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So I've done a lot of research, mainly on this forum and current performance on an LS swap. So my question is, I want more power. Doesn't everybody? 馃檮 Isn't that every guys question to his truck? So my s10 is clean and runs great, but is it worth it for me to spend the money to swap it to a 5.3 or 6.0? Mainly an lm7 or an lq4? An ls1 would be great but they can't be had for the price of a vortec motor in today's market. It's going to remain my daily driver but I CRAVE that V8 sound and power. The V6 stock is ok, but is it worth it to chop my stock truck zr2 into an LS swap? I know 2wd s10's is easier to swap and pretty straight forward. Should I buy a 2wd for a fun street truck or swap my zr2 into a fun daily 4wd rarity?
 

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Since you and I have already discussed this I won't go into a lot of detail here other than to say, primarily for the benefit of others who may read this that the ZR2's unique motor mounts and frame make it probably the most difficult S10 to swap an LS into. On the opposite side of the coin they all have, maybe not some of the first years, rear discs, 8.6 rearends, and the G80 LSD. Plus heavier than most, suspension. I also would recommend the 6.0 LQ4 because of the heavier weight of the ZR2 with all its HD parts. Torque will be more important than high RPM HP. Both as a daily and off road.
Will be a challenging, but potentially rewarding endeavor, if completed.
Personally I wouldn't do it because I'm 76 and probably will not be around long enough to complete it. Especially with the extremely slow LS swap parts supply issues of late. Guys have waited in the 1-1/2 to 2 year range for some parts.
While there are warehouses full of older SBC swap components that haven't been selling as fast lately.
If I swap my 02 4wd CrewCab, which were not available as a ZR2 (ZR5 is an appearance package) I'm going back to the old reliable and easier to swap L31. If I need mo power I'll supercharge it. Still be less work and cost than an LS into a 4x4.
Besides, I have 2 L31's and a couple SBC S10 4wd swap oil pans in my garage from back in the day. Oh, and another stroked L31 already in my ZR2. Spent a lot of time this summer refining that truck while the LQ9 swap sits in the garage. I could finish it in a few days. Just not interested lately.
Sorry if I rambled off topic. Just thinking out loud.
 

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Should I buy a 2wd for a fun street truck or swap my zr2 into a fun daily 4wd rarity?
this is a question only you can answer. I like haveing two vehicles. One to play with and if i break it, im not down a driver, i have my other.
 

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I think an L31 is probably better for you. It's a much more natural fit in an S10 and will make just as good or better low end grunt than a 6.0. The whole world is LS crazy now and sbc's are forgotten about. In some vehicles (especially yours) the sbc still makes more sense.
 

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this is a question only you can answer. I like haveing two vehicles. One to play with and if i break it, im not down a driver, i have my other.
Good point. If your ZR2 is your only vehicle you will need another car or truck for a minimum of a few months. Probably longer. Both the time it takes to do all the things requiring changes and the supply chain issues will add months to your plan.
 

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So I've done a lot of research, mainly on this forum and current performance on an LS swap. So my question is, I want more power. Doesn't everybody? 馃檮 Isn't that every guys question to his truck? So my s10 is clean and runs great, but is it worth it for me to spend the money to swap it to a 5.3 or 6.0? Mainly an lm7 or an lq4? An ls1 would be great but they can't be had for the price of a vortec motor in today's market. It's going to remain my daily driver but I CRAVE that V8 sound and power. The V6 stock is ok, but is it worth it to chop my stock truck zr2 into an LS swap? I know 2wd s10's is easier to swap and pretty straight forward. Should I buy a 2wd for a fun street truck or swap my zr2 into a fun daily 4wd rarity?
Look around for one that's already got what you want. Mite be a bunch less $$ and it's rdy to go.
 

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"this is a question only you can answer. I like haveing two vehicles. One to play with and if i break it, im not down a driver, i have my other."

This is why I'll never heavily mod one without another driver that'll last the duration of the work.
Us old farts have learned not to hotrod or mod the daily driver - keep it stock and in good shape. Then you can go nuts on a project and take as long as it takes.
And hotrod dailies are usually PITAs in wet/slick conditions since we build 'em for mythical perfect days with clean, smooth streets.
 

