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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I started this project about a year ago, but hadn't yet started a build thread until now. The idea of this project is that I already have a car for racing, but my current DD 4 cylinder S10 is far too anemic and not as fuel efficient as one might think. So I came upon a decent deal on an S10 with a solid frame, and so it began. As titled, the main purpose will be my DD, but I'm also thinking I might try some road/track racing with it at some point. I didn't take any "as purchased" pictures, but once the stock powertrain was removed and the wheels and tires swapped to something I want to run we had this:


Started with Ebay LS swap motor mounts that say they are for 2.8L frame mounts, but they also work with a few washers/spacers my stock 4.3L frame mounts worked provided you don't mind this being a solid/metal only mount.




Driver Side:


Passenger Side:
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Frame took a couple inches of clearance for the stock truck oil pan:

Not really pictured, but the stock brake line runs along the rear edge of the frame cross member that I removed. I made a new brake line to supply the front passenger tire that now runs along with the front sway bar instead of the frame/engine cross member.

Clearance of the truck power steering pump/pulley to the S10 steering gear:


Pretty tight clearance for the driver side exhaust to fit because of the steering shaft will not let any LS manifold fit without at least some slight modification:


After some wiring, the accessory drive, a pair of Ebay radiators normally for Honda Civics, and some plumbing:

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To fit the radiators as I did I cut the bottom out of the core support, and set the radiators on the frame while adding a cross bar to branch from rail to rail under the radiators.

Didn't take pictures of the trans, but is a 4L80E. This is how I modified the stock trans cross member to fit it:

I know it looks terrible, but it's quite rigid once bolted in. Actually lifted the entire truck a few inches by using a floor jack on this cross member with no visible flex. I've got more story and pictures to follow, but it's plenty late in the day for me by now. Stay tuned.
 

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I would lower the engine in the bay. Replace the power steering pulley with a smaller diameter one. There's no way your stock hood will clear the alternator or the intake unless your putting a body lift on it.

I would definitely box the front crossmember back up. 1998-1999 tubular f-body LS1 manifolds will work.

You can always move the column a little side to side by notching the column mounting bolts.

The transmission crossmember may "seem" strong lifting from the rear against the "thickness" of the top to bottom metal. The fact the metal is so thin may crack or break as side to side loads are induced. I would replace that with something thicker at a minimum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The reason for the dual civic radiators is that I had thought of rear mounting them at the back of the bed sideways so they'd vent out the bottom of the bed sides, but decided against the location and cutting up the bed liner and sheet metal. Either way they were cheap and came as seen with mounting pins, fan shroud, fan, cap, and drain.

The stock hood does fit/close with the engine mounted as pictured. I'll probably add some gussets to the trans cross member at some point, but it's been working fine so far. I've seen some use 4th gen fbody exhaust manifolds, but still requires modification of either the manifold or the steering shaft.
 

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This makes me appreciate what we all rust free cars here in Florida. Cool build and this thing will make a fun daily driver. What are you going to do for rear end and will it have AC?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No plans to run A/C. It seems to be more $ and effort than it's worth. Maybe I'm biased from living in the rust belt, but the majority of the rust isn't too bad maybe just a touch more than surface rust. There are rust holes in places, but again this is a daily driver so not a major concern.

To continue on with the story:
Scored a 9" rear axle for cheap from a buddy with disc brakes and driveshaft originally from a 77 Lincoln Versaille.


The overall width of the axle is more than the stock 2WD S10, I think about 60" instead of the 55ish of the stock 2WD S10 axle. The axle width was a large part of the reason for the different wheels to maintain tire placement. Fitment to the S10 was pretty simple, just put additional spring perches just inside of the spacing of the perches original to the axle. The internals are 28 spline axles, open carrier, and 2.50 gears (Yes, 2.50 gears).

The following is how I chose to fit my GM pattern wheels to the Ford pattern axle:




With the wheels on the rear:


Takes 3" spacers to fit the front wheels:


Took the stock torque arm discarded from my 82 Camaro and made it fit to the S10 all super hillbilly like:




After this pic, I did double up on the bars connecting the arm to the trans cross member, but mostly the same as seen here:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Guess I don't have any pictures, but I put a pair of S10 LS swap shortie headers on it. In my previous picture some of my temporary exhaust/mufflers can be seen, dual 2 1/4 pipes (mostly done in flex pipe).

Took a little video of it running in the garage:
http://vid50.photobucket.com/albums/f305/fast82z/Mobile%20Uploads/Video_Zip_20161020_193055_zpsf2qdaiyg.mp4

It was far enough along to be driveable at that point in time, so i borrowed the 325/50/15 E/T Street Radials from the Camaro:


After some tinkering with HP Tuners I found that the stock V6 S10 fuel pump and/or the fuel filter (both with unknown mileage on them, possibly up to the 177k miles the chassis has on it) were not quite enough to quench the thirst of the salvaged 6.0L. The wideband creeps to 13.5-13.9:1 for the 5200-6200 rpm range while the injector pulse width goes crazy. Something that might have helped some is that it was only ever in that rpm range once in the 1/4 mile due to the 2.50 rear gears. Either way, I kept my foot in it to complete a best pass of 13.71 at 103mph. More interestingly though was that I ended up talking with another guy, and we ran a couple passes with each other. This was the better of the 2 passes for both of us:


