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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok so I'm usually the guy that just lurks on the forum reading and gathering information for projects. This time I think I'm going to post my progress as I go so maybe someone else can learn from my screw ups. I'm not new to LS swaps but that doesn't mean I'm not still learning. I'm going to try and include as many pictures as possible because a picture is worth 1,000 words. Let me know if you want a picture of something in particular, I'll post it if I can.

Back story: Ive always wanted a crew cab s10 and finally bought one last January with the intentions of putting a LQ9 (6.0) from the start.
This is what it looked like the day I bought it:

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Things I've already done:
-Replaced all the front end parts including ball joints, control arm bushings, idler arms pitman arm, and made heim joint tie rods.
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-Re-geared to 4.10 front and rear w/posi
-Replaced the heater core with oem AC Delco (already started leaking)
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-Replaced fuel pump
-Installed Rough country differential drop.
-2" Performance Accessories body lift.
-1,000 other things I can't remember...

Sometime during the summer the 4.3 started acting up where It would start and run just fine when cold but if you turned the truck off and went into a store it would not restart. Through trial and error I figured it wasn't getting fuel because it would run momentarily on starter fluid but the injectors wouldn't pulse or spray. I wasn't going to dump a bump of time and money into the 4.3 I planned to get rid of anyways. The truck got parked soon after. In the meantime I ordered a CPW harness and computer (tuned by them) and a LQ9 from a wrecking yard in New York. The donor vehicle was a 2003 Cadillac Escalade and supposedly had 150k which doesn't necessarily scare me. I also ordered a alpha hummer pan and DIY ebay motor mount kit knowing the oil pan interference was going to be the biggest hurdle.

Rusty motor after removing all the accessories:
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I got a great deal on LS1tech on a Lingenfelter GT2-3 camshaft and I paired it with PAC valve springs and the corresponding length push rods.
It also got a new timing set and obviously a complete gasket kit.
This is the motor a couple months ago re-installing the heads after being cleaned etc:
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I left off the oil pan knowing I was probably going to remove it to have it cut/ welded, so as of now the motor is sitting on the stand ready to go minus the timing cover, rear main cover, and oil pan which are all sitting in a box.

It has been raining here in Phoenix so I have been working on the truck after work and when the weather allows. Last night I finished pulling the motor out of the truck which brings us to present time.

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After getting the motor out I found a burnt wire loom that was going to the O2 sensors. I wonder if that could have been part of the no start issue or a previous problem?

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Discussion Starter #2
This morning I've been trying to decide which way I want to go on the oil pan. option "A" I can either cut the oil pan for clearance . I don't own a TIG or have the equipment to weld aluminum so I would a machine/ welding shop do it $100-250 guessing? Or option "B" go with the 6" rough country lift which drops the front differential down substantially and hopefully clear the oil pan without any modifications. This is more expensive with the lift kit being $900 and with Christmas around the corner, it may have to wait. Only good thing is if it drops the diff enough I may be able to use a stock truck oil pan and sell the hummer oil pan to recoup some of the costs.
 

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It's really easy to post full size pics with the new forum. All you have to do is click the paperclip, choose your photos, and then click Full Size when posting. The pics you've posted are just short of useless. Not trying to be harsh...just the way it is.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I started off with full size and then switched to the smaller ones because the big ones looked obnoxious. I figured you could click the image and look at it full screen if you wanted a closer look. I will change them to full size if it will allow me to edit the post.

Edit: Ok I changed to full size images.
 

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The most common pan for LS 4wd swaps is the Milodon pan. It's not terribly expensive, but creeps up as you add the required parts. Must haves are the Milodon oil pump pickup and an oil filter relocation kit of some kind. Screwing the remote lines to the pan is an art. Some guys rounded the fittings and used vice grips. Others have built their own skinny wrenches. It just takes some patience.
 

