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1950 Chevrolet Chassis Swap Q, for Dad.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by GO-rilla, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. GO-rilla
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    GO-rilla Member

    Well, Dad bought his retirement project, Trailer-Ed's, Father's 1950 Chevrolet Torpedo Body Sedan. You may think you are a non-computer guy but you should meet my Dad, I love him but the computer is his nemisis. He was hoping you Chevy Guys could help him out, the question is what chassis will straight swap over I.E.= Monte Carlo, S-10, Buick Regal....
    I hope some of you all could help us out, some one has done this before. Any help will be appreciated, Here is a picture.
    Gabe

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=124498
  2. GRSMNKYCUSTOMS
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    GRSMNKYCUSTOMS Member

    the only thing that is still chevy and will make the swap perfect are these two example i will list.


    gm's -monte carlo/regal/cutlass/monte carlo '81-87 they are all the same frames, and are the exact wheel base width as the 50 your working with, although it will need a few inches added to the frame in length. i believe the WB length of the 50 is 116 inches and the later gm frames i listed are 110. so add a couple of inches and your golden!!!

    or there the 78-90 chevy caprice chassis, it is the perfect wheelbase length, but it is like an inch wider on each side, which creates a wheel clearence problem when lowered (ie airbags) and trying to turn.

    i have done both many times, and i prefer the regal/cutlass/monte carlo frame. its super easy to add the length whether its 4 or 6 inches its cake walk and easy to do, just raise the rear diff hump and a small portion of the trunk floor and your golden! works great and a wonderful suspension thant you can get parts for anywhere!

    if you have any other questions feel free to ask, my e-mail is grsmnkycustoms@aol.com

    here is a pic of a 51 we put on another chassis..this one is on the caprice chassis, it works great but you can see how close the front wheels are to the fenders

    Attached Files:

  3. plw
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    plw Member



    You guys do some real work. I for one would really like to see a portfolio of everything you've turned out.
  4. GO-rilla
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    GO-rilla Member

    So are the 50 sedans longer wheelbased?
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  5. DIRTYT
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    DIRTYT Member

    a G body gm car (cutlass regal ect.) is not the same wheel base as a 50. and a 4 door is longer. you should look into a olds 88 or wagon from the early mid 80's. just google say olds 88 wheel base then google 50 chevy 4 door wheel base and compare the two.

    Edit: ok i didnt read all of grsmonkeys p[ost before iposted he did mention the length diffrence. but the track width is the same as he said. But you can still allways google
  6. SpeedRacer2002
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    SpeedRacer2002 Member

    just put a 50 2 door sedan on a buick grand national chassis and it works real nice.... just have to lengthen them like they said.. but 2x4 square steel slides right in the frame rails...
  7. GRSMNKYCUSTOMS
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    GRSMNKYCUSTOMS Member



    not to be a dick, and DIRTYT i love you, buuuuuuuut the 4 dr gm frames are the same lengths. i have a pile of them stripped to rolling chassis and you couldnt tell the difference in them if you looked at em for a week.lol
    at least the later model ones im talking about, now i dont know if the chassis lengths are diff on the 50's from a 2dr to a 4 dr
  8. GRSMNKYCUSTOMS
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    GRSMNKYCUSTOMS Member

    yes the 50's are a few inches longer i believe between 4-6 inches
  9. MercMan1951
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    MercMan1951 Member

    I would think offset wheels could help with the frame width differences on the Caprice swap. That's what I'm planning on with my swap. You could have narrow fronts (4-5") with a negative offset to "tuck" the rims in closer to the frame a bit. There are several wheel manufacturers that will build your wheels to your dimensions.

    Actually, with my swap the rear is more of the problem than the front. I plan on having to get some custom wheels fabbed to solve the problem, since I want to run skirts. Right now, with skirts an '79 Thunderbird (15X7) rollers, & the tires hit the skirts in the rear. If I was just running open wheel openings, it's close, but it will work. In fact, the 49-51 Merc frames were so close in dimensions to the '88 Linc frame that the rear bumper brackets from the '51 slid right onto the '88 Lincoln frame...it was only like 1/16" wider than the stock Merc. The rims I have are all set up for the 70's Ford/Lincoln midsize cars, so the offsets are, well, off...it's to be expected.

    mercman
  10. rustynewyorker
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    rustynewyorker Member

    They make bolt in kits to change the front and rear suspension on the stock frame, if you don't want to run them as-is. But remember the Corvette uses the same front end through '62, and the rear will take a late rear end with very minor mods. You can buy bolt in and weld in mounts to put a V8 in it if you like, too.


    That out of the way, Chevy is 115" from 1949 through well into the 60's and including the 1977-1989 Caprice/Impala. That includes all body styles except some station wagons.

    The G body is 108 inches, all body style variants. (Monte Carlo, Malibu, etc)

    The full size Olds 88/98-Buick Limited 4dr 1977-1985 or so is 119.5 inches. (1/2" shorter than 49-52 Pontiac, by coincedence).

    The '68-'72 Chevelle/Tempest/Skylark/Cutlass wheelbases vary, but a 4-door is usually 116" and a 2-door 112".

    An S10 frame may work but is high in the back and will require channeling or relocation of the trunk floor in addition to wheelbase alteration. None of them are 115" that I know of.


