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Chevrolet S-10, Truck
#15 of 304 My son and i pick-up this used '88
Sep 01, 2001 (8:06 am)
S10 long bed with 4.3, 160 hp engine and 4:11 gears and auto, no AC. It had 70,000 mi. scratch and ding free body, dark blue metallic paint. We tuned it up, went through entire vehicle, changed all fluids, filters, lubed entire chassis and buffed out the paint. Of course he
proceeded to lower the truck and add a few upgrades. This truck was very quick due to the axel ratio. It was a work truck owned by a construction co. We paid $3500 for it in 1992. My son put 200,000 miles on this engine. Only repairs were alternator and starter. He sold and bought a used '94 lowered reg cab with 45,000 mi, 4.3 and 180 hp engine. This truck was far slower due to 3:08 gears. It was also trouble free to 200,000 miles again until he bought a new '99 Xtreme with 4.3 and 180 HP engine. Again that vehicle seemed slower than his '88. The Xtreme was upgraded with 17 in wheels and tires, lowered 2 more inches from factory lower. Additions of K and N, exhaust, chip upgrade to disable limiter. Vehicle was fast, but lacked tru punch. Again trouble free. He has since upgraded to leased 2001 Xtreme Blazer 2 dr.
My first S10 was a used 1987 Chevy Tahoe 4x4, ext cab with 2.8L 60 deg 125 hp V6. 3:73 gears, transfer case, skid plates, upgrade tires to UNIROYAL ATX LT235 X 75 15'S. Vehicle had 71,000 mi. I drove it to 144,000 mi. Only trouble was a broken plastic vacuum line. About $2.00. It was trouble free. Comsumer's report rated this truck UNACCEPTABLE, due to engine, electronics and Brake problems witch i never encountered. Only thing about this truck was that it was very gutless going uphill. Offroading was fun and exciting. I liked this truck so much i replaced it was a used 1991 Tahoe Blazer 4x4 4-door mini SUV. It was 39,000 trouble free miles, a lease turn in. It was maroon, had ABS, transfer case and a 160 HP 4.3 engine,
tow packkage, heavy duty radiator cooling. This vehicle was one of the worst vehicles i have ever owned. Problem area, brake pads every 18,000 mi, ABS system failure to the tune of $1700. I went to all auto parts stores to try and repair myself, they all said it was a dealer item, to go to dealer. This S10 also had numerous electrical problems, engine would smoke blue at start up due to defective valve guides. We finally traded this in a a leaased '99 Tracker 4x4, 4-dr 2.0L munchkin SUV. Which my wife drives exclusively. She love it. I don;t care for it much. I decided to try one more S10 purchase. A 2000 S10 Xtreme with 2.2L Vortec, 120 HP, 3:73 axel, ZQ8 suspension, 5 sp manual with short thro shifter, close ratio steering and beautiful body cladding. It was a reg cab in ONYX black. A great handling commuter vehicle with a 20 gas fule tank and erratic fuel guage that got 28-29 mpg at a steady 67 mph. I upgraded to K& N, a few mods to air box, catback exhaust. She could onloy do 93 mph, 0-60 in 12 secs but was a sweet looking vehicle. Trouble free to 20,000 mi then the Lemonaide factor set in, i mean i was at the mercy of the dealer. Severe stalling, at least 8 times, had to come to full stop before engine would start. Dealer could not find anything wrong, after 4 visists they told me to pick out another vehicle....it was the engine computer
#16 of 304 amorales
Sep 01, 2001 (10:00 am)
Great post! I am feeling about ten feet tall for having bought an older S-10 and hearing how reliable your older ones were.
Sorry about your bad luck with the newer ones.
I think the older body style is ten times sharper than the rounded off newer ones. What was the last year of the old body style? 94? Or was it '93?
Thanks for the post.
Sep 01, 2001 (10:27 am)
'93 was lost of the square stying since '82. I still love those old S10's. My Son just recently informed me the Alternator of his new Xtreme Blazer went out the 2nd day. Was replaced and all is ok so far. Try s10xtreme.com or xtreme.com i think. They have a very great web site and message board. I was no 111 on xtreme owners number. They have great data and info on all S10's from '82 to present as well as this forum. I came close to going with advance adapters package for small block V8 shoe in. JTR (Jaguars that run) in Livermore, Ca has a manual that will give you step by step photo instructions for putting Chevy small block V8 into any S10. Lots of goodies are out there.
Good luck with youyr S10. I feel if i staid with the '91 and the Xtreme i could have worked out the bugs, defects eventually. However when one is burned both financially and severe defects it hardens oneself against that product. My current 2000 3/4 ton C2500 has been trouble free for 34,990 miles as of this date and one year later. Even with heavy add-ons and mods. I still miss my Xtreme. Lots of fun while it ran trouble free for 20,000 mi.
