Ask Bob... Extending/Reducing an S10 Frame
Here is a quick guide on Extending/Reducing your S10 Frame for the Code 504 Conversion Kit. BE SURE TO WEAR GLOVES AND EYE PROTECTION FOR YOUR OWN SAFETY!
**Before doing any welding make sure to grind all surfaces that are going to get welded clean to bare metal.
** When welding, weld in small sections. Do Not weld everything all at once. Short welds are better. This will allow for cooling and not enable the metal to swell.
The first step is to identify where to extend/reduce the frame. We recommend going about 10 inches behind the factory seam that is found on all S-10 frames. Once this has been identified, you will want to brace the frame both in front and behind where you are going to cut. Make sure your donor tires are the same size and at the same pressure, so the frame is level. Use two “hard” points to measure from so that you can easily reference back to these points in the future each time you need to measure. Do not measure off soft points like ball joints where the point can move or rotate. We used 1x1 tubing to weld as braces between the frame rails. To keep the height the same we used square tubing welded up as posts to the frame extending to the ground. 4 of them are needed. 2 for each rail. 1 on each side of where you are going to cut. After everything is secure, you are now ready to make the cut. Determine your new wheelbase and set the front and rear sections that far apart from each other keeping equal distance on both sides. When you have reached the desired wheelbase, you now know how much of an extension you will need.
If using a Code 504 Extension/Reduction Kit, the short “C” channel that came in the kit measures 11 inches. Cut this the length needed to fill the gap between the front and rear sections of rail. When doing this leave a 1/32 gap between the original rail and this new piece at all locations. This will help with weld penetration. We used a piece of angle iron clamped to the rails to aid in placing the “C” channel in the gap. It also helps to keep the frame square and slide the sections. If using your own extension filler material, please be sure that it is equal length and sturdy enough to act as your extension.
After the channel is cut and fits in place between the 2 sections, and you have checked to make sure the front and rear sections are square with each other, go ahead and tack weld in the inside corners first. Check again to make sure everything is square. Do this step to both sides. Next you are going to put the diamond plates (part of the Code 504 Extension/Reduction Kit) in place. If not using our kit, please make sure your splice material is a good thickness. These are used on the 4 inside seams of the rails. Reduction Kits only require 2. Clamp them in place over the seams while keeping at least a 1/4” clearance between the tops and bottoms of the channels. Clamp both the tops and bottoms of the diamonds to hold them flat to the rail. Now you are ready to weld the outside of the channel. As noted above, do this in small sections. While welding the outside you should be able to penetrate through enough to grab some of the diamond plate on the backside. When complete on the outside, move to the inside and fill the diamond plate holes and go around the outsides of the diamond plates. Again, take your time and do this in small sections. Next you will use the longer “C” channels (Part of the Code 504 Extension/Reduction Kit), or whichever metal you prefer to use as your boxing. These get put in place to reinforce the channels. You can cut these down to the desired size. We recommend leaving at least 3 inches on each side of the seams. So, if you extended the frame by 3 inches then you will want at least a 9-inch piece for the inside. Clamp this piece in place and tack weld it when it is set to the desired location. Complete welds on top and bottom of inner channel. Grind and cleanup the welds to desired finish and remove bracing.