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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So my truck finally got afflicted with the curse that's been plaguing GM since 1955, I'm of course referring to the intake gasket. Mine held in there a lot longer than I thought(I bought it at 88K, I'm 122k now...so it might have been changed before.) This gasket is only $26 and pays 1.8h to do, so about 5 hours in my drive way with most of my time looking for tools in my dad's mess of a garage. If I don't change it, I'm looking at some seized/washed out bearings and a new motor.

My little Zr2 has the 4.3 V6 in it, for what it is it's a damn decent engine. But it's lacking the power to get my heavy 4x4 with 33s up and moving. And I'm averaging 14~15mpg on the highway, so I'm thinking if I don't fix the gasket now. Then in a month or so when my motor is dead and ruined I'll be forced to replace the engine, in which case I'll swap to an L31 Vortec 5.7 V8. Which all I will need to do is add a few wires, make some a few inches longer, and reprogram my computer to make it think it's a '96-03 full size truck. And aside from the wiring, all I would have to do is buy a different set of motor mounts, an oil pan designed to clear the front diff(the stock pan will, but it's close.) Finally cut a section out of the radiator/core support to mount the radiator where the AC condenser used to be, follow that up with some brackets to mount the condenser. I'd run manifolds instead of headers for the ease of installation...

I made that sound a little easy...because it is, I've done my first V810 when I was 15, and about 20 since then. This would be my first 4x4 though.

So my options are either spend ~3k and do the above(probably cheaper, but I like to have some "just in case" money) and have my truck down for a few weeks and have the improved economy, power, and sound. Or spend about $40 now and do the engine swap when I have the money.

Input?
 

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I'd save the money and just replace that part. Is that truck even worth 3k? I've never seen it so I don't know. Swap out for the bigger engine when you can afford it.
 

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Well unless you have a money tree out back there was a math lesson we had one day back in third grade 40<3000 :blink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I just did some more testing, I think I might be able to fix it with just a $7 cap.

I was having an over heating problem, and losing coolant somewhere...so naturally I just assumed it was going into the engine like they do on every other GM with this problem. But my oil is nice and clean, but inside my radiator is nasty and rusty looking. I'm used to the old white/green corrosion stuff from normal antifreeze. I'm not familiar enough with this dex-cool stuff to know if this rusty coloured stuff is a normal by-product.

I tested my cap and it barely held 1 PSI, and I can hear air escaping....so I know it's bad. I'm just not convinced it's the cause for my coolant loss.
 

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Might as well start with the simple stuff first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Might as well start with the simple stuff first.
I'm at the point of desperation now, where I'm just going to throw parts at it until it's fixed. But I'm going to start with the parts that are long over due for replacement first. I put a 'stat in it this morning because at first my temps would fluctuate from really low to over heating, so I assumed it was a sticking 'stat. But when I pulled it out the 'stat was rusted open. And I decided the fluctuating temp was low coolant making it's cycle.
 

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Most of the time, the leaking radiator cap is the culprit. What that does is allows air to get into the coolant system, since it is no longer sealed, and the coolant starts to boil, therefore you get the coolant loss and that rust colored residue. The coolant won't actually cool unless the system is sealed and the fan forces air through the fins of the radiator to make it do it's job as a heat exchanger. Just do the cap first and see if that fixes the problem. I think it will.
 

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I just went through my cooling system after a engine swap, racked my brain trying to figure out where the loss was, turns out it was the cap :cantlook: though I noticed tonight a faint smell of A-F when I got home...ugh!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just went through my cooling system after a engine swap, racked my brain trying to figure out where the loss was, turns out it was the cap :cantlook: though I noticed tonight a faint smell of A-F when I got home...ugh!
I'm still smelling coolant too, only when my ac/vent is on though. Which is why I'm thinking there is a leak somewhere else. I've lost too much coolant just from it boiling out....I think anyways.
 

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Well unless you have a money tree out back there was a math lesson we had one day back in third grade 40<3000 :blink:
True, but the question basically (the way I read it) asked "what would I do?".

I myself have wanted to do an S10 V8 conversion since I owned my 1987 S10. But I settled for a 1987 TA instead, sunk $12,000.00 into it, and then sold it this past Jan. after 6 years for a huge loss because my wife had spinal surgery, was off of work for 6 months, and we needed the money... family first.

Ya win some... Ya lose more.

If given the chance, I will do an S10 Conversion. Its not about the money, its the experience of completing the build. Yet being frugal is important.

It sounded as if Maaso has the money to do the conversion. The only thing that comes to my mind is, what are the body and chassis like on this truck? If it is beat up etc. I would not do the V8 conversion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
If given the chance, I will do an S10 Conversion. Its not about the money, its the experience of completing the build.
Here was my first one...when I was 15 or so.




And my body is 100% straight and perfect, except for this right here. Happened the day I bought it, outside of a gunstore. Luckily it just took out the bed, spared the cab corner and the expensive flare.



I got a busted door hinge too....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I'm a member of that forum, usually a bunch of idiots talking about how cool their clear tail lights are, or how to tuck 22 inch wheels under their truck. So I don't visit it often, I just use it for part numbers to save time at parts stores.
 

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kewl they don't like my yahoo adress,,but that hinge article is the best one i've ever seen anywhere,,
dont ya agree though that s-10 door hinges suck bad? i've had a few and the door hinges were always junk!
 
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