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Old 06-16-2014, 09:11 PM   #1
skymangs
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S10 Swap how to

I've been asked lots of questions about how I get these S10 swaps done so quickly, and how to do "x" or "y"... I want to start this thread detailing as much as I can on the nuts and bolts of S10 frame swaps, parts lists, pics, and any other frequently asked questions out there. To start this off, there are basically three options I see as easily attainable for an S10 frame swap. Keep the stock 4.3L, go small block, or go LS1. I will start off with small block parts, as these are by far the most popular conversion.

What you'll need:
-47-54 Chevy pickup with bed, fenders, hood, core support
-S10 chassis (117" w.b. long bed short cab) If you can, score the brake pedal, master/booster assembly and power steering box.
-Engine/trans combo of choice

This is enough to start your project, but there is a short laundry list of other parts that will make your swap a LOT easier!
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:24 PM   #2
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Next I'll detail a list of parts that you will need to order to complete your swap, and where I get them. This is by no means an endorsement, only what I use.

S10 small block conversion headers - Speedway Motors - $169
19x22 Aluminum Cross-flow radiator - Speedway Motors - $116
3/4DD x 3/4DD borgeson joint - Gearhead Motors (ebay) - $40
3/4DD steering shaft (3ft) - Gearhead Motors (ebay) - $26
Hayden 16" electric fan - ebay - $70
68-72 GM radiator cushions - ebay - $20
Lower rad hose, Gates p/n 22433 - Orielly's - $20
Steering column, 32" tilt, column shift - Gearhead Motors (ebay) - $180
Lokar shift rod - ebay - $80
Drop spindles - ebay - $130
Upper ball joints - Rock auto - $20
Fuel pump, rotary vane - Oreillys - $80

I also use mid 90's (square body) Ford explorer "plate style" trans coolers to handle transmission cooling duties. These are the same thing that B&M sells for $200... - junkyard - $20

Obviously there are some choices to be made here. I chose a column shift, to replace upper ball joints, use drop spindles, and use the S10 tank with an in-line fuel pump. I have dealt with many builds with lots of unique choices, and can cover them later in this thread.

Last edited by skymangs; 06-16-2014 at 09:56 PM.
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:54 PM   #3
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Now we get to the meat and potatoes of how this build works. Attached you will see my frame swap cab stands, complete with measurements and pics so they can be duplicated for your build. The following schematic is for 47-50 cabs. These were center mount cabs, you will need to weld a 6"x6" 1/4" plate on the bottom of the floor on each side to re-enforce the floor for the new cab stands.

If you have a 51-54 cab, you will need to remove 1/2" from the "above frame" portion of the rear cab stands and add a 1/2" delron spacer above the stock S10 body mount (this fits between the factory floor braces)

I bend the lower legs out at a 15deg. angle to decrease stress on the side of the frame

both these use the stock S10 body mount bushings above the cab stands.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:03 PM   #4
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Next is the placement of those cab stands.

Front cab stands - measure 2 1/8th" forward of the oval frame hole just behind the flare of the frame (right behind front wheel). Scribe a vertical line. This will mark the rear edge of the front cab stand.

Rear cab stands - measure 10 1/2" from the rear of the 5/8" round frame hole, or 33 1/4" behind the rear edge of the front cab stand. Scribe a vertical line, this will be the front edge of your rear cab stand.

Note. If you are putting together a longbed (123" wb.) use the 33 1/4" measurement for your rear cab stand.
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:20 PM   #5
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Core support is next. First pics are a modified Chevy support, last several are GMC support. I use 3/16" plate, bent at a 90deg. angle. I cut the support at the line above the two horizontal 5/16" bolt holes. I bend an 18ga. sheet into a 4" channel the width of the core support, weld it to the bottom, and install the 68-72 cushions.

Then I mock up the fenders, core support, and hood. using a floor jack I adjust the core support height until the hood aligns proplerly with the fenders.

