1994 S10 4x4 Resurrection  


A $300 Craigslist find, straight body, nice interior. 4.3 V6 with throttle body, 5 speed manual transmission. Engine had a hole by #1 cylinder and the pan had a hole.  It was an early Vortec.

Some people say the Vortec actually came out early and that the heads were different and was the big change but I tend to believe it was this year and it was mostly because of the balance shaft. This one had the balance shaft, the valve covers saying Vortec. This one is the first with the valve covers I've seen with the TBI.  The last V engine I had this year was from the Blazer, had the first version of CFI. I put it in a '91 GMC pickup that had a blown 4.3 with the TBI.  The '91 intake would bolt to the heads of the '94 block but on the bottom side of the intake was a 1/2" pipe plug sticking out almost 1" that interfered with 

the balance shaft. It was square headed plumbing plug. I cured that problem.   Just cut it off flush with the bottom of intake.

Back to this truck.  I wasn't unable to find an '94 /95 V block  anywhere so I picked up a '99.  The '94 heads were in good shape and because the bolt pattern and direction of the intake on the '94 were different to the '99. I wasn't into finding a ecm and harness so I couldn't use the '99 CFI manifold.  So I tore them both down, installed new timing  chain.  I also liked the steel timing cover from the '94 but  it had 2 extra mounting holes, so I welded little metal plates  over the holes. The '99 had the plastic cover and the hole for the crank positioning  sensor. Also had to modify the '99 pan because it interfered  with the clutch slave cylinder.


I have replaced probably 15 4.3 engines in the last 18 years in Blazers, S10 pickup, full size truck. As many transmissions 2 and 4 wheel drive.  But this is the first with manual transmission.  The front differential has to drop so the oil pan will clear. I also replaced a ball joint that was bad while apart and rewire turn signals and new backup lights.  Also upgraded the stereo and speakers. I like my music and this DVD player takes SD cards. An SD card that cost $20, 256 gigs! I have pretty much every good song I've heard in 50+ years.

It took me a bit to get this running right.  Had to remove  1/2 tank of bad gas. Wasn't too hard, I just disconnected the fuel line at the filter and connected a jumper wire at the fuel pump test connector. Ran a piece of hose from the fuel  line into a 5 gallon can. It filled one and then 2 gallons into another. Added fresh fuel and filter.  It fired up. Found the injectors in the throttle body. Trip to the salvage yard with my friend Larry. Replaced it, fired up. Had to time it by ear, because the wire to bypass to computer during timing was not where it was suppose to be, but it sound pretty good.

The clutch disk, pressure plate, flywheel and release bearing looked great that was with the original engine so all I had to do was add a pilot bearing.

I had to replace a power steering line, pressure side, because it was leaking so I ordered one on Amazon $15.00 or so.  I added the rack on back (headache rack, they're called) from my old S10.  It was sized down from the full size truck that  I'd scrapped a few years earlier. I had a sign with this web address that a customer had made with a CNC machine out of a piece of sheet metal.  I put a piano hinge on the bottom and then boxed in a spot in the rail above my rear window.  Added some red LED strip lights then wired them into the center brake light above my rear window.


I think it came out pretty cool. Problem is, it's not really visible until after dark but  what can you say?  Another addition that didn't come on this model was remote door locks.  Has them now!  They are a pain to put in but make life easy. It came made for 4 doors and since I only have 2, I can hook one into tool box.

And another good thing. This truck is 26 years old. So here I can get collectors tags.  So after my first emissions test I can get collectors tags, license it for 5 years at a time and never do an emission test again.