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Old 04-03-2011, 11:31 PM   #1
aggieguy713
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S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

I have a 53 chevy pickup and have acquired an 89 s10 extended cab frame. Had a couple of questions for a couple of options to consider.

1- The cost and difficulty of an s10 swap, is it worth the hassle?
2- How difficult is the swap using the kits?
3- The clip seems to be more cost efficent but was wondering about the ride

Any help appreciated. Thanks.
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Old 04-04-2011, 06:34 PM   #2
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

Quote:
Originally Posted by aggieguy713 View Post
I have a 53 chevy pickup and have acquired an 89 s10 extended cab frame. Had a couple of questions for a couple of options to consider.

1- The cost and difficulty of an s10 swap, is it worth the hassle?
2- How difficult is the swap using the kits?
3- The clip seems to be more cost efficent but was wondering about the ride

Any help appreciated. Thanks.
1. If you plan to re-use a lot of the s10 parts, it can be worth the hassle. If you don't, it may be cheaper to do a mustang 2 IFS.

2. I don't have experience with a kit, but from what I've seen the kits handle a lot of the difficult things to figure out, leaving you with the easier (but still time consuming) tasks of wiring, running fuel lines, etc.

3. clip vs. frame vs. mustang 2 ride - I think more of this will depend on spring/shock choice rather than which method you use.

And finally, if you truly meant to say you wanted to use a front AND rear clip off an s10...just use the whole frame because at that point the only thing you're not doing is cab mounts.
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Old 04-04-2011, 07:33 PM   #3
Dan Bowles
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

Shortening an S10 X cab frame is easy. Cab mounts are far from hard, even without a lot of experience. The radiator/front mount system is the hardest to figure out but it still isn't that hard with as many that have been done.

The ride is fine. My son's 54 with a 327/4 speed is smooth and tight at 80+ mph.

If you already have one, you are 3/4 of the way done. I'm not into kits, I think they are not worth the money but then again, I work in automotive and have a lot of friends that can help. It is a good learning experience.
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Old 04-04-2011, 08:36 PM   #4
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

If you spend the money to buy a swap kit, I think I'd use that money towards a MII or similar kit. That is a far simpler project and all the sheetmetal just bolts up like it did originally (except maybe triming the inner fenders but I can't sweat to it). No messing with mounting the bed, cab and all that either.

The S10 swap is a lot of work but it can be done pretty cheap if you buy the whole S10 and part it out to recover some cost. But like I said if you have to buy a swap kit to do it, put the money toward a MII kit or Scott Danforth's IFS kit which uses GM G-Body/S10 factory suspension parts.

Here's a pic I found on the web of his IFS crossmember installed. I think it works with all stock S10 suspension parts.

[IMG][/IMG]
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Old 04-04-2011, 09:23 PM   #5
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

I would suggest a Mustang II IFS style set up. I've installed several on different cars and trucks and they are straight forward. They perform very well. Don't be swayed by the cheaper priced Mustang II IFS kits. The quality is substandard and not safe for the heavy AD trucks, i.e. thin material and poor workmanship. I have detailed photos of my IFS in my build project thread. Let me know if you need more details or information.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:00 PM   #6
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

I am in the middle of anS10 swap from EZ Chassis swaps. It cost a lot, but remoed the aggravation of reinventing the wheel... Don't plan on being able to resell any sheetmetal parts from the S10 donor. I have a really nice body from an 85 lwb. I have listed it on the local Clist fo $200 WITH A TITLE and can't get any bites, short of giving it away.
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:01 PM   #7
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

[QUOTE=Dan Bowles;4600363]Shortening an S10 X cab frame is easy. QUOTE]


I don't follow why you would purposely use an ext cab frame... unless you already had it...???
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Old 04-05-2011, 01:32 PM   #8
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

I chose the S10 frame route because my truck is going to be more of a "performance vehicle" then anything else.
the S10 gives me much stiffer parallel frame rails (compared to the A frame of the original)
the metallurgy of the steel itself is stronger and more consistent.
along with that, I get the IFS, and a solid foundation to build on.
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Old 04-05-2011, 03:24 PM   #9
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

Heres my 2 cents, I had the cab, front clip, and the bed mounted on the s-10 chasis in a weekend, I did not buy one of the kits, instead fabricated my own using the original body mounts from an extended cab s-10 ( the middle cab mounts) and the original rear cab mounts from my '49. I have not mounted the radiator yet but have exactly what I'm going to do already planned out. It isn't as hard or time consuming as some would like to make it. I can weld but I am not a welder by trade so my reasons personally for going with the s-10 instead, was that I was afraid of the MII front end trying to get it exactly right so the truck was safe to drive (i.e. don't trust my welding abilities to that crucial of a compontent), plus there are readily available parts for the s-10 at the local parts house, no special order if something breaks or wears out. Lastly, I paid a total of $400 for the entire s-10 minus the engine, I am going to use the tranny, fuel tank, the brake booster, master cylinder, brake pedal, steering column, gas pedal, wiring harness, seat belts, rear valance, tailgate hinges and latches, tranny tunnel, posi .340 gears (firebird had a .283 single wheel turn) and maybe even the A/C/ heater core (if and only if I can make them fit in my truck). I figured it up to buy each of those components seperatly at a salvage yard plus the MII package, buying the whole truck and just taking it to the scrap yard after I am finished with it is way way cheaper.

