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    Results 1 to 20 of 66
    1. #1
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147

      S10 Xtreme LS3/T56 Build

      For a few years I have been looking for a nice S10 to build. Unfortunately living in PA, it is hard finding one that isn't severely rusty unless you venture further south. I finally found one a few hours away & it was described as being very clean but having over 100K miles. I was skeptical as I've head the sales pitch before only to arrive & find junk.

      When I saw the truck I was amazed, it looked like a low mileage truck. It was never driven in the winter & rarely in the rain. The original owner had show cars & treated it the same. It is fully loaded with options & still wearing it's original paint and the factory 4.3 V6/5 speed.

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      I spent a bunch of time on various S10 forums trying to learn what works well. Unfortunately info is rather limited & forum participation seems to be dropping in favor of Facebook, which is great for seeing "who did what" in the last day, but not for data gathering.

      I started with a UMI front suspension package with coil overs & tubular control arms. I combined this with a unit bearing style Blazer dropped spindle so I could have more wheel options.
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      I sourced a full set of C6 Z06 brakes which are reasonably priced & got the brackets from Core3.
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      They are quite the upgrade over stock.
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      The truck in now in pieces & at the point of no return. I'll post some more pictures & component weights as I get more time.


    2. #2
      Join Date
      Nov 2018
      Posts
      538
      Country Flag: United States
      V8S10.org was where I hung out when I had a 1st gen S10. That was the most technically minded forum I was able to find back then. Lot of smart folks there, and they are pretty good about stuffing V8s under the hood and building the rest of the truck to handle it. All the other forums I found stopped at airbags, frame dragging and rubber band tires, and most didn't know the difference between a spark plug and a concrete block. Been a few years since I was there though.

      Good find though, those things are getting hard to find even in the south, and those who have the good ones won't part with them. It's part of why I now have a Dodge Dakota, decent S10 ext cabs were too hard to find.

    3. #3
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147
      I've been working underneath in preparation for the new engine.

      Removed all suspension & started taking off the frame coating with lacquer thinner. It took about quite a bit of time but it is all bare metal now.
      I spent far too much time sanding the floor, but I think it will be worth it in the end.
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    4. #4
      Join Date
      Aug 2014
      Posts
      435
      Country Flag: United States
      Back in 2000 (I think), I got sick of fixing my (now) ex's '86 Camaro, and made her get something new. She ended up with the 2000 model year version of this exact truck, but with a 4 cyl/manual. I had wanted to buy it at the end of the lease and swap an LT1 in it (LS swaps hadn't gotten to be so popular yet)...but the buyout was way above blue book.

      Jay

    5. #5
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147
      Here is some more progress.

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    6. #6
      Join Date
      Apr 2001
      Location
      The City of Fountains
      Posts
      15,915
      Country Flag: United States
      Great start!

      Andrew
      1970 GTO Version 3.0
      1967 Cougar build
      GM High-Tech Performance feature
      My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
      Instagram @projectgattago
      Dr. EFI
      I deliver what EFI promises.
      Remote Holley EFI tuning.
      Please get in touch if I can be of service.

      "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

    7. #7
      Join Date
      Feb 2012
      Location
      Virginia at the moment
      Posts
      11
      Country Flag: United States
      That is a beautiful color. My undercarriage work never seems to turn out quite that clean. Well done.
      Call me Bill, everybody does. I build Mustangs. The 85-86 are my favorite from a visual perspective. Current toys: 86 Lx Vert, 97 GT Vert, 98 GT, 99 Cobra, and the grocery getter.

    8. #8
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147
      Here is the finished frame.

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      The real fun is just beginning.

    9. #9
      Join Date
      Apr 2001
      Location
      The City of Fountains
      Posts
      15,915
      Country Flag: United States
      Why didn't you pull the bed and can off the frame?
      1970 GTO Version 3.0
      1967 Cougar build
      GM High-Tech Performance feature
      My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
      Instagram @projectgattago
      Dr. EFI
      I deliver what EFI promises.
      Remote Holley EFI tuning.
      Please get in touch if I can be of service.

      "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

    10. #10
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147
      I had considered it, but I was trying to avoid all the extra work since this is not intended to be a show car... just a nice driver.

      Once the body came off, all hell would have broke loose & frame would of ended up powder coated etc.
      If I was painting the exterior, then that would have been the way I went, painting the body & floor together.

      Here is another truck I previously did.
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      I tend to go overboard, but once I go beyond a certain point, then I don't drive them as much & end up with a garage queen, then end up waxing the under floor & inside the bed.

