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eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/15/21 6:11 p.m.

In reply to HikerDan (Forum Supporter) :

Thank you.  I'll give that a shot, and will also try to track down a legible wiring diagram. 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/18/21 10:38 a.m.

Since the actual engine install is on hold, I am turning to other things, like the front suspension.  Parts for it should be here sometime today, so I that should commence this weekend.  The interior is in kind of a sorry state, though, and could start to use some work.

I did a little shopping in my garage and storage locker, and came up with all this:

The instrument panel is out of an old Jaguar Mark II, and I'd hoped to install it in a project some day, but the S10 dash would require major surgery for it to fit, and would interfere with the glove box when it is reinstalled.  The bezel below it, I think, is from a non-AC S10.  On the upper left is the non-AC controls.  Also on the left, are console warning lights from a Granada, a light switch from a Maverick, cigarette lighter and dimmer switch from who knows where, stereo wiring adapter (which may be useless, pretty sure the connector has been cut out of the S10), and a Ford-style starter solenoid.  I thought I had a switch panel with built in breakers, but could not find it.  I'm sure it'll turn up after all the work is done.

I think the first part of the plan will be to get the heater controls adapted and installed.  I'll need to figure out some wring, and I am hoping the vacuum lines will just switch over directly, but if it is losing the center vents, I would not be surprised if a little figuring out will need to be done.  As cool as the Jag instrument panel is, I don't think I am going to use it.  I am however, thinking of cutting up one of the S10 bezels and incorporating a single-din stereo, my coolant and oil temp gauges, and some of the switchgear from the Jag panel, just because it is so cool.

Also, there is a 2" hole in the firewall where the engine harness used to go.  The bulkhead connector I bought is too small, so I'll need to build a patch panel with a 1.75" hole for it to mount to.  I am going to try to make it a lot simpler to pull the engine, harness included, in the future.

 

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/18/21 2:22 p.m.

Good thing I started messing with the wiring, because I am not installing coilovers this weekend.  I'm pretty sure the rollers are supposed to stay inside the thrust bearing:

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/20/21 9:17 a.m.

I think I just didn't get good contact when testing the left backup light, as I was able to get continuity with it this morning, even after pulling every fuse related to the taillights, and the headlight switch.

I stumbled into making them disconnect, when I pulled all the light bulbs.  Putting one bulb back in seems to make the short return, and it doesn't seem to have to be the same bulb every time, so I think I need to just start pulling and unwrapping the harness.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/25/21 8:20 p.m.

Went back to working on the dash wiring for a bit.  The cut stereo harness was annoying, but I was able to unwrap some of the interior harness from the fireturd, so I should be able to graft it back together.  Hooray for hoarding.

Took a closer pic of the driver's side speaker.  That cannot have produced good audio quality.  I'll put some blade connectors on there.

I picked up a stereo from Crutchfield, and I think I am just going to install it with the adapter kit, and give up on the idea of a custom panel with my gauges and switchgear, just to keep this project from spiraling further out of control.  I still need to put the gauges somewhere more in my field of vision, but I have an idea, which takes me to the other progress I made:

I know it's a small thing, but it's so nice to have a functional set of controls in their panel, instead of the mangled HVAC controls I've been using.  This panel really isn't designed to be removed from the front.  I'm guessing it is a lot easier to connect and disconnect when the whole dash is outside the vehicle.  While I had it out, I replaced the burnt out bulbs.

Which takes me back to gauges - I think I am going to see if I can just mount them vertically next to the heater controls.  I'll need to make sure not to block the cigarette lighter, and I'll want to come up with a way to keep the wiring out of sight, but I think I can use the panel they are in now to mount them, and some sheet metal to build a cowling behind it to hide the wiring. 

Since I won't have a switch panel, I pulled a couple of switches from the Jag panel, and can mount them in a couple of blank spots above the headlight switch to the left of the instrument cluster.  One of them can control the driving lights, and the other, I don't know what it'll control yet.  I do want to put a switch in to disable the fuel pump, but I want to keep that hidden.

 

 

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
6/26/21 7:13 p.m.

