How to Convert a V6 S-10 or S15 to a V8


This is actually an easy conversion for a mechanic versed in swapping engines. It is a great way to get some schwoop out of your S10. Before you get started, make sure the V8 has been rebuilt, or that you purchased it from a trusty source; that is, you know the history of the engine.

Things You'll Need

  • An S10 or S15 with a 2.8 V6 (mid to late 80s body style)
  • A small block Chevy (350ci) V8 engine--preferably 1972 or older
  • V8 conversion kit
  • High torque starter
  • V8 S10 radiator and fan kit
  • Flexible transmission dipstick
  • TH350 transmission
  • Flowmaster mufflers
  • New exhaust pipe (optional)
  • Drain all liquids out of both engines. Remove all the external parts, such as the alternator, power steering pump, air compressor, air pump, starter, radiator and fans. Unplug all the plug-ins.

  • Unbolt the transmission from the engine. Using an engine hoist, remove the engine. You may remove all the wiring for the computer and the computer. If you think you may want to convert back at a later date, it is advisable to leave all the wiring intact. You can also optionally remove the steering gear box and steering rod. Depending on the headers, you may have to put the steering through the headers, once the headers are on.

  • Bolt your new mounts to the V8. Using the engine hoist, install the V8. Fit it into the mounts, and make sure the engine "double clicks" into the transmission. You should hear a clunk, clunk noise when the two are seated together properly. Bolt the transmission to the new engine. Bolt the engine in the truck via the motor mounts.

  • Install the headers, the flexible transmission tube and the accessories. If the throttle cable is having a hard time making it around the back of the engine, re-route it so it doesn't kink.

  • Fill all fluids on your new engine. If this is a newly rebuilt engine, follow the manufacturer's recommendations for breaking in the cam (generally, once it's started and the timing is correct, idle the engine at about 2,000 to 2,500 rpm for 20 minutes). This step is important and you must follow the cam manufacturer's recommendations.

  • Many any other adjustments, check for leaks during the high idle break in time and listen for strange noises. If you are happy with the way your engine is set up and it seems to be running fine, take it for a test drive.

Tips & Warnings

  • These are basic steps that a versed mechanic can follow.
  • If you have never changed an engine before, make sure you have someone with you who has done this before.
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