1986 GMC S-15

tennesseewj

Observer
Thanks for all the good words gentlemen. I'm surprised this old grandpa truck is getting any love at all on here with all the 100k+ dream machines.



I honestly couldn't say. They measured out to just below 34's, like 33 3/4 or something along those lines. They were big steam rollers though, pigs on gas. I gave the truck a 2 3/4 levelling kit. I pulled back the inner fenders slightly and trim a little nub of sheet metal and they cleared perfectly.

I'm currently back in school so updates are pretty well going to be non existent for another 8 months.

I've been getting out hunting a bit and trucks been doing great.

The rack is so incredibly handy


Had a fair bit of success with small game,
















Haven't been able to put enough time out there for a deer yet.
Are you jumping those rabbits on foot and then shooting them with a .22? Those things are tricky enough with a shotgun and dog to circle them back

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KLAKEBRONCO

Adventurer
Thanks for all the good words gentlemen. I'm surprised this old grandpa truck is getting any love at all on here with all the 100k+ dream machines.



I honestly couldn't say. They measured out to just below 34's, like 33 3/4 or something along those lines. They were big steam rollers though, pigs on gas. I gave the truck a 2 3/4 levelling kit. I pulled back the inner fenders slightly and trim a little nub of sheet metal and they cleared perfectly.

I'm currently back in school so updates are pretty well going to be non existent for another 8 months.

I've been getting out hunting a bit and trucks been doing great.

The rack is so incredibly handy


Had a fair bit of success with small game,
















Haven't been able to put enough time out there for a deer yet.

Since you have made such a big jump in tire size I would re-gear the axles.
With a tire that size (33-3/4") I would look into a 4.56 (possibly a 4.88 even) gear. Not only will this restore some lost "power" but will restore a good deal of the lost MPG

Re-gearing is a perfect time to consider a disk brake conversion to help make up for the added leverage of the bigger tires. This doesn't have to be a high dollar affair either. I swapped my 9.5" rear axle to disks for $75 and that was as the cost of the brackets. In hind sight I could have done the job even cheaper.

Also a good time for a traction device.
 

chilliwak

Expedition Leader
Hey andrew, just browsed through your thread for the first time. Nice looking truck you have there. what an amazing amount of work you have done to that machine. I am a true fan of someone who does all their own work, and does it right. Cheers mate, I look forward to seeing more, Chilli..:)
 

Hobiecat

Observer
Great looking truck! I used to have86 Jeep Comanche that had the GM 2.8 as well. Super easy to work on and pretty reliable, but the carburetor was always finicky....I may have kept it if I’d known the S-15 had a fuel injection system on the same engine.
 

Doc_

Sammich!
This has to be one of my favorite threads, you've shown so many beautiful sights and fantastic outings all centered around an awesome little truck. My dad had a white '86 S10 when I was growing up; it had a perpetual vacuum leak, always ran rich, and the TBI engine was damned near impossible to smog, and I adored it. Every time we loaded up in that S10 we were going someplace fun: hiking, Scouting trips, hunting trips, fishing, camping.
Seeing your build just brought back all those happy childhood memories. Keep on rocking the S15, it's awesome.
 

Bojak

Adventurer
Even your rifles are old school cool. Woodmaster / feildmaster should be in every collection. Good luck this season.

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bald.eagle

Observer
Read through the whole thread, and enjoyed your “build” more than most of the high dollar “expo” builds you see on here. Really refreshing to see someone stick to a down-to-earth plan and execute it so well, all the while keeping the project useable. I’d go as far as saying it’s inspiring. I have a 15 year old Suburban with over 200k miles and this has given me a kick in the pants to give it some serious mechanical love over the next year. It’s too easy to get lost in the world of possible mods and upgrades and neglecting the fact that our vehicles are most capable when simply taken care of attentively.

Nicely done.
 

Andrew_S

Observer
Are you jumping those rabbits on foot and then shooting them with a .22? Those things are tricky enough with a shotgun and dog to circle them back

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Yeah usually just pick up the odd one here and there driving down the road. They take off into the bush but half the time one of us can usually spot them. I would love to get a .17 hmr topped with a nice scope for them.



Since you have made such a big jump in tire size I would re-gear the axles.
With a tire that size (33-3/4") I would look into a 4.56 (possibly a 4.88 even) gear. Not only will this restore some lost "power" but will restore a good deal of the lost MPG

Re-gearing is a perfect time to consider a disk brake conversion to help make up for the added leverage of the bigger tires. This doesn't have to be a high dollar affair either. I swapped my 9.5" rear axle to disks for $75 and that was as the cost of the brackets. In hind sight I could have done the job even cheaper.

Also a good time for a traction device.
Hey I appreciate the advice but I only went up to like a 29ish inch tire. There is no way this little 2.8 could handle 34's. I had that size tire on my old sierra, I was just answering a previous question. I've thought about the 8.5 blazer rear end with disc brake upgrade. It would be nice but by the time I did it properly I would probably be around $500 for everything. Just tough to justify when the truck has no issues braking currently at all.


Now that your S15 is equipped with 16s, you can utilize the 99-up s-series 2 piston caliper/rotors and spindles up front.
I wish but I was unable to find any 16" rims that would fit the 5x4.75 bolt pattern. So I'm stuck with 15's. However the larger 2 piston calipers will definitely fit on 15" wheels but I really dislike the stock 2nd gen calipers, they are so extremely heavy. Plus the junkyard wants like 50$ each for them. The brakes on the truck work great currently. If I was hauling a trailer that would be something I would look into for sure.



