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Old 09-04-2008, 04:21 PM
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3/4 ton suburban into a 1 ton 4x4

Hey, I've got an 86 crew cab 3+3 1 ton 4x4 with a Dana 60 front end with matching rear and a 205 t/case. It had a diesel but now has a 350 w/4 spd. The truck has served its purpose and is now a donor. I just aquired an 89 3/4 ton 2 wheel dr Suburban with a mint body and a perfect interior. What I'm going to attempt is to re & re front suspension changing to leafs from the crew cab as well as the rears. I've got a rebuilt 454 to mate to a th700r4 from a donor 93 1/2 ton(in Canada, we don't throw out old chevs, you should see my back yard!!) and on top of it all, I have a propane system from a 1 ton to run the beast. I already have a 3" body lift kit to allow room for the t/case. Am I nuts?

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Last edited by Canadian Mud Slinger; 09-04-2008 at 09:32 PM. Reason: wrong year
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Old 09-04-2008, 06:08 PM
F&J F&J is offline
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Trying to change the 73-87 2wd frame into a 4x4 is not an easy task. I did one in 1983.....never again


The framerails up front are not the same section width; meaning the " [ " shape height is not the same. Why care?, because you need to put the 4x4 "under engine crossmember" into the 2wd frame after you take off the 2wd front suspension crossmember & a-arms. There is also another small crossmember near the radiator. That one needs to be from a 4x4 also.

The front shock mounts are in the right spot but you need to add the outer 4x4 type shock brace on the outside of the top bolt.

Transfercase crossmember is not hard to install.


TONS of drilling cutting chopping old rivets, then tons of drilling new holes in the 2wd framerails.


On the height difference of the frame rails where the 4x4 motor crossmember goes: I sectioned the 4x4 member to make it slide into the 2wd rails. That area of the front frame is where the biggest difference is....in the part halfway between the firewall and radiator...right where the 2wd front end was bolted in.
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:07 PM
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The floors of a 2wd truck are also different than the 4x4.
Trans tunnel is way different all the way back under the seat.
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Old 09-04-2008, 08:45 PM
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Hey thanks guys. I'd been able to get a better idea for myself but the suburban isn't in my possession yet so i'm trying to do a little research before I tear into the crew cab. I read a thread about someone just cutting a section out of the crew cabs frame but frame mods aren't a thing our D.O.T up here appreciates. I've got a 3" body lift kit to compensate for the lack of t/case room.(we can have body lifts up here at least) Did you use a lot of talent to replace and fit the motor cross member?
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:05 PM
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Quote:
Did you use a lot of talent to replace and fit the motor cross member?

No. The 4x4 motor x member was too tall on it's outer ends.

I cut the tops off, then welded a flat plate as a new-but-lower "top". Those plates gave me a place to bolt through to the top of the frame. As I recall, the bottom of the 4x4 x-mem is left as is.


More labor than that, was the drilling, measuring, etc for the front spring mountings. I recall some sort of issue on the drivers side front spring "rear shackle mounting area" I think something was in the way....maybe something like the main e-brake cable or other minor issue. Too many years ago.


PS, I drove it as a daily commuter to work in town for 13 years after doing the work....so I guess I got my payback for the labor.
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Old 09-04-2008, 09:27 PM
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That sounds par for my course. I can deal with the cross member and as far as the e-brake if it is my trouble.....up where I live, we don't use them because in cold weather the brake won't release no matter what vehicle. Did you use 1 ton or half ton axles?
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Old 09-05-2008, 07:30 AM
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[QUOTE=Canadian Mud Slinger= Did you use 1 ton or half ton axles?[/QUOTE]



3/4 ton 8 lug axles. The donor axles, t-case were bought from a local ad but came without suspension.

The frame x members and front spring parts came from a 77 Blazer that was already missing the front axle. I got them at a wrecking yard and they just torched off the front frame behind the springs. Then I could measure all the 4x4 mounting holes from that clip.
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