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Old 01-06-2009, 06:53 PM
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1980 Ford 3/4 ton 4x4 with 1969 ford body

How much work is involved in switching my 1969 Ford Ranger body onto a 1980 Ford 3/4 ton rolling chassis? The 3/4 ton has Twin Traction Beam front suspension with Dana 60 in hte back. What kind of fabricating are we talking about here?
thanks, d&C

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Old 01-07-2009, 02:48 PM
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Body mounts will need to be replaced and placed in the correct locations. probably the radiator support mounts as well..I did something similar on a chev years ago and once the cab and fenders were set on the new chassis it all came clear.Steering column connection will need to be thought out if the wirng is ok in the new cab then that will not be all that hard..just lots of elbow grease is required..

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Old 01-07-2009, 07:58 PM
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Back to you on 69 Ford conversion

Thanks for the advice, all of the cab wiring will be intact, the color code difference will be a concern, among other things. Appreciate it. Doug
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Old 01-07-2009, 10:45 PM
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On the 69 conversion

Are there any websites out there similar to Fordification.com which have great expanded on the chassis and other restoration stuff?
Anybody out there?
Thanks, d&c
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Old 01-07-2009, 11:11 PM
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Just a bit of a converse thought.

Would it be an outrageous undertaking to swap the 4x4 components over to the existing frame?

The biggest reason for this thought is a hunch that the older truck has a slightly shorter wheelbase?

I'm quite sure that the 1980 (Reg Cab, 8ft bed) trucks had a wheelbase of 133" ... and something tells me the 67-72's had something like 127"
=====================

Another option (if the wheelbase issue is the same or can easily be fixed) might be to compare the distance side-to-side on the frame rails. I'm sort of thinking they are the same ... 37"?

If that were the case, perhaps all of the mounting brackets (cab / rad support / pickup box , etc) could be swapped over?

These are just a couple of ideas that are kicking around in my head. I worked for Ford parts for many years, but the only chassis-swapping stuff that I have ever done was on my 66 GMC. My project looks like it will turn out OK, but the cab still hasn't hit the frame yet ... so I'm hoping for the best.
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Old 01-08-2009, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d&c repairs it all
Thanks for the advice, all of the cab wiring will be intact, the color code difference will be a concern, among other things. Appreciate it. Doug
I do not understand the wiring concern. If you move the early body onto the late chassis and bring the wiring with it, the only wiring that will need attention is the few wires that go to the engine . Use the alternator and the sending units from the early engine and you will have a nearly plug and play system.

It would be far easier to adjust the whelbase if needed by moving the rear diff on the late frame then moving all the components to the early frame. I would assume that the 3/4 frame is also a stronger configuration then the 1/2 .

Not being a Ford guy I do not know the specifics of your swap but I did do a Chevy 4x2 to 4x4 cab swap and found the floors are different under the seat area as well as the expected tunnel/shift lever area. I am sure you will find some "problems" too, all part of the fun of HotRodding!
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Old 01-08-2009, 08:54 AM
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In 80 and 81 Ford had the bright idea to lighten up the frames by stamping large oval holes in the frame, check your frame to see if it is this style. Another thing is every time Ford changed a body style on it trucks, especially two wheel drives it widened the frames and changed the wheel base. This is what I have heard, the 73-79 4X4 Ford trucks use a frame the same width as the 67-72 two and 4x4 trucks. A few guys I know have swapped 67-72 truck bodies on a 73-79 4x4 frames, so I know it works. The only thing to do is measure frame widths, wheelbases and compare between the two.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:08 PM
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reply on 4x4 conversion

thanks for the good info. Crankshaft Coalition has some useful info on Wiki on wheelbase data on frames which will hopefully convert over. More later, Doug
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:35 PM
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66GMC on the 69 Ford conversion to 4x4

Quote:
Originally Posted by 66GMC
Just a bit of a converse thought.

Would it be an outrageous undertaking to swap the 4x4 components over to the existing frame?

The biggest reason for this thought is a hunch that the older truck has a slightly shorter wheelbase?

I'm quite sure that the 1980 (Reg Cab, 8ft bed) trucks had a wheelbase of 133" ... and something tells me the 67-72's had something like 127"
=====================

Another option (if the wheelbase issue is the same or can easily be fixed) might be to compare the distance side-to-side on the frame rails. I'm sort of thinking they are the same ... 37"?

If that were the case, perhaps all of the mounting brackets (cab / rad support / pickup box , etc) could be swapped over?

These are just a couple of ideas that are kicking around in my head. I worked for Ford parts for many years, but the only chassis-swapping stuff that I have ever done was on my 66 GMC. My project looks like it will turn out OK, but the cab still hasn't hit the frame yet ... so I'm hoping for the best.
Just a note to get back to you. 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton frames were basically the same on the early 70 frames, except the front clip. We're welding the front clip on which will take care of the suspension problem. The steering box is still a problem, but a box out of a 3/4 ton should work b/c we're using coils vs. leaf springs. It's an interesting enterprise, have met several people can do it in a weekend if they have help. Probably won't be done in a weekend for us. All the body parts are off the frame and are getting prepped for primer. Still debating on Featherfill vs. Valspar primer. Haven't heard much negative about Featherfill. Anyone reading this have any preferences??
Thanks for the advice, will keep you posted as we go. I need to get some pictures. I keep forgetting. d&c
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:37 PM
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On the 69 conversion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Old Fool
I do not understand the wiring concern. If you move the early body onto the late chassis and bring the wiring with it, the only wiring that will need attention is the few wires that go to the engine . Use the alternator and the sending units from the early engine and you will have a nearly plug and play system.

