eastsideTim UltimaDork
6/20/22 9:51 a.m.

After some considering and reconsidering, I ran the new fuel lines.  I decided as few connections as possible was the best answer, so I threw out some of my older, more complicated ideas.  Please critique this, and let me know if you see a problem, don't really want to cause a fire in the future.

  1. Cut off the old lines back near the fuel filter (actually some of them are still stuck along the transmission tunnel, as they won't come out the top or the the bottom, will try to zip tie them to something so they don't rattle too much.
  2. Used my 45 degree flaring tool to add a bit of a flare to the ends of the cut off steel supply and return line.
  3. Replaced the fuel filter
  4. Bent some 3/8" aluminum fuel line to run to near the original lines under the car, then up the firewall and over the master cylinder.  Added tube nuts, and used a 37 degree flaring tool on the ends of them.
  5. Mounted the new line to the cab with some rubber insulated clamps, and added some rubber line as a sheathing under the cab floor where I was afraid the lines might rub.
  6. Connected the old and new with some high pressure fuel hose, and a couple of barb-to-AN fittings (3/8" for supply and 5/16" for return).  Used fuel injection clamps to hold it in to place.
  7. In the engine compartment, ran some -6 hose from the ends of the new hardline to some fuel rail adapters, taking care to make sure there was some ability of it to move when the engine rocks (hopefully not much, though, using poly engine mounts).

For testing, I first ran the pump without hooking the supply line to the fuel rail, running about 1/2 a gallon through, in order to flush out any crud I may have missed when I cut, flared, crimped, etc.  Verified I didn't see any leaks on the supply side.  After hooking it up, I ran the pump for several 10 second cycles, checking for evidence of leaks each time.  None visible.  I tossed my fuel pressure gauge on for one of the tests, and saw 60 psi.  Finally, I ran a paint marker over each joint, so I could do a quick visual check and see if anything starts to come loose.

Here's the pictures:

Any questions/concerns?  Does this look reasonably safe to you?   If not, any suggestions?

I'm going to start back on exhaust work, but can still switch back to this if anything looks really bad.

eastsideTim UltimaDork
6/25/22 8:41 p.m.

I found out why the welder was giving me fits.  It had a spool of .035 wire instead of .030 wire in it.  I pretty much never use .035, but got some for when I was working on the crossmember.  No wonder it was so hard to control when welding thin exhaust pipe.  Switched up to .025 today, and it made my life a lot easier.

Spent a lot of time cutting, grinding, test fitting, cleaning, and welding the passenger side midpipe.  Needed adapters to get the diameter large enough for the Sierra's cats, so took a lot more pieces than I would have liked.  Note to my future self - next project should be something that didn't come with catalytic converters from the factory, so I won't feel guilty if I don't add them.  This would have gone a lot faster if I didn't use the cats, or weld in O2 sensor bungs for the downstream sensors.  It is all tacked together now:

I have it under the car, propped up on jackstands, so it'll be easier to test fit the driver's pipe, as space is tight enough the cats have to be staggered.

Just as I was beginning the driver side pipe, my abrasive chop saw decided it was time for the blade to wear down enough that it couldn't cut all the way through 2.5" piping, then my grinder decided it did not need the ground connection on the plug.  A trip to the hardware store for blades and a plug turned into picking up an early dinner, and then losing access to my work clothes for a bit, as eastsideWife took over the bathroom they were in for a while.  Since I lost a lot of daylight, I tried to do this pipe a bit more efficiently, and it may have bit me.  Like the passenger side, it needed a bunch of adapters, but this time, I cut, ground, cleaned, drilled, and welded everything in one big batch, rather than a little at a time. 

I still need to add one more 90 degree bend at the front, but I need to do some test fitting tomorrow.  I meant to angle the O2 sensor bung slightly towards the passenger side.  At the angle it is now, a sensor or its wiring may have interference issues with the driveshaft.  If so, I'll grind the welds on the 90 elbow, reclock it, and reweld it. Really hoping it works out, though, as weather is looking bad tomorrow, at least early in the day. 

