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Old 11-02-2009, 06:29 AM   #1
krsowles
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Question 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

Hi, new guy here! I have a question for the experts! My brother and I are starting to combine 2 old Chevy trucks into his dream rig. One is a 72 c20 2 wd and the other is a 72 k10 4wd. I'm sure there will be a million questions as we go but here's the first. My brother really wants a 4wd truck (stock height and original) when he's done. Has anyone taken a 2wd frame and converted it to 4wd? If so, was it difficult? My brother is scared to death to do it! I don't care because its not my money! If it's not too involved his 2wd frame is beautiful!! If not, the 4wd frame is good, but not as good. Thanks in advance for any info and we'll keep you posted.
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Old 11-02-2009, 09:32 AM   #2
KrazyRay
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

I'm doing the same conversion right now....putting a cheyenne 20 super 2wd on a 4wd frame. Its not that tough. The center will need the high hump, the exhaust will need to be redone, the e-brake cables are longer, etc. Just don't throw any parts away until you are done. You might need them.
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Old 11-02-2009, 02:30 PM   #3
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

I would use the 4wd frame, personally. It's already all set up for 4wd and the frames are not hard to "restore"(a.k.a. make pretty).
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Old 11-02-2009, 03:53 PM   #4
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

I have researched this extensively and trust me its way easier to just use the 4wd frame. If you still want to convert your 2wd you will need the kit from diy4x. If it has a leaf spring rear then itll be a pretty easy swap but if not Id use your 4x4 frame. Here is a link to the kit.

http://diy4x.com/cart/index.php?rout...product_id=122
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Old 11-02-2009, 04:56 PM   #5
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

Hey guys, thanks for the great input! I believe we're going for the gusto and swapping the 4wd hanger brackets for the front end onto the 2wd frame. And I'm sure we will measure twice and weld once like any careful builder should! Thanks again.
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Old 11-02-2009, 05:36 PM   #6
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

Keep us posted and takje lots of pics for the next guy with the same question!
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:08 PM   #7
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

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Originally Posted by krsowles View Post
Hey guys, thanks for the great input! I believe we're going for the gusto and swapping the 4wd hanger brackets for the front end onto the 2wd frame. And I'm sure we will measure twice and weld once like any careful builder should! Thanks again.
Problem you will run into is that with stock length springs, your rear shackle on the front spring will want to go through right where the park brake cable bump out is on the 2wd frame. If the rear is coils and are wanting leafs, you will need leaf spring hangers off of a 2wd GMC frame,(they allow for the "step out" on the coil frame).
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Old 11-02-2009, 06:38 PM   #8
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

if the two trucks are somewat complete i would start with the 4x4 frame and use watever else is needed from the K cab to complete it
the high hump transtunnel with the handles for the mid diff can be cut out of the K cab and welded or bolted intoo the C cab .... stuff like that it would be eazier in the long run .
dunno if you have the type of typeaproval stuff we have here but an uncut chassis with the correct chassisnumbers would be eazier to get aproved for roaduse
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Old 11-02-2009, 10:09 PM   #9
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

I have done several body swaps to make nice 4x4's and it is sooo much easier to use the 4x4 frame. Swapping to bodys over is easy.
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:09 PM   #10
70 aquamarine
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

anyone ever used that kit to make a 2wd frame a 4x4 ?
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Old 12-31-2009, 10:25 PM   #11
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

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anyone ever used that kit to make a 2wd frame a 4x4 ?
There is no "kit" that I know of to completely convert to a 4wd. The DIY kit just makes it possible to convert the front to 52 inch springs. The rear is a whole different story, not to mention the transfer case crossmember etc...
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Old 01-22-2010, 11:09 PM   #12
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

I had the same original question, except I'm without the 4wd. I'm looking to convert my C20. I'd really like it to be 4wd, cause it's going to be my several times a week driver. Any further suggestions, like find an old 4wd that's toast and harvest the frame? I re-read your comments about the rear leafs. I have beef rear leafs on my 71 Custom Camper C20. I've hauled massive weight in that thing and would like to do the same once it's converted. Thoughts on this.