Then I weld my brackets to the core support, and drill 5/16" holes through the top of the frame. using grade 8 bolts, washers, and lock-nuts, secure the core support to the frame.
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Old 02-29-2016, 09:16 AM   #6
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Quote:
Originally Posted by skymangs View Post
Core support is next. First pics are a modified Chevy support, last several are GMC support. I use 3/16" plate, bent at a 90deg. angle. I cut the support at the line above the two horizontal 5/16" bolt holes. I bend an 18ga. sheet into a 4" channel the width of the core support, weld it to the bottom, and install the 68-72 cushions.

Then I mock up the fenders, core support, and hood. using a floor jack I adjust the core support height until the hood aligns proplerly with the fenders.

Then I weld my brackets to the core support, and drill 5/16" holes through the top of the frame. using grade 8 bolts, washers, and lock-nuts, secure the core support to the frame.
Can you plz go over the radiator section with me. I am like confused why did u buy another core support. I bought the 19 x22 radiator and it seem not to fit by milli meters lol. Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-10-2014, 11:44 AM   #7
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Quote:
Originally Posted by skymangs View Post
Next is the placement of those cab stands.

Front cab stands - measure 2 1/8th" forward of the oval frame hole just behind the flare of the frame (right behind front wheel). Scribe a vertical line. This will mark the rear edge of the front cab stand.

Rear cab stands - measure 10 1/2" from the rear of the 5/8" round frame hole, or 33 1/4" behind the rear edge of the front cab stand. Scribe a vertical line, this will be the front edge of your rear cab stand.

Note. If you are putting together a longbed (123" wb.) use the 33 1/4" measurement for your rear cab stand.

just want to make sure this applies to 117.9 in (2,995 mm) (reg. cab long bed chassis) I have a 1996 Chassis.
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Old 11-27-2014, 01:27 AM   #8
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Quote:
Originally Posted by skymangs View Post
Next is the placement of those cab stands.

Front cab stands - measure 2 1/8th" forward of the oval frame hole just behind the flare of the frame (right behind front wheel). Scribe a vertical line. This will mark the rear edge of the front cab stand.

Rear cab stands - measure 10 1/2" from the rear of the 5/8" round frame hole, or 33 1/4" behind the rear edge of the front cab stand. Scribe a vertical line, this will be the front edge of your rear cab stand.

Note. If you are putting together a longbed (123" wb.) use the 33 1/4" measurement for your rear cab stand.

I have been trying to figure this out, and something must be different on my frame. It's a 84 s-10, 117", std cab, long bed. I keep coming up with 34 3/4", not the 33 1/4". Is it possible my older frame had the holes in different spots?
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Old 11-27-2014, 12:11 PM   #9
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Re: S10 Swap how to

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Originally Posted by Garyhenrich View Post
I have been trying to figure this out, and something must be different on my frame. It's a 84 s-10, 117", std cab, long bed. I keep coming up with 34 3/4", not the 33 1/4". Is it possible my older frame had the holes in different spots?
I have an 84 frame at the shop. I'll do some measuring after the holiday.
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Old 06-17-2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Quote:
Originally Posted by skymangs View Post
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of how this build works. Attached you will see my frame swap cab stands, complete with measurements and pics so they can be duplicated for your build. The following schematic is for 47-50 cabs. These were center mount cabs, you will need to weld a 6"x6" 1/4" plate on the bottom of the floor on each side to re-enforce the floor for the new cab stands.

If you have a 51-54 cab, you will need to remove 1/2" from the "above frame" portion of the rear cab stands and add a 1/2" delron spacer above the stock S10 body mount (this fits between the factory floor braces)

I bend the lower legs out at a 15deg. angle to decrease stress on the side of the frame

both these use the stock S10 body mount bushings above the cab stands.
Thanks Chris for the hole measurements to put the S10 body mount bushings. Been waiting for them. Looking forward to whatever else you have to add to this thread. Thanks, Clay
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:33 PM   #11
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Ok... I forgot to add an important bit of info that took me a while to dig up. S10 frames are factory wax coated. The more you grind to clean up for welding, the more it works the wax into the pores... This make for horrible welds, and piss poor penetration. I douse the center section of the frame rails Muriatic acid, let it sit for 15 min, then neutralize the acid with Ammonia. Finishing up by rinsing everything off with water.

