The Chevy S-10 and the GMC Sonoma have been the go-to truck in the minitruck community. No matter which brand of truck you have, there is an abundance of parts, from wheels to the smallest detail piece that you don't think is made - someone makes it.
The problem with that is when attending a show there are dozens of S-10s or Sonomas that have the same bolt-on part that you have. The only way to stand out from every other fellow owner is to take it up a notch and do something different. There are many ways to accomplish this task, like creating a killer interior or 'bag'n and body-dropping it over a set 22-inch wheels. You could even throw thousands of dollars at it for a paint job. That is cool and all, but when push comes to shove, it is still one of the most popular trucks that might still resemble the one that you park next to at shows. So how do you make your truck look different? Change the look of the front end. Look at it like this: there are only so many items that can be shaved on a truck. There are only a few options that can be done to modify the tailgate of a truck. But the front end, there is almost an endless amount of possibilities. There are many vehicles out there that have the shape of any year S-10 or Sonoma in which elements can be used to create an extension of your personality. To get the creative juices flowing, we have put together a collection of front-end swaps that we hope will inspire you.
1. For the '82-'90 S-10/S-15...
1. For the '82-'90 S-10/S-15 and Blazer/Jimmy truck crowds, this front end is a simple swap. The '91-'93 clip bolts right up for the most part, and looks a hundred times better then its predecessor.
2. The next step up would...
2. The next step up would come in the form of a billet grille. There are several different choices along with styles of grilles. This owner chose to go with the phantom grille and shaved corner lights. For an added bonus, the factory bumper was swapped out in favor of a '89-'94-style Toyota bumper.
3. Christopher Voorhest really...
3. Christopher Voorhest really made a statement by using an '88-'98 fullsize Chevy front end. In order to get it to fit and look proper, the grille needed to be narrowed several inches. Instead of modifying a Chevy fullsize bumper, Christopher used a custom made bumper.
4. In the world of fullsize...
4. In the world of fullsize Chevy trucks, the Cadillac Escalade front-end swap is a popular modification. Adam Heglar grafted an '04 Escalade clip to the front of his first-gen S-10 and finished it off with a shaved '91-'93 S-10 bumper.
5. In the May '05 issue of...
5. In the May '05 issue of Mini Truckin', we did a tech article showing how to graft a Colorado front clip to a first-gen S-10. This front-end swap is intense and not for the faint-hearted. There is a lot of heavy modification involved. The guys at Devious found out it was easier to make a core support than use the factory Colorado support.
6. The '94-'97 S-10 and '95-'97...
6. The '94-'97 S-10 and '95-'97 Blazer have a direct front-end swap with the '98-'03 S-10. This upgrade consists of the grille shell, headlights, turn signal, and bumper. The hood and fenders do not need to be replaced and it only takes a couple hours.
7. Just like the first-gen...
7. Just like the first-gen S-10, there are plenty of billet grilles styles to choose from. Carlos Padilla's choice replaced the grille shell completely. He also installed an aftermarket valance to spice it up a little.
8. When Brian Stubblefield...
8. When Brian Stubblefield changed up the front end on his '02 Chevy S-10 he used a '98-'01 Oldsmobile Bravada center grille. The headlights and bumper are out of a Sonoma. The bumper was smoothed out using fiberglass and painted.
9. This front end incorporates...
9. This front end incorporates '08 GMC Sierra Denali headlights, a modified billet grille, and a Stillen urethane bumper cover.
10. The '03-'05 Trailblazer...
10. The '03-'05 Trailblazer is definitely an attention getter on the front end of the S-10. The headlights are aftermarket replacements with clear side markers and the indent where the Chevy emblem goes, has been filled in and smoothed out.
11. Here we see '02-and-newer...
11. Here we see '02-and-newer aftermarket Envoy headlights, and a Street Scene SS style bumper. The center section of the grille is from a '03 to '08 Chevy Express van.
12. Chris Brown's choice was...
12. Chris Brown's choice was the first-generation Cadillac Escalade front end. In addition to the Caddy clip having to be narrowed and the bumper sectioned, the hood and fenders needed to be heavily modified as well.
13. The headlights and grille...
13. The headlights and grille shell are from a second-generation Escalade. The billet grille was modified to fit along with the hood. We're not quite sure about the bumper, but it appears to be a Grant Kustoms S-10 bumper.
14. In the January '06 issue...
14. In the January '06 issue we ran a feature on Shannon Taylor's '00 Chevy S-10. It was named S-250, because he used Ford F-250 headlights, center grille, and front bumper.
15. The owner of this under...
15. The owner of this under construction beauty found a way to fit a Lexus 470LX front end on this second-generation S-10.
16. Michael Phillips went...
16. Michael Phillips went for the wild front-end swap. He incorporated '02 Toyota Tacoma fenders, hood, and headlights into his '96 Blazer. Once the top half of the fenders and front edge of the hood was grafted to the factory sheetmetal, a GMC Sierra bumper was chopped down and re-shaped.
17. One of the most recognized...
17. One of the most recognized trucks in recent years and maybe of all time: the Blazerado redefines the front-end conversion. It started life as a '95 Chevy S-10 Blazer four-door. Once Clyde at Silver Star Customs was finished with the modifications, it left you wondering if the truck was a full-blown custom or a GM concept vehicle.
In conclusion, these changes to your vehicle's front end will definitely create a completely new look, and your truck or SUV will have a great beginning to its life as a full-blown custom. Coming up with some rarely seen modifications is what keeps our industry constantly moving forward. We look forward to every year as some shows turn up some interesting ideas that cause others to think harder and dig deeper into the "wouldn't it be cool if" files. The '09 show season is coming up. Will you be ready?The companies listed below can meet your body modification needs and are invaluable resources when building a custom truck.
CanDo Specialties Inc.