eastsideTim PowerDork
8/26/21 8:03 a.m.

Took a bit of time to get the harness in place, but it is now up in the transmission tunnel.  Cleaned up the cylinder head surfaces a bit, swapped to new gaskets, and installed the intake manifold, but haven't tightened it down yet - I had to cut some of the original fuel lines to make it fit, and if I decide to use them, I'll need to remove the manifold to flare the ends of the lines.  I am more likely going to run new lines, but want to be sure before I remove them permanently.


I'm just happy to see the engine looking more complete again


eastsideTim PowerDork
8/28/21 5:38 p.m.

Little bit done today, but stalled over a minor parts issue until I take a trip to the store.

  1. Got a few 1/8" fittings and found one that will worked for my electric oil pressure sender.  Noting here that I only loosely installed it, so I need to remember to put sealant and tighten everything up before starting the car.  Still planning on using a mechanical gauge during the initial startup.
  2. Looked around under the car, and figured with the space I have, I am going to use the factory lines, and run some rubber hose from them to manifold.  This may be a temporary solution, as I don't like how much they could rub against the transmission tunnel (there's just no room in some spots).  However, until I make a few other decisions, there's not really any good way to route lines elsewhere that can keep them away from the exhaust.  This is what is stalling me a bit, so I'll run to the parts store at opening time for some FI rated hose for the source and return line.  I'll pull the manifold off, cut the lines to where I want them, and give them a bit of a flare so they can have some bit on the hose, and toss the hose on them.  Then I can put the manifold back on permanently, and start routing/hooking up wiring.
  3. Messed with the transmission linkage.  Column shift is not going to stay unless I move a bracket, and cut/shape/reweld the shifter linkage.    Since the linkage may rub against the cylinder head/valve cover, and kind of reduces the space for the exhaust, I decided to go with a floor shifter.  Pulled the fireturd's shifter and cable out of the corner, and found it just isn't going to work.  I might be able to adapt a factory 4L80E cable to make it work, but I think to make things get done faster, I'm just going to go with something else.  Probably a Winters Sidewinder, but I haven't decided yet.  Will try to order this weekend.
  4. The adapter for the oil pan came in, so I installed that, and added a filter.

I really need to decide what the initial brake setup will be, to clear space for the coils.:

  1. Hydroboost - I'll need to rebuild the unit I got from the junkyard, and get lines made at a hydraulics shop for the run from the pump to the booster and the booster to the steering box.  Also need to cut and weld the pedal linkage rod.  Might be able to adapt Astro lines.  Before I make a decision, I'll take some measurements, and see if they are likely to fit.
  2. Smaller brake booster.  Some early S10s had a smaller diameter brake booster.  This should give me enough room.  I need to get the vacuum fitting on the back of a truck manifold to replace the plug on mine. 
  3. Stock booster, and hack/weld the coil bracket to move the rear coil out of the way.  Would still need the vacuum fitting, and need to get a single longer plug wire

Kind of also hoping that I get enough reinstalled on the front of the truck this weekend that lifting the bed can be done over labor day weekend, and I can swap out the fuel pump, and figure out exhaust routing, so I can order tubing.



eastsideTim PowerDork
8/30/21 8:37 a.m.

Quick pic of the oil pressure sender with the extension so it can clear the block:

Yesterday, I pulled the intake manifold, put a very small flare on the fuel lines, and double clamped some rubber lines to them.  There's not going to be an easy way to access them anymore, so I wanted to be sure there'd be no leaks.  I still need to get some adapters to connect them to the quick connects on the fuel rail, or come up with a different solution, maybe cutting the old ones and attaching them with barb fittings.

Once the manifold was back on, I attached a few electrical connections, and started experimenting with the wiring harness routing.  The S10 keeps the battery on the passenger side, bit the harness expects it on the driver side.  The S10 also doesn't have an underhood fusebox.  I think I'm going to mess with the battery wiring, and keep the battery in the stock location.  Doing so should probably cut the wiring run to the starter by over half its length.  I'll just need to make a longer run to the driver side for main power. 

