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S10 V8 Engine Swap, Part 1

From the crew at

S10 Hero Shot
It’s no secret that the Chevy S-10 is one of the most popular minis in our scene to cut up and lay flat on the ground. For many of us it’s also the daily driver that gets us from Point A to Point B, unfortunately it came from the factory with a puny little four-cylinder or an equally unimpressive six-cylinder engine that tends to have a hard time getting out of its own way.

While a V-8 swap isn’t entirely rare in the second generation S-10s, it’s never been easier to accomplish thanks to Stylin’ Trucks and their new line of GM crate motors as well as transmissions and accessories. Their one-stop shopping experience removes the hassles of hunting down parts by placing everything within a few clicks on your computer.

Some may take the “bigger is better” approach when doing a motor swap in their truck, but with today’s gas prices at an all time high that may not be the most economical strategy. Stylin’ Trucks carries up to the 383-stroker motors if that’s your poison, but they also carry several more fuel-efficient GM crate motors.

The project that we’ve selected for a motor swap is our ’97 S-10. Our approach to this won’t be huge horsepower and quarter-mile times though, for this project we’re going to shoot for fuel economy and freeway cruising. This is, after all, a California cruiser that will see plenty of SoCal highways over the next few years.

In order to achieve our desired fuel economy we’ve chosen a modest 5.7L crate engine from the Stylin’ Trucks Web site, but we’re going to mate it with some goodies like electronic fuel injection and an overdrive transmission. These components will combine to increase the overall fuel economy.

The GM crate engine (P/N 10067353) features a four-bolt main and two-piece rear main seal. A modest 8.5:1 compression and mild cam net approximately 260 HP from this GM block. We’ll be mating it to a Street Fighter 700R4 transmission from TCI, which provides the convenience of an overdrive automatic transmission for our highway runner.

Topping off our block is the Thruster electronic fuel injection system from Accel. This system is designed to work with a wide variety of engines that range from mild to wild and includes a fuel injection system and wide band O2 sensors as well as all of the necessary wiring harnesses. The Accel EFI is laptop programmable and promises unmatched drivability for our S-10 project.

Within the next few issues we will document the step-by-step process of removing the puny four-cylinder that is currently inhabiting our engine bay and replacing it with the 5.7L GM performance crate engine. For now we’ll leave you with a preview of the parts we will use in the upcoming V-8 engine swap.

GM Crate Engine
The GM crate engine shows up from Stylin’ Trucks just as you’d expect, in a wooden crate.
GM Crate Engine
It features a four-bolt main and two-piece rear main seal. A modest 8.5:1 compression and mild cam net approximately 260 HP from this GM block.
GM Crate Engine
Our crate engine will be topped with an Accel Thruster electronic fuel injection system, which consists of the manifold, fuel injection system, wide band O2 sensors, and all of the necessary wiring harnesses and computers.
GM Crate Engine
Painless wiring’s chassis harness will remove any guesswork when wiring up the new small-block. A torque converter lock up kit will also be installed with the TCI 700R4 transmission.
GM Crate Engine
A set of ceramic-coated Hedman headers will be bolted to the block to expel the spent gasses. These shorty headers will definitely add a few horsepower as well as some fuel economy, which is ultimately what we’re after.
GM Crate Engine
A TCI Street Fighter 700R4 transmission will provide the convenience of an overdrive automatic transmission in our project S-10. TCI beefs up their 700R4 internal components to combat any threat of failure under extreme conditions.

Stay tuned for future stories as the crew at StreetTrucks Magazine begin pulling out the sorry four-cylinder and swapping in the new 5.7L V-8 and additional components.

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