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So I've done a lot of research, mainly on this forum and current performance on an LS swap. So my question is, I want more power. Doesn't everybody? 馃檮 Isn't that every guys question to his truck? So my s10 is clean and runs great, but is it worth it for me to spend the money to swap it to a 5.3 or 6.0? Mainly an lm7 or an lq4? An ls1 would be great but they can't be had for the price of a vortec motor in today's market. It's going to remain my daily driver but I CRAVE that V8 sound and power. The V6 stock is ok, but is it worth it to chop my stock truck zr2 into an LS swap? I know 2wd s10's is easier to swap and pretty straight forward. Should I buy a 2wd for a fun street truck or swap my zr2 into a fun daily 4wd rarity?
Pretty sure it was Biggie Smalls who said:
Font Happy Poster Photo caption Crown


Leave it be.
 

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"this is a question only you can answer. I like haveing two vehicles. One to play with and if i break it, im not down a driver, i have my other."

This is why I'll never heavily mod one without another driver that'll last the duration of the work.
Us old farts have learned not to hotrod or mod the daily driver - keep it stock and in good shape. Then you can go nuts on a project and take as long as it takes.
And hotrod dailies are usually PITAs in wet/slick conditions since we build 'em for mythical perfect days with clean, smooth streets.
Since it seldom rains or snows in CenTex. I keep fresh Street Drag Radials on the hot rods. Sure makes kwik work of the stop lite GP. Not illegal to accel to limit very kwikly.
 

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Exhibition of acceleration is what they call it here. Gotta be very careful about when and where. The public's safety has to come first as the reason, not fear of Johnny Law.

What's the use of building high power cars if you can't roast 'em from time to time?
 

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Depends on where you are. Some places it's called Exhibition of speed.
Long as tires don't Spin, good to go. Tesla's do it all the time w/trac ctrl and sum are lots kwiker, tho oft slo on reaction. Hence street slicks and of course an automatic. Little noise, kwik 30ft. The joy of showing up stuff that costs 300% mo factors in.
 

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exhibition of speed and waste of finite resources are the 2 tickets you'll get here in AZ
Thankfully such tomfoolery well tolerated in Tx. Kinda like 25 yr sunset limit on vehicles emission testing. State determined that 25 yo toys and their childish drivers insignificant in larger picture keeping 30 million on the move.
Many of hi school buddies had provisional drive license @ 13yo in early 60's for same reason. No wonder many interlopers moving here ...!
 

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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.
 

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So I've done a lot of research, mainly on this forum and current performance on an LS swap. So my question is, I want more power. Doesn't everybody? 馃檮 Isn't that every guys question to his truck? So my s10 is clean and runs great, but is it worth it for me to spend the money to swap it to a 5.3 or 6.0? Mainly an lm7 or an lq4? An ls1 would be great but they can't be had for the price of a vortec motor in today's market. It's going to remain my daily driver but I CRAVE that V8 sound and power. The V6 stock is ok, but is it worth it to chop my stock truck zr2 into an LS swap? I know 2wd s10's is easier to swap and pretty straight forward. Should I buy a 2wd for a fun street truck or swap my zr2 into a fun daily 4wd rarity?
Sir put a turbo on it and get an easy 500 hp you can get a complete kit on eBay for about 700 complete and everybody will go nuts plus good gas mileage. A zr2 is a rare truck so be careful, it will always have good value. I have done it works great good luck and sounds bad.
 

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i just did a ls swap 2002 rwd s10 and it was a tight fit i dont know how much room you would have with the 4wd system, i use the nv3500 that was originally on my s10 and it works well. i spend about 5k for the swap and i have to say that i use to like my v6 truck but now i love it. in my opinion if you have the time and money to do it I麓m shure you are going to enjoy alot the v8 s10
 

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I looked into ways of getting more power out of the 4.3 but that rabbit hole led me to the idea and thought of an LS swap might just be better. A supercharger would run me as much as an LS swap but on a stock 4.3 I don't see it lasting another 100k with a power adder. And I don't trust ebay turbo kits.

Now if I had a clapped out Honda hell yeah I'd slap a cheap big turbo on it and drive her til she dies 馃槀 Also you guys are right in the fact that I would need a 2nd vehicle. In all honesty I might leave my zr2 as is, fix the rust keep it pretty unless I ended up with the time and money for an LS swap.

And for the record the amount of input on this is exactly what I was looking for. You guys rock 馃憤 Now if I had the time and money, RIGHT NOW to do this, I would probably stroke an lq4, make it a torque monster and and call it a day. But in reality an l31, ls1 or lm7 is probably the way I would go.

Do you guys have input on how to get more torque out of the 4.3? Would a cam swap and some head work be worth the money? Does the stock cam nearly max the flow numbers on the head?
 
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