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Old 11-20-2006, 09:07 PM
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Making a short bed truck out of a long bed truck suggestions

I have a coworker who wants me to shorten the frame on his 73 Chevy truck. I have studied the method on a 67-72 but never actually done it. I want to know where to cut. I was thinking just before the first bed mount and some off of the very end of the frame. Has anybody here done it and if so got any pictures? I'm really trying to change his mind because he is also wanting me to air bag the truck. This is his first step into custom vehicles of ay kind, and I think he would be happier with a static drop. If I go through with this I'm going to get a junk frame to practice on. I can weld and have air bagged my on 84 GMC, my truck is what my coworker wants to copy. Thanks for any help.

Lon

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Old 11-21-2006, 12:29 AM
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I have a 74 longbed and have contemplated this myself. A few things... Your going to have to get the driveline shortened or find one thats compatible with your trans yoke and diff yoke, maybe off a shortbed at a junkyard? The way Im going to do this is to simply cut the frame after the cab. I think the longbeds are 8ft and the shortbeds are 6ft... so cut out two feet from that section weld it up and reinforce with some plate steel. As for cutting down the bed I plan on cutting two inches from the front of the bed (where the cab is) straight down and then making another cut to remove the remaining 1'10". Tack weld the front piece behind the lip left on the bed, make sure its correct and then complete the series of tack welds as to not warp the panel, grind down, add some more tacks, grind down and add filler. The reason I plan on doing the bed that way is so that you will not be able to tell it was cut after the finish work. The inside of the bed would need the same treatment.

Hope this helps.

As for airide... its not hard to do, especially on these trucks, airide all the way, statics are a pain, I should know I was way too low for way too long without air... it got to the point where would rather drive my car places, that is before I did my air suspension.
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Old 11-21-2006, 01:16 AM
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They do it to the 53-56 ford F-250s (long beds). They cut a section out in front of the rear wheels and cut off part in the rear, then bolt a short bed on. I don't recall how much where, but it does not apply to your truck anyway.

If you just cut in front of the rear wheels and don't use a short bed, your wheel openings will look really odd. The wheel base will be short and you will have a long overhang in the rear.

I have seen people just whack the whole distance off the back too. That really look weird. Long wheelbase with nothing behind the rear tires.

I would recommend either swapping frames (easier?) or do a lot of measuring of a short bed/long bed frame before you ever start.
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Old 11-21-2006, 07:10 AM
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I did this when I put a Ford body/box on a Blazer frame. It was a real hack job, just put wood accross the front, but it worked.

You are better off to trade it in on a short bed.
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Old 11-21-2006, 12:12 PM
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Thanks for the input. Like I said this is for a coworker/friend. My first day at this new job I drove my airbagged GMC to work. And this guy lost his mind he has tried to buy my truck and now he has his uncle's truck. I'm trying real hard to change his mind for several reasons. Mostly because I have done one other lowering job for someone else and that two day job took three months. Also I want to chop a junk frame to start. I want to shorten a frame and section the front suspension crossmember. I'm more comfortable with hacking up junk for practice than hacking a running truck. Thanks again for the input I just hope this guy forgets all the bagged stuff and will let me do a basic 3/4 drop.


Lon
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Old 11-21-2006, 12:58 PM
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Check out www.73-87.com. There is quite a bit of info on these trucks there.
Especially this:
LWB to SWB

Pretty much step by step.
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Old 11-22-2006, 01:59 AM
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Im pretty sure the from the wheel-well back is the same on the shortbed and longbed. A frame swap might be easier, however for myself Im having a hard time locating one in SoCal. The above site is awesome you should check it out another good site for these trucks is: http://p210.ezboard.com/b7387chevytrucks88686
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Old 11-22-2006, 09:37 AM
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I think you want to cut in front of the rearend, I don't think theres a reason to cut behind the rearend. I had a buddie shorten a 72. he used a nice short original box after he shortened it. he had the 72 striped to a rolling frame, no cab box ect. after he striped it to a rolling frame a local welding shop shortened the frame in a turn around in a couple days. it was like 1990 but the shorting costs at the local machine/welding shop was min able. my cousin had a 72 4x4 with a original short box that had been shortened and I seen it on a lift and it was not easy to see where it was cut. but it was cut 1 time about a 18" behind the cab.


I know the 73s are different than the 72s but I like the 88 to 98 step side boxs on the 67 to 72s. prob a similar swap for the 73 style.






Mustangsaly
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Old 11-22-2006, 06:36 PM
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Thanks for the information guys. I think I have my friend a little scared on the costs of air ride, so I dont think Ill be doing any work for him. However a guy up the street from has a couple long wheel base Chevy trucks that he is stripping. I hope to get the frame from one and I will shorten it. Right now I'm building a 53 F-100, redoing the rear airride and putting a new motor in my 84 GMC Sierra and planning a landspeed truck build for my 82 S-15 Sierra, to be ready for Hot Rod's top Speed chaallenge in April. I really need another project right now. I'm just not busy enough.

Lon
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