Local Legend Don't Call It An S10

the bodj

Well-known member
Apr 4, 2022
Simi Valley, CA
Alright boys, here is my 2002 Crew Cab GMC Sonoma. Working on getting rid of all the crappy Sonoma parts and making it a comfortable, capable rig to take my fiance and dog out to explore our lovely state (and beyond).

A lot of this will be copied over from DR, but I'll save the pictures to my comp and upload them here for when that site inevitable implodes.

2002 GMC Sonoma, 4 door, short bed, 4x4.
4.3L, 4l60e, 152,000 miles. Purchased 5/7/2021 for $4500

stock sonoma.jpeg

The plan is to chop the front off and replace with an explorer front end and do d35 TTBeams with d44 outers, cage, links with panhard, keep stock gas tank, single coilover all around, 35s, and take it to the desert as much as I can. Overall, it should be a fairly inexpensive to build, fun, and different.

Drove in 3.5 hours of LA traffic on Friday afternoon with my mom to pick up the truck in Santa Fe Springs. Got the truck decided to eat at a nice sit-down mexican restaurant to wait for traffic to die down. Before we left to go back home, I walked around the truck and admired how straight the body is. Really no noticeable dents or dings. Hopped in and proceeded to shoot up the 605. Everything was going great. Truck drives pretty nice (aside from a bit of alignment issues), but has good power, no weird noises, quiet inside the cab, fairly comfortable... I started zoning out on the 210 when the tread ripped off the rear driver tire, proceeding to jack up the bedside in the process. Dope. Not too bummed as I'll be replacing it with fiberglass, but I still wanted it to look nice for the time being haha. Oh well. Threw the spare on and continued on home.

sonoma blowout.jpeg

I'm beginning to gather parts for it so I'll be able to hit it hard when I get it all together. Got all my shocks (new kings, thanks to @orbot ) 2.5x12s for the front and 2.5x14s for the back. I should be getting the front coilover springs today from a friend (dual rate, I think they're 350/450 or in that ballpark), and will be buying rear coils off a different friend once I figure out what I need, since he has a solid stash of them. Picking up 35s this afternoon, too.

I need to get bedsides and figure out if I can modify 6ft bedsides to fit the mini bed, or if I'll have to cut and extend the frame and swap to a regular bed. Kinda like what Tommy did with the Long Weenie, but I want to keep the bed and factory smog junk.


I never put the rear bumps on the tundra that came with the truck. I’ll be putting them on the front of this for the time being. Some crappy 2.5x4” FOAs

For the rear, I had a buddy pick these up for me from Long Beach. Pictures on Craigslist were horrible and didn’t show how weird or ugly they were, or say that they were 2.0s. Oh well. Got them cheap enough, so on the back they’ll go. Someone modified them to be a shock top. The kid tried saying they came from King like this lol.


Picked up these methods, thanks to @PSDirtracer for bringing them over to me. Great meeting you!

All new in the box. Only one box was even opened, so I’m stoked. Gonna order one more for the spare and then I can get them mounted.

drove down to San Clemente this morning to pick up seats and harnesses from Matt. Thanks again!
Took the passenger seat out and have one of them just sitting there. Seems like it’ll be a great fit. Stoked to have one more piece of the puzzle checked off.

Finally got the truck to stop throwing codes, clear all monitors, pass smog, and then got the title transfer complete... which means it's time for toobs! Every time I go to IMS I stock up on their remnant DOM. I started this build with 99 feet of 1.75" DOM of various thicknesses (ominous foreshadowing), 24ft 1.5" DOM, 8ft 1.25" DOM, and 6ft of 1" DOM. I have plenty more non-DOM tubes that I can use for random bits, like bumpers.

Going to build the cage while I look for an explorer to hack apart. Here's what I got done so far today. Dash notched out, both A pillars made, and one B pillar mostly made.



Cole and I picked up this bad boy today. Should be chopped up week after next.