A little progress this evening - ended up in a video game trance for most of the day, so didn't get much done.  Civ 6 is now deleted from my tablet once again.  I spliced in the stereo connector from the fireturd.  Took some contortions to get some things connected, as whoever removed the head unit from the S10 cut a bunch of the wires way back:

Still need to tape up the connections, just in case, then wrap it up so it looks a bit cleaner.  I also still need to hook up the adapter harness to the new head unit harness.  Not sure if I'll use the heat shrink connectors on it, too, or just throw it together with butt splices.  Either way, at least I can do that at a workbench, instead of twisted up under the dash.  Getting closer.

Thrust bearings for the coilovers are supposed to show up tomorrow.  Depending on when they arrive, I may switch over to the suspension.  Since the transmission crossmember is still on backorder, I am tempted to modify the factory one to at least keep everything in place until it gets here, so I can drop the engine in.  I just don't want to do that until the front suspension is dealt with.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/2/21 8:33 a.m.

You can take the car out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the car.  I started the coilover install last night, and removing the front driver's suspension led to quite a bit of sand getting dumped on the garage floor.  I've had this truck for 4.5 years, so had assumed most of the sand should be gone by now.  Guess I assumed wrong.

Started with this:

Pulling it apart wasn't too difficult, but getting the parts in was not easy.  I think following the instructions exactly for installing both the coilovers and the lower control arm is impossible, so I made several mistakes trying to get everything together.  I spent quite a bit of time with the dead blow hammer getting the control arm in.  Also, the bottom of one of the coilover springs actually tucks inward about an 1/8" of an inch or so, so I'll need to grind it a bit to make it fit.  I just used the other spring to get everything together.  Eventually ended up with this:

Ride height is the same before and after now, which was a little concerning since the coilover is on its lowest setting, until I remembered the 800-900 lbs of weight that will be added back on the front end.  With a lower spring rate, I will probably need to adjust them upwards to get the ride level.  I did not tighten the control arm bolts for this reason, since they aren't at ride height yet, and I will also need to run out to the storage locker to pick up my bigger front sway bar before installing new end links.

I'm hoping to get to the other side after work today, and maybe spend a little time under the truck to come up with an improvised transmission crossmember, so the engine and trans can go in over the holiday weekend.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/2/21 3:42 p.m.

Okay, this is getting ridiculous.  Took apart the passenger side to do the install.  I really wish I'd inspected the parts a bit better before doing so.  The passenger side control arm has no metal inserts in the bushings.  Sent an email to QA1 to see about getting a replacement, but now the S10 is kind of frozen in place until I get it, as there is no way I am trying to compress the stock spring back in place and reassemble the stock suspension, just to tear it back out again.

In reply to eastsideTim :

Guess its time to paint the frame with rustoleum and a brush!

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/2/21 10:10 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) said:

In reply to eastsideTim :

Guess its time to paint the frame with rustoleum and a brush!

It's getting close to that point with all the delays, but I know that would escalate into me stripping the truck to a bare frame, getting it media blasted, and painting it.

I still need to do a little cutting on the transmission to make it fit, and I need to patch the hole in the firewall with a panel with a smaller hole, so I'll try to do those this weekend.  Next week at work will be pretty intense, and probably involve late hours, so I won't be working on the S10 anyway.  I'm hoping QA1 can have a replacement in my hands by next weekend.  If so, I should only be pushed back one more week.  If it is delayed more than that,  I may hack a few coils off one of the stock springs, just so it's easier to reinstall, then throw the front end together quickly, to make it easier to move on to working on something else.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/4/21 3:34 p.m.

Managed to run down the list of practical work I can do on the s10 until I reassemble the suspension:

  1. Made a patch for the firewall hole, test fit the bulkhead connector, riveted the patch in place, did one round of paint, hit the edges with some sealer, and will paint again after everything dries up.
  2. Cut the ears and the lifting point off the transmission bellhousing.  This should make it easier to fit in the transmission tunnel, and easier to route the exhaust.
  3. Trimmed down the ends of the bolts that hold the pedal assembly to the firewall.  They can rub against the driver side cylinder head if the engine is set back far enough.
  4. Removed the transmission linkage bracket and what was left of the cable from the transmission.  Several rounds of penetrant over the last month or so, and some vice grips finally did the job.  Boo on GM for using torx bolts where rain/salt could splash up onto them.

