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Old 11-19-2010, 11:27 AM   #1
shaunatk
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My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

I'm just going to copy and paste my posts from ls1tech.com.

Now that we have reached the point of figuring out how we're going to mount the LSx into my truck, I figured I'd start a build thread.

My father purchased this truck several years ago, and the body panels had been sitting in the corner of his shop that entire time. It was bought from a local farm, and the body overall is in terrific condition considering it's age. There needs to be some slight patching in the front corners of the cab, but other than that the rest of the cab is in excellent shape. The bed is in pretty good shape, I've purchased a new tailgate and a front panel, but the original bed sides and even the original steel bed floor (GMC's didn't have wood floors) is in good enough condition to be restored without too much work. The biggest issues with the body are going to be the fenders, because there is a lot of bondo on the passenger fender, and while I haven't looked at the rear fenders much yet, I think there's going to be a lot of work put into them.

The original chassis for the truck was non-existent, and so we planned on mounting the body on a 80's s-10 frame. A few years ago, a frame was purchased, disassembled, and sandblasted. When I purchased the truck from my father, I happened across a 2003 S-10 chassis that only had 40k miles on it, so I purchased it for $250 and am going to use it instead, because I don't have to disassemble it, and replace all of the components. I figured I'd save myself some time and lots of money by doing this.

We have averaged 3 weekends a month, beginning in April working on the truck. All of these weekends so far have been devoted to getting the cab and the front sheet metal mounted to the frame, while keeping the body panel alignment as close as possible. This is a lot easier said then done, because unlike the AD trucks (47+), the front end on my truck has what seems like 15 separate pieces of sheet metal.

Here we are in the early stages of figuring out how we're going to mount this to the frame:



Thank god for the car lift in my dad's shop. We just put the arms through the windows, and move around the frame underneath to get everything centered. Tons of time was spent ensuring that we could mount the cab and the front end as low as possible on the frame.




Fenders attached to the cab, and the fronts of them held up with bungee cords. During this time, we didn't even know how the truck assembled together, so lots of time was put into this.



Finally, the front end is put together, and everything is held up with bungee cords. Nothing aligns very well either.



One of my biggest concerns is making sure the wheels are positioned properly within the wheel well. I'm still nervous about it, but having looked at hundreds of photos, I think we've got it right. Plus, the fender is sort of misshaped, and the front will be pulled in slightly.



I had decided at one point to use a standard SBC, with a 700R4 transmission, so we fabricated mounts, and a new transmission cross member. But, I figured since we were using a modern chassis, why not use a modern fuel injected engine? So that was a wasted weekend.



Here you can see how tight the clearance is between the frame rails and the very back of the fenders. We might end up having to very slightly modify the backs of the fenders, but that'll be easier than modifying the frame rails.




We got really tired of taking the front end apart over and over again, so we came up with a solution to simplify things!

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Old 11-19-2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Here's the radiator we used. I don't remember the exact measurements, but I want to say 19"x21"? Or 19" x 22".




Major modifications had to be made to the core support. The core support happens to mount RIGHT on top of the power steering box. We had to make our own fittings to that they would fit underneath, and will be making our own lines when the time comes. You can see the tight clearance here (again, it's so tight because we are trying to keep everything as low as possible).



And here's how it mounts to the frame (final welding has not been done yet)



We extremely modified the core support as well so that we could mount the radiator, and be able to get to the cap and so that the radiator would actually fit. We had to weld studs to the sides, because a bolt head will not longer fit inside because of clearance issues. Overall, I think it turned out great.

Just starting:


And finished:



Now that we have the front end mounted, and all of the panels lined up, it was time to finally mount the cab (which was suspended in air this entire time by the lift.

