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Old 01-01-2017, 10:31 PM   #1
gigamanx
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1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

The project has begun with much help from this forum already. I've acquired my 1949 Chevy 3100 from Oklahoma and just sourced a 1988 S10 to swap. It wasn't my original plan, but after finding some issues with the 1949 that couldn't be overcome, my thrifty side has taken over and decided to do an S10 swap. Disassembly began 1-1-2017. Let's see how far I can get in 12 months!





This is about the point where I may have gotten in way over my head...



I have already seen head shaking from my biggest fan, my wife. She isn't sure this will ever be drivable which gives me more incentive to actually finish this project. Past projects have included a 180 gallon salt water aquarium and a custom motorcycle. I am beginning this journey with no fabrication experience and very little vehicle mechanics knowledge. I do, however, have an ample amount of ambition and flexibility. Both of which have already been applied to reaching rusty screws

--------- 1 year update October 1st 2017 -----------------

So here I am 1 year later from the first picture with my 3100 rolling up to the garage. Oddly enough, the truck doesn't look much different than that day but so much has changed. The S10 was taken apart down to the frame and suspension. New mounts fabricated while I also taught myself to weld. A V8 engine showed up mid year and I had to source a new transmission. The learning curve has been steep on both of those. I have learned SO much this year, not only on how to build a car, but how much less scary everything is once I had completed each step. I still believe the project is not for the faint of heart, but the rewards in self-confidence and pride are priceless.

As she sits now. Although it doesn't look like much of a car, it takes a few bolts to get all that sheet metal back on. She's just waiting on some wiring and to hook up the front radiator.


Fitting the fenders before welding up all the new mounts


Getting some Vitamin D while using one of my most versatile one-man-job tools, the cherry picker. Not just for engines


The S10 broken down to the frame. Engine and transmission came out and the frame was cleaned up


The goal this winter is to drive again even if it means around the block for a shakedown. The goal for my October, 2018 update will be to show off a running, driving, truck. I think my biggest hurdles to get there right now are the airbag suspension setup and finishing the rear box. Almost all the work will be on the rear of the truck.

To date, I'm just under $9,000 for all the parts, engine, transmission, and the two trucks it took to get this far. Looking at an October 2018 update of a running driving truck means I am realistically at double my original timeframe of having it done within a year. Just reality of life with family, kids, work, and "adulting." Hopefully my reality can help set expectations for others thinking of taking on this project.


----------- Thanksgiving 2017 update -------
Just going to throw in how fast things can go once you have gained a little knowledge. My last major update would have been a bit under two months ago.

1. The engine was tuned and put in along with fluids for trans, radiator, and engine.
2. Electrical system basics are wired up and the steering and steering column were installed
3. Built a collector and exhaust pieces to connect the headers
4. Front fenders back on
5. Transmission tunnel fitted and tacked in.
6. In an afternoon, I had the box mounts built and now the bed box is positioned. Going to tackle running boards this week. Tomorrow (Wednesday) my daughter and I are going on the first maiden voyage outside the garage under the truck's own power. Wow I can't believe I can actually say that. It was my winter goal and I'm there before seeing the first snow flake

Last edited by gigamanx; 11-21-2017 at 12:14 PM.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:37 PM   #2
lv2tri2
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigamanx View Post
The project has begun with much help from this forum already. I've acquired my 1949 Chevy 3100 from Oklahoma and just sourced a 1988 S10 to swap. It wasn't my original plan, but after finding some issues with the 1949 that couldn't be overcome, my thrifty side has taken over and decided to do an S10 swap. Disassembly began 1-1-2017. Let's see how far I can get in 12 months!





This is about the point where I may have gotten in way over my head...



I have already seen head shaking from my biggest fan, my wife. She isn't sure this will ever be drivable which gives me more incentive to actually finish this project. Past projects have included a 180 gallon salt water aquarium and a custom motorcycle. I am beginning this journey with no fabrication experience and very little vehicle mechanics knowledge. I do, however, have an ample amount of ambition and flexibility. Both of which have already been applied to reaching rusty screws
Lots of help on this resource, best of luck and keep the progress pics coming.
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:39 PM   #3
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

And here we go!!!...looks like you've got a good truck to work with..
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Old 01-01-2017, 10:41 PM   #4
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

how do you eat an elephant? one bite at a time. break it up into work chunks and list them.

looks like a great donor, that is the simplest s10 to use the whole drivetrain and electrical system
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Old 01-01-2017, 11:13 PM   #5
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

I'm excited to watch your progress, I'm also starting a S10 swap on a 1950 3100 I got a few weeks back. Are you planning on using a kit? I've been leaning towards going with Code504
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:34 AM   #6
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

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Past projects have included a 180 gallon salt water aquarium and a custom motorcycle. I am beginning this journey with no fabrication experience and very little vehicle mechanics knowledge.
I would challenge you to say you have no experience...if you can build a custom aquarium and motorcycle, you have a lot of technical skills. You'd be surprised how they translate across genres. Make sure to update us on your build.
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Old 01-02-2017, 09:26 AM   #7
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

