Let me just say I have had a reckless and careless in the same day(2 diffrent officials).
If you run a cheap set of "soft compound" snow tires those both grip and do good in the rain. Just dont expect more then 10-12k out of them. But if they only cost $230 out the door thats alot of grip per dollar.
Yes you absoultly need a 2nd ride. I would plan $3000, 6 months, and a garage to install a $500 160-180k complete w harness and computer LM7 in a s10.
On paper you could do it for 1/2 the cash and 1/2 the time. But real world $3000 and 6 months is a good budget. This does not include a microsquirt etc for transmission control. This is for a larger radiatior, electric fans, motor mounts, exhaust, plastic s10 tank w a silveradio fuel pump, lines, filter, gaskets, hoses, transmission mount, driveshaft mods, junkyard complete 5.3, ecm tuning, and a ton of other things.
Your transmission will add to the $3000 cost. The amount depends on the transmission your running.
I highly recommend a LM7. The reason being that there are tons of these around. I have several in the garage now. I am stockpiling them as spares letting me run the junkyard longblock stock with larger injectiors, megasquirt, and 8lbs of boost. Pull the pistons file the rings. Reinstall and retorque everything and thats it. No cam change and I doubt any real need to change bearings. More a gasket refresh and bearing inspection.
I am not building these engines. That is the point. I have a 01 2500hd out by the road right now. The thing lost compression after 320k of hard miles used as a plow truck, mud truck, and tow pig. I don't want to screw with machining, building or even replacing that 6.0. I bought a 91 squarebody cab and chassis 1 ton to replace the 2500hd. Tbi 5.7 is $350 to replace I have a spare engine ready. If I feel like it a 5.3 can easily bolt up to the sm465 in place of the tbi 5.7 later with a nice boost in power.
My mid engine s10 thing has a 5.3 and a sm465. The reason is that the 2wd sm465 cost $250-$300 to replace transmission that can handle 500-600ftlbs stock. Clutches are also very cheap to handle 500lbs of torque as this was found behind big blocks. I plan on only using 3rd(1.7) and 4th(direct) gears driving the thing as a 2 speed to prevent excessive wheel spin. Just switching the ratios in the 9" to adjust for how I feel like driving. Even with gearing around 3.50 I can always use that 1st or 2nd gear to send out smoke signals to the local law enforcment. The truck should weigh around 2700lbs with the iron block, heavy sm465, and full width 9" with a 60% rear weight distribution.
You need to think about the big picture when thinking about a engine swap.
A sbc swapped s10 will run $3500 to $5500 for a running pile that needs a bit of work body/interior wise. A 350 hp sbc 5.7 with a th400/700r4/nv3500 and a 8.8 for $3500 is worth it in my book. If your getting closer to $5500 I would like to see a 5.3 bolted to the th400/700r4/nv3500 in front of that 8.8.
Depending on what your after and your timeframe/budget buying one already built may be the way to go.