Before:



Here are the body mounts we created (short ones for the front, tall ones for the rear)



And here is the truck rolling around for the first time in probably decades! (this was an exciting moment, even though we still need to mount the running boards and the bed)





My 5 month pregnant wife (our first child) approves! (she's now 9 months)



Here's me pretending to drive it



First time I've actually opened the door on this thing. It didn't open well with the cab sitting on the floor of the barn for all these years, and we couldn't open it with it hanging on the lift



From a distance it looks better



Now it's time to tear it apart again, and start mounting the LSx


Last edited by shaunatk; 11-19-2010 at 11:41 AM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:28 AM   #3
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Time to test fit the LSx



Uh oh, truck manifolds aren't going to work. Truck oil pan is waaaay too low. A/C compressor (I don't have one now, but I will eventually) is going to be a major problem.

Not to mention, the way this thing mounts is completely different than the SBC. We knew it would be, but when we put this in between the frame rails, we were really scratching our heads.

We designed a mount for the passenger side that we are having fabricated, and if it works out we'll be using a similar design on the other side.

In the mean time, I am trying to modify my harness myself, which is something I've never done before.

I've been asked before why I don't use S10 V8 swap products, and the reason is because the engine sits further back in my truck than on an S10.

My long term goal for this truck is to have a show quality truck, with all of the modern ammenities. I want to be able to park next to a friend of mines truck at a car show, and not be completely outclassed.

(his is a 53 on an S-10 chassis)



I do plan on going about it a different way though. I want to get my truck running and driveable within the next 6 months, because with my first child on the way I am going to be sidetracked. If I can get in the truck and drive it around when I want to, the urge to give up will be lessened. So phase one of the build consists of getting it mounted, throwing together an interior, doing rough body work and getting it in primer, and start driving it. And then begin upgrading the truck in phases.

I do have 2" beltech lowering springs, 2" beltech drop spindles, 2" de-arched leaf springs, and 2" lowering blocks waiting for installation, so this truck should be sitting pretty low. 20"x12" wheels in the back, and 20" x 8" in the front are what I am planning.




Lots of work to be done though. And school starting again in 2 weeks. And of course, the baby in 4 months. Plus a demanding full time job...
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:30 AM   #4
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Here is one of my inspirations:



Mine won't be as low, because I'm not going with air ride at this point, and I plan on having a chrome front bumper.

Wife wants me to paint it the same color as the new green camaros:



But we'll see...
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:31 AM   #5
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

We decided to put the steering column on hold while we think about how we want to mount it to the dashboard, and wait for some consulting from a friend.

The best S10 frame for these trucks is a regular cab frame, because the wheelbase is almost a perfect match. The frame I purchased is an extended cab S10 frame, with a frame that is 5" longer (couldn't pass it up because of it's low mileage and for the first phase of the build, it's perfect because I don't have to rebuild the suspension).

Here's some pics:

Before (bed is just resting on the frame for now):



During:




After (still needs some welding, and we'll be boxing in the weld for strength):

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Old 11-19-2010, 11:31 AM   #6
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Just a quick update:

Didn't get a ton done this last weekend, not only is my wife having our first child, it seems like everyone else we know is having a kid, so my Sunday was spent at a "couples" shower for some friends of our's...

Anyways, on Sunday we put the truck on the lift so we could finish welding the frame and, and did a lot of cleanup work on my terrible cutting job (from when I removed all of the stock S10 brackets from the frame).

Now that the frame is shortened, we are going to mount the bed. The bed has a 100% original steel floor, which hasn't rotted at all. It even still has some paint left on the bottom of it. Problem is, it is bent a bit, and the metal is stretched, so the floor has to go. I was hoping it would be easy, but of course, it is not. The floor is spot welded to the bed sides, every three inches. The snap-on spot weld cutter I was using broke on the fourth spot weld.

So, Saturday I hope to spend the day getting the bed taken apart. I have already purchased a new tailgate and a new front panel for it, and we welded a support in the middle to hold it all together temporarily. What I am wanting to do is install a wood bed floor, using natural maple with chrome strips, but that will be a while. We can mount the bed without the floor.

HOPEFULLY....emphasis on hopefully....we will have the bed ROUGHLY mounted on Sunday.

Then comes the running boards, which HOPEFULLY won't be a big deal, just get them in place, cut the original mounts, and weld them to the frame.

