83 s10 swap cost - S-10 Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-23-2019, 03:40 PM Thread Starter
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83 s10 swap cost

What’s up everyone. I’m thinking about doing my first engine swap on my 83 s10 because the engine in it is having some problems. What cost am I looking at for the whole job (engine and all)? Where is a good place to look for the parts (engine and whatever I’ll need)? What do I need to consider when looking for a new motor and parts? I know this is a very broad question so just keep in mind I know nothing and haven’t been working on cars very long. I hear a small block 350 is the most popular swap with this truck but that’s about it. I’m looking for something that won’t kill me on gas, can last a long time and is reliable. Like mentioned, I know nothing so any advice is appreciated.


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post #2 of 19 Old 01-23-2019, 04:06 PM
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Re: 83 s10 swap cost

Start by reading everything in the V8 section. Since you haven't done this before, I'd stick with the sec. I'm sure oldeerslayer will be along with the finer points.

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post #3 of 19 Old 01-24-2019, 01:21 AM
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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.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-24-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thats good info. Thanks and I appreciate the honesty. I can’t learn if people are blowing smoke up my behind.

All I can afford is the engine. I have about $1000 to get my truck rolling again. I found the same engine for $550 at a salvage yard. I hear it’s about the same price for a 3.4 off a Camaro. Is that true and will the transmission support the extra power?

Maybe you can help me @oldeerslayer I’m in Iowa

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post #5 of 19 Old 01-25-2019, 12:20 AM
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Re: 83 s10 swap cost

You're still doing and engine swap with a 3.4 and there are issues to deal with. Many subtle differences from one to the other and year to year. I think you could get into trouble. Not to say it hasn't been done and with good results. Do a search on here for 3.4 info and contact some of the guys who've done it. I've never studied all the ins and outs of doing one, but got the feeling it's not a simple bolt in. Things like differences in how the flywheel is balanced and head variations.
The engine you mention in the other post begs a couple questions. How is it the engine has only 56K in 30 years? Did it sit for a long time? Not good unless it was indoors and turned over once in a while. Take a look at it. It should be pretty with that kind of mileage. Can the seller document the mileage? If it's a real gem, $550 ain't bad, but offer him less since there isn't a long line of guys looking for one. Be sure it's an 83 or will interchange with yours.

I haven't worked on a 2.8 banger in 20 years. Except to remove it.
When the weather breaks I have an addition on the house that's only half done. Gonna wreck my summer so she can have an exercise pool.
Then my GXP needs a trans. You wanna learn about auto repair try pulling a FWD V8 trans. You have to pull the frame and everything except the engine, which has to be lowered on one end.
Darn good thing I don't have to mess with working anymore.
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-25-2019, 10:09 AM Thread Starter
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Re: 83 s10 swap cost

@oldeerslayer now that your mentioning the problems that can go wrong, it sounds smarter to just put in the same engine. I was trying to get away form the the 1st gen 2.8 because I hear they're notorious for having problems. Im not giving up hope on putting in a different engine yet so I'll keep doing research.

Im gonna contact the salvage yard today to ask more questions on the motor and the ones you mentioned. The guy did say the motor wasn't pulled yet so Im gonna ask if I can see it run as well. That motor is form a 84 tho. Mine is a 83. I looked up the family tree on 60degreev6. For some reason theres two years for 83. One says "Four bolt right hand motor mount" and then theres "no changes" for the other 84 or 84. I'm guessing a quick look at the engine mounts can solve that problem.

I contacted a mechanic from a honest shop in town and he gonna give me a call so we can talk about it. Looking forward to it.

Its funny you say you haven't worked on one for a while. I couldn't imagine someone trying to do anything except take them out!
The exercise pool will be worth it. It beats running in the heat!
To learn, Ill stick to this little engine right now and let you deal with that transmission.

Thanks again for the help! Slowly but surly!!!
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post #7 of 19 Old 01-25-2019, 10:59 AM
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Re: 83 s10 swap cost

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Originally Posted by Yowakawaka View Post
@oldeerslayer
Its funny you say you haven't worked on one for a while. I couldn't imagine someone trying to do anything except take them out!

Thanks again for the help! Slowly but surly!!!
You should do a little more reading and asking questions of the people on the forum that have had good luck with their 2.8's.

Anything other than another 2.8 swap is going to eat up your $1000 pretty quick.

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post #8 of 19 Old 01-30-2019, 10:18 PM
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Doing the 3.4 swap isn’t bad on a carbureted engine. It’s as simple as swapping the motor with the following.

The biggest struggle is the front cover. The 82-85 has a cover that has two bolts that hold it to the oil pan. The 86 only is a combo one year weirdo v-belt/ribbed belt combo and has a different sealing surface that doesn’t use the two bolts but still uses the same water pump as the 82-85. The 87 on however has the 86 sealing surface and full serpentine belts and reverse rotation water pump. So you need a 86 cover and use your existing v belts and water pump, or convert the truck to serpentine belt drive and change the accessories and reverse pump. That’s really the only part that sucks! Don’t worry. You can’t screw this up. The reverse pump won’t fit the old housing or vice versa. I converted mine to serpentine accessories and couldn’t be happier. I actually used the 93 Camaro pump since my truck is equipped with an electric fan I don’t need the mounts for the mechanical fan.

Make sure the flywheel you use has no weights on the outside. That’s the correct one. Don’t use the one in your truck unless you grind the weights off. Use the one from the donor. Or order one for like a 89 or newer s10. 88 was a changeover year and some units have weights. 89 is a safe year to buy.

Buy a low pressure electric fuel pump and regulator. Make sure to wire it up with the safety switch from a later truck. I can tell you how to wire it no problem.

