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Old 08-22-2011, 11:43 PM   #1
Captainfab
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'60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

This question is asked quite frequently, and I always try and give my opinion on the subject since I have done this once, about 20 years ago. At the time I was involved in building a truck which consisted of a '62 body onto a '74 SWB chassis, I did not think about taking pics to document the process. This truck has remained in this local area, but I just have never seemed to be able to get any better pics. That is until this last June at our local car show. I just haven't been able to find the time to post these pics until now.

As you can see, the stance of the truck is a bit high. It sits about like a stock K10. I don't remember for sure, but I believe this truck is running 31/10.50-15's. Some guys seem to like it, and others don't. While I'm not into the whole 'laying frame/rockers' thing, I do prefer a lower stance than what this type of conversion provides. There is certainly a way to do this conversion and have a lower stance, by channeling the body over the frame. It is my opinion that this is just more work than is necessary. As always I will recommend keeping your existing frame if at all possible, and just upgrading the suspension with the '73-'87 parts.

Anyway, on to the pics. As they say a picture is worth a thousand words.......
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Last edited by Captainfab; 08-22-2011 at 11:50 PM.
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Old 08-22-2011, 11:45 PM   #2
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

A couple more pics......
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Old 08-23-2011, 07:18 AM   #3
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

that conversion dont look to bad to tackle good way if you want to convert to 4x4 for sure. but like you said it does sit up in the nose bleed section. i still kinda like it though
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Old 08-23-2011, 08:32 AM   #4
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Honest question - couldn't that be brought back close to "stock" by going "spring under axle" and swapping in drop spindles? Not saying it's a better alternative than an older frame (I'm with you - I think it sits too high), but sometimes the opportunity of a good frame doesn't always present itself.
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Old 08-23-2011, 12:59 PM   #5
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

when I saw this truck at cardlane I thought it was a 4X4..
I met capt the next day, he asked me if I had seen that yellow truck pulling the trailer the night before.. I said yeah, that 4wd?... he then informed me about the frame swap!
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Old 08-23-2011, 04:05 PM   #6
LostMy65
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

So what's the difference in frames that makes it need to sit so high, is it because the drop frame under the cab doesn't drop as much as a 60-66?
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:04 AM   #7
Captainfab
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Yes, that could be done to lower the stance, just more work to do get just a stock C10 ride height. On the above truck, using the '74 frame was not my decision. I was wanting to locate a '63-'72 frame. And I do understand that in some parts of the country, good older frames just can not be found

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scot_Douglas View Post
Honest question - couldn't that be brought back close to "stock" by going "spring under axle" and swapping in drop spindles? Not saying it's a better alternative than an older frame (I'm with you - I think it sits too high), but sometimes the opportunity of a good frame doesn't always present itself.

The '73-'87 frames drop down a little lower under the cab than the '63-'72's, and then they kick up too far forward for the older cab to sit down where it needs to be. The frame behind the cab has a different contour than the '63-'72 frames also.

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So what's the difference in frames that makes it need to sit so high, is it because the drop frame under the cab doesn't drop as much as a 60-66?
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:35 AM   #8
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

this one that I am looking at, just for the body. it is on an 83-4, 4 x 4 frame. the fellow brought it up out of washington and it has to go through inspection before you can get it registered and I doubt that it would ever make it as it is still registered as a 2 whl drive. he is trying to sell it up here without being registered here; so who ever buys it from him has to try and put it through the process and you cannot get it inspected until it is roadworthy it is a bit of of a catch 22 positionwehter or not they will accept the frame change with out that being registered.
that body will save me quite a bit of work.
I have all good front end stuff and whatever it takes to repair anything else.e frames do need to be shortened a hair anyway to get the wheels in the right place
ron


By rondavid at 2011-08-23

By rondavid at 2011-08-23

By rondavid at 2011-08-23
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Old 08-24-2011, 12:57 AM   #9
Captainfab
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Thanks for reminding me of something I forgot to mention Ron. I knew I was forgetting something.

That is one other aspect of frame swaps to consider. That is how does the frame swap effect the titling and licensing process in your local area. I know here in Idaho, when building/modifying a vehicle, you are 'supposed' to have receipts for all the major components. Plus if you were to use a different frame, or body (cab on a pickup) you need to have the title for both of those components. Then you will have to have your vehicle inspected by the state motor vehicle investigator, to be sure you followed all the requirements. Then if he/she is happy with what you have done, you will be issued a reconstructed vehicle title. But if the motor vehicle investigator is not happy with what you have/have done, your vehicle can be confiscated and crushed. Typically a vehicle with a reconstructed vehicle title will have considerably less value than one with a regular title.
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Old 08-25-2011, 01:07 AM   #10
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

I scanned a few of the pics that I did take during the build of this truck. You can see some of the body mount work in these a little better.
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Old 08-25-2011, 03:53 AM   #11
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Good info Capt, thank you. I still want to build a 4x4 this way, but it may be a while. I vote sticky......
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:25 PM   #12
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

with the wheelbases being different do you have to cut the frame down? doesn't say anythign about it? seems like the shortbed is 2.5 inches longer and the long is even more? im looking to make mine 4 wheel drive to make it more useable here in Idaho lol
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:54 PM   #13
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