I am excited as hell to see this thing roll outside with every body piece mounted on a frame. It will be the first time, even when my father bought it it was in pieces.

Here's some pictures:

Up on the lift (yes, the barn is a mess. Three project cars not including mine, equipment to maintain 5 acres, enough tools and parts to build a few cars, or a house, a giant heater that burns used motor oil, and a big tank to hold the oil, etc.):



Front passenger cab corner, one of two spots on the truck that needs metal patching (excluding fenders, those are a little jacked...):



Drivers side front corner, the other spot that needs metal patching. You can also see the front cab mounts:



Here's how the rear cab moutns are designed:



Here's where we cut the frame, after lots of welding and grinding. We will also be plating the sides where we cut through the frame:



Here's the bottom of the bed floor:



And another picture of the frame work:



Random picture of my custom transmission crossmember undergoing modifications after I chose to switch to the LSx (old picture, it's since been finished)

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Old 11-19-2010, 11:32 AM   #7
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Sorry for the lack of updates, have been very busy prepping for the baby (due in one month!), slammed at work, and writing papers for school.

Fortunately, I have been still sacrificing my weekends in order to work on my truck, and have made a little bit of progress.

I succeeded in removing the old, stubborn steel bed floor, and the original front bed panel that was bent to hell:



Finally got to install new sheet metal on her, been waiting to do that for a long time.



Now that we have the bed squared up pretty good, we begin brainstorming how to mount it, and come up with this:

L shaped steel on each bed side, upside down (I know, it's hard to see in the pic)



And then this unistrut steel, which we will weld to the L brackets, and will then mount them to the frame.



Turns out, we'll only be raising the bed floor about two inches, which will barely be noticeable. I decided to use maple wood for the floor, but that will be a while.

We're taking this weekend off, but hopefully next weekend we'll have the bed fully mounted, and then we'll have to re-drill the mounting holes for the rear fenders (we moved the bed forward, there's maybe 1/4" gap between the back of the cab and front of the bed), and mount the running boards.

We did come across a problem with our frame shortening, we didn't go short enough. Instead of cutting the frame again, we're going to just move the axle forward in the leaf springs a couple of inches.

Getting closer to seeing it all together for the first time!



Keep in mind, the truck is in the air slightly in the image above, once it is sitting on the ground, it is pretty low even with the suspension height being stock.

Every effort was made to mount the body as low as we possibly could onto the frame, and with clearances as small as millimeters, we have achieved that.

Last edited by shaunatk; 11-19-2010 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:40 AM   #8
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

And just to answer the question, yes putting this truck on an S10 chassis is a pain. I always read the AD truck owners talking about how easy it is and that it can be done in a couple of weekends, I'd had to see their body alignment.

It'd be quicker to use the stock frame, and install an aftermarket IFS. Unfortunately, my truck didn't include a stock frame.

The extra work will pay off though, because the yellow truck I posted a picture of has an awesome ride.
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:43 AM   #9
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

And I am hoping to finish the bed, rear fenders, and running boards Thanksgiving weekend, and then we'll start working on the floor and mounting the steering column, and then the inner fender parts.

My header and steering shaft clearance is going to be a nightmare...definitely dreading that.
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Old 11-30-2010, 01:24 PM   #10
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

I really like what you're doing with the truck! Lots of hard work I can tell, I applaud you for keeping it up. Looks like you have most of the "hard" (it's all hard isn't it?) work done.

I've got a 64 short fleet, but my dad has a 46 Chevy Pickup that is mostly original. It has a later model straight 6 (235) in it, and it might have a slightly newer trans as well. Right now, it's a driver, good for putting to the store and stuff. Anyway, we've been throwing the idea around of putting an IFS in it, and making it a bit more drive-able. We definitely don't have the skills, tools, or time to go as big with the project as you...but I thought you might be able to recommend something aftermarket that isn't a major PIA?

