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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
I am new to the forum and thought I would test the waters a little with a question on what my 5.3 swap is worth at the moment and what it could be worth in the near future. To give you some background I am 19 years old and am currently a freshman in college. I bought this truck off of a co-worker for $250 because the 2.2L was locked up. I started this project in December of 2018 and by Spring had bought a 2000 5.3 out of a Silverado (130K miles) a 1993 WC T-5, parted out the truck and began seriously gathering parts. I drove it out of the garage under its own power in August 2019. I hardly knew anything about cars before starting this build and I say all of this to give you an idea of the timeline I was working with and why some things may not be ideal.

Parts:
2000 Silverado 5.3- new oil pump, gaskets (except heads), starter, alternator, water pump
1993 Camaro T5 WC
621 Chevelle bellhousing
1973 Chevelle BBC clutch
Howe Hydraulic throwout bearing
1985 Corvette radiator
(2) 12" electric fans (never seen over 205 degrees)
Hedmann Swap headers (rattle can painted)
Custom True dual 2.5 inch exhaust into a dual in dual out Magnaflow straight out the back
original 2.2 clutch master cylinder (long pedal throw)
original gauge cluster
Unlocked HP tune and VATS deleted
1998 Blazer seats (got rid of the bench)
1996 S10 aluminum rims (goodbye steelies)
new AC delco front shocks

Whats currently wrong
Cosmetics mainly, the body on the truck could be in better shape. The body has very little rust but lots of chipping paint and a few dents.
Still have not put a shift boot in
No carpet or other flooring
No center console
Speedo does not work
Engine light stays on for a MAF issue and it still thinks it has an auto trans hooked up to it
ABS and airbag light stay on, parking brake light comes on shortly after driving out of the driveway
Seats are brown and interior is gray
No windshield wiper fluid plumbed in
5th gear on the trans whines (I do not know if this is uncommon, this is my first manual vehicle)
Shift lever and knob are a working progress
windshield is cracked but usable
No A/C
Heat works decent, but could be better, have driven in about 20 degrees comfortably
EVAP is deleted but gas cap is not vented, builds pressure


What I would like to do before it goes
Vinyl floor, matching seat covers, Blazer or custom center console, shift boot, better shift lever and knob
Get the speedo to work, I think the tune just needs to be changed
Tune out Auto trans engine codes, fix MAF code (looking for vacuum leak)
New bumpers, grille, headlights to fix some bad cosmetics
Maybe some body work
Dyno tuning (my shop has a dyno, the tuner told me to fix the MAF first)

The problem is that I currently have about $7,000 tied up in this thing and do not want to keep putting more money into it if I am just going to lose it all.
This truck is my first and so I am pretty partial to it and would like to get it to the point that I originally envisioned it before beginning.
I do not have the time to work on it right now with school until the summer, but I do not want to hang on to it until then if I think it needs to be sold before I dig myself in much deeper.

Please tell me what you think the truck is worth currently and what it could potentially be worth after the "to do's". What you would pay, your friend would pay, a story you heard of one similar selling, I do not care, just trying to get an idea where I am at and where I could be. Any advice on how to fix my problems would also be appreciated, but I have not researched them much at this point.
 

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Been there Done it
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For a first truck and a first swap by a 17-19 year old I'm impressed. Real nice job.
BUT since it still needs a lot of minor fixes, in my opinion you are going to take a big hit by selling it.
Putting more money into it won't help.
I think the basic problem is most potential buyers will think "Cheap truck, cheap motor, I could build one for $2000". That's because they've never done an actual swap and have no idea all the time and expense actually involved. Used hot rods always sell for way less than what the builder has invested.
 

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Let me first start off by saying I completely agree with oldeerslayer, you have done a good job on your swap. But unfortunatly he is also right about the value of the truck. Building a hot rod truck is a labor of love and you will probably never see a return in time and money invested. If I were in your shoes I would keep it for the personal value it has and maybe fix up the issues you have listed to enjoy it for years to come. Or option B, sell it knowing your probably going to take a hit. I think it all boils down to how much sentimental value the truck has to you.
 

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I wouldn't pay more than $2k maybe 3k for someone's unfinished or rough project. Yours is definitely a good start, but like you've noticed there is plenty of work left to do. A clean, simple, finished, swap in a well cared for truck might be able to fetch $7k, but probably in the 5-6 range.

With that said there is plenty of small cheaper things that can be done to clean it up and make it present well. When selling a project that's probably the biggest difference between a low and high price.

To fix your automatic tune issues, look into doing a segment swap on the PCM. A google search of "Hptuner segment swap" should be enough to get you started down that rabbit hole. It will basically replace the tables and codes that are setup for an automatic with values for a manual. It's the easiest way to get the PCM working with a manual and any fine tuning will be in a better place starting from that.

Body work and paint are a big investment that you probably won't get your money's worth back out of.
 

