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Trader 04-25-2003 09:14 PM

Frame swap
What is the newest model frame that I can use to replace the one on my 1958 Chevy 1/2 ton stepside? I want all the bells and whistles like power and air. What alterations will I have to make?

Deuce 04-25-2003 09:43 PM


The best frame for a 1958 Chevrolet 1/2 ton is the frame that came under it.

If is far easier to add good suspension and the options you desire than to change frames and try to have everything fit and function as they should. :rolleyes:

Sorry to be the bearer of sad news but that's the TRUTH..... :D :D


woodz428 04-25-2003 09:50 PM

I guess I'll run against the grain, I'd measure the wheelbase and if one's close make some new body mounts and mount it up. I think it's as easy to do that as all the suspension swapping and other mods, then you have a one source parts search if anything should fail,instead of a list of what came off what.

tomslik 04-26-2003 03:24 AM

well, i was gonna say 1959 ;)

adtkart 04-26-2003 10:17 AM

I'd have to agree with Woodz on that. A pick-up is pretty straight forward. As long as the wheel base is the same, mounting should be the main problem. I wouldn't consider that major, compared to what you would have to go thru going the other way.

Trader 04-26-2003 07:09 PM

duceroadster and tomsilk. I already knew that but I was trying to think outside the box.

woods428 and adtkart. That is exactly why I asked the question. I wanted to skip a few steps and end up with something I could buy replacement parts for and save some work and money.

tomslik 04-27-2003 05:57 AM

hey, YOU'RE the one who asked what would fit.
ya DIDN'T ask what would fit with work....

ya want power?
power what?

none of the above have anything to do with a frame swap.....

how low or high do ya want it?
myself, i have a 58 that i'm gonna clip (assuming somebody else doesn't want it worse than i do) with a 76 seville subframe.
about the only thing that'll give me over stock is pwr steering and IFS.

just for the record,if ya whack off the frt part of a full frame caprice, they fit pretty well also.
use a wagon and get bigger brakes (and a 5"wheel pattern)

also. i can't think of 1 full-size PU that is narrow enough to use and not look goofy.

i guess what i'm saying is, tell us what you have in mind and maybe you'll get some help you can use..

Trader 04-27-2003 08:11 AM

tomslik, I am new at this forum stuff so bear with me. This conversion may not be major but I have limited knowledge and experience so I am looking for some help. I want power disc brakes, IFS and I was hopeing to find a late model with air cond., and v/8 engine. I envisioned finding something where I could use all the components from the donor and use only the body from the 58 truck. I would like to lower it, yes, enough to be practical as a driver. I do not want a show car, just a driver that rides smooth, is dependable, stock V/8 for the sound and dependability. This is oversimplifying the project but maybe this gives you a better idea of what I want to achieve.I want sort of a new old car with the minimum labor and get most of my parts from 1 donor vehicle. Thanks for all the help.

tomslik 04-27-2003 03:43 PM

i'll be glad to help if i can.

are you going to use this as a truck?

or just maybe some light hauling?

it'll make a difference....

as far as the a/c goes,don't mess with anything other than an R-134 system.
it ain't worth the effort.

[ April 27, 2003: Message edited by: tomslik ]</p>

Trader 04-27-2003 07:59 PM

tomslick,re:58 Chevy
I may do some light hauling but the truck will be a toy. I have other vehicles to haul stuff and do serious travel. The truck will not have a particular purpose except to cruise around southern Illinois. I am not witholding information, just having a problem putting my vision into words for you. I thought that of all the people who tune into "Hotrodders"; someone must have acquired the measurements on a late model vehicle that might be real close to the correct dimensions for my truck. I agree on the air conditioning comment. That is a luxury I would like but good late model suspension, engine, transmission are more important to me.

tomslik 04-28-2003 03:02 AM

well, as i said before, i can't think of a late model truck narrow enough(track width) besides a S-10 and then THEY might be a little TOO narrow.

as long as we've been talking about this, i coulda had mine subframed by now ;)

ya know, now that i think about it, i wonder if a 2wd trailblazer would work......

haven't ever seen a 2wd but i suppose they make 'em..

Centerline 04-28-2003 03:23 AM

If you're not going to do any heavy hauling your best bet would be a Mustang II IFS (with strut rods) and big GM 11" disks. You can easily add replacement rear springs and shocks, and a bolt in crossmember with SBC mounts (you may not need this since I believe the '58 models came with small blocks as well as the 6). You could also add a bolt in transmission mount.

Results = good ride, power disk brakes, rack & pinion power steering, bolt in small block Chevy and TH-350/400 auto. No hassles trying to mount your cab on a strange frame and no fabrication required to hang the front end sheet metal.

Hack it up if you want to but this is by far the easiest way to go.

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[ April 28, 2003: Message edited by: Centerline ]</p>

woodz428 04-28-2003 04:40 AM

I've done both and still would go with the frame swap if the measurements work out. Use the whole power train and if it was an A/c'd truck then all you need to do is install the cab a/c stuff. The amount of work overall is going to be far less, and once again it would be all one source parts. I'm making mounts for an early Chevy truck on an S/10 frame now for a guy who's doing the swap, he did all the measurements and gave me the drawings for the body mounts on the frame and will do most himself. He's not a car builder, just a car guy, actually he's the concrete guy that poured my new shop floor.

Trader 04-28-2003 05:02 AM

centerline-- thanks for the idea.
woodz428-- this is exactly what I had in mind. Where can I get the complete information?
tomslik--You are correct, I am taking up the whole bulletin board with my problem. My line of thinking was; a little typing was easier than blindly going ahead with something I know very little about. Thanks for all the help from everyone.

tomslik 04-28-2003 04:40 PM

hey trader, don't think that this won't help somebody else with their project.
ain't that the idea?
keep us posted!

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