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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I have finally pretty much admitted defeat on ever getting my 98 S10 back on the road. The engine developed a serious knock back in February and I have been trying to find a suitable replacement engine ever since. Long story short a rebuilt or remanufactured engine was going to cost me around $1300~$1800, money I just don't have to spend, not to mention I originally bought the truck for $1200. Aside from that option finding a good used running engine so far has proved almost impossible. In fact for some reason there also seems to be an unusually high number of non-running s10s that have been for sale lately. Well in any case here we are now in September and the 98 is still sitting in pieces in my garage and my hopes of ever getting it repaired affordably have been reduced almost to nothing. So I did what any good S10 enthusiast would do and went out and bought another S10... only this one is 10 years older and cost me a whopping $600.

Overall the "new" truck is in really good shape (for a $600 truck). Just a little bit of rust on the bed rails and a nickel sized rust hole in the passenger side cab corner but other than that the body is straight. It is a 2.5L with a 5 speed with a fairly respectable 218K miles on it and still runs pretty good, no tapping knocking or serious smoking. It appears as though it is leaking oil like a sieve but hey oil is cheap and otherwise it appears to be in great shape. The interior is a wreck but it was used as a work truck its entire life so that is pretty much to be expected. Still this truck is about as basic as they come, most people complain that their truck is a stripped down model if it does not have power windows... this truck doesn't have power brakes and the manual steering is like 30 turns lock to lock.

But for now the plan is to swipe the drop kit, Xtreme wheels and maybe a few other things from the 98 and throw them on there. Clean up and repair the rust damage on the body and shoot it OD green. I'll probably also throw some other stuff in it like a radio a working horn and possibly even a power brake booster. Power steering I can live without, I'll get used to it, but with the drivers around here good brakes are a must. I'd also eventually like to do a nice spray-in bedliner and upgrade to a one piece grill from a later first gen.

Oh and yes I know OD green has been done plenty of times, but it is something that I have always wanted to do so that's almost certainly going to happen. Progress is probably going to be slow as crap on this truck because that's just how it is for me but I'll post updates anytime I do anything worth getting excited about.






 

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Kyle
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940 Posts
hell yeah man thats a good deal. nice little truck i love it!
i cant wait to see what u do with it


and its not all that slow. well not a real high miles per hour but i can break both rear tires lose on mine on dry pavement lol not that i ever do ... im just saying it can lol
 

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2,763 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yeah, it's not a bad little truck. It definitely needs a few things but I am kind of excited about having a new project.

And yeah it's not the fastest thing on wheels but it was still keeping me busy driving it home, it really did not take much to break the tires loose especially coming around off ramps... I'm sure the fact that it was raining and the truck is rocking some skinny little 185s probably did't hurt though.
 

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2,763 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Here is how it sits with the Xtreme wheels on it.



Also I just found out that one of my friends was given a first gen for free and for obvious reasons but he's not going to be fixing this one up.





He got it because he needs the axle the brakes and a few other things for their old 38 Chevy project car to modernize the drivetrain some.

There is not much left of it but he said I could pretty much take whatever I need from it as long as it stays a roller. I was originally probably just going to get the fenders and front bumper. Until I looked at the back and realized it has 3" blocks.



The blocks I'm not too worried about, but when I saw those I realized it had to have something up front too. So I crawled under it and sure enough it has some old school drop spindles that I am definitely going to be swiping for my truck.

So these along with the 3" leafs and Coils and 2" blocks that I am going to be pulling from my 98 are going to have the 88 sitting nice.
 

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2,763 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well not much to update I finally got to the DMV and got it titled and tagged. I also started working on some of the little issues that it has. The radiator was leaking and I found a crack in one of the end tanks so that has been JB welded for now. The parking brake release lever was completely gone so for the time being I fabricated a new one out of a wire coat hanger. Also one of the hinges on the glovebox door was snapped off so I installed a bolt in it for now.

All of these are just temporary fixes and these parts are going to be replaced with functional non rigged up parts once I can get the time to go to the junk yard to find them. I'll probably just buy a new radiator though.

Also I was able to install my air horns since the factory horn was dead. I managed to get away without installing an extra relay for now but I will probably upgrade the wiring in the near future to a higher gauge wire with at least a 30 amp relay.



Still on the to do list are:

Repair the headliner (ripped and sagging)
find and install missing interior peices
Install a working radio
get a seat cover (the bench seat is ripped up)
New door hinge bushings
replace the broken passenger side door handle
Replace the broken ignition switch (it still works just fine but one of the little tabs is broken off)
install missing door weatherstripping
Swap the spindles and install the blocks

...

That's about all that I can think of for now.

Here is a picture of it in the sun (finally).

 

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2,763 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well a small update. This weekend I was able to drive it to the junkyard to pick up some parts. The truck runs great although it is definitely going to take a while to get used to the brakes and steering. At the junkyard I was able to get my door weather stripping and some of ther interior peices that were broken/missing like the parking brake release lever, glovebox door, ash tray, and a cig lighter plug.

Unfortunately at some point on the drive back my radiator repair decided to give out. I was able to make it home alright but it is definitely going to need a new radiator. The sad thing is there was an 89 S10 at the junkyard with what looked like a brand new radiator in it but I decided to hold off on getting it because my truck wasn't leaking from driving there. Oh well, maybe I'll be able to make it back up there to grab that one, otherwise I'll probably just suck it up and buy a new one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well I sucked it up and bought a new radiator.

