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Old 03-27-2015, 10:52 AM   #1
FamilyBowTie
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s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

Can someone tell me when you shorten an extended cab chassis for a swap, do you just move the rear end?

or

Do you cut out a section in the middle and splice it back?
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:22 AM   #2
chincha805
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

i shortend a 92 s10 extended cab, look right underneath the middle of the door rocker panel you will see the frame seam welded. you will have to grind out the factory welds, carfully you do not grind more than the weld itself. break apart the frame, then on the rearend section of the frame cut of 5". then you are ready to put back together tack up then square flush measure measure measure, before you fully weld up the frame, a good tip i used was to get two ratchet straps to pull the 2 frame section back togther so you can plumb everything up before you weld.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:39 PM   #3
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

just for clarification. You will need to cut 5" off the rear section where you pulled the two pieces (front and rear) apart. The wheelbase on the extra cab is 5" longer than a long bed frame. Or you can "Z" cut the frame weld it back together and plate the insde of the frame for extra strength. I hope this helps.
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Old 04-07-2015, 05:54 PM   #4
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

yup, do the grind at the section where the front meets the back but before you start anything ensure the frame is sitting square and level. put some tape on the crossmembers and mark the centre, side to side, then when you run a string or laser from the front to the rear all the centres should line up. also, put some tape with marks on the side of the frame so when you are putting it all back together you will be able to reference those marks to make sure it is level and not sagged in the middle. make some centre punch marks on the frame rails on the front and rear sections of both halfs (before the grinding) so you know how much you are moving each side. make sure they are far enough apart so they won't be pushed up inside when you slide the rear part into the front part. don't forget to take the fuel lines, brake lines, wiring, park brake cable exhaust and driveshaft into consideration before shortening. is the frame bare without engine and trans or is there gonna be stuff in the way? a corner to corner measurement is a good thing to take as well, but hard to do with stuff in the way. take your time and measure lots. better now than when you are all done and the front end guy is having a hard time getting an alignment done. also, you should actually replace the spindles because they may have a different part number for a longer wheelbase compared to a shorter wheelbase. google "ackerman angle for steering geometry" and you will see what I am talking about. it may or may not be a big deal. you could always check with a dealer to see if the part numbers are different.
have fun and post some pics so we can all "bench race", ha ha.
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Old 04-07-2015, 06:11 PM   #5
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

here is the splice



the spindles are exactly the same for all wheelbases of s10, but because of ackerman iike dsraven is saying, the turning radii are not.
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Old 04-08-2015, 10:26 PM   #6
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

I've seen it done where they moved the leaf spring mounts forward then cut the back off. I would lean toward this rather than cutting and re-welding a factory frame.

You could also see how these guys do it:
http://www.code504.com/s-10-frame-wh...0-s-15-frames/

Check out this video series where they shortened a 67-72 frame. I though they had a good method.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9zy08qsahk
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:21 PM   #7
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

well except the leaf springs mounts would hang well below the frame if you moved them forward. they are tucked up in a raised section right now.



you are not cutting a frame in half, well except the part of the rail you are shortening. the splice is where the two frame halves are joined, every s10 has the same front section and the rear section is identical to every wheelbase except for the length. this is literally how the factory makes the different wheelbases, you simply grind off the factory weld (after making yourself some reference marks of course), slide the two sections apart, cut off the excess, and slide back together and reweld the splice.

its less work than even cutting 5 inches out of the flat part of the frame.
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Old 04-08-2015, 11:27 PM   #8
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

found this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vno1lJrloio
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:16 AM   #9
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

the video is pretty good. that is what I would do personally. I would also add the horizontal reference line on the side of the frame on both sides, either paint the frame quickly in that area and draw a line on the new clean spot before cutting or use tape and a marker or whatever. that way the line can be used to help ensure the frame goes back together flat. not saying it shouldn't also be checked with a straight edge as well.
moving the rear spring perches adds some other issues like centering the axle in the bump of the frame. this can be an issue later if you, or anyone after you, wants to lower the truck. also the park brake cable length issues, etc. it is just better to do what the factory does and simply move the 2 parts of the frame closer together. it would probably be the same amount of work anyway. one part slides inside the other so it is just as strong as original. grind off the old weld though to ensure you get nice clean metal to weld back together and you are not welding over a weld. it is also a good idea to mark the cross members at the centre point between the frame rails and then use a laser (they are getting cheaper all the time) or a string line to ensure the centreline stays true, front to rear. you can go to gmupfitter and download a copy of frame blueprint so you can see where the factory reference points are to measure off, as well as a bunch of other specs. this is for a lot of gm products, not just an s10. a good site for specs if your truck is actually listed (S10 is for sure because I looked at that swap for my 57).
good luck. do the research before the zip disc comes out, haha.
get out the blocking and vice grips, send the wife out shopping and turn off the phone. no interuptions that way. take pics along the way showing detail so you can reference them if this is a project over time.