    11. #11
      Join Date
      Apr 2001
      Location
      The City of Fountains
      Posts
      15,915
      Country Flag: United States
      I hear that! Scope creep!
      1970 GTO Version 3.0
      1967 Cougar build
      GM High-Tech Performance feature
      My YouTube Channel Please Subscribe!
      Instagram @projectgattago
      Dr. EFI
      I deliver what EFI promises.
      Remote Holley EFI tuning.
      Please get in touch if I can be of service.

      "You were the gun, your voice was the trigger, your bravery was the barrel, your eyes were the bullets." ~ Her

    12. #12
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147
      Here are the front brakes installed. I'll post more pictures of the front suspension & engine soon.

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      Inner fenders will be removed & repainted shortly.

    13. #13
      Join Date
      Apr 2010
      Location
      Cove, Texas
      Posts
      65
      Country Flag: United States
      Moving right along...great work..

      T,

    14. #14
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147
      Now the hard part begins.... I am pulling a completed car apart for the engine/trans.
      I have new plans for my Firebird, so it is donating it's drive line.

      There are mixed emotions taking apart something that is finished even though you will make it better long term.

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      I managed to get it out & the car back on it's wheels without any scratches in the subframe or floor so 1 major hurdle accomplished.

    15. #15
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147
      I'm starting to get anxious now. I was getting burned out with all the work over the last few months, but I got new energy knowing the engine was going in.

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      I managed to get the engine set in.... no major drama getting it set on the mounts, with the exception of the rear bolt I used to hook the chain on was too close to the firewall to remove afterwards. I had to use a saw to cut the bolt off from underneath to un-thread it.

      The fit is pretty tight & the rear coil will need relocated to clear the brake booster. I used a modified AC box from Hooker for more clearance & it made things much easier.

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    16. #16
      Join Date
      Oct 2018
      Location
      Phoenix, AZ
      Posts
      584
      Country Flag: United States
      This is pretty sweet! Should make for a really fun combo. I'd totally daily something like this.
      '95 F-150 track ready street beast
      Want more projects/photos? Check my Instagram

    17. #17
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147
      That is my goal, a fun daily driver that I can use frequently.

      I got my transmission in yesterday... a close ratio T-56 Magnum.

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      It should work out well with the 4.10's in the S60 rear I have on order.

      After seeing the going rate on a standard T-56 & the cost to relocate the shifter so it fit the factory floor opening, I realized it was a much better deal to but a new T-56 Magnum & sell off the old one.

    18. #18
      Join Date
      Nov 2008
      Location
      NC
      Posts
      582
      Country Flag: United States
      Wow, great build and what a clean find with a manual, awesome.

      This will be an awesome daily when completed.

      What are the plans for the firebird? Love that body style.

    19. #19
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147
      I picked up a used LS9 ZR1 Vette engine about 5 years ago.
      I was looking for a vehicle to put it in & wanted to couple it with an automatic since I will be boosting the HP to near 900rwhp.

      When I found the S10 with a 5 speed, I decided to keep it a manual & put my Firebird back to it's original auto configuration.
      I figured the car was more apt to put the power power to the ground with better weight distribution.

      I used to drive my Firebird frequently until I made it too nice. Now since it is a limited use vehicle, I can run some sticky tires & good fuel without regret. I'll get back to completing it probably this fall.

    20. #20
      Join Date
      Mar 2020
      Posts
      147
      I ran into a few snags last night...

      The headers are tight everywhere. Stainless Works makes the only 1-7/8" long tubes for this truck. They seem to be within 1/4" of everything... not any room to spare. I'm impressed with the build quality & what it took to fit this chassis. Things you don't go through for an extra 10 HP LOL.

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      The literature does not state that the headers do not clear a T-56 Belle housing. After about 5 hours of adjusting & slotting motor mounts, grinding, cussing & repainting some parts, they finally fit. The belle housing ear around the starter was the main culprit.
      It is gone now....

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      I fitted the new transmission & the shifter aligns with the floor hole nicely, but the shifter mounting surface is tilted slightly towards the driver & the taller side contacts the transmission tunnel. If I lower the transmission, the oil pan gets too close to the cross member (I already ground both for clearance) & the drivers side header would be against the frame. I'm actually considering raising the body off the frame by 1/4". This will give more steering shaft to header clearance, more brake booster to coil clearance, in addition to getting the transmission away from the floor.

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