That’s basically it. I’d NEVER put a 2.8 in a truck that could do a 3.4 easily. Cost difference is minimal, and besides what I mentioned, the same swap in a carbureted truck.

I converted mine to EFI. That was a ton of fun. But that’s something I’d recommend after a little more time on the mechanic’s driver seat.

I’m more than happy to help you do the 3.4 swap.



1984 xcab s-10 3.4L GM crate engine 91 S10 TBI swap w bored intake, Edelbrock headers. 2" Rough Country Lift. Custom exhaust, shift kit, e-fan.


EFI swap https://www.s10forum.com/forum/f106/...e-help-513616/

My build thread (3.4L)https://www.s10forum.com/forum/f106/...stions-427168/
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I had to cut my nut in half .
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-31-2019, 12:41 AM
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Re: 83 s10 swap cost

So if you use an 89 up 3.4, the 2.8 carb and manifold will bolt on to the heads and he can use the 2.8 distributor with the vacuum advance? No roller cam issues?
Sounds simple if he gets the 89 up engine with accessories on it. I know when they switched to the serpentine belt they reverse the angle of the fan blades, so that should also work to save money initially.
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post #10 of 19 Old 02-01-2019, 02:02 PM Thread Starter
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@jimmykicker @oldeerslayer thanks!!! I almost pulled the trigger on a 2.8 off a 84 s10 for $350 but with this info I’m going with the 3.4.

So just to clarify, I can use any 89 and up 3.4 engine as long as it’s for a 2wd vehicle, right? Also, what’s a good vehicle to get it out of? A Camaro?

I’m in Iowa for school but am originally from California. Will changing the engine and making all the modifications turn on the check engine light or make it not pass a smog check?

I’m ready to pull the trigger on this project so I really appreciate the help! I’m definitely gonna be asking more questions so sorry in advance for bugging you guys. This is my first time doing anything like this and I’d like to not burn my truck down.

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post #11 of 19 Old 02-01-2019, 02:19 PM Thread Starter
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[QUOTE=Yowakawaka;12171417] @jimmykicker @oldeerslayer thanks!!! I almost pulled the trigger on a 2.8 off a 84 s10 for $350 but with this info I’m going with the 3.4.

So just to clarify, I can use any 89 and up 3.4 engine as long as it’s for a 2wd vehicle, right? Also, what’s a good vehicle to get it out of besides a Camaro? And my current transmission should work fine?

I’m in Iowa for school but am originally from California. Will changing the engine and making all the modifications turn on the check engine light or make it not pass a smog check?

I’m ready to pull the trigger on this project so I really appreciate the help! I’m definitely gonna be asking more questions so sorry in advance for bugging you guys. This is my first time doing anything like this and I’d like to not burn my truck down.

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post #12 of 19 Old 02-01-2019, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Sorry Editing error

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post #13 of 19 Old 02-01-2019, 03:17 PM
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Re: 83 s10 swap cost

Does Iowa even have smog inspections. I also think an 83 is exempt everywhere but in The Peoples Republic of Californicate. They were there for a few year, but then they renigged and now it's only pre 76.
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post #14 of 19 Old 02-01-2019, 03:34 PM Thread Starter
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Iowa doesn’t have smog inspections. It’s so nice!!! You just buy a car and drive. The weather is just crappy. I was stuck inside for three days because it was -50 outside. I will definitely not be living here forever

I’m pretty sure California doesn’t do actual emissions test on cars that old. The test is visual so the emissions stuff has to be right and dash lights need to be off

I had an 01 accord that didn’t pass because of the wrong catalytic converter. Worked fine but wasn’t for that car

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post #15 of 19 Old 02-05-2019, 04:56 PM
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Re: 83 s10 swap cost

3.4s can be found in 93- 95 Camaros and Firebirds. Pretty common these days...at least in Alabama.



1984 xcab s-10 3.4L GM crate engine 91 S10 TBI swap w bored intake, Edelbrock headers. 2" Rough Country Lift. Custom exhaust, shift kit, e-fan.


EFI swap https://www.s10forum.com/forum/f106/...e-help-513616/

My build thread (3.4L)https://www.s10forum.com/forum/f106/...stions-427168/
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I had to cut my nut in half .
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post #16 of 19 Old 02-07-2019, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Cool. I’ve been looking around and there’s a lot of 3.4’a with 130k, 150k and I’m trying to get something less used.

I know there’s a problem with the manifold gasket in the 3.4 and I’m planning on replacing it because the engine will already be out and it should be easy. Do I still have to put in dexcool or can I switch to the green antifreeze we all know and love?

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post #17 of 19 Old 02-07-2019, 08:30 PM Thread Starter
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I left you a message @jimmykicker check it out when you get a chance

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post #18 of 19 Old 02-12-2019, 10:32 AM
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Re: 83 s10 swap cost

Hey. Sorry I haven't called you. Family issues right now. Get together soon on this.



1984 xcab s-10 3.4L GM crate engine 91 S10 TBI swap w bored intake, Edelbrock headers. 2" Rough Country Lift. Custom exhaust, shift kit, e-fan.


EFI swap https://www.s10forum.com/forum/f106/...e-help-513616/

My build thread (3.4L)https://www.s10forum.com/forum/f106/...stions-427168/
Quote:
Originally Posted by Racer_X View Post
I had to cut my nut in half .
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post #19 of 19 Old 02-12-2019, 12:24 PM Thread Starter
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Re: 83 s10 swap cost

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Hey. Sorry I haven't called you. Family issues right now. Get together soon on this.
No problem take your time. hope everything is cool!
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