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· Registered
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Well… I figured I should just start a build thread. These updates will go in waves as I move into new phases of the build
process. I am on the computer all day for my job and I don't spend a lot of time online for these types of updates. I am doing all of the downstream work in preparation for the engine swap. I am building this the right way from the start.


The Ride: 2003 Blazer X. Purchased in April 2019 w/57k miles. Original owner, California car with absolutely ZERO rust
issues or modifications. All maintenance records since new. Dealer maintained (for what that is worth). I searched for
one for a while and this was my final choice. It is in beautiful shape!

The Plans: Turn this into a 530hp LS3 powered brute that I can drive anywhere I want with no worries. Car shows, drag
races, autocross, liquor store, etc. Whatever…

Summary: This is my hotrod project. Some people dump a ton of $ into a classic ride, but this is my money pit. Yes, I
will have WAY more into it than it will be worth, but I don’t care and there are no plans on selling this. Before my mom
passed, I told her that if she left me any money that I was just going to blow it on a car. Well… This is my build, but she
helped me to make it happen. Thanks mom!

Work to Date. I have done 100% of this myself (with some friends for the heavy stuff!). It is SO nice to work with all new
parts on a car that is very clean! No rust, no frozen bolts, etc.

FRONT SUSPENSION: Installed 8/2019
  • Belltech 2102 Drop Spindles
  • Belltech Street Performance Shocks
  • Spohn Performance Upper and Lower Tubular Control Arms and adjustable sway bar end links.
  • All other parts: Ball joints (extended), tie rids and sleeves, sway bar bushings, etc.

REAR SUSPENSION: Installed 8/2019
  • Belltech Street Performance Shocks
  • 3" Welded steel lowering blocks w/pinion correction.
  • Caltracs 3801 Low-Profile Traction Control set (not currently installed – only the mounts). Will install bars once it the engine is in and I actually need traction.
  • Leaf springs re-arched and trued. Caltrac bushing installed.

REAR-END ASSEMBLY: Installed 4/2021
  • Quick Performance Ford 9” Assy – Good for ~700hp
  • 1/4” heavy wall axle tubes.
  • Billet housing ends
  • Drain and fill plugs added. Jack pad installed.
  • Boxed/welded perches
  • 31 Spline Eaton True-Track
  • 3:50 gears
  • Yukon Pro N Case, Daytona Pinion Support, 1350 Billet Yoke

FRONT BRAKES: Installed 4/2021
  • KORE3 Blazer Big Brake Kit
  • Corvette C6 Calipers
  • Power Stop 340mm (13.4”) Drilled/Slotted Rotors
  • FlexKORE Braided Brake Lines (hard line to caliper)
  • All Conversion Brackets, etc.

REAR BRAKES: Installed 4/2021
  • Wilwood 140-7140 Big Brake Kit – Ford – w/Parking Brake
  • Wilwood 4 Piston Dynalite Calipers
  • 310mm (12.2”) Rotors
  • Drum Style Parking Brakes – (they even hooked to factory cables!)

MASTER CYLINDER: Installed 4/2021
  • Wilwood Compact Tandem MC
  • I have the separate proportioning valve, but no room to install due to ABS unit. Will investigate it later.

TIRES/WHEELS – Installed 8/2019
  • Vision Torque Wheels and Michelin Pilot Sport AS3 Tires
  • FRONT: 18x8.5 w/-6 offset. 245/45/18 Tires
  • REAR: 20 x 9.5 w/ 0 offset. 295/40/20 tires
    • Previously -18 x 9.5 w/ 0 offset. 275/40/18 tires

AUDIO SYSTEM: Installed 7/2019
  • Pioneer Double-Din DVD Unit
  • Infinity 6.5" Components up front and 6x9’s in rear.
  • Eclipse 5-Channel Amp
  • Rockford P2 12” Sub

- This will be as follows: https://blueprintengines.com/products/376ci-crate-engine-gm-ls3-style-aluminum-

- Will still stay with an automatic, but not sure which model or builder yet.

· Registered
1986 S10
107 Posts
Ought to handle and stop good. Should prevent you from tearing the ground effects off at least.

Edit: I'd take that ABS unit off and go find a long bridge somewhere over a deep lake and throw it off right in the middle.

· Registered
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks guys! It DEFINITELY stops, turns and sticks! I literally have about 3 miles on it since the brake/rear swap. I need to get on the phone with Wilwood tech support work out some dragging issues with the rear brakes. Fronts are great!

Agreed on the blocks. I had 3" Billet in there before the rear swap and did a last minute Amazon overnight Belltech kit to get it back on the ground.last weekend. I had the springs re-arched last week and I need to figure out where I want the rear to sit once the engine is in and I have to hook up the lower Caltrac plates and bars. I assume I will need to bring it up an inch.

Not sure what to do about the ABS setup yet. I am just starting to dig into this project. Will definitely need to research the ABS delete option. Would be happy to see that go... I already have the Wilwood proportioning valve. Not at all a daily driver...

Thanks again,

· Registered
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
There's like 3 local to me. lol Now that the leafs are re-arched make sure the shackles aren't close to maxing out.
Couple of shops around here. This is an old school muffler/exhaust shop - $200 total for re-arching/rebuilding and installing bushings.

Agreed on the shackles. Springs went right in with no issues, but I will need to do some checking on several things as I get some miles on it. Will DEFINITELY need some bump stops. I'll cut the old mounts out this weekend and throw some in above the axle tubes. I won't consider a C-notch since the rear will most likely need to come up an inch anyway.

· Registered
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Figured out the rear brake dragging issue. It is a master cylinder pre-load issue. It is a non adjustable part, but I can still grind the tip down. I added a couple of 1/32" shims between the MC and booster and it greatly reduced the issue. I ordered a push-rod depth gauge and will finish this up next weekend.

Old bump stops are gone. New Energy units in place - BIG difference. Got a little carried away with the cutting wheel, but no big deal.




· Registered
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks MM. I appreciate the comments.

I am new to this forum, but not forums in general. Was on the Impala SS forum for years, but have not had a project in a few years. Finally back at it.

I am going WAY overboard, but I only want to do this once, so I figured I would take my time and build it like I want it. Will then continue to "tweak" it until I am mostly happy (will never be done).

Some folks are happy to go out and spend $50k-$75k for a modern hotrod, but I figure I will have $25k (or so) into this thing by the time I am done and should be able to outrun, out-brake and out-handle most of them. And... everything will be brand new. A "semi" modern hotrod and no car payments. :D

Thanks again!

· Registered
122 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
No big news here, but I took the X down to a local paintless dent repair shop a couple of weeks ago and had them remove 18+ years worth of door dings, character marks, etc. These guys are car freaks and were excited to see this thing.

When I dropped it off, there were 10-12 glaring door dings that I looked at every time at walked up LF fender, both doors and tailgate. Once they put it under the lights, the other 30-40 miniature ones showed up that I could not even really see until then! They called my up 2 days later and it was done. I am blown away! This thing is showroom straight! I need to address a few minor scratches that were already there, but wow! They did an amazing job. $700 total and waaay happy! Love skilled workers and new technology!

Pics don't do it justice...

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