Now, I just wait and see how long it'll take to get the control arm issue resolved.  I don't want to start disassembling anything else on the truck, and run the risk of being stuck with even more issues.  Might still do a little bit of interior work.

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/6/21 5:16 p.m.

Parts will soon be on their way from QA1.  Also, realized I can install the frame mount for the passenger side engine mount (driver one I already installed when working on the suspension), so there's at least a few more minutes of work I can do while I am waiting.  smiley

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/9/21 8:55 p.m.

Got the parts today, and the coil overs and control arms are installed.  Just need to remember to grease everything and tighten the bolts once the engine is in.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/10/21 11:53 a.m.

To make even a temporary transmission crossmember is going to be annoying.  The mount for the transmission is in just about the worst place (lengthwise) possible - midway between the stock crossmember location and where the boxed frame turns to c-channel.  I think I can take some of the scrap metal I have and quickly whip up a mount I can clamp to the frame, it'll just require some cantilevering.  And for the rain to go away for a bit so I can cut metal outside the garage.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/10/21 2:45 p.m.

Had a break in the weather, so I hacked up some scrap, and welded together a brace to hold up the transmission.

The center part will go forward, and I can put pieces of wood in it to lift the transmission to close to the right height.  The ends will sit up in the bottom part of the c-channel of the frame, and I'll use two clamps to each side to hold it in place, along with some metal on the bottom of the frame, to sandwich it and spread out the load.  I am hoping this will be enough to take the weight, and allow me to shuffle the S10 around the garage a bit.

Weather is looking bad for tomorrow, so odds are it won't be until next week when I attempt to get the engine in.  During the week, I'll try to go through everything, including double checking to make sure I have all the parts for the oil pan swap, and I hope it won't take too much time to get the engine set into place.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/11/21 5:21 p.m.

Did a test fit of the brace, and it flexes quite a bit with weight on it.  I am hoping it will be strong enough.  I've started shuffling things around in the garage, so I can be ready to get the engine on the hoist, swap oil pans, and get it in the truck as soon as possible.

 

I'm trying to figure out how to get the evaporative emissions system to work properly.  I moved the 91 Firebird system in when I did the first engine swap.  It includes a charcoal canister with a purge solenoid, and there is also what appears to be a vacuum operated purge valve in the line to the engine.  The LQ4's setup appears a bit more sophisticated.  It includes a charcoal canister and a fuel tank pressure sensor at the gas tank (I did not get either of these off the truck before I scrapped it), and the purge solenoid is on the intake manifold.  So, it is all controlled by the computer. 

I think what I can do, is get an S10 charcoal canister (no purge solenoid), and an LQ4 fuel tank pressure sensor.  I can use a T fitting in the evap line from the tank to hook up the sensor, then run the evap line straight to the charcoal canister.  From the canister, I can run the out line straight to the purge solenoid on the intake manifold.  I think that should replicate the system, and keep the truck from constantly smelling like gas fumes.  Please make any suggestions, or shoot this idea down if you see something wrong with it.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/15/21 3:53 p.m.

Transmission crossmember continues to be delayed.  Holley makes one, too, but it is also out of stock.  Supposedly will be back in stock in about a week.  I think I will keep an eye on their website, and if it actually becomes available, I'll buy it and take a chance.  It gets good reviews, but nobody seems to have paired it with anything but Holley's other swap parts, so there could be a few fitting issues.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/17/21 6:32 p.m.

Today was engine install day.  Spoiler alert - it's not installed.

Started off, moving the truck back to get some room, hoisted up the engine, and rested the transmission on a work table, so I could pull the oil pan and pickup, remove the broken dipstick tube, and install the H3 oil pan and pickup.

Removing the pan and pickup went reasonably smoothly, but getting the broken dipstick tube out was not so fun.  I ended up going through cycles of hitting it with the MAPP torch, then PB blaster, then hammering on the bottom of it.  It did eventually loosen up, but when I tried to pull it out, the bottom of the tube had mushroomed too much from being hammered on that it wouldn't fit through.  Not a lot of room to work, but I tried to use my tubing cutter on it.  First turn broke part of the tube, but there was just enough to refit the cutter, and use a set of pliers to rotate the tube.

