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2002 GMC Sonoma - Wanted: A Bad Ass Truck

Joe Greeves
Oct 1, 2008
Photographers: Joe Greeves
Photo 2/13   |   2002 Gmc Sonoma front View
At age 30, Alan Sensing can trace the beginnings of his automotive enthusiasm back more than half his life to middle school, which was when he first began noticing custom rides. A modified '96 Ranger got him started in the hobby, but the desire for a head-turning magazine-quality custom truck got stronger every year. Currently as the body shop manager for Quality Collision in Forest Park, Georgia, Alan decided to make his dream a reality. And it happened in an instant!
One day, he was passed by a body-dropped and 'bagged Toyota on the interstate, which was the moment Alan decided that was the look he wanted. Soon after, he found a bone-stock '02 GMC Sonoma at the local GM dealership. He was attracted to both the body style and the drivetrain, a 4.3L V-6 with a five-speed, Positraction, and 3.22 gears.
Photo 3/13   |   2002 Gmc Sonoma custom Interior
Chassis mods were the first order of business, beginning with 2-inch Belltech dropped front spindles, a 6-inch C-notch, four-link, Panhard bar, and a wide set of tubs in the rear with relocated inner fender panels up front. 'Bags on all four corners brought the truck down, while the bed-mounted Viair 480 compressor fills the Airlift reserve tank through Airlift valves and 1/2-inch lines. Next, the gas tank was relocated upward for clearance. The front rims are 18x7-inch Incubus Paranormals, specially ordered with a full positive offset to ensure clearance, and were wrapped in Kumho 215/30-ZR18s. In the rear, 20-inch versions were shod in 255/35/ZR20 rubber.
A series of tasteful body mods began up front with an Envoy bumper, a painted grille shell, billet grille insert, and a Goodmark cowl induction hood. Next, Street Scene side mirrors and a plexiglass rear window added a custom touch. In the rear, the tubbed and bridged bed holds the air suspension components and was covered with a Gem Top tonneau cover.
Photo 4/13   |   2002 Gmc Sonoma audio System
The interior turns heads and perks up ears, thanks to lots of innovative touches. The original Sonoma buckets, reupholstered in black and gray leather, were cut down 10 inches to better showcase the elaborate stereo behind the seats. Crafted by Tom Reese from Metra Tsunami in Daytona Beach, Florida, the sound system defines the cab. Four JBL amps pump out 2,200 watts to the dozen JBL speakers positioned throughout the interior. Door panels were rebuilt using fiberglass to house the custom speaker enclosures. Monitors were located in the third door on the driver side, as well as in the Kenwood 6019 head unit. Tsunami wiring, fuses, and a battery electrify the system with a 200-amp alternator keeping everything fully charged.
Andy Wilson from Woodstock, Georgia, sprayed the silver and yellow BASF paint. Realistic flames and skull murals were added, courtesy of Kristian Baena, then Andy Wilson finished the job with purple pinstriping. The completed truck is not only a source of personal pride, but the numerous trophies that it's won underscore the talents of the shop staff.
Special thanks to shop owner Michael Richards, Alan's friends Andy Wilson, Lewis Pacheco, Tom Reece, Bud Gilliam, and especially to Alan's wife Cara Sensing, and their daughter Mattie.
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire
Rims: Incubus Paranormals (Front): 18x7-inch (Rear):20x10-inch Paranormals
Tires Kumho (Front): 215/35R18 (Rear): 255/35R20
Photo 8/13   |   2002 Gmc Sonoma tire
Chassis Modifications
Suspension type: Air
Rear suspension: 'Bags and four-link
'Bag size (Front): 2600 (Rear): 2500
Spindles: Belltech 2-inch drop spindles
Frame mods: Rear C-notch
Gas tank: Raised 2 inches for clearance
Detail work: Custom crossmembers
Performed by: Bud Gilliam
City/state: Fairburn, GA
Body Modifications
Shaved: Doors, hood squirters, taillights, and tailgate.
Front end: Envoy bumper, painted grille shell, Goodmark cowl induction hood, and a billet grille insert.
Rear end: Plexiglass rear window
Taillights: Shaved
Bed: Tubbed and bridged, holds the air suspension components, and was covered with a Gem Top tonneau cover.
Performed by: Lewis Pacheco
City/state: Forest Park, GA
Brand and colors: BASF Silver and Yellow.
Style: Two-tone
Performed by: Andy Wilson
City/state: Woodstock, GA
Photo 12/13   |   2002 Gmc Sonoma front Right View
Seats: Stock seats trimmed 10 inches by Andy Wilson
Material: Leather
Dash: Smoothed and painted by Andy Wilson
Door panels: Shaved and built to hold 8-inch subs, by Tom Reece.
Center console: Shaved with iPod connection done by Tom Reece.
Flooring: Carpet
Headliner: Suede installed by Tom Reece
Performed by: Tom and Andy
City/state: Woodstock, GA, and Daytona Beach, FL
Head unit: Kenwood 6019 head unit.
Amplifiers: Four JBL amplifiers rated at 2200 watts.
Speakers: 12 speakers mounted throughout the cab.
Additional components: Monitors mounted in the head unit and third door.
Performed by: Tom Reece
City/state: Daytona Beach, FL
Photo 13/13   |   2002 Gmc Sonoma hood
Displacement: 4.3L
Model/year: '02 Sonoma
Number of cylinders: V-6
Fuel delivery: Fuel injection
Transmission: Five-speed transmission equipped with B&M shift kit
Intake: K&N cold air intake
Exhaust: Flowmaster
Driveshaft: Stock
Rear end type: 3.43 Positraction
Battery: Tsunami
Location: Front and rear
Detail work: Lots
Performed by: Alan Sensing
City/state: Fairburn, GA
Special Thanks By Owner:
The truck could not have been built without the assistance of the owner of Quality Collision Michael Richards, painter Andy Wilson, bodyman Luis Pacheco, audio tech Tom Reece, suspension pro Bud Gilliam, and finally my wife Cara Sensing, and our daughter Mattie.


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