BE SURE TO USE A RESPERATOR and RUBBER GLOVES WHEN WORKING WITH THESE!

The muriatic acid eats the wax, the ammonia neutralizes the acid, and the water dilutes the ammonia... This will give you a nice clean impurity free surface to weld on. Now go crazy with the flap disk prepping for welds.
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Old 06-17-2014, 09:42 PM   #12
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Once you've scribed your lines on the frame, go ahead and TACK your cab stands in place. I say TACK because if you seam weld them, inevitably you will have screwed something up, and have to cut and move them. I generally do 6 tack welds per stand, 4 on the top (of the frame rail) and 2 near the bottom of the stand. you need to be sure you get enough weld to handle the weight of the cab.

Next set the cab on, I use 1/2" x4.5" bolts for the front, and 1/2" x 4" bolts for the rear (51-54 cabs need 4.5" bolts front and rear). Use the 2 front bolts to center the cab.

On the 47-54 cabs, you will need to drill a 1/2" hole for the new mounts. I drill a pilot (3/16") from underneath, using the stand/S10 cab mount to help me center it, then drill the remainder from inside the cab.

On the 51-54 cabs, your mount should align with the inner hole for the factory shackle mount. You will need to open this hole from 3/8" to 1/2".

I re-use the S10 convex washers and rubber isolators under the cab stand with 1/2" Nylock nuts.

On that note, I use lock-nuts on EVERYTHING when I put one of these together. Remember if it gets hot, use all steel (oval) locknuts
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Old 06-27-2014, 10:43 AM   #13
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Skymangs, thanks for the details! I was literally planning on making my cab stands/frame mounts today, using 4x4 tubing, with a bracket to leave 3.5" clearance on the front and 3 3/4 on the rear, plus stock s10 pads.

My question is, your plans show 3 1/4 on the front, and 4 inches on the rear plus stock s10 pads, how much clearance do you have for the transmission? or do you fab up a trans tunnel?
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Old 11-13-2014, 04:36 PM   #14
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Quote:
Originally Posted by skymangs View Post
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of how this build works. Attached you will see my frame swap cab stands, complete with measurements and pics so they can be duplicated for your build. The following schematic is for 47-50 cabs. These were center mount cabs, you will need to weld a 6"x6" 1/4" plate on the bottom of the floor on each side to re-enforce the floor for the new cab stands.

If you have a 51-54 cab, you will need to remove 1/2" from the "above frame" portion of the rear cab stands and add a 1/2" delron spacer above the stock S10 body mount (this fits between the factory floor braces)

I bend the lower legs out at a 15deg. angle to decrease stress on the side of the frame

both these use the stock S10 body mount bushings above the cab stands.
In both of your drawings the rear stand is 3/4in taller than the front. Am I understanding correctly that these are for the 47-50 cabs? Then on a 51-54 cab the rear stand would be 1/4in taller than the front? Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 11-22-2015, 09:28 PM   #15
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Quote:
Originally Posted by skymangs View Post
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of how this build works. Attached you will see my frame swap cab stands, complete with measurements and pics so they can be duplicated for your build. The following schematic is for 47-50 cabs. These were center mount cabs, you will need to weld a 6"x6" 1/4" plate on the bottom of the floor on each side to re-enforce the floor for the new cab stands.

