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DreamsOfEli
DreamsOfEli New Reader
7/16/19 4:43 a.m.

Hello GRM,

I bought this beauty off of craigslist back in 2014. After I brought it home, it just sat for the next four years, until I figured out what and how I wanted to build it.

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My plan was to buy a donor car but I was not sure what kind of truck I wanted this to end up being. This truck has a cool factor that I love and it must stay that way.

 

1st, was an 1986 Chevy Crew Cab Dually with a 454. Then thinking about it, 13 ft. wheelbase was a little much for me. Thinking smaller and more nimble. So, I sold it to my buddy, Mopar Chris.

2nd, was an 1984 Corvette. Smaller and more nimble (Check) IRS/IFS are cool (Check). Then I did some research after I bought it (of course) and found out 84 was the worst year I could buy. It has the weakest diff out of all of them and the 85+ diffs will not bolt in ( so I they say). So, that went back to the junk yard. Back to searching I went.

3rd...???

GTXVette
GTXVette UltraDork
7/16/19 5:52 a.m.

the Last thing i want for your truck is it on a Vette Frame, BUT  An  automatic corvette 84 and up all use the same diff a dana 36 all Manual Vettes use a Dana 44 , They will swap , in the Late 80's they got a little wider Requiring a Different offset wheel But that isn't anything..

  i think I would Keep the Front axle and put in Newer stuff all the way Back, Changing Frames to Modern will Be a Chore.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/16/19 6:35 a.m.

I would guess a Corvette frame is going to be a lot wider than the 1934 Chevy truck body and fenders.

GTXVette
GTXVette UltraDork
7/16/19 2:32 p.m.

Just Two Day's ago I saw a 36 Ford School Bus ( Tortoius ? shell Grill )  On a  Maybe 3500 chassis and it just didn't look quite right. that Frame looks good in Pics, I Can't think of anything that wouldn't fit it engine and rear wise .

BirgerBuilder
BirgerBuilder Reader
7/16/19 2:57 p.m.

Generally, when I'm day dreaming about this sort of thing, I go through CL or FB and see whats available. (Cheap, lightly smashed, no title?) and then Google their track width and wheel base looking for a similar match. If you don't have a bed for it, then, hell, wheelbase doesn't really matter.

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
7/16/19 3:45 p.m.

GMT400 or Ford Panther chassis both might work? 

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
7/16/19 4:55 p.m.

Those trucks had really skinny frames, much narrower than any modern car.  A  1 1/2 ton truck frame was only 36 inches at the widest point.

 

 

 

mannydantyla
mannydantyla Reader
7/17/19 1:00 a.m.

Lately I've been watching a lot of youtube videos about f100 frame swaps, usually with a crown vic and usually with a f100, but there's no reason not to use a different donor chassis and not to use a different truck body. 

The main idea is that a long bed is selected and then the bed is cut and sectioned twice to get the wheel arches to line up with back wheels on the donor frame. Some people use the firewall and floorpan on the donor chassis so that all the controls are already in the right place, but that clearly takes more welding. But can be worth it especially if the truck is rusty as hell. Otherwise you can adapt all the controls to the truck cab. IMO that is preferred and not that hard if the donor is an automatic with a cable selector. 

Less conventional frame swap exist as well. I give you, the Priuck - a '40s Chevy chassis swapped with the internets most hated car, a Prius:

I don't know much about Corvettes but I do know they have a "torque tube" and that will comblicate things if you want to stretch or shorten it to match the truck's wheelbase (assuming you have a bed for it)

DreamsOfEli
DreamsOfEli New Reader
7/17/19 2:51 a.m.

So, in Cali you have to weigh your Commercial Vehicle(truck) before you title/register it. They determine fees off the weight. More heavy More fees. So, I rented a trailer, hooked it up to my 56 Chevy, got the 34 on and went to the scale. After getting the weight, I strolled over the DREADED DMV. Which wasn’t bad, especially when the Inspector person(lady) thinks it a “neat” truck. Didn’t have any crazy issues, I guess getting a title with the truck makes things a lot smoother. Small issue- since the tires were to big for the tire loops, while I was braking downhill the tires slipped out and the truck rolled over the trailer. No damage done, so it’s all good. Took a wee bit of time to get everything free but all is well.

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DreamsOfEli
DreamsOfEli New Reader
7/17/19 3:20 a.m.

I decided on a path for this truck. I've always be interested in racing. So, I'm going to build this truck to get my feet wet into autocross. I think autocross is super cool (never tried it or been to an event) and I know my current DD a 2006 4x4 D-Max will not preform very well. Overall goal is to be a new daily driver / autocrossish truck. I know getting something more main stream seems like a better platform to start with but I'm going down the road of different. Hopefully it's not long with a bunch of twist and turns and I don't get robbed by car parts along the way. I like yall's ideas of frame swap floor pan thing. Side Note: Not a die hard Chevy fan. I appreciate the aftermarket support LS engines have. BIG+ is that they are way cheaper. I need to find a donor car that has great handling from the factory. Corvette, Camaro, Mustang, or something Mopar? 

Plans:

Lowish

IFS/IRS

EFI V8

6 Speed Manual

Roll cage

Autocross

SCCA things?

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
7/17/19 5:36 a.m.

I personally would find a good carburetored Ford 300 I6 and 5 speed manual and swap them in there then go to work making the rest of the factory components work as good or better than new and keep the truck as is. 

