After our V-8 conversion guide and the buildup of the 350-cid crate motor at Joe Sherman Racing, we figured it was time to stop teasing you, put the finishing touches on our small-block, and swap it into an S-10. We used a mock-up motor (and transmission donor) to test-fit clearance, build the motor mounts, figure out the header and exhaust clearance, and get some of the main fabrication work out of the way without harming the new motor. We then moved to the next level by installing the new engine and adding some accessories. We bolted on a full Billet Specialties arsenal, including an air cleaner, water pump pulley, crankshaft pulley, alternator bracket, and valve covers. We outfitted the engine with some of the finest street-rod engine accessories to really make it gleam whenever the hood is popped.
With the motor mounts built, we placed the engine between the framerails and installed a pair of Advanced Adapters Slick Fit headers and Accel Extreme 9,000 plug wires to see what space issues we needed to address. Our S-10 is not the norm because a previous shop needlessly cut out the entire firewall. Since we wanted a completely smooth firewall, and 22-inch rims already posed enough problems of their own, Bobby from Sadistic Ironwerks was able to accommodate our specifications by building a new firewall. This is not necessary, however, with a general engine swap. Depending on the engine placement, you may only need minor firewall modifications. We also picked up a sturdier rearend with disc brakes from our local junkyard, California Mini-Truck Dismantlers, to help us get the most out of our new motor.
Before: This is the clutter and anemic power of a stock S-10 motor.
After: The engine swap cleaned up the engine bay and added real street power to the S-10.
After the exhaust, firewall, rearend, and final engine assembly were taken care of, we installed an aluminum radiator and dual fans from Summit Racing to make sure our S-10 would run cool. With the radiator in place and the motor ready to see some street mileage, the final step was to wire it up using the Painless Performance wiring kit and feed fuel to the power-hungry engine. For more information, contact the companies listed in the source box.
Accel Performance Products
(Accel Extreme 9,000 plug wires)
10601 Memphis Ave., Ste. 12
Cleveland, OH 44144
(complete billet hot-rod engine dress-up, alternator bracket, and pulleys)
500 Shawmut Ave.
La Grange, IL 60526
California Mini-Truck Dismantlers
4002 State St.
Montclair, CA 91763
Caps Brite Hot Coatings
(header and exhaust coating)
4460 S. Chestnut Ave.
Fresno, CA 93725
(hydraulic roller camshaft, Magnum roller rockers, conical springs)
3406 Democrat Rd.
Memphis, TN 38118
Joe Sherman Racing
(engine build and dyno)
2302 W. Second St.
Santa Ana, CA 92703
(18-circuit universal harness)
9505 Santa Paula Dr.
Fort Worth, TX 76116
(Cyclone intake manifold and 8-inch harmonic balancer)
12705 S. Van Ness Ave
Hawthorne, CA 90250
Quick Fuel Technology
2352 Russellville Rd.
Bowling Green, KY 42101
Sadistic Iron Werks
(installation and fabrication)
15058 Birch St.
Hesperia, CA 92345
Shaver Racing Heads
(Pro Topline 906 cylinder heads)
25950 Belle Porte Ave., Ste. 1
Harbor City, CA 90710
Specialty Auto Parts U.S.A. Inc.
(Alternator, starter, and HEI distributor)
P.O. Box 306
Roseville, MI 48066
(Radiator assembly and engine parts)
P.O. Box 909
Akron, OH 44309
1. To begin the swap, the old engine was removed. The driveshaft was unbolted, along with
2. Since we were building our own engine mounts, the easiest way to center the engine in t
3. Once we had all the measurements of exactly where the engine would need to be mounted,
4. The bolt holes were measured using the corresponding bushing, and then marked and drill
5. The sides of the mounts were rounded to clean up the appearance of the overall engine m
6. Here's a look at the three pieces that will become a motor mount.
7. After double-checking all his measurements, Bobby welded the mount together.
8. The mount was welded to the frame on all sides to support the weight of the 350-cid sma
9. The engine mount is made from a 1/4-inch-thick steel triangle, which was traced and is
10. After all the mounts were built and welded together, we dropped our mock-up motor back
11. We bolted on the Advanced Adapters Slick Fit headers to check the clearance of the mot
12. Once the mounts were in place, the new motor was bolted to the frame so we could finis
13. Not only did we want our motor to run good, we also wanted it to look the part. We con
14. The pulleys are an important but often overlooked aspect of engines. When strength cou
15. Next, we installed a Billet Specialties crankshaft pulley featuring the same high-qual
16. To add to the character of our motor, we decided on a Billet Specialties flamed, oval
17. The alternator bracket from Billet Specialties includes easy-to-read instructions that
18. With the alternator installed, the engine really began to take shape.
19. We chose Accel Extreme 9,000 spark plug wires because our headers were a tight fit and
20. The wires come ready for a custom-fit application, so you can install and cut them to
21. With the motor complete, we could now check for any clearance issues at the firewall.
22. After taking all the necessary measurements, including the tranny tunnel height, Bobby
23. The easiest way to cut out a shape with a plasma-cutter is to make a template using 18
24. When the template is flipped over, it will stand up off the surface of the metal, maki
25. After the firewall was cut, it was fit to the opening, tacked at all corners, and then
26. The cooling system was taken care of with a Summit Racing aluminum radiator designed s
27. We then mounted the electric fans, which came as a kit with the radiator.
28. Since we ditched the old fuel system and engine computer and were going with the simpl
29. With the motor swap, our truck is just begging to be driven. Keep a look out for more