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Old 10-23-2009, 10:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
Moderate your Moderation.
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Pasta - '96 Volkswagen Passat TDi
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Originally Posted by elhigh View Post
Back in the day, we had a 1980 Chevy Citation with the Iron Duke and 4spd manny. Say what you will about Citations, I liked that car. Aside from the fact that the engine ATE a stack o' water pumps, and the whole broken shifter cable fiasco (15 miles in second gear only), it was a pretty good car and aside from the water pump, the engine was great.

The Duke is no power monster. Forget big power. It isn't even big on torque but it'll get out of its own way. A lightweight chassis like the S10 is a good place for it. But not even trying to get decent mileage, our 1980 Citation was delivering low 30s mpg with Dad really wanting to get to Minnesota in decent time. That's pretty good economy, for a car with four aboard and the trunk completely full.

And we had no air conditioning. So all the windows were completely down. We finally got rid of ours, not because of the engine but everything else, mostly the tranny. The Duke held tough. And that tranny issue won't be a problem for you either, since I think it has the same bolt pattern as the SBC, so if you can make it fit between the frame rails of the truck, you can have whatever tranny you want, if you can find one that will fit a SBC. Since that's the most popular repower choice out there, no problem.

I'd jump at it. Make a cheapskate aerocap, cover those rear wheelwells, fair in the rockers, open up the exhaust a bit, I bet it'd break 40mpg, easy.

If you ever want to get nuts with a big four, check out the Super Duty Four. It looks just like a Duke, fits in the same space, makes more than twice the power. Stroker versions push 3.0 liters, make gobs of big power all day long, sound like an angry tractor under the hood. Awesome stuff.
I've always equated it to a cammed up 2300 in a Mustang Pro-Stock chassis running on alcohol. I've only ever heard one of the SD Dukes, though, and I'm not sure what displacement, etc.

Re: The transmissions - Ok, so lets nit pick the one thing that was out of place there... Obviously, the 4 speed tranny isn't the same. What I meant there was that swapping between 5 speed 4cyl and 5 speed 6 cyl will do nothing for you. You don't even get better internals. It's remained that way all the way up through the end of the S10 production run, that I can tell. Of course, I haven't looked at every single transmission out there in the early cases or in the later NV cases, so there may have been some with different gears. I do know that swapping in a small block is as simple as changing the bell housing and making new mounts.
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