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Old 08-01-2020, 11:43 AM
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1946 3/4 ton suspension/brake swap questions

I finally got my truck back (long story) and I'm trying to figure out where to start. I'm going to be pulling the engine and want to see if there are some modifications I can make to the frame/suspension/brakes to make it more comfortable and safe to drive. It's the "heavy duty" version of the 3/4 ton stakebed and has 8 lug wheels. Seems like everything out there is made for 1/2 ton trucks (or '47 and newer).



I've started looking at Chevy 2500 trucks with useable front ends and rear ends. I've located a few near me that are wrecked but still have good front ends and rears. I'm trying to figure out how much work would be involved in removing, say a 2000 2500 front end, and getting it to fit onto the '46 frame. I've been searching the posts for this type of modification but not having any luck. (of course that may have more to do with my computer search ability). Anyone out there have any info or suggestions or guidance in this area? My understanding is that the rear end isn't much of an issue so long as I find one with a similar WMS to WMS distance (it's a stakebed so there's no fender issue). I've been looking at 3.73 or 4.10.



Thank you,
Joe
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:38 PM
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My guess is that squarebody (GM 73-87+ Trucks ) axles would be too wide, but they are readily available in 3/4 ton with 4.10 gears. Maybe the S-10 axles would be a better fit for width, even though they are not as strong. Just get the measurements and start comparing.

What is the engine and transmission you plan to use?

Bruce
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 75gmck25 View Post
My guess is that squarebody (GM 73-87+ Trucks ) axles would be too wide, but they are readily available in 3/4 ton with 4.10 gears. Maybe the S-10 axles would be a better fit for width, even though they are not as strong. Just get the measurements and start comparing.

What is the engine and transmission you plan to use?

Bruce

Hi Bruce,


I've located a couple rear ends with the correct WMS to WMS dimensions. As I said since my truck is a flat bed I don't have to worry about fender clearances in the rear. In addition since I've got 8 lug wheels, which I'd like to keep, I don't think the S10 would have that.



I've got a '54 235 and a T5 transmission that I'll be putting in.



Joe
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Old 08-01-2020, 04:20 PM
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front X menber transspl;ant

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=357610

The chevy truck forums show a later truck front truck crossmember transplant to have IFS disc brakes , etc I think most of them were 1/2 ton but the guys on that forum probably know the swap pieces to get 8 lug. I sold my 45 1 1/2 ton truck. and the 45 farm truck is slated to be a mod fire truck, open cockpit 30's look .My son is an engineer with a large city and drives the big fire and ladder trucks. he wants a mod antique fire truck ,, the 45 cab will get a camero front clip onto 2 X 6 rails

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Old 08-02-2020, 01:22 PM
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I've been hot rodding since 1955, when I was 13 years old and have done a ton of frame and clip swaps through the years. Frame swaps don't seem to work out quite as well as front clip/rear clip swaps, because clip swaps are far more adjustable for final vehicle stance.

In looking through 1946 Chevrolet 3/4 ton specifications, I noted that front track (distance from the centerline of the right front tire to the centerline of the left front tire, measured across the front) varied widely according to the tire size on the truck, from 55 3/4" to 60 9/32". This is roughly a 4 1/2" spread, 2 1/4" on each side, so there are many different brands of front end frame and suspension pieces that could be made to work on your truck. Here is probably the most complete source of dimensions for your truck......
https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/doc...olet-Truck.pdf

Here is a list of wheelbase and track width measurements that I began to put together several years ago, to help fellows choose a frame or clip that would work well with their recipient rod......
They are shown in 3 dimensions, wheelbase, front track, rear track....
https://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/...l_measurements

And the main article....
https://www.crankshaftcoalition.com/wiki/Frame_swaps
As I state in the main article, there is no sense in attaching the donor front clip and donor rear clip to the original recipient main frame in a haphazard manner and then having to use Fosdick aftermarket parts like offset or lowered spindles to get the ride height where you want it. If you pay attention and approach this project as a mathematical problem, you will be able to figure it out and make it work with all stock parts. Pay particular attention to factory installed items like anti-sway bars and use them on your project, they come free with the front clip. It's best to begin with the main part of the project (body and middle section of the frame) firmly attached to the floor AT THE EXACT ATTITUDE AND HEIGHT THE TRUCK WILL HAVE WHEN FINISHED. Attach it solidly to the floor and build around it, adding front and rear suspension systems as you proceed. All suspension components will have to be installed at their loaded height. For instance, you will want to load the front suspension using long threaded rods in place of the springs and/or shocks, so that the lower control arms will be at the same attitude they were on the original car or truck you took them from, when the donor vehicle was on the road ready to drive.

The main thing you will need is a flat, smooth surface upon which to build the project. A residential garage floor IS NOT flat or smooth. I learned this by messing up my first couple of projects. So, you might as well just bite the bullet and pour a flat, smooth concrete pad to work from. Otherwise, your readings with a contractor's level will mean absolutely nothing. Make it large enough to move around the project and install a MIG welder and air compressor on, along with floor jacks and stands that you'll need. Enclose the pad as money becomes available. If you are not prepared to do this, sell the truck to somebody and shop for a completed truck. Clip swaps and frame swaps are not for the weak of heart.

Read through the tutorial from the wiki that I provided you above and ask questions. Frame and clip swaps are the most fun in hot rodding to me. I would also like to undertake a sectioning job on a '65 Ford Galaxie before my time is up on this planet, but don't know if I'll ever get to it. Another car that just begs to be sectioned is a '65-'69 Corvair. A 5" or 6" sectioned Corvair CONVERTIBLE with an LS drivetrain with the engine mounted at the front in a conventional manner would be the crowning event of my hot rod life.

Last edited by techinspector1; 08-02-2020 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 08-04-2020, 05:59 PM
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You can install a disc brake rotor on your stock hubs, it may take some machine work for an exact fit, and likely longer wheel studs. You are on your own for a caliper bracket, I made my own. Your truck used basically the same axle as the 1 1/2 ton trucks, plenty strong enough.

You can get a kit to install a Toyota truck steering box in place of the original. I used a 91 Land cruiser box and made my own brackets. The steering box fits the same in a 1/2, 3/4, and one ton trucks. Later 235 engines had power steering brackets and pulleys available, and there are several kits out there for that too.
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