S10 powered locost
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Author:  WisconsinKnight [ March 21, 2018, 12:00 pm ]
Post subject:  S10 powered locost

Hello everyone, I have been doing research into building a locost for a while now and think that I am finally ready to take the plunge. The plan is to use a 1998 chevy s10 with the 2.2l engine and automatic transmission. I plan on using as much off of the s10 as possible including the drivetrain. Would the engine fit in a book chassis or should I go to a larger Chassis? Any input would be greatly appreciated.

Author:  geek49203 [ March 21, 2018, 1:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

Welcome to my world.

1. The Haynes chassis does very well with the S10 2 wheel drive rear end size-wise. I simply modified the plans for a solid axle, which is to say, used the plans from the Book. Having said that, I have noted issues w/ the S10 in terms of cost (you can't find one with both disk brakes and Posi, and will take you $500 or more to make those changes). Bottom line here - a 221 chassis, 2 inches wider, etc) is almost custom made for that axle and fits the I4 - V6 - V8 as well.

2. If you're gonna do the 2.2, strongly consider finding its 3.4 cousin from a junkyard somewhere. Or at least the 2.8. Should bolt in. If you find a motor that used to have a T5, note that (at least in mine) the cranks for the auto trans used a M10 and the cranks for the manuals used the 7/16 bolts. More importantly, if the person rode the clutch on the manual, they probably wore out the thrust surface, so check for end play on the crank.

3. What you are considering is (except for the motor) the same as the original Brunton Stalker build, and as such, I have some of Bruton's notes. Not that I've followed them, but... at least I have the buy list which is a great starting point. Brunton spec'd out a crate 2.8 long block w/ the Edelbrock intake and Holly carb. They also have really neat "adapters" to hook in the steering to the S10 front hubs. They also do a nice bit with relocating the alternator on the 2.8/3.1/3.4.

4. Not sure about the auto. Not because it's an auto, but because the light weight in this thing might make first gear totally useless. With a manual you'd start out in 3rd gear (depending on rear end). At the very least don't consider putting a 4.10 in the rear of this thing with that drivetrain.

aka Geek49203

Author:  WelderLee [ March 21, 2018, 1:43 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

I am running a book frame with a 2wd s10 rear axle and a t5 from an s10 also. I would measure the height of the engine but considering the 2.2 is a pushrod engine it should be relatively low which is helpful in a book frame as the more modern overhead cam engines are usually taller and may require a hood scoop or bulge. I have no information about the automatics but I might be worried that they would be too wide to have a reasonable footwell even with only two pedals.

Author:  WisconsinKnight [ March 21, 2018, 3:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

Thank you, you make some very good points. Why do you recommend changing from the 2.2l? What would be a good gear ratio to run for a vehicle this light. I have next to no experience with lighter cars so I appreciate you pointing out the issues I could have run into. I was able to pick up the s10 with only 40k miles after someone drifted it into a tree near my house. What parts should I use a different vehicle for, and what on the s10 should I avoid using?

Author:  ngpmike [ March 21, 2018, 7:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

To learn more, as well as meeting some of the guys, you might consider a trip to Arkansas this May! http://www.locostusa.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=41&t=19092 :cheers:

Author:  horchoha [ March 22, 2018, 12:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost


Been there, done that.


Author:  WisconsinKnight [ March 22, 2018, 5:55 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

Wow Perry, if my build has a fraction of the quality that your build has I will be satisfied. I read your entire build log and have several ideas based off of your build. Do you still have the plans for your frame? I am also curious to what transmission you chose for your build. In regards to the comment on the transmission issue for the gear issue I have heard of people taking the gears out of an Astro and putting them in the transmission. I am not sure if this would work and my mechanical knowledge can be described as basic at best. I hope to learn much more through the course of this build. As always any feedback is always appreciated.
Cheers :cheers:

Author:  horchoha [ March 23, 2018, 7:16 am ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

WisconsinKnight wrote:
Do you still have the plans for your frame?