I wanted to put the core support and driver side fender line in to start figuring out some more of the harness locations, but before that I enlisted help from eastsideWife to remove the old throttle cable.  I was having trouble releasing one tab on the firewall, then having it snap back into place when I released the other.  She was able to keep if from snapping back into place while I went after the second tab.  Did a little fitting testing, and original 4.3 cable seems to short.  The Sierra's cable might be able to be adapted, if I shorten the pedal end, but in hopes of speeding things up, my latest parts order included an adjustable Lokar cable.  If it doesn't work, I'll go back to modifying the Sierra cable.

After that, tossed on the core support and inner fender, and pulled out the ECU bracket and fusebox assembly.

Well, even with trimming to fit the contours of the fender, I don't think that's going to work very well.  How about without the bulky plastic:

Much better, but I still need to come up with weather resistant protection.  I really wanted to keep the stock setup, both for a factory appearance, and more to have extra fuses and relays for auxiliary features like the horn and driving lights.  I went looking for enclosures and found out it was cheaper to just get a weather resistant 6 fuse/6 relay box that would fit much better, so I ordered it.  The website with the harness modification instructions uses a 4 fuse/2 relay setup, so I should be in great shape for extra power demands.  As for the ECU bracket and cover, I think I can make some metal brackets to attach it once everything else is together.  It should fit up front just fine.

I also ordered a shifter and backup light kit.  I am a little concerned there will be some fitment issues with the bench seat, but if it forces me to switch to a set of bucket seats, I'll survive laugh

I keep putting off the brake booster decision.






eastsideTim PowerDork
8/30/21 3:35 p.m.

For my own future reference, and if someone doing a swap ends up finding this thread, the Dorman 300-202 PS pulley, combined with the rest of the truck accessories for a Gen III motor (LQ4 in my case) uses a Dayco 5060910 serpentine belt.  Just tossed it on during a break, and it is nice and snug and does not let the tensioner go all the way out like the stock belt does.

eastsideTim PowerDork
8/31/21 6:50 p.m.

This should be a lot easier to find a space for.

I need to go back to the wiring harness instructions, label and cut the wires from the fuse box connector, and figure out what will get merged together in each of the 6 fuses.  I am assuming it will be safe to put all 8 injectors on one, but I'll do a little digging first.  I'll also need to come up with some sort of power distribution block.  I could use the stock fireturd or S10 one, but they seem a little lightweight for the job.




eastsideTim PowerDork
9/1/21 3:38 p.m.

The shifter showed up and I like it, but one of my concerns came true.  It doesn't fit in the truck.  The bench seat interferes with it.  I may see if I can hack up the bench a bit, or just move up my timeline for finding some bucket seats to put into it.  I think S10 Blazer seats will bolt in after I add a few holes that are missing in the bench seat floorpan, but I am also guessing there will be none in good condition around here.  I might just buy the best set I can find, and grab some seat covers for them for now.  I wouldn't object to welding up some seat frames for bucket seats out of some other car, since I've done it before, but I'd rather not do something else that time consuming.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/1/21 4:05 p.m.

Firebird seats bolt directly to the S10 bucket and Blazer bucket tracks. So what you really need is a set of S10 Blazer seat tracks and then buckets from a similar error GM product been a really good condition. I can also verify that mid 90s early 2000 Grand Am GT seats fit fourth gen Camaro seats fit at Sunfire seats fit the S10 Blazer bucket seat tracks

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/1/21 4:28 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

I'm now really wishing I'd grabbed a set of 1st gen seat tracks when they were more common.  There was a 1st gen Bravada in my preferred local yard last time I was there, but it is gone now.  My least favorite yard has a 93 Blazer there, so I may run there, and do a little mix-and-match of parts and bolt the blazer seat rails to a set of Cavalier or Sunfire seats, if the yard has a set that isn't completely demolished.  This is also assuming the seats in the Blazer aren't already gone, or the rails aren't rusted to nothing.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/1/21 5:31 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

I can look down here next time in the yard.

