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Old 12-14-2020, 12:55 AM   #1
Nchristi
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1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

Iíve got a 53 and 51 gmc truck, a s10 lwb frame, and an 03 chevy 2500. So far Iíve stripped the frame, put moog suspension, bell tech 2Ē drop spindles, a zr2 rear end, and a 3Ē block in the rear. Iíve also got the chevy blazer bigger sway bar and disc brakes. Iím currently in the process of removing the 6.0 from the 2500. I have a few questions that I canít seem to find or am completely missing them. And I also need an opinion....

1: I was going to make some cab stands and support braces but Iíve also seen kits done by 99 to life and 504. Has anyone purchased either kit and if so did you regret not spending the money elsewhere? I think it would save a lot of time but it would also save me money so I can buy more tools or parts.

2: what type of motor mount do I use for the 6.0 with a 4l80 so Iíll have room ? Iíve seen the 504 kit has a ďsetbackĒ mount? I donít want the motor to sit so low when you open the hood but also donít want to sacrifice too much do the cab/firewall. Iím trying to figure out a good median.

3: if I build my own stands Iíd plan on making them around 3.5Ē off frame and use new s10 cab mounts. And is that a good height due to the rubber mounts being so tall? If I do this is a trans tunnel necessary or required?

4: Iíve also seen the frame rail booster/pedal assembly and like that approach. Ive got the parts from the s10 but I think the look will be cleaner. Is one better than the other?

5: What type of headers and steering linkage will work for this setup?

Iíve had the trucks for approximately 3 years and Iím finally getting to where I can put some time in them. These are the few questions Iíve been thinking about. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-14-2020, 10:28 AM   #2
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

have you read through the s10 swap FAQ?

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=632686


building mounts or buying mounts depends on what kind of skill level and tools you have. buying a mount kit you are trading money for time. I have done 10 swaps and building mounts never takes more than about 4-5 hours from scratch for all the mounts needed. Skymangs has drawings in the S10 swap thread for the height you want to build them, you can look up a thread named Albert by Hussey (type Albert and Hussey into the search bar) and he has another set of drawings for mounts.

if you choose to buy, things are figured out for you that would otherwise need some thoughtful planning, like bumper mounts and running boards and bed. its not hard to do those yourself, but a lot of people stall there and a mount kit would be helpful. more on that in a second.


remember that mounting the body is literally the easy part of the swap. everything else, pedals, fuel lines, brake lines, wiring, etc. that is where you are going to spend the bulk of the time. I can mount a cab in a weekend, front clip and bed and bumpers in a couple more days. the rest takes about 3 months of evenings and weekends.


with a 6.0 and 4L80s you will need a new oil pan (camaro or holley) to lower the motor or it will be 3" higher in the chassis, and you would need a big trans tunnel and probably a driveshaft tunnel at your mount height. a 4l80e is also bigger than a 4l60e, so you will need more trans tunnel. here is what 3.5" mounts look like on a 4l60e with the trans pan just higher than the framerail. "setback" depends on your engine mounting height, if you raise it for a truck pan the engine will be more forward than if you mount it lower, unless you tub the firewall.



yours will be bigger, but not a lot. again you can search for OUTLAWDRIFTER in the search field and his project has a 6.0 4l80e.

I mount the s10 booster on the firewall, putting it under the floor will need a kit, a kit that may not work well with a 4l80 trans, make sure it works. steering is done with new shaft and joint, and the exact part list depends on if you center the column or put it in the factory divot, depends on which column you are using, and depends on where that column exits the firewall.


so back to the buy vs build, there are a lot of things that depend on other things. if you are a reasonably competent mechanic and understand mechanical things, you will sail through and probably wont need parts. if you like more "tab a-slott b" kind of assembly, you will have an easier time but a relatively empty wallet. neither is better than the other, just take an honest assessment of your skills and your tools and your available space.

if you need help ask, we like seeing trucks back on the road, no matter how long it takes.
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Old 12-14-2020, 11:29 AM   #3
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

I think Iíll save that money and buy a plasma cutter. I guess my main concern were the motor mounts, steering assembly, and headers. I appreciate you pointing me to outlaw drifter. that answered a few questions. I sent him a private message.
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Old 12-14-2020, 12:32 PM   #4
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

marc is the man. I think he has notifications turned on for his thread so if you dont hear from him soon, just reply to his thread and he will answer.

plasma cutter: dont buy cheap. I bought a hyperterm 600 in 2005 and it still works flawlessly. I bought a razorweld cut 45 in january and have fixed it twice. simple problems, easy fixes, but still. its been a year. I will buy a new hypertherm in jan.
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Old 12-14-2020, 05:41 PM   #5
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

You can do a lot with that 1500.00 plus that those kits cost including paying for a decent plasma cutter.

If Joedoe doesn't have the right answer on an S-10 swap he knows who to point you to for the right answer.
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Old 12-15-2020, 08:22 PM   #6
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

I paid around $50 for the steel to make my cab mounts.

