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!

Fiberglass Versus Steel
Hey, guys. I'm 16 years old with a 2005 Dodge Ram 1500. Under the hood is a 5.7L V-8 Hemi and so far, I haven't done much to the engine besides a K&N filter and after-cat exhaust. My next move is to get a hood of some sorts that has functional ram-air and looks nice, too. Therein lies my dilemma. Should I buy a fiberglass or a steel hood? I'm worried about the fit of the fiberglass and strength compared to steel, but the steel hoods are more expensive. Which do you believe I should get? Thanks for your time.Will GagnonVia e-mail

Will,
We have used both hood materials and have come across zero issues besides finish. Every fiberglass hood we have used has required a little extra finish work to prepare it for paint. Steel hoods we have installed in our magazine have required some finesse to get holes and brackets into position, but these are small steps sometimes necessary to fit them. They are, after all, aftermarket parts and not factory. You cannot go wrong either way in our opinion, so feel free to find whatever you want, knowing that it will be on your truck and functioning for the long haul. Ram that air in!

200,000 Miles of Power
First off, your magazine rocks and is one of the best in the world. I have a '95 Chevy C1500 that I want to modify to look like as good or better than the new Silverado SS. Problem is, my truck currently has over 219,000 miles on it, and during the build I want to add a few performance upgrades. I know I have to be careful, but the motor is still plenty strong. Outside of a supercharger, what should I add? My thoughts were: underdrive pulleys, a cold air intake, and exhaust. I want to get as much out of the engine as possible without damage. Any ideas? Whatever you have is appreciated.Tyson DierschkeHouston, Texas

Tyson,
You are playing with fire trying to modify a motor with that many miles. The modifications you listed are mild, true, but if you honestly want to build your truck to look like the newer Silverado SS, then plan for at least a rebuild of the current motor. With a fresh motor you'll get plenty of mileage out of your newly completed ride instead of worrying about scratching the paint once the motor finally does decide to retire. Parts for Chevy motors are abundant and reasonably priced. Your truck build sounds like something we're interested in. Keep us in the loop during the rebuild process of your C1500. Rebuild the Bow Tie!

A C10 Hooked on bags
I'm starting my first truck build, a 1985 Chevrolet C10. The first modification on my list of things to do is a total slam on airbags. I am falling short on finding the goods that I will need. It would be great if you could point me in the right direction to travel. I really enjoyed the article in Volume 32, Issue 7, "Seeing Things Full Frame," with the Killer Ridez full square-tube chassis. Is that the best step to take? What stage frame would you recommend for a first-time builder like myself?Jason CarsonVia e-mail

Jason,
If you are a first-time builder, then we can only help guide you. Although the C10 is your first custom truck build, you didn't mention if you had any fabricating skills from school or helping friends with other projects. If you are totally a novice in the metalworking arena, then a complete frame like the one from Killer Ridez will speed things up greatly for you. If your wallet can handle it, go straight for a roller with suspension and motor mounts already in place so all you have to do is put the motor and transmission into place and add wheels and your body. If you have to break it down one part at a time and go through a shop (with their labor charges involved), you have a myriad of options. All the big-name airbag companies have parts for your truck and we're willing to bet that our C10 guide in Volume 32, Issue 7, "All C10s All the Time" (same issue as the Killer Ridez frame), has more answers than we can put down here. Drop it to the floor!

Face-Off
You guys put out an amazing magazine and I have been a reader for about three years now. I'm looking to change the front end of my 2003 Ford F-150 and I'm looking at the '04-and-up components. I'm guessing that I would need the fenders, lights, bumper, grille, and hood. A while back in one of Truckin's issues someone did this conversion and painted it black and red. The owner also matched their quad to the paint scheme and had it on 22s. Could you let me know what issue that was and what kits are available to complete my desired conversion? Thanks a lot.Ruben LeonVia e-mail

Ruben,
Mating the newer front clip to the older trucks has been done a few times and the bad news is, no kits exist to complete your desired clip swap. A competent body shop or customizer could do the necessary bodywork, and it looks like you listed most of the items to set it up. You will also need the core support and miscellaneous brackets and mounts off the newer truck. As for you other request, you can find the red and black truck in Volume 31, Issue 6, as "Lone Star Roller" on page 48. The front clip will need to be assembled on the truck, and the bodyline at the door and front fender will be where the majority of your metal blending will take place. Grab the welder!

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