Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver - S-10 Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 05-16-2019, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

Currently daily-drive my 1-owner, 2002 S10 w/ 185000 miles. Lots of body rust, but has been reliable.

Considering purchase of another 1998-2003 2.2L Regular Cab 2WD S10 or Sonoma for long-term, alternate/back up daily driver to my current 02 S10. However, been considering parts availability.

  1. Do you think it impractical to purchase a 16-21 year old S10 or Sonoma as a long term, daily driver, even if mostly rust-free and low-mileage?
  2. If you were going to acquire new or NOS parts now in anticipation of future necessity and unavailability, what specific parts would you suggest?

Thanks for the comments.

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post #2 of 16 Old 05-16-2019, 10:32 AM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

Maybe you should check vehicle availability from Bravada X.

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post #3 of 16 Old 05-16-2019, 12:45 PM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

Absolutely worth getting IMO. I was in the same situation last fall, found a pristine rust free southern truck with less than 60k on the odometer, and now in the process of a full restoration for daily driver.
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post #4 of 16 Old 05-16-2019, 02:21 PM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

Depends on your location...

Keep in mind, as the years tick by its hard on more than just the body. Anything rubber dries out and cracks over time. Both external and internal.
Valve seals dry out and start to bypass/burn oil.
Belts and hoses dry out and crack.
Engines often need some TLC, plugs, wire set, distributor, fluids/filters.

The suspension ball joints are often worn out and sloppy, the steering gear can be worn and sloppy.
The control arm bushings (OEM rubber) are dried out/cracked, and sloppy in addition to clunking noises.
The rear leaf spring eye bushings are all dried out/cracked.
The engine and trans mounts are likely mush, as are body mounts.

Interior, the plastic panels do dry out, harden, and become more susceptible to cracking, its very common for the drivers door panel handle to have busted away from the two retaining screws.

The EVAP system is often clogged/not functional, and requires canister replacement, or purge solenoid replacement.

Often over 20 years, a number of owners have home brewed various electrical additions for sound systems or just patched this or that. Chasing down electrical gremelins isn't fun.
The solder joints in the instrument cluster tend to crack over time, and many clusters start to flicker, or work intermittently. I've had to send 2 out to be repaired.

The wiring in the connector ends for the headlights and turn signals is often corroded and the wire casing dried/cracked, meaning headlights are dimmer or don't work as well or have intermittent problems with signals etc.
Battery cable ends are probably corroded as well.

The rotors, pads, and calipers are often shot and in need of replacement. Rear drums hold up better over time, usually shoes are ok, but the adjusters may be rusted up and out of adjustment, and not uncommon to find broken or missing springs, so a spring kit is necessary.

Shocks are often worn out on all four corners.

A lot of the above simply happens with age, how many "barn finds" that have sat for 40-50 years are turn the key and drive down the road? Almost none. If its really sat, have mice gotten into it and what did they eat?

So the thing is, sure, you can find a decent enough condition truck for like, 1,500-2,500 or w/e. But you'll likely spend another 2,500 bringing it back up to being what I'd consider road worthy and reliable. At that point you need to ask yourself if you're mechanically inclined and responsible enough to do all the maintenance which has probably been let go. If you're not, you'd be better off looking at something that's only 10-12 years old, e.g. a Colorado, and likely needs less TLC to be a good reliable daily driver, even if it means spending more.

S-10 handling sucks to start with, add 20 years of age and its a complete slop factory. Yes it'll drive down the road, but will it perform an evasive maneuver at highway speeds to avoid some jackarse, or something falling off a truck, without putting you in the ditch? Being able to move under its own power is one thing, doing so safely and reliably is another, and that's where a lot of people who come through these forums fall short either for lack of money, lack of skill, or just don't give a crap until they roll their truck in a ditch or its broken down on the side of the interstate and then blame someone else...

Sometimes spending cheap means getting other people's crap and problems. Never forget, humans are terrible **** bags as a species, lazy, entitled, list goes on. We're a throw away society and neglect everything, so a lot of what is old, is junk with way too much sentimental value.
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post #5 of 16 Old 05-16-2019, 03:29 PM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

Wow, that’s harsh!

Lol, a lot of it true though. OP, if you’ looking for a long term top notch driver, start with the best, and IMO you’re sure as hell aren’t going to find it for 1500 bucks.

Just about everything else Sonosis mentioned will need to be replaced, plus everything else that normally fails on these trucks if you want it to last. Be prepared for a FULL restoration, and that’s for a mint example in ‘01, ‘02, or ‘03 model years, anything older I wouldn’t even bother. Another thing, look for an optioned out truck, might as well start with something good
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post #6 of 16 Old 05-16-2019, 04:04 PM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

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Originally Posted by Rhotpursuit View Post
Maybe you should check vehicle availability from Bravada X.


He’s have to get on the waiting list for a regular cab. There’s 2 people already on it. All I seem to find right now is 3 door xcabs

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I turned mine into an Oldsmobile, bitches love Oldsmobiles.
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post #7 of 16 Old 05-16-2019, 05:06 PM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

It really depends on how well the truck was maintained. I've had my truck for 12 years and it has it's issues but it's also been my daily the entire time.




WANTED: 98+ radio delete panel.
Looking for a 94-95 2.2L 5-speed Extended cab, preferably white.
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post #8 of 16 Old 05-16-2019, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as long term daily driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by 98Sonosls View Post
Depends on your location...

Keep in mind, as the years tick by its hard on more than just the body....
Outstanding. Thank you for the well-thought-out reply.

For the past ~20 years, I have done ~95%+ of my own vehicle maintenance. However, I am not willing to spend what my market demands for a super clean, sub-60k mile unit and then do all the stuff you listed in addition. I will not even do all that for a $1500-$2000 unit.

