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I am finally getting a chance to get into my 1948 chevy.(Fleetline Aero Sedan 2 door.) ive had the car for 4 years now, and i'm ready to get into it. I have aquired a 1989 chevy S10 frame, which i am intending on putting the body of the 1948 on. I am looking for ANY advice on this kind of swap. I know i'm going to face some kind of problem with such a swap. If anyone could make this any less painful i'd sure appreciate your help. Some questions i have right now are : Will the axles line up? Will the body mounts line up?..(If not, i do have a welder). How about the steering?... ANY info or advice is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Richard
 
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Richard,
I believe you will be doing yourself a terrible injustice if you try to load your '48 Aerosedan on a truck chasis. I am building the same car and I don't want to clip it. I ask some of the same type questions and was told to check out I am going to go with a mustangll IFS on mine. Good luck with your project, if you need any info about your car, I have the shop manual that may be of some help. Check out my profile, my e-mail address is there if you want to chat.
AL

[ May 22, 2002: Message edited by: Great '48 ]</p>
 

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thank you Al for your advice. you having a 1948 also lets me know we are on the same page. i spoke to a custom rod shop in Hudson, Florida, and they mentioned the same site to go to. Fatman Fabrications. I saw the kits they have available, though i really don't want to chop it. I had bought a 79 camaro, to chop the front clip, and weld onto the front of my 48. After thinking it through, and talking to other rodders at the time, i voted against it. that was 4 years ago. today i traded the 79 camaro for a 1989 chevy s10. today we took the bed off and unbolted the cab for the scrap company to pick up tomorrow. i like the idea of having a solid frame, which my 350 motor will bolt right onto. this is the biggest project i have ever gotten into. the car is completely disassembled. if you hear of anyone that may have any more information as to what it am getting into, i would greatly appreciate you pointing me in their direction. i would like to know how your project comes along also. i am located in Florida. i have some pics already of the work being done. we'll be in touch.
thank you for your reply.
Richard
 

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ive heard lots about using s10 frames on older cars.

on our 48 we have been looking into this for a long time, as we have done a chevelle frame clip on the front and a g body 10 bolt rear end, but the car sits very low in front due to the chevelle's frame and how it humps down where it met the original 48 frame.
 

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Hey pat!
Thanks for your reply. It's great to meet people with same love for these cars. I spoke with some hotrodders from Alabama, 4 years ago. They told me they would help me in any way, with either method of updating the drivetrain and suspension. (chopping frame, or replacing with s10 frame.) I lost the contact information for this shop when i last moved. They are the people that told me the s10 frame would work. They know the specs and what fabrications need to be done. I am on the hunt to find them again, or find other rodders that know what to do in this situation. If you will, send some pics of your ride. It would be a great inspiration for me. I try to collect photos of the 48. I will send you some pics of my project as it is coming along. Oh, if you hear anything, please let me know ! :)
 

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Hey premier, the best thing that I could suggest is that you go to a body shop and ask them if you could get a copy of the frame specs for the s-10. Ya see I was told that an s-10 frame would fit up under my car also. I own a 37 pont. coupe. Plenty others have been told this to. Make sure you get measurements for everything. Wheel base for instance can be moved, but I found that the s-10 has 5 diferrent wheel bases. They range from 110" to 122".So make sure this frame will fit before you get it up underneath. ;)
 

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S-10s came in wheelbases from 100" (2 dr. Blazer) to 122 (or was it 124? can't remember) for the extended cab. 118" for the reg. cab long box. Shortening an S-10 wheelbase is really easy to do, there is a seam under the door jam area that can be split, shortenend and re-welded. Track width is where you want to watch, they can be made a few inches wider with a different backspacing on your rim. Making it narrower is not going to be easy.

The other thing is the S-10 frame is a lot different from the frames common on older vehicles. Here's a little diagram I did last year comparing the S-10 frame to my '52 Chevy truck. frame:



A lot of people think it's just a straight swap, a real easy way to get IFS and all your power goodies. For a 2 wheel drive vehicle, IMO, it just isn't worth the trouble. You'll be fabricating body mounts and building all new floors that will be higher at the back end to clear the frame kick up above the S-10 axle.

But the swap can be done. And I think '89 and up S-10s are a great donor vehicle; full-size bolt pattern 700R4 trans, 4.3L V6, the TBI fuel injection is easy to move over to a V8, ABS brakes, 4WD that's easy to convert to AWD... Plus all the stuff you'd be hitting the junkyard or dealers for like wiring harness, heater, seat belts, tilt steering column, etc... The only thing I didn't use from my S-10 donor is the rad, and after almost a year I swapped out the S-10 buckets for a set of power leather Explorer sport buckets.

