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Discussion Starter #1
Currently I have a 1996 S10 with 260K+ miles on it and I am looking for a replacement. I had not really looked at 1st gen S10s but I think maybe I should. For you 1st gen experts I have a few questions related to my needs.

Listed roughly in order of importance.
1. - Reliability - How is the reliability compared to later models 2.2? (Probably would be getting the 2.5 as I need something with good MPG?) -
2. - MPG - How is the MPG on the 1st gen engines compared to the later model 2.2?
3. - Cost to repair - How is the cost for parts and to have it worked on if I do not have time. I assume it is simpler without ABS etc and what about parts.
4. - Are easy or hard are the parts to find new or used?
5. How is the ride/handling? Probably would do a mild upgrade like came on the later model Xtreme etc.
6. What are the chances of finding one that does not need a huge amount of work for a decent price still?
 

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Hi there, first time im responding to a post so I hope this is helpful. I recently got a 92 S10 with the 4.3 taking it over a hundred miles used up around three to four gallons of gas. Engine starts up and runs perfectly every time the only issue That I've come across is rust on the gas lines. Might have been why it went through so much gas, LOL.
 

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Been there Done it
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Welcome to the forum.
Unless my math is failing 3 or 4 gallons for 100+ miles is over 25-33 mpg. For a 4.3 that's spectacular gas mileage. 4 cylinder S10's only get in the upper 20's if everything is right.
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
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Kicking the tires on a 25-30 year old vehicle and asking questions... lol.
1. Poor unless maintained.
2. Not great.
3. & 4. Relatively inexpensive with most parts readily available from napa, rockauto etc. A shop has no issues working on a 1st gen, except if all the old guys have died and the new guys don't understand the old tech.
5. Its a 25-30 year old truck on a 50+ year old frame/suspension design, what do you think?
6. Slim. Good examples aren't cheap, cheap examples aren't good, unless you luck out with some old lady who's husband died 20 years ago and she kept it in the barn or something, even then it'll need to be fully restored.

Why does your 96 need replacement and why wouldn't you look at a later year 03-04' 2nd gen, there are still lots of good examples of those around.
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
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I should add, that your risk of serious injury or death even in relatively minor accidents is extremely high in a 1st gen? They have abysmal crash safety ratings (or well basically no rating at all), about the only thing going for them is they had seat belts. Seriously, in a modern Civic you get t-boned at a light, you get out and survey the damage and call an uber & the insurance and go on with your day. You get t-boned in a 1st gen, they call the coroner and fire to clean up bodily fluids on the roadway. I would never daily drive a 1st gen. Even a second gen isn't a whole lot better but they were better than the 1st gens that's for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why does your 96 need replacement and why wouldn't you look at a later year 03-04' 2nd gen, there are still lots of good examples of those around.
Will start with the second part first. My default has been looking for later model small trucks. S10, Sonoma, Isuzu and even others. Something with much lower miles than mine and at least mechanically well taken care of. And I have pretty much ignored the 1st gen S10s. But thought maybe I should consider them if I run across one that some one took good care of. But unlike the later model S10s I know almost nothing about them.

On my S10 it really is a matter of miles vs cost to put into it. Because a radiator failed it got hot one time and got a head and or head gasket. So running on stop leak and borrowed time. Also needs the AC system rebuilt, door hinges etc. And with the miles it is just not worth putting the money into it. I could pull the head and but a head gasket on and if needed have the head machined etc. But If you are going to have it that far apart on a 260K+ trucks you might as well put in a lower mileage motor or rebuilt the one that is in it. And these 2.2 with low miles are not cheap on average compared to say a K24 or something. So it is better to sell this one and start over with one with lower miles.
 

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the new guy
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Our 1st gen has withstood a 16 year old driving it a lot better than my 98 did.

If you can work on thay 2.2, than you will be fine with any 1st gen. And if gas mileage is a higher concern, get a 90s 2.8 v6. Ours gets in the 20s on the highway, doing 75 to 80
 

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Boozebag
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Um, if you are concerned about crashing a vehicle and surviving, probably shouldn't be driving...

