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Old 09-27-2009, 05:30 PM   #1
Choptop32
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School me on front crossmember swaps

I've got a 63 Burb that I want to do a complete build on... but I want to run 5 lug wheels and disc brakes.

what year chev truck cross members are the best to use?
any aftermarket substitutes?

what are the issues to look out for?
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Old 09-27-2009, 05:34 PM   #2
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...d.php?t=357610 This should help. Pics please.

Last edited by jason65; 09-27-2009 at 05:35 PM.
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Old 09-28-2009, 12:57 AM   #3
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

I would recommend the '73-'87 pickups and the 2wd Blazers and Suburbans from '73 thru '91. They are easy to find and aftermarket parts for them are plentiful. Often you can find a whole vehicle for a good price. That way you have all the little parts you don't realize you need until you need them.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:10 AM   #4
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

I just did my swap on the 65. I bought a 78 doner truck and its an easy swap. I only had to drill 2 holes and wallow out 2. everything else bolted up. the hardest part was getting the old control arm bushing out to replace them.
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Old 09-28-2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

If you want to know how to do it. You can drive down to Bethal Island and help me with mine. This way you know how to do it. I really don't need any help but it dosn't usually hurt to have it. Hilandr and I just swapped this into his truck. Read the whole thread. http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboa...d.php?t=357610
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Old 09-29-2009, 12:06 PM   #6
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy Fleetside View Post
If you want to know how to do it. You can drive down to Bethal Island and help me with mine. This way you know how to do it. I really don't need any help but it dosn't usually hurt to have it. Hilandr and I just swapped this into his truck. Read the whole thread. http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboa...d.php?t=357610
when are you set to do it? PM me yer contact info.

I'd love to come help out. That way I've done it once and it wont be quite so daunting.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:09 PM   #7
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Also remember that the A-arms and all of the other later suspension pieces are a direct bolt in. You don't need to do the whole crossmember unless you want the clamshell style motor mounts.
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Old 09-29-2009, 09:59 PM   #8
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

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Also remember that the A-arms and all of the other later suspension pieces are a direct bolt in. You don't need to do the whole crossmember unless you want the clamshell style motor mounts.
Clamshell syle motormounts dont matter. The 66 perches bolted right up to the 89 Crossmember. This is just what I noticed when doing this swap with Greg. I am changing out the whole thing because I am going from a 3/4 ton to a 1/2 running gear. The 3/4 ton lower A arms bolt up differntly. Other wise I just used the orignial crossmember in my 65 with later control arms and other stuff.
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Old 10-11-2009, 11:48 AM   #9
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Great thread! I appreciate the time it takes to stop working, take pics and post updates as I've been there and dropped the ball myself.

So, what is the advantage of using the full crossmember vs the original if everything swaps out? Bare with me as I've just started researching this swap.

Thanks


Quote:
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Clamshell syle motormounts dont matter. The 66 perches bolted right up to the 89 Crossmember. This is just what I noticed when doing this swap with Greg. I am changing out the whole thing because I am going from a 3/4 ton to a 1/2 running gear. The 3/4 ton lower A arms bolt up differntly. Other wise I just used the orignial crossmember in my 65 with later control arms and other stuff.
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:07 PM   #10
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Here are some pictures of a total steering from a 1975 Chevy 1/2 ton truck bolted up to a 1965 1/2 ton crossmember. This is my truck and this is what I did.
Attached Images
    
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:02 PM   #11
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Am I reading this right, I can just bolt up the a arms and steering to my existing crossmember in my 63? Sounds too easy, I hope its true!
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Old 10-12-2009, 12:26 PM   #12
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

I have been following this thread with extreme interest, as it is something I want to do down the road as well. But after having searched through this site, I am honestly confused as what is possible or not. What I would really like to do is make a wiki/sticky type of article on how to do this. I am not talking this longgg post where you have to read through to figure it out but 1 long post/thread that gets updated/edited and then one thread where people leave their info/suggestions etc. I am volunteering to do this task if I can get enough people to chime in with their input. Thoughts?

I know this has been kinda done before but for me it was either to specific, like not my year truck or only pertained to V8 models etc. I want to make it more complete.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:48 PM   #13
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

i also am very interested in learning more about this swap and was wondering if anybody has ever done a 4x4 swap. i have a 65 3/4 gmc and was thinking of doing this.
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Old 10-12-2009, 10:48 PM   #14
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Great idea, have at it! I'm planning on tackling this swap over the winter myself, and want it as hassle free as possible. I'll have my 16 year old son joining in as it's his first vehicle. Would be a nice project to have under the belt at a young age.

