Hot Rod Forum banner

Frame question

2332 Views 8 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  TooMany2count
Ok maybe someone can enlighten me on this one. I was thinking about a frame swap, I hear a lot about S-10 ladder frame and how they can be used as a direct replacement for an early 50's truck (GMC). I have a great deal on a caprice that someone tells me is a perimeter frame, ok so I need to cut something out of the middle and weld it back up. Is that really a bad thing? Am I missing something here? Fabing a center section should not be that bad.

If someone could explain the difference that would probably help, if we have picture comparing that would be even better. Thanks in advance, I know you guys always come through.
1 - 9 of 9 Posts

What body are you planning to put on the frame?

I was planning on putting a 54 GMC body on the caprice frame. The wheelbase and dimensions match up great. I would assume that I need to make the mounts for the body, but the less frame changing the better.
54 chevy

I am working on a 1954 Chevy Pu that I plan to put on an 1995 S-10. Just finished removing cab, engine and trans from S-10 this past Friday. It took my grandson (15) and I about 10 hours to deconstruct the S-10. Left suspension, braking system, fuel system and power steering in place. Received lots of tips from my son-in-law who is a certified technician in a body shop and does lots of frame exchanges. Of course they are the same chassis.I have not removed any of the 54's body. I will remove cab, running boards, bed and front cap from the 54. I plan to set the frames next to each other to figure out where mounts are needed and also where SB V-8 and auto trans are to be mounted. Bud
Check out this web site they make and sell kits for the s-10 swap.
Ok maybe I wasn't so clear

I know I mentioned the S-10 in my original post, but what I am thinking about doing is a frame swap with a Chevy Caprice 1988 model that has the exact dimensions to the truck. What I am concerned about is the perimeter frame vs the ladder frame difference. I have heard that I need to cut the frame part that protrudes out and weld a straight section in. I am thinking I can do it without that since the frame only comes out about 4 extra inches on each side and that I can compensate the body panels to take that without having to remodify the frame. Sheetmetal is easier to work than putting a new steel beam in. But that is just a thought.
Thank you.
There is a huge difference between a Ladder Frame and a Parameter Frame, especially when you want to mount a truck body on it. Ladder frames are like the title says, built like a ladder. That meaning they have two (2) large runners going the distance from front to rear and cross-members (the rungs in the ladder) tyeing the two sides together and offering support for the larger items like engine, transmission and so on. the ladder frames are very strong, every new real truck has one even in this day and age, they offer the platform need to two and haul large loads. A parameter frame has no back bone to draw strength from, the light frame work skirt the outside perameter of the car and depends on the body/frame relation for much of the strength. The 70's and 80's had several parameter frame cars, but you won't find many today if at all. Most now rely on unibody construction, which has been shown to work very well.
Direct replacement is not a phrase to use when talking about swapping frames from late model cars or trucks to early model cars or trucks. There are many, many problems to oversome or modify, wheelbase, tread width, steering column location, shift location, brake pedal/clutch pedal placement, and on and on. Some have found success with S10 chassis.
NONE are direct replacement!
It is easier to use the original frame and add later components to it than to wrestle the problems of an entire frame replacement.
Most vehicles with modern frame replacement under an early body are worth much less than the "Old-fashioned" way of doing things.
4 - Lots of different info 1 - S10 frame swap

2 - S10 swap

3 - late model suspension swap

4 - another late model suspension swap

5 - G-body front clip swap

6 - G-body frame swap this one will help u w/some info if u want to use them

and u can look at my project Large Marge i stretched a S10 frame to use under her & it came out pretty good if i do say so myself.

Most vehicles with modern frame replacement under an early body are worth much less than the "Old-fashioned" way of doing things.
sorry but that just isn't true anymore for the most part...joe
See less See more
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.