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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 •••

 

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After the V8 was installed, the front of the truck (which is equipped with the 1500 lb payload option) dropped less than an inch, the rear dropped about the same. The ride is slightly softer than stock, but most people do not notice much difference. The handling is not adversely affected. The most common comment made by people who drive the truck is not how powerful it feels, but how smooth and quiet it is. When the V8 conversion is done properly, the vehicle will feel stock, until you step hard on the gas pedal.

Here, the vehicle is going through the Burn-Off Test™1 at the local dragstrip. It basically consists of revving up the engine, dumping the clutch and flooring the gas pedal (an MSD Soft Touch® rev limiter makes this test much safer by keeping the engine speed within safe limits). As you can see, the stock 7-1/2" rear-end (fitted with an Auburn limited slip differential) is up to the task. 1988 and newer 4.3 S-Trucks are equipped with even stronger 7-5/8" rear-ends and stronger axles. All 1993 S-Trucks have the 7-5/8" rear-ends. 1996-1998 trucks with the high-output V6 (L35) and 5-speed transmission come with an 8-1/2" rear-end which is very strong.

We tried the Burn-Off Test™ with sticky tires and a 500 lb load in the bed and sure enough, the stock 7-1/2" ring gear broke. We have broken a few differentials in other types of vehicles, so we have a good idea of what it takes to make them break. One of our ace testers has a bad habit of saying, "I never know how strong it was - until after I break it."

The stock 7-1/2" S-Truck rear-end is sufficient for most V8 conversions, but if you are running a "built" V8, or have tall or sticky tires, you will need the 7-5/8" rear end, or the 8-1/2" rear-end. Incidently, the 1982-1992 V8 Camaro use the same basic ring and pinion gears as the S-Truck, as do 1978—1987 V8 El Caminos and Monte Carlos. In fact, the V8 El Caminos and Monte Carlos only came equipped with the 7-1/2" ring gears and the smaller axles.

This is JTR's truck. It's a real truck (Not a Chevy, but a GMC!). At the time of this writing, this truck has over 200,000 miles, and the V8 swap has been driven over 75,000 enjoyable miles. One of the reasons this truck is so enjoyable is that the suspension has been modified with Bell Tech 2" drop spindles, de-arched rear springs with air shocks from a 1993 Typhoon (the softest riding air shock for the S-Truck), a 1-1/8" front anti-sway bar from an S-10 Blazer, and a quick ratio steering box (GM part #26040591) which has 2-3/4 turns lock-to-lock (from 1996—1998 S-10 trucks with the ZQ8 sport suspension). The steering box greatly improves the feel of the truck with good feed-back and quick, direct steering. The steering box is a bolt-on for 2wd trucks, but will not work on 4x4 trucks because the steering travel is different for the 4x4 models.


1. The Burn-off Test™ is a registered trademark of JTR.

 

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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(For parts, see our parts and price list.)

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