A couple of things you do need to know about the s-10 swap though, the track width of the s-10 is not wide enough for the AD truck. The wheels will be inset of the outer fenders by quite a bit. Most swap rear axles which have a wider track width, some run a wider wheel/tire combo with the backspacing to bring the tire further away from the frame, and some are running wheel spacers to get the tires away from the inner fenders. I got a rear axle from a '77 firebird which fits perfect with 8" wheels, but I will have to run some sort of spacer for the front to make the wheels sit right in the wheel wells.

Look around on this site, plenty of people doing this swap, so you can compare apples to apples, not opinions to opinions. I know that sounds funny after the book I just wrote but thought I would throw that out there.

Since the question was asked and I don't want anyone wondering, I used the extended cab chasis because I have the 3600 3/4 ton truck, Imo, I think the 78" beds are a little out of proportion to the truck as a whole, I also think that the 87" beds go the other way out of proportion so now I met in the middle with an 82" bed and its is exactly the length I thought it should be for those trucks, which consequently is exactly the same length as my Z-71 short bed. The question I have know is: is my truck a short bed or a long bed, my wife says its a medium bed. HA HA!!!!!
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Old 04-05-2011, 10:45 PM   #10
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

My '52 is on a S10 frame (love it) so here's my two cents worth:

(quote) 1- The cost and difficulty of an s10 swap, is it worth the hassle?
Answer - If you have the ability and equipment to design, cut, fabricate and weld, then the S10 swap is pretty easy and best of all cheap. After getting a S10 frame, I'm sure most guys that have done it themselves like me have less than $200.00 in steel. Something to think about, if you have a small driveway or 1 car garage, you'll quickly run out of room stripping down a S-10 along with your '53 truck. Putting it on a S10 frame and building it yourself takes time, but I wouldn't considered it a hassle. Building it is half the fun.

(quote) 2- How difficult is the swap using the kits?
Answer - Never did one. They seem pretty expensive, but if you can't fabricate or weld then I suppose their serve a purpose.

(quote) 3- The clip seems to be more cost efficent but was wondering about the ride.
Answer - When a frame is "clipped" correctly it can provide a real nice ride. You'll need to pick the right one (front steer or rear steer, Camaro, Nova, G-Body, etc), set the ride height and graft it to your existing frame with good, safe welds. You'll also have to remake mounts for the front sheet metal and bumper and most likely want to rebuild the suspension with new ball joints, brakes, etc. Lastly, you need to connect the steering with u-joints and steering shafts which can add up $$$. The good news is the rest of the frame doesn't change so the truck just bolts back together. After adding up all your costs, it may not be so cost efficient.

Now, if by "Clip" your talking about a typicall MII crosmember kit, then yes, they can be the most cost efficient in the long run. A MII crossmember kit can easily be installed in a weekend and the front sheet metal bolts right back on. Also, the rest of the frame doesn't change so there's no running board brackets, cab mounting brackets, bed mounting brackets and rear bumper brackets to fabricate. You'll still need to redo the rear suspension (more $$) along with other things too.

Each one,(S10 frame swap, a clip, or MII crossmember kit) have their pros and cons.

Bottom line, it's always about time and money. What do you have more of?

Hope this helps.

Last edited by FiftyTwo; 04-05-2011 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 04-07-2011, 11:09 PM   #11
aggieguy713
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

Hey Guys, thanks for the input. I found two companies that make a kit for the s10 frame swap.

E-Z Chassis Swap and Advance Design Engineering.

Which is the better company for the swap kits? Both seem decent quality but the cost difference is about $500.00

Again, any help is appreciated.
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Old 04-08-2011, 03:41 AM   #12
Dan Bowles
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Re: S10 frame swap vs. Front and rear clip on 51 chevy

[quote=WIDESIDE72;4601937]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Bowles View Post
Shortening an S10 X cab frame is easy. QUOTE]


I don't follow why you would purposely use an ext cab frame... unless you already had it...???
Because a long bed is 116" and I made mine 117" to center things a bit better. AND because I had access to the X cab as they are much more popular here.
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