I think you will find that any older pick up is going to need attention once in a while.
I have a mob of first gen S10s, they all have different personalities (if that's possible).
They also need attention once in a while.

Any older small size pickup that has been well maintained and is not rusty will give good service. You just have to be patient and shop. As was mentioned earlier, the older they are the harder to find a good one at a reasonable price.
Look on Ebay... average prices are climbing.
 

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Been there Done it
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Look on Ebay... average prices are climbing.
I agree. 20 years from now they will be like tri 5 Chevys. The go to vehicle to hot rod. Before that it was the 30's Fords. Look at the prices for either of those nowadays.
 

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I drive an 88' S15 4X4 and really like it. It has the 2.8 V6 and runs great. Five speed manual and is dependable as you could expect. I have an issue with it right now as you might have read my post. It drives great and gets 18 to 20 MPG commuting to work and back. I have gotten as good as 25 MPG on a long drive. That is an empty pickup and only me in it. I like my old 1st gen and plan on fixing it when I get my other project truck on the road.
 

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Just bought a 91’ 5-speed 2.8 V-6 (2wd) this past week. I actually owned it before maybe 10 years ago before I sold it. At that time, it was nearly perfect, seriously. In the meantime, however, it has become quite ragged out.
I got a great deal in it. My plan is this: (see what you guys think)
The motor is knocking slightly, so it is being replaced with another 2.8 for free. So I will have both engines when I pick it up in a few days.
My end goal is to have the exterior looking sharp (newish factory look, maybe GMC Cyclone-esque. Not sure. It is already factory black, but will need a new paint job which I can do all the prep work for and have a great paint guy). I’ll go through and either refinish or replace the trim and whatnot.
As for the interior, short term I will do some cheapish upgrades (seat/dash covers, things of that nature). Whatever makes it look decent for the money. Eventually I would like to change out the seats, dash and whatever else with either custom or junkyard parts from newer and/or better parts. I have some great ideas in mind that I could pull of for cheap. Bang for buck is high on my list of priorities in this project.
I eventually plan to go 350 V-8. Preferably LS1, as I’ve owned several Corvettes etc, but this will depend on cost and whatnot. I prefer a 6-speed (T-56 or 6060),which should be available relatively cheap if one knows where to look, but would settle for auto if I had to. 700R4/4L60(80?), etc. If I found a reasonable motor-tranny combo I would run with it. I really want to be at the 300 hp @ wheels mark at least; 450 max. It must be reliable, drivable, and retain low end torque without power dropping off below 6,000 rpms.
While doing all of this, I must make decisions based on “Will this change result in a net increase in value”. I can do nearly all of the work myself, and when help is needed, I have experienced help that will do so for very cheap.
I am seeing these trucks going for ridiculous amounts of money ($40k+), and not even tasteful examples. Now I would never expect to get that, but if I pull of a tasteful and well done truck, I’m hoping to possibly double my investment (which will be from $4-8.5k total, including purchase price).
Or I could just get the interior/exterior looking nice and have it running good and try to make a couple grand (I would probably have $2,500 in it at that point if I wanted it virtually perfect).
What do you guys think? This is my first post by the way. I have an open title on it as of right now, and the extra motor I spoke of earlier. My old gear head neighbor bought it new, my mother bought it from him, then I bought it, then sold to my father, and now have it back, so I know the history well. The miles are low as well. It has been well maintained at least, my dad just used it as a beater truck and didn’t garage it. What would it be worth now as is?
 

