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Old 01-23-2020, 07:29 AM   #1
Bigdually
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1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Well, I'll go ahead and say it. I messed up. I was on my way to work 10/31/19 and hit wet leaves that were blown across the road halfway through a blind turn, ended up on my lid. One small cut on my left elbow, no other injuries (until my big truck broke my finger a week later). Managed to crawl out the back glass hole then out from under the bed, and some low life stole stuff out of the wreck while I was walking to use the phone about a half mile away.... Some people.

Anyhow, it was a pretty nice, relatively rust free, all original 86 with 82k original miles. 2.5, 4 speed, ZERO options. I lowered it 2/3 and had done a lot of the requisite mods to free up all the HP the little 4 banger could give me. A perfect 27 mpg work truck. I scored an entire body off an 88 in really good shape for $200, I plan to swap it onto the good frame and scrap the crunched up body. Just couldn't see throwing away such a good frame and drivetrain that I know was perfect.

Started work on it 1/21/20 in the evenings with the assistance of the love of my life and my mechanic's helper, my girlfriend. The first two evenings have it front clip-less, with all of everything attached to the cab disconnected and the cab mount bolts out. Hopefully this evening or tomorrow evening will see the cab make liftoff. I'll post more progress as I make it.
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Old 01-23-2020, 12:22 PM   #2
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

A few pictures of the old girl as she was before the rollover. Not only was it my work daily driver, it was also a workhorse too, the bed low to the ground is convenient for hauling heavy stuff that has to be loaded by hand
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Old 01-24-2020, 07:23 AM   #3
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Made more progress last evening. Steering shaft wouldn't collapse, so I cut it. I'll probably upgrade to a Jeep shaft since I have the opportunity now. While the cab is off I plan to throw in a 5 speed and a new clutch I have been keeping to put in, the addition of overdrive will be nice. Only doing one or two things an evening, but for 3 evenings of not working too hard I don't feel like this is bad progress. Also ordered body mounts and a weatherstripping and door seal kit for the new cab from RockAuto yesterday.
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Old 01-24-2020, 06:13 PM   #4
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Happy Friday evening to everyone! There won't be any new updates on the truck this evening, I have a dinner date with my helper. Might stop by the parts store in town and see if they have an XJ steering shaft though.
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:49 PM   #5
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Worked a few hours on it today, made a little headway. Got everything I'll need from the old cab stripped out and removed, getting the dash out took the longest. Also found a perfect non frozen steering shaft in with the parts that I got with the new cab. That was the most exciting part of my day, those XJ shafts are expensive!
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Old 01-30-2020, 07:03 AM   #6
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

The new cab is in the shop! Last night saw some more progress, although it seems I'm going backwards having to strip the new cab.

PO at some point HACKED the harness to "perfeshunaly" install a crappy aftermarket stereo. The dash was also pretty much trash. Fortunately I have the parts to repair the harness from the other cab, and the old dash is in good enough condition to swap over.

Got everything pulled out and off the cab, this 88 cab was from a 2.5 automatic truck and the 86 it's going onto is a manual. So I'm not only doing a cab swap, but essentially an auto to manual swap too, at least on the cab. Going to transfer the pedal assy, the whole column, the clutch master cylinder, and my power brake booster all over to the new cab, then cut a hole in the floor for the shifter.

I had just put a new heater core in my truck, so I'm swapping that over too while it's easy to access. Don't want any surprises with a floor full of green stuff. Going to clean out the cowl drains and all the fresh air ducts plus blow out all the HVAC ductwork while I'm this deep too.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:36 PM   #7
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Accomplished some stuff tonight I'm pretty happy with!

Got the manual pedal assembly all bolted in, fit like a charm. The power brake booster and master cylinder also bolted right up in place of the manual brake setup that was there. I had to drill and cut the holes for the clutch master cylinder, but a quick template made from the old cab made the job a snap.