A log from my best pass is below. Ignore some of the erroneous data that only applies when logging on the Camaro such as Exh man (psi), TB press (psi), and the white and gray AFRs. Also, I didn't bother recalibrating the MPH from my 26" street tires to the 28" drag radials.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The start of winter upgrades includes swapping the open carrier for a torque worm style limited slip, and fitting an Ebay GT45:


The turbo will be rear mounted, and here's the start of the crossover and wastegate piping:


The exhaust pipe and wastegate just about completed all the way to the T4 flange done in 2 1/4 pipe before the gate, and 2 inch pipe after the gate:


Modified a 2 inch 90 to make a nicer merge to the T4 with a divider in the middle and completely around/through the bend:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The exhaust mounted on the truck:


Where the turbo is mounted, and in the process of running the oil supply line to it:


Re-routed the brake lines to make room for the charge pipe to pass through:


Also removed the non-functioning ABS unit and put a line lock in its place:
 

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Cool Build! I go to Thompson a couple times a year...maybe we will meet up some day.
Surely not implying that: "I have all of the answers", but I see a few things that leave me wanting to mention my concerns.

The first is the torque arm mounting. My thought is that it needs some work. The fact that it alone isn't keeping the axle rotation from happening (like on the Camaro) since the springs are helping...may let it live, however it all looks too weak to me. One thing I will offer is that some of the coilspring 9" cars had a stamped steel "shell-like" item (around where you have yours bolted) that was used as a bumpstop. I have several of them. If you give me an address, I'll send you one. The basics of it would be much stronger in the rotational load that is present, which is what your's is missing in my opinion.

The rest of my concerns lie in the last group of photos you posted. From the research I've done while preparing for my turbo build I see a few things that may not be "wrong", however if you have problems, my post my save you some time figuring out what or why. Here's what I see: For starters, the wastegate tubing/placement concerns me. My thinking is that the Right bank coming down at a 45* angle or so is likely to "hinder" the exhaust from the Left side from going up into the gate & my guess is that the Right side is happier to go down & out instead of back up into the gate...sure some is going to go up in there, but maybe not enough for good control. It may not prove to be a problem, but if you have poor control, think about what I'm referring to.
A better place for the gate would likely be straight out on the last bend going into the turbo.

Another item that I have ran into is whackY AFR readings with a pipe past the O2 that short. Again, if you find odd reading, this is likely why.

Just my Two Cents (I know you didn't ask for it, but I'm going to throw it out there) is that the turbo may be better placed up ahead of the axle, about where the old muffler was. The pluses are: shorter hot side, shorter charge pipe, shorter oil lines, more room for a length of tailpipe & would leave more room for a fuel cell in the back (in the future) which would help with traction. Just my Thoughts, Lorne
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Thanks for the input, it's always possible for one person (myself in this instance) to miss something. Could you post a picture of the "shell like" axle thing you mention? As you might guess, the torque arm stuff I made was using metal I just happen to have and thought would be strong enough. Part of the thought process for the torque arm bracketry attaching it to the truck is that all of the bracketry material is thicker than the torque arm itself.

The wastegate piping is the result of a prior time I rear mounted this GT45 and its twin on the Camaro. On that previous build I gave the wastegate so much priority that it made it difficult to raise boost:




Either way, the wastegate piping can be easily modified/improved if I end up with a boost control issue. Another reason I placed the wastegate at the merge is so that I can reduce the pipe diameter after the gate and before the turbo to help spooling while not trying to cram the entire volume of exhaust air through the small pipe all the way back to the turbo (once the gate opens). More pipe post-turbine might be a good idea. Maybe I'll put more length on it initially and see if it makes a difference afterwards when removing the extra pipe length. I don't plan on running a fuel cell or relocating the fuel tank is most of the reason I put the turbo after the axle instead of in front of it. I also left room to run a large stock style muffler mounted across the back paralleling the rear bumper.
 

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Do you think maybe your gate seat, piping or something was leaking...really can't can't be such a thing as "too good of gate" placement is there?
That exhaust from your Camaro looks like a really good gate set-up for sure.

If you PM me your phone number, I'll grab a picture of the 9" bracket I'm talking about & text it to you. I have a few in a crate. Lorne
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I daily drove this for a couple months in the beginning of the summer until I got my rebuilt 2015 Silverado completed. I switched over to E85 since there are a few gas stations on my typical drives that sell it, and I'm able to put way more timing into it running this. I swapped some old 265/75/16 snow tires for the rear tires, and this thing is built to run the freeways with 2.5:1 gears and 30+ tall tires 1500 rpm is 72mph. Since most of my driving is around 35-40 mph and stoplights, it actually got better fuel mileage using 25 inch tall rear tires. It now looks like this:



A number of times after work I drove it to the drag strip, made some passes, and drove it home never opening the hood or changing the tires. Best pass was on 10-11psi launching from 3-5psi and ran [email protected] 121. I'd bet there's a decent bit more in it, but I plan to stop here since I don't want to put a cage in it. Now I'm working on getting the HVAC cover back on and heater hoses hooked up so I can have heat and drive this as my winter beater too.
 

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Can you post pics of how you ran the intake charge pipe all the way back up. I really wanna keep my ac/heat, with a remote turbo. I think i could do a 3" Y and single 3" all the way back but having a hard time trying to figure out the intake side. Makes me think pro charger or lsa instead :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The charge pipe is 3 inch all the way from the turbo to the throttle body. I had this run 11.3 at 127 mph last season with around 8-10 psi on a stock truck 6.0L, which comes out to something like 500+ rwhp.
 
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