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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone,
New to forum. Anyone know where I could find a decent 2.8 for an 86 4x4? Main bearings just went in mine and I'm looking for a cheap quick swap for time being. I'm located bear the Pittsburgh, Pa area. Any help would be appreciated!
 

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Hey everyone,
New to forum. Anyone know where I could find a decent 2.8 for an 86 4x4? Main bearings just went in mine and I'm looking for a cheap quick swap for time being. I'm located bear the Pittsburgh, Pa area. Any help would be appreciated!
With yours being pretty much toast as another 2.8 driver I would say to use this as a opportunity to upgrade to either a 3.4 or a 4.3 both should drop straight in and bolt to your trans you will lose a few mpgs but the power output is allot better

88 S10 Durango Long Bed 2wd 2.8L Auto
 

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With yours being pretty much toast as another 2.8 driver I would say to use this as a opportunity to upgrade to either a 3.4 or a 4.3 both should drop straight in and bolt to your trans you will lose a few mpgs but the power output is allot better

88 S10 Durango Long Bed 2wd 2.8L Auto
The 4.3 will not just drop right in, not to mention the trans won't bolt up.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I appreciate the info! I'm basically trying to stay the cheap route at moment since my funds are limited at the time. Only reason why I'm looking for something as a direct drop in and ready to go .
 

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I appreciate the info! I'm basically trying to stay the cheap route at moment since my funds are limited at the time. Only reason why I'm looking for something as a direct drop in and ready to go .
The 2.8 is a great engine despite all the flack everybody gives it, it's dependable and gets good mpgs, towing isn't the greatest but you can tow with it to a point, that said the motor lacks power in the worst way

88 S10 Durango Long Bed 2wd 2.8L Auto
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ya, the 2.8 has been a decent motor for me till this point. This one wasn't well taken care of before I owned it because I've noticed a decent amount of sludge on the heads looking through the valve cover oil fill. So I knew it was only a matter of time. The rest of the truck is in good shape and there's not a lot of long bed 4x4 models left in the first generation that I can find at least.
 

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Luckily mine was extremely well taken care of minus the paint so when I got it all it needed was tires and a fuel pump, yea I've never seen a long bed 4x4

88 S10 Durango Long Bed 2wd 2.8L Auto
 

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Most of the long beds were 4 cyl. 2wd fleet or delivery vehicles. Most of them were long ago driven into the ground.
I used to have a 85 2.8 2wd and currently own a 99 4wd long box.
2nd gens in 4x4 long are even rarer.
 

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Suggestion:
You may find a 95/96 Camaro in a Upull that has the 3.4 V6 in it. If you pull a valve cover and it's clean, chances are it's a good engine.
Upulls usually charge anywhere from $125 to $225 for an engine - but they require a core - your old 2.8.

The 3.4 is a drop in - although you will need to remove all of your accessories, intake, distributor and oil pan and various other components to complete the swap. You will also have to plug one small access hole for the cam angle sensor in the front of the block. It's easy if you source the correct size freeze plug. Lastly, you will need an 88 or newer flywheel/flex plate to have the correct balance for the 3.4. It usually comes with the 3.4 engine.
Even a 3.1 Camaro engine is better than the 2.8 - not by much though, but better.
The swap is somewhat time consuming, but the improvement in performance is worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the suggestion! I am going to search some local yards to see if there are any 3.4s. I did find a 2.8 at one local junk yard with 79,000 miles on it. Looks clean and supposedly "runs great" with a 3 month warranty, but has been on the shelf since 2014. I haven't bitten the bullet on it yet though.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
So, update on my issue. Evidently the 86 engine I found turns out it's bad. I did however look at a real clean 55,000 mile engine in an 87 2wd truck. Pulled oil dipstick and looked down fill hole and no sludge. The 87 is different from my 86 since mine still has the v-belt setup and the 87 is serpentine. My question is, will this 87 engine work since it's a 2wd and has a serpentine setup? Is there anything I would need to change besides oil pan? Thanks!
 

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I know you have to watch for the cross over point where they change between internally and externally balanced, far as accessories go you should be able to move all your old ones over to the new motor to retain your vbelt set up.