At the very least, both pieces can be test fit, and I can see about installing exhaust hangers tomorrow.  May need to pull the passenger seat and drill another hole or two in the cab floor.


eastsideTim UltimaDork
6/26/22 12:16 p.m.

This morning, I set up hangers for the passenger side exhaust, so was able to get it off the jackstands.  Which means I was able to test fit the driver's side exhaust.  Ended up hurting my left arm lifting it up, so I suspect I am done for the day.  Not that it matters too much, between the heat, humidity, and risk of popup showers, I was disinclined to open up the garage and haul a bunch of stuff out into the driveway and yard.

Good news first.  It all appears to fit:

The O2 sensor I was worried about will clear the driveshaft, so no need to reclock the exhaust bend.  I will make sure the wiring harness for it can't get tangled up.

I was able to get the catalytic converters staggered very closely, so they shouldn't bump into each other, although this photo does a good job of showing how little space there is.

The bad news.  The end of the driver's side exhaust is too far back.  This'll cause two problems.  The exhaust needs to start heading up sooner to get over the axle.  I think if I cut about an inch off the glasspack, and cut all but an inch of the straight portion of a 45 degree elbow, then fit them together tightly, I can get it to work.  Second problem is that setting up the rear hanger is going to be harder, as the point I wanted to mount to is over the wide part of the muffler.  I'll either have to use a weld on style mount, or come up with something to adjust the mounting point on the trucks frame backwards a little.  Neither should be difficult, just will take some extra time.

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/1/22 9:31 a.m.

Got out of work early yesterday, and since it was not going to be raining, I spent some time working on the exhaust.  Cut back the one muffler, and one of the 45 degree bends, and verified it could run pretty close to parallel with the passenger side exhaust.  I also did some rough fitting for the tailpipe, and think it is pretty much figured out, too.  I may change how I plan to hang it, but that's about it.

Tacked welded the upturns to the mid pipes, and the front 90 degree bend to the driver side.   The upturns will be angled inward a little bit to clear the right rear shock.

I also did some test fitting for exhaust hangers for the driver's side, and think I have them figured out.  The rear one is dealt with, but the front one will require removing the passenger seat, and pulling up the carpet. 

To allow it to be removed easily if need be, I am going to clamp the exhaust together right in front of the rear axle.  Since I also want it to exit higher up that where it has been running under the frame, I cut some short pipes that will be used to clamp to the mid pipe, and welded them into the bends that will go over the the axle.

Combined with using the remaining 45 degree bends, the exhaust will exit just under the bumper, a bit to the right of the license plate.  The muffler and turndown I bought should end right at the back of the bumper, after I am done trimming the turndown back a little.

Weather is looking iffy for the next several days, so I don't know if I'll get much welding in soon.  I'll at least tackle getting the exhaust hangers mounted, and putting the midpipes in so they can be used to get the tailpipe assembled correctly.  Afterwards, it can all come out, get fully welded, reinstalled, and the last huge piece of work should be done on the truck.  I'll also try to get the motivation together for the little stuff (finish wiring, power steering cooler and low pressure lines, reinstall fender, lower coolant hose, final mounting of the fuse box, etc).

I have next week off, so I am really hoping to fire it up and move it up and down the driveway sometime during the week.





eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/3/22 8:44 p.m.

Weather behaved today, and it is looking bad for most of the rest of the week, so I hit the garage.  And finally, I am finished welding the exhaust.  I do want to add another hanger to support a long straight stretch, but otherwise, it is just a matter of reassembling what I have.

First, lowered the bed back into place.  I need to bolt it in (and tighten the bolts for the cab mounts), but at least it is sitting how it should be now.  Test fit, figured out where to hang the tailpipe from, and drilled for it.  Made the tailpipe assembly:

Then, one final test fit before pulling the midpipes down.

I love how completely unassuming it looks.  Considering painting the back of the muffler black to make it disappear under the truck.

