S-10 frame swaps

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by: Alittle1, Cobalt327, Crosley, Jon
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[edit] Background

The Chevy LUV was the predecessor of the S-10, and was first introduced to the North American market in 1972. For details on the Chevy LUV, see this article at LUVTRuck.com.

The first generation S-10 came on board in 1982 and lasted until 1993. The second generation continued through 2003. The most sought after frames are the 1989 and up, where you can find four wheel disc brakes, OD automatic transmissions, etc.

[edit] S-10 dimensions

The S-10 comes in three wheelbase lengths:

  • 108" Shortbed
  • 117" Longbed
  • 122" Extended Cab

Initially, the S-10 was only offered in a regular cab configuration on either a 108.3 or 117.9 inch wheelbase. While 108.3 inches was four more inches in length than a comparable LUV, the 117.9 inch dimension was identical to the extended wheelbase LUV. Meanwhile, the shortest full-size '82 Chevy truck used a 117.5 inch wheelbase and the longest wheelbase (dually crew cab) was a full 164.5 inches long.

Examining the actual bed dimensions and overall lengths for both the S-10 and LUV, it becomes clear where the new truck's extra space lies: in the passenger area. In the standard six-foot bed configuration, the S-10 and LUV have almost identical cargo box lengths (73.1 and 73.0 inches respectively), but the S-10 is longer overall by 3.7 inches (178.2 versus 174.5). Comparing long-bed styles, the S-10 is 2.5 inches longer than the LUV overall, but its cargo box is actually an inch shorter (89.0 versus 90.1). The distance from the front bumper to the cab's rear bulkhead measures 100.2 inches on the S-10 and 95.8 on the LUV regardless of chassis length. So what Chevrolet has done is deemed the cargo capacity of its small imported LUV to be sufficient for the domestic truck market of this era, while building in new levels of interior comfort.

The extended cab S-10 (Chevy's first extended cab pickup) rode on a new 122.9 inch wheelbase with 14.5 inches of that being added to the cab length. Jump seats in the back could accommodate passengers for short trips, though they had to squeeze themselves in through the two doors and past the front seats to get there. The longer wheelbase also helped the S-10 ride even better than before.

Regular cab S-10 pickup frame.


How do you tell them apart? Easy. The Shortbed has a standard cab and a one piece driveshaft, the Extended Cab has a longer cab (obviously) and a two piece driveshaft. The one preferred by most is the 2WD Longbed; it has a standard cab and a two piece driveshaft. Try to get one that is 1989 or newer with the 2.8L or 4.3L V6 with an overdrive automatic transmission. If not, any S-10 2WD Longbed from 1982-on can also be used.

Note: The S-10 Blazer wheelbase is 100" for the regular cab and 108" for the extended cab. They also sit 6"-8" higher.

Track (wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface) is 56" front and 55" rear. Frame is 32" wide at the front and 34" wide at the rear. Frame is 3" wide and between 3" and 5" high at key stress points. Frame is boxed from the front to midway of the length, the boxing ends just behind the door. Comes standard with power steering, power disc brakes, IFS. Newer S-10s come with 4 wheel disc brakes.

[edit] Diagrams and documentation

[edit] Where to shorten the frame

The picture below shows where the frame can be shortened to accommodate the body of your choice.

Where to shorten an S-10 frame.‎


[edit] Swap suggestions

[edit] Related resources

[edit] Miscellaneous

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