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1997 GMC Sonoma - Scene Swap

Claiming The Low Ground

John Mata Jr
May 1, 2011
Photographers: John Mata Jr
Owner: Kyle Golden
Ride: 1997 GMC Sonoma
Hometown: Covington, GA
Club: No Regrets
Photo 2/7   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma right Side View
Kyle Golden used to be into big trucks, but the last three years have been dedicated to 'bagged minis after he rolled his lifted rig on four different occassions. But taking on a whole new type of truck and lifestyle hasn't exactly come without a fair share of hiccups. Going into the build of his first low-riding, street-scraping ride, he encountered a few bumps in the road but none that were serious enough to slow his new passion.
The first mod Kyle made to his Sonoma was the Suicidedoors five-link back half, but once it was welded into place he noticed that the rearend was bent. The hunt for a new and straight driver axleshaft was on, but he had to go through seven different axles before he found the right one. "Obviously, not one person that attempted to help me out knew the difference between 2WD and 4WD parts," says Kyle, describing his first real headache.
The second instance is actually pretty funny, and we're sure you'll find the twisted humor in it once hearing the story directly from him. "I know this is going to sound weird, but the worst thing that happened along the way was when the truck rearended itself. The bed was off at the body shop all tacked up and ready for primer. It was sitting on a bed stand in front of the truck and someone cranked the truck in the shop. Little did this person know, the new clutch rod setup was all custom with no safety switch. The truck was in First gear and quickly took off through the shop running right into its own bed, throwing it into a Chevelle that ended up falling off the jackstands it was rested on." With what sounds like a worst-case scenario for Kyle's truck only ended up resulting in a slightly dented rollpan and a busted radiator and core support.
Photo 3/7   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma rear Left View
Kyle quickly experienced the opposite end of the construction spectrum as soon as his truck returned home from the shop. "The best part of this whole thing was being able to build the truck with my dad. It was awesome to get to go out to the garage every night and just hang out with my pops. He always had lifted trucks growing up but I got hooked on air ride, and looking back, I could never trade anything for the moments we shared in that garage." But between bouncing around from classes at Georgia Institute of Technology and taking care of life's other time-stealers, Kyle had to really space out the time he could spend working on his truck.
Photo 4/7   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma engine
With his first 'bagged project done for now, Kyle is already looking into his truck's future by planning a bodydrop, which would really take his already slick GMC into another dimension. Reflecting back on the last two and half years, Kyle can admit to taking a few pieces of information with him. "It's worth it to take your time and do everything right the first time. I have gained so many skills through the building of this truck and I can't wait to do more on the next one."
The Lowdown
Rolling Attire

Wheels: 20-inch Boss 338 in gray
Tires: 265/35/ZR20 Nitto 555 (front) 245/35/ZR20 (rear)
Photo 5/7   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma amps
Chassis Modifications
Suspension (front): Belltech drop spindles and Slam Specialties RE7s
Suspension (rear): Custom five-link back-half with Slam Specialties RE8s
Control Arms: Thorbecke Bros. uppers and lowers
Shocks: Toxic
Compressor(s): Two Viair 480s
Air/hydro accessories: Two 3-gallon tanks mounted under bed
Frame Mods: Notched for tie rods, all arms and link bars painted gray to match
Brakes: Rear converted to discs with slotted/cross-drilled rotors
Misc.: Eight Air Lift 3/8-inch valves
Performed By: Twisted Wayz Fabrication and owner
Body Modifications
Shaved: Everything but the gas door
Body Mods: Sheetmetal bedfloor with cut-out for notch and wishbone, Grant Kustoms step shaver with Cali combo
Bolt-ons: '97 Bravada front clip, Cadillac tails, Street Scene mirrors
Misc.: Speedliner bedliner
Performed By: Moonshine Customs and owner
Photo 6/7   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma rear Axle
Brand & Colors: Sikkens Black and Tarnished Silver
Misc.: Graphics in the middle with brushed look and red pinstriping
Performed By: Moonshine Customs
Seats: S-10 full bench notched for manual and cut down
Dash: Stock dyed black
Gauges: Stock
Misc.: Black Emu on everything, Billet Specialties Stiletto steering wheel and billet mirror, Hurst Short Throw shifter
Performed By: Alan's Auto Trim and owner
Photo 7/7   |   1997 Gmc Sonoma interior
Head Unit: Pioneer 7-inch double-DIN
Mids & Highs: JBL 6.5-inch components with separate tweeters
Subwoofers: Two 12-inch JBL GTO
Amplifiers: Alpine F-250 and Alpine M-1000
Misc.: 200-amp alternator upgrade
Performed By: Autoextremes
Engine: 4.3L V-6
Intake: K&N
Header/exhaust: Custom Y-pipe to a 1-in, 2-out turndown
Transmission: Stock five-speed
Rearend Type: Stock Blazer
Detail Work: All wires cleaned up and moved
Misc.: Vintage Air A/C and heat, custom clutch rod
Performed By: Owner
Special Thanks From Owner
"I would like to give a huge thanks to my mom and pops! It has been a long process and it's amazing to have your patience and support. I would also like to thank Jamey Tiffany, Dennis 'Yankee' Sayers, Chris 'Foose' Few, and everybody else who helped out in the process of the build. I have learned a lot and have become addicted to the lifestyle, and I want to thank all past minitruckers for that!"



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