Good luck completing your project, it's gonna be SICK when it's all done, not many of those trick 46's around!
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Old 11-30-2010, 02:20 PM   #11
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Thanks for the compliment. We are starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel as far as mounting everything, hopefully the bed will be ready this weekend, then the running boards will be relatively simple. So, hopefully in the next 2 weeks it will all be mou ted, just in time for my wife to give birth and for the weather to become extremely cold, so I may be taking a break for a little while (probably build the transmission and ready the engine during this time).

As far as your truck, I never really looked into it, but the aftermarket front suspension kits seem extremely easy to install; soi would go that route (opposed to attaching, say a stock mustang 2)
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Old 11-30-2010, 03:44 PM   #12
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Nice work you're doing. Thanks for sharing all the pics.
I like the simple but effective cab mounts.
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:22 PM   #13
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Project has been derailed a bit:



Had our first child on 12/12, but now that things are starting to settle down, I am hoping to get closer to finishing the bed this weekend. All we need to do is a little bit of welding, and then it's time to take the unassembled bed to the media blaster and start prepping it for paint. Also, I found a wood worker who is going to make my bed floor for me for $15 an hour, plus the cost of materials.

I'm hoping to use natural maple for the floor (going for a modern look), and then stainless strips with hidden screws.

Anybody have anything creative for the strips, without having to spend an arm and a leg for something from chevsofthe40's or something?

A buddy of mine used these (waiting for him to get back to me and tell me what he used, I remember them being inexpensive though)


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Old 12-23-2010, 02:33 PM   #14
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Hey, congrats!! Boy or Girl?
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Old 12-23-2010, 02:48 PM   #15
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

congrats... and great truck build!
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Old 12-23-2010, 03:36 PM   #16
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by 63 & 64 Bowties View Post
Hey, congrats!! Boy or Girl?
Thanks!

It's a girl, named her Lillian Grace.
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Old 12-23-2010, 04:53 PM   #17
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

coangrats man! hope you teach her young have her help with the 46
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Old 12-27-2010, 10:44 AM   #18
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

congrats on your new little helper, nice build & keep us posted
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Old 01-15-2011, 07:32 AM   #19
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

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Old 01-19-2011, 02:42 PM   #20
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by shaunatk View Post
Project has been derailed a bit:



Had our first child on 12/12, but now that things are starting to settle down, I am hoping to get closer to finishing the bed this weekend. All we need to do is a little bit of welding, and then it's time to take the unassembled bed to the media blaster and start prepping it for paint. Also, I found a wood worker who is going to make my bed floor for me for $15 an hour, plus the cost of materials.

I'm hoping to use natural maple for the floor (going for a modern look), and then stainless strips with hidden screws.

Anybody have anything creative for the strips, without having to spend an arm and a leg for something from chevsofthe40's or something?

A buddy of mine used these (waiting for him to get back to me and tell me what he used, I remember them being inexpensive though)



Congratulations,, !!
and good job too!
aka Novadude55

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Old 02-03-2011, 07:23 PM   #21
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

follow the dream..awesome truck!!!!! congrates on the baby
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Old 02-04-2011, 01:07 AM   #22
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

congratulations, it is amazing how much time they take... but it is so rewarding...
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Old 04-08-2011, 05:57 PM   #23
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by narx66gmc View Post
congratulations, it is amazing how much time they take... but it is so rewarding...
Is that the baby or the truck? Because it applies to both.lol

Congrats on the birth of your child and you are doing a great job on the truck.
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Old 04-09-2011, 02:51 PM   #24
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

Synergy Green Metallic would look awesome on one of these trucks!
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Old 04-14-2011, 07:50 PM   #25
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Re: My Project: 46 GMC on S10 Chassis with LSx Engine

I hope so!

I'm dying to get started on the truck again, but between my wife and I both working full time (she works three nights a week as a nurse, while I work 5 days a week during the day), I'm a full time college student (one year to go), and we're doing it all without any kind of steady babysitter, it's hard to find time to do much. Plus with various projects around the house, i'm really struggling to find time.

Hopefully, come June, we'll be hitting it hard for at least a while.
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