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Old 03-14-2005, 01:57 PM
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any help for 70 c10 suspension swaps

Im hoping someone can provide a little better information than I have been able to find regarding swapping out my front end and possibly even my rear as well.
I have a stock 70 c10 with a decently stout motor and not much else.
There is no sway bar on this truck and it has 6 lug hubs.
I have read and been told I can swap out my complete front end for a 72-87 front end, complete from swing arms to hubs. Im trying to narrow down my search for parts as well as end up with a normal 5 lug wheel.

The rearend in my truck is also stock 3:48 I believe. The gears are fine for what I need but they again are 6 lugs. I was wondering if I could find a rear end with the same width from a camaro or firebird that might bolt in or just pull the axles from a rear with 30 splines.

I would just look for parts from the 67-72 trucks but they are pretty scarce around here and what there is has been pretty picked over already.

Any information, websites, etc I can get would be much appreciated.

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Old 03-15-2005, 01:46 AM
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Why??

What you have now is just fine..IMHO..sway bars are available from quickor suspension and you can upgrade what you now have to disk brakes..a mild drop can be done as well..

I woudl think twice before doing any kind of clip or frame swap on one of those trucks..there is a good selection of nice wheels as well for 6 lug mounting..

Just food for thought..

OMT
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Old 03-15-2005, 09:04 AM
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front end swap

The main and pretty much only reason for doing a front end swap is money. I have looked into many companies which offer a disc brake conversion, lowering spindles, etc etc but there isnt a single one from canada, and all of them will provide a complete kit for at least 800 US. So its almost a grand just to swap out to discs. I can get a complete front end from any of the 80's trucks for about $150 complete. Of course theres still small parts like lines and rotors which would have to be replaced but still a far cry from a grand. I was hoping someone has done this conversion to point out any downfalls, or complications, extra parts or such that are needed to do the swap. I also understand there are things like tie rods and ball joints which are far superior to what I have stock?
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Old 03-17-2005, 03:26 PM
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my '67 has the suspension from a '78. it was like that when i got it, but the guy that did it says that all he had to was unbolt the old and bolt in the new. he said something about having to elongate two holes and that was it. check out 67-72chevytrucks.com if you haven't already. you'll find anything you need to know on their message boards
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:18 AM
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All you need is the upper and lower control arms with spindals iner and outer tierods and the center link from a 71 to 87 chevy 1/2 ton to put discs up front. You dont have to change the pitman arm or the idler arm. Its a streight boltin with no mods necessasery. For the rear the only 6 lug rear you can convert to a 5 lug is a 70. You just swap the axels from a newer 12 bolt no other mods needed. Good luck.
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Old 03-18-2005, 12:45 PM
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That all sounds excellent... dharroald do you have the front discs then? Do you know if your master cylinder was also replaced or was a proportioning valve installed? If you got photos of some of this stuff that would be cool.

PU70, my truck is a '70. I was concerned with the length of axles and the number of splines... are you saying pretty much any newer 12 bolt axles will work or any 12 bolt 'from' '70 will work?

Do you know also if the 70's caddy rear discs are a bolt on?
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Old 03-18-2005, 08:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PU70
All you need is the upper and lower control arms with spindals iner and outer tierods and the center link from a 71 to 87 chevy 1/2 ton to put discs up front. You dont have to change the pitman arm or the idler arm. Its a streight boltin with no mods necessasery. For the rear the only 6 lug rear you can convert to a 5 lug is a 70. You just swap the axels from a newer 12 bolt no other mods needed. Good luck.
70C10

I had a '70 1/2 ton years ago and I did the same swap using the control arms, spindles and rotors from a '72 with disc brakes. It was a direct bolt in and I ended up with 5 lug wheels. I also did an axle swap for the rear but don't remember where they came from. You might need to get a master cylinder from a '72 with front disc's as well due to changing from disc to drum brakes.
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Old 03-19-2005, 12:48 PM
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No the cady brakes are not a bolt in. The backing plate is wrong. All 70 are 6 lug so yo need a 71 and up to get 5 lig. In 70 they made two different rear ends. There both 12 bolt but one has loner or shorter axel inside.All of them should have the same spline count. You need the one that has the longer axels. You would have to pull yours and mesure them. Then go to a U-Pull_it and pull some from a 71 up 12 bolt and mesure. Yours will eather be the same or shorter.
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Old 03-19-2005, 01:07 PM
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I don't know where Kelowna is but if you were closer I'd give you the suspension out of an '87 I have. It's headed to the boneyard.

