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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone I just joined and thought I’d start a thread to document my (probably slow) progress on this truck. I was just pretty much given this 89 S10. A friend of ours husband inherited it from his grandfather. I don’t know too much history about it except that it was last registered in 2013 and has been in a garage since then. It’s a pretty straight and solid truck, and only has 70k miles on it. The 4.3 and 700r4 are coming out for a 350 and a manual transmission. I thought about going for the LS swap but I think this will be a little easier. Im mainly just looking for a fun driver and this will be a good father son project. Anyway here’s a few pics, not much to look at lol.

This was right before I took it home. A week before this and some buddies rolled it out of the garage, replaced the fuel pump and had it running.
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My son seeing what’s in the glove box lol, we did a few burnouts when we unloaded her.
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Thanks for looking and hopefully I’ll have some tear down pics soon.

Joey
 

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Why go to all the hassle of switching to a manual. An 89 700R4 can be built to handle a SBC street engine relatively cheaply. Other than the S10 NV3500 ( C/K NV3500 are geared all wrong), which isn't exactly a stellar trans, the automatic might be stronger and shift faster. A Tremec 5 speed would be nice, but pricey, if you're doing it because you like rowing while driving.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I’ll be honest I’m really torn on which direction to go with this thing. On one hand I want to build it into the Camaro I never had and do kind of a pro touring style with a V8 and manual trans. On the other hand I’d like to do more of a street/strip build.

The biggest reason I am planning on going with a 350 is my buddy has a 1 piece rear roller block sitting in his shop and I can get it for next to nothing. I do however think I may be underestimating what it will take to build that engine. Most of it is there but it does need a set of heads, intake and carb. I’m thinking if I add all that stuff up plus the cost of machine work it can get pretty pricey. It really does make the LS a more attractive option if I can find a complete running takeout engine. The same buddy has a 4L80e in his shop too and I can get that for a good price. That would be great to pair with an LS swap and would hold turbo power later if I went the street/strip route.

As you can see I’m all over the place, I’m gonna sit down later and really make a list of pros and cons and estimated costs. I don’t want to try and cheap out and just slap something together. I haven’t had a project vehicle in years and I just want something fun to drive. I’d probably drive it to work 1-2 days a week and just as a weekend toy. There is a 1/8th mile drag strip about 30 minutes from my house so that would be fun too.
 

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A truck geared for 1/8 mile drags isn't going to be much fun on the road. Unless you aren't too serious about your actual times and just doing it for fun with more reasonable gearing. 3.73 or so for the street, but 5 something for serious 1/8 mile. It all has to happen in 660 feet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok I have refocused and I’m going to go forward with the 350/manual trans. I’m going to be on the street 99% of the time so I’m focusing this build on that. I’ve decided to stick with the 350 because I’d like to let my son help me and have the experience of doing a rebuild. I know we could rebuild an LS as well but the SBC will be good enough for my goals for this truck. My daily has a 6.0L in it and I’ve never owned a vehicle with an SBC or a carb and I want to try it out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Small update for the day, I didn’t work on the truck any but I finally cleaned my garage up. We’ve been in our house for about 8 1/2 months and there were still boxes stacked up. I’ve still got some organizing to do and I’ll probably put the mowers in the shed but the truck is in.

I need to go buy an engine stand this week and hopefully I will have my block and I can send it off for machine work.

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Looks like a solid start. Keep with the plan or you will be spending way too much time and money all over the place. Personal experience haha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well I definitely appreciate that advice, but I didn’t follow it and changed my mind again lol. I went to the junkyard yesterday and pulled a 5.3 out of an 01 Tahoe. It’s been a pretty long time since I’ve pulled one and I was alone. It took me about 4 1/2 hours to get it out and on the ground and I’m sore all over today haha.

I decided to go the LS route just because it will be easier to get the power I want out of it. I’m interested in wiring it up and learning that part of it.
I should have my cherry picker and engine stand tomorrow and then I’m gonna clean this thing up and pull it apart and see what I’ve got to work with. If the bores look good I may put it back together and fire it up on the stand. Some people go through the bottom end and replace bearings and everything and then I’ve read that a lot of others say “don’t mess with it you’ll let the magic out.” I guess once I see inside of it I’ll make a determination on what’s next. I’ve also decide that I will be going with an automatic. I want my wife to be able to enjoy it too. I’m probably going to go with the 4L80E from my friend for the overdrive and lockup. If that doesn’t pan out, possibly a TH400.

Anyway I’ve rambled on enough. I’ll take some pics of the engine when I get it apart.

Happy Thanksgiving,
Joey

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Well pulled a 5.3 out of an 01 Tahoe.
go back and get the transmission from the tahoe,
easier to get the power I want out of it.
how much power do you want?
I want my wife to be able to enjoy it too.
she cant drive stick?
I’m probably going to go with the 4L80E from my friend for the overdrive and lockup.
get the 4l80 from your friend, sell it, and then uyse that money to rebuild the 4l60s the tahoe had in it.. oh and any auto trans past 1990 have o/d and lockup..
If that doesn’t pan out, possibly a TH400.
eww, stick with the 4l60e, have it built to hold what youre doing, and never look back. its not 1985 anymore, t350 and t400 are literal boat anchors alone with sbc's
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The Tahoe was 4wd, and I don’t want a 60E. Me and another friend have always followed Sloppy Mechanics and since I basically got a free truck to do it with we’re gonna try and mimic the Dont BS Me Builds he does. If it goes to plan the truck should make 500-600whp.

I know I’ve gone back and forth on what I want to do with this truck but this is something I’ve always wanted and finally decided to go for it. It’s gonna take time and I know there are a lot of supporting mods to get to where I want it. I do plan on making this streetable and that’s why my number one choice is the 4L80e.
 

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I put a 4L80E behind the 6.0 in my LS swap. If you get one from around the age of the engine from a 2500 HD truck they're nearly the same size as a 4L60E. You can use the Tahoe's wiring harness with just adding a coupe wires, deleting a couple and repining some on the trans connector. There's all kinds of info online on how to do the simple rewiring. You'll need to mod the trans crossmember or buy one for an S10 & 4l80E. Holley makes a good one. Just be sure to buy the 2 bolt rubber mount. Not from Holley, they think everything they sell is made of gold. Rockauto has them for much less. I had a 1 bolt and had to drill the hole between the 2 already there. Don't know why they couldn't make it with all 3 holes. Except for that it bolts right up with no need to mod the floor of the cab. Shift linkage arm is the same part as a 4L60E uses. I cut the rear half of the 4L80E cooling lines to mate up with the front half of the S10's cooling lines and spliced them with compression fittings. The pressure in the cooling lines is way under the limits for compression fittings. The temp gets a bit high for using rubber hose, tho. Back in the day I tried rubber hose and it kept popping off until I put compression barbed fittings on. Which raises the question, then why not use a compression union? Which is what I did on the latest swap. Had to tighten them pretty tight.
You will need all the 4L80E parts at the block, tho. I got them with the trans. Otherwise you need the correct flexplate, crank adapter, and bolts. They're not common bolts. Originally proprietary GM, but there are a few places that have them now. It can add up if you buy them afterwards. And of course the driveshaft will need to be made to the correct length. The yoke is also different. Bigger.
If you decide to go with a Holley trans crossmember they are currently running Holley Days and you get a better price while their stuff is on sale.
Here's the link to sale price and info: About $70 off.
 
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