Have a great weekend and holiday
PS I ordered the manuals from Helm's for $180.00 for my current truck. They are awesome, can take apart vehicle bolt by bolt with vived instructions. Best out there.
#18 of 304 amorales
Sep 02, 2001 (6:56 am)
Thanks for the info, Andy. I checked out the web site for s10extremes, and it looks interesting. I will get into it more in the next few days. I didn't see much for just plain old S-10's, but I didn't spend too much time there yet. I have it bookmarked.
#19 of 304 Maintaining a high mileage vehicle
Sep 03, 2001 (5:49 am)
Would appreciate any tips on the maintenance of my S-10. I have no experience with a vehicle with this many miles on it (currently 136,7XX).
I have always been a fanatic about oil changes, but other people have benefited by that, since I have always traded so often. I have taken care of new vehicles as if I were going to put 200,000 miles on them, but then I would trade them off before they reached 50K (often LONG before that).
Anyway, I was wondering if a guy needs to do something different or use a different type of oil for a high mileage vehicle.
I have heard about Valvoline Max Life oil, which is supposed to be designed specifically for high mileage engines. That just hype, or is there any real benefit to that stuff?
I have used Mobil 1 full synthetic in my last few vehicles, but I don't know if I should put my S-10 on that stuff. I have heard that synthetic oil does not keep the seals and gaskets as soft as regular oil does and can eventually cause leaks. Don't know if that is true or not.
Please jump in here with your opinions. I have 2200 miles on the truck since I bought it, and I plan on changing the oil at 3K. The dealer had just changed the oil the day that I bought the truck.
Anything other tips besides oil related stuff would be appreciated too.
#20 of 304 how fast should I drive?
Sep 03, 2001 (6:07 pm)
Anybody care to pass on their opinion about what I should use as a limit for my highway speed, considering the high mileage on my S-10?
I have the 2.8 V6 with a five speed. I don't have a tach, so I don't know my RPMs at any given speed. I want the engine to last as long as possible, so I don't want to push it too hard. Right now, it doesn't use any oil, and I would like to keep it that way.
On a level stretch of road, will I be putting too much strain on the old engine at 65 or 70 MPH? It seems to run just fine at that range of speed. If I just drive without specifically trying to hold any particular speed, it seems to just naturally settle in somewhere between 65 and 70.
#21 of 304 Great info...here's some more that may help
Sep 04, 2001 (9:21 pm)
You guys that are new to trucks or to Chevy trucks in particular are going to enjoy your S-10s, especially if you live in an area that is not swimming in salt about six months out of the year. Hers's a few reasons why:
1. Trucks were first designed for, and still are aimed at commercial users and fleet managers. That means that they are designed, sold and maintained for their long service life. They typically have more parts available longer than a car, so we also enjoy the benefit. You'll be surprised to find out that even when your truck is 20-25 years old, body items like hoods, doors, fenders and bumpers will be readily available. If they were expensive or unreliable, a LOT of fleet managers would be going to Ford, Dodge (ugh!) or Toyota (ugh x 10).
2. While you won't usually find trucks in Motor Trend or Automobile magazine because of their latest gee-whiz high tech gadgets, you also won't have to worry about finding an exotic alternator, computer or brake system that "they only used one year and with certain engines and transmissions, and they haven't made in years." Common items like alternators, radiators, fuel injectors and other items often have the bugs worked out of them early in the course of their service life, and are relatively cheap to buy, new or rebuilt. My 2000 S-10 may not have rack and pinion steering, but I can lube all of the wear items on my truck's front end rather than waiting for one of those "sealed-for-life" grease fittings to fail and then have to replace an entire steering assembly.
As for maintenance on an older engine where you may not know its service history, here's a few tips:
1. Clean the fuel injectors using a product called 44K made by BG products. It is not some "miracle in a can" sold on late night TV, but it IS used by thousands of new-car dealers to keep their customers happy. If you can't find it locally, go to www.bgprod.com to find a local dealer or www.cambridgeauto.com, then go to the link for ryno products. They sell and ship 44K all over the country from that web site. While you are at it, change the fuel and air filters and the PCV valve.
2. At 100,000 miles, either remove the radiator to have it rodded out at a good radiator shop, or replace it. I know the manual doesn't mention this as a maintenance item, but it should. While it is out, replace the water pump and fan belt tensioner if they don't look as if they have ever been replaced. While you have the room to inspect it, check the harmonic balancer carefully to make sure the rubber isn't cracked.
