This Build is still in the process and will be updated as I progress. It consists mostly of suggestions and tips from these forums. I'd like to thank all who've contributed over the years laying down a good foundation of knowledge for future dimers and myself.
4 years ago, looked to buy my first vehicle. I knew I wanted a 1st Gen S10. I wanted a truck so I can have a good transport vehicle for my next build. Spent a whole summer on Craig's and Kijiji with no luck (living in Ontario, Canada) October rolls around and one finally pops up randomly at night 11pm - I contacted the seller and agreed to meet him the following morning. Drove 30 mins with my gramps to check it out, we took it for a quick run, handed the man $1000 now I'm the owner of my first vehicle. Better late than never. Also, the guy was cool enough to let me use his plates to drive it home, Roadkill Style, he just picked them up later.
What I had to start, 90' Chevy S10 Ext Cab 4.3 Automatic w/ newer Sony deck installed, power options, Magnaflow Muffler, black paint job done recently and a rebuilt motor (seller needed quick cash getting married)
Didn't do too much, swapped in a old school woodgrain steering wheel, painted the grill/gmc black, painted the front/rear bumpers and sanded/painted the stock rims all black.
Drove it for 2 years like a champ. Only basic upkeep. No Knowledge of the potential this rig had, yet.
Eventually spun a rod bearing - Now the fun begins...
It was my only vehicle and daily driver I needed a quick fix - that didn't happen (of course)
Now I'm scrambling to get things together, my buddy said he'd do the motor swap on the cheap just provide all the parts, sounds like a smoking deal.
Uneducated, I picked up a 305/4L60e combo for $700 thought I was getting a great deal, the 305 was a proclaimed newer crate motor from GM, A Vortec with less than 60k, the tranny was rebuilt the previous summer. I then found out the rough way, I can't use the 4L60e for my application, also found out the differences of a 305 and 350 shortly after... It came with some Hedman headers that didn't fit my application, sold those right away for $100, I have the tranny up for sale for $400, which would leave me with a $200 motor after everything
Now I'm learning on the fly, which most of you know, can get expensive.
I decide to give the 98' 305 some life, we decide to tear it down start from scratch. Deleted the TBI (I know it would've been a plug and play, thanks forums*) Kept the stock Vortec heads valves(only 60k on them) added a 270HR Comp Cam off Kijiji, motor had new roller tips, Purchased online a New Dual plane Air Gap Intake Manifold, Kijiji found AED Holley 650ho mechanical low KMs good condition, dual electric fans, a $60 chrome alternator, couple cans of black engine temp paint, now we have a good looking motor with unknown HP/TQ with my stock gears - what do you guys think it'll be?? Before I dyno it? Comment your guesses*********
I found a smoking deal on Headman Longtube Headers 40 mins up north for $50 that clears the steering shaft, I was all over that, Girlfriend and I use her car to take the trip, that trip was life changing.. her Car had problems so we pulled over, it looked like I wasn't going to meet the seller, while we were waiting for CAA, driver called us saying he'd be there in 5 mins, within that 5 minutes we were rear ended by a sleeping driver still going 100kmph according to the video footage of a nearby business. Girlfriend was in the passenger seat, she had minimal injuries thanks God she thinks I absorbed her impact by our body positions within car, me leaning over the middle compartment, talking on the phone with the seller up North, whom by the way was on the phone the whole time of the accident but didn't know what he was hearing.. I was in the hospital for 5 days with 11 broken ribs 9 on my right side, one of them broken so bad it puncured my right lung, 2 fractures in my spine, 2 fractures in my neck, and various head injuries. Thank God we are alive. My buddy picked up the headers for me while I was in hospital, he said the seller had a sweet old Mopar truck with custom duallys.
Now I'm home sitting injured, barely able to get out of bed to take a piss without assistance. I focus on my health but all those lonely nights in the hospital, I stayed on track educating myself about S10's , now that I almost died for it I wanted to make the best S10 i could. I used learning to keep my mind off the pain.
Fast forward a month, I'm able to walk, and I'm more determined than ever, I've also learned about this thing called a T56 and the "swap list everything you need to know list" whilst I was in the hospital. I knew exactly what I wanted now. From all the pain I google taught myself about SBC's, S10's and the all components to make them tick and rip, much to learn still, much to do. Nothing but time while I heal and build this car from my bed.
To make up for my poor motor choice I was going to go all out and hit them with a 6speed auto-manual conversion.