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I agree with the above. Unfortunately there’s almost no buyers that will want a partly finished truck. The nit pick punch list stuff you have listed is 90% of why most swaps don’t get finished.. Cost of all that tiny stuff adds up VERY quickly and you will almost never get a return of what you have into it.
If it were me, I’d slowly piece it together, and keep it. My first v8 s10 was when I was your age. Hacked it together to get it running and it broke all the time. I eventually sold it losing about $3,000- $4000 total. Yes, I regret it. Looking back I could have had a sweet truck if i just powered through it and finished it.
If you sold it the way it is currently, I’d be amazed if you got $3000 for it max. And that’s it you find somebody that wants it bad enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all of the input guys.
Unfortunately, I do not plan on keeping the truck. With school I can only work on it sparingly and if anything breaks, it could sit for months before I have the time to fix it. I am losing the garage space that I currently have it in and if I keep it any longer than the end of this summer, I will be forced to pay and have it stored. I just do not think that I can do the truck justice after the end of this summer.

Going off of what you all have said, I think I will continue to work on the small stuff for my spring break and summer. I might do some simple cosmetics like a grille, front bumper, valance, roll pan, etc. You guys have convinced me to stay away from the body work. Hopefully I can get some dyno tuning after I get some little things ironed out, I will definitely ask my tuner/coworker about the the segment swap Harley.

I want to keep it, I really wish I could, but I can not keep putting money into it all through college and then bring it into a marriage, early career, etc. I think selling it at the end of the summer is what is best for the truck, I will just take the hit when that time comes and enjoy it while I can.

Thanks for the advice, I might update when I am getting closer to selling and see what it is worth then.
 

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When you get ready to sell post it on here. There are always guys looking for a project and are more aware of what you have invested. Where are you located?
 

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Been there Done it
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That's just under 500 miles from me. Let me know when you're about to sell it. I might be interested. Might want to fly down and drive it back.
 

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I see almost completed projects every day that are parted out for less than the investment of parts.
I hope you can get it completed so you dont go that route
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
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Yup, read the description, looked at the pictures, and to @oldeerslayer 's comments... my thoughts were "cheap truck, cheap motor, and badly unfinished". My gut before reading replies was I wouldn't pay more than $2,500. The fact that its a black, short box, standard cab, gives it 2/3rds of its value right there.

Here's imo, the major things holding you back:

Cracked windshield- will not safety in many places.
Dash lit up like a Christmas tree and speedo doesn't work. That's 100% illegal to sell or transfer here with anything other than a junk title.
EVAP removed - can cause issues for states that require emissions compliance.
No AC and no working windshield wiper fluid depresses the value pretty significantly.

The way you have it now, you've got a junk S10 with a 5.3 in it. The 5.3 on its own is only worth like 800 bucks or less. Better condition 2nd gen trucks with working clusters and without half the issues you have, can be found for 2-3k

You really need to fix the mechanical & electronics, forget about the cosmetics they don't mean anything to a prospective buyer.

You don't need to put more money into it aside from possibly a new windshield, MAF sensor, and programming.

You do need to look at how you wired the BCM to the ECM and fix that, which is likely why your ABS is throwing codes and your speedo doesn't work.

On the bright side, for your first swap, its a good effort.
 

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If you get the issues sorted out, dash working and all the lights off, the value of your project doubles to 5 grand pretty easily. Spending a grand to fix those major issues would definitely get your money back, but the fixes need to be real, not wires twisted together with electrical tape and some black electrical tape squares covering the lights on the dash. For a swap to get any money out of it, the "swap" portion has to actually be working and running well, otherwise you'll end up getting less than 40% of what you put into it.

A good swap, like a really good swap, is only worth 60 cents on the dollar. If someone puts 100k into a vehicle, its worth 60 max. If someone puts 10k into a vehicle, its worth 6k max. That's the basic math of hot rods. Barret Jackson vehicles are the outlier that falsely inflate hope for thousands, the truth is the vast majority of guys take a loss on their rods and usually significantly so.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I would not part it out because it runs and drives no problem. I am not sure if I made that clear. I have not made any long trips yet because of the speedometer not working and the engine light staying on. It has given me hardly any problems and has all the power I could ask for with the rear end being so light.

I will keep everyone updated when I get closer to selling it though. Hopefully I can get about $5k for it by the time I am done since 350 swaps sell all the time in my area for $3,500 and a 5.3 swap in a truck with a good body went for $6k a few weeks ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yup, read the description, looked at the pictures, and to @oldeerslayer 's comments... my thoughts were "cheap truck, cheap motor, and badly unfinished". My gut before reading replies was I wouldn't pay more than $2,500. The fact that its a black, short box, standard cab, gives it 2/3rds of its value right there.

Here's imo, the major things holding you back:

Cracked windshield- will not safety in many places.
Dash lit up like a Christmas tree and speedo doesn't work. That's 100% illegal to sell or transfer here with anything other than a junk title.
EVAP removed - can cause issues for states that require emissions compliance.
No AC and no working windshield wiper fluid depresses the value pretty significantly.

