Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

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Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby skorpioskorpio » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:08 pm

I stumbled across this forum in a search for, well duh, a V8/S10 swap, anyway... I am looking for information from not only those that have done one of these swaps but also from those that don't necessarily think that every problem only has one solution. I am researching a project, specifically an LS into a ZR2 Blazer swap, think gen 2 Blazer (probably a 2001-2005), using the full time AWD Borg Warner 4472 transfer case used in early Bravidas and Typhoon/Syclones, sitting fairly low but by no means a frame dragger. Really more of a Blazer based Rally car with big sticky tires and Corvette brakes.

So I've looked at countless pictures of swaps, and engine bays and oil pans and front S10 differentials and something I keep coming back to is why not just use the Trailblazer pan and front differential in a swap and just get rid of the stock differential and mounts? I've seen a lot of pictures of custom fabricated pans for these swaps where the location of the front diff and axel assembly looks to be pretty much just where it would be if you used the Trailblazer pan. It can't be more than an inch or so in any direction from stock, which I don't see how, even if it is, would make a difference to the half shafts when the front axel and front hubs can vary in relation to each other by a much more significant margin even among different factory setups (for example the relatively low Syclone/Typhoon set up vs the raised ZR2 setup). My understanding is the Trailblazer differential guts are actually the same as the regular 4WD front differential guts, it's only the housing that is different, as it relies on the oil pan for some of it's structure and mounting.

The ZR2 guys over at ZR2USA.com just dismiss this as, "well it'll be way too high" which I'm not buying, if it's too high it can't be more than about an inch or so, and first off I'm not sure why that would make all that much of a difference and second I would think you'd probably be able to, maybe not effortlessly, drop the LS a smidge lower in the engine bay to compensate. But then again this is a forum where there is more discussions about replacing the front suspension with a sold axle and leaf springs than there is about LS swaps, so grain of salt. My question asked on the S10Forums just got me crickets, although that isn't all that surprising either, when I got my first S10, a ZQ8 Sonoma and asked in that forum what were the biggest tires that would fit in the wells, I got a dozen responses telling me that if I put big tires on it, it would limit how far I could drop the suspension, no one ever actually answered the question and my thread became a discussion between members about how lowering it made the tires look less small, WTF?

I haven't as of yet asked this question on the SyTy forums, frankly their forum rules are essentially; "Read the entire forum before you post a single word, and don't ask any question that has ever been asked before or isn't directly related to a Syclone or Typhoon", which sort of makes me feel rather gun shy to even ask such a question there until I have a pretty good idea whether it'll work or not.

So here I am, with a rather verbose first post here, asking a question I'm fairly sure no one has thought of at all, and those that are familiar with what I am even talking about have seen the odd front sump Trailblazer pan with the hole through it and thought it was precisely the wrong pan for any sort of LS into a 4WD S10 swap, because well 4X S10 swaps are about squeezing a tiny Spam can sump in the little space you have behind the front differential and most certainly not about using a front sump pan, because that is where the axle is. But this is exactly why this pan exists, because this problem is the same problem the pan was designed to solve.

I still have that ZQ8 Sonoma, but it doesn't really help me answer this question since it's the wrong layout, I don't have the pan although I do have one of the L6 versions of the pan, since I started out doing a totally different project where I was going to put a Trailblazer 6 into a 2WD 1970 Jimmy, and in that case that front sump was absolutely the wrong place for a sump to be. I am looking to probably, well more than probably, ditch the Jimmy project since I am so reliant on custom fabricated parts done by vendors who don't seem to do the work once they've gotten money from you. While an LS powered S10 might seem like a not so trivial project, compared to having a chassis built from scratch by disinterested vendors, and only once that is done can you even think about de-Swiss Cheesing the body of a truck that pretty much came with factory installed rust 40 years ago, and once that is done you can start making the truck into something a bit more sophisticated than the truck shaped tractor it started out as, well then a V8 Blazer starts to sound easy peasy.

Anyway so I am looking to base this off a ZR2 because I need those big wide front wells, and 4WD is the path to AWD, and I don't want a repeat of the bodywork nightmare of the Jimmy project which, in the end, body work costs more than just about anything else you can do, hell I have more in body work in the Jimmy than the total cost of a clean ZR2 and I have at least twice that to go just to get color on it, and that is only if I want something at the level of factory paint, and if I simply mud over some of the post-blaster holes instead of actually fixing them, and this is a comparatively clean California truck. The suspension is available as a bolt on (4 corner coil over, tubular front control arms and 4 link rear), swaps are fairly common, and the AWD setup can be put together with mostly factory parts from Bravadas and Astro Vans. I have all the brakes, wheels, tires, Recaro Seats, and well lots of other stuff from the Jimmy project including a 4L80e with all the parts needed to convert it into a bullet proof 6 speed.
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby lowblazin94 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:27 pm

Welcome! No question is too dumb. That's why I tell people to read first and ask questions later because the more you read the more questions you WILL have.

