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Bosman’s Soaring 1996 GMC Sonoma

Posted in Features on March 31, 2014
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It’s not too often you see a Sonoma—GMC’s S-10 counterpart—built with such quality and attention to detail that the caliber is comparable to a full-on race truck. So when we saw this one, we knew we had to get some photographic evidence.

After attending a desert race with his father at the age of 14, Ryan Bosman came home with one goal: Build a truck so he can play in the desert, too. And he and his dad picked up this little Sonoma the very next day. Over the course of 10 years—working a $10-an-hour job and scraping together every dime while also attending college for manufacturing engineering—Ryan completed his truck’s first stage. He built a mild front end for his Sonoma and used Deaver rear leaf springs on his truck’s rear end. As Ryan’s skills progressed, his desire to truly build an ultra-capable truck grew. He tore the truck down for one last time. The final iteration of Bosman’s soaring Sonoma is one of the cleanest S-10 builds you will ever come across.

The truck was equipped with Baja Customs lower control arms and frame plating, while Ryan built his own knuckle and upper A-arms to cycle a total of 17 inches of travel. Ryan then ditched the little 2.2-liter four-banger for a 4.3-liter V-6 powerplant.

After that, things got really serious. The whole back of the frame was removed in favor of a tubed back half with a three-link he designed and built, cycling 28 inches of travel.

We caught up with Ryan during the Annual Barstow Meet, a camping trip in the Barstow desert. Rain poured from the sky for the first two days, but Sunday morning brought some clear skies in time to get the photographic evidence we wanted.

Thirty five-inch BFGoodrich Baja T/As on OMF Outlaw II wheels tuck up nicely upon compression, thanks to a lot of body removal and Hellion fiberglass bedsides and fenders.

Vehicle: 1996 GMC Sonoma
Owner: Ryan Bosman
Chassis: Front half of factory S-10 frame mixed with 1.75-inch DOM rollcage
Engine: Chevy 4.3L V-6, JBA headers, K&N air intake, Magnaflow exhaust
Transmission: 4L60E, CBR transmission cooler
Front Suspension: Baja Customs lower control arms, Bosman-made knuckles and upper control arms, BMS hubs, 10-inch-stroke Sway-a-Way coilovers, Sway-a-Way hydraulic bumpstops
Rear Suspension: Bosman-made three-link with upper triangle and lower trailing arms, 16-inch-stroke Sway-a-Way coilovers, 18-inch-stroke triple-bypass shocks, and hydraulic bumpstops, limiting straps, rear anti-sway bar
Rear Axle: Sandy Cone trussed Ford 9-Inch housing, Currie nodular third member with 5.29 gears and full spool
Brakes: Wilwood calipers at all corners, CNC brake pedal and master cylinder
Tires/Wheels: 35x12.50R15 BFGoodrich Baja T/As on OMF Outlaw II beadlocks
Interior: Momo steering wheel, Rugged Radios race radio, Lowrance GPS, PRP seats, Crow four-point harnesses
Other Stuff: Jaz 32-gallon fuel cell, Rigid Industries light bars

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