Found out they are rare like unicorns up here in Ontario, Canada. So I put an add on Kijiji "looking for a T56". I actually got a hit. The guy lived 4 hours away up north, St Sault St Marie to be exact. Figured this deal wouldn't happen, he offered to drop it off here, stunned, I etransfered a quarter of the money we agreed on for gas money, I got him to send a picture of his driver license and photo of the tranny packed ready to go just in case, took a chance - He actually came through - that's a 8 hour round trip for him, handed him $1200 now I'm the owner of a 93' LT1 T56 complete with bell but needed a clutch.
Shopped around hard for the best price, got myself a oem clutch kit flywheel and slave for my S10 for the swap
Found a clutch pedal assembly with reservoir from a guy 2 hours away, he met met halfway thankfully, he just so happened to have a tilt steering column from a manual, I also picked that up to make the trip worth while for him, came with 2 spare keys
Decided to splurge and bought a MGW Short Shifter, received it quicker than expected, looks beautiful, best one on the market for sure (thanks forums*)
Things were going smooth, and then we looked over the cab (my buddy doesn't have a lift) and we noticed while measuring the hole for the new shifter location of the T56 and by pulling back the carpet, that my floor pan area was really bad, Fred Flinstone bad, also determined that 2/4 cab mounts were shot, along with the rockers that I knew about when I first bought it.
Okay first big build problem we ran into. We ordered the oem replacement parts 2x floor pans, rockers, cab mounts
We cut the rust for the floor pan area first, sanded and treated it. My buddy and I weren't comfortable tackling this welding job so we outsourced a mobile welder. I found a 50+ vet who wanted $700 for the rocker/floor pan job, also found a younger fellow 7 years welding as a career who wanted $300. Saved both of their #'s
Now this is where I'm at today, I havent assigned the job as of yet.
After endless hours of reading and watching YouTube builds. I have the feeling that holding onto my S10 isn't worth it. As my S10 sits with no motor/trans, there isn't much worth left, maybe my Woodgrain steering wheel and front rotors that are brand new still shining and a Single Magnaflow Muffler, truck bed is shot, my undercarriage wasn't looking awesome and I had enough body work to need a full paint job.
I was advised to let it go and buy someone else's project by my local mechanic the day my engine spun a rod bearing, I refused due to arrogance of the sentimental value that I bought this truck with my gramps whom I am very close with and that it was my first vehicle yada yada yada
Ignoring better judgement got the best of me, now I'm thinking clearer as my gramps would be the first person to tell me to scratch it and re start back up the right way if I really want to go the truck route. Worst thing I can do is dump thousands and drive home from my mechanics not feeling 100% safe.
Now I'm on the lookout for a 1st gen ext cab. According to the forums the best year for Ontario is a pre 87', it's etest exempt so I won't need Cats!
A small but very fun option that I didn't have with my 90'
So I'm looking for a good under carriage, A/C, Same box dash, Power Options will be nice, but as known on the forums I can swap my doors over. Is there a cut off year that you can't just plug the harness in? Can the flat dash pre 85s' plug and play a 90's S10/Blazer power options door? Couldn't pin point that info - if it's on this forum, can someone verify that?
I found a 86' Ext Cab Clean title S10. Stock 4.3 with no rust under carriage, passenger side rocker has hole I have the replacement part already. It has some things done to it that I wanted to do after my motor/trans swap that would've costed me if I kept my truck;
-Good condition truck bed w/ roll pan $500
-Dual Muffler pipes $400
-Cowl Hood + Stock Hood $100
-Double Din system with amp and custom ext cab sub box $500
Also has a good running 4.3 and 700r4 that's fully mechanical good to sell $500-800/combo
Buddy wants $2500 and he'll drive it here from Windsor 2 hour trip here
Think I might just do it, only reason haven't picked it up yet, if I can find a manual stock so we don't have to screw around with the pedal assembly again it may be worth it, even though the new prospect won't have the above listed items most likely, what do you guys think I should do? Sleep on it? The 86' seller actually took the add down because of the lowball offers via Kijiji but he texted me his number as I was serious about it.
I haven't told my mechanic about my plans, about bringing in a second S10 and doing it twice. I know it'll cost more, but this time it'll be their 2nd time at it and should go by that much smoother. Easier to fix mechanical stuff than fight the rust war, my tech offered to fix the cab mounts after the outsourced Weld job but I feel like that's a lot of pressure to lay on him, he could've knocked this out in 1 week if it wasn't for my sketchy structure of the cab.