I pulled the midpipes out from under the truck, and finished welding them up.  After everything was cool enough, I hit the welds with some more bbq grill paint.  Not sure how well it'll hold off rust, but it has to be better than leaving them uncovered.

If my body recovers from this and some yard work by tomorrow, I'll try to get the exhaust completely finished, the seats reinstalled in the car, and get help from eastsideWife to bleed the brakes.  Or might just relax tomorrow.



eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/6/22 2:07 p.m.

I hooked up the power steering return lines today.  Due to a lot of conflicting info, I won't be running a power steering cooler just yet.  Will have to see how the truck behaves when it is running.  Also merged/extended/hooked up all the grounds near the fuse box.  I think I have a few more random ones under the hood, but after that, wiring should be finished.

Ran into a problem when test fitting the driver's side fender.  It appears the radiator support needs to be about 1/4" taller on the driver's side for the panel to line up properly with the door.  I looked on the passenger side, which I hadn't removed, and there was a bit of misalignment with the passenger door, but not a ton.  I suspect the bushings for the core support have collapsed somewhat, but that does not fully explain the issue on the driver's side.  Even with everything loosened up, I could not get satisfactory alignment.  I could order new bushings, and I am sure they would help somewhat, but I think I'll need to shim up the core support to get everything to align properly anyway.  Just trying to figure out how to go about doing so for now.  Maybe a stack of fender washers.

I'd like to have it fitted soon, because the fuse box needs a third mounting point, and my plan had been to use the fender.


Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/6/22 3:06 p.m.

Gm used what looked like alignment shoms under many fasteners to make the body panels line up. My s10 had quite a few on one side at the core support, and other places that im forgetting. 

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/6/22 3:38 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

I think I might have a stack of them that go on one of the fender mounts near the door(though I may be thinking of the Impala).  I thought maybe I could use some of them, but then noticed there's also mounting holes on the front of the radiator support, so shims at the top would throw those out of alignment.  I did put a stack of five 1/2" fender washers under the support, and that seems to have it close enough.  Had to take a break for a tornado warning, but will get back to work later this evening.  Hoping it won't throw too much else out.  I may add one or two washers to the passenger side to see if I can even up the door gap over there a bit, too, and cut down on the risk the hood won't line up whenever it goes on.


eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/6/22 9:54 p.m.

Fusebox is now more solidly mounted, and for the first time in a long time, the fender is bolted on, though I still need to find a bunch of missing body bolts.  Fender gap is still not perfect, but it is better than it was.

Now that I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, I am trying to keep from getting overwhelmed by the large number of little things that still need to be done.  I'll try to tackle them one by one, if possible, and maybe get to drive this thing this summer.  Second, I need to start treating everything kind of like the fender gap, and just get it "good enough", or it will never be back on the road.

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/7/22 10:09 a.m.

Quick thought about panel alignment.  Even though I tightened the cab mount bolts back down, I wonder if the cab just settled differently after being lifted to get space to install the engine.

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/8/22 9:24 p.m.

Short work session tonight.  Shimmed up the passenger side radiator support, just not as much as the driver side.  Hoping that'll help when it is time to install and align the hood.  Also, shortened up a radiator hose for the lower radiator connection.  First, used part of a wire hanger to approximate the length and angle:

Then used the wire to mark up the hose for cutting:

Installed and fit pretty easily.  Now, the cooling system should be pretty much complete.  I won't fill it until it is time to fire up the engine.  There is still some dexcool in the engine block, and even though I flushed the radiator and the heater core, there could still be some green stuff in there.  When I get it running, I'll just start with tap water, flush everything, then put green stuff back in.

Also spent a little time installing the ECM mount, the left coil bracket, and spent some time trying to figure out how the horn mounted up.  Remembered after I cleaned up, so I'll do that tomorrow, along with other work.  Turns out I missed one of the ground wires, so I'll just use the horn mount as a grounding point.

Not sure yet, but maybe I will be able to fire it up this weekend.


eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/11/22 2:20 p.m.