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Just bought a 91’ 5-speed 2.8 V-6 (2wd) this past week. I actually owned it before maybe 10 years ago before I sold it. At that time, it was nearly perfect, seriously. In the meantime, however, it has become quite ragged out.
I got a great deal in it. My plan is this: (see what you guys think)
The motor is knocking slightly, so it is being replaced with another 2.8 for free. So I will have both engines when I pick it up in a few days.
My end goal is to have the exterior looking sharp (newish factory look, maybe GMC Cyclone-esque. Not sure. It is already factory black, but will need a new paint job which I can do all the prep work for and have a great paint guy). I’ll go through and either refinish or replace the trim and whatnot.
As for the interior, short term I will do some cheapish upgrades (seat/dash covers, things of that nature). Whatever makes it look decent for the money. Eventually I would like to change out the seats, dash and whatever else with either custom or junkyard parts from newer and/or better parts. I have some great ideas in mind that I could pull of for cheap. Bang for buck is high on my list of priorities in this project.
I eventually plan to go 350 V-8. Preferably LS1, as I’ve owned several Corvettes etc, but this will depend on cost and whatnot. I prefer a 6-speed (T-56 or 6060),which should be available relatively cheap if one knows where to look, but would settle for auto if I had to. 700R4/4L60(80?), etc. If I found a reasonable motor-tranny combo I would run with it. I really want to be at the 300 hp @ wheels mark at least; 450 max. It must be reliable, drivable, and retain low end torque without power dropping off below 6,000 rpms.
While doing all of this, I must make decisions based on “Will this change result in a net increase in value”. I can do nearly all of the work myself, and when help is needed, I have experienced help that will do so for very cheap.
I am seeing these trucks going for ridiculous amounts of money ($40k+), and not even tasteful examples. Now I would never expect to get that, but if I pull of a tasteful and well done truck, I’m hoping to possibly double my investment (which will be from $4-8.5k total, including purchase price).
Or I could just get the interior/exterior looking nice and have it running good and try to make a couple grand (I would probably have $2,500 in it at that point if I wanted it virtually perfect).
What do you guys think? This is my first post by the way. I have an open title on it as of right now, and the extra motor I spoke of earlier. My old gear head neighbor bought it new, my mother bought it from him, then I bought it, then sold to my father, and now have it back, so I know the history well. The miles are low as well. It has been well maintained at least, my dad just used it as a beater truck and didn’t garage it. What would it be worth now as is?
Welcome to the forum, however, it's poor taste to hijack someone else thread. Feel free to start your own thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the advice and feedback everyone. I think I will keep an eye out for a 1st along with the later models. And just try to find the nicest truck for the money depending on what comes along first.
 

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I have a 92 GMC Sonoma 4.3 ltr V6 with about 158000 miles and I have taken care of it. I lowered it 3/4 and have maintained it well. I have installed flowmaster muffler, iroc wheels and new tires, new led headlights, new tail lights, new steering gear box, drop spindles and springs front and blocks in rear, new belltech shocks all around, upper and lower control arms both sides, new spark plugs, new fuel filter, new alternator, new water pump, new thermostat, new radiator, new inner and outer tie rods, new fan clutch, new after market steering wheel, new idler arm, new rolled in bed liner, new radiator cap, new upper radiator hose, new sway bar links, new stereo and 10" powered sub n box, new but not installed rear brake drums and front rotors. I had to buy a used instrument cluster the old one the gauges stop working so now the truck reads different mileage. So if I was to sell i would ask about $4k I live in sunny dry Arizona so no rust issues and truck runs good no smoke on start up and plenty of power in the 4.3 ltr.
 

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Currently I have a 1996 S10 with 260K+ miles on it and I am looking for a replacement. I had not really looked at 1st gen S10s but I think maybe I should. For you 1st gen experts I have a few questions related to my needs.

Listed roughly in order of importance.
1. - Reliability - How is the reliability compared to later models 2.2? (Probably would be getting the 2.5 as I need something with good MPG?) -
2. - MPG - How is the MPG on the 1st gen engines compared to the later model 2.2?
3. - Cost to repair - How is the cost for parts and to have it worked on if I do not have time. I assume it is simpler without ABS etc and what about parts.
4. - Are easy or hard are the parts to find new or used?
5. How is the ride/handling? Probably would do a mild upgrade like came on the later model Xtreme etc.
6. What are the chances of finding one that does not need a huge amount of work for a decent price still?
 
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