Sorry, I tend to ramble. :)
 

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If you are new to street rodding trying to do a frame swap is not a smart thing to do. On your car it’s not necessary unless your stock frame has been hacked up by some previous owner.

Chevy frames of that vintage are of the top hat design and are very strong. I run the stock frame in my 41 Chevy pro-street car (BB powered) with a Heidts Mustang II front suspension and it rides well and has no twisting problems under heavy acceleration.

There are bolt in crossmembers made for your frame to mount any of the Chevy motors and transmissions. Why go to all the work and hassle of swapping frames when you don't have to. Remember you may have to modify the S-10 frame if the wheel base isn't the same, which I don't believe it is, and there will be a lot of fabrication and floor modifications required to mount that body and front sheet metal and get it right.

If you’re new to this hobby the best course is to keep it simple and easy the first time out. The classified adds are full of partially completed or hacked up projects that people just gave up on because they bit off more than they could chew. Don't let that happen to you.

Good luck.
 

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Full frame swaps are difficult, but can turn out fantastic if you have the rite welding equipment & know how to use them. I put a 41 Ford conv't on a 72 Chevelle frame & I am now putting my Rolls Royce Silver Shadow on a El Camino frame.

On both frames I had to straighten out the outriggers & on the El C I had to lengthen the frame 1 1/2" & I am now in the process of upgrading the springs & brakes....Don
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Wow,
This is great! I havent had a chance to check the forum, but now that I have, I see alot of information here. Thank you all that have replied. :) I'm glad to see others that have traveled this path. I have been asking around about this swap, and many folks just seem to shrug shoulders.
BiG DreaMs: Thanks for the advice. I havent taken any measurements just yet. I will be going out to the s10 tomorrow. One question I have is.. what is the wheelbase for the 1948? I'll have to go out to 1948 to get a measurement. If you know, throw me the #'s. At the moment, the cars are spread out, not at a single location.. so it's a bit of a pain going back and forth at the moment. Have you done the frame swap on your 37 pont. coupe?
StinkiN_V8:
Thanks for your reply. Definitely some good info you have here. I would like to see your 52 chevy. Maybe you have some pics of the frame work being done. Did you do it yourself? I am ready for fabrication of body mounts, though I did not plan for having to rebuild floors. Looks like I'm gonna lose some trunk space, from that kick up in the rear of the frame. The s10 has no drivetrain. I am taking a rebuilt 350 and 350 turbo tranny, and redone rear end from my 81 El Camino. Question, did you use the s10 steering, steering column? I still have my 48 steering wheel and column, I'd like to use it still. The car is going to be updated as far as all power options..but I want to keep the original look to it. Let me know, U can ramble all you want. I'm interested in the knowlegdge. Thanks again. :)
CenterLine:
Thank you for your words of advice. I knew coming into this it would not be easy. I have a few people helping my with this, a pro mechanic,pro body and paint, and interior shop. I have a glass guy, though the only place I am lacking is in the chroming dept. I have built a 23 hotrod, had to make some mods there, I have a snap on welder ($3000), and some other tools... I know I can tackle this job, I really wanted to get as much Knowledge from others like me, as I could before actually taking this step. I do thank you for your advice and words of caution. :)
Don Meyer:
Thank you Don for your reply. Again I'm excited to hear about your projects. You also know exactly where I am right now. This is a first timer for me, frame up resto.... I've built a few chevys (60's Impalas)...but never frame up. This will be my first and last frame up. I want to do it right, and go all the way. I'll be keeping this car till death do us part. I take it you're doing the work yourself? Did you have to modify your floorboards on the 41 Ford? I would like to see any pics you may offer to show on the frame works. I realize they arent the same, but I would like to get a visual. If you are doing the work yourself, that's great you can. Best of luck with your works also, and thanks again for the knowledge. Richard :)

[ May 25, 2002: Message edited by: premierpaintbody ]</p>
 

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Richard, check out RB's Obsolete Automotive, they have a bolt in MustangII front cross member. Throw away that S-10 and put a Mustang II under that car. If this is your first rod you should go with the bolt in cross member its simple and easy. Rear end is easy too, 55-57 chevy almost bolt in. Camaro 67-69 are good too.
I've had my 47 on the road for 5 years with the MustangII and no problems. I've got a 2 dr. sedan with a 500 Cadillac and turbo 400 trans back to a 9" 67 bronco rear.
That S-10 is more trouble than its worth.
jibs
 