After an hour or so, it was out.

Installing the new pickup and pan was mostly uneventful, except when I found out Gen 3 engines have a boss for a pan bolt that is not drilled out, and the H3 pan and gasket has a hole there.  I put a little RTV on the pan gasket there before realizing this, assuming it should have had a bolt there, and hope I didn't cause myself future problems.  Also, the holes on the back of the pan do not line up with the bellhousing inspection cover, so I had to leave a couple bolts out.  The H3 pan looks about an inch or so shallower than the truck pan, and the sump starts a bit farther back.

After a little cleanup, eastsideWife came out the garage to help, and we started maneuvering it into the engine bay.  Spent a good hour to hour and a half, and even removed a few parts, but we could not get it to fit.  In theory, my combo should go in fine, but looking back at the trouble we had getting the small block chevy in, I think there are just a bunch of tolerances stacked against us, and I should have expected more problems.  I started trying to lift the cab, but the first bolt I tried to remove sounded and felt like it was breaking when I tried to loosen it, despite it getting soaked in kroil a month or two ago.  I didn't want to risk adding even more problems to the list, so gave up on that idea for now.  So, we lowered the engine, put it back on rollers, and jammed the truck back into the garage.  It's a big mess right now, with not much working room.

I'm considering my options.  The Holley pan is even shallower, but I don't think I want to spend the money, and play roulette on it working with the mounts I have.  The most likely option is going to be for me to cut the front crossmember down, like I probably should have to start with.  I think if I drop the front of it to the same height as the back, it should work out.  Over the next day or so, I'll do a little more research into how other people have cut and reinforced theirs, and come up with a plan.  I'm not in a good place workwise to be able to run out to the local metal supply shop, but I might try to take a long lunch next week and do so anyway, rather than incur the cost of shipping a small piece of sheetmetal to home.  The thickest I have at home is 1/8", and I should step up to 3/16" or thicker for this.  I should also pick up some .030" or .035" welding wire and tips.  I've been using thinner wire, since it's easier to control the weld and not blow through the metal, but I don't think that'll be an issue on the frame.

 

 

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/18/21 2:37 p.m.

Looks like most of the people who modify the crossmember are doing it to get the oil pan to fit where they want it to or to lighten up the truck for drag racing, not due to trouble getting everything in.  However, I think I figured out what I want to do, and will see about getting the metal I need to do the job, and tackle it next weekend.  I'm just hoping I don't run into any other weird fitment issues once I get past this one.

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/23/21 3:49 p.m.

Had a little time to do some work on the crossmember.  The oil pan snagged at an inch or less from the back of the high part of the crossmember, so I planned to cut back about 1.5" or so, to get a little extra working room.  I've seen some people cut an entire u-shaped channel through the higher part, but I wanted to keep some of it to lose as little strength as possible. 

Marked off where to cut:

Cut it all out with a 4.5" angle grinder and cutting disc, and discovered a whole lot of crud still in there.  Vacuumed it all up, while there was easy access.

Did a little cardboard-aided drafting, and cut a piece of 3/16" steel to size.  I also cut a channel in the steel to make it easier to bend.  I had to go back and make it deeper and widen the cut angle multiple times in order to bend it.  I still don't think I went far enough, and this bit me later.

Once I had it bent, since the channel I cut was not deep enough I was not able to bend it as sharply as I had bent the cardboard.  Between this, and failing to take into account the thickness of the metal, I had to trim away a decent amount after I shaped it.  Eventually, between the bench grinder and the cutoff wheel, I had the piece fitted:

That is where it ended for today.  Tomorrow, I will clean up the areas to be welded, switch my welder over to thicker wire, and weld in the piece.  Once that's in and cooled, I'll repeat the whole process to fill in the gaps on the side.  My Saturday is pretty open, so I should be able to get it all in and painted, and maybe this weekend we can make another attempt to drop the engine in.

On a side note, anyone know if LS truck oil pans are worth anything, or are they so common I might as well toss it on the scrap pile?

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/24/21 9:32 a.m.