I used the 442 plans but widened and raised the frame to suit the engine height, wide nose width, and diff width. I always start with a known donor and build the frame to suit, instead of vice versa.

WisconsinKnight wrote:
I am also curious to what transmission you chose for your build.

I used the 5 spd trans that came with the truck. Like I say, I try and use as much as possible from the donor vehicle. If it would have had an auto trans, that's what I would have used.

My builds are built for cruising (wow! factor rush), not auto cross (adrenalin rush), so that gives me a lot of leeway on my builds.

Author:  WisconsinKnight [ March 23, 2018, 8:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

Does anyone know of an automatic transmission that would bolt up to the s10 that would be narrower? I would like to have the seats as wide as possible with a Haynes chassis. I plan on using my locost mostly for cruising and city use and would like to avoid using a manual tranny.

Author:  carguy123 [ March 23, 2018, 10:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

I've looked at a couple of automatics and they seem to be bigger than a standard. Go for a 5 speed instead of a 6 speed or even a 4 speed.

Author:  Cardot60 [ March 24, 2018, 12:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

The tough part about building in a small area with an auto is the valve body, oil cooler lines, etc needed to run the transmission just take up more room than a standard. You could build your car to have a narrow driveshaft tunnel then have a wider trans tunnel so you could try and make some wide seats for but lose a bit of width where your legs fit.
Or at least that's what I would try to do in that situation.

Author:  ngpmike [ March 24, 2018, 11:41 am ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

You could always build a mock-up cockpit around your A/T to see how things fit. Cardboard, OSB, or plywood should do it.

Author:  TRX [ March 24, 2018, 2:00 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

Most automatics are wide across the oil pan. That's not an issue with regular cars, as the wide part is underneath the tunnel, down there where the crossmembers and exhaust pipes live. In a Locost it's up in the cockpit area where it eats passenger compartment space.

If you go with a T5, it is a big transmission. Most of them have odd fins or flanges that can be ground or sawed off. Cutting and welding the tunnel bits to wrap as tightly as possible around the box will help a lot. The largest space-sucker is the clutch arm; if the budget will stretch for a hydraulic throwout bearing, you can get a lot of space back right where you need it, at the gas pedal.

T5s were available with the shifters coming out in various locations. If you think you might buy a tailhousing and bits to move the shifter, be aware that, regardless of what the parts books say, there are at least four separate models of T5 where almost none of the pieces interchange. I once had a sizeable collection of T5 bits I finally gave to someone who didn't believe they wouldn't fit his transmission... a remote shift linkage, should you need it, may save a lot of hassle later.

Author:  geek49203 [ March 25, 2018, 9:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

Going back to the Stalker -- they used an World Class T5 out of a Camaro. It is tilted towards the driver narrowing up the tunnel width a bit. And the shifter comes out on the same plane as the steering wheel, which is pretty much where you want it to be. That is also what I'm using.

As for the auto -- The transmission bolt pattern is usually called "GM Metric". The "problem" here is that the 2.8/3.1/3.4 quickly became FWD only platforms. and the trans choices with that bell pattern for RWD are somewhat limited. I'm thinking S10, Camaro, Isuzu (Rodeo?) and Northstar Caddy are about it? Your best bet here might be to pick a transmission and then figure out how to do an adapter plate.

Making matters worse is that GM played games with the starter position -- it's on the passenger's side for my Camaro block and (as I recall the S10, but the driver's side for a Fiero and the Northstar. If you use a FWD 60 degree v-6 (2.8, 3,1, 3400, 3500) it's gonna be on the driver's side as well. Isuzu went so far as to do a "double bubble" T5 bell just in case they couldn't decide where to put that starter. (I once had one and sold it to someone here, and wish I could remember who got it, 'cause they promised me a ride in their car when they got it done.) You can drill out the block to move the starter, it is just one more thing to worry about.

Author:  WisconsinKnight [ April 5, 2018, 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: S10 powered locost

Would it be worth investing in a ford duratec 2l?

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