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1998 Chevy S-10 4BTA Cummins Diesel

1998 Chevy S 10 Front Three Quarter
Ken Brubaker
| Senior Editor, Four Wheeler
Posted March 1, 2012

The S-10 that GM never built, but should have

What you’re looking at is one of the most unique Chevy S-10s you’ll probably ever see. This truck has been repowered with a Cummins 4BTA turbodiesel engine and it sports a stout drivetrain including a solid front axle. Best of all, it was built to use.

The owner/mad scientist behind the truck is Allan Hummel of Waterford, Michigan. He’s a field electrical controls engineer with an obvious knack for creating cool stuff. “This truck was built to handle anything I threw at it, anywhere it happened to be. It was not built for show, not just for rocks or mud, and this truck will not be seen on a trailer. I looked at what worked in vehicles from all over the world from small SUVs to large trucks and took from them the ideas I liked personally. For better or worse I did it all myself at home in my garage with simple tools and a big imagination. I needed a truck that was simple to work on if/when it broke and no help was available, which might be 50-75 miles, not some 2-mile-long trail or 5 miles from a town. This truck is so simple. It can start and run with no battery or alternator, the hydro lines can be bypassed in less than an hour if a fitting breaks, brakes can be turned off if a line breaks, and if a shackle breaks the spring can ride on the frame. I used as many stock parts as possible so problems could be solved by limping into town and ordering the parts. I did my best to keep it street legal in 49 states and Canada even if it looks a little stupid or compromised some off-road ability,” Hummel says.

We met Hummel in Johnson Valley, California, while he was “testing” the truck. He left his home state of Michigan with only 417 miles on the conversion. He ended up driving over 6,000 miles on his “test,” and the vast majority of that was on the trail in places like California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Colorado. Along the way the throttle cable broke (he drove using the hand throttle), a power steering line came apart, and a front stock axleshaft broke. “None of this stopped me for more than an hour,” Hummel says.

A conversion of this caliber required some help from friends. “Thank you to all my friends around the country. And a special thanks to those neighbors who always lent a hand when I needed it, to those who told me to keep on the path when I was straying or lost focus, to those who troubleshot over the phone, and to those who lent tools or took a part to work to get it working for me. Most of all, those caring individuals who checked to see if I was crushed under the truck when I had not been seen for a few days. Without your help I would have never been able to get this far,” Hummel says.

The Details
General
Owner/Hometown: Allan Hummel, Waterford, Michigan
Vehicle/Model: 1998 Chevy S-10 extended cab pickup
Estimated value: “Make offer. If on the side of trail broken, discount will be given.”
Engine
Type: 3.9L Cummins 4BTA four-cylinder diesel
Aspiration: Turbocharger, intercooler, custom 3-in-diameter exhaust Output, hp/torque (estimated): 180/400
Drivetrain
Transmission: NV5600 6-spd manual
Transfer case: NP205
Suspension
Front: Leaf springs, 1-ton Dodge-application shocks
Rear: Leaf springs, Superlift add-a-leaf, Jeep TJ 4-in-application shocks
Axles/Differentials
Front: Ford Dana 44, Chevy Astro steering box, Avalanche Engineering high-steer arms/Lock-Right
Rear: Ford Dana 60/Lock-Right
Ring and pinion: 4.10:1
Wheels/Tires
Wheels: 17x8 steel
Tires: 37x12.50R17LT Goodyear MT/R

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