The biggest item was bolting in the manual column, as the mounting plate for the firewall and the shape of the hole plus the contour of the firewall itself is different between the two. With a small cut on the column's mounting flange to let it sit flush and some holes drilled through the firewall the marriage was complete! All the wires in the harness from the auto cab even plugged right into the column save two from what I assume was the Park/Neutral safety switch. Also, the auto harness has no provisions for a clutch switch. I can't see either one being an issue, at least not one a jumper wire isn't capable of fixing.

Next I'll cut the shifter hole in the hump, then give everything a good cleaning and then begin putting the dash in. This cab has dome and footwell lights! I'm excited about that, the old cab didn't and getting in at night or seeing anything inside after dark just plain sucked.
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Old 01-31-2020, 05:06 PM   #8
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Got home from work a little early this afternoon and did a couple things. Measured the old shifter hole and laid it out on the new cab floor. Didn't turn out too bad. The screw hole behind it is from a console the PO had screwed into the hump.

Also blew out and swept out the cowl tray and drains, plus all the HVAC ductwork. Then swept the metal shavings and dust and remnants of 30 years worth of crap out of the cab floor. It's 100% swapped to a manual cab now, and as soon as I put the heater core in it's ready for a dash.

No more work this evening, my GF and I are going to an amateur boxing event, the WV Toughman Contest. Maybe more tomorrow.
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Old 02-01-2020, 09:14 AM   #9
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Nice work, I'm glad you're fixing it!
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:39 AM   #10
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

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Nice work, I'm glad you're fixing it!
Thanks! Was beginning to wonder if anyone was reading this thread In my situation with finding a new body so cheap, fixing it was the clear economical option for me to get back to having a work beater.





My wonderful girlfriend/mechanic's assistant and I got the heater core installed today and then we got the dash in and all bolted up and wired up! The only thing left as far as the dash goes is the under column panel, and I'm leaving that until I get the wiring for my aftermarket guages and electric fan all tidied up and connected.

I think my next move, after the guages, might be to move the cab aside and work on the transmission swap. I have to fix a spot on the drivers cab corner, and my girlfriend's dad is a pretty good body guy. I think while he's working the cab corner over I'll stick in the 5 speed, then it'll be cab on frame time!
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:34 PM   #11
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

You're WAaaaayy ambitious bro, lol! I would have just clipped the cab at the A and B pillars. Nice that you're fixing it.
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Old 02-03-2020, 12:06 AM   #12
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

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You're WAaaaayy ambitious bro, lol! I would have just clipped the cab at the A and B pillars. Nice that you're fixing it.
You don't even know HOW MUCH that thought crossed my mind! Only thing stopping me was weather, I rolled over on Halloween, so it was getting chilly here. If it would've been spring or summer, I'm about 99% sure I'd have rolled with it chopped for a while lol
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Old 02-05-2020, 12:49 AM   #13
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Got the 4 speed Isuzu transmission pulled this evening, all in all not a terrible job. Especially being able to do it from the top!

Flywheel needs resurfacing, I'll drop that off in the next day or so and hopefully the machine shop won't be too long. Have a nice clutch kit waiting to go on that I've had for a couple years. The looks of the flywheel probably tell you why.... This truck has had a crappy clutch since I've owned it.

Last pic shows the Isuzu and the T5 side by side. OAL is the same, I get to reuse my driveshaft! The mount is further back on the T5 though, so I'll need to move my crossmember back. Not too big a deal. Hopefully progress picks up as the week goes, I'm excited about finally having a good clutch and overdrive!
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Old 02-05-2020, 11:42 PM   #14
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Local NAPA machine shop did a same day turnaround on the flywheel. The machinist said it was pretty rough as far as high and low spots go. I also picked up a loaner pilot bushing puller to save having to do the playdoh/grease/bar soap trick.