No plans to use a custom kit. I'd like to fabricate what I need to and put money elsewhere. The 504 kit looks like they are expecting a new gas tank and assuming a different engine than the S10. I'm trying to use as much of the donor truck as I can for now.
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Old 01-02-2017, 04:19 PM   #8
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

In for progress!
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Old 01-02-2017, 07:11 PM   #9
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

A little more progress before I end for the long weekend. Front clip is off in three major pieces, drivers side fender, passenger side fender, and finally the grill, radiator, and front bumper. I stopped at Harbor Freight for a cherry picker so I can take the bed and cab off as assembled as possible. That will be the next challenge when I get some free time. The chassis and 235ci is taking up the space I need to put the cab back onto the S10, so it will have to be sold or moved elsewhere.

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Old 01-06-2017, 12:01 PM   #10
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Bed disassembled and ready to remove. I thought it would be easy...4 bolts in the corners and bam. Oh no, the two bolts nearest the cab are hidden under the bed. I ended up using a hole cutter to get to the tops since they all just spun around. When reassembling later and putting a new bed down, I am sure I'll cut the same holes and add some sort of nice stainless plug for easy access to the bolt heads. New HF 2t crane worked a charm in picking it up.



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Old 01-06-2017, 04:17 PM   #11
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

I follow!
I love AD trucks, looks like you got a very decent one!
Be sure to post lot of pics!
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:12 PM   #12
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

A lot of time spent in the garage today, but I don't feel like it was much progress. The cab feels like quite the mountain to climb to get it off.

Started with the steering column. I don't have enough room to lift the cab up and over, so I removed the linkage for the gear shift and the four bolts holding the steering box to the frame. Should sit low enough to move the cab backwards and slide it off the steering column. This sounds simple, but I spent hours messing with bolts, spraying on PB Blaster and working the threads. Inside the cab, I was introduced to the extremely tight quarters behind the dash and trying to get the gauges out so I could disconnect the wiring. What a P.I.T.A. that is!

All in a days work. I'm taking a break for a few days because I removed so much stuff as a new guy that my head is swimming a bit trying to remember how it all went together to begin with. I've taken lots of pictures and rethreaded the bolts into their holes after a piece was taken off. I'm now thoroughly in the "what the hell am I doing" phase.



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Old 01-07-2017, 10:53 PM   #13
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Haha...now you know how we all feel
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:36 PM   #14
Russell Ashley
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Looks like you have a very nice truck to start with so you are already ahead of the game in that regard. Just enjoy the build and post lots of pics as you go.
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Old 01-08-2017, 01:26 AM   #15
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

man the amount of work you are going to save with a truck that nice is going to be substantial.

I cut every single steering column with a 6" cut off wheel to pull the cab off but I can see why you want to keep it together. maybe roll it outside, take off the wheels and lay the drums on the pavement and see if you can get enough lift out of the cherry picker that way. did you build a lifting tool out of 2x4s? with the doors off you can make it taller and get big lift.

I am a big fan of
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http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s....php?p=8029533


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Old 01-16-2017, 10:54 AM   #16
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Cab is off and the chassis already off to its next home. Another guy was building a 50 and needed a stable platform to work on. He was tickled with the 235ci already in it. I made enough money to cover the S10 long bed I'm buying so its a net zero so far. I am very pleased with my decision at this point.

A few small wrinkles in removal. One of the running boards had no screws and I found it had been welded to the supports by the previous person. I also didn't think enough steps ahead. Cab is now off with my fancy crane attachment out of 2x4s and I forgot to build a stand so its currently just sitting in the air in the garage. Off to Lowes again for more 2x4s and some caster wheels.

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Old 01-16-2017, 02:25 PM   #17
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Looks like great progress so far. The lack of rust should speed things up greatly. There is tons of great info in this site and plenty of helpful people. Good luck!

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Old 01-16-2017, 02:35 PM   #18
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigamanx View Post
I forgot to build a stand so its currently just sitting in the air in the garage. Off to Lowes again for more 2x4s and some caster wheels.


haha thats great. I did something similar with the 41, I realized when I pulled the cab off the s10 that the 41 cab was sitting on the body cart.

and cautrell is right, rust repair is easily where I spent at least 200 hours on mine.
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Project: Hannah
my 4.3 5spd S10 41 Chevy 1/2 ton
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s....php?p=8029533


if there is a problem, I can have it.
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Old 01-16-2017, 06:06 PM   #19
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Quote:
Originally Posted by gigamanx View Post
Cab is off and the chassis already off to its next home. Another guy was building a 50 and needed a stable platform to work on. He was tickled with the 235ci already in it. I made enough money to cover the S10 long bed I'm buying so its a net zero so far. I am very pleased with my decision at this point.

