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Quick 2.2L Power

October 30th, 2009

0607_st_1997_chevy_s10_performance_upgrades_00_thumbThe Gutless Wonder Gets a Kick in the Pants

Over the last several months we’ve been trying to tackle the ’97 2.2L Chevy S-10 engine and squeeze out every last pony possible using bolt-on parts. Fortunately we’ve had the convenience of one-stop shopping thanks to STS Performance in Long Beach, California. Jay LaRossa has damn near everything you could ever want for the little four-bangers. This month we’ll also hook up with CGS Motorsports to finish off the exhaust with a system that will not only unchoke our 2.2L chicken, but will be completely above the frame rails and out of the way when it comes time to ‘bag the S-10.

0607_st_1997_chevy_s10_performance_upgrades_00_sWe first hooked up with STS Performance to throw an intake, throttle body and pulleys on the truck a few months back. The intake and larger throttle body definitely allowed more air to get into the block, but then it was time to manage the airflow through the cylinders and finally out of the block. A set of higher ratio rockers and a header seemed to do the trick. Now CGS Motorsports can bend up some pipes and install their performance muffler to finish up the job. Out of the three basic components needed to run an engine (air, spark and fuel) with the help of CGS we will have pretty much maxed out the air component, without breaking into the block.

Next on the list is the spark component. STS Performance carries aftermarket coil packs that create a higher output spark and increase firepower inside the cylinder. You can’t just expect all that power to be transferred through a set of old, crusty wires though, which is exactly why they also offer a set of Accel 8mm spark plug wires.

Once the coil packs, wires and exhaust are on the truck we’ll head over to Westech Performance Group to make a pass on their dyno. The final dyno numbers will tell us exactly what we’ve accomplished with a minimal amount of work. Follow along as we show you the next steps.



The coil packs sit on the passenger’s side of the block, so we’ll need to pull off the wheel. Between the upper control arm and the inner fender you’ll see the factory coils. Unplug the spark plug wires, and if you’re only replacing the coils, be sure to mark the wires, otherwise draw up a quick diagram.



Next, unplug the two coil pack harnesses.

Using an extension and socket, unbolt the coil packs from the side of the block.

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Clean off the contact pad and slip on the new lead insulators. Reassemble the coil packs.
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Line up the bolts and reattach both coil packs. Up top in the engine compartment, remove the intake, which will provide better access to the plug wires.
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Unplug the old wires and snake them out from under the throttle body.. Route all four wires from the plugs over the valve cover, under the throttle body and down to the coil packs.
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Plug in each wire into the appropriate coil pack; be sure to refer to the diagram you drew before the install. This cut out view of the CGS muffler shows the inside of the baffle system, which is designed to create power as well as a great exhaust note..


CGS Exhaust



Unfortunately we can’t mess with the catalytic converter because of emissions, but we’re going to modify the crossover pipe and add a cat-back system. First Casey breaks out the Sawzall to remove the old pipe after the cat.



Then while holding the CGS performance muffler and discussing where it should go, Ron mocks up the bends using thin rod.

Using the rod as a guide, Ron makes the correct bends.

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A quick chop makes the length of pipe usable for our application. The new pipe is tacked into place and attention is turned towards the muffler.
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The CGS muffler is slid into place along with the turndown pipe and attached to the hangers. The crossover pipe from the Pacesetter header hangs about 1/4-inch below the frame rails. Fortunately Casey has a solution.
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After cutting the crossover pipe, the nuts holding it in place are removed. Using the expanding end of the bender, Casey creates some room for the crossover pipe to slide over the rest of the down-pipe.
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The pipe is welded into place to complete the install. Before and After. You can see how the pipe just barely hung below the frame, but now it’s up and out of the way.
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STP Corrected Wheel Power vs. RPM
Source Box:
CGS Motorsports
3227 Producer Way, Suite #134
Pomona, CA 91768-3921
STS Performance
6285 East. Spring St. #270
Long Beach, CA 90808
Westech Performance Group
11098 Venture Dr., Unit C
Mira Loma, CA 91752


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