My first gen used blazer tracks with 4th gen seats, and a set of custom fabbed risers on apc universal buckets.

Ashyukun (Robert)
Ashyukun (Robert) PowerDork
9/1/21 6:11 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

If there are any cars of interest in the Louisville yards let me know- I wouldn't mind an excuse to head out there Saturday.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/1/21 7:13 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael and Ashyukun:

Thanks, hopefully I'll be able to solve this locally, but will check the yards in Louisville really quick to see what is up.  Most likely, I'll wonder out on Sunday to the local yard I don't like, unless something shows up at the other two yards in the next few days.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/4/21 7:08 p.m.

Quick update on the seat situation.  The 93 Blazer was a 2WD 4 door, and was pretty much loaded.  Looks like it had been pretty well taken care of, too, but totalled out in a front end accident.  Which was unfortunate, as it had fog lights and the factory airdam for them.  One problem with it being loaded, the drivers seat was powered, and the wiring was integrated into the seat, not just the seat rail.  I went ahead and pulled the passenger seat anyway, figuring at least I could have those rails if I need them.  Found a 98 Cavalier convertible with seats that were not torn, and didn't smell any worse than the rest of the junkyard did, and pulled them.  Went ahead and did the seat rail swap in the yard for the passenger seat.  I need to run out and get some Tuff Stuff to clean them and get the passenger seat mounted, and just set the driver seat in place.  Of course, I'll need to wrestle the bench seat out first.  That might require moving a few things around in the garage.  That should be good enough to figure out where the shifter should go.  I also grabbed the front part of the center console from the Blazer, and hope I can make that fit, to get a spot to store stuff, and a second cigarette lighter.

Now I just need to keep my eyes out for potential candidates for a driver seat rail.  It looks like trucks with a 60/40 front bench use the same one, so I suspect I'll have better odds with extended cab S10s.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/5/21 6:29 p.m.

Hit a yard out in Dayton this afternoon that had two prospects.  The first one looked really good in the pictures, so of course, most of the interior was gone when I got to it.  A couple aisles over was the other one.  92 Blazer 4 door, that still had its seat.  Oh boy was it roached out.  If there were any other possible choices there, I'd have walked away.  Halfway through pulling the seat, I found a survey flyer for one of the nearby county's needle exchange programs.  I'm normally careful pulling parts, but suddenly, I got a lot more careful.

Need to clean the seats up, and sand some rust off the seat frames and paint the bare metal, then they can go in the truck. 

I also chased down some of the wiring with my multimeter, labeled it, and cut it loose.  I am having some issue with identifying a few wires, and need to do a little digging.  I have a suspicion the 3/4 ton trucks did not use heated front O2 sensors.  Need to start working out what will go on which fuse, and what should go back into the original fusebox in the cab instead.  I don't like how heavily combined some circuits are in the instructions I am using.  Also, I think the S10/fireturd used a fusible link for the starter solenoid, but the Sierra used a relay.  There should be enough relays for it to work that way.

Edit:  Looks like the front O2 sensors are heated, so at this point I have no idea where the heater wires for them are.   They are not in the fusebox connector where they are supposed to be and none of the other remaining ignition hot wires pass a continuity check.  I'll have to do a little more digging.  If I can't find anything, I'll just hope wherever they get their power from will be hooked up.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/6/21 7:44 p.m.

Was able to clean up some rust and throw some paint on the seat rails, and do a single pass of cleaning the new seats today. They are looking (and smelling) better today.  I also managed to get the bench seat unbolted, but after that my in-laws were about to arrive, so I had to quit and clean up.  After the visit was over, I wasn't really in the mood to get dirty in the garage again, so started looking at the wiring again, and threw together a sheet to diagram the new fuse box.  I figure it'll help a lot as we figure circuits out, and once it is complete, I can type everything up, to keep a copy in my project folder, and another in the S10's glove box.