Last edited by bodman; 01-22-2010 at 11:27 PM. Reason: cause I could
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Old 01-23-2010, 10:15 AM   #13
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

there been a couple of buildstories on this form about stuff like that that can provide some info and theres chucks chevy pages eeeeh let seee.......... http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/ some info on stuff that will fit and a lot of other info too there a couple of build tories hidden in there not all of them complete though
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:55 AM   #14
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

A 4x4 frame and a 2wd frame are not the same width in the front. The conversion is a nightmare. The b52 kit is not a 2wd to 4wd conversion and it will not work on a 2wd frame as it will be too wide.
I started to do it once. Forget it. Get a 4x4 frame.
4x4 frames are cheap I just sold one for 50 bucks that had 100 worth of paint on it and gave another one away as I could not sell it.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:26 AM   #15
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

The B52 kit will work and it works great! My truck is living proof of that! I just posted some pics in the 4x4 pic forum.
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Old 01-26-2010, 11:27 AM   #16
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

Search the forums I put up my build with pictures.


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Old 01-26-2010, 05:20 PM   #17
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

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A 4x4 frame and a 2wd frame are not the same width in the front. The conversion is a nightmare. The b52 kit is not a 2wd to 4wd conversion and it will not work on a 2wd frame as it will be too wide.
I started to do it once. Forget it. Get a 4x4 frame.
4x4 frames are cheap I just sold one for 50 bucks that had 100 worth of paint on it and gave another one away as I could not sell it.
That is not true at all. I just did my 1972 Longhorn and I have done my 1976 C30. I used both 2wd frames and installed the 4wd brackets from donor frames. The front hanger is a bolt on with 4 bolts, drill 2 in the lower flange and bolt them as well. The rear shackle hanger can be done a few different ways but is definitely doable. The front of the frames are not a different width either. The 4wd crossmembers don't fit perfect but do bolt in the 2wd frames. You will have other things to change as well like trans crossmember, steering box, brake lines, ebrake cables, but it is definitely doable.
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Old 01-26-2010, 05:24 PM   #18
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

Here is a pic of the 72 in the begining of the swap.


Here is a link to my Longhorn build.
http://www.67-72chevytrucks.com/vboa...d.php?t=372717
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:24 AM   #19
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

Thank you Diesel and good luck with the project!

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Old 01-27-2010, 11:30 AM   #20
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

Yep, the 2wd and 4wd frames are the same at the front. The DIY kit works great, it's the rear that gives you problems, the rear is alot wider on a coil sprung suspension, unless you stick with the coils and just flip the rear. I opted to go with leafs, but man was that a nightmare.
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Old 01-27-2010, 12:19 PM   #21
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

My GMC had leafs in the rear. Otherwise I probably wouldhave went to a 4x4 frame!
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Old 02-02-2010, 10:30 AM   #22
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

I just ended up getting a 4wd frame complete with running gear and transmission and transfer case. Was much easier than spending all that time on bracketry and such. But if you go the time and skills go for it. there have been several people her that have done it.
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:02 PM   #23
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

Maybe I'm missing something but one of the trucks is already a 4x4. And what you want in the end is a 4x4.... so why re-invent the wheel? Put the best body on the 4x4 frame and it will be much easier and cleaner than hacking the 4x4 parts onto the 4x2 frame. Plus I always thought that the 4x4 frames had taller c-channel sections in the middle part of the frame to make them stiffer.
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Old 02-02-2010, 03:08 PM   #24
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Re: 72 2wd to 4wd frame conversion

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Maybe I'm missing something but one of the trucks is already a 4x4. And what you want in the end is a 4x4.... so why re-invent the wheel? Put the best body on the 4x4 frame and it will be much easier and cleaner than hacking the 4x4 parts onto the 4x2 frame. Plus I always thought that the 4x4 frames had taller c-channel sections in the middle part of the frame to make them stiffer.
There isn't any hacking to this job. And if you use a camper spec'd chassis, those frames are heavier than the 4wd 3/4 ton frames. If I had a good 4x4 frame and a good body I would transpose the body on the frame. But if I can't find a good frame I'm not going to spend a ton when I can make mine 4x4 just as easy. It's totally up to you and how much work you want to do or how much moolaa you want to dish out.
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