As for your AWD questions, i'll have to jog my memory on which member has done what you are talking about and did some custom touches here and there. After 10+yrs on the forum I can tell you that no one will give you any nonsense and if they do they are usually silenced quickly.

When I get to my computer later i'll do some more searching.
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby skorpioskorpio » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:39 pm

yea, after just a little reading on this forum, it certainly seems like a great resource and not the weird vibe the S10Forum or LS1tech forums have, which I'm not sure what that's all about. It always makes me wonder what it is that makes some forums incredibly helpful and constructive and others so frustratingly worthless despite seemingly being *the* place to go on a subject. I am on several forums where, you just wonder how you ever would even attempt some of your ideas without the members support, and because of that you eventually learn enough to be one of those helpful members, and others you just seem doomed from your first post. Anyway glad to be here.
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby skorpioskorpio » Tue Jun 27, 2017 1:55 pm

...and BTW, I really do believe that if this crazy idea can be proven out, this is a huge bump in how LS-S10 swaps into 4WD/AWDs are done. It would really solve the oil pan problem and also let you basically drop almost the whole drivetrain in as a single unit, Engine/Trans/Transfer Case/Front diff and even front drive shaft all in one big aluminum gulp. I've seen this question asked, in various places, but never really answered, and I've seen some pretty crazy fabrication done that, in the end, looks pretty much like a very similar result. Hmm, how do I attach a photo?
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby lowblazin94 » Tue Jun 27, 2017 5:47 pm

Use imgbb.com. easy to sign up and to post. Use the BBCODE for this forum.

As for the type of help, there are a lot of people who DO THEIR OWN SWAP and work. I've met too many that deny something being possible because they can not piece it togerher. Anything can be done, i've personally seen lots of custom done vehicles with various set ups. After seeing a supercharged LS1 in the back of a Porsche I was convinced nothing is impossible. A welder and grinder can get nearly anything done.
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby Rickracer » Wed Jun 28, 2017 11:20 am

GREAT first post!! And WELCOME!! 8)
I really wish I had some info for ya, but I still think you came to the right place. We LOVE pics around here, so post some if ya got em, :thumbup:
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby skorpioskorpio » Wed Jun 28, 2017 2:45 pm

OK lets give image attachment a try...

Here's a hacked pan (modified OEM pan):
Image

A fabricated connected double sump pan (actually looked again and it's actually the same pan as above, but further modified):
Image

...and the Trailblazer pan spec:
Image

To my eye these all pretty much look like the shaft is in right about the same place.
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby Rickracer » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:50 am

That sure looks like it will work...and in my mind, I'm pretty sure it can be MADE to work, :thumbup:
Rickracer
ASE Certified Master Automotive Technician (well over 3 decades of experience, :thumbup: )
'93 S10 SB,RC, Comp XR276 Hydraulic Roller, Vortec head 363, 400 + hp, built 700R4, JW 2800 stall lockup converter, 3.73 posi, disc brake, narrowed 8.8 Exploder rear, LS Camaro front discs, Cal-Trac clone traction bars, Best N/A passes to date: 7.76 in the 1/8th, 12.24@109.27 mph in the 1/4, gonna spray it one of these days... :mrgreen:
76 Chevy Vega Drag Car, TWIN TURBO 355, P/G trans w/ brake and JW 4000 stall vert, 4 link back half, narrowed 9", 3.50 gears, 29.5x10.5W ET Drags. Best time9.669 @ 139.79, Latest video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S59riYn ... ata_player
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby skorpioskorpio » Thu Jun 29, 2017 1:02 pm

Doesn't it?
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby tjb406 » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:06 pm

I was just thinking along the same lines as you are on an all wheel drive using the trailblazer ss parts.it sounds very promising.
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby eshaw » Sun Sep 03, 2017 6:57 pm

What trailblazer is the OP referring to? It's an intriguing idea.
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Re: Trailblazer pan and differential in 4WD swap.

Postby tjb406 » Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:48 am

Trailblazer ss . It has the ls2 6 liter in it with awd. There are a few envoys and rainers that have the 5.3 and use the same pan.
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