Will try to get some work in during the evenings this week, but I'm back to the more intense part of my work cycle, so may be a little light on updates for a few days. 

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/8/21 8:57 p.m.

Been a little tired, but decided a little progress had to be made.  Out with the old:

And in with the new:

Holes still need to be drilled for the inner brackets, but I figured I could at least see how they fit.  The cover for the  reclining mechanism needs to come off and be trimmed back so the seat belt will fit properly, but that should not be too much work.

This also gave me a chance to test fit the shifter and the console.

The rear of the shifter doesn't sit level on the floor, it'll need a riser made, probably out of some 3/4" or 1" square stock.  Should not be a big deal.  The shifter cable will come out the back, and I think I can find a cup holder or storage cubby that will cover it up well.

Took another look at the O2 sensor wiring.  I was able to figure out the two signal wires on one of the front connectors, but the other two wires are light green instead of pink for ignition hot and black for ground.  Neither green wire connects to the grounds going through the fuse box connector.  It looks like the Canadian built models had an isolated ground for all the O2 sensors, so if mine came from there, I may be checking on the wrong ground connection.  It may make sense to peel back some of the electrical tape on the connectors, maybe they've been replaced at some point.


eastsideTim PowerDork
9/9/21 3:23 p.m.

Plot thickens a bit - ran out to the garage during a break - The rear O2 sensor ground connects to the grounds at the fusebox connector.  I wonder if the front O2 sensors are just working like 2 wire sensors?  If so, would this cause any problems other than increased emissions during startup?


EDIT:  Mystery solved.  For 2001 and 2002, the 6.0 O2 sensor heater runs through the PCM, and I think gets its ground from the casing.  Just in case, I checked continuity at the PCM connector.  Now I can move forward with clipping the rest of the wires from the fusebox connector, knowing none of them are for that.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/10/21 8:01 p.m.

I think I now have the wiring mostly figured out.  Now I just need to lock wae in the garage with some diagrams and a soldering iron.  laugh  Actually, I may attempt some of this myself on this go around.

Test fit the Lokar throttle cable, and it is a bit longer than I'd like, so it could afford to be shortened, but I think it will work at the stock length, so I may just leave it that way.  I will need to disassemble it to put the factory style gas pedal connector on, and a few washers at the firewall connection, so it'll seal up. 

I don't have a ton going on this weekend, so I am hoping to get some decent progress.  If I can get the motivation together, I'd like to swap out to the replacement axle, so I can measure for and order a new driveshaft.  Just have to decide if I feel like getting doused in brake fluid, and have to figure out if the factory parking brake cables will work on the disc brakes, or if I am going to be doing more adapting.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/12/21 10:32 a.m.

Started out working on the new throttle cable.  The accelerator pedal end on the Lokar cable looks like this:

And here's the GM cable:

I disassembled the Lokar cable, then cut the S10 cable to get the plastic piece that connects to the pedal arm.  The cable can slip all the way through the hole in the firewall, so I added some washers to it, too.  Ended up with this:

Works well, but there are two minor problems.  I can see a tiny bit of light through the firewall hole still, so once everything is in permanently, I'll need to add some sealant.  Also, the cable does not fully open the throttle when the pedal is to the floor.  There is still a bit of movement available at the top of the pedal travel, so I think I can just shorten the cable a smidge, and it'll work out.  If not, I'll modify the pedal so it sits a bit higher.

Before installing the shifter, I needed to add the park/neutral/reverse switches, so I can activate the the reverse lights, now that I am not using the stock shifter.  It's an additional kit, as I guess the shifter I bought gets used on a decent number of "off-highway" vehicles.  The small diagram and instructions that came with it were not great, so I took pictures in case anyone else ends up needing some help.


