s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea? - S-10 Forum
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s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

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Old 10-20-2011, 12:10 AM   #1
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s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

I have a 2003 s10 4x4 and my friend has a 99 zr2 that he is willing to let me use the frame and suspension off of since the truck is not the prettiest and he plans on parting it out, my question is do you think that swapping to the zr2 frame could decrease the value of my truck?
Also, what are some problems i would face with the swap? i will be doing it in my driveway and from research and knowledge, i think everything should bolt right up as long as i use the suspension from the donor zr2. any help or opinions are greatly appreciated and i hope to get some responses asap because i plan to start tomorrow morning.
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Old 10-20-2011, 12:37 AM   #2
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

Welcome to the forum. What kind of condition is your truck in? If your truck is really nice, it might decrease the value. If your truck is not in very good shape, it may make it worth more. That's a pretty big driveway job!
Old 10-20-2011, 03:10 AM   #3
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

my truck has 200k but runs strong. the frame needs replacing though due to damage. also, would i have to do anything with dmv because of the new frame since the numbers wouldnt match?
Old 10-20-2011, 09:06 AM   #4
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

call the dmv up if your worried, but you should be ok. The only number they usually care about is in the window.


dont quote me on that though


oh and seeing as how your frame is damaged the swap can only help the value, given the frame is in better condition.
Old 10-20-2011, 09:51 AM   #5
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

There won't be an issue due to different frames. Only the CAB is looked at for VIN, (Unless something is reported stolen). But regardless, you'll be fine swapping out the frames and it's legal to do so. As far as decreasing the value, with the mileage on your truck, it won't effect anything, granted you still won't have a TRUE ZR2, but it'll have what makes it one except for the flares. Pretty much you're looking at swapping out everything above the frame, so it will be time consuming, but well worth it if you want the ZR2 suspension.
Old 10-20-2011, 06:21 PM   #6
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

thanks for the responses guys, im most worried about doing all the electrical and getting everything routed right. this is my first frame swap ive done. and im 18 btw
Old 10-20-2011, 09:00 PM   #7
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

This is a big project, no doubt. Take it slow and document everything. A digital camera can be a big help. You can't take too many photos.

Jake
Old 10-20-2011, 10:10 PM   #8
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

yea, best advice is to either label all the connections and take pictures.

When I would do motor swaps Id take masking tape, tape both sides of a connection with a number (1, 2, 3...) then unplug it, that way nothing gets mixed up and its a matching game when time comes to put it all back together.

Same thing can be done for bolts, tape the bolt and number it, then tape over the hole and number that. Doing these two things I dont end up with many left over parts
Old 10-20-2011, 10:10 PM   #9
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

Your gonna have a gear ratio issue too.the ZR2s have a different gear ratio than most standard 4x4 s10s.And you have to use the ZR2 rear end,it's wider.if it's a auto that can be a problem.
Old 10-20-2011, 10:13 PM   #10
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

How would it be an issue if its an auto? as long as he uses the front diff also he should be fine, other then the Speedo being off a little bit. Drive shafts should all have the same yolks and what not, shouldnt they?
Old 10-20-2011, 10:16 PM   #11
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

Incorrect gear ratio affects the shifting of the transmission also.
Old 10-20-2011, 10:25 PM   #12
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

What?! Iv never had an issue with shifting when swapping rears out. My old S10 I would swap olmost daily depending if I was taking it out for a cruise, or pulling a trailer (taller and smaller gear ratio's). For a little while it had an Auto and never had an issue.

Not calling you out, just saying I personally never had an issue.
Old 10-20-2011, 10:55 PM   #13
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

I never said it won't shift.I said it won't shift right.ive done it also.I've done it at work by accident on an 02 astro van.I was given the wrong part.the truck shifted late and at an incorrect rpm causing it to shift hard also.the truck also had an intermitant ABS light with correlation codes in both the ECM and ABS Module.if you normally drive around with your MIL warnings on then it'll be fine. some DTCs won't trigger a check engine light either because they are non emissions faults.the vehicle just won't be right and have issues.it seemed to drive fine when I finished an shipped the truck.the customer came back after noticing" something wasn't right".it all depends on how close of a ratio were talking about and what you consider as an issue.
Old 10-20-2011, 11:32 PM   #14
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

my 94 is auto. came with 205 75 15 tires and 3.08 gears. Now it has 3.73 gears ans 265-70 16 tires. Trnas shifts the same. I even ran 32" tires with the 3.08 gears for almost a year. Never had an issue.

I sould not worry about the gears. yes your speedo will be off, but that can be corrected thru ECM program.

go for it.
Old 10-20-2011, 11:37 PM   #15
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

Oh yea, I knew it would shift differently, but I didnt think it wasnt "right", mine shifted differently but still nothing wrong with how it shifted, just at a different speed, for the most part the revs were about the same. I didnt think they made a different trans for every rear end in these trucks, that would make thing alot harder when having to replace something.
Old 10-20-2011, 11:43 PM   #16
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

1994......2003.You cannot reprogram a 2003 like that.from 02 and up the VIN is needed to program the truck.all a technician does at the dealer is downloads the program and any updates for that VIN.without creative vin entry your average dealer tech can't pull it off.ask anyone who has tried to have the foglight option turned on in their BCM on a 02+truck.your 94 is more simular to the box body that came the year before than the 03 I thought we were talking about.
Old 10-21-2011, 12:31 AM   #17
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

I will be using both front and rear differentials so they will match gear ratios. i have 3.42s and im pretty sure the zr2 has 3.73 so it shouldnt be much different especially when you consider the 2 inch taller tires. and the speedo being off is not a problem for me. does anyone know if there are any differences between the steering boxes of the regular 4x4 vs. that of the zr2?
Old 10-21-2011, 05:46 AM   #18
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

steering boxes are all the same. just pitman arms were different from 2wd to 4x4.

