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Old 01-30-2011, 09:16 PM
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New 1949 Chevy 3100 Owner Questions

I just bought a very solid 1949 Chevrolet Pickup and am looking to do a frame swap, add a v8, and a new transmission. As a teacher this will be my summer project. I am making out my plan of attack and how to get my truck complete and I need a few answers.

#1) Will the S-10 frame work for the swap? I have seen the kits but thought I would ask to see if anyone on here has done it before and what the challenges are.

#2) By installing a v-8 what will I have to do in regards to steering column? At first glance it seems as though it is going to cause some issues.

Thanks for the info!

Also, any other suggestions or experiences you have had in working with this model would be helpful.

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Old 01-31-2011, 05:01 AM
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Do you already own the S-10? I think it would be cheaper and easier to replace the front suspension with an aftermarket MII if you don't. I have a true MII in mine that I acquired from a friend but the aftermarket is full of these front ends and they are good quality with a lot of people (especially on this site) that are knowledgeable about the install. With a new rack on it your steering shouldn't be a problem. I'm using a column out of a late 70's Chevy van with tilt. Other than trying to clear the headers I didn't have a problem setting it up. Good luck!
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:30 AM
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:11 AM
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I'm sorry new guy, if I see another frame swap question I think I'll throw up! There are A MILLION different kits and ideas and articles on updating these trucks. They are the second most popular truck in rodding history (the Ford F100 1953-56 being number 1) and have been built by zillions of people using the VERY GOOD stock frame.

Frame swaps do not save you ANYTHING. They are money swaps, time swaps and work swaps, that is all they are. They are simply swapping the time money and work from one frame to another, that is ALL they do.

I have a friend with a truck like yours with a dropped axle, lowering blocks and stock drivetrain I couldn't believe how nice it drove. The first thing that came to mind was how it drove like a few year old S-10. That went thru my mind when I drove it.

For God's sake start looking into how you can improve that frame before you look into tossing it and modifying another frame and your trucks body to accept each other.

Brian
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Old 01-31-2011, 08:48 AM
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After doing more research and talking to a few people on the phone I will keep the original frame, but I am going to weld a Mustang II Hub to Hub front end in place. The large v8 that is going into the truck will need updated disc brakes.
The Mustang II hub to hub comes with 2" drop spindles.
Looks like a Ford 9" rear end I guess?
Thanks!

Last edited by shep2; 01-31-2011 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 01-31-2011, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shep2
After doing more research and talking to a few people on the phone I will keep the original frame, but I am going to weld a Mustang II Hub to Hub front end in place. The large v8 that is going into the truck will need updated disc brakes.
The Mustang II hub to hub comes with 2" drop spindles.
Looks like a Ford 9" rear end I guess?
Thanks!

Good to hear your plans!

The 9" Ford rear end is pretty much an overkill for your truck unless you plan on a LOT of power and a LOT of traction. The 8" or most any other "medium duty" rear end will be plenty. The 9" costs a lot more. If you want looks, heck yes a fifties 9" is the way to. But for function it is overkill UNLESS you are running a lot of HP.

Brian
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:01 AM
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My neighbor deals with Willys and I am buying a 400 from him and he is putting it in the 49.
Is the Ford 9" rear end recommended?
Also, anyone have any recommendations on the tranny?

Thanks!
Joel
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:07 AM
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shep
i glad you came to your senses quickly so i didn't have to join martinsr's rant.
your stock frame is the easiest way to go and modify.
chevytrucks.org has a good tech page that pertains to modifying old truck
there is a link to rearend info on the site. scroll way down.
i used an 86 trans am in my 58, it gave me rear disc brakes to go along with the mII front disc's.
look at fatmanfab.com for another choice for your mII ifs

if you are going with mII and drop spindles, you will need a serious c-notch in back.
or maybe a z'd frame.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:25 PM
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I appreciate the help. I thought the norm would be an s-10 swap. After a little research it looks like the Mustang II hub to hub will save time and money. I just need to get the steering column, tranny, and rear end figured out.
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Old 01-31-2011, 12:26 PM
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Unless you want to have to inch yourself over every speed bump I suggest you stay away from dropped spindles on the Mustang II IFS. The pic below shows my '53. It has a Heidts Mustang II IFS with standard spindles and sits low but high enough to make it over speed bumps and up into driveways without scraping anything. This suspension also supports the early hemi that's under the hood very well and ride quality is excellent.



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Old 01-31-2011, 12:53 PM
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Thanks centerline. I appreciate the info and picture. I will stay away from the drop spindles. You are right, that will probably complicate things for me and make it not worth the hassle. I like the ride height on your truck. What did you do with the rear end?
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Old 01-31-2011, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shep2
...... What did you do with the rear end?
Mid 70's Pontiac Firebird 10 bolt. Camaro would be the same. Truck was set up for cruising more than anything else. You could easily substitute a 12 bolt or Ford 9" if you're planning any strip time. You need about 61" backing plate to backing plate for these trucks.

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Old 01-31-2011, 09:46 PM
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Centerline,
Were you able to get the rear tires to center in the fender? If so how?
Stock it sits forward a couple inches and I know centering them makes them look nice.
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Old 01-31-2011, 10:12 PM
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You just drill a new hole in the spring pads further ahead. The stock rear axle had a pivoting spring pad because of the torque tube. So the center bolt in the spring is in front of the axle housing. In my truck I ran a 67 Camaro 12 bolt (10 bolt would fit exactly the same) and I simply drilled a hole up further ahead in the lowering block and put a hole in the center on the top for the rear end, perfect fit in the wheel wells.

Brian
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Old 01-31-2011, 11:04 PM
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How would a 10 bolt 73 camaro rear end work? I am assuming it would give me approximately 60".
There is one for sale locally for a solid price.
Thanks!
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