Kevin
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Old 03-19-2005, 04:06 PM
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Well as great as that sounds I think Im a far cry from where you are. Kelowna is in BC, canada about 4hrs drive from the west coast pretty much straight north of Spokane Washington. Put it this way, I wish I did live down there someplace, this is a great place to retire..... Anyway, I digress. We do have a few decent pick-a-parts locally and I visit quite often, they have lots of mid eighties trucks but zilch from the 60'-70's. I hadnt realized the parts were so easy to interchange though and its nice to hear its been done and simply. This has been the best site so far to gather input and ideas.
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Old 03-20-2005, 12:05 AM
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According to my Haynes Manual, and what limited experience I've had, the entire 2 wheel drive front suspension assembly on a '67 - '87 Chevy & GMC can be removed as a unit by disconnecting the brake line that runs from master cylinder to the T fitting at that T fitting, disconnecting the shocks from their lower mounts, disconnecting the idler arm and pitman arm from the center link, then removing the 7 bolts per side that actually mount the crossmember to the frame. You may have to support the engine on a jack and remove the through-bolts on the engine mounts to get to a couple of the lower crossmember mounting bolts. The crossmember we pulled came from a truck with the engine already removed, so everything was easily accessible.

The front end we removed from the donor truck went into a '55 Chevy truck and cost $100. All said and done, it took us less than an hour to pull the whole suspension/crossmember assembly from the donor truck. We supported the donor truck on jack stands, supported the crossmember with a roll-around floor jack, then just lowered the crossmember on the jack and rolled it out from under the truck after we had everything disconnected. Installation was just the opposite of the removal. Obviously, we had to drill a few holes in the '55 frame that you won't have to drill, but all in all it was a relatively easy job to do.

A few notes here though.

1. Be warned that in either '80 or '81 (I can't remember which right off hand) the power steering boxes on these trucks switched over to metric threads on the lines to and from the power steering box. If you take the power steering box from the donor vehicle to upgrade yours, take the pump and brackets along with it.

2. When you install the donor front end into your truck, use NEW Grade 8 or better bolts, nuts, and washers. It's a few extra dollars, but your life (or the life of an innocent bystander) could very well depend on it.

3. Get yourself a Haynes manual for your truck, and follow the torque specs in it. The manual you're looking for is Manual Number 24064. It covers 2 & 4 wheel drive Chevy & GMC pick-ups from '67 - '87. Mine cost me $14 at Auto Zone. Lots of good info in there, including step by step instructions for removing, rebuilding, and installing the front suspension assembly. Well worth it at twice the price.

4. While you have the donor front end out of the truck, take the time to at least replace the wheel bearings and brake pads. We opted to rebuild the entire front end before we installed it, as it's a lot easier to do with it sitting on the garage floor than it is to do after it's already installed in the truck.

We also installed gas shocks and urethane bushings during the rebuild. I've driven a truck that had those mods done, and it feels nice and tight without being harsh. Everything was blasted and powdercoated, then reassembled with new bushings, bearings, ball joints, and tie rod ends. I even went so far as to replace the brake rotors, calipers, pads, and rubber brake lines. Call it overkill, but I know everything is new and works the way it's supposed to.

All in all, the job was relatively easy to do. As I said it took us less than an hour to pull the donor front end, and it took us about 2-3 hours to install it. That's not including the time it took to drill some holes in the frame and machine some spacers, which you won't have to do, and not including the time it took to rebuild the donor front end. If you rebuild the donor front end before you start the actual swap, you could easily have the swap done in one weekend - or possibly in one day if you have all the tools and parts right there on hand.