I hate seeing old stuff get cut up any more.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
7/17/19 6:36 a.m.
ebonyandivory said:

I personally would find a good carburetored Ford 300 I6 and 5 speed manual and swap them in there then go to work making the rest of the factory components work as good or better than new and keep the truck as is. 

I hate seeing old stuff get cut up any more.

I'm torn.  On the one hand, anything _can_ be restored.  But, on the other hand, _will_ anyone reasonably want to restore it?  

I did this with a 1951 Plymouth:

Image result for plymford

But, said 1951 Plymouth was a rusted-to-death basket case.  It was New York rusty, which is to say, the lower 6" of the car was more air than steel, and the body had only a passing attachment to the frame.  It was also (originally) a 4 door sedan, so about the lowest level of desirability there is for a post-war car.  

 

TommyWants
TommyWants New Reader
7/17/19 9:26 a.m.

I'm gonna throw another suggestion for panther in there. No irs but the 03+ have the improved front suspension/rack and pinion and the improved Watts link, 8.8 rear. Get a p71 cheap, with factory lsd, uprated cooling and stuff. Scrap/sell the body. Do whatever suspension upgrades you like, tubular control arms are available all around, coilovers, whatever, and you can toss a mustang 6 speed in and any other mustang go fast parts on the engine. And with the crazy weight you'll be saving with the body swap i think it'll be a pretty solid performer. Of course, you'll have to go full fender on the truck to hide the modern suspension but you should anyways. 

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
7/17/19 9:37 p.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

If the alternative is letting the car rust into the ground  vs driving around again then I’m all for what you did.

But you got an old car doing what cars do. I (again, personally) think an old work truck should stay an old work truck even if there’s a much later model engine swapped in.

Stubby Bob is fun to watch do wheelies but man, I sure liked that truck when Finnegan first dragged it to his house.

Duder
Duder Reader
7/17/19 11:03 p.m.

Panther / Crown Vic / P71 frames are quite a bit wider than old pickup frames, even '60s Ford pickup frames. But I will heartily recommend an '03+ P71 chassis for an old truck. My friends and I built one over the past 2 years and it's fantastic.

https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/forum/build-projects-and-project-cars/1964-viccup-build/134172/page1/

DreamsOfEli
DreamsOfEli New Reader
7/18/19 4:55 a.m.

So, after a bunch of searching, I found this 2006 C6 Corvette for a good price. It has front end and frame damage but runs and drives. I prefer to buy running donors. Since I never know if a pulled motor will make funny noises, once I get it to start for the first time. This one looks decent but from the frame damage it will not be safe to put back on the road.

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After I bought it. I started to notice it had way more damage then I thought. Like the Alt bracket was stitched wired back together. The hood that came with it was from another car. Front driver side control arm was bent. The driver side catalytic converter had a hole in it. Oil Cooler was by passed since it got cracked. But still, how bad could it be since it still starts and drives around.

 I wanted to have it idle longer because of donuts and burn outs. So I ordered some replacement parts: alt bracket, radiator, and a control arm.

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volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
7/18/19 5:59 a.m.
ebonyandivory said:

In reply to volvoclearinghouse :

Stubby Bob is fun to watch do wheelies but man, I sure liked that truck when Finnegan first dragged it to his house.

I'm in agreement with you there, I preferred Stubby Bob before they went all, well, Roadkill on it.  IIRC it had a flathead V8 mill in it, too.  That had so much potential to be a cool hauler.  

Indy-Guy
Indy-Guy UberDork
7/18/19 6:29 a.m.

In reply to DreamsOfEli :

I really like that 56 Hauler you've put together.

C6 donor? Oh this is going to be good......

ebonyandivory
ebonyandivory PowerDork
7/18/19 6:32 a.m.

In reply to DreamsOfEli :

Well, you sure appear to be serious about this project. I’m in for what could be pretty awesome despite my reservations above.

lotusseven7
lotusseven7 Reader
7/18/19 6:41 a.m.

 

This is what a “bare” C-4 chassis looks like. If you or anyone else needs measurements for a proposed project, let me know and I’ll get them for you.

chandler
chandler PowerDork
7/18/19 9:06 a.m.

 

DreamsOfEli
DreamsOfEli New Reader
7/19/19 2:28 a.m.
Indy-Guy said:

In reply to DreamsOfEli :

I really like that 56 Hauler you've put together.

C6 donor? Oh this is going to be good......

Thanks, it was the first truck I ever built. I pulled it from the junk yard, pretty much stripped. I had no idea what I was doing. When I put thing together and the workmanship is Sub-Par at best. I learned A LOT and what not to do but the following truck (1950 Dodge Pickup) reaped the benefits and came out WAY better and safer.

DreamsOfEli
DreamsOfEli New Reader
7/19/19 2:32 a.m.
ebonyandivory said:

In reply to DreamsOfEli :

Well, you sure appear to be serious about this project. I’m in for what could be pretty awesome despite my reservations above.

Super serious, welcome aboard sit back and relax. If I can make what is in my head reality, this thing should be sweet.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
7/19/19 9:07 a.m.

Why not box in the current frame?  

I’ve seen guys make something like roll bar material inboard of the rails to negate flex.  Have to admit I don’t know how it works, but seems easier than a frame swap.

Dan

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 SuperDork
7/19/19 9:29 a.m.

This is going to be sweet, keep it up!

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