1988 Chevrolet S-10 Durango 2.8 V6 from North America
A super tough small truck with personality. Keep it forever if you can
The truck did not have a catalytic converter on it when I bought it, so I put one in to pass emissions. I also put in a new O2 sensor.
The fuel pump needed replacing at 180,000 miles.
The vacuum lines to the 4x4 were all rotted, and the vacuum valve switch was changed where it connects to the transfer case.
Replaced the shocks and spent the money for them to tighten up the front end; I think the ball joints or something in the front end was replaced.
I also had to put in a new starter, which was a bit of a complex job. Had to remove a lot of braces to get to it. It was not super hard, but not as easy as other cars because there are so many parts crammed together in this truck, there is not a lot of space, and therefore it is sometimes hard to work on one part without removing other parts.
New bench seat needed because of ripped vinyl, but I found a custom bench seat at a junk yard.
Also had to re-weld where the exhaust pipe connects to the muffler and patch some holes in the rusty part of the exhaust to keep the noise level down, all after the muffler. Normal for such an old truck.
The transmission makes a noise in overdrive when going uphill; I brought it to a mechanic who test drove it with me and then inspected the car, and he said it was just a vibration or something else happening, and nothing to worry about with the transmission.
This truck has a lot of character. The 2.8 is a very reliable engine. This car is also fuel injected, so it works a lot better than the older carburetted ones. It always starts up and works great in cold weather. I also can get like 24 MPG on the highway if I drive it carefully. It is not super fast and it sometimes hunts and switches a lot between overdrive and 3rd gear, because it was made at a time when the speed limit was 55mph on the highway. The car does have enough power; not as much as modern trucks, but it is still a V6, so it has a good balance of economy for its power. It has a lot of torque for hauling stuff. I have even pulled a utility trailer with it and loaded it with a lot of heavy wood, and it does great when fully loaded.
I like its appearance and style for the boxy shape; it has nice appearance and the dimensions make it skinny and easy to maneuver, but also I have the long bed so one can sleep in the back if you put a topper on it.
Very solid truck. This first gen is somewhat simple to work on except that everything inside is so tightly packed it is hard to reach some things. People have seen my truck in my driveway and knocked on my door asking to buy it.
I always find cheap parts in the junk yard. Since this truck was so popular, it's easy to find parts at low price. Many are still on the road.
My only gripe with this truck is they made the gas pedal to hard to push. It has too tight a spring on the throttle return. Since the car is so old, I have changed the throttle cable and the throttle valve cable to try to improve the gas pedal feel, but the main spring is built into the air intake, so it cannot be changed or adjusted.
Also everyone should know this is a very old style 4x4 mechanism to engage the 4x4. It was advanced for its day to shift on the fly, but it also has limitations. Because many people buying this car do not have an owner's manual, they sometimes break the four wheel drive by not knowing how to use it and when to engage it. The 4x4 is not advanced enough like newer 4x4s to be able to run on regular pavement. When all tires are engaged, since tires have different ratios when car is turning around corners, it can break the transfer case which cannot compensate for the different ratios. Therefore the 4x4 capability is only made to be used off road or in snow or in slippery conditions where the turning inner tires can slip a little (and they cannot slip if gripped on pavement). The owner's manual explains when to engage this 4x4, only when off road or in snowy conditions. It will break easy and many people I know have broken them. Therefore never engage your 1st gen S10 and the S10 Blazer on dry pavement. I'm not sure, but I think the 2nd gen works differently. Also the vacuum driven way the 4x4 engages needs to be inspected every now and again for leaks, and the rubber vacuum line tubes replaced to ensure it works properly.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th May, 2018
10th May 2018, 11:49
The 2.8 litre engine is not the greatest - it is a bit of a dog when in a heavier vehicle, as was the case when they ended up in Camaros/Firebirds. Made for a lackluster ride. Cruised OK on the highway, but get up and go was virtually nonexistent. Anyhow, my point is that the Chevy S10 pickup did leaps and bounds better with a 4.3 litre V6 and a 5 speed, as was the case in the Xtreme.