Here's my master list;
1200 - 93' LT1 T56 Camaro
420 - OEM clutch kit, flywheel, slave, S10 master
230 - Clutch Pedal Assembly/Manual Shifter Column/Motor Mounts
700 - V8 305 4L60e combo
120 - XR270HR Comp Cam
380 - Dual Plane Air Gap Intake Manifold
370 - AED Holley 650cfm Mech
100 - Gasket Kit Kijiji find
100 - NGK Spark Plugs with U/L Rad Hoses
185 - A1 Cordone Distributor with Red wires n clips
280 - Brand new Power Steering pump/oil pan
60 - Newer Dual Electric fans Kijiji find
50 - Newer Red Optima Battery Kijiji
420 - Plush Carpet Via Rockauto
200 - Front/Rear Shocks 50% off sale
200 - Iroc 15" Rims
Still need hardware, and some gauges probably Speedhut Custom set, I like theirs as they have some metric gauges with turn signal and highbeam lights built in.
I took those Headers and got them professionally powdercoated (I should've just bought a sandblaster and painting gun)
They turned out okay, I'd probably go with bronze if I re-did them
I lucked out on some lowering parts. I knew I was switching out my stock springs, so I Made them available via Kijiji. Someone contacted me saying they would trade 4x 2" Lowering Springs, 3" Lowering Blocks and 2" drop spindles for my stock Springs - if I went to him, 40 mins away, we were looking for a car for my sister up in that direction just so happen so we made the deal. However my stock springs were still on the truck I picked up another set for $60 on the way and used that to trade, as I couldn't just take mine off and leave it like that meaning I still have mine to sell,when I do drop it. Should be a 4/6 drop. They didn't look so pretty when I got them, a little sanding and $6 spray can of textured coating they looked brand new
Another Kijiji deal, chrome alternator for $60 - Apparently he had one of the first V8 S10's in Ontario, he showed me pictures of it, said he had a V8 before they produced motor mounts for them, looked all good, he had a nasty stock 72' Camaro, should've snapped a picture of it. I did snap a pic of another Camaro I saw picking up a gasket set
The other nasty Z28 Camaro I saw
(Girlfriend getting too comfortable in the 69' )
I picked up a good condition stock 1st gen S10 bench seat for $60, the ones that don't recline back, realizing this would be a problem for me after purchasing, I thought about taking the advice about custom cutting it - so that it can lean back. I elected not to not go through that plan. I ended selling it for $160 making a easy $100 profit
Sold my stock 700r4 for $200
Got some 15" Iroc Rims came with rubber, didn't look good at first, turned out real decent with a good sanding, half a day, couple cans of plasti dip
I bought a couple of Edelbrock intake Manifolds off Kijiji, tried to clean them up, didn't like how they turned out so I sold both for a $100 profit. Ended up buying a brand new Air Gap Dual Plane
Picked up a inner driverside fender replacement part off this guy from Kijiji (of course) he was cool, he gave me a set of V4 brake rotors kit with bearings front and back for free, he was late and felt bad, he was selling his 4 banger to someone else and that stuff wasn't included in that deal, thanked him, off he went. Ended up selling the V4 brake set for $80 I bought the inner fender for $40 which left me a $40 profit, Punctuality pays sometimes.
Also have a starter that didn't fit my plans from the 305 sold that for $20
Saw a $50 Morosso Valve cover set on kijiji with breather, it came with chrome brackets for an alternator, bought it right away - kept the brackets - sold the rest of the Kit for $150
With the 86' I plan to buy, I'll pull the motor/trans sell that for 500-800, sell the cowl hood for $100, and the stock S10 rims and rubber, I should end up with a rust free extended cab for $1500
Then the labour, my buddy isn't charging me a lot fee because of my accident, which is real good
Once everything settles and looks good, I lastly plan to add a Ford 8.8 Rear Axel with Disk brakes (thanks forum*)
I did entertain the thought of swapping my motor in the future but this cammed out 305 should do well. I need it to haul stuff like my imaginary boat I'll have in the future and other car parts for future projects, this will do just that.. If I come across a good deal for a LS or built motor I may consider it but by then I would've finished my next 2 projectS.
How much HP/TQ do you think I'll get to the wheels with my cammed 305 stock gears for now? I plan to dyno if before the 8.8 Rear swap and after
If you read all of that, I'd like to hear some good stuff, opinions, suggestions?
I will update again when I pick up the rust free S10 to swap all my stuff into. Should take less than 4 weeks to find one if not I'll be picking up the 86'
Thanks for reading
Here's some eye candy of my next project potentially. 25k Budget featuring Air Ride, Matte Black Paint Job
Lastly here's a little humour, again i'll be posting as soon I got some good progress and pics