Most of the suspension on the ZR2 is also the same, the ladder-type/boxed frame is what really makes it a ZR2.

also has 4-wheel disc brakes, panhard bar, steering stabilizer, and bilstien shocks.

The torsion bars may be an issue, ZR2's came with the slightly stiffer bars, but all s10s had the option of coming with the same ones. (Depending on how much of the ZR2 undercarriage you are getting.)


wiring shouldn't be to complicated if you are using nearly all the electrical components from your 2003, and the ZR2 frame and equipment.
Old 10-21-2011, 09:11 AM   #19
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

Make sure you get the driveshaft, as I'm assuming it's different length then the one you currently have. Also, probably a different size joint on it since you probably have the 7.625 and the Z has the 8.5".
Old 10-21-2011, 01:40 PM   #20
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

thank you guys, i will be using the torsion bars of the zr2, and all of the wiring from my 03. I will also be using the three rivers driveshaft out of the zr2. I already had 4-wheel disc in my 03 and i will be transplanting the braking system from my 03 onto the zr2 because i have much newer components. another questiong i have is will the ebcm from the 99 zr2 be compatible with my 03 electronics and braking system? the one on the zr2 has the black plastic cover whereas the one from my 03 has the metal top.
Old 10-21-2011, 01:47 PM   #21
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

Just use your ECM along with your electronics and you will be fine. The transfer case and transmission are the same between Z's and non Z's.....however, I'm not sure if there's a difference from 99-03.
Old 10-21-2011, 03:49 PM   #22
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

yea your better off using anything possible from your truck to make sure theres no issues. once you get it running if you want try and swap other things and see how it works, but get it running first... lol
Old 10-22-2011, 02:07 PM   #23
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

any ideas on an easier safe way to lift the cab off? right now the idea is to have 4-5 guys just lift it with wood clocks secured to the bottom for when we set it down.
Old 10-22-2011, 05:33 PM   #24
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

I have use a large tree, pulleys and rope to remove cabs before. if you have the correct pulley setup one person can do it easily. the just rool out the old and roll in the new.
Old 10-22-2011, 07:04 PM   #25
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

Quote: Originally Posted by srm1313
any ideas on an easier safe way to lift the cab off? right now the idea is to have 4-5 guys just lift it with wood clocks secured to the bottom for when we set it down.
Jack,cinder blocks,blocks of wood.jack up one side,support it,do the other side,go back and forth till it's high enough.just like lifting a mobile home.then roll the chassis out.
Old 10-23-2011, 09:09 AM   #26
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

Shit, easiest way is just use a forklift, as hard as turning a key, pressing a petal, and pulling a lever

but yea, anything will work just to lift it off and one back on. I used the forklift to pull the cab on and off, 3 guys to move the cabs around on the ground, an engine hoist to do my bed swap a few years back. Shouldnt be hard.
Old 10-28-2011, 01:16 PM   #27
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

Hey guys, so ive been workin everyday at this and so far i have the zr2 completely stripped down to the frame and suspension and have coated the frame with rubberized coating but i think im gonna sand blast it off and do a better job cause i didnt prep it very well before and i doubt ill ever have the opportunity to again. I have also got the bed and entire front clip off, including almot all of the engine wiring, and the goal for today is to get all the rest of the cab connections disconnected, gut the cab, unbolt the mounts and lift it off.
Old 10-28-2011, 02:22 PM   #28
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

post some pictures of the progress..i wanna watch
Old 10-28-2011, 03:24 PM   #29
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

Old 10-28-2011, 06:13 PM   #30
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

this is some of the progress of the zr2..
Attached Thumbnails
s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0263.jpg   s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0267.jpg   s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0275.jpg   s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0281.jpg   s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0282.jpg  

Old 10-28-2011, 06:17 PM   #31
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

more progress of both trucks... and a last flex of the 4x4 frame, and a truck load of zr2 body parts going to the scrap yard in my friends 95 2.2 5 speed.
Attached Thumbnails
s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0283.jpg   s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0285.jpg   s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0289.jpg   s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0298.jpg   s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0299.jpg  

Old 10-28-2011, 06:18 PM   #32
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

And here is what sits in my driveway as i type this, bed is fully unbolted and all connections disconnected, just waiting on friends to come help lift it off...
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s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?-img_0320.jpg  
Old 10-28-2011, 10:35 PM   #33
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

well, i have a new found hatred for having to depend on people. truck just sat there all day with no work done. what a waste of a day.
Old 10-28-2011, 10:49 PM   #34
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Re: s10 4x4 to zr2 frame swap. bad idea?

I hear ya, been there. Makin progress!
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