For what it’s worth... I didn’t touch my plasma. Portable bandsaw, a hole-saw and a welder is all I used.
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Old 12-16-2020, 01:16 AM   #7
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

those lennox metalmaster discs also work well. like a thin zip disc except they stay the same diameter because they don't wear down in size. just ensure you wear eye, skin and breathing PPE either way. lots of stuff floating in the air after using either style so if you can cut safely outside without starting a leaf fire or something the go for that option. portable bandsaw would be a great option too but maybe out of budget for some that have a disc grinder already so could save a few bucks by using that.
like said above, the kits already account for those time consuming things like building bumper and running board mounts. if you got time and tools it would be up to you. if you wanna drive it soon, same deal. frame swaps are time consuming unless you have done one like it and have the dimensions and engineering figured out already. joedoh, skymangs and hussy make it look easier than it really is. its a trade off, time for money. if you don't have time or money I hope you have beer to drink while you "bench build" (it's like bench racing).
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Old 12-19-2020, 12:03 AM   #8
Nchristi
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

Thanks for the insight guys, Iíve definitely got more time than money!! Iíve got plenty of tools but actually have a buddy of mine that works for a company with a cnc machine that will cut it materials for cost of metal.
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Old 01-09-2021, 12:56 AM   #9
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

....
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Old 01-09-2021, 02:36 AM   #10
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

Awhile back a buddy and I were talking about different projects and builds. I mentioned I would like a plasma cutter. He has all that stuff. He said save the money on the plasma cutter and spend it on a good tig welder, a few small disc grinders and some good zip discs and or a diamond blade like the Lennox metalmax. A decent metal chop saw is also good to have. he said, think about how many times you cut something compared to welding something. Plus the weld is more important than the cutting process usuaĺly, and the cut usually needs to be ground and trimmed to fit etc anyway. I would love to have a tig now. The list just gets longer, lol.
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Old 01-09-2021, 03:10 AM   #11
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

no way. my plasma I call "the time machine". what used to take hours takes literally seconds and if you screw up you can start over and still be done hours ahead. If you need duplicate left and right you can make a pattern and be done is seconds, without a plasma you have to mark and drill and cut carefully and the two parts will still not be identical. and you have the pattern the next time too. I have had the same welder since 2000, tig is sure nice but I cant justify the cost. a plasma cutter just makes so much sense if you are fabbing things up all the time. if I need a bracket I can cut it and its almost perfect right away with out cutting with cutoff discs and trying to grind smooth or manage undercuts. need a hole? 2 seconds with my hole guides. need a precision hole? cut undersize and drill to precision.
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Old 01-09-2021, 10:19 AM   #12
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

And to ad to what Russ says, if I had more shop room I would have one of these crossfire tables for my plasma..you use your existing torch on it....https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EMJFn1tOgh0
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Old 01-09-2021, 11:27 AM   #13
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

I wouldn't go with a kit. Too many variables and I think you just end up modifying them anyways. Plasma cutter is nice and I used it to remove some stuff but in all honesty I used a cut off wheel to make all my mounts. I tried just a plasma cutter and unless you have a table to guide it you are better off with the cutting wheel. As stated before mounting the body and bed is the easy part. Its all the other stuff that takes so much time. Good luck and I wish I would have done an LS engine. Maybe next time.
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Old 01-11-2021, 02:07 PM   #14
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by 28TudorAZ View Post
unless you have a table to guide it you are better off with the cutting wheel.

before i bought my table I used a piece of rectangle tube as a straight edge guide, and I bought a set of circle guides from 3/4" to 5" on ebay for $80. really made nice parts. I would even use wood as a cutout jig to make repeatable parts.

otherwise YES, freehanding cuts is frustrating if you dont do it a lot.
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Old 01-11-2021, 05:10 PM   #15
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

Also we need pictures!!!!....we need to know what you are starting with
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Old 01-12-2021, 05:39 PM   #16
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by 28TudorAZ View Post
I wouldn't go with a kit. Too many variables and I think you just end up modifying them anyways. Plasma cutter is nice and I used it to remove some stuff but in all honesty I used a cut off wheel to make all my mounts. I tried just a plasma cutter and unless you have a table to guide it you are better off with the cutting wheel. As stated before mounting the body and bed is the easy part. Its all the other stuff that takes so much time. Good luck and I wish I would have done an LS engine. Maybe next time.
agreed, save your money.

i have access to all sorts of fabrication equipment. i built most of 58truk with a $300 fluxcore welder and a couple cheap $10, 4" grinders with cutoff/grinding wheels. all the frame was boxed and welded with fluxcore, yeah, i grind more than the mig guys. i can cut 10ga steel with a cutoff wheel faster than most guys can plasma and grind straight

a lot of fabricating can be done with square tubing, pipe, plate and misc shapes. i did have quite the scrap steel selection when i started out, that saved me a ton. granted my is a 58 on stock frame, but there's a lot of welding and fabrication in there
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Old 01-26-2021, 10:45 PM   #17
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

Came across this thread and wanted to throw in on the side of getting a kit. I just finished mocking up 99 to lifeís kit on my 55. Every went right into place and the time he spent on the instructions and the quality is incredible. My deal is I have very limited time to spend in the shop. I mocked the entire truck up myself in about 3 Sundays with his kit. I am not a pro welder but I am not bad but my stuff would not have looked as good as his either. I am the king of too many projects not getting completed so his kit was what I needed to see some real progress and stay motivated. Just wanted to share my experience
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Old 01-27-2021, 12:11 AM   #18
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Re: 1953 gmc s10 frame 6.0swap

I would like to see more pics of 99 to life’s kit installed, the adjustability is awesome.
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