Lol

I completely forgot about this thread. I have not done much with the truck since the last time I posted. I replaced the radiator and then ended up loaning the truck to a friend who was new to the area and didn't have anything to drive. I got it back about 2 weeks ago and began tearing into it. As of now the plan is to put a newer GMC grill on it and do a 5/6 drop. I kept the drop parts from my old 98 s10 (which had a 3/5 drop) that I recently sold. The springs and shocks from the 98 will be getting installed on the 88 along with a few other parts like the spindles from my friend's parts chassis.




I am still debating on whether or not I'll be keeping the xtreme wheels on it. They are alright but to me look too modern compared to the rest of the truck. Not to mention I am worried about them having rubbing issues once the truck is lowered. Unfortunately I don't have the stock wheels any more they went with my 98 when I sold that.

I do have this other set of wheels though that I am thinking about running. They are very old and kind of ugly but I like them, they kind of fit the look of the truck but they are just in desperate need of new tires right now.

What do you guys think?


Xtreme wheels? or...


These wheels? Which by the way were originally apparently from a boat trailer... lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Right now I am still kind of leaning more towards the 15s but I will have to get some tires for them before I can run them. Honestly one of my worries is that the Xtreme wheels are going to have tie rod clearence issues with the drop spindles. Not to mention Fender clearence issues... I guess I'll just have to finish the suspension and go from there.

Speaking of which I was able to get the rear suspension done this weekend and hopefully I will be picking up the drop spindles tonight so I can finish up the front. What a pain in the ass that was though. It's amazing what a difference of 10 years can make in the condition of a truck. When I swapped the suspension back to stock in my 98 S10 it took me all of about an hour and a half to do the rear. On the 88 it took me over an hour just to get the old U bolts off. And I probably ended up with at least 6 hours total into it.

But, here is how the back is sitting now... still obviously on jackstands though.



Oh and here is a little better picture of the other wheels back when I had them on my black S10. And for what it's worth this is a 3/4 drop on the black truck.

 

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2,763 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well I was able to get the spindles last night. Amazingly enough the truck that I got them from was easier to take apart than mine was. Which considering when I say truck I mean a bare chassis sitting in my friends back yard that has not been under a running truck in years, it was suprising.

Here is one of the reasons that I wanted to get these spindles so bad.


They are old school! I think these were actually an AIM product from the early 90's before they got all lame. I'm not really worried about durability too much because they have obviously survived this long.

Oh and something that I had noticed earlier was that this truck did not have an antiroll bar installed from the factory. I looked at the frame and the holes are there for one but when I tried to put a bolt in I realized that they were not even threaded. So I have to add that to my to do list too. I am not sure if the frame is normally just threaded but that is going to be my plan. I actually kept my big blazer antiroll bar from my other S10 along with all the hardware so all I should have to do is tap those holes and bolt it on.

I am just glad that I am finally making some progress with this truck.
 

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Longbeds FTMFW
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8,623 Posts
Oh and something that I had noticed earlier was that this truck did not have an antiroll bar installed from the factory. I looked at the frame and the holes are there for one but when I tried to put a bolt in I realized that they were not even threaded. So I have to add that to my to do list too. I am not sure if the frame is normally just threaded but that is going to be my plan. I actually kept my big blazer antiroll bar from my other S10 along with all the hardware so all I should have to do is tap those holes and bolt it on.
The frame is only an 1/8" thick. You wont be able to tap those holes. You also cannot get to the DS holes to put nuts on them.

I tried doing this with mine. I could get my arm in the PS frame rail, and bolt the bushing to the frame, but on the DS the frame is boxed, as a support for the steering box, so you cant get your hand all the way through the frame.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Well Belay my last post... I think I may have stumbled onto the answer accidently. After a little research I have found people who have installed sway bars on these trucks by just tapping the frame but what caught my attention was one paticular post where 98layinframe said that he just ran the factory bolts into the frame and let them cut their own threads.

http://www.s10forum.com/forum/f178/no-front-swaybar-on-first-gens-208025/#post2652138

Yes the thread is old but it got me thinking so I did a little research because I remembered that the bolts I had from the other truck were not perfectly round but kind of triangular (which I remember because I thought it was weird). It turns out they are considered thread rolling screws... and now I am glad I kept them.

Wikipedia said:
thread rolling screws: These have a lobed (usually triangular) cross-section. They form threads in a pre-drilled hole in the mating workpiece by pushing the material outward during installation.
So with all that said I am just going to grab the ol impact wrench and see if I can't just run those bolts right into the frame. If not I think I'll go back to tapping the frame and going from there... it seems to have worked just fine for others before so I'll at least give it a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Alright a small update, got the suspension all back together except for the swaybar. I just have not had the chance to mess with it. But I did a quick garage alignmet on the toe and took it for a spin. So far I am really happy with how it looks. Oh and my biggest fear of running the Xtreme wheels with the drop spindles turned out to be a non issue. There is still probably a good 1/2" of clearance between the tie rod end and the wheel.

I did find out that I am definitely going to need to mod the tail pipe, right now the axle is probably less than an inch away from it and it hits it constantly. And for now "Mod" is probably going to entail just cutting it off right before the axle.

On with the pictures...




the camber is still out on the front and I need to get it aligned. Oh and yes I put the center caps back on before I started driving it anywhere.

Obviously not the factory exhaust.


Only been back together for a few days and already helping a friend move. lol.
 
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