I used the full size Blazer frame because it was already a V8 and most all the parts Chevy pickups 1973-1987 will interchange. I had the steering gearbox reinforcement plste welded to the Blazer frame as this is a known weak spot. I took pics throughout the build if anyone would like to see them.
I already had a 1985 full size Blazer and bought a 1985 ext cab 2wd long bed 5 speed stick S10 for $600 to get the body plus it was already a manual S10 which is how I wanted to build my mini monster truck project.
The driveline is out of a 1976 K10 pickup. 350 4 bolt main, sm465 3 speed with granny gear, np205 transfer, hd dana 44 front with the 3/8" thick axle tubes w/big lockouts, 14 bolt full floater rear. All this bolted right onto the Blazer frame.
I had to shorten the S10 longbed to match the 108" wheelbase of the Blazer frame. 42" IROK's finished it off. I wanted to build a stick shift so it could go thru deep water without ruining the trans.
The 350 has the basic stuff, cam, intake and the headers are for a 1985 full size Blazer.
This is how I connected the steering wheel to the steering gearbox. The slip yoke is bolted to the steering gearbox and the ID of it is actually hexagon shaped. The hexagon shaped male part is welded to the end of the shaft that is bolted to the steering column with a ujoint there. When you turn the steering wheel the shaft moves in and out of the slip yoke maybe 3/8" but you do need the slip yoke because of that.
You have to zoom the 2nd pic to see the end bolted to the steering column. You can also see the tube I used to splice 2 radiator hoses together because of the dista ce from the engine to the radiator
That pretty much covers the issues I encountered building the truck.
I have a 99 reg cab short bed extra truck. its a 2.2L automatic. Since the body sits so high and the engine so low we have talked about converting it to a Turbo 400, np 203 full time and making new motor mounts and trans crossmember and sliding the engine/trans back as far as we can. The limiting factor would be the shortest feasable rear driveshaft.
The radiater would be relocated to the bed with the electric fans.New longer power steering hoses would have to be fabbed to reach the steering gearbox and a extra long front driveshaft to reach. Aftermarket shifter with a cable to reach the trans.
We have toyed with the idea of moving the motor back because then the only weight up front would be the front axle. The idea is to get it to pop wheelies like a real monster truck lol
The radiator relocated to the bed so everytime the front end came back down less likely to bust the radiator.