The way you have it now, you've got a junk S10 with a 5.3 in it. The 5.3 on its own is only worth like 800 bucks or less. Better condition 2nd gen trucks with working clusters and without half the issues you have, can be found for 2-3k

You really need to fix the mechanical & electronics, forget about the cosmetics they don't mean anything to a prospective buyer.

You don't need to put more money into it aside from possibly a new windshield, MAF sensor, and programming.

You do need to look at how you wired the BCM to the ECM and fix that, which is likely why your ABS is throwing codes and your speedo doesn't work.

On the bright side, for your first swap, its a good effort.
I appreciate the critique, but I hope you do not think I am giving up on it or trying to cut corners here at the end. I started this thread just to get an idea of where I am at, my full intention is to keep the truck for a little longer and get it closer to my original vision.
The BCM is original to the S10 and I had to get VATS deleted just to get the thing to start. I have not messed with the wiring at the BCM since I got the tach and coolant temp gauge working by plugging in a Bluetooth scanner into OBD2
My boss at the shop I work at said that the scanner requests information from both the BCM and the ECM and sort of bridges the connection. It did not occur to me that the ABS and Air bag lights could be related to the BCM. I thought it must have been something to do with the ABS/ Air bag harness when I put it back in since there was a male to female jumper (yellow connectors) that I could not for the life of me figure out where it went. The way I have it now is that the harness (5 connectors I think) is plugged into each of the crash sensors and the front wheel speed sensors with a Delphi 6 pin male connector plugging in on the driver fender going to the ABS module. You seem to think it is a BCM issue, what kind of wiring would that entail? I do not cut corners on wiring, so no worries there. I have made the harnesses for AFE scorcher modules all through high school, always solder, heat shrink and cover everything, connectors are always clean.

As far as the things you mentioned that would make it illegal to sell:

People delete emissions equipment all the time in my area. We have no emissions tests and I have never heard of someone getting in trouble for it from the authorities. Diesels can roll coal in front of cops with no consequences. I chose not to put converters on the truck for this reason, it should not be a problem but I definitely understand where you are coming from. Out of curiosity, where are you located at?

The windshield and the speedo should be not be a problem from a legality standpoint but I fully intend to fix the speedo. I currently know what speed I am going for every 500 rpm in 5th and 4th gear just to keep from getting a ticket. I think the speedo is just a tuning issue. I bought an app (Torque Pro) that connects to my Bluetooth scanner and the live data option reads about 2.4 MPH going around thirty. I removed the VSS and spun it with a drill and was able to get it to about 3 MPH. I have just recently began looking into the Pulses Per Mile of different VSS units, but I seem to remember there being a pretty common difference of a 16 times multiplier. I was going to start there on the tune. Again, if you think it is BCM related, what would I fix there?


The MAF sensor is new, I have not ruled out a vacuum leak yet and am still looking for one. Should be easier with exhaust on it now without a bunch of exhaust gases circulating through the engine bay. I have cleared the code while driving around and it did not come back on, seems to be a function of RPM since it seems to only throw at idle. At idle, my live data tells me it is about 4-5 grams/sec. Does anyone know how far off this is? I have also read that high power items such as an alternator and ignition coils can cause interference, so an intake that extends over to where the windshield washer tank is will be in the near future.

The lack of A/C does not seem to be a big problem in my area, I have seen 350 swaps sell for over 3 grand without it. I have not considered fixing the windshield, but I think you have convinced me to look into it. I will stay away from body work and cosmetics, since that seems to be the general consensus (kind of a relief really).

I really appreciate the comment, I will keep looking into things I had not considered as you guys mention it.
 

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LS3 Cruisin'
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ABS controller requires VSS signal which is passed through ECM & BCM harness. IIRC there's more than 1 connector on the ABS module. If the ECM isn't passing VSS to the BCM your speedo no workie, and your ABS no workie for sure. But, you may also not have all the connectors plugged in where they need to go.

The criticism is more to point out what devalues your truck for the work you put in, not a reflection of the work. These things are all extremely easy to haggle down and for someone to give you a low ball take it or leave it offer with confidence. While you don't want to put much more into it, if you do you'll recoup more, but if you don't you'll take a hit for sure as-is.
 

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I'm guessing the Speedo/ABS/VSS issues are related to the T5 somehow. It's an older transmission that you're tying into newer engine controls. Do some research on the Pulse Per Mile of the T5 speedo gear and get that input into the PCM.
 

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the T5 is doable
even the older speedo geared ones can be converted(requires tailshaft removal)
if going to the reluctor on the mainshaft.
look in the swap book for S10s writtten by JTR(Jags that run) of a how to on this.
I did an older T5 conversion and used a geared/cable adapter to pulse per mile.
If I remember correctly it was from an 80s Old Calais
 
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