LT1/S-10 swap

Q. I’m sure you are asked this all the time and are probably tired of rehashing all the details, but here it goes. I have a ’94 Caprice classic wagon with the LT1 with factory cast-iron heads. It’s ready to give up the ghost, but the drivetrain is too good to throw away. I have an ’01 S-10 with the four-cylinder and five-speed manual tranny. I’ve seen pictures online of S-10s with this engine swap, where it all tucks away under the hood, but I’m having trouble getting a parts list for the swap. The automatic in the wagon is trouble-free, but I’m partial to manual. I’ll use the automatic if I have to, but was hoping a five- or six-speed manual would fit. I’m not sure about the rearend either. If you can grit your teeth hard enough to help me out I’d appreciate it.

Randy Weaver
Via email

A. Yes, this is a very popular swap, and there is tons of information out there. One of our good friends has been swapping these engines since the S-10 came out. His company name might not sound like a go-to for help with a Chevy swap. Mike Knell is the owner of Jaguars That Run. He started his love for engine swaps with dropping small-blocks into Jags in the mid ’80s. The small-block engine swaps were much cheaper than repairing the blown Jaguar engine, and gave you a very reliable driver. He writes very comprehensive conversion manuals about specific swaps with illustrations of the modifications and part number lists from regular suppliers, like Chevy dealers and national auto parts chains. He’ll be the first to tell you that his manuals are not for building race cars or off-road trucks, and will supply you with a detailed manual to do an OE-quality swap, making it a very reliable truck for everyday use. Now, we’re not saying you couldn’t step up the performance with bolt-ons or larger displacement. Knell delivers the how-to guide for your S-10 swap. The manual will also outline how to install the engine with a T5 five-speed or T56 six-speed. As for the rearend upgrade, many of the later S-10s came equipped with an 8.5-inch ring gear corporate rearend. These rearends will hold up to whatever you throw at them with aftermarket upgrades, all of which Knell covers in great detail. You can purchase the manuals directly from JTR, or they are available from Summit under PN JTR-S10 or Jegs under PN 116549.

If you’re looking to swap any small-block, including Gen III engines, into Jags, Datsun Z cars, Mazda RX-7s, Volvo 200 and 700s, and Astro vans, Jaguars That Run can help with installation manuals and component parts, and even offers engine mounts, headers, cooling system components, and oil pans for many of these swaps.

Sources: jagsthatrun.com, jegs.com, summitracing.com