Hey! My name is Blair and I should be picking up an 87 D50 this week. It will be my first Japanese vehicle. I'm getting it mainly to become a DD for a while as I'm currently driving my major project car (3500T Firebird). I was originally looking for a 4/V6 S10 but came across this truck for a good price and it doesn't look to be in too bad of shape. Sometime next year I'd like to update the engine to something newer.
First off what kind of mileage can I expect from the 2.6?
What rear gears come stock in these trucks?
I've read some info about 5-lug conversions on the front; what is done to convert the rear? Ford 8.8 swap?
The stock speedo isn't currently working. Is this common? Probably the speedo cable?
Going from sports car quick-ration steering to the stock truck steering just feels wrong. Are there any quick-ratio boxes available?
As for engine swaps, I have a couple major ones I've been considering. I understand the 4G63 will bolt in with a 2.0L trans, or a Starion 2.6T will bolt in with the current trans, but neither of those are really appealing for me. 1st, I don't think I'll EVER find a 2.0L trans locally, so that pretty much removes the 4G63 as an option, and 2nd, I'm not really interested in a turbo motor at least for a while because I know from experience they can really suck the gasoline. So that leads me to the 2 main engines I've been considering:
Mazda FE3 w/B2200 trans
I can get the engine for really cheap from a Kia Sportage, it's already set-up for RWD, and B2200 transmissions are common enough it should be easy to source one. Naturally I'll just make some solid mounts for it, have the driveshaft modified, and call it a day. Would use the Kia ECU and probably install an inline fuel pump for EFI. These engine seem to have a really good reputation and are built pretty tough. Should be pretty good on gas and have enough power to satisfy me. Bummed that I probably wouldn't be able to tune it as much as I'd like unless I figured out an easy way to get a GM 7730 to control it.
GM 3400/3500 V5 w/S10 T5 trans
This is the swap I originally wanted to do with an S10; I can get the engines pretty cheap all day (super super common), I'm already familiar with the engine inside/out, and calculated the cost of the complete swap w/stainless headers at a hair under $1000 (in an S10 that already had a T5). I already have tons of parts for these engines already as well. I could probably source out a T5 for a couple hundred so that's not too bad. Advantages over the FE3 are having shared parts with my Firebird, ability to tune the ECU for ultimate gas mileage, and probably 180-200 whp depending on 3400 or 3500. Difficulty would be working around the cast-aluminum oil pan and figuring out what exhaust manifolds to use. S10 2.8 headers may or may not fit.
I'm also toying with the idea of installing a Ford 8.8 IRS in the back, since there's a setup locally for really cheap and it mainly would require building the 4 mounts for the IRS subframe. Nice thing is that leaf springs are eliminated and the whole suspension setup is pretty much self-contained with the subframe. Should have the 5x114.3 bolt pattern as well.
Feel free to comment!