Did the cage different than most people. I want to keep the stock overhead console, so I moved the roof B pillar back and gusseted where it met the B pillar tube.


roof tubes 1.png

roof tubes 2.png

cagework.pngharness tubes.png

Made a cooler mount for drinks on the go

harness tubes 2.png
Made a trip down to Cole's shop to cut the front off the explorer.


frame in truck bed.jpeg

I cut the frame behind the radius arm mounts so I can keep the for and aft location of the beams fixed until I was ready.

On 8/10/21 I cut the front off the Sonoma


3 Days later and I was here



Made some motor mounts

Welded on the new U joint to couple the chevy steering column to the ford box


More things keep falling off...

Reamed the balljoint hole and ended up having to ream the d35 alignment cam for the d44 upper balljoint. I'll have to remember that whenever the time comes for alignments down the road hah.

Got the plates cut out to extend the driver's beam. Notice the small twist in the plates to add 4 more degrees of caster. Should put me right around 11 or 12 degrees (I think in the end I went to like 15*)




got the truck on its own wheels so I could move it for my sister's engagement party, which is why it's in a different spot here. But got it all flexed out and chopped up the subframe so the pumpkin has more room to cycle and both sides can bump equally. 16.5" bumped and strapped

beam flex.jpg

Extended the axles 4.5" each side. Used the explorer inner section and bronco outer



Got the front end fab work completed


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Spent entirely too long doing sheet metal work in the front since I want to keep everything as clean and quiet for as long as possible. I hate working on dirty engines, and the air filter, fuse box, and coolant overflow tank needed protection. Got it all done and covered in Herculiner (AWESOME stuff!), and lined the inside of the fiberglass with 1/8" rubber sheeting. The rubber made a massive improvement in sound deading when hitting the fiberglass, and it will help stop spidercracks when I paint the fiberglass.





And this is where it sits. The hood latch cable broke, so I'm going to install a couple of hood pins when I get done working on another guy's truck (giant 64 kit on a ranger)
Fuckin sick I was lookin at your Instagram page just the other day when Bobby tagged you in a post haha excited to see this thing rippin🤟
Man this s10 is so cool. Nice s10 Kevin you’re definitely making the coolest s10 around.


Hate you

(jk ILYSM)

Fuckin sick I was lookin at your Instagram page just the other day when Bobby tagged you in a post haha excited to see this thing rippin🤟

Thanks dude! Yeah once I'm done with Bobby's truck I'll cut the back off mine
In an effort to add content to the forum, here's a kid's truck I've been doing the rear suspension on. Giant 64 kit, 2.5x16 triple bypasses, single spare, bedcage that can hold two dirtbikes tied to the cab cage, f150 8.8 axle, and chase bar. He should be picking it up Saturday and I can get back to cutting apart the Sonoma.





DUDE. holy moly. i never knew you got anywhere with this thing. cage looks fucking titties with all the interior and whatnot. like, not all "tucked behind the stuff and close to the outer skin and shit". if that makes sense. good job dude, even for a fucking jesus freak like you!
Technically it would be a syclone because they couldn't speel it correctly because of trademark infringement. Just like the BS Bronco factory is going through right now.
Ranger got picked up and I promptly put my truck in it's place. Got the back lopped off this morning and started mocking up the rear axle location and determining wheelbase. I'm only using 14" coilovers in the back (unless someone wants to trade for 16s), and I'm trying to get a better motion ratio. I can't move the shocks any further forward, so I need to move the axle back a bit. I wanted to stay at 128", but I'll probably be in the130-132" wheel base. Not the end of the world.




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My Tacoma handled great and it was 138 wheelbase. If it was shorter it would've probably worked better when doing the tight chicanes in a trail
Idk fucking anything about wheelbase numbers or shit but, to me that looks kinda too long?
Idk. I'm just used to seeing crewcabs with the shock touching the cab and way far fwd on the links or IN the cab.

Either way, looks like it's gonna be badass.
Just like yo