If you have a 51-54 cab, you will need to remove 1/2" from the "above frame" portion of the rear cab stands and add a 1/2" delron spacer above the stock S10 body mount (this fits between the factory floor braces)

I bend the lower legs out at a 15deg. angle to decrease stress on the side of the frame

both these use the stock S10 body mount bushings above the cab stands.
In the above post, Chris has stated to remove 1/2" from the stand if you have a 51-54 cab and use a 1/2" delron spacer. In May, before the accident, I was talking with Chris via e-mail and he stated he was not using the delron any longer and was using an early camaro radiator mounting and gave me the link that shows the item.

ww.ebay.com/itm/70-71-72-73-74-75-76-77-78-79-80-81-Camaro-Radiator-Mount-Isolators-Cushions-NEW-/4008265526

Has anyone used these and/or what do you know about these? Thanks, Clay
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Old 11-22-2015, 09:30 PM   #16
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Well the link didn't post.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/70-71-72-73-...1fd12d&vxp=mtr
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:40 PM   #17
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Those you have linked are for the radiator Not the cab if I understand you correctly. The rear cab mounts need a spacer to clear the U brace that runs underneath the back. I thought I remember Chris posting that he was using the S10 core support bushings because they would fit into the U brace without modification. They were narrower.
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:59 PM   #18
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Re: S10 Swap how to

Thanks Jeff, for your quick response. I can send you the e-mail from Chris that he sent me when I ask about this very thing. I thought he was talking about some small round support but this is the link he sent me. Yes, in my opinion, the S10 support is still used and these are in addition. First the cab stand then the S10 support and then these or the delron spacer to go in that space you are calling the "U brace".

I was hoping someone that had done this could comment about using these mounts. Thanks again, Clay
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Old 04-13-2016, 11:34 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skymangs View Post
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of how this build works. Attached you will see my frame swap cab stands, complete with measurements and pics so they can be duplicated for your build. The following schematic is for 47-50 cabs. These were center mount cabs, you will need to weld a 6"x6" 1/4" plate on the bottom of the floor on each side to re-enforce the floor for the new cab stands.

If you have a 51-54 cab, you will need to remove 1/2" from the "above frame" portion of the rear cab stands and add a 1/2" delron spacer above the stock S10 body mount (this fits between the factory floor braces)

I bend the lower legs out at a 15deg. angle to decrease stress on the side of the frame

both these use the stock S10 body mount bushings above the cab stands.
Will this mounts fit a 1987 s10 chassis using a 1957 cab and long bed, also Do you sale this mounts?
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:15 PM   #20
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Re: S10 Swap how to

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Will this mounts fit a 1987 s10 chassis using a 1957 cab and long bed, also Do you sale this mounts?
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57 cab would need different mounts this is for the 47-54 advanced design trucks
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Old 04-13-2016, 12:18 PM   #21
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57 cab would need different mounts this is for the 47-54 advanced design trucks
Do you know if theirs a thread for help with the 1957 trucks to s10 chassis swaps?
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Old 06-16-2014, 09:58 PM   #22
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Re: S10 Swap how to

I check out the entire front end before anything goes on it. Most of the time they get upper/lower ball joints, sometimes upper a-frame bushings, and outer tie rod ends. About $150 in parts or so. I never let an unsafe truck into the daylight!
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Old 06-16-2014, 10:24 PM   #23
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Re: S10 Swap how to

More on this subject to follow within the next few days, I have lots to add to this thread still, and I'm sure there will be some questions.
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Old 11-10-2014, 10:31 AM   #24
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Re: S10 Swap how to

I own 2 55 chevy belair and now bought a 1952 4 window truck out of a chicken house,,it's been there 29 years. I am trying to make up my mind on which way to go with this truck..I do know i want a fuel inj engine and 4L60E,,I do know I want an independent front sup,,I have begun reading all the info on this site and still confussed..Which is the best way to go,,,change frames,,clip frontend,,what??Help,,
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Old 11-11-2014, 09:34 AM   #25
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Re: S10 Swap how to

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I own 2 55 chevy belair and now bought a 1952 4 window truck out of a chicken house,,it's been there 29 years. I am trying to make up my mind on which way to go with this truck..I do know i want a fuel inj engine and 4L60E,,I do know I want an independent front sup,,I have begun reading all the info on this site and still confussed..Which is the best way to go,,,change frames,,clip frontend,,what??Help,,
Bauto, I would recommend that to repost this great question as a new thread, you may get better responses if if we're not in this how to frame swap thread.
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