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Stealth Conversions: Project Sten Part III - S10 V8 Radiator

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We have to go back a year to pick up our story on the S10 V8 conversion called Project Sten (think inexpensive WWII machine guns). In our last intrepid story (“Stuffing the Small-Block Between the Fenders,” Nov. ’11), we had managed to get the engine rebuilt and dropped into the tight engine compartment. As we’ve mentioned before, this is not a new idea. Guys like Mike Knell at Jaguars That Run (JTR) have been stuffing small-blocks in these little trucks for decades. Mike wrote a book called “Chevrolet S-10 Truck V8 Conversion Manual” (catchy title, don’t you think?) that outlines all of the details you need to pull off this v8 conversion with minimal frustration. We’re all about living hassle-free, so we got Mike’s book and dutifully followed the V8 conversion steps.

Our V8 conversion plan was a little different when it came to finally putting the power to the pavement, as we are aiming this short bed at the autocross track, where our emissions-legal lack of horsepower isn’t as much of a penalty. We think the advantages are mostly on our side, since the S-10 is shaping up to weigh less than 3,000 pounds minus driver, and because the truck is relatively short and narrow, it could be fun. Yes, we will have to face up to the reality of nearly 60 percent weight on the front tires, but we’ll deal with that unhappy fact once the truck runs. This brings us to our current story: installing the clutch, transmission, and driveshaft, and mounting the S10 V8 radiator and electric fans.

S10 V8 Radiator: Cooling Tricks

In our last story, we mentioned we could use a 4.3L V6 radiator in its stock location, but the power-steering pump pulley hit the Maradyne twin electric fan. JTR’s book suggests using a C4 Corvette radiator placed in the forward position. This required opening the boxed upper and lower core support with a cut-off wheel. It also required a narrower aluminum radiator from a C4 Corvette. This placed the S10 V8 radiator cap underneath the core support. Rather than cut a large hole to access the cap, we opted to use a surge tank both for easy coolant fill and to eliminate trapped air. We’ll build (or buy) the tank later. Next, we mounted the Maradyne twin electric fans and wired the relays and sending units. Finally, we modified the factory alternator/power-steering pump mount for our fuel lines, resealed our old power steering pump, and installed a new tensioner pulley and belt from RockAuto. We’re gettin’ there! Hang with us, as our next installment will detail wiring the engine for EFI and building the exhaust.

Modern Driveline V8 T-5 Hybrid Gear Ratios
First Second Third Fourth Fifth
2.95 1.94 1.34 1.00 0.80

Factory Camaro V8 Gear Ratios
First Second Third Fourth Fifth
2.95 1.94 1.34 1.00 0.63

Parts List
Description PN Source Price
S-10 manual transmission JTR-S-10 Summit Racing $28.69
Typical T5 rebuild MD-500-0101 Modern Driveline 650.00
Amsoil ATF fluid ATF-QT Modern Driveline 10.82 ea. (3)
Centerforce steel flywheel, 153-tooth 700175 Summit Racing 472.96
Centerforce clutch 384161 Summit Racing 99.95
Centerforce pressure plate CF360056 Summit Racing 197.95
Centerforce bearing N1716 Summit Racing 39.95
Camaro slave cylinder Dorman CS37821 RockAuto 28.79
Earl’s 1⁄4 NPT to -4 961644ERL Summit Racing 3.99
Earl’s -4 hose, 24-inch 64191924ERL Summit Racing 19.95
Camaro V8 bellhousing Used Used 85.00
Clutch fork ATP ZA133 RockAuto 21.79
ARP flywheel bolts 200-2807 Summit Racing 14.57
Trans mount—DEA A2508 RockAuto 4.10
Shorten/balance driveshaft L1 and L3 Wenco 75.00
Maradyne twin fans MJS-26K Performance Parts 259.95
Maradyne 195 relay MFA103 Performance Parts 56.95
Maradyne 185 relay MFA102 Performance Parts 56.95
Maradyne mounts MFA107 Performance Parts 44.95
AC Delco alternator 3342336 RockAuto 79.79
PS pump-reseal kit 351160 RockAuto 8.19
Gates tensioner pulley 38006 RockAuto 13.54
Dorman A/C bypass 34157 RockAuto 28.79
Gates drivebelt K060790 RockAuto 23.79
Goodyear radiator hose 382 RockAuto 4.13
Goodyear radiator hose 62160 RockAuto 11.21
AC Delco starter 3361880 RockAuto 65.29
Trans mount DEA-A2394 RockAuto 3.87
S10 V8 Radiator: Summit 433829 Summit Racing 110.99
Radiator mount S-10-125 Stealth Conversions 35.00
Hose splicer Call Stealth Conversions 15.00
Hose splicer Call Stealth Conversions 15.00
Global West tubular upper control arm CTS-88A Global West 598.75
Ram clutches tool 03-013 Summit Racing 69.99

Sources

Amsoil; 715/392-7101; Amsoil.com

Centerforce; 928/771-8422; Centerforce.com

Global West Suspension Components; 909/890-0759; GlobalWest.net

Jaguars That Run (Stealth Conversions); 925/462-3619; JaguarsThatRun.com

John Elway Chevrolet; 800/345-5744; JohnElwayChevrolet.com

Maradyne; 800/403-7953; MaradynEHP.com

Modern Driveline; 208/ 453-9800; ModernDriveline.com

Performance Parts; 800/585-0683; PerformanceParts.com

RockAuto; 866/762-5288; RockAuto.com

Summit Racing; 800/ 230-3030; SummitRacing.com

Wenco Industries; 818/785-0643

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1 comments
chriszj.
chriszj.

I've been following this build because it was something I wanted build, but couldn't. I totaled my truck before I could put a 350 in mine. And now around here, S-10's are hard to find. And to top it all off, I owned a copy of the V8 S-10 conversion manual, until I loaned it to a friend. To make a long story short, his house blew up and so did my S-10 book. So now I don't even have my book at all now. But reading about this build brings back memmories of wanting to put 350 in my truck.

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