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Old 01-16-2004, 07:09 PM
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Structual Question 4 Metal masters!

Could I make a unibody (ie 61-63 Ford PU) out of my 64 Chevrolet PU?
Can the bed be grafted to the cab?

Ive seen some crazy stuff done in the rod world, and would like some opinions/info.

TIA, Stevan

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Old 01-16-2004, 07:33 PM
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Sure you could. But it would probably keep cracking, due to the frame flexing.

Why would you want to do this anyways?
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:20 AM
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I have a Short/Fleetside with a bad bed.
And I have always been a fan of the Ford Unibodys. (61-63)
Blazers are like that too, Smooth

So why not build one?

This will be a Resto/Kustom. (read subtle)
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Old 01-17-2004, 09:30 AM
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Rather than just welding together the sheet metal and praying, I suggest that if you are going to all that work that you build it 'Monaco' style with a structurally rigid tubular steel web superstructure. Then the sheet metal will not have to carry the loads and cracking will be avoided. These things are never as easy as they first look if you want it done right!!
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Old 01-17-2004, 06:02 PM
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Why not just bolt on the bed and do the sheetmetal work between the cab and it?Or,am I missing the point?

Nightrain
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Old 01-17-2004, 06:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by nightrain_rod
Why not just bolt on the bed and do the sheetmetal work between the cab and it?Or,am I missing the point?

Nightrain
Pickup trucks tend to flex quite a bit. Follow one over a bumpy road sometime and watch.

If he is going to do this, he should make it so it doesn't flex. It would probably help to take the rubber body and bed mounts and replace them with something stiffer.
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Old 01-17-2004, 07:03 PM
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I understand what's going on now.So he wants a smooth look without the gap between the cab and the bed?He could probably get by with metal spacers for mounts or weld some braces onto the bed from the frame.That might work.

Nightrain
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Old 01-18-2004, 08:47 AM
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You would need to strengthen the frame considerably. That is where the flex comes from. With the proper suspension and properly strengthened frame it is possible. Also consider that if the bed is welded to the cab it will also help to strengthen everything up. It is going to take some thought though how to get the flex out and how much to do without adding a ton of weight and going overboard. Small Blazers are unibody but an S10 truck will flex. Crawl underneath and look at the differences. You will probably have to add an extra set of body mounts also. No big deal but they need to be put in an area that does the most good. Do your research before striking an arc.

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Old 01-18-2004, 09:29 AM
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I would say that you would have to do some serious cross bracing on the frame to prevent the cracking from the frame flex. Go out and try jacking the veh up by one corner. You will see how much flex that frame has. Compare that to the frame of a full frame car, or a Blazer. There is a world of difference. I guess you could go for the Nascar look with roll bars to strengthen the frame. Once the frame is STIFF, you could connect the body and bed.
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:03 AM
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Thanks, Good advice
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Old 01-18-2004, 10:52 AM
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For all the hassle it would take to stiffen it the entire chassis (think roll cage) why not try a a body skirt, you fabricate a sheet metal shield that mirrors the body lines of your bed and extends from the cab 2"-3" but is only 3/8" from your bed contour. How much clearance you need can be determined by taping a section of cab and then taping on a marker to the bed so it rubs the tape on the cab. Drive down the worst railroad tracks and bumpy roads you can find and check how much flex you get. New body mounts should be your first priority, they make a huge difference in ride too.

The tighter you get it the better it looks and usually from testing you'll find you can run as close as 3/16" or less in the places it matters most like the sides. It also adds visual heft to the back of the cab which looks nice with round fenders.

Sure is easier than re-engineering the entire truck.
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Old 01-18-2004, 03:07 PM
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Why not put your engery to better use, something like detailing out the truck or doing some every small custom touches that when someone walks by they KNOW something is different but cant pinpoint it??

To me those little touches are alot more impressive then a all out full blown custom!
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Old 01-19-2004, 08:48 PM
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Thats exactly what i'm trying to do, with out having the same PU that's at every show.
They all look the same here in Texas.
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