Originally Posted by johnvanveen
i know its cheap and a pos but its all i can afford i need a car to get to school and work
Ok, all roads lead to vac systems on these motors. Vac leaks would explain both the brake problem and the rough idle. If the rear brakes are leaking fluid, then they probably need replaced too.
Fortunately, most of this relatively easy to fix...just need a lot of rubber vac tubing, check valve on the body vac and reserve tank, and probably a check valve on the brake booster too. Brake cylinders are easy to replace on the 10-bolt drum axle...messy, but hey, cheap to work on.
It is also possible that the "rebuilt" transmission isn't right. If the rough idle only happens when the automatic transmission is in gear, then you may have a problem with the torque converter or pump on the THM700R4. (Disregard if it'* a manual transmission)
The S10 is an easy chassis to work on and if the frame is straight and not rusted out, it'* worth about $200/250. It will be cheap to insure too.
Upgrades: Find a wrecked 1993 or 1994 F-Body V6. It'* the 3.4L 60degree V6 and it'* long block is a direct replacement for the 2.8L/3.1L 60 degree V6. Next step down would be the 3.1L from a late 3rd gen V6. The "I Gotta Have Power" option is a 305/350 V8..which in carb or TBI trim is pretty cheap to come by (but you'll need the transmission, conversion motor & tranny mounts, and electric fans on the radiator...all pretty easy to come by)
Replacement bodywork is also pretty easy to get.
So, if you don't mind getting dirty on the weekends, a beat up S10 isn't a bad choice.
Initial guestimate...$100 to $200 to fix the major problems and get it road worthy. Everything else is a "do it as you can, when you can" kinda thing