there, the camper needs the lower bench redone and the floor stripped of carpet and recovered in a vinyl flooring of some type. Then it's time to drop the camper on again.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top Bottom