I overestimated my ability to get work done.  Did manage to accomplish more this weekend, though:

  1. Installed and wired horns, and took care of the ground I missed.
  2. Reinstalled the dipstick tube.
  3. Installed the tailpipe, and tightened up all the exhaust mounts and clamps.
  4. Wrapped the exhaust where it get close to the wiring.
  5. Put anti-seize on all remaining loose rear suspension nuts and bolts, and tightened them up.
  6. Tossed the seats back in the cab.  Driver's seat has 3 of the four bolts holding it in, passenger seat is pretty much entirely loose.

I'd never done exhaust wrap before, and probably did not do the best job in the world.  Wish I'd thought to do it while the header was off the truck, I am sure it would have been a ton easier.  I tried to follow the instructions, and just get the wrap damp.  I dug out some 1980s Mercedes hose clamps from my stash (might was well use them instead of continuing to horde them).  Used the first one to old the wrap in place, and wrapped the bend in the exhaust that goes close to the wiring harness.  Tried to keep it nice and tight when I clamped it on the other end.  Seems to be okay, although it had slipped and exposed a bit of the exhaust.  It was far enough away from the wiring that I decided to leave it as is.  Hopefully this, plus the heat reflective material, will do the trick.

If I get out to the garage tonight, I may switch gears a bit, and try to swap out the front spindles back to stock.  That way, if I damage any ball joints or tie rod ends, they can be ordered and should show up before next weekend.

Things I know need to be done before it should be fired up:

  1. Check and fill fluids (oil, cooling, power steering, transmission, rear differential).
  2. Bleed brakes.
  3. Plug in ECM.
  4. Reinstall battery (was charging it this weekend after testing the horns).
  5. Install passenger side coil bracket.
  6. Install new plug wires.  I also have insulating covers for them.
  7. Assemble intake tube/MAF/filter.  I'll need to build a bracket and heat shield for them, but that can wait until after test firing the engine.
  8. Plug in fuses and relays.
  9. Install and wire up front O2 sensors.
  10. I'm sure I am missing something.

Lots of other stuff to do to make it streetable, but I'm feeling okay about the current progress.  Just really want to get it moving so I can find and fix any unknown issues as soon as possible.



eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/15/22 9:42 p.m.

Been slowly trying to cross things off the above list, and tonight was kind of annoying.

Oil level was below the hash marks on the dipstick, so I added a smidge more than a quart.  It now appears to be way higher than the top of the hash marks.  I'll recheck in the morning.

I am fairly certain I drained the transmission fluid.  Started adding it, which is kind of a slow process, since the dipstick tube is nearly horizontal.  It also seems to drain into the pan very slowly.  I've added around 2-3 quarts, and had to stop several times.  I let it alone after 15 minutes or so at the end, and it still shows as being over the bottom mark on the dipstick.  Seems like it should take more than that, even if the engine is off.  Will check it again tomorrow.  I'm figuring before I start the truck up, I want to have it at least a little over the fill line, that should keep it from running dry when it starts up.

But, most annoyingly, and what may prevent me from starting it up, is the plug wires.  I went ahead and installed them, along with heat shielding, on the driver's side.

For the two center wires, the boot/shielding are pressed against the headers.  I know the shielding will help, but I doubt it will help that much.  Looks like I need to order a set of wires with angled spark plug boots.  Might see if I can source them locally this weekend, but I have my doubts, unless I want to drive north to Summit or Jegs.

I'll have to see about doing as much as possible otherwise this weekend. 




EvanB MegaDork
7/15/22 9:54 p.m.

Is this the kind you need? I have 7 left over after I bought a new set since one of the ones I replaced last year was chewed through.


Edit: looks like those may be what you already have.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/15/22 10:27 p.m.

Decent plug wire shielding should be able to survive hard contact.  I have used it long term on SBCs with straight plug heads and blockhugger headers, and even had good luck with an LT1 with F-body headers and aftermarket heads that had the plugs at a weird angle, so the #7 plug boot was in hard contact with the header tube (you had to remove the header to get the plug wire off).