    None easily fit under a 1949-1952 Chevy, at the least you need to build mounts to the body or relocate them. Or, you can cut the donor car down to the floorpan and put the Chevy body shell on the new frame. You'll need to check the track width to see which ones work best for you.
  11. Amoros
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    Amoros Member

    Nice very helpful everyone. Does anyone have anymore tips or tricks?
  12. jsnake
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    jsnake Member

    any one interrested i have a 1949 cuope for sale complete roller no motor or trans
  13. jsnake
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    jsnake Member

    now im thinkin monte ss ??????
  14. 90ssp
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    90ssp BANNED

    is your original frame in bad shape? people have done tons of things with the originals with much less work involved.
  15. badshifter
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    badshifter
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    You left out the Malibu, El Camino, Bonneville and all the other G body cars. The G bodies started in 78 and are the same.
  16. jsnake
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    jsnake Member

  17. McKee
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    McKee Member

    The 1978 and up El Camino has a 117" wheelbase,... the stock 49' to 54' Chevy wheelbase is 116",.... track width is comparable at 58",.... go with an El Camino if you don't want to stretch a G body frame.
  18. rockin rebel
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    rockin rebel Member

    THANK YOU, McKEE... oh ya, thanks too....finally someone knows..! I want a g-body frame for my 49 Chev... as soon as I read, that you said the El Camino frame was 117, I looked in my local craigslist, found a roller, for $200. and it was 2 miles from my house !! and rust free.... Chevy will be on the roller soon.... thanks again and again... :D:rolleyes::D
  19. rustynewyorker
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    rustynewyorker Member

    1949-1954 Chevrolet are a 115" inch wheelbase, per multiple books and sources.

    I'll tell you, I did one of these swaps and I wouldn't do it again. Too many headaches to make it fit, but that was 1991, before all this easy bolt on stuff was common knowledge. At the time I based my work on the similar swaps guys did with '49-'54 Mercurys. But I never even finished the car, because with the body dropped over the frame you couldn't turn the front wheels worth a damn, and I would have had to cut the back of the car until it about folded in two to redo the rear wheel houses for tire clearance. Plus once we had the upper body off my donor car, the frame was so flexible it wasn't funny. But the Chevy I cut up was a clunker that had sat in a junkyard for 30 years or more even then, it was around another 10 years because of what I did with it.

    What I found was a frame swap for one of these cars is about a dozen times the work and at least twice the expense in the long run as opposed to fixing what's already there and already fits. Especially when I found out you can put an '85 or older Jaguar front end on the stock frame with a real minimal amount of engineering. Plus you have Posies springs, also Walton, Fatman and at least one other outfit making kits to change the rear over to '77-'81 Camaro type springs... there's no reason to torture yourself silly. Even cutting a C-notch and raising the trans tunnel is easier than all this other stuff.

    I suppose if you really have to do this, check out RacerRick on here - he did a Fleetline onto an S10 frame. Why S10? The front clip is narrower, it fits better - if anything it's too narrow by a few inches, so it fits under the fenders and with some wider wheels or deep dish wheels it doesn't look too goofy. With a 4x4 rearend in the back the rear track works out to about the same as a stock Chevy (those are a common swap to the stock springs or upgraded springs). But even he's said he wouldn't do it again, and I believe he sold the car after it was done.


    But some guys get an idea in their head that this is the easy way out and there's no educating or convincing them otherwise, you may as well try to convince a brick wall to fall down by asking it nicely. And checking out a six year old thread on here for information on it (and some bad information at that) instead of reading dozens of newer, more up to date threads isn't going to help them much.

    Right out of Krause Standard Guide to Chevrolet trucks:

    El Camino - 58.5" front track, 57.8" rear, 117.1" wheelbase;
    49-54 Chevy car and sedan delivery: front tread 56 11/16" inches, rear tread 58 3/4" inches, 115" wheelbase. Bear in mind tread is measured inside to inside front wheels AFAIK and 1977-88 wheels are a bunch wider than 1949-54.

    Cross-checked another book and El Camino is the same as every other G-body frame except wheelbase.
    Last edited: May 11, 2011
  20. rockin rebel
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    rockin rebel Member

    THANKS, BUT I WILL MAKE IT WORK.!!!:p I was not aasking for opinions.. some people should NOT cut up old cars, and New yorker must be one of them.. I am NOT building a stock friggin car.......I am building a full custom and will change whatever I have to, to make it work... as they say, " anybody can restore a car, but it takes a real man to cut one up" :D
  21. rustynewyorker
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    rustynewyorker Member

    Like I said, you may as well talk to a brick wall, it's pretty fucking retarded to come on here and ask for advice and then ignore it because you've got a big hardon that somehow using the stock frame equates to restoring the car. If you already know everything, why even ask in the first place?


    Well, your car, do what you want, just don't come crying back here when you need to make a three-point turn in the middle of a 50-row parking lot to turn the car around. We've had a batch of those mid-80s GM cars over the years, and frankly I'd rather go with the Jaguar if handling is a concern, than something that lays over on curves like it's got marshmallows for springs.
  22. aldixie
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    aldixie
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    I would go with the jaguar front clip as well. It's a really easy install, I did it in a weekend.
  23. rockin rebel
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    rockin rebel Member

    hey rusty. I checked over my reply to this thread, and I can not see anywhere in it, that I ASKED for anybodys:confused: opinion.???? all I said was thanks for the information.?? what's up.? you might be a different name on a different forum.?? never asked for anything, so why you busting my balls.??
  24. koolkemp
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    koolkemp Member

    How is it for width? I was under the impression they were kinda wide?

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