First, have to unbolt the shifter from its base.  The allen bolts on the side hold it together:

After pulling it off the base, and the parts from the switch kit.  The cams on the lower left are used to activate the microswitches:

Assembling the microswitches and their brackets:

Here's where I messed up and forgot to take a picture.  The rails need to be removed from the shifter assembly to open up some holes to stick another allen wrench through when installing the cams.   After they are assembled, the rails are reinstalled, and the microswitch assembly is set on the rails.

The brackets are slotted, so you can slide it back and forth to test if the cams are hitting the switches, then tighten it down.  The far switch is for reverse, and the near switch is for park and neutral.

The shifter still needs to be installed, but brackets need to be made to hold the base, and a hole needs to be drilled for the cable.  May or may not get to that today.  Wiring will need to be run to at least the reverse switch before the shifter is permanently installed.

Some of the wiring has been run, including the starter solenoid wire that goes in some tubing under the front of the engine.  With that done, I also tried to install the driver side header, so the steering shaft could go back in, but it turned out the bolts in the header kit are way wrong.  I picked up some exhaust manifold bolts this morning, along with some washers to space them out, as the header flanges are thinner than the exhaust manifolds.  Will try to get that, and some other work done today, once some stuff is finished around the house.






eastsideTim PowerDork
9/12/21 6:09 p.m.

Not the most productive day today, but I did get the header and the steering shaft in.

Everything is going to be packed very tight on this side.  Hydroboost decision can't be put off much longer.  I'll need custom lines if I go with it, and based on how packed everything is, I'll need to switch to a non-hydroboost PS pump in order to make the stock lines fit if I run without it.  Third option is to switch over to a manual steering box.  Would rather not go that way.

Edit:  Just ordered a rebuild kit for the hydroboost.  On the next RockAuto order, I'll pick up the lines form a Chevy Astro and see if I can make them fit. 


eastsideTim PowerDork
9/13/21 8:44 p.m.

Not a ton of energy or time tonight, but I did tackle the radiator hoses.  For the lower one, I need a 1.25" diameter straight to a 45 degree turn to a 1.5" diameter straight.  If I can't find this, I can run 1.5" diameter on both sides, and continue to use the adapter I was using with the SBC.

For the top hose, I hacked up the Sierra's hose, and I think it'll work out.  I need to get a coupler with a tee anyway, to run the steam vent hose that runs out of the throttle body.  It would normally go into the radiator, but I do not have a connection for it on the S10's radiator.  The only other concern is intake routing. 

I can see why people use the Vette front accessories, the coolant hose should be lower with them.  If I can't run the intake over the hose towards the driver's side, I think I can run it under then hose toward the passenger side, then back up next to the battery, or continue straight to under the battery tray.  I should really get a 90 degree tube connector, and some tubing to start experimenting.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/15/21 8:52 a.m.

No major progress, but just put out another couple orders for parts.  Should have everything I need for the cooling system, plus the Astro power steering hoses, fuel sending unit, and a new diff cover and gasket(the old one is pretty crusty).  Also ordered an intake elbow so I can start test fitting.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/17/21 2:37 p.m.

That ain't gonna work. 

Need to do some more work routing the upper radiator hose, or come up with some brilliant plan for the intake. I'll mess with the stock one and see if it can be modified, to snake around the various hoses, but I have my doubts.  Maybe I just cut a hole in the hood.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/18/21 9:13 a.m.

The stock intake may be able to fit, with a little bit of adjusting of the radiator hose.

I would need to cut away and seal the holes for the two chambers circled above.  I do not know if they are used solely for sound tuning or if they actually could affect performance.  Also, it would end up with the intake pointed straight at the battery.  I think I'll try to work on all this packaging today, and see if it can be resolved mostly with what I now have in the garage, or if more parts will be needed.

This will have to wait for a little while.  I have a neighbor who is moving and is trying to get rid of some tools.  Might see if I can score a decent drill press, and maybe convince someone else to grab a lathe and milling machine.

eastsideTim PowerDork
9/19/21 7:04 p.m.

