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Old 04-14-2019, 11:42 PM   #1
WyattTX
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Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

In my area there is an 81-87 K10 swb that caught on fire, and is destroyed in terms of body. I have an 85 C10 lwb. I was thinking of buying this burned truck as a parts donor for a 4x4 conversion. It is my understanding that 2wd frames are the same as 4x4 frames, aside from the front suspension and steering component mounts. If this is true (please tell me if it isn't), I should be able to bolt and weld the 4x4 pieces on to my frame. I want to keep my truck a lwb, so frame cutting is out of the question. I could stretch the swb frame, but the burnt frame may not hold paint well. Thanks for any help in this matter.
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Old 04-15-2019, 10:45 AM   #2
sweetk30
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

its a fairly straight forward swap and since you have a full doner you will know right were everything goes .

the front hangers for the rear springs will need swapped also . the 4wd ones hang 3" lower than 2wd units . or you can just add in a 3" block to set up to the 4x4 level .
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Old 04-15-2019, 12:29 PM   #3
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

Thanks, that sounds doable enough. Will I be able to reuse my brake lines?
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:17 PM   #4
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

front 2 from the combo valve might need tweeks in bends or make new . rear stuff same .

its a little project but as i said it has and can be done again .
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Old 04-15-2019, 11:06 PM   #5
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

Any other 4x4 only parts I should know about?
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:09 PM   #6
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

trans has the correct tail shaft length for the t-case behind it .
trans/t-case crossmember for 4x4 .
shocks are longer .
steering box is setup for push/pull ver the 2wd left/right movment the output shaft the pitman arm clamps to is 4wd so its not just swap the arm thing its the whole box or swap the pitman arm shaft IF YOU KNOW HOW correctly .
exhaust y-pipe if staying stock is 2wd or 4wd specific and then 2.5" or 3" at the outlet of the y-pipe .

other wise not much else i can recall .

2wd = 5 lug
4wd = 6 or 8 lug .
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:44 PM   #7
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

Isn't the metal in the C-10 frames a lot thinner than the K-10/20 ???
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:26 PM   #8
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1976gmc20 View Post
Isn't the metal in the C-10 frames a lot thinner than the K-10/20 ???
I know the c/k 20 and 30 frames are thicker. The c/k 10s look to be the same. Seeing all that's involved, and the condition of the potential donor truck, I might abandon this project before I start hacking up my truck. However this thread has provided a wealth of information for this subject. Who knows maybe I'll go crazy and try it. If I do I'll post about it. Thanks everyone.
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:41 PM   #9
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

Quote:
Originally Posted by WyattTX View Post
I know the c/k 20 and 30 frames are thicker. The c/k 10s look to be the same. Seeing all that's involved, and the condition of the potential donor truck, I might abandon this project before I start hacking up my truck. However this thread has provided a wealth of information for this subject. Who knows maybe I'll go crazy and try it. If I do I'll post about it. Thanks everyone.
I know that the 67-72 K-10 frames were definitely thicker than the C-10.

Not sure about the 1980s.

I would think you could find a 4x4 truck to start with, with components that haven't been subjected to extreme heat.
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Old 04-16-2019, 11:07 PM   #10
WyattTX
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

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Originally Posted by 1976gmc20 View Post
I know that the 67-72 K-10 frames were definitely thicker than the C-10.

Not sure about the 1980s.

I would think you could find a 4x4 truck to start with, with components that haven't been subjected to extreme heat.
In my area, people think even the worst ones are made of gold. I've been keeping my eye out for a CUCV, K20, or K30 with a bad body, but I am yet to stumble upon such a deal.
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Old 04-17-2019, 10:40 AM   #11
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

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Originally Posted by WyattTX View Post
In my area, people think even the worst ones are made of gold. I've been keeping my eye out for a CUCV, K20, or K30 with a bad body, but I am yet to stumble upon such a deal.
Well, I was looking on CL down in Colorado for a really nice 4wd 88-95 driveway special that I could make into our highway pickup, but I kept running across squarebodies instead. I would like to find one of those also to replace my x-cab 89 for a wood & trash truck, but that's a ways to drive a project truck home.
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Old 04-22-2019, 01:23 PM   #12
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

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Originally Posted by 1976gmc20 View Post
...but that's a ways to drive a project truck home.
Sounds like a fun road trip, though! Take a small car loaded to the hilt with tools, torch, gas powered welder, and pulling a tow dolly. On a 4-5 day weekend, go for it. Patch it up, and tow your car home. Take a few vacation days and avoid the holiday weekends, so that parts stores and tire shops are open as much as possible.
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Old 04-22-2019, 03:06 PM   #13
1976gmc20
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

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Sounds like a fun road trip, though! Take a small car loaded to the hilt with tools, torch, gas powered welder, and pulling a tow dolly. On a 4-5 day weekend, go for it. Patch it up, and tow your car home. Take a few vacation days and avoid the holiday weekends, so that parts stores and tire shops are open as much as possible.
It's a bit different for me. Taking a "vacation" means hiring someone to take care of our livestock, unless I just go by myself. I had more in mind taking a Good Pickup down there and towing/trailering the square body home. But first I would have to buy the Good Pickup and go through it. The 1989 might make it there and back again but I wouldn't dare drive it into Coloradofornia for fear of getting stopped by the cops about every five miles

Only reason to even look for a pickup down there is a) we still have family down there, and b) I see a lot of nice older pickups sitting around in yards when we're down there. Just about every old pickup in Montana is just beat to hell from ranch work.
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Old 04-22-2019, 05:31 PM   #14
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Re: Can you put 4x4 frame components on a 2wd drive frame?

I know what you mean. I'm milking twice a day, every day. Economics and conditions aren't allowing for a substitute at the moment. It is getting a little old.

Check out this thread. CadillacFarm claims to have transportation available for vehicles across the US. It looks like you have to register to see folks profiles. I see an email address of sorts in his profile. The forum is very worthwhile, and the folks seem to be very respectable.
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