Q: I have a 1985 S-10 Blazer with a carbureted 2.8L V6, 4WD, and a 4-speed manual transmission. What parts do I need to covert the truck to a small block Chevy? I know some of the parts include motor mounts and exhaust, but what about front springs, radiator, bellhousing, and wiring? Am I missing anything?
A: S-10-based V8 swaps have been popular for years. While you’ll find plenty of websites and forums dedicated to the topic, some of these sites include faulty information from non-professional enthusiasts. That’s why we’d recommend you start your project with Mike Knell’s Chevrolet S-Truck V8 Conversion Manual — the most complete book we’ve seen on S-10 V8 swaps. It has all the information you’ll ever need about doing this type of swap.
Some of the parts you’ll need will be a Hooker header and engine mount kit, Hooker installation kit, and the appropriate motor mounts. You’ll also need to swap out your stock four-speed manual transmission for an automatic transmission like a Turbo 350 or 700R4.
Keep the manual transmission more fun
It will slightly more difficult with the earlier S-10 V6 – in 1988 or so when Chevy converted to the 90-degree V6 the frame rail on the passenger side is relieved around the exhaust manifold exit to help clearance. You can do this on the earlier S-10 but it does require some fabrication effort. It’s all in Mike Knell’s book. I did this swap on a 1990 S-10 – there’s only one exhaust manifold that will work – a 305 unit – it’s crazy restrictive. You are better off with a set of headers – Sanderson makes a nice set that are not real expensive.
You want to know what would just Freakin Fantastic as far as “I” am concerned? A swap kit or information on putting various versions of the LTG family of engines & eight speed transmissions into Both S truck platforms, two & four wheel drive! Lightweight, fuel efficient, very power dense, both of them supercharged & turbocharged versions! A ZR2 pickup with the LTG lightly stepped on with eight 8 speeds to choose from, yikes! Seems like a match made in GM heaven to me?
Can you elaborate on…. “very power dense?” meaning? Sounds interesting to me…?
No offense to anyone but this build is quite a popular choice and I’ve seen many failures and “hack” jobs on S10’s and I heard of some downright dangerous 1’s actually on public roads…and I feel since these projects will actually be sharing the road with the general public and/or your loved 1’s there should be some accountability?
To put it simply…if you have to go to the internet and websites for help with just a simple parts list, then maybe you should step back and maybe wait til your knowledge and skills grow? The internet can make brain surgery sound simple? Just because you see alot of LS swaps on websites, doesn’t mean it’s easy, when more often than not its far from it? This is NOT something an amateur should attempt EVER? We ALL share the same roads?