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Started out thinking of doing a crew cab swap but since it was my daily driver I didn't want the down time. Decided on a step side instead. I will be following you build to see how it works out.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The most common pan for LS 4wd swaps is the Milodon pan. It's not terribly expensive, but creeps up as you add the required parts. Must haves are the Milodon oil pump pickup and an oil filter relocation kit of some kind. Screwing the remote lines to the pan is an art. Some guys rounded the fittings and used vice grips. Others have built their own skinny wrenches. It just takes some patience.
I saw that but by the time you add all the required parts its cheaper to have someone weld the truck or hummer pan. I'm also afraid the sheet metal would warp and with my luck I would have a oil pan leak. ( I have terrible luck)
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ok so as an update; last night I bolted the pan on with a couple bolts and dropped the engine in. I was curious to see how it fit with the 2" body lift and differential drop bracket. It almost cleared but still has interference. Its pretty much 1/2" from the firewall and dropped down far enough I'm pretty sure I could get all the bell housing bolts in but the motor is canted slightly in the engine bay. I pretty much need to decide if I'm going to weld the pan or do a 6" lift which drops the differential down substantially. I also need to carefully look at the lift kit pictures and make sure there isn't any other bracketry that is going to get in the way/ cause other unforeseen headaches.

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Discussion Starter #11
It looks like with the lift crossmember the differential will entirely clear the oil pan. The picture from the instructions isn't very large but it something to look at. I'm hoping that I can relax the torsion keys/ bars to more of a 4" lift and gain a smoother ride and less stress on the suspension parts. If the cross member has to be modified, it's alot easier for me to do than the oil pan.

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When it is canted does it fit? Technically there is no reason it cant be... other than looks.

something I noticed when doing my swap, when I pulled the 4.3 out it was not perfectly level side to side or straight in the chassis.
I would assume something was out got out of wack when I swapped to current performance LS mounts and plates made to use with 2.8 motor mounts for the 4.3 (i cant remember the mfg, they are out of business now i think) because I kept going though polly 4.3 engine mounts.

moral of the story is, the engine was crooked in the chassis since 2015 and it never caused any issues. And maybe its not even straight from the factory?

Personally I dont like the style of 6" lifts mfgs make for these trucks, they are called "bracket" lifts and reuse stock knuckles they never have a good steering feel and seem to eat parts. even with 33 10.50s
what about doing the 2.5 rough country?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I essentially
When it is canted does it fit? Technically there is no reason it cant be... other than looks.

something I noticed when doing my swap is I noticed when I pulled the 4.3 out it was not perfectly level side to side or straight in the chassis.
I would assume something was out got out of wack when I swapped to current performance LS mounts and plates made to use with 2.8 motor mounts for the 4.3 (i cant rember the mfg, they are out of business now i think) because I kept going though polly 4.3 engine mounts.

moral of the story is, the engine was crooked in the chassis sense 2015 and it never caused any issues. And maybe its not even straight from the factory?

Personally I dont like the style of 6" lifts mfgs make for these trucks, they are called "bracket" lifts and reuse stock knuckles they never have a good steering feel and seem to eat parts. even with 33 10.50s
what about doing the 2.5 rough country?
Good point on the canted engine. Reminds me of the old FJ80 offset rear axles for some reason. I might have been able to massage it in a little more but my OCD would drive me crazy every time I opened the hood and saw a crooked engine. I currently have the 2.5 rough country diff drop bracket and torsion keys. I think thats part of the reason I got it in there as far as I did.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I considered a SAS but I did that once on a duramax and it was a total PITA. I'd rather not spend that much time or money on this project.
 

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That 6" lift will cost you way more than the Milodon pan and you'll end up with a truck you don't enjoy driving. Not to mention constantly repairing. Bigger tire$, bigger wheel$, etc$.
Your engine should have a 3-5° rearward tilt. It used to be to level the carb, but it is also a safety factor. In a head on the engine is supposed to go under you because it's already pointed down a bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
That 6" lift will cost you way more than the Milodon pan and you'll end up with a truck you don't enjoy driving. Not to mention constantly repairing. Bigger tire$, bigger wheel$, etc$.
Your engine should have a 3-5° rearward tilt. It used to be to level the carb, but it is also a safety factor. In a head on the engine is supposed to go under you because it's already pointed down a bit.
So I priced out all of the required parts for the Milodon oil pan and it comes out to $851.43 from JEGs.
697-31083 oil pan $391.99
697-18291 pickup tube $100.95
697-21575 remote oil filter kit $220.26
697-32150 windage tray $69.95
697-22006 dipstick tube $68.28

Screenshot_2019-12-11 Shopping Cart.png


The lift kit from rough country is $899.96 right now. The difference is less than $50. Why don't you think it will be enjoyable to drive?
 

