There comes a time when modifying the stock engine, the frame, or the suspension just isn't enough. A four-cylinder engine can be beefed up to a point, but at the end of the day, it's still a four-cylinder. That's why motor builds and swaps are regularly an answer to the unquenchable need for power. When building an S-10, these are simple solutions to the truly lacking power of the stock 2.2L four-cylinder engine. With so many S-10s in the mini-truck scene, it takes some serious modification to stand out from all the rest, and an engine swap will definitely help you make some headway.
In our second installment of our V-8 conversion, we're going to deal with the buildup of a Chevy crate motor. Any engine buildup can quickly become expensive, and since it's going to take some major work to put the motor in the S-10, we weren't about to go all out and spend an extra $8,000 to build a "top fuel" 350-cid motor.We found a GM Goodwrench 350-cid four-bolt main crate motor that our friend Josh Smith was willing to part with. Lucky for us, we found Joe Sherman of Joe Sherman Racing to build the engine. Winner of Hot Rod magazine's Engine Builder Challenge, Joe can really make a crate motor sing. We weren't after an overbuilt race engine, but were more concerned with making dependable power to the tune of about 350 hp.
To help make this possible, we contacted Competition Cams, Professional Products, Proform, Shaver Racing, and Quick Fuel Technology to help us outfit our crate motor. For the valvetrain, we used a Competition Cams hydraulic roller camshaft with roller rockers and conical springs. Professional Products supplied a polished intake manifold and an 8-inch harmonic balancer. Proform provided us with a chrome alternator, a chrome starter, a billet HEI distributor, chromed aluminum valve covers, and hardware. Next, we picked up some cast-iron Pro Topline 906 cylinder heads from Shaver Racing. Quick Fuel contributed its 650-cfm carburetor to feed our 350. Once Joe had all the parts in hand, it was time to do what he does best - build a kick-ass motor guaranteed to make our S-10 run mean, but reliable enough to drive on the freeway at 85 mph to shows nationwide. We'll worry about the smog and registration later - maybe the Governator will help change California's smog laws by then. For more information, contact the companies listed in the source box.