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Discussion Starter #61
I've been working on the tonneau cover for the last few days.

It turned into quite a project... after the usual bodywork, I spent about 6 hrs masking the stripes & emblem off. Then after multiple coats of silver, blue & clear, it is finally painted.

Now another 5hrs of sanding to level the 2 colors so you cannot feel the transitions & then buff to the final finish.

Here is the freshly painted version.
343746

Not sure why it insists on rotating the picture for me???
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Yes I had one made... I supplied a photo of what I wanted & it was cut out from removable vinyl.
It wasn't cheap but I saved a ton of work/masking.

This turned into quite an ordeal....
I sanded the cover with an air board for 2 hrs to get it flat.
Then 2 hrs was spent adding a thin coat of filler to the low spots & more sanding.

Next 2 heavy coats of primer was added & let dry for 2 days.
Then it was blocked with 400 for nearly 2 hours, & primed again, then finish sanded with 600.

Finally a coat of sealer was added before 3 coats of silver & left to dry overnight

Next 6 hrs of masking to get the design laid out.
3 more coats of blue followed with 3 coats of high build clear.

Then the next day, 5 hours of block sanding with 1200 & 1500 grit paper to level the layers of paint..
Finally tonight I spent 3 hrs swinging a buffer over it.

I'll install it tomorrow & probably go over it again in a few days once it cures some more.

I can't wait to do it all over again with the hood......
 

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Discussion Starter #65 (Edited)
I got some interesting information today....
With all the parts back on the S10, I was curious to see the new vehicle weight.

I was hoping it did not go up too much.

My initial thoughts were:
1. Added tubular control arms & coil overs for weight reduction which was mostly offset by the bigger brakes.
2. Replaced an 8.5" rear with a Dana 60, so that was a definite increase.
3. Removed some undercoat etc.... maybe a few lb. loss
4. Replaced a 235 tire with a 305, so that should have added a few lbs.
5. Replaced a 5 speed with a T56 Magnum
6. Removed an iron 4.3 & replaced with an aluminum 6.2... I regret not weighing the engines while they were on the garage floor.
7. Removed rear bumper & installed a roll pan
8. I have the same fuel in the tank, full coolant, fluids etc.

When I got the readings I was surprised to see the truck got 63lb lighter.
After being in denial, I thought things over & realized I no longer had the spare tire in the truck.
I put it back in for comparison (38lb.) & now I'm down to a 25lb loss. I will get an aluminum wheel (that actually fits the brakes) for a spare eventually.

Fortunately moving the battery to the rear also helped to equalize the weight distribution
The rear of the truck lost 21lb & the front lost 4lb.

Overall I'm happy with an additional 400hp while still losing weight.
 

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This is such a sweet build! I applaud all the long tireless hard work. Well done! Any updates with pictures and video?
 

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Discussion Starter #69
Thanks, I appreciate the feedback. It went way over budget & over the hours I planned for, but they typically all go this way. No videos yet... snow in Pittsburgh, PA so I'm limited to pictures.

I did not post any under hood shots yet as I'm still trying to tidy up the wiring... the factory routing across the engine was ugly, so I re-pulled it all across the back of firewall to clean things up.

Was in the testing phase when the weather changed, so I only got 1 good day to drive it.
Need to upgrade the 6000rpm tach & 100mph speedometer as both are useless since it hits 100 in 3rd at 6500rpm.

Here is a under hood picture... some items are still out of place.

346036
 

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13 Sec Taco
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Beautiful build! I just picked up my xtreme on christmas eve, and starting my build (LS3, TKX 5spd, Quick Perf rear end).

What wheels did you end up going with? I have a feeling I'm going to run into the same issues with brake clearance.
 

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Discussion Starter #71
First off, I do not recommend that you do what I did.

The tire I stuffed in there requires everything to be perfect, custom machining & is not forgiving. The Xtreme flares take up precious wheel opening space that is normally available on a standard S10. I have 5/8" tire clearance & .090 caliper clearance, which as you probably know, neither are recommended.

Being an engineer & also inherently stubborn, was the only reason I did not change my plans. I admit I wasted a week re-machining stuff & almost gave up at 1 point.

Personally, I would suggest that you use a 9.5" front wheel with a 275-285 max front tire.... this will still require significant trimming of the flares & also it's necessary to put enough caster & camber in it (ie. aftermarket control arms & extended ball joints etc.) to keep the tire out of the flare through the suspension travel.

As for wheels, look into something that will fit the front of a Z06 Vette & then get the appropriate spacer to adjust the backspace. The ones I used required some custom mods.

Feel free to PM me your contact info & I will be glad to give you a call & fill you in on more of the details.
 

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Discussion Starter #73
Not much in the way of progress due to the weather in PA....

I was on the search for an instrument cluster upgrade since neither the tach (6000rpm) nor the speedometer (100mph) had enough range. With the current gears, 6700rpm in 3rd is 103mph.

After a lot of research, I managed to modify a cluster to produce a 200 MPH speedometer, which also required a custom faceplate. Yes, this is my factory cluster.

It took me a lot of time & money (about $600) to develop this, so I will not be sharing my methods... but I may offer to sell the other clusters I am currently testing in the future, if I can make it worth my effort.

Getting a good picture was tough as the camera either washed out the colors or came out grainy.
IMG_1851.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #75 (Edited)
Thanks, I'm pretty happy with it.
I verified the tach & MPH readings to my scan tool & all is good.

Yesterday I spent hours adjusting the bump steer.
It tests my patience after trying over 15 variations & still not being satisfied.

I'm down to 1/16" shims for fine tuning now between my previous best results..

I bought tie rod sleeves, rod ends, shims etc. from Speedway Automotive to make my own bumpsteer kit for about 2/3 of the pre-made brands out there. This way I know I have genuine QA1 rod ends etc, instead of undranded copies.
 

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Discussion Starter #78
After seeing the reports of frame flex on many cars in the steering box area, I decided to fab up a brace to help stiffen the frame. It is odd that the steering box is midway between the cross member & the front bumper, which does not offer much lateral stiffness.

I got the idea from my '91 Firebird where they tie the frame together at the sway bar location to prevent frame cracking in the steering box area. Since I had a spare brace available I decided to modify it to fit the S10. I removed 2" from the center & rewelded it. After some paint & added a few shims, it fit very well.

347787
 

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After seeing the reports of frame flex on many cars in the steering box area, I decided to fab up a brace to help stiffen the frame. It is odd that the steering box is midway between the cross member & the front bumper, which does not offer much lateral stiffness.

I got the idea from my '91 Firebird where they tie the frame together at the sway bar location to prevent frame cracking in the steering box area. Since I had a spare brace available I decided to modify it to fit the S10. I removed 2" from the center & rewelded it. After some paint & added a few shims, it fit very well.

View attachment 347787
This is pretty cool. Thanks for sharing.

With some googling, I found that this is referred to as the "wonderbar".
 
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