Home » This GMC S-15 Dually Is Seriously Messing With Our Heads

This GMC S-15 Dually Is Seriously Messing With Our Heads

Mini Dually Ts
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The dual rear wheel pickup truck is a phenomenally simple solution to an equally simple problem. See, each and every tire on the road has a load rating, and if you need to pull a bigger load, you might need more tires. However, not every dual rear wheel pickup truck exists out of sheer need for capability. For instance, this 1989 GMC S-15 recently auctioned on Cars & Bids looks like it’s wearing its dad’s suit thanks to a very unusual axle conversion.

Gmc S-15 Dually Interior

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

If this S-15 was stock, it would still be a curiosity simply due to how well-kept it looks. With fewer than 12,000 miles under its belt, absurdly neat upholstery, and mirror-like paint, it’s a time capsule of the late 1980s, a testament to outstanding preservation. With the optional robust 4.3-liter V6 under the hood churning out and understressed 160 horsepower and 230 lb.-ft. of torque, these little GMCs are great trucks that will get you everywhere you need to go.

Gmc S-15 Dually Profile

Of course, this S-15 is a curiosity because it isn’t stock. It’s almost like someone took a one-ton Sierra and run it through a shrink ray. Sure, the period-correct cab visors may have something to do with it, but the star of the show is this little truck’s six-wheeled status. Yes, someone has crammed a dually axle under the frame, which means that each rear corner sports two wheels. A massive set of fender flares cover the extra rubber, and high-offset front wheels finish the look.

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Gmc S 15 Dually Underbody

So why might someone turn a GMC S-15 into a dually? Could more tires equal more capability? Theoretically, they might, but legally, GCWR is GCWR. Just because you can pull more than your truck’s rated at doesn’t mean the state will be okay with it. Traction also probably isn’t a huge issue in an S-15, so it’s unlikely that the extra tires are there to assist in the perfect launch. However, questionable performance characteristics really don’t matter here. The extra wheels definitely improve the truck, but probably not in the way you’d expect.

Gmc S-15 Dually Rear 1

A small pickup truck with a dually conversion makes for a great visual prank, a way of screwing with peoples’ sense of scale. Is it far away? Is everything else huge? It’s a gasoline-powered double-take generator in addition to an artifact from a different time. Minitrucking wasn’t all spokes and hydraulics, you know.

Gmc S-15 Dually Rear 2

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In any case, whoever paid $11,555 for this GMC S-15 dually spent their money well. Clean, stock examples of these trucks now go for a proper mint, so this pristine dually conversion seems like fantastic value. Like a Lamborghini, it could turn you into an overnight celebrity. Unlike a Lamborghini, there’s no whiff of Bitcoin about it.

(Photo credits: Cars & Bids)

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Opa Carriker
Opa Carriker
8 months ago

Back in the mid 80’s, I had an early S-10 with 4cyl and 5 spd manual. Great little truck that I owned in Germany. Bought it 2nd hand off another GI. Added a non-stock exhaust consiting of a 24″ glasspack and a zoom tube exiting just behind the cab on the pas. side. Loud as hell, and truthfully didn’t sound all that great.

I used it to haul a Harley Superglide with the tailgate in the up position, along with camping gear, a tent, etc. Load weight unknown but substantial. Little bastard pulled it all at 80 mph on the autobahn. Many nice trips around Germany. Got a lot of thumbs up from the German drivers!

It was beautiful dark green with gold pinstripes and a camel interior. I installed a nice aftermarket stereo from the PX with multiple speakers. The stero didn’t get much use due to afore mentioned LOUD exhaust. Traded it to yet another GI for a GEO Tracker before returning stateside.

Aron9000
Aron9000
8 months ago

Thats weird that its still the stock axle. Figured it would have had the axle out of a dually, chopped and narrowed to fit under the s10. Also that 7.5″ 10 bolt is fine in a stock s-10 unless you drive like Cleetus McFarland in a burnout contest.

Believe it or not the 4th gen fbody used that same dinky axle. 340ish stock hp from the LS1 and clutch dumps would frag one of these pretty quick. Especially if you were at the drag strip running a sticky tire. The 7.5″ did hold up better in the automatic cars and didnt give you grief if the car was stock. And you didnt drive like Cleetus

Michael Tucker
Michael Tucker
8 months ago

Seems to me Toyota made a little 3/4 dually once open a time. #holygrails

Torque
Torque
8 months ago
Reply to  Michael Tucker

The (small) class c “Dolphin” rv was based off the Toyota Tacoma w/dully rear end, and I’m sure a modified (or completely different) frame

MEK
MEK
8 months ago

Back in the ’90s there used to be a company that sold dually conversion kits for the Ranger. They used to show up in the back of the old truck rags like 4-Wheel and Off-Road. Being 16 at the time and my first truck being a jacked up but somewhat clapped out 4×4 Ranger, I thought a dually conversion was about the coolest idea going. (It’s painful now to admit that). Thankfully I didn’t have to money to actually buy the kit, that truck barley moved under it’s own power with just 4 tires, 2 more would have sealed it’s fate.

Oldskool
Oldskool
8 months ago
Reply to  MEK

I knew a guy who had one of those dually Rangers. Brother in law at the time, year 2000. He removed the outer rear wheels, said something similar about lack of power. He left the flares on so it looked kinda silly.

Beceen
Beceen
8 months ago

I’m still amazed that all you Murican consider this pickup “small”. To my socialist European eyes this truck is pretty large and would have problem fitting to a stanard parking space…

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
8 months ago
Reply to  Beceen

S15’s without the dual wheels are pretty small. Riding 3 across on the front bench seat only worked if everybody had a low BMI.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Thomas Metcalf

So a BMI under 31.4?

