We get numerous requests for information about installing V8s into the newer
body style. Frankly, the types of engines that can be installed into the newer
trucks, while maintaining smog laws and practicallity is quite limited. With
the 96 and newer trucks, the most realistic way to do the V8 swap is to start
with a truck that has a 4.3 V6. The only V8 engine we can recommend for a 1996-2000
S-10 is a 350 V8 from a 1996-2000 full-size truck.
The truck above originally came with a 4.3 V6. A customer sent us these photos.
It is very difficult to tell from the above photo that the truck has a V8. The
4.3 V6 is essentially a 350 V8 with two cylinders missing. 1996-2000 full-size
trucks use the 4.3 V6, and the 4.3 V6 in the full-size trucks is externally
identical to the V6 in the S-10 except for the exhaust manifolds, the air-cleaner
ducting, and the wiring harness. The V6 and the V8 use the same accessories
(air-conditioning compressor, power-steering pump, water-pump, alternator, and
brackets), so a 1996-2000 Vortec 350 V8 can be installed into a 1996-2000 V6
S-10, and can use the 4.3 accessories.
The swap shown above was done by getting a 350 V8 from a 1997 full-size truck.
The S-10 V6 wiring harness was installed onto the V8. Several wires had to be
extended or rerouted, and several wires had to be added for an additional oxygen
sensor, and for the two additional injectors. The computer from the 97 full-size
truck was used, and reprogrammed with a Hyper-tech programmer to calibrate the
speedometer for the axle ratio and tire size used in the S-10.
The original 4.3 V6 transmission, air-cleaner assembly, ducting, MAF sensor,
and air conditioning hoses were retained. We don't exactly recommend using
the 4.3 transmission and MAF sensor, but the owner of the truck told us they