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Old 02-06-2003, 02:30 PM
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Unhappy 53 chevy truck help

I am working on a 53 chevy truck. I would like to add an independent front end and power steering. Someone please tell me what is the easiest way to do this. And also where can I get a book, if one exists, on how to do so? (Put a different front end under the truck.) I've heard that a 67-68 camaro subframe will work. In my part of the country, these cars don't exist. I've heard that there is a front end that will just bolt in place. Someone please set the record straight. I need help.

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Old 02-06-2003, 02:34 PM
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Hey, I am in your place....I have a 51' GMC Pickup which is pretty much the same as your Chevy. I was going to do a complete frame swap until I found an 81' camaro sub-frame. I was wondering how to do this swap and I got some really cool pics that I am using. Mine is working out pretty well so far. If you want I can E-mail them to you. I don't know how to post pics in this message.

-Billybob
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Old 02-06-2003, 03:09 PM
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Thank you. Any pictures and advice would be appreciated.
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Old 02-06-2003, 03:28 PM
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try this site. good information for using a newer chevy truck suspension rather than cutting the frame

http://50chevy.freeservers.com/Bolt_on_Independent_2.html
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Old 02-06-2003, 03:40 PM
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jgs, What is you email address? I didn't see it in your profile.

-Billybob
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Old 02-07-2003, 03:51 AM
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When it comes to the 47-54 Chevy/GMC trucks there are several different ways you can go. Each has it's good points and bad points so you really need to take a look at them all and make up your own mind which suits your talents best.

As has been mentioned already you can do a clip from a Camaro/Firebird or better yet a Nova since the Nova was a bit narrower than the other two and the track will be closer to stock so you won't need to compensate for the additional width with unusual backspacing on your wheels. Good points, cheap to do, motor mounts etc already there. Bad points, can be screwed up easily, requires a lot of time to reinstall the front sheet metal.

Another choice is the mid 70's GM truck suspension. I haven't done one of these but those I've seen wind up being too wide and look funny. Good points, cheap and relatively easy to install. Bad points, too wide for the truck.

Volarie and Pacer IFS are also done on these trucks. I don't know how difficult these would be to do but parts might be a problem, especially for the Pacer suspension.

The majority go for a Mustang II kit. They are not as cheap as some of the other choices but are very easy to install with just basic welding skills. There are even kits on the market that don't require welding at all. Good points, rack and pinion steering, many disk brake options, parts are plentiful. Bad points, can be expensive if you go for all the frills.

A couple other options would be to stick with the stock axle and go for the single leaf springs and one of the power steering kits. There are also disk brake kits available.

There are also some exotic choices like Jag IFS and one or two others but I would caution you to stay away from them unless you're building a show truck.

Well there are the basic choices. Investigate them all, match them to your skills and build your truck the way you want to build it. I chose a Heidts Mustang II for my '53 simply because of the ease of installation but you make your own decision.


Good Luck

Centerline
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Old 02-07-2003, 05:50 AM
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I'm not sure if the track width is the same but the volare suspension swap worked well for me in the '59. The truck handled beautifully. It's not clean looking as an aftermarket Mustang II copy but it handles, stops and rides as good and it's really inexpensive.
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Old 02-07-2003, 10:27 AM
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mag. that is a good looking pickup!

-Billybob

J.G.S. go to: http://classicchrisengineering.frees...CamaroClip.htm

This was shown to me and I like it so far. It is farily easy.
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Old 02-07-2003, 01:53 PM
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Thank you all for the help. I really appreciate it. My email is hunted@worldnet.att.net. Thanks again.
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Old 02-07-2003, 04:57 PM
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don't go with the camaro/nova/volare', too wide, parts are a ***** to find for a pacer plus they're $#$$ if ya DO find 'em.

i subbed my 52 chevy panel with a 80 malibu.
why?
narrow track (like 58")+i had one.
if i were starting from scratch, 2wd s-10 for sure, the frame rails line up better.
MII is overrated and under built for a truck,IMO.

i HAVE put a heidts superide in a 57 chevy pu that pulled a big-assd 5th wheel horse trailer and nothing broke besides the coilovers getting the crap beat out of them.....


originally, it was only supposed to be pulling a small 2 horse tag trailer...

geez....
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Old 02-07-2003, 07:07 PM
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Hi everone
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Old 02-07-2003, 08:46 PM
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Here is a snapshot of the clean joint you can get with the Monte Carlo front clip on a '55 and up Chevy pickup. Frames join directly together rather than sit on top of one-another.

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Old 02-08-2003, 12:58 AM
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I've got the Mustang II in my '54 Chevy Pickup, and I'm really diggin' it. I have a minor shimmy at 60-70 mph, but I think once I apply some of the great suggestions I got here the other day, it'll be gone. It sure does handle nice otherwise.

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Old 02-08-2003, 10:06 AM
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If you're looking to put an S10 frame, here's a link: <a href="http://www.usbodysource.com/Install%2047%20chevy.htm" target="_blank">http://www.usbodysource.com/Install%2047%20chevy.htm</a>
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Old 02-08-2003, 12:42 PM
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Hey Centerline, I really appreciate the suggestions and thanks to all you other guys. If I keep the front axle, what do you mean by single leaf springs? The only springs I have ever heard of were Posey SuperSlide Reversed Eye Springs. Are the single leafs any better and where can I find them?
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