A few small wrinkles in removal. One of the running boards had no screws and I found it had been welded to the supports by the previous person. I also didn't think enough steps ahead. Cab is now off with my fancy crane attachment out of 2x4s and I forgot to build a stand so its currently just sitting in the air in the garage. Off to Lowes again for more 2x4s and some caster wheels.

Great progress, keep up the good work...
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Old 01-20-2017, 10:44 PM   #20
gigamanx
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

More progress than I had expected over the past 20 days. I have the S10 in the driveway and drove it around town a bit. This got the brain working as I thought about this build. Am I crazy...some of you may think so.

My thought process is. If I'm dismantling the S10 already to get the other body on, should I consider changing the rear end and drivetrain while its all easily accessible? As I drive the 6 cylinder up the hill to my house, I keep imagining an LS as opposed to the original plan of upgrading to a sbc 350. I have a buddy talking all kinds of smack about his 400hp Camaro and I'd love to wipe that grin off with an old '49 haha.

I originally planned against the LS because I wanted the classic carbureted engine and everything is mechanical to match up the original mechanical gauges. If I go electronic with the fuel, drive by wire, and an ecu, how crazy different do things get? Do I need to replace all my gauges too?

This is really just thinking out loud. As usual, I've already been trolling the forum finding other LS swaps that are done. I admit there is a lot of engine lingo that just makes no sense to me. The actual engine swap doesn't look terribly more difficult than what I'm going to do. I'm already going to have to move the motor mounts for the S10 V6, I'm already going to have the sheet metal off...
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Old 01-20-2017, 11:27 PM   #21
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

I like your enthusiasm!

Once you research 'em LS swaps don't seem to hard.

I'm sure you've gone to the LS swap section on the forum. Ton of info! If not, here it is:
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/f...play.php?f=206

ls1tech.com can be helpful as well.

Yes, you are probably going to have to swap gauges...but there are some pretty cool mods that were done here on the site to accommodate. (if memory serves, I believe Joedoh's last build he mocked up his own gauges.)
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Old 01-21-2017, 03:48 AM   #22
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

my early advice to you was to get quickly to a running and driving truck because upgrading an already sorted truck to have an LS motor is a much shorter project than trying to coerce an inert project that you have never heard run to run, and have a thousand things to finish before you can drive. the less you add to the list before starting, the easier it is to work on it every weekend without getting discouraged.

if you look at the project threads there are a few guys that have done what you are talking about, making three (at least three) dissimilar systems work together. however, there are also a lot that get sold as unfinished projects and even more that never make it past disassembly. its not about motivation, motivation is a lie, motivation never built anything. perseverance and determination build trucks. put a punch list on the window and pare it down to the essential stuff. if that includes a drivetrain swap, so be it, but dont be misled by how easy disassembly is, reassembly is where the hours are.
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Project: Hannah
my 4.3 5spd S10 41 Chevy 1/2 ton
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s....php?p=8029533


if there is a problem, I can have it.
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Old 01-21-2017, 01:03 PM   #23
Dan in Pasadena
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Quote:
Originally Posted by joedoh View Post
my early advice to you was to get quickly to a running and driving truck because upgrading an already sorted truck to have an LS motor is a much shorter project than trying to coerce an inert project that you have never heard run to run, and have a thousand things to finish before you can drive. the less you add to the list before starting, the easier it is to work on it every weekend without getting discouraged.

if you look at the project threads there are a few guys that have done what you are talking about, making three (at least three) dissimilar systems work together. however, there are also a lot that get sold as unfinished projects and even more that never make it past disassembly. its not about motivation, motivation is a lie, motivation never built anything. perseverance and determination build trucks. put a punch list on the window and pare it down to the essential stuff. if that includes a drivetrain swap, so be it, but dont be misled by how easy disassembly is, reassembly is where the hours are.
Joe is completely correct here^^^

Disassembly is essentially demolition. If you ever watch those house flipping shows they blast through demolition with abandon. That correlates to what you're doing. Where they spend the time is selecting colors, accessories, they have subcontractors make their countertops, do the re-plumbing, they encounter termites, bad previous work and have to cope with it.

This ALL correlates to these truck projects and all those subcontracted things cost money and some need special tools or skills.

For a first timer your initial instincts were correct. Then you began "thinking" but it was really dreaming - something we all do - and that leads you to the "slippery slope." Take a read of my build thread to see where it leads.

Don't let yourself get overwhelmed. Take one thing at a time. Write notes to yourself. Write things on parts with a Sharpie. "This side connect to X". You think you will but you WON'T remember it all. Come back here and say, "I'm losing steam" - guys will help you, they really will. Best of luck and we'll be pulling for you
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Old 01-21-2017, 02:35 PM   #24
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

And to echo what dan and joe said take lots of pictures before disassembling .that's the best memory I have.
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Old 01-21-2017, 09:19 PM   #25
gigamanx
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Re: 1949 Chevy with S10 swap. Beginner build with ambition!

Ok ok ok I hear ya. Back on track! I have a whole flickr album just for disassemblyy
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