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with the wheelbases being different do you have to cut the frame down? doesn't say anythign about it? seems like the shortbed is 2.5 inches longer and the long is even more? im looking to make mine 4 wheel drive to make it more useable here in Idaho lol
If you want the wheels to look proper in their relationship to the wheel openings one should shorten it up. if you look at that suburban higher up you will notice that the wheels are a little out of whack. I am putting that body on my 64 4 x 4 frame which was orig a panel. so there is a newer frame with the body mounting avail.
ron
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Old 09-07-2011, 05:58 PM   #14
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Could someone take a front diff from a different year and bolt it to a 2wd truck say in our trucks range?
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:18 PM   #15
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by padresag View Post
If you want the wheels to look proper in their relationship to the wheel openings one should shorten it up. if you look at that suburban higher up you will notice that the wheels are a little out of whack. I am putting that body on my 64 4 x 4 frame which was orig a panel. so there is a newer frame with the body mounting avail.
ron
yeah i noticed that. what would you be asking for the frame? kinda far for me to get it but if the price is right and i can get it here for a resonable price its a possibility lol, around here you can get a donor 70's chev for around 500-700 that runs and drives nice just the body is rusted out bad.
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Old 09-07-2011, 07:20 PM   #16
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

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Could someone take a front diff from a different year and bolt it to a 2wd truck say in our trucks range?
that was my other thought was to take the front diff and springs etc and adapt it to my frame and same with the rear, don't know if this will work though might have to check some measurments
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Old 01-11-2014, 02:53 AM   #17
Captainfab
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Bump for the new guys.......
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Old 01-11-2014, 03:59 AM   #18
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

The reason the older truck bodies don't fit correctly on the newer frames is due to the change in design of later model frames and cabs in order to fit the saddle tanks. In the later models (73+) the cab floor under the seat is much higher to clear the front portion of the tank. Similarly the drop section in the middle of the frame is elevated in this area to support the fuel tanks and as also mount the raised area of the floor more efficiently.

Our old truck cabs aren't made to fit this way. So the cab must sit higher.

I will say though that the steel used to form the frame channels in late model trucks is better quality and often thicker (depending if it's a 1/2, 3/4 or 1 ton). While this may not matter to most 1/2 ton guys it might matter to those building a 4x4.

I put later model suspension and drivetrain on my 66 k10 frame. If I had to do it over again I would have just built a new frame from scratch using my original frame as a reference.
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Old 01-11-2014, 06:59 AM   #19
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

One side note to add about the legality issue:

I know of a situation here in Kansas, where a guy I knew did a frame swap on a '50's Chevy pickup, did not document it or provide the paperwork to make it legit. His thought was " it's already titled/tagged so no one will ever know"
Well about 2 years after the swap, he was involved in an accident, which was his fault. His insurance investigated, suspected a "modified vehicle" found the numbers didn't match and refused payment on anything. The highway patrol got involved, confiscated the truck. He never was able to recover it because he had no documentation.

In Kansas we have a "builders' title" which is a pain in the a$$. BUT if done correctly Kansas will assign you a new ID number that encompasses all the new parts as a complete vehicle. The main inspections we have here are for VIN verification.
KS does offer Antique titles/registration that is somewhat painless and obtainable with just a bill of sale, and a VIN verification.

Great info Captain and regardless of the ride height- that was a nice build!! ...and VERY yellow. LOL
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Old 05-13-2016, 10:38 PM   #20
LostMy65
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Back of the 73+ Frame sits at least 3 inches higher than the 60-66 frame. So, if someone wants a 4x4 truck, or it to look like a 4x4, then go ahead with this swap.
Otherwise, one would have to do some frame surgery.
But then there's no real advantage.
Just put the newer stuff under your 60-66 frame.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:07 PM   #21
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Not sure if it correct or not, but on mine I cut some square tube in half and used it to channel my cab over the frame.

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Old 05-13-2016, 11:31 PM   #22
Captainfab
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Yep, that confirms my statement of a 3" body lift when done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostMy65 View Post
Back of the 73+ Frame sits at least 3 inches higher than the 60-66 frame. So, if someone wants a 4x4 truck, or it to look like a 4x4, then go ahead with this swap.
Otherwise, one would have to do some frame surgery.
But then there's no real advantage.
Just put the newer stuff under your 60-66 frame.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:32 PM   #23
Captainfab
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

What have you done with the bed floor?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 66Z71 View Post
Not sure if it correct or not, but on mine I cut some square tube in half and used it to channel my cab over the frame.

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Old 05-13-2016, 11:37 PM   #24
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

It was bolted directly to the frame. What I saw more than anything was that the frame kicked up sooner than the old one, an hit the back of the cab.
The truck does sit a little on the high side. I am planning on drop spindles, and maybe cut springs.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:39 PM   #25
66Z71
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Re: '60-'66 Body On A '73-'87 Frame

Just for my clarifacation. Is the blue 73+ ?
With front to the left?
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