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Old 05-02-2004, 11:21 PM
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Making a Unibody?

I was wondering just about how much work it would be for me to make my 84 chevy pickup into a unibody of sorts. I was thinking, I'd have to cut the head of the bed off, a bit of the back of the cab where the bed would slide into it, weld that, lead it, but then I'd have to cut the frame to have the bed mounts line up. And I guess I'd have to have a shorter drive shaft. Does this sound like all I have to do? I don't wanna forget anything when I do it. I'm going to leave the bed and cap open to one another just so everyone knows. I couldn't think of anything to post, but I wanted to, so I figured I'd post something that'd help me

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Old 05-03-2004, 08:52 AM
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You also may have some issues with the fuel tank being too long or at least needing to move forward and needing a shorter exhaust.

I would think you could more easily accomplish what you want by simply welding a filler in between the cab and the bed.
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:34 AM
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The biggest problem you'll have is body twist. The truck frame flexes alot. Just welding the bed and cab together will not stop this twisting and down the road you will have problems with flex cracks and bodywork pops.
A friend of mine is doing the same thing with an '84 pickup but he set his truck on an '84 Cutlass chassis and shortened the bed to fit the "G" body wheel base... Looks pretty trick and the "G" body chassis is a lot stiffer then the truck piece.
Ford had a "Unibody" truck for a couple of years then dropped it in favor of the old separate bed/cab idea.
You may want to look into a Blazer frame. Much shorter and a little stiffer.
Just some stuff to think about...
Mark
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Old 05-03-2004, 10:44 AM
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Why not just buy a Blazer...................................
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Old 05-03-2004, 11:53 AM
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Well, I can't buy a Blazer because I'm pretty much broke right now, I'm waiting a few more weeks for a job for personal reasons. But I don't want a blazer, I don't want it that short. I kinda want to keep that length and such. Do you think I could box the frame and keep it from twisting so much? I dunno if I have the cash to get a car chassis and make it fit under there how I want it to.
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Old 05-03-2004, 12:56 PM
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boxing the frame will make it many thousand times stiffer, but isnt it allready a closed profile, if not, just start cutting 3/16 mild steel and weld 1 inch at a time to prevent warping.

many minitrucks are unibodied for reasond unbeknownst to me it apparantly is the cool thing to do, allong with chanelling the cab and box and "c" ing the frame and adding airbags and 20 inch rims.....



a quick spray of John Deere Blitz black and some pink fuzz interior and youll have a kickazz ride in the hood....
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Old 05-03-2004, 04:41 PM
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I didn't really know making a truck into a unibody was a fad to be honest. I've been a little behind on the truckin` magazines and such. The whole reason I wanna do this is for one, to make it different and the way I think it'll look good, the second reason is that I don't want anyone saying "Oh, you have a truck? Could I use it/you to come and get something of mine I have to move next tuesday?" I feel bad if I don't say no, so I'd let them. This way I have a good reason. "Oh no, sorry can't let you use it, I completely ruined the purpose of my pickup"
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Old 05-03-2004, 07:01 PM
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If you are going to box the frame to strengthen it against flexing, you will also have to do quite a bit on the crossmembers to keep them from twisting.
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:16 AM
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good point, a hard tonneau cover and carpet in the bed will also inspire people to be more carefull....
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Old 05-04-2004, 04:28 PM
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Boxing might not be too hard. It'll certainly be easier than trying to fit an entirely different frame underneath it. The only problem I see in when I wanna put the exhaust through the crossmembers and stuff. And its gonna have a cover, and carpet in the bed, but the whole cover is going to be molded in, cept for a little part on the back so it'll open like a trunk, then the tailgate can still come down for heavy stuff. Oh yea, and no Blitz black, I think I might go for grabber blue or something like midnight blue
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:20 PM
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http://www.cardomain.com/memberpage/574657 Theres some pics of my truck and what I wanna do, if that helps any.
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Old 05-04-2004, 06:32 PM
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nice drawings! i think your idea would look awesome! do a good jod securing the body to the cab, use some nice and flexable body mounts and i think you should be fine. the shorter wheel base would reduce the flexing also.
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Old 05-04-2004, 07:47 PM
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I love your drawings. I wish you would reveal your top secret door mod. If you do do the unibody thing I would really really appreciate if you kept a journal on here so i could follow along and hopefully learn somthing. I was thinking today after reading your post this morning before school, and i hope to open my own shop 10-15 years from now. I have been thinking about what i would want for a shop showcase truck. I really love those trucks, and I have always like the unibody, It would be an awesome combination. I just love the square boxyness of those trucks.
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Old 05-04-2004, 11:41 PM
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I saw a similar project here in town it was a 70 or so chev truck. i saw it before paint and it looked like the guy did as you described, cuting the box front off and the back of the cab then melding the two. One thing i thought was interesting was in the space behind the seat was a short roll bar of sorts that went from the frame to just below the rear window. When the truck is finished this will not be visible but should give some desired rigidity. I wonder if you could find a blazer frame to mount your body on. it would save you a lot of cutting.
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Old 05-05-2004, 12:54 AM
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Glad my drawings are liked I would think about a Blazer frame, but I think that its too short. I wanna keep most of the length of the truck. And the flexible mounts might be a good idea. But I don't wanna bounce around too much. Though I wouldn't exactly be going for handling in a truck. At least for now. Maybe later I'd graft on some tubular control arms ment for a vette and all, and the IRS in the back. But thats for later Right now I wanna get the stuff finished that'll let me get it painted and such one time and not have to worry about redoing the paint in little patches. So I guess the unibody is first, then the shaving of everything, then the paint and stuff. Wonder if spray on bedliner would come in grabber blue for the inside of the wheel tubs and underbody. And I'm afraid someone's gonna steal my door idea so I'm gonna keep it a secret If someone has done it, I haven't seen it, so in my mind I'd be the first to do it. And that'll make my brain happy

Oh yea, and as for the small roll bar idea, I'll have to think about that. I could use that to mount something as well like racing harnesses if I get enough hipo stuff into that truck.
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