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Old 09-22-2004, 02:44 AM
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Frame Swapping Info needed

Hi, I'm trying to gather information on swapping chassis' from a later model truck into a 1958-1963 Chevrolet or GMC pickup.

I'm planning to build a daily driven '58-63 SWB truck and would like a modern suspension system and drivetrain.

I'm curious to know what frame swaps are common, or recommended.

I know alot of the older trucks usually get the Camaro subframes swapped over, but I'm wondering what Modern pickups share the same wheelbase as the older trucks. I really just want a solid drivetrain & modern "smooth" suspension under classic steel.

Is there an interchange guide or website that gives these sort of details? if so, I couldn't find it.

Thanks for the info in advance!

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Old 09-22-2004, 08:58 AM
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The factory wheel base on a 58 is 114". The 67-87 short wheel based pickups are 115" and would make a great donor. I may be doing the same swap on my wifes 58 GMC, so I have researched it to death. A guy I used to work with has a 56 on an 80 frame and runs a big block. Has a very nice stance and comfy ride
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Old 09-23-2004, 04:27 PM
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I see alot of trucks using S-10 Frames...wondering if there's a special reason for it?

I'm considering a mid 80's frame, mainly cause they are plentiful. But I'm wondering about the 88+ trucks as well???
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Old 09-24-2004, 03:07 PM
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from what i've read in custom truck mag the 95 frame works good on tri-fives but the article that said that did not have one stinkin mention of any necessary mods, so i can't say if it'd be any better or worse than a 73-81 frame. i have mine on a 79 frame and i dont see any way the truck will sit level on it without it being way up in the stratoshpere like mine is. it will sit higher in the back, which isnt too bad. there has to be a better way tho. 9 out of 10 go for the s-10 tho and there must be a reason for that.

my truck's bed is right on top of the frame while the front is at least 6 inches above the frame. that is too much of a rake. plus that, i had to section out about 8 inches
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Old 02-23-2006, 11:19 PM
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The 88 and later chassis has a completely different front suspension that lends it's self to getting the truck down to the ground better. One will still have to build proper body mount brackets and shim the body so everything matches. Newer replacement parts that should be easier to get at the run of the mill auto parts vendor. Also custom suspension parts.

I have a 71 GMC and am already getting the "we don't stock parts for somthing that old" story at some parts houses.

On your TRi 5 on the 79 frame, the early frame didn't have much of a kickup in the back as compared to the 79. If the cab is sitting on the frame correctly and level to the frame I would level the bed up in comparison to the cab and measure the amount that I had to raise the floor boards in the bed to bring the bed down even with the cab. You are then going to have to build stands on the frame at the front of the bed (inline with the original bolt down holes that will hold the bed level.
There was an article in one of the custom truck rags a few years that showed taking a 1-1/2 inch slice out of the frame rail at the front crossmember to drop the front end down without altering the suspension.
The motor mounts would have to be altered to do this though, Not a biggie but one more detail to tend to.
Most guys flip the axle to the topside of the rear spring and put a notch
(reinforced properly) in the frame at the rear to get it down.
I've seen a few of the 47 to 54 Chev cabs on S-10 frames. one was narrowed to fit with a 41 passenger car front end put on it. A nifty truck that has been in a few magazines. Another early truck was cut down in all areas to fit the S-10 frame. If you measure them the tread width is pretty narrow. This could work to a possible advantage if Say you wanted to run steam roller wide tires on a tri 5. Otherwise I belive a 7 or 8 inch wheel would be way inside the fenders and look a bit strange. I don't know if the later series. I had thought about putting the later S-10 frame under the 48 and still might do some checking on that.
I had an early Camaro stub under the 48 at one time and while It drove great and handled great I wouldn't do it again. I was never happy with it's appearance nor how things fit up. The steering shaft didn't line up and had to be moved outboard about an inch and a half or so moving the steering wheel closer to the door. This was with a stub with the box on the rear.
The stubs with the box at the front cause interferance with the stock radiator support and usually call for a cross flow and attending mods.

Last edited by Chopt 48; 02-23-2006 at 11:43 PM.
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Old 07-05-2006, 05:48 PM
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Title issues??

I have an old Dodge pickup and a '91 Dakota frame. wheelbase and track widths are "close enough". My question is: If I put the old body on the newer frame and register the truck as the older model year, what legal (title/registration/inspection) issues are there with the frame number on the Dakota frame? I'm in Texas, and want to keep it legal.
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:02 PM
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Eah...my cousin rolled his 88' S-10 over, totaled that cab. So he drives a mile or two to the junk yard when he recovers, and buys himself a nice 91' S-10 cab, and rebuilds his truck (Now, its only using the same chassis as the original truck, he had put a new bed on earlier.)

He has had this truck, for a very long time. So he decides to trade it off, and get him a newer S-10...and 4x4. So he does. 4.3 Standard cab, nice truck. Needed cab-corners.

And the new truck needs rod-bearings...so he, for some reason, drops the whole front end out of the truck, replaces them, re-assembles the truck. And keeps on driving.

The other day, he gets a call, and they say the vin dosn't match the title on his old truck, and they want theirs back. After he has done all this work on it (CAB CORNERS)

So...he probably should never have gotten rid of "Ol' Reliable".

And always change your vin plates out...

-GF
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:03 PM
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I would check with the Texas DVM but I think that you won't have to do a lot if the early truck has a clear title now.
If you have a clear title for the early cab, get it registered if it isn't. Current plates mean that you will get along better with the city officials if you live in town.
Plus it is always good to know that the rig you are spending money on is already legally in your name.

If the early cab doesn't have a title you need to hang onto every receipt including the one for the early truck body.

I usually keep a binder for each car or truck that I put together.
Those page protectors work good to slip recepts, photos and notes in as you go along. That means all recepts for the rig. It might scare you that you have that much tied up in nuts and bolts but you will be able to show where they came from.
If the Dakota has a title, either hang onto it or make a copy of it along with the paperwork from the scrapyard if you get rid of the body and have to give them the title. Complete documentation is everything to the state people.

If you are going to run full fenders and have the original title you can probably get away with just registering it and driving it but you could run into a problem if you had an accident or if you got checked by the state dmv for some reason. = frame numbers don't match the title. Plus the insurance may not like it if you don't have all your ducks in a row.
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Old 07-05-2006, 10:17 PM
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Good Frosty, You type faster than I do

The popular thing in this area is to put a 67/72 cab and bed on a later 4X chassis. They usually do a bit of a body lift to level things out but end up with pretty nice trucks if it is done right.

On that S-10 body switch, You should have gone to you dmv an had it inspected, It would have taken a rebuilt title but you wouldn't be fighting the problems now. Sometimes we have to jump through a few hoops to avoid problems later.
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