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Richard,

Yeah, I did most of the work myself.. Checked with local laws, and all frame work has to be signed off on by a journeyman welder or better, so I had everything ready to go, found a guy in the paper and he came in and welded 'er up. The rest of the work except the rad and glass cutting was done myself. The body mounts were the tough part, and I wound up going back and building a lift kit for it... 2" at the front of the cab, tapering back to nothing at the back end. S-10 4x4 has adjustable front suspension, so I can still fiddle with the ride height. I finished the frame swap in about 2 months and put about 50 miles on it last fall but that was with a chunk of plywood as the floor in the rear. I'm still finishing up the floors and other tweaking now, hope to have it back on the road sometime in late June.

But I'll say it again - if you only need a 2 wheel drive vehicle, seriously reconsider your options. There are easier ways to get IFS and disk brakes up front than a whole frame swap, probably cheaper in the long run, too.
 
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Richard I have the specs you asked for I tried to copy them to this site but my scaner won't let me do it so I am going to e-mail it to you. in case you don't get the mail for some reason the wheelbase for your Fleetline is 116" Treads front 57 5/8" rear 60" I have the shop manual if you need anything else Al
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Hey stinkin_v8,
I talked to my mechanic friend, and he's more than willing to help turn wrenches. There's alot of work in taking the s10 apart (ac ducts, controls,wiring harnesses for everything, fuse panel,brake system,steering system..etc..) that we still have to do before taking the body of the frame. I talked to a friend that is a prof welder, and told him about the floors having to come up some, he said no problem. He builds cars also..mostly lowriders..(1960's). He will be there for the fabrication part of the project. (thank goodness). I'll let you know how it goes as i tackle this. First, fully stripping the s10. thanks.
Great48:
Thanks al for the #'s I asked about. It lets me plan ahead for what we're going to do. I feel I hvae a few options..I'll be looking further into it. I appreciate the info. I'll be in touch.
Richard :)
 

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hey dude you`re welcome for the info. As for the frame swap on the pont. ,no ,I haven`t actually gotten that far yet. Its still kinda up in the air as far as doing a frame swap. Good luck on your ride, feel free to holler at me if you need some help. Later. :cool:
 

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Thank you man. I've taken a few days off. A friend from switzerland came in, and I'm showing him around the Ft. Lauderdale - Miami area. We're hitting the beach again tomorrow. I needed this break. I'll resume after the weekend. Thanks again.
AL,
I got the email you sent me. For some reason I cant read it though. It came to me as a .001 file... In worpad it translates to a bunch of letters and numbers that dont make any sense. Maybe resend as a .txt file?
Thanks,
Richard :)

[ May 31, 2002: Message edited by: premierpaintbody ]</p>
 

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Hi. My name is John and I have a 48 chevy fleetmaster sports coupe. And I have been talking to a lot of car guys about doing a frame swap with a s-10 myself. They have told me its the easiest way to go. But I would be interested in hearing out what you have had to do or have found out about this project. I've read the stuff that people have told you on the message board. I have also included some pics of my coupe to show you were I'm at. The bottom two pics are what the coupe looked like when I got it. Please send some pics of your project. I'd enjoy seeing someone elses work. Since I was beginning to think I was all along I this delema.

Thanks for your time.
John
[email protected]
 

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Richard if you will check the glovebox on the
S-10 it should have the Identification Sticker in there. It has the wheel base listed on it, I think it is 108in. for the short bed truck. :D
 

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Hey if you check out my pics on the Photo Album. You will see what I have had to do putting the s-10 frame under the 1948 chevy fleetmaster coupe. I've cut the floor out under the rear seat. And the rear end has to be tubbed allowing for bigger rubber. Other then that all new mount will have to be made. Good luck with yours and I'll keep you up to date on any problems I come across.
 

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Hi Premier,You have alot of advice,just want to mention I put a S-10 clip in my 47 chevy sedan delivery,thought about full frame,didn't want to go that far.Felt it went in great,not much rise in frame,being it is front steer will have to do some inner sheet metal work around steering unit,and for grill it is close.I'll put some pics in my photo album give something to look at. Good Luck :) Sorry didn't realize this post started over a year ago.
 
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