TeckMonster's perfect truck build (4 door S10)

Why:

I want a fun to drive small truck that can haul people, trailers, and ass, but this didn't exist so I decided to build it myself.

Plans:

  • :heavy_check_mark: Manual swap
  • :heavy_check_mark: Oldsmobile Bravada Gauge cluster swap (120 mph max instead of 100)
  • :heavy_check_mark: Throttle body mod (cut part of the throttle body’s butterfly blade off)
  • 5.3L LS swap (I have the engine)
  • LSD (no, not the drug. Limited slip differential)
  • RGB gauge cluster (yes this will happen)
  • Left front and rear doors (they were damaged before I bought it)
  • Rear airbags (suspension too soft for any kind of hauling)
  • Turbo (on 5.3)
  • Electric drivetrain install along side the 5.3 (may do instead of turbo)
  • New wheels (probably from a Corvette, Camaro, or maybe another S10)

:heavy_check_mark: done
:white_check_mark: in progress


So far:

I started this build by picking up a 2002 S10 4 door specifically for this project, it’s a very small truck that can haul 5 people fairly comfortably, and is rated to tow 5,500lbs, which should be enough to haul my other projects around. The bed is extremely small, but so far it has served me very well.
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I pretty much immediately started the manual swap using parts from my Blazer ZR2 (it had a blown engine).
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After the trans was in I drove it around with it throwing codes related “my tansmission… it’s gone, what happened to my transmission!?”. About 6 months of that and I finally got around to getting the ECU re-flashed to manual.

Now the truck is having a problem and I can’t tell if it’s a distributor or engine problem, so I’m just going to bump up the 5.3 swap, and just not worry about that problem.


S10 4 door manual swap:

Long section so I've made it expandable.
  • I pulled both the S10 and Blazer into my fathers garage.
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  • Then I removed the all the various bits that need it come out in order to drop the trans, and then I dropped that trans.
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  • I then started ripping the interior apart.
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  • And now to start modifying the body to accept the manual bits. I started with cutting out the clutch master cylinder hole which was conveniently very clearly visible.
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  • Then I painted the hole to prevent rust, and installed the master cylinder.
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  • After that I installed the firewall mat, and peddles.
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  • I then made a trans tunnel hole template using the Blazer’s trans tunnel and studs for the seats and center console.
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  • Placed it in the S10.
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  • Drilled 4 holes in the corners and the cut the hole out.
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  • And more rust prevention.
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  • Now the carpet gets cleaned and put back in, then I cut a hole in it as well.
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  • Dash goes back in (also cleaned), along with the steering column from the Blazer (no auto gear selector).
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  • Swapped the S10’s key barrel into the Blazer’s steering column so I still have one key to rule all the key holes.
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  • Installed the Blazer’s clutch, and transmission.
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  • And trans install done.
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  • Interior done as well.
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Videos:

My bed holds water, and after sharing this information I was told to fill her up, so…
[I also had a camera pointed out the front for the brake check, but I failed at actually capturing anything]

Hill climb with the family (apparently I’m a dirt ball). I should have hit that in 4x4 low, I didn’t realize how tall 1st gear was (first hill climb in that truck).


Photos:

All pictures were taken after the manual swap, except for this very first one.
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More

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First view of the soft rear suspension.
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The truck was very nice to tow all these cars with. I was super pleased with the experience. That rear suspension though. Lol
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8 Likes

Mad car scientist, love it.

6 Likes

No kidding! Smooth moves! My dream project would be to LS3 swap my Mondeo and put the engine in the middle (back seats and trunk out) and make it a 600-700whp. Eiher that, or make it all electric. But alas, no space to do so…

2 Likes

I plan to do electric along side the LS in this truck using a Chevy Spark EV drive train. It’ll give me an additional 400 lb-ft of torque, and an incredible boost in economy, but I’ll still have a roaring V8 for when I’m feeling spirited. That’s pretty far in the future through.

I looked that car up and it seems like a pretty large car. What year is yours?
GM makes a FWD transmission for the LS engines that you could use in the back of your car.

looks awesome, first time i’ve seen someone use straps to hoist the tranny

1 Like

They worked really well actually. When you lower it you have to be careful to not push/pull both releases.

When I get my own garage I’ll invest in the bigger and more proper tools though.

It’s a 2010 Ford Mondeo facelift model.
It’s spacious as hell!

Plenty of room for an EV swap! If you go that route I’d recommend buying a wrecked EV on Copart and use it’s guts. Much cheaper than buying just the battery for that kind of swap, and then you get the motor and electronics as well.

1 Like

Yeah. Eventually, if I do get around to it.
I’m based in EU, though, so I’ll search for a wrecked EV somewhere here.
There’s also a Croatian company called Rimac that does EV’s might hop over to them to inquire about conversions.

Anyways, sorry for hijacking the thread. can’t wait to see what you do next :smiley:

1 Like