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So I priced out all of the required parts for the Milodon oil pan and it comes out to $851.43 from JEGs.
697-31083 oil pan $391.99
697-18291 pickup tube $100.95
697-21575 remote oil filter kit $220.26
697-32150 windage tray $69.95
697-22006 dipstick tube $68.28



The lift kit from rough country is $899.96 right now. The difference is less than $50. Why don't you think it will be enjoyable to drive?
Most lifted trucks ride pretty hard as they are designed primarily for off road use. With a 6" lift, plus your previously installed body lift, you're going to need $1-2K worth of tires and wheels because the 235/75r15's would look tiny. It's going to eat ball joints and CV axles. Then the gearing will be way off because of the diameter of the tires.

As far as the pan goes the only things you need are the pickup tube and the remote filter kit. There are other remote kits available for way less. I have an LQ9 so I know you don't need the dipstick since it is in the block on them. You might have to remark it for full since the pan will be a different shape. And you will need a tin inspection cover for the front bottom of the bell housing part #15723359. They're cheap. (No one online ever mentions it.) I just did a 383 Zr2 and it took me some time to figure out that it is available. Nearly had my own made when I found it.

If you do some searching in the LS section there are other 4wd's that have LS's installed, w/o creating a mini monster truck. There are pics of truck pans that were modified to work. Any local welding shop should be able to do it once you fab the pieces of aluminum.

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I'm just trying to point out possible alternatives before you spend your hard earned $$.
Bottom line is it's your truck so have fun doing what you want.
 

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I say go SAS, I am bias tho.
Not having those pesky brackets in the way makes life a lot easier

Assuming the Rough country is a bracket lift, with factory keys and axle over in the rear? Not going to ride any harder than factory as you are not changing spring rates.
They ride like crap because they don't correct some of the geometry by only using the stock knuckle and the steering drops are just weird. There is a reason lift MFGs dont make kits like that anymore for new vehicles.

Here is how I see it, you are at a nice height now BL and 2.5, personally I would crank the 2.5 down a bit and run a 31.
I'm not sure what resources you have at your disposal but I would mod that pan.

OR, remove the BL get the 6" and see if you can lower it using the keys. lifting the back to match might require custom shackles. I have not seen a 6" lifted S10 front end in years, so I am not sure what kind of angle the control arms are at ride height. like most things there is nothing wrong with having the control arms at an upward angle but your OCD would act up every time you walk out to your truck. This option sounds like a lot of work to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Most lifted trucks ride pretty hard as they are designed primarily for off road use. With a 6" lift, plus your previously installed body lift, you're going to need $1-2K worth of tires and wheels because the 235/75r15's would look tiny. It's going to eat ball joints and CV axles. Then the gearing will be way off because of the diameter of the tires.
I already have 31" tall tires and 4.10 gears. I can re-gear to 4.56 if I need to but I'll wait until I'm done too see how it drives. I think the reason most trucks with lift kits ride so hard and eat parts is because people put 6" lift kits on and then try to crank them to 7-8".
 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
I say go SAS, I am bias tho.
Not having those pesky brackets in the way makes life a lot easier

Assuming the Rough country is a bracket lift, with factory keys and axle over in the rear? Not going to ride any harder than factory as you are not changing spring rates.
They ride like crap because they don't correct some of the geometry by only using the stock knuckle and the steering drops are just weird. There is a reason lift MFGs dont make kits like that anymore for new vehicles.

Here is how I see it, you are at a nice height now BL and 2.5, personally I would crank the 2.5 down a bit and run a 31.
I'm not sure what resources you have at your disposal but I would mod that pan.

OR, remove the BL get the 6" and see if you can lower it using the keys. lifting the back to match might require custom shackles. I have not seen a 6" lifted S10 front end in years, so I am not sure what kind of angle the control arms are at ride height. like most things there is nothing wrong with having the control arms at an upward angle but your OCD would act up every time you walk out to your truck. This option sounds like a lot of work to me.
I agree the steering drop like the one in the s10 kit is wierd. I would love to have a dana 44 up front and maybe someday that will happen. I understand what you mean about the cleanness without having any of the brackets in the way. For now I really like the idea of the 6" lift and lowering it down to maybe ~4" which would also flatten out the control arm and CV angles.

I used to have this duramax about 7 years ago. I used a passenger side drop king pin dana 60 and alot of parts from WFO concepts for the SAS. I'd rather not go through all that again quite yet. I eventually LS swapped the toyota pickup in the picture and then got bored with it and replaced it with the S10 I'm working on now. The S10 is going to a DD capable of some jeep trails and going hunting which is why I don't mind lifting it.

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