Last edited 8 months ago by Cheap Bastard
Whynotsharks
Whynotsharks
8 months ago

My first vehicle was a 1986 Chevy S10 extended cab that the previous owner had swapped a 4.3 v6 from an El Camino and 4.10 gears. He had tow mirrors installed and it had a 5th wheel hitch in the bed with air shocks. I wonder if they’re related is all I’m saying.

For a 17 year old, that thing would 1 wheel peel for days

Last edited 8 months ago by Whynotsharks
Racer71
Racer71
8 months ago

Local junkyard had a fleet of dual rear wheel ford rangers to run between their chain of yards and doing deliveries with. They were neat had metal sides about a foot tall and a tailgate about same that folded down.

Strangek
Strangek
8 months ago

That’s a thing of beauty.

Shop-Teacher
Shop-Teacher
8 months ago

That thing is gorgeous. I love square S-10s.

There’s an early 2000’s Ranger kicking around here, with a dually conversion.

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
8 months ago

I am duly impressed.

Black Peter
Black Peter
8 months ago

However, not every dual rear wheel pickup truck exists out of sheer need for capability.
I’d wager in the Phoenix Metro about 10%, the other 90% are slammed, rolling coal, slammed and rolling coal, or “big man need big truck big”, with a 3 inch exhaust and an 8 inch exhaust tip.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
8 months ago

Is it possible that the rear end and axle are stock and they just bolted an extra wheel on each corner?

MP81
MP81
8 months ago

Good Lord that is a terrifying thought.

The 7.5″ 10-bolt is fragile enough to begin with…

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
8 months ago
Reply to  MP81

That’s just it, this looks like it’s still a 10 bolt and it has the dimple in the cover like the 7.5.

MP81
MP81
8 months ago

Oh no.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
8 months ago

Unlikely, the inside wheel won’t clear the leaf springs, dually axles have to be wider. Unless there’s some massive wheel spacers in there.

My Goat Ate My Homework
My Goat Ate My Homework
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

That’s what I was kind wondering, spacers and something weird like that… that the whole setup is more asthetic then functional.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
8 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Yeah that is how the kits are done that use a dually style wheel. There used to be ones that used the SRW style wheels with really big spacers google Ricka dual wheel, those were the ones that JC Whitney used to sell.

Scoutdude
Scoutdude
8 months ago

Yup, there are still companies out there making kits for full size trucks and vans and there used to be kits for the mini trucks too.

Thomas Metcalf
Thomas Metcalf
8 months ago

Looks like a stock 10 bolt. Not a great axle…

Ricki
Ricki
8 months ago

I love this thing. It’s solid Radwood ’90s style, but, y’know. Smaller.

Pat Rich
Pat Rich
8 months ago

The really fun ones are the old Toyota one ton trucks. Thats a fun rabbit hole to go down if you are into weird tiny trucks. Toyota made a one ton truck with dually axle with the 22r engine.

Here is a video add for a SRW long bed with 2655 lbs payload! Can you even imagine trying to haul around 2.5 tons with 100 hp?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-1bVH2gT5Mo

Last edited 8 months ago by Pat Rich
Lockleaf
Lockleaf
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

This was my thought. Nissan, under Datsun, did the exact same thing. They both used them under their tiny motorhomes of the early 80s.

Dennis Birtcher
Dennis Birtcher
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

I’ve seen one of those duallies running around my area, still putting in work. I had been wondering what kind of nut puts a heavy duty axle under an 80s or 90s something compact pickup. Never would I have guessed Toyota themselves were that nut.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

U-Haul used to have Toyota box trucks with dually axles too, so either Toyota was making them for commercial sales or the same outfitters that added the van/camper bodies also installed new rear axles to handle the extra weight. With the 22r and a small house’s worth of furniture in the back they must have had a 0-60 time of NOPE.

Datanerd
Datanerd
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

My father had a 1991 Toyota one ton. It was single rear wheels, not dually, and had the 3.3l V6 and 5 speed. I regret not buying that from him, but I was living in the city and didn’t have room for a second car. Some guy asked him where he got the one ton stickers, and he didn’t believe it came like that from the factory. Dad said something to the effect of why don’t you count the 7 leaf springs in back.

NebraskaStig
NebraskaStig
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

A neighbor of mine had an 82 Toyota camper with the 22R hooked up to the dually rear end. Loved the smol tires on these

Gubbin
Gubbin
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

I am always amazed how my stock Nissan 2.4l 4-banger just moves right along with 3/4T of gravel in the bed. I’d be tempted to add airbags or extra leafs, but I don’t know what the axle will take.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
8 months ago
Reply to  Pat Rich

“Can you even imagine trying to haul around 2.5 tons with 100 hp?”

Sigh. Looks like its time for a history reminder:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/GMC_CCKW_2%C2%BD-ton_6%C3%976_truck

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZIS-5_(truck)

WW2 was won using trucks hauling 5000lbs+ with 90 HP or less.

Cam.man67
Cam.man67
8 months ago

Those wheels are curious, and look like they may have come off a commercial van of some sort, rather than off a dually GM pickup. Curious. Rear end appears to be stock, which is equally curious. The stock rear isn’t likely to break under normal-ish conditions, but with all that extra rolling mass? Hard to say.

IRegertNothing, Esq.
IRegertNothing, Esq.
8 months ago
Reply to  Cam.man67

If it’s the stock axle and rear end gears with extra wheels slapped on, I wouldn’t have much confidence in how long this setup will last. I certainly wouldn’t want to load up the bed or try towing with it.

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