S-10 frame swaps
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 on LUVTRuck.com.
The first generation S-10 came on board in 1982 and lasted till 1993. The second generation continued to 2004. The most sought after frames are the 1989 and up, where you can find four wheel disc brakes, automatic transmissions, etc.
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 those 108.3 inches were a full four more than the comparable LUV's, the 117.9-inch dimension was identical to the longer LUV. Meanwhile, the shortest full-size '82 Chevy truck used a 117.5-inch wheelbase and the longest (a dually crew cab) was a full 164.5 inches.
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), 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 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 accept the cargo capacity of its small imported LUV as sufficient for the domestic truck of this new age, while building in new levels of passenger 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.This is what we're talking about:
How do you tell them apart? Easy. The Shortbed has a standard cab and a one piece driveshaft, the Ext Cab has the ext cab (obviously) and a two piece driveshaft. The one you want 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 2.8 or 4.3 V6 with an automatic transmission. If not, any S-10 2WD Longbed from 1982 on will work.
WARNING: Stay away from the S-10 Blazer! The wheelbase is 100" 2dr and 108" 4dr. 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, that would put it at just behind the door. Comes stock with power steering, power disc brakes, IFS, newer ones come with 4 wheel disc brakes.
Diagrams and documentation
Where to shorten the frame
The picture below shows where the frame can be shortened to accommodate the body of your swap.
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