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Chevrolet S-10 Truck—
Chapter 1 from the V-8 Conversion Manual:

INTRODUCTION



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Chapter 1 Contents:

Introduction ••• 1984 S-10 2WD Truck with 1989 305 TPI/700-R4 ••• Project ZZ3—Our Quickest Truck ••• 1984 S-10 Blazer with 1985 305 TPI/700-R4 •••

Baby Thunder, 1992 S-10 4X4 Truck with 1992 Corvette LT1 Engine ••• ZZ3 Update ••• Another Update ••• 1995 Camaro LT1/4L60-E into 1988 2wd S-10 Blazer •••

V8 Alternative for 1996–2000 Trucks with the 4.3 V6 ••• Measurements ••• Typical Conversion Costs ••• Time Requirements •••

 

PROJECT ZZ3—OUR QUICKEST TRUCK (continued)

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Underneath the ZZ3 truck is a 2-1/4" dual exhaust system. Dual catalytic converters were a part of the 5.7 liter H.O. Camaro Conversion package, and were legal in this application (The headpipes and converters from the Camaro package will not fit the S-Truck V8 conversion. This truck has custom made headpipes, and universal replacement high-flow catalytic converters). Flowmaster two-chamber mufflers are used, and an exhaust crossover pipe behind the catalytic converters smooths the sound out the tailpipes.

To reduce the heat going into the passenger compartment, the headpipes are wrapped with Thermo-Tec® exhaust insulation wrap, and Thermo-Tec® aluminized heat barrier is attached to the underside of the cab, above the exhaust.

Originally it was decided to keep the truck as light as possible for best performance. The truck had few options, and the aluminum heads and intake manifold used on the ZZ3 engine saved about 60 lbs compared to a "normal" V8 engine. An Edelbrock long-style aluminum water pump (the only long-style auminum water pump on the market that will work with the stock Camaro accessories) dropped 6 lbs off the front end, a 1993 Camaro LT1 gear reduction starter saved another 9 lbs. To improve weight distribution, the battery was relocated behind the right rear wheel. Aluminum brake drums off an IROC Camaro saved another 9 lbs.

Without power steering and power brakes, the truck weighed less than 3000 lbs with the 20 gallon tank full of fuel, so with over 300 horsepower, it should have been a fun and wildly fast truck.

Wildly fast?‹Yes! Fun?‹Not really.

The power overwhelmed the stock 4-cylinder shocks, front springs, and lack of anti-sway bars. The manual steering was too heavy and too slow. The non-power assist brakes took too much effort. And perhaps most frustrating of all was that without a limited-slip differential, it would spin the right rear tire all too easily, severly limiting acceleration.

In other words, there was still more work to do!

Suspension parts from a 1996-2000 ZQ8 equipped 2WD S-10 truck were installed on the 1987 truck. The ZQ8 parts list includes stiffer shocks, 1.3" diameter front swaybar, rear sway bar, front and rear springs, a quick ratio steering box. The parts are listed in the Chevrolet Performance Parts Catalog, which is available from your Chevrolet dealer.

Bell Tech Drop spindles and lowering blocks also help lower the truck. Power-steering and power-brakes were added, along with the rear-wheel anti-lock brake system from a 1989 S-Truck. The power steering and power brakes made the truck easier to drive, and the suspension parts made the truck handle better, but the ZQ8 parts made the ride stiffer. Some people like the stiffer ride, some people don't. If you want sway bars that are stiffer than the ZQ8 parts, Hotchkis Performance makes front and rear sway bars that are similar to the ZQ8 parts, but thicker and stiffer.

To improve drivetrain strength and traction, a 4.3 S-Truck rear axle assembly (7-5/8" ring gear compared to the stock 7-1/2" ring gear) and an Auburn limited-slip differential were installed. The limited-slip differential dramatically improved the truck's ability to accelerate out of corners without spinning the inside rear tire. With street tires, the Auburn limited-slip differential dropped the 0-60 mph time to 5.7 seconds, compared to 6.3 seconds without it.

Even though the above suspension and brake modifications added weight, the truck became fun! It corners, it accelerates, and it stops with the best of them. The engine makes the truck so fun that the MSD™ Rev Limiter is constantly being put to use. At a steady 65 mph, the lightweight truck gets 22 mpg with its 3.42 gears. But because of the happy feet we get driving it, the fuel consumption has been averaging about 14 mpg.

Our best 1/4 mile run on street tires was a 13.9 at 105 mph on a 100 degree F day with the headers, but without the limited-slip differential. With slicks, the limited-slip differential and cooler weather (but with the cast-iron exhaust manifolds, power-steering, power brakes, and swaybar) a 260 lb magazine editor ran a 13.3 second quarter mile at over 102 mph. Four years later, with a quieter (more restrictive) exhaust, an engine-driven fan, and more weight (heavier tires and wheels, hard tonneau cover, body mods, sound-deadening, rear bumper, etc), the truck only ran 98 mph in the quarter mile. Because the truck does not have a tach, all runs were done with the shifter in drive, shifting at about 5300 rpm. The GM engineer who developed the ZZ3 package says it would run faster if shifted at 5800 rpm.

 

Chapter 1 is continued on the next page.

Chapter 1 Contents:

Introduction ••• 1984 S-10 2WD Truck with 1989 305 TPI/700-R4 ••• Project ZZ3—Our Quickest Truck ••• 1984 S-10 Blazer with 1985 305 TPI/700-R4 •••

Baby Thunder, 1992 S-10 4X4 Truck with 1992 Corvette LT1 Engine ••• ZZ3 Update ••• Another Update ••• 1995 Camaro LT1/4L60-E into 1988 2wd S-10 Blazer •••

V8 Alternative for 1996–2000 Trucks with the 4.3 V6 ••• Measurements ••• Typical Conversion Costs ••• Time Requirements •••


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