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Old 12-03-2003, 11:27 AM
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Suspension for an S-10

So I just got a 88 S-10 with a bad engine for my birthday (what a birthdy present huh?) Well i am going to make the best of it and try to hot rod the thing.
SO what it has now

No power stearing
No A/C
short box and no extended cab

The engine is an 2.5L but is going to be converted to a 350 chev
Transmission is a 5 speed but going to an T350 or T200R4
(any input on which tranny would suit it best would be helpful)
swapping the engine is the easy part

the body has little rust and a dent that can be fixed

What my question is

What can i do to improve the ride or what should i do to the suspension after, before, during the swap of the engine?

The truck rides a little rough right now and i would like to improve on that a little, I would also like to improve on the cornering.

What shocks would suit this truck?
Sway bars?
traction bars?

I know there are a lot of people who did the swap in the S-10 here. I have checked other sites and all I get is the engine swap part. that to me is the easy part. It is getting the rest of the truck to match with the engine is to me the hard part.
Also, while i am asking questions, so after the engine has been swapped the front just became heavier so how will that affect the traction in the rear. If i am going to hot rod the truck i would like something that would launch and not spin the tires.

thanks for reading my long question

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Old 12-03-2003, 11:46 AM
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Lower it 4 & 6 with spindles and springs in front and lowering leafs and blocks in back. Stick polyurethane in all the bushing holes, put on a rear sway bar and go racing my friend...
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:05 PM
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Lower it 4 & 6 with spindles and springs in front and lowering leafs and blocks in back. Stick polyurethane in all the bushing holes, put on a rear sway bar and go racing my friend...
This will require a little more work than astroracer said.
He is completly right about the 4/6 inch drop, it does look nice on a truck like yours.
That amount of drop in the rear WILL require a c-notch kit for the frame.
To compensate for the added weight of an 8 cylinder in YOUR truck, just order the drop springs for an extended cab with the 4.3 engine. Same height but heavier spring rate.
The front drop should be split with 2 inch spindles and 2 inch springs.
To help out on the rear you could go with an adjustable coilover 4-link suspension replacement, this will eliminate axle wrap too.
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Old 12-04-2003, 05:30 PM
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If you run a set of Cal trac bars on the leaf spring suspension a 4 link isn't necessary... http://www.calvertracing.com/info/info.htm
These bars work extremely well and will make that Sdime hook up...
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Old 12-05-2003, 07:14 PM
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If you run a set of Cal trac bars on the leaf spring suspension a 4 link isn't necessary... http://www.calvertracing.com/info/info.htm
These bars work extremely well and will make that Sdime hook up...
Astroracer, for a stock suspension set-up I would agree, BUT for the 6 inch drop you recommended the caltrac bars would have to be re-engineered to fit.
I can't see paying the $319 for something I would have to make work anyway, and it's NOT very adjustable to compensate for such a drop.
Summit racing has a Competition Engineering 4-Link Kit part#CEE-2017 for $155.95 sold as a complete kit.
Add a set of coil-over shocks and you are still under the caltrac price.
http://store.summitracing.com/partde...art=CEE%2D2017
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Old 12-05-2003, 07:20 PM
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But after you add in the rod ends, which are not included, the cost of that four link shoots way up...
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Old 12-06-2003, 09:56 AM
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IAS is exactly right... And Matt, your advice is excellant and just gets us all to thinking... You are exactly right and I agree 100%.
The issue I have with the 4-link is the ride and longevity that you get with Heim Ends. They ride like crap and wear out pretty quick unless you pop for the teflon lined ones and those are so expensive it's just more feasible to go leafs.
I am fabbing a custom set of Caltracs for an Astro I am building (I am calling them SMAKTRAKS) and its not that hard to make the axle bracket fit any application. I have all of the components to build them and I've got a little over a 100 dollars into them including the tubing, LH and RH adjusters and polyurethane bushings. With the used '99 'Stro steel springs I picked up I'll have a killer suspension for around 200 bucks.... That's 1/4 the price of a complete 4 link... Just something to think about.
Mark
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Old 12-06-2003, 07:07 PM
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There is also a very low buck 4-link set-up I am considering for my S-10 Rocket project, but I have had a couple different ideas for a rear suspension.
Astroracer, and many others, and humbly including myself, for very good reason have issues with rod ends, so [color=red]don't use them if you can find something more suited for your application, and fabrication skill level.[/color]
GM has made a four link suspension, although not perfect, for many years now in A, B, G, and other body type cars.
This suspension holds up very well for many uses when certain weak points and soft spots are re-engineered.
Instead of using the typical "heim" rod end, chromemoly tubing with a fitting at each end for a rubber bushing will give a level of flexibility, but will not produce the rattle or harshness of the all metal constructed rod end.
This type of suspension can provide the same effect as the 4-link system I provided a link for in my previous post, but lacks the necessity of the panhard bar, and can be made just as adjustable.
Think outside the parameters of normalcy, and you could profit on an idea!
[color=yellow]UPDATE[/color] I found a link posted by astroracer for a part he purchased that would work for the application I described above.
Quote:
http://www.horton.on.ca/Products/im...usters/1008.jpg
I just got a these Monday by UPS. Best thing is they're only 16 bucks US (3/4-16's LH & RH) and look real nice. Order the bushings if you need them. They're Pete 'n Jake bushings and I already had a set of them here.
Mark

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Old 12-10-2003, 10:11 AM
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Thanks for all the replys

dropping the truck 4/6 gives it somewhat of the "slammed" look doesn't it? and if i do it where do i get a c noch kit for the frame

I am really not going for the slammed look. Maybe just a little lower on the stock hight

What would be the advantages of dropping it that much compaired to the stock hight or does it just look cool?

thanks again!
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Old 12-10-2003, 10:58 AM
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Pick up a Truckin' magazine. Tons of stuff for your truck! Or do a search under "S10 suspension drops".
As far as dropping it 4/6 this not only brings it down, improving the "look" ,but it immensly improves handling. Lowering the CG is the best and quickest way to improving the handling of any car or truck and then, when you throw some high performance suspension parts at it it only gets better...
Mark
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Old 12-10-2003, 11:30 AM
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The 4/6 drop is pretty drastic, especially if you don't want the "slammed" look. If you are just going for a little lower, and want to improve the handling. I would go with 2" springs in the front (not spindles so the handling improves) and 3" dropped leafs in the rear. This way you can go with the caltracks bars and not have to modify them. You can go with the drop spindles and blocks to lower it, but then handling won't improve as much and the caltracks will need to be modified as said...
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