Motor Swapin'
Hi, I'm a big fan of Truckin' and have been a loyal reader for years. I finally have a project truck and a question to go along with it. My vehicle is a 1989 S-10 Blazer 2WD with a 4.3L V-6 and automatic transmission. A guy I work with has a '92 Astro van with a 4.3L and auto trans, but his van is the all-wheel-drive model. Will this motor and transmission work in my Blazer, and do I need his computer to go with it? We're a bit stumped by what parts are compatible.Rob TaylorVia e-mail

Rob,
As always, your readership is appreciated. You will have some small hurdles to jump regarding the engine and transmission swap from the Astro to the Blazer. The base motors are the same, but you'll more than likely find some of the accessories and brackets will be slightly different. Best bet is to start with his long-block and then add your Blazer's front components. Your automatic transmissions are similar, but your pal's has a transfer case hanging off the back of it to accommodate the all-wheel drive. What that means to you is a different internal shaft and no tail housing on his versus yours. If you have to take both units apart to swap components, you'll be ahead of the game to just rebuild yours. Don't forget the power adders!

Diesel Training
Recently I purchased my first diesel-powered truck. My truck is a 2005 Dodge Ram Quad Cab 2500 with a Cummins motor. So far, I can't get over the torque that this big truck has. It flat-out hauls when I drop the pedal to the floor. I have plenty of experience with gas power-adders, but this being my first diesel, I am a little behind. So many programmers, exhausts, intakes, and aftermarket parts exist that I don't know where to begin looking. Would you guys be willing to lend a diesel newbie a hand?Brian DailyVia e-mail

Brian,
If you have a good grasp on the gas parts, then the diesel parts shouldn't be unfamiliar territory, as they are similar to a degree. By all means, go with a reputable company's intake and exhaust, as you won't find a huge difference between them. As for the electronics, you may want to really delve into that arena before deciding, as even we haven't really spent a lot of time with everyone's aftermarket gear. For a little help, we have a diesel performance buyer's guide in this very issue as well as a twin-turbo upgrade for your exact truck. Be sure to flip through those and then point your eyes at our sister magazines Diesel Power and 8-Lug Diesel Truck for some serious in-depth into the oil-burning realm. You're going to be blown away!

Bad-Weather Wheels
Ihave a question. I ordered a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8. I reside in Maine, and during the colder months the weather gets rather nasty here and the roads become terrible. I don't think the factory 20-inch wheels and run-flat tires are the best to run under those conditions. Is it possible to put aftermarket wheels, maybe 18-inch, on the Jeep and still clear the Brembo brakes? If smaller wheels are kay, then what size tire can I run on them? Thanks for your time.Mike WelchNewcastle, Maine

Mike,
It is certainly understandable that you would like to remove the street, performance-oriented wheels and tires for something with a bit better grip in your state's ice and snow conditions created during the winter months. Placing 18-inch wheels on your SRT-8 is a good plan and you should really have no fitment issues. We haven't measured or received word otherwise, but 17s are certainly a possibility as well with proper measurements. Your new Jeep should be able to clear 30 inches of rubber diameter. For example, some popular all-terrain SUV tires are available in 265/60R18, which stand 30-1/2 inches tall. Bring on the snow!