Originally Posted by rjolly87
1989 S10, 2.8l v6, 5 spd standard, 180k miles, orig engine, newer clutch/tranny
Beyond the rust issues that seem to inhabit pickups, the 2.8L 60-degree V6 is a kinda weak motor, but the truck is kinda light. Milage on the one you are looking at is a bit on the high side.
Know issues with the whole 60-degree V6 family: Oil pump failures and Rod Knock. The 60-degree V6 is an even fire motor with all sorts of odd ofsets in the crank to keeps the firing order of 1 cylinder every 120 degrees of rotation...makes the crank a bit on the weak side.
On the plus side. Motors and parts are plentifull and cheap. The 60 degree V has a long production run and relatively few changes. A good replacement motor is the 1993-1994 3.4L RWD Long Block (Iron Heads) You'll find them in F-Bodies and a few other base model RWD cars. It'* a direct replacement for the 2.8L and 3.1L motors in RWD cars and trucks (GM even sold it in crate form as an upgrade to the 2.8L *-10 motor.) The only identifying features are a grid pattern cast into the exterior of the block to stiffen the water jacket and "3.4L" cast into the block. Avoid all FWD motors..the starter is on the wrong side and the GenII motors have completely different aluminum heads. Dead V6 F-Bodies are your friends for junkyard parts
Induction: 2bbl carb really sucks. TBI sucks too..but not as bad as the carb. MPFI is pretty good for this motor (approx 120hp stock) and can fit all the motors. It has a batch-fire injector system with distributor and a pretty simple ECM. SFI with coil packs is better, but not all the blocks are drilled for the crank and cam position sensors.
Axle: Common GM 10-bolt small ring on leaf springs. Slip a 3 series gearset in it with a limited slip diff and it will run quick and a long time. (3.23 ratio is a good choice for the truck with a 5-speed, it will feel quick and still get good gas milage.)
All-in-all, the *-10 isn't a bad starting point for basic transport with some room to play with it later.