Thanks for all the comments above. It's cool to see that some people like this truck as much as I do.

We've been out on a couple small trips lately when we are hunting,









The Truck starts to run a little warm when I'm running it up the mountains, especially on really steep grades at slow speeds. I know the stock rad is a little corroded on the inside from inspection. I've been contemplating replacing it but couldn't justify the $350 bill for a new rad. I happened upon this great rad at the junkyard a couple days ago but it was $90ish. I went back this afternoon to grab it and bonus they were having a 50% off sale. So I picked it up for $47 after tax and it's mint. Hoping this will solve my cooling issues. If not, next up is an e-fan.



Also had this super annoying rattle in the passenger door. Narrowed it down the door handle rod banging around. Tightened it up with some electrical tape for now. See how long that'll last.




I was topping up the windshield washer reservoir a couple days ago only to find it spewing out underneath the truck. Tough to see in the pic but the can is split right down to the bottom. Couldn't find one at the yard, must be a common problem. The vibrations on the backroads just kill plastic.



Some more small game, nothing bigger yet, just not enough time.






Been getting a little bit of snow up in the hills. Hoping it all freezes right over sooner than later.



Going to have to throw the chains in the truck soon.

 

chilliwak

Expedition Leader
Thanks for posting up the pics Andrew. Looks like you have had some fun in the Kelowna backroads. If your new rad does not work can I suggest getting a new aluminum rad out of the US? I bought one for my 79 Chevy pick up for about what a used one would cost at the junk yard. Makes for an incredible differance. Have fun and I am looking forward to seeeing new pics of your adventures. Cheers, Chilli...:)
 

Andrew_S

Observer
Thanks for the suggestion Chilli. I went that route with my '84 and the cooling system is way more than the truck will ever need.
I'm really hoping to stick with the stock rad because the mounting system is so nice and simple. Also I feel like with a decent e-fan all my problems will be solved. Plus the goal is inexpensive and effective modifications.

This is the set-up on the '84








Now back to the '86. Something I've been contemplating for a little while is a 3.4 swap.
The 2.8 really just doesn't have enough torque for all of the hills in bc. It's a great little motor on flats but as soon as you hit a grade it falls on it's face. Atleast in a 3800lb truck with bigger tires and gear in the bed.

The stock 2.8 was rated at 125 HP - 150 Torque.
The 3.4 is rated at 160 hp - 200 torque.

The 3.4 is essentially a bolt on upgrade. Aside from a flywheel and a few other small things, everything is transferrable right down to the accessories.


The 3.4's came in 93-95 camaro and firebirds and to the best of my knowledge they were the only vehicles.

I just happened to stumble across this little gem.
I went and looked at it three days ago. I ended up offering the owner $500 for it.


Now i'm the proud owner of a camaro.
If you can look past the horrible rims it currently has on it's actually a pretty decent car.


First thing I had to do was pressure wash 6" months of leaves and crap off of it.





All cleaned up,



It also came with a good set of tires on the original mags. The car would look 10x better with these on.



So this is what I'm after,






Ok so now for the bad,

The interior is disgusting. The guy was a heavy smoker and there was probably 100+ butts in the car. Ash everywhere, every piece of upholstery is stained.
The car has 285,000 km's or 180k miles. A number of other small issues, power window not working, etc. The big one is it's currently pissing coolant out of a hard line under the intake. Forcing you to stop every 20 mins and top the rad back up. Bad for the car, good me when it came to negotiating price.



Aside from those issues it's actually a pretty decent ride. It's a 5 speed with a nice little short throw shifter. Geared very well and comfortable. The body is absolutely mint too. I'm contemplating stripping it down to nothing and turning it into an auto-x car.






So this is the plan.

- Pull the motor, strip it down to nothing and inspect. If everything checks out fine I'll rebuild it. Upgrade the valve train slightly, rework the heads/intake/throttle body for a little more air. Then drop it in and enjoy.

I'm hoping to part out the car to recover the initial cost of purchase and hopefully some of the rebuild/upgrades.

This won't be seeing much attention until April. Then it will be full bore.




I'm going to try and keep a running tally of costs. Mostly for myself and the challenge of doing this for not a ton of money.

Purchase price $500
1 day tag and ownership transfer $63.00
Pressure wash & Vac $8.50
total : 571.50
 
B

BPD53

Guest
I love seeing the updates. This continues to be my favorite thread on Expo. I think most people following your thread are the kind of guys that have a limited budget and build everything themselves.

Keep up the good work.
 

chilliwak

Expedition Leader
Nice Camaro you scored there Andrew. That motor will be good for your truck. Also you can always put a V8 in the camaro if you choose to do so. The aluminum raditaors that are for sale in the US are a copy of stock rads at a very cheap price. Probably less than an electric fan. Thanks for posting up your pics. Always cool to follow your build. Cheers, chilli...:)
 

grotto

Observer
I had an 85 S10 std. cab 5-sp. long bed with a crate 3.4 that I put a Webber carb into. I really liked the truck but for the life of me I couldn't get the Webber dialed in to my satisfaction, grew tired of dealing with it, swore off carburators and sold the truck. At least I broke even on it. Searched for a 3.4 Camaro without success. If I recall the Camaro is MPFI? You will like the extra power. Enjoying the thread, still have a soft spot for these trucks.
 

SHOBout

New member
Beautiful truck and extremely jealous that you live out in BC. Being born and raised in Ontario and finally going on a West trip with the GF this past summer made me want to move out there later in life. Good luck with the 3.4 swap and hope to see more from you!
 
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