It would be far easier to adjust the whelbase if needed by moving the rear diff on the late frame then moving all the components to the early frame. I would assume that the 3/4 frame is also a stronger configuration then the 1/2 .

Not being a Ford guy I do not know the specifics of your swap but I did do a Chevy 4x2 to 4x4 cab swap and found the floors are different under the seat area as well as the expected tunnel/shift lever area. I am sure you will find some "problems" too, all part of the fun of HotRodding!
We're keeping the chassis, and welding in the front clip from a 3/4 ton 4x4. It matches up. Then we keep our own wiring and body, etc. Front and rear axles will be switched out to Dana 44 and 60 respectively. Still debating on keeping the 390 and tranny. Good running motor and tranny. Uses no oil. Had a recommendation to switch it out to a 460. Might do it. Haven't decided yet. What are your thoughts?
thanks, d&c
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Old 01-15-2009, 10:14 PM
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Take lots of pictures and start a project journal. Your experience would be valuable.

The 460 (385 series) is a better choice than the 390 (FE series), IMO, mostly because it has the bigger, canted valve design.

More HP potential, and better fuel mileage, too ... according to what I have been told.

I've never owned a 385 series engine, but I have had a couple of 390's. They have lots of "grunt" ... but they don't like to rev.

You DO need to know, however, that the bellhousing patterns are much different between these 2 engine families. If it's a C6 automatic, it's a one-piece transmission case, so that would mean that a tranny swap would also be required.
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Old 01-15-2009, 11:58 PM
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To 66GMC from the 69 Project truck 4x4

Didn't think to take pictures until the front clip was off. The engine's out. Still debating about the 390/460 issue. A 460 is a better engine, but the 390 is a good runner. Don't really have the luxury of time to rebuild a 460 at this point. We'll see how it goes. Tonight we're starting the process of cutting out the 1974 front crossmember and going to transfer it to my 69 frame. Took some pictures, will see if I can figure out how to download the pics and get them out there. Could take me a bit. Don't like digital tech very much. Probably have to have my son do it. Back at you soon, thanks for the interest and the help. Nice to know people are interested in a 4x4 conversion.
d&c (doug & cathy)
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:54 AM
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80 Ford with 69 body

I just did a 67 F100 on a 82 4x4 chasis, it worked out well. the rear cab mounts will sit where the original ones were on the 69, you will have to drill holes beside them. Drill off front cab mounts and you can move them ahead and re bolt them. I put a front cross member on the front and welded the 67 frame horns on to that so I could use the 67 bumper. I used the whole wiring harness out of the 82 and suprisingly, everything was the same color code and some of it pluged into the switches. You can check it out on this link
http://www.mypowerblock.com/profile/F100
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Old 06-11-2009, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onebadmerc
In 80 and 81 Ford had the bright idea to lighten up the frames by stamping large oval holes in the frame, check your frame to see if it is this style. Another thing is every time Ford changed a body style on it trucks, especially two wheel drives it widened the frames and changed the wheel base. This is what I have heard, the 73-79 4X4 Ford trucks use a frame the same width as the 67-72 two and 4x4 trucks. A few guys I know have swapped 67-72 truck bodies on a 73-79 4x4 frames, so I know it works. The only thing to do is measure frame widths, wheelbases and compare between the two.
There's some incorrect information in that post.

Speaking only about F-250 4x4's:

The 1973-19771/2 models used the same frame, a ram assisted power steering system, and a divorced style transfer case. These trucks are often referred to as "Highboys".

Ford made a major change to the truck part way through the 1977 model year that lasted through the 1979 versions, the last of that body style. They changed the frame significantly. They changed the power steering to an integral box. The transfer case was now attached to the transmission. The trucks were noticeably lower than the factory "Highboys".

For 1977 Ford stopped offering the FE series engines (360 and 390) and instead offered the 351M and 400M.

A 460 engine swap is very popular. The 1973-1976 trucks require replacement of the factory frame mounted engine "towers". Early 1977 trucks had the "Highboy" style frame but had the 351M and 400M engines. My understanding is that those towers can be used on the '73-'76 frames to install a 460 without having to purchase aftermarket towers. the 19771/2 -1979 trucks can use the existing 351M-400M towers to install a 460.

For 1978 and 1979 only Ford offered a factory option called the "Snow Fighter". This option replaced the front Dana 44HD axle with a one ton Dana 60. It was a high pinion axle, and is considered very desireable.

In my opinion a '78-'79 F-250 with the Snow Fighter option represents the very best mechanical configuration of that entire production run.
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Old 06-11-2009, 07:31 PM
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This is wrong, the 351M/400 engine mounts and towers are not the same. Ask me how I know, I replaced the 400 in my 78 F250 with a 460. The 351M/400 towers and engine mounts dont even resemble the 460 engine towers and mounts.
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