3. Speaking of maintenance, after 100,000 miles, several items should be checked or replaced as a matter of preventive maintenance. These items include the shocks, front wheel bearings, brake wheel cylinders or calipers, all rubber fuel lines under the truck and ALL, and I mean, ALL vacuum lines. I usually just go to the parts store, buy about three feet of the three or four most common sizes of vacuum line, and replace each vacuum line ONE AT A TIME with the new hose that comes closest to matching it.
4. If you have turned over 100K miles, no one tells you this until they fail or your gas mileage goes down dramatically, but those spark plug wires probably saw their best days about 40,000 miles ago. While you are at it, replace the cap and rotor. Like the vacuum lines, do the spark plug wires ONE AT A TIME. As for plugs, I've heard good things about the AC Delco plugs made for older engines called RapidFire, or something like that. Otherwise, I would NOT recommend any exotic, split fire, double-gold, solid platinum/titanium, whatevers. I don't care how many of your buddies claim to get an extra 5 or 10 horsepower; the only thing most of those expensive plugs do is empty your wallet faster. Same thing about el-cheapo 89 cent specials. Just find out which AC-Delco plug came in your engine, and go with that in 90-99% of most situations.
By now you can tell I strongly believe in PREVENTIVE maintenance. Fact is, it is cheaper and easier to replace a water pump in my driveway in the shade on a cool engine than it is to do it by the side of the road in 90+ degree heat on a hot motor while traffic races by. As a result, I've never been stranded due to a mechanical problem in well over 20 years.
Good luck and enjoy your trucks.
#22 of 304 Joe, thanks for the post!
Sep 05, 2001 (4:31 am)
Thanks a bunch, Joe. I enjoyed your post very much.
I have done some of the things you mentioned, or at least checked them.
It looks like the plug wires have already been replaced on my truck, so I think I'm in good shape there for a while.
The radiator was replaced during the rebuilding of my truck, since it was damaged in the accident that resulted in the truck being totalled.
I did have the cooling system flushed shortly after buying the truck. I thought that just cause the radiator had been replaced didn't mean there might not be some crud in the block. The radiator shop where I had the flush done reported that the stuff that came out of it didn't look bad at all.
I have replaced the PCV valve and the air filter.
I've had the serpentine belt checked and was told by a mechanic that I trust that it still has some time to go before it needs to be replaced.
We were going to check the front wheel bearings, but the grease looked real fresh, so it appears that they have recently been cleaned and repacked. I will need a brake job in the next few months, so I agreed to the mechanic's suggestion that we just wait until then to inspect the bearings.
I really hadn't given any thought to vacuum lines, so your tip on that was really useful. I'll get that done before too long.
Also, I will probably check on that fuel injector cleaner that you mentioned.
Thanks, again, Joe, and please respond to my question about how fast I should drive on the highway. I don't want to needlessly drive slow, but I SURE don't want to put too much stress on that little 2.8 either. It really seems to like to go 65 to 70, and I don't think it's under much strain at that kind of speed. I would like to hear other peoples' opinions on that.
Sure do love that little truck! I think I have a good one, and it was a steal at $2450 on the road price.
Sep 05, 2001 (6:03 am)
My mom had an 87 blazer with the 2.8. Blazer was great only had one problem with a hose when new but it was taken care of under a recall. Never was in the shop after that. She sold it May 2000. Truck was 13 years old had 136K on it. Only thing wrong was the air conditioning needed a new compressor. Guy didnt care.
She didnt drive it crazy and it lasted. It was tough to get the thing up to 70 but when it got there it was fine. I dont think it ever seen 75.
#24 of 304 Great Topic!!!
Sep 05, 2001 (6:15 am)
I have been the proud owner of a 1991 S-10 Blazer that currently has 148,000 miles on it. It is my daily driver since I don't like to get my 2000 3/4 ton Silverado dirty... but we won't go there.
The Blazer has been a great vehicle and the reason I bought the new PU. (there was a day when I said I would never own a chevy)
Anyway, my reason for posting is I have experienced a problem now for a while and I am hoping someone here can help. My Blazer has the 4.3 V6 with auto trans. The water pump started leaking and was changed out at about 120,000. The shop that did the work had to change the water pump two more times because the replacements also leaked... but they did it under warranty and it did not cost me any additional money. However ever since the first change out of the water pump the temp gage has always read hotter than the truck ever did before the change. Before the water pump was changed out the gage never read above 200. Now on a hot day the temp will almost go to the red line. I have taken the truck back to the shop that did the work and they flushed the system and changed out the thermostat (twice) but I still have this problem. I have not driven the truck much this summer due to it getting so hot in traffic. That is the other thing.. while driving at highway speed the thermostat will read below 200, but will rise when in stop-N-go traffic.
Also a little more history about the truck.. I bought it in 1992 with 25K on it and have always had the oil changed at 3000 miles. It now needs some minor cosmetic work but other than that it has been a great truck. Hope to get over 200,00 on it.
Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.