The stock intake tube will not work.  In order for it to clear the S10 hood, it'll interfere with the upper outlet on the water pump.  I need to make more room for the intake elbow.  I could go to a double pass radiator with the inlet and outlet both on the passenger side, but at this point, I would prefer this project just nickel and dime me, not Franklin and McKinley me.

Saturday, I figured out a route that should work with the intake, I just do not have all the hose I need.  I'll wait until what I have on order shows up, then get more if I need to.

It should tuck just fine between the engine and fan shroud.  Just in case, I'll make sure it is secured to the shroud, so it doesn't risk getting chewed up by the idler pulley.

I'll need to cut the intake tube a bit to keep it from contacting the radiator and the fan shroud.

The next choice is whether or not to relocate the battery.  It'd make the intake path pretty easy.  However, it's also nice to stick to the stock battery tray, and there is enough going on on the driver side that I don't want it there.  I could put it in or under the bed, but then would need a cutoff switch to take it to the drag strip.  I think the path forward is to get another 90 degree bend, some couplers, and a cone filter, and run it pack over the passenger side fender liner.  Heat will be an issue, so at the least, it should get a heat shield between it and the header.  Better would be if I can build an enclosure, and maybe run a tube to pick up cool air from some openings below the battery tray.  If it weren't for the complications of trying to route through the radiator and transmission lines, I'd even consider putting the intake under the battery tray.


Between work last week, and yesterday's thinking, my brain was about done.  I decided to swap out the rear axle, since that should be more brawn than brains.  I tried to salvage the parking brake cables in case they could be adapted on the disc brake rear, but the drums would not come loose, so bolt cutter it was.  Then went to work disconnecting other parts.

Took more time than planned, but it eventually came out.  I also yanked the setback plates, since the truck will need a new driveshaft anyway.  That'll raise the rear ride height 3/8", which would've pretty much leveled out the truck before.  Now, with the coilovers and the LQ4, I'll have to see.  I am worried I went with too stiff of a spring, and even at the lowest setting, the front may sit a bit high.  I did leave the 4 degree shims in, but will recheck and switch to whatever is needed to get the proper driveshaft angle after everything is together.

Out with the old and weak:

In with the somewhat less old and somewhat less weak:

Getting the new axle in was almost easier than removing the old one.

I still need to tighten a few bolts, like the ones for the rear shackles, and need to check others.  The soft brake line bolted right up, I hope I didn't damage it too much pinching it off.  If so, it should not be too expensive to replace.  I need to figure out what combination of 1st and 2nd gen S10 parking brake hardware is needed to get it to work properly, but that is not an ultra high priority now.

Took some measurements for the driveshaft length before packing up for the day, now I just need to do a little research of how driveshaft shops want to measure to and from.  If I can find a reputable shop nearby, I'll try and get an order put in soon, and there'll be one more thing to check off the list.  For now, I'm pretty sore and just want to relax for a bit.






Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter)
Cousin_Eddie (Forum Supporter) Dork
9/20/21 6:08 a.m.

I  have read every word of this thread and I'm on the edge of my seat each time you update. This project talks to me in a deep way.

(If you'll indulge me a little story).

I always wanted an S10 but never got one. In the late 90's one of my buddies was selling his S10 which I wanted to buy badly but couldn't afford at the time. My dad needed a truck right about then and he bought my buddy's truck instead of me. So it was close to me and I saw it often and did all of the maintenance and upkeep on it. Then my dad died in 2000 and left the truck to me. I finally got the S10 I wanted. 

But I was mid career change (mechanic --> fireman) and needed money badly to pay for paramedic school. So I sold my dad's S10. And I have never gotten over it.

Right now I'm mid project of swapping an LS into a GMT400 truck. But the whole time, there's been a very loud voice in my ear....drop that LS into an S10 and then you'll really have something....

Honestly, I'm taken aback by the difficulty that you're dealing with. I figured an S10 LS swap would be a slam dunk. Not the case at all. I can say, the GMT400 swap is probably the very easiest LS swap combo possible, so I did wind up taking a fortuitous path. Even if I never got my S10

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