2000 Chevrolet S10 - New Control Arms & 20s With A/C - Houston, We Have a Problem

Ekstensive Metalworks Shows Us How To Cut An S-10 For 20s And Keep The A/C

Kevin Aguilar
Oct 1, 2007
Photographers: Kevin Aguilar
In the show scene, it's all about taking your truck to the extreme. Going down low on large wheels is a big part of how truck owners are trying to get looks and rake in the trophies. One of the more popular trucks to work on is the second-generation '94-'03 Chevy S-10. Though this truck is relatively simple to work on, there happens to be a major issue when cutting it up to fit a set of 20s while trying to keep the factory air-conditioning system. When GM designed this truck, it cramped up the engine bay and placed the fan for the A/C directly on top of the wheelwell. The box for the blower fan is directly in the way of tucking these large wheels.
Photo 2/28
Most people who have made the room for 20s on their airbagged S-10s have completely ditched this fan and A/C to have the large rollers. Like many people with daily-driven custom trucks, we did not want to sacrifice the creature comforts of cold air inside the cab for the sake of tucking 20s on our own project S-10. We already knew the truck would get the cut, and we called the boys of Ekstensive Metalworks because they have a long history of building insane customs that are reliable to drive. While talking to shop owner Bill Carlton, he told us that he could work out our A/C problem because he has modified the fan box on several other S-10s without anything going wrong. Once we made an appointment at Ekstensive, all that was left to do was to drive our truck from SoCal to the shop in Houston.
The Parts!
The main idea of the modification being performed is that we are cutting up our S-10 to fit a set of 20-inch wheels and tires. Since there are many sizes of tires and offset wheels, we made sure to have these ready because everything will be set based on them. The wheels we got were these 20x8.5-inch Huntington wheels with a 5-inch backspacing from Bonspeed. Then, we placed on a set of 245/35ZR20 Toyo Proxes 4 because of their low-profile size and great performance capabilities. The tires also have a high level of traction and have a high resistance to any generated heat.
With new heavy wheels on the truck, we were in need of more braking power. Since our truck cannot go too fast, we didn't need to spend big bucks on large-diameter brakes. So, we called Stillen for a set of factory replacement sport brake rotors, metal matrix pads, and Goodridge stainless steel lines to help stop the huge wheels.
To give us plenty of air in our pneumatic system, we went with a pair of Viair 480C compressors. These compressors are reliable with a 100-pecent duty cycle and have an inline check valve to prevent them from leaking air out of the storage tanks.
Since the new wheels came close to the airbags in the rear, we knew they would rub when the 'bag expanded under pressure. A set of Slam Specialties RE-7 airbags was called to order with their non-ballooning capability. They are also constructed with the mounting plates permanently bonded, and the inner bumpstops keep them from self-destructing when loaded at zero psi.
Photo 28/28
The Final Word
After everything was wrapped up, the truck was laid out on the ground to check for any issues. The suspension got the truck down flat, and the new control arms seemed to minimize negative camber. When we tested out the air conditioning, it worked on command. The only thing was that the fan didn't blow air as fast as it did before, but it still worked well enough to keep us cool on hot days.

Sources

Stillen
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
800-891-1058
http://www.stillen.com
Slam Specialties
Fresno, CA 93727
888-352-5225
http://www.slamspecialties.com
Ekstensive Metalworks
Houston, TX 77093
281-442-1050
www.ekstensive.com
Toyo Tires
800-442-8696
www.toyotires.com
KP Components
www.kpcomponents.com
Viair Corp.
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
U.S. Wheel/ Bonspee
www.uswheel.com

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