The stick from my 4 speed wont thread onto the T5. I used to have a really crappy 5 speed 92 Sonoma for a short time, and I always HATED the throw of the shifter. Fifth felt like you were reaching into the glove box. I ordered up a Hurst style short shifter, stick, and knob combo for a T5 in an S10. Lead time is up to two weeks, hopefully it's on the shorter end of the wait time. Until then I have plenty to do with the transmission swap and fixing the cab corner.
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Old 02-06-2020, 12:28 PM   #15
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

I'm watching........coming right along.
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Old 02-06-2020, 07:42 PM   #16
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

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I'm watching........coming right along.
Slowly but surely





Started messing with the cab corner this evening after work. Only rot on the whole cab, kind of odd. I roughed in the replacement cab corner. It's a crappy $8 cab corner and the fitment shows, but for what I'm doing it's good enough. Just need it to pass WV inspection.
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Old 02-06-2020, 11:39 PM   #17
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Looks like it might have been designed to fit on top of the original corner........which is what should NOT be done anyway.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:54 AM   #18
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

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Looks like it might have been designed to fit on top of the original corner........which is what should NOT be done anyway.
It seems to fit up top pretty well, it's the stamping down low and where it meets the rocker that isn't even close.

I'm kicking the idea around of gently cutting out the cab corner from the red cab. That cab has plugs where it was zeibarted back in the day, so I'm sure it's in near perfect condition. It's OEM metal, so it would fit better.
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Old 02-08-2020, 09:19 AM   #19
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

I'm just glad to see someone working on and posting about a first gen S10! They are such good little trucks, and you can't buy anything new like them today.
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Old 02-08-2020, 06:35 PM   #20
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

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I'm just glad to see someone working on and posting about a first gen S10! They are such good little trucks, and you can't buy anything new like them today.
I love first gen S10s! I've owned several, they're economical, handy, and pretty simple to work on. And parts are cheap.




I changed gears today and worked on the transmission swap. (See what I did there? ) Moved the crossmember back 2.5 inches, the hole was already on the drivers side to do it and I just had to drill the ones on the passenger side. Put on the resurfaced flywheel, and new pilot bushing, clutch, pressure plate, and throw out bearing. Then I stuck the transmission on and bolted everything up, even the reverse light wiring plugged right in. The driveshaft went right back in too with plenty of room on the slip yoke, thankfully.

Only difference is that this is a newer T5 with an electronic speedometer output, and my truck is cable drive. I have a speedometer app on my phone, so I'll work around it for a while.
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Old 02-09-2020, 09:45 AM   #21
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

That looks like the type of VSS that is gear driven, you should be able to take it out and install a cable drive unit. Worth a look anyways if you haven't already.
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Old 02-09-2020, 10:52 AM   #22
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

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That looks like the type of VSS that is gear driven, you should be able to take it out and install a cable drive unit. Worth a look anyways if you haven't already.
That is very interesting..... I was under the impression that all the VSS tailshafts had a reluctor. I'll be pulling the VSS and checking for a gear on the tailshaft very soon.

Thanks for the info!!
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Old 02-09-2020, 11:22 AM   #23
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

If it is the reluctor type, then you could get a DRAC/VSSB box from an early 90's full size truck, modify it and then wire it up to a stock S10 electric speedo cluster. Bonus points if you get one of those Blazer digital clusters.

https://www.tradecraftspecialties.com/DRACmodule
https://harristuning.com/Tbi/vssb-drac-calibration/

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Old 02-09-2020, 11:28 PM   #24
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

Pulled the VSS today, looks like a reluctor setup. I've always wanted one of those digital dashes, but for this truck I think I'll probably stick to the cable speedo and just roll with my phone app for a while.

I won't need a speedometer once I figure out cruising RPMs anyway. My whole intent has been to spend as little as possible and use as much of what I have for this project as I can. The shifter is so far the one thing I've spent big on, but it's a necessity and an upgrade all in one.

I do, however, have a 93 S10 RCSB Tahoe, 4.3 auto. My first vehicle, it hibernates most of the time. It's been screaming for a digital dash and some other things for a while, might just have to do that when the smoke from this project clears
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:17 AM   #25
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Re: 1986 S10 Daily Driver Rollover Rebuild

I have an 85 S15, 2.5 Duke with 700 trans and factory air. I bought a bunch of parts from Rock Auto and put it back on the road. It runs pretty good, but the engine has a rattle at low RPM. May be a bad piston, but I guess I'll run it till it dies.
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