It should work just may need extra parts from the donner truck though it won't be as powerful 88+ 2.8s have bigger valves

88 S10 Durango Long Bed 2wd 2.8L Auto
 

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Boozebag
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If you use a serpentine engine, take all of the accessories with the engine and install the whole wad as a unit. You can run the serp set up, but you need all of the matching components.

The V belt engine's water pump turns the opposite way as compared to the serp belt engine.
If you want to keep the V belts, you will have to change the timing cover and water pump from your old to the new - not a terribly big job.
I also recommend changing the timing chain. It WILL be stretched.

55k miles is a youngster.
 

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Sell the 86 2.8 front cover on ebay. That's a HOT item for people retaining V belts with 3.4 swaps. It is a different part number than the crate, but it's the same.

Max has perfect advice on this subject above. Having done this swap to serpentine myself. It's so much better than dealing with all the V belts. You can't really screw up the water pumps though since the 86 won't fit the 87 on front cover. The only way you could is if you put the wrong front cover on the motor for the setup. Stick with all the parts from the new engine and you will be solid.

Also, if you want to convert to an electric fan (I highly recommend that cause the mechanical fan is a major power sucker) you can use the 93-95 Camaro water pump. It's less obtrusive in the engine compartment too.

Definitely put a timing chain on it too like he said. With any miles, the stock chain is totalled.
 

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I know you have to watch for the cross over point where they change between internally and externally balanced, far as accessories go you should be able to move all your old ones over to the new motor to retain your vbelt set up.

It should work just may need extra parts from the donner truck though it won't be as powerful 88+ 2.8s have bigger valves

88 S10 Durango Long Bed 2wd 2.8L Auto
86 and 87 should both still be externally balanced. However, don't chance it on a truck that old, since you have no idea of what it's actual history is. Easy to tell. If there are weights on the flywheel/flexplate, it's external. If not, than internal.

If you get all the accessories don't use the V setup unless you have no choice. The Serpentine is a lot better. Buy yourself a new idler pulley though...the 30 year old one I got came apart. Imagine that. Most of your existing accessories could actually have pulleys changed too if you wanna keep them for extras.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok good deal. Sounds like a plan then. I figured I'd put a new water pump and thermostat on it anyway regardless. I agree that the serpentine setup is easier to deal with opposed to those stretching v-belts. Would I need to change the oil pump as well since I'd be putting on the 4wd pan? Would the 86 4wd pan mate up to the 87 timing cover?
 

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Ok good deal. Sounds like a plan then. I figured I'd put a new water pump and thermostat on it anyway regardless. I agree that the serpentine setup is easier to deal with opposed to those stretching v-belts. Would I need to change the oil pump as well since I'd be putting on the 4wd pan? Would the 86 4wd pan mate up to the 87 timing cover?
Yep. The sealing surface changed to the 87 style from the 2 bolt 85 down style, as the *** child 86 had that one year combo belt and used standard rotation, so the cover is that one year. New seal surface, old water pump direction. Really only way you can screw up is to use an 86 front cover with serpentine accessories or put a 87+ cover on an and use V-belts. Rotation is the only issue there. You cannot put the wrong pump on any cover. If the pump fits the cover then that pump is correct for it. Just watch out what cover is compatible with what belt system you're gonna use. The only combo I can think of where you would have to change the front cover and the pan would be to put serpentine accessories on an 82-85.

Long winded I know...but your 86 pan is fine.
 

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Ok good deal. Sounds like a plan then. I figured I'd put a new water pump and thermostat on it anyway regardless. I agree that the serpentine setup is easier to deal with opposed to those stretching v-belts. Would I need to change the oil pump as well since I'd be putting on the 4wd pan? Would the 86 4wd pan mate up to the 87 timing cover?
Yep. The sealing surface changed to the 87 style from the 2 bolt 85 down style, as the bastard child 86 had that one year combo belt and used standard rotation, so the cover is that one year. New seal surface, old water pump direction. Really only way you can screw up is to use an 86 front cover with serpentine accessories or put a 87+ cover on an and use V-belts. Rotation is the only issue there. You cannot put the wrong pump on any cover. If the pump fits the cover then that pump is correct for it. Just watch out what cover is compatible with what belt system you're gonna use. The only combo I can think of where you would have to change the front cover and the pan would be to put serpentine accessories on an 82-85.

Long winded I know...but your 86 pan is fine.
 
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