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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a 89 S-truck with a 2.5L. I am planning my build to be a pro-street project. Currently, I have removed the A/C box, front clip, etc. The engine/trans will become a boat anchor as soon as I get it pulled. I am keeping the brakes as is. At some point I will probably go with a much smaller and more efficient A/C setup from Vintage Air but for now I will be smoothing the firewall.

Today, I am looking at the wiring harness, mine is pretty crusty. What are you guys doing on your builds with the wiring harness? Wondering if I should I keep and repair the stock harness or just replace it with a new Painless harness? Ideas?

Also, I am not sure on the dash (mainly instrument area). I am debating on keeping my stock cluster and adding gauges wherever I can OR scrapping the stock cluster and buying or building something nicer for my gauges. Ideas?
 

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2003 GMC Sonoma SLS extended cab 4.3L auto 4x4
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Just make sure the engine & trans are cleaned & free of contaminants before dropping those "anchors" overboard! :rolleyes: And, a windlass might also be a handy option for retrieval.
 

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What have you got in mind for an engine and trans. Most Pro-street truck builders also upgrade the brakes. No point to go fast if you can't whoa fast.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Just make sure the engine & trans are cleaned & free of contaminants before dropping those "anchors" overboard! :rolleyes: And, a windlass might also be a handy option for retrieval.
Hahahaha, yes, that was a figure of speech. I will haul it to the city landfill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
What have you got in mind for an engine and trans. Most Pro-street truck builders also upgrade the brakes. No point to go fast if you can't whoa fast.
I have a 350 4-bolt main with a TH350 trans I will rebuild and drop in. I'm planning on using a 8.8 rear with disc brakes. Not sure what all options I have to upgrade the front brakes at this point.
 

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Hahahaha, yes, that was a figure of speech. I will haul it to the city landfill.
Yeah, kinda figured that out. Have you considered taking the engine & trans. to a scrap/ recycling facility - you maybe able to get a few $ for them.
 

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I have a 89 I am planning to be a pro-street project.
1st gen S10s are great looking trucks to build up. What is the term pro-street to you?
To me, its 1980s bigs n littles, tucked way inside the fender wells in an attempt to look like the period correct pro stock cars they were built to resemble.
Currently, I have removed the A/C box, front clip, etc.
srip it all down to the frame rails, and rebuild that front suspension. Lower control arms from autozone come new with lifetime warranty and new bushings/balljoints for cheaper than you can rebuild them. Speedway has tubular uppers for $40 each side. All steering (tie rod ends, pitmam arm, etc) is around $100 from autozone to replace it all.
C setup from Vintage Air but for now I will be smoothing the firewall.
the vintage air units mount inside the truck agains a smooth firewall. So you are on the right track there. The GEN II style is nice, but has manual controls, the GEN IV is the way to go, as its is 100% fully digital.
wiring harness is pretty crusty.
here is where you do yourself a favor, remove everypiece of wiring in the truck and throw it in the trash. Replace it all. I like the speedway 10 circuit wiring harness. Roughly $250 and it’s extremely easy to install into a vehicle.
keeping my stock cluster and adding gauges
keep your cluster, cut it and fit in some updated gauges. Dakota Digital are expensive, but you’ll never regret the ease of usage, the track times it can display, and the accurateness.

Keep us posted, ask questions, and most importantly post up pictures of your truck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah, kinda figured that out. Have you considered taking the engine & trans. to a scrap/ recycling facility - you maybe able to get a few $ for them.
I might try that. Any money is better than nothing, LOL.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
1st gen S10s are great looking trucks to build up. What is the term pro-street to you?
To me, its 1980s bigs n littles, tucked way inside the fender wells in an attempt to look like the period correct pro stock cars they were built to resemble.
srip it all down to the frame rails, and rebuild that front suspension. Lower control arms from autozone come new with lifetime warranty and new bushings/balljoints for cheaper than you can rebuild them. Speedway has tubular uppers for $40 each side. All steering (tie rod ends, pitmam arm, etc) is around $100 from autozone to replace it all.
the vintage air units mount inside the truck agains a smooth firewall. So you are on the right track there. The GEN II style is nice, but has manual controls, the GEN IV is the way to go, as its is 100% fully digital.
here is where you do yourself a favor, remove everypiece of wiring in the truck and throw it in the trash. Replace it all. I like the speedway 10 circuit wiring harness. Roughly $250 and it’s extremely easy to install into a vehicle.
keep your cluster, cut it and fit in some updated gauges. Dakota Digital are expensive, but you’ll never regret the ease of usage, the track times it can display, and the accurateness.

Keep us posted, ask questions, and most importantly post up pictures of your truck.
AWESOME!!!! You NAILED it on all accounts. Yes, everything you said is where I am headed. Advice taken and I will proceed accordingly. I feel better stripping all the wiring and tossing it, just wanted to be sure. I am going to have the fab shop where I work do all the back half fabrication and then run the frame and pieces through the blaster and paint everything black. Thanks and I will post up pics as I move along. I am still recovering from kidney cancer surgery so it may be slow for a few more month but I will post up along the way.

She ain't much right now but in time it will she will shine.