Cleaned up the areas to be welded, and welded it in.  My welder prefers flux core for anything 3/16" and thicker, but I did try to weld on beveled edges where possible with .035 wire, so I suspect it'll be strong enough for this work.

Now I just need to be patient and wait for it to cool so I can make filler pieces for the side.  I'll also weld the seam where I bent the metal to give it a little more strength.  As long as none of the welds ends up being completely horrible, I will likely just grind down the area on the higher part of the crossmember, to gain as much clearance as possible for the oil pan.

 

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/24/21 12:50 p.m.

Cut and fit pieces for each side, and tried to insert them into the slot so they don't make the cutout too much narrower.

Got everything welded up.  Not my best work, but it should hold together.

And ground it down and painted it.  Also sprayed paint up through the hole in the lower part of the crossmember, so at least some of the back of the metal has also gotten covered.

Now, just going to wait a short while before trying to get the engine in.  I want the paint to dry a bit more, and I won't have help home, at least to start with, but weather is looking bad tomorrow, so this afternoon/evening is likely my only window of opportunity until next weekend.  I'd like to see if there are any other fitment issues, as there's a chance they could be dealt with during the week.  All the fitting and welding reduced the width down to about 6.5".  That may be pushing it, but I can remove the drain plug from the H3 oil pan to gain a little bit of extra space.  Just need to remember to put it back in before filling it up.

Oh, and I removed a piece of steel off the driver side head on the LQ4, that was causing a few problems last time.  GM part number 12559767.  Looks like it is there to keep the fuel rail from smashing into the firewall in case of an accident(or maybe during installation at the factory).  If I can get it back in place once the engine is in, I'll do so, otherwise, it can get tossed, I think.

 

 

 

 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/24/21 7:01 p.m.

Well, I'm tired and sore, but the engine is in.  Took all day.

Attempts:

  1. Got the engine further in than last weekend, but the oil pan snagged on my weld bead on the lower part of the crossmember.
  2. Ground down the the weld bead and repainted.  Oil pan got snagged on the lower crossmember.  At this point, I started seriously considering spending $400 for the Holley oil pan.
  3. Lifted the back of the truck to try to get a more favorable angle.  Still snagged on the lower crossmember.
  4. Hit the body mount bolts with Kroil again, and could barely get the passenger side ones to turn (was worried I'd break them), but did manage to get the driver side mounts to come loose.  Jacked up the cab quite a bit on the driver side, hoping the rubber on the passenger side would flex enough, and finally slipped the engine past the crossmember.  Then I snagged the lines on the PS pump on the steering box, so I had to grab the pulley remover, and take it and the pump off the engine to get farther.

Took a bit of finagling on the engine mounts, and I was only able to insert 7 of the 8 bolts (I think the frame is not perfectly square), but the engine bolts are snugged up somewhat.  The chassis mount through bolts are still loose.  I am leaving that all like that until I have done some test fitting to see if the the headers will fit, and there is enough room for the radiator and fan on the core support.  If all is well, then I'll tighten everything up. 

I am a little concerned on the driver's side, as my stunt appears to have shifted the cab over 1/4"-1/2" towards the passenger side.  I'll need to tackle that, both for aesthetics, and because there doesn't look like there is much room for the header between the engine and the steering shaft.  Really hoping I did not bend the bolts on the passenger side cab mounts.

As I had been worried about, my transmission brace was not going to hold up.  I ended up using a furniture dolly, and an array of wood blocks that I had to switch around as I lowered the truck back down, to hold it in the approximately correct position.  Because of that, I don't want to do any work that'll require lifting the truck up until I have the permanent crossmember, but at least I can still do some fitting, and replace the front end accessories on the engine.

Now I can at least go back to working on small jobs for a bit, and have some more room in the garage.

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
7/24/21 9:54 p.m.

Truck pans are scrap as is the crash brace thing behind the fuel rail 

eastsideTim
eastsideTim PowerDork
7/26/21 7:39 a.m.
Patrick (Forum Supporter) said:

Truck pans are scrap as is the crash brace thing behind the fuel rail 

Good, thanks.  One less thing to worry about trying to sell off.

 

It also looks like I didn't shift the cab, or if I did, it was a lot less.  Turns out the passenger side door was partially unlatched, so it just looked out of alignment.

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