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Old 11-08-2010, 08:08 AM
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frame swap on 58 chevy truck

does anybody have input on what frame would work best for a swap on 58 chevy long box truck? looking at maybe putting a late 80's early 90's stepside box on the back and then extending the cab back to match up the gap left by the difference in length.

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Old 11-08-2010, 12:01 PM
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What is your reason for wanting to change the frame?
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Old 11-08-2010, 12:34 PM
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frame swap

just trying to keep the costs down, and get upgraded suspension all around that parts are readily available for in smallville on sunday afternoon.
I want to put the 88-98 style step side box on and somebody told me that a frame from an 88 would work except the wheelbase is too long so shorten the frame or remount the rear spring hangers. got any ideas?
also I have been told that the mustang 2 front ends aren't that strong if you want to use the truck to be a truck, not just a drive around vehicle.
in the end I want to end up with a short box step side from a later model and an extended cab.
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Old 11-08-2010, 01:51 PM
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Both reasons you give "save money" and "Getting parts easy" are myths.

First off, buying a NICE frame isn't cheap. When you get the frame it will need parts like bushings or what not to make it safe.

You want "upgraded" suspension all around? The rear suspension on that late model truck is EXACTLY the same as what you have, parallal leaf springs.

So changing just the front makes more sense.

"Parts that can be gotten in Smallville."

Just how often do you need these parts? I mean, you don't need to be putting in ball joints on your truck in the middle of a vacation out on innerstate 40 do you?

Look at the many aftermarket front end kits. Be sure you add up ALL the costs of you frame like wheels and such that you may have to get because the frame is too wide or something like that. Look at how much you will need to cut up the rad support, will a new radiator be needed?

When you add all the money up you aren't saving much if any. When you add the work up you will be WAY deeper in the frame swap, that is not for the faint of heart.

A frame swap is just a "Money swap", "time swap" and "work swap" it is not saving you crap, it is only swapping money, time and work from one frame to another that is all it is.

If you are after a "work horse" truck, then a frame swap may be the best way to go, or at least a front clip.

Just look at all your options before you believe the hype on the HAMB.

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Old 11-08-2010, 03:44 PM
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frame swap

hey thanks for your input. I have toyed with the idea of a frame swap because of what you read on these forums, but after having a few veteran's reply I think the mustang 2 front end is the way to go. plus if I ever want to sell it there is something to be said for an original frame, not a make do thingy. do you have any recommendations for the ifs? tci, fatman, any others you recommend over another? I am a reasonable welder and also know a couple of ticketed welder tradesmen that would weld something in for me. do they make a bolt in?
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Old 11-08-2010, 03:49 PM
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it seems that every 3 days someone asks about doing a frame swap.
and the same 6 people post (usually lengthy post)(i'm one of them) about the pit falls of a frame swap,
especially if it's to 'save money', or the 'easy way out'....

do a search for frame swap, there's probably 100 to be easily found.
lately, about half of them are for old chevy trucks.

yes there are valid reasons to do a frame swap; neither one being easy or cheap.
the best frame for your 58 is the one currently under it.
check out the 55-59 chevy truck thread in this forum.
there is a lot of good info there for your truck.
including rodders that swapped frames or sub-frames.

a free sub-frame will generally cost more to install on a truck than a mustII kit.
it will also give you a bumper that is 9 inches off the ground and still show all the guts of the nova under it.
a total frame swap is usually way beyond a novice fabricators skill and if you are asking
it is a general assumption you are in the novice fabricator category.

not trying to be cruel or dissuade you from modifying your truck, but there's a lot of info on this subject out there.
a lot of frame swaps and top chops end up as parts for other's projects.

edit: read your post (while i was typing). here's the link
55 to 59 chevy truck owners
and welcome to the forum
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Old 11-17-2010, 07:21 AM
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Frame swap project

I am considering doing a frame swap of a 50s or 60s truck body onto a mid 80s 4x4 frame - found a 4x4 donor too for $1500

I know there will be lots of fabrication involved but this does not scare me for some reason. I like the classic truck look and think that modernizing it, at least by 20+ years, will make a big difference - plus I want a 4x4 that was designed to be a 4x4 rather than a bolt on afterthought.

Not in any hurry to do so as I have two projects going already, my '59 1/2 ton that is almost done and a '71 scamp and 360 magnum motor that I have hardly touched.

I think the frame swap project is an amazing learning opportunity and I really want to tackle it someday myself.
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