Tire Wheel Car Vehicle Hood
 

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Personally love this generation. The next , not so much . You have a nice base to start with .
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Personally love this generation. The next , not so much . You have a nice base to start with .
So do I. I have owned 2 of the 1st gens and 2 of the 2nd gens. I prefer the 1st than any other model.

She is a bit rough but the body is solid and straight. Mostly cosmetic issues. One day it will look nice again.
 

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If I wanted AC, I'd keep the factory setup. No reason not to. It'd be different if it didn't have it. The under dash units take up a lot of space and there isn't a whole lot to begin with.

I'm just now finishing up completely rewiring my `83 with a Painless harness made for a similar vintage full size. Can't recommend it enough. The manual goes through a pre-installation process explaining how to remove the circuits you might not need and how to repurpose others. It was either 23 or 27 circuits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If I wanted AC, I'd keep the factory setup. No reason not to. It'd be different if it didn't have it. The under dash units take up a lot of space and there isn't a whole lot to begin with.

I'm just now finishing up completely rewiring my `83 with a Painless harness made for a similar vintage full size. Can't recommend it enough. The manual goes through a pre-installation process explaining how to remove the circuits you might not need and how to repurpose others. It was either 23 or 27 circuits.
Thanks Craig. I will check into the Painless Harness. My Dad used one of theirs on his 57' Chevy and it is awesome and super easy to install.
 

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It may be different with the `89 but mine was very easy to adapt. Pretty much all the connectors are the same and with the V8 swap, you can eliminate a lot of the factory crap. Once it's done, you'll have firsthand knowledge of how everything is wired. No mysteries.
 

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Which factory crap is that??
 

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Whatever factory circuits that are no longer needed. Like that EFE heater relay I just got rid of. Like the factory gauge wiring I haven't used in 20yrs, since installing Autometer gauges. Like the neutral safety switch. Like the three wire alternator wiring no longer necessary if using a one wire. Instead of cutting and tucking wires, you can completely remove them from the harness before you ever get started. Then there's the "crap" you can remove from the Painless harness, like that related to dual fuel tanks.
 

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Good to know. It always helps others to be specific on things like that.
 
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It’s also going to depend on the truck’s vintage, the fuel system and how you handled your swap. Mine was carbureted but now has aftermarket EFI, so the fuel system wiring harness is completely independent of the rest of the truck.
 

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A fuel cell in the bed gravity feeding a inline pump will keep your fuel system simple. Using a fuel pressure regulatior with a return line will keep your fuel cool and at the same pressure.
1st gen dashes are simple. Keeping the dash, steering column, heater, doors stock is going to be less work then starting fresh.

The wiring is simple and you can easily build a fresh harness. Keep the wiper delay/turn signal controls if possible.

Then you simply pull the pins at the plugs or cut the wiring at the plug and extend it with fresh wiring.

Engine wise you only need like 6 wires. You can run power to the key then key on power to the coil and starter silionoid as far as that circuit is concerned.

A 8.8 you can run two short shafts and it fits rather well. This also lets you use factory stuff insided a shortened housing avoiding custom stuff.

Engine and transmission wise a cable driven 2000ish 5.3 mated to a th400 turning a 8.8 with 3.73 gearing is hard to beat.
You can start off with the 5.3 stock running the engine off 6 wires(dirty) with vats/egr deleted.

If your more comfortable with a carburated engine I would still run a th400. I have ran a gravity fed walbro 225 to a carburated regulatior. Currently running a 225 on a 87 square v1500 using the factory tbi regulatior with no issues at all.
The 225 and a regulatior just gives you the option of running a LS later without changing your entire fuel system.

If this thing is going to the track most of those want the pump in the fuel cell. You can still run a high pressure pump and regulate/return it.

Suspension wise a refreshed factory front end will perform. Caltrac out back on some refreshed stock springs then play with various shock ratios.

Cage wise you need to ask your self what your really doing with this to fit within the rules.

A v8 makes things tight. If you can run a tilt front end and stay within the rules that is going to make doing maintance much more easier.
I run 2 big pins at the front and then 2 hood pins(on each side) at the bottom of the fenders. I use rubber to hold the pins. I just weld angle iron to the hood then have 2 pieces of plastic that drop close to the top of the frame. This keeps enough water/rocks away from the engine.

I hate tight engine bays.

I am building my 2nd mid engine v8 s10 currently. You stuff the engine where the cab was previously.
My first I used a 95 extended cab frame 355, th375, and shortened 8.8 and I dropped a cj5 jeep tub on the back. Made engine work simple.

My current moneypit is a 94 standard cab where I just threw the 94 cab over the rear axle. This thing was rusted bad. So I shortened the frame (80" wb) and built a new raised floor for the cab.

I could have built it out of a 1st gen. But the 94 stuff is easier to find and no love is lost cutting the bottom cab/doors of a 2nd gen. Its going to be fun fast toy with lots of room to run one or two turbos. But I cant run a standard track legal cage how its built. I am ok with this just being a street toy.



You need to ask yourself from the start what your plans are with this thing. If you just want a fun v8 powered driver thats simple. If you want something your taking to the track that changes things. Maybe you want to stuff the engine behind the cab and run the thing around a track.

Start with a piece of paper and make up a build sheet with a budget/time frame. Dont forget you will need tools to add to the final budget.
Double that final budget and the time frame then you will have a realistic build laid out to start looking for parts for.
 
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