Last edited by choppedsled; 10-12-2009 at 10:49 PM.
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Old 10-13-2009, 12:21 AM   #15
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Yes. You can simply remove the A-arms and suspension pieces from the donor and bolt them to your original crossmember. Later suspensions will NOT bolt to the '60-'62 crossmember though. They require a full swap. In either case it's pretty basic.

'63-up only needs the A-arms out.

'60-'62 needs the whole crossmember. I will describe the process. If you swap a later member into a '63-up, there are some similarities with the oblonging and drilling of holes.
The framerails on the '60-62 are also one inch shorter than the later frames and requier drilling new holes in the crossmember for motor mounts. But the motor sits down that extra inch, which is kinda kewl. Anyway, first thing to do is slide the donor crossmember in and align the FRONT holes on the bottom of the framerails with the fromt holes on the top of the crossmember. Put bolts in these and tighten. Then oblong and re-drill the other holes as necessary. that's it. Really. It's that easy. But it's much easier to just use the A-arms from the donor. Later crossmembers use larger u-bolts on the lower arms too.
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Old 10-13-2009, 08:11 AM   #16
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Ok, sounds simpler than I thought. I've got a late 62 as it has the coil springs up front. So, is there any advantage to the shape or design of a later crossmember, say clearance when lowering? And power steering box, direct bolt on as well?

Thanks for taking the time to post...
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Old 10-13-2009, 10:27 AM   #17
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Did some of you miss this thread? http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboa...d.php?t=357610 It is a 3/4 ton total swap but the half tons are the same pretty much.

I still have to get up to Bethal and get to work on mine.
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Old 10-13-2009, 09:30 PM   #18
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevy Fleetside View Post
I still have to get up to Bethal and get to work on mine.

When do you think you will be working on it. If you need somebody to hand you wrenches and lend a helping hand here and there I might be able to help. I'm in Antioch. I wouldn't mind a little suspension knowledge.
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Old 10-14-2009, 12:36 AM   #19
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

I like the later model ('73-'87)suspensions with the rubber control arm bushings. They are less maintainence and less apt to make noise. Plus you can upgrade to urethane bushings if you want. The later model suspensions also have larger diameter lower control arm shaft U-bolts than the earlier models. Converting to power steering will require an adapter plate. I have them for sale in the link in my sig.


Quote:
Originally Posted by choppedsled View Post
Ok, sounds simpler than I thought. I've got a late 62 as it has the coil springs up front. So, is there any advantage to the shape or design of a later crossmember, say clearance when lowering? And power steering box, direct bolt on as well?

Thanks for taking the time to post...
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Old 02-28-2010, 01:09 AM   #20
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

you guys got some great posts here very informative just bought my second 64 c10 fleetside and now i'm looking for donor crossmember assembly or donor truck los angeles area
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Old 06-03-2010, 01:05 PM   #21
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

great info in this thread thanks for posting it...
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Old 06-03-2010, 02:59 PM   #22
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

I bought an 81 chevy truck for a donor truck. I have the front suspension sitting at the shop. I was going to rebuild it before I install it. I am swapping out a 3/4 ton suspension so I will need the whole crossmember. The 3/4 lower A arms bolt up differntly then the Half ton. In earlier years they did anyway.
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Old 06-03-2010, 03:24 PM   #23
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

I'm going to start a complete crossmember swap on my 65 tomorrow. Had an 87 donor truck for parts. Still have to get a power steering pump bracket for a 250. Also need an adapter plate for the box, will probably fab it myself. I'll try to get some pics of the progress, but things like that aren't my strong point.
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Old 06-04-2010, 07:51 AM   #24
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

Speaking of x-m swaps
Anyone have torque specs for xm to frame bolts??
Thanks
T
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Old 06-04-2010, 01:45 PM   #25
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Re: School me on front crossmember swaps

i'm gonna be swapping to a '72 front crossmember, but i don't have it in my possession just yet...i'd like to make sure everything is nice & roadworthy before bolting up the new crossmember...when rebuilding, what all stock parts do people typically replace?
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