I have no interest in the 1st generation 4 & 5 cylinder Canyons & Colorado’s due to ridiculously labor-intensive timing set replacement procedure. Just did that on my S10 and suspect it would literally take me 40-80 hours to do a 4/5 cylinder 1st gen Canyon/Colorado the first time.

Once again, good post. Though I have been aggressively pursuing a purchase the last few months and closely following the market within ~100 miles of me for ~8 months, I acknowledge I need to reconsider.

Thanks.
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post #9 of 16 Old 05-18-2019, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

Been reflecting on this search for a couple days. At least in the short term, I will continue my search for an S10 or Sonoma, but narrow my purchase criteria even more. Intend to further research other GM truck options. Preparing to shift my purchase efforts for my next daily driver to something newer. Thanks for the comments.
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post #10 of 16 Old 05-20-2019, 01:56 PM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

I guess it just depends on you. I will purchase a 20 year old vehicle all day long for daily, but I have no problems checking stuff and changing stuff as it needs it. if it runs and stops, I don't mind doing the other work, I have time and space.


I just bought a 98 2.2 5 speed, about a month ago. its been a solid dependable truck that taken me out of town a number of times. it starts each time and gets great gas mileage.


it wasn't the best looking truck but I wasn't looking for perfect paint and straight side, I wanted something that got good gas mileage and could haul my bicycle. this truck does that with no trouble. it even hauled a v6 and trans for my son's s10, and lumber for fence posts, with no trouble.


its just on what you are comfortable with. for my wife, I buy new cars. for me, nah. I would rather spend less than 1k and have something to tinker on.

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post #11 of 16 Old 05-20-2019, 03:30 PM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by hit_4_show View Post
Been reflecting on this search for a couple of days. At least in the short term, I will continue my search for an S10 or Sonoma but narrow my purchase criteria even more. Intend to further research other GM truck options. Preparing to shift my purchase efforts for my next daily driver to something newer. Thanks for the comments.
You never mentioned where you live. I had to search for over 3 months to find my truck, but I wanted an Xtreme with low miles and no rust. In my opinion, it is better to spend the money to fly somewhere to buy a low mileage rust free truck if you plan on keeping for a long time. Mine had 78K on it when I found it which is pretty low for the 15 years old it was at the time. It needed a little TLC but I didn't have to spend much to get it in shape to be my daily driver. As many S10s as are still on the road I don't think parts are going to be a problem for a while, at least I hope not since mine will be with me until I can no longer drive.



Be patient and wait for the right truck, check it out well before buying and you will have a good DD.

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post #12 of 16 Old 05-20-2019, 05:06 PM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

1st gens still turn up regularly in the junkyards... I think you'll be able to find 98-2003 parts for a long time to come.




WANTED: 98+ radio delete panel.
Looking for a 94-95 2.2L 5-speed Extended cab, preferably white.
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post #13 of 16 Old 05-20-2019, 05:30 PM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

here in central florida they pop up daily.
I would focus on 02-04 .


do a search for craigs list use a zipcode in middle of state and set the radius as far out as it will let you(I think its 200 miles)
look thru all the ads then you can go back on a daily basis and update the search to posted today only.
This makes it a 30 second task to look everyday instead of wading thru all the posts again.
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post #14 of 16 Old 05-21-2019, 08:35 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

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Originally Posted by dime-dozen View Post
here in central florida they pop up daily.
I would focus on 02-04 .


do a search for craigs list use a zipcode in middle of state and set the radius as far out as it will let you(I think its 200 miles)
look thru all the ads then you can go back on a daily basis and update the search to posted today only.
This makes it a 30 second task to look everyday instead of wading thru all the posts again.
Thanks for the input. I already have 01-03, 200 mile radius, craigslist searches saved for both Sonomas and S10’s. I have email notification set for both. I only want a regular cab, and I thought 2004’s are all crew cabs. Is that incorrect?

I was unaware of the “posted today” filter, even though it is quite prominent. Not very observant of me. Is that filter helpful w/ a saved search?
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post #15 of 16 Old 05-21-2019, 11:12 AM
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

Quote:
Originally Posted by hit_4_show View Post
Thanks for the input. I already have 01-03, 200 mile radius, craigslist searches saved for both Sonomas and S10’s. I have email notification set for both. I only want a regular cab, and I thought 2004’s are all crew cabs. Is that incorrect?

I was unaware of the “posted today” filter, even though it is quite prominent. Not very observant of me. Is that filter helpful w/ a saved search?
There have been quite a few trucks like you are looking for for sale around here, and I'm retired so if you find something you like here I can check it out for you, and maybe Badwrench can help out as well. We have a combination of rust-free, and rust buckets here because of so many people moving here. Some are for sale because they decide they need four-wheel drive to get around in the little bit of snow we get. Personally, I have always got by with good snow tires and some weight in the bed, but I'm old school!
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post #16 of 16 Old 05-21-2019, 12:37 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Purchasing S10 or Sonoma in 2019 as Long Term Daily Driver

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There have been quite a few trucks like you are looking for for sale around here, and I'm retired so if you find something you like here I can check it out for you, and maybe Badwrench can help out as well. We have a combination of rust-free, and rust buckets here because of so many people moving here. Some are for sale because they decide they need four-wheel drive to get around in the little bit of snow we get. Personally, I have always got by with good snow tires and some weight in the bed, but I'm old school!
That is extremely kind of you to offer that. I am in the upper Midwest, and occasionally do a manual search of markets as far south as Atlanta, but have never checked that far west. I will consider expanding my search area.
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