After everything is installed, all that's left to do is bleed the brakes and have the front end aligned. Then, in your case anyway, you can sell your old front end in the paper or on E-Bay to recoup some of the money you spent on the new front end.
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Old 03-20-2005, 06:36 AM
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About the Brakes

I forgot to mention that you will need to change your brake master cylinder. Disk brakes operate at a different pressure than do drum brakes, so your master cylinder just won't cut it. I'm sorry to say I'll not be any help to you here, as in our application we're using a Classic Performance Products firewall mounted master cylinder which is set up for front disk/rear drum brakes, so I don't know if the master cylinder/power booster setup from the newer truck will fit yours.

I checked the AutoZone website, and they list 3 different master cylinders for 1970 Chevy C10 pickups with front disk/rear drum brakes. One is rebuilt, the other 2 are new. The most expensive one is a new unit, which is $39.99 American. The rebuilt unit is $14.99 American + a $12 core charge. That tells me the master cylinders are available down here, so you should have little trouble finding one up in Canada.

http://www.autozone.com/servlet/UiBroker?UseCase=L001&UserAction=viewHomePage

I don't know what engine you have, and the site required me to choose one before I could look up brake parts, so I used a 350 CID V8 in this example. Check out the site yourself and see if they have one that'll fit your application.

Good luck on the swap!
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Old 05-09-2005, 03:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PU70
No the cady brakes are not a bolt in. The backing plate is wrong. All 70 are 6 lug so yo need a 71 and up to get 5 lig. In 70 they made two different rear ends. There both 12 bolt but one has loner or shorter axel inside.All of them should have the same spline count. You need the one that has the longer axels. You would have to pull yours and mesure them. Then go to a U-Pull_it and pull some from a 71 up 12 bolt and mesure. Yours will eather be the same or shorter.
Hey PU70,

You sound fairly knowlegeable on this...

I have a 66 GMC also with the 6-bolt rear axles...
Do you know if the 71/ up 5-bolt axles will work in mine as well?

I have to admit that I don't even know what size/ratio the original diff in mine even is. It must be quite high (3.73 / 4.11?) as the old 250 really "buzzes along" at highway speed (110 km/h ~= 70 MPH). I don't have a tach, but I'd guess at 2500 - 3000 RPM. Flat out speed is about 85 MPH, and the engine sounds like it WANTS OUT!!!

A friend had said that the 73-80 diff was about 2" wider than mine, but could be "fabbed in" by welding some brackets etc onto it. I didn't think I really liked that idea of having an unequal front/rear stance. I'm planning for a big-block (Chevy 454 or Oldsmobile 455) and really want this thing to be safe! Any comments?

We are planning to install the (late 70's or early 80's) front clip as well ... (as discussed in this thread) ... I'm wondering now if the width will also be different than the original? I guess that if the front and rear were BOTH wider than original, that the "geometry" would be the same.
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Old 05-09-2005, 07:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 70chevyc10
The main and pretty much only reason for doing a front end swap is money. I have looked into many companies which offer a disc brake conversion, lowering spindles, etc etc but there isnt a single one from canada, and all of them will provide a complete kit for at least 800 US. So its almost a grand just to swap out to discs. I can get a complete front end from any of the 80's trucks for about $150 complete. Of course theres still small parts like lines and rotors which would have to be replaced but still a far cry from a grand. I was hoping someone has done this conversion to point out any downfalls, or complications, extra parts or such that are needed to do the swap. I also understand there are things like tie rods and ball joints which are far superior to what I have stock?
Hello there fellow Canuck!
I know that you BC guys think that Canada ends at the Continental Divide but there are a couple of truck shops right here in Alberta, and a few others further east that I have discovered.

Scott's Super Trucks in Penhold http://www.scottssupertrucks.com/index.asp (They have a basic on-line catalog, but the paper catalog is much better.)

Iron Chief in Stony Plain http://www.ironchief.com does not have an on-line catalog at all yet, but they do stock some good stuff as well. They have reproduction "GMC" - lettered tailgates for my 66 ($600) ... something that Scott's doesn't have!

There is also a place in Saskatoon, SK called RPM (Reproduction Parts Marketing) that has some GM truck stuff.

There's Bill's Truck Shop in Courtice, Ontario http://www.billstruckshop.com/

You just missed the annual swap meet in Red Deer, which was last weekend. Reps from all of the above were in attendance. I picked up paper catalogs from both Scott's and Iron Chief.
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