After ten years the DEI boots on a certain hot rod were white where they were against the headers, but all was well smiley

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/16/22 8:05 a.m.

In reply to EvanB :

They are a little different, in that they come off the boot at an angle, but I think with the long boot, they will have the same issue.

In reply to Pete. (l33t FS) :

I guess I can at least test fire it this way.  I'll still want to get a different set though, before running it any amount of time.  Maybe I'm just paranoid.


eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/16/22 11:12 a.m.

Well, test firing this weekend just got even more unlikely.  I was working on the passenger side this morning.  On cylinder #4, there is so little space that a stock-style plug boot doesn't even have room to be installed.  Will keep on with other stuff and circle back after my next parts order.


With all the issues that have cropped up, at this point, I really wish I had either bought some $99 ebay headers, or a nice expensive set of long tube headers. 


Edit:  It also looks like the rear plug wire is going to eventually rub through the insulator at the coil, due to it being pressed against the heater box.  May need to relocate the coil a bit, or just live with it, be careful, and check it often.

Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
7/16/22 2:17 p.m.

What headers are you using? That way i can avoid them. 

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/16/22 2:28 p.m.

Heat sleeves double as abrasion protection...

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/16/22 3:34 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

What headers are you using? That way i can avoid them. 

Flowtech shorties.  I had hoped by going with a name brand, I'd avoid the fitment and other problems with the off-brand Chinese ebay headers.  I was wrong.

I can barely get the plug onto the coil at this point.  No room for the heat shielding.  I have an idea that involves grinding away a bit of the bracket, drilling a small hole, re-angling the coil, and using a ziptie to hold the bottom of the coil in place instead of a bolt.  May not work on that today, though.  Going to change scenery, and work on chassis stuff, like checking/filling the differential, installing O2 sensors, swapping front spindles, etc.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) MegaDork
7/16/22 3:43 p.m.

In reply to eastsideTim :

First rule of pushrod V8 club: Headers do not fit well.

Second rule of pushrod V8 club: Headers do not fit well.

Access to plugs sucks, access to fasteners sucks, half the time you have to crush at least one of the tubes to half its area or smaller for fitment (unless it is a Pontiac, then it is 100% certainty), they are usually made wrong and have to be welded/filed to not leak, etc.


Were I to do a swap, it would be with OE manifolds.

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/16/22 4:28 p.m.
Pete. (l33t FS) said:

In reply to eastsideTim :

Were I to do a swap, it would be with OE manifolds.

Stop reminding me I should have left the 305 in the truck with its F-body manifolds.

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/16/22 4:29 p.m.

If I knew I was going to stay NA, I'd order a set of $1300 long tubes today, but since the S10 might be the recipient of the turbo stuff I bought from Patrick...

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/17/22 8:51 p.m.

Was going to get the spindles swapped today, but eastsideWife had a Covid scare, so we spent some time getting to an urgent care that had an open spot.  Thankfully, looks like it may have just been worse than usual allergies.  Did get back home in time to swap the driver side out, amazingly without damaging the ball joints or tie rod end.  Must be the advantage of not driving the S10 during the winter.   I'll try to do the passenger side tomorrow after work.  Once they're done, I can also finally tighten up the control arm and lower shock bolts.  QA1 provided them with locknuts, so I didn't want to tighten them up until the front end was fully together.

eastsideTim UltimaDork
7/18/22 9:44 p.m.

Did get the passenger side swapped out tonight.  Everything came apart pretty easily, but the tie rod end spun when I tried to reattach it.  I'll add that to the spark plug order tonight.  They're pricey, but I may go with an ICT billet set that is cut to length, and has multiple shaped plug boots.  I'm guessing I'll need a spark plug wire cutter/crimper.  Maybe I should hit up youtube for a few how-to videos before doing any ordering.

Alignment is also unsurprisingly completely boogered.  Once everything is fully assembled, I'll deal with that.  May just take care of toe, and leave caster/camber for after I've worked all the bugs out of the swap.

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