Been there Done it
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: SW Wisconsin
oldeerslayer is offline
Re: 83 s10 swap cost
Nope. That question is way too broad.
Need to do a lot of reading first to narrow it down a bit.
You are correct the SBC 350 is probably the most popular swap into an early S10.
I've seen them done under $500 when fuel mileage, driveability, and reliability weren't a consideration. On the other end, the sky is the limit.
I'd guess off the top of my head with a good engine (not new) and a good transmission installed correctly you're looking at at least $3k. If you do all the work. But with little knowledge it's hard to know what is and isn't a good engine/trans. All new will cost more and even then you have to be careful shopping. There are as many misrepresented auto parts for sale as there are good ones. New or used.
Not unlike art, jewelry, or the stock market. Unless you're truly knowledgeable in the field, you'll likely make big mistakes.
Read everything you can find on the subject. Then find a beater to tinker with just for some experience. Then ask your questions.
Not trying to discourage you. When I was 16-18 I attempted a couple swaps that ended in dismal failure. Guess that's why I enjoy doing them now. Now that I have the training, experience, tools, facilities and a bit of discretionary income. And still learn something new every day.
To be perfectly honest if you want good gas mileage, longevity, and reliability, keep it stock and replace needed parts with the best quality you can afford. I've only seen a few swaps that met even 2 of your 3 criteria and those were done by expert gearheads with some cash to burn.
Guess that answer was broader than the question.