just as a side bar, you can use jack stands or blocking or whatever to hold the frame up and I have found that those little wooden shim packs from the building supplies store come in handy for the final shim to get everything perfect before tack welding. body washers work pretty good as well because they are thin and larger diameter,but tend to fall out a lot if something is moved slightly. I ended up using some jack stands that I took the moving part out of and just replaced that with a large piece of threaded rod so the height could be adjusted infinitely. I welded a 3/8 bolt to the end of the threaded rod so it would be able to go into a hole in the frame and be locked down with a nut. it worked great because the frame could be set to level perfectly. i have a laser level that shows to the tenth of a degree and it was cheap, like 30 bucks. I use it all the time and have noticed that the bubble level attached can look level but the digital readout says we aint there yet by several degrees. it was an eye opener at first and now I just use the bubble to get close then rely on the digital part to get dialed in. once you have one you will find you default to that all the time. it is good to get the wheels off and the frame on stands and sitting level front to rear and side to side. less chance of a problem down the road. weld the areas in short lengths so the frame doesn't warp from too much heat in a concentrated area. pick different spots to weld while waiting for the last weld to cool. go to the other side frame rail while waiting etc.
have fun,
dennis
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Old 04-09-2015, 11:16 AM   #10
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

bartman needs to get his truck going so we can cruise around wichita this summer! automobilia is in 3 months!
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Old 04-09-2015, 03:44 PM   #11
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

Quote:
Originally Posted by joedoh View Post
well except the leaf springs mounts would hang well below the frame if you moved them forward. they are tucked up in a raised section right now.

its less work than even cutting 5 inches out of the flat part of the frame.
Yes you're right. Got flipped around, I was thinking of making a shorbed wheel base longer, which would give you a little drop of the rear end. Saw it starting on post #2 here.
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:14 PM   #12
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

I stretched a swb S10 frame to make it the correct wheelbase. I used a 2x5 channel that was 24" long. I overlapped the original frame 7" in both directions for stiffness. This frame was given to me. So, I used what I had instead of looking for the correct frame.
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Old 04-09-2015, 04:36 PM   #13
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HUSSEY View Post
Saw it starting on post #2 here.

another wichita area guy!

russ is the man.
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Old 06-13-2018, 08:08 PM   #14
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

Hello chi chincha805
I see u live close by I'm from santa maria
I am soon to start cutting my 83 Sonoma wheelbase is 123
So I was hoping to get so.e pointers on how to cut the frame down and what did u use to keep it nice and level,
U can reach out to my email if u want
Hotroding10@gmail.com
Thanks
Leo T
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:45 PM   #15
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

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Originally Posted by Rockabilly1984 View Post
Hello chi chincha805
I see u live close by I'm from santa maria
I am soon to start cutting my 83 Sonoma wheelbase is 123
So I was hoping to get so.e pointers on how to cut the frame down and what did u use to keep it nice and level,
U can reach out to my email if u want
Hotroding10@gmail.com
Thanks
Leo T
If you look at the dates of the original thread and the date of the last post above yours this thread is 3 years old The last post before yours being made April 9, 2015. That's the part that Google doesn't tell you when they lead you to a thread.

Still you said the magic S-10 Word and that will Wake Joedoh up and he is as sharp on S-10 swaps as anyone. The original poster = Familybowtie hasn't been seen or heard from since 2015. Stuff happens and maybe he moved on to something else.

Any frame cutting and rewelding on any frame requires that you block the frame up , level it in all directions and make sure that it is square before you start cutting. On the extended cab frame look where the center piece of the rail is slipped over the front subframe and welded. You just cut though the weld or through the outer layer next to it to allow for slipping the frame apart. Joedoe explained that. then you cut the appropriate amount off the middle piece and slip it back over the front piece and pull them together being very careful to get it adjusted to the correct length, make sure that it is square and level and weld it back up. When you are done the work shouldn't be noticeable to anyone except someone who knows what you did.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:53 PM   #16
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

Side note on me. back in the mid 70's in McGregor Tx a buddy gave me a 60 something Ford sedan with a 351 in it that had some issues with the body. I cut the body up over about four days hauling a load of body parts to the scrap yard each day leaving rolling chassis. Someone gave me a late 30's early 40's Chevy truck cab for hauling it off and the light bulb came on and the tape measure came out. I towed the Frame to the shop where I worked on Saturday morning took the torch to it to cut the kickouts that moved the frame rails out. moved the rails in to make for straight rails, welded it back up and towed it home and sat the truck cab on it by hand. I never did get it running and gave it to the neighbor kid when I moved because he really liked it. It was probably the granddaddy of all Texas rat rod bobber trucks.
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Old 06-15-2018, 12:38 PM   #17
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mr48chev View Post
It was probably the granddaddy of all Texas rat rod bobber trucks.
So it was you all along!!!!
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Old 06-15-2018, 05:16 PM   #18
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Re: s10 extended cab chassis shortening?

I already checked in on this one mr48


I talked to bartman (well texted him) just the other day. good advice, that guy, if you do it just like his video you will have absolutely no troubles.
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