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All Wheel Drive '56 Chevy Truck

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BOHICA, May 24, 2006.

  1. BOHICA
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    BOHICA Member

    Hey guys, does anyone know much about installing AWD systems in older vehicles? I got to thinking about that tonight and figured it would be really fun to convert my truck and see how it performs. Only thing is, I don't know what kind of vehicle to canibalize to get it or how hard/reliable it would be to mate to an Olds 455. If anyone has any experience doing this, I'd really appreciate hearing what you have to say.
  2. Big-Olaf
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    Big-Olaf BANNED

    For a short time GM made a couple of all wheel drive turbo V6 trucks.... The Cyclone and the Typhoon.... If you can find either one of these at a wrecking yard, you are good to go.... I helped to make an all wheel drive turbo '63 nova a few years ago....
  3. scarliner
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    scarliner
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    As stated above and also the chevy & G.M.C Astro type vans were available with all wheel drive. Didnt make near as many of these as 2 wheel drives though.But they are old enough now, you should be able to find some in the salvage yards.
  4. BOHICA
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    BOHICA Member

    Definitely not tearing up a Typhoon or Syclone. If I find one of those, I'll restore it. They actually put the same system (sans engine) in the S-10 Blazers and I've heard a similar one, if not the same, in the Silverado SS. Don't laugh, but I actually considered the Mitsubishi Eclipse drivetrain because they'll take quite a bit of power. Unfortunately, they're front wheel biased(although that might not be bad on a vehicle that has all its weight forward of the bed). Right now I'm just looking for a cheap, reliable way to do this, not to mention something easy to find in a salvage yard. Will start looking for Bravadas and Astros, too. Thanks.
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  5. Big-Olaf
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    Big-Olaf BANNED

    The Astro Vans used basically the same setup as the Cyclone/Typhoon... Basically just an S10 pickup running gear with a slightly different front diff.. I know that the Cyclone had independant front suspension, and I think the van's have a solid axle.... Both are prety hard to find.... You could also look at some of the newer SUV's... The IFS four wheel drive S10's have most of the parts you would need, but they have a different transfer case than the Cyclone.
  6. bulletproof1
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    bulletproof1 Member

    i think the next big thing is going to be a road race look on older cars and trucks.
  7. J Man
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    J Man Member

    Olds Bravada
  8. Foul
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    Foul Member

    No, the Astro/Safari AWD vans also used IFS. Their parts are similar to the S10 system, but altered to fit the Astro chassis (offset to passenger side rather than straight down the middle).
    dan


  9. the-rodster
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    the-rodster Member

  10. flyingpolock
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    flyingpolock Member

    ...granted, it's a bit more high-tech than I'm sure everyone here can appreciate... but I've attached a pretty radical take on that idea that I knocked out about a year ago....
    And hell yeah, the Quadradeuce was a monster... I still have images rolling through my head of an all-wheel-drive shoebox that looks mid-50's period perfect on the outside...

    Attached Files:

  11. ray
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    ray Member

    an on and off project i'm working on is basically an AWD 50 chevy truck. it keeps getting pushed to the back burner when the weather turns nice, but maybe it'll be ready this winter. mine isn't a true AWD though, i used a 4wd chevy s-10 blazer frame and drivetrain. mine was kind of an offball from the factory, it was originally a 4.3 vortec backed by a NV3500 tranny instead of a T-5, and a push button transfer case. the NV3500 is the tranny used in full sized chevy trucks, a little stronger than the NWC t5, should live a little longer behind the 350 that i installed. and as for the push button transfer case, i went that route to not have another shift lever, and to keep things stealthy, i'm building this truck to be a winter beater, and a sleeper(sorta) i'll drive it most of the time in 2wd, but if i'm next to a ricer at a stoplight, all i have to do is push a button to engage the 4wd and have no traction problems for a little action.:D should be fun, it's gonna retain it's field fresh appearance so it should be a hoot to dust blinged out rice burners with a clapped out farm truck...well slightly customized farm truck, it's chopped 4" and is real low, only a couple of inches of ground clearance, still stock suspension up front, with the adjuster bolts for the torsion bars removed, and airbags in back to make it a taildragger yet maintain cargo capacity.
  12. squirrel
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    squirrel Member

    awd 56 chevy pickup? sure....

    [​IMG]

    It's even traditional

    (and it's not even really a 56)
  13. BOHICA
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    BOHICA Member

    If I go with a Bravada/Blazer, should I try and just use that vehicle's frame or keep mine? I'd rather keep mine, but I don't know if that would be of much advantage. Any ballpark guesses of how much this setup would cost? Being a student, I can't really afford to spend more than $2-3k on the truck's suspension.
  14. J Man
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    J Man Member

    If you find the right junkyard with a bravada hit in the back you should be able to get the whole chassis and cut it where you need to. You will have a better chance of finding AWD with the Bravada. You would want a S10 style one and not one of the newest styles. Also a lot of them had disc brake rear ends.
  15. 50dodge4x4
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    50dodge4x4 Member

    Just mount your cab on a Chevy 4x4 chassis. Really will be the cheapest way to go. If you insist on using your 455, get and adapter to the chevy trans in the 4x4 chassis. Since your truck is a 2wd, the front frame is different and the cross members will probably all be in the wrong place. Save your frame for when you get tired of the 4x4 and wished you never did it, then you can just swap you cab and stuff back on its original frame.
    Gene
  16. squirrel
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    squirrel Member

    easiest way to make a 55-59 chevy pickup into a 4x4 is to add a 60s front 4x4 axle, divorced transfer case, and rear lift blocks. Takes a little work on the drag link to mate the stock pittman arm to the 4x4 steering arm, and you're done.
  17. BOHICA
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    BOHICA Member

    Yeah, bravada's probably going to be the easiest for me to find. There's a lot of salvage yards around here, so hopefully they'll be fairly common. Definitely want that IFS.

    Just curious, but why do you guys think I want to turn my truck into a 4x4? I'm looking for a transfer case with a viscous coupling, not a geared one. :)
  18. squirrel
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    squirrel Member

    well...this IS a traditional hot rod forum, and there weren't no such things as viscous couplings way back when.
  19. BOHICA
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    BOHICA Member

    Gotcha. ;) I actually was thinking about making it 4WD, but I want to be able to keep it on all the time and use it to help me go around curves. Just want to do something different.
  20. Fresh469
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    Fresh469 Member

    i have heard that the bravada drivetrain is basically the same as a typhoon/syclone except that its not turbocharged....

    doesn't the q-duece use a typhoon/syclone front diff?

    i say drop your body onto a bravada chassis with the chassis lengthened/shortened as needed, put a shift kit in the 700r4 along with heavy duty bands and whatnot, get a BOP-Chevy bellhousing adaptor...

    i wonder if they make an ARB locker for the front end of a bravada? if so, they would be awesome.....unlock it for normal driveing, then push a button and lock it into TRUE AWD for racing
  21. BOHICA
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    BOHICA Member

    You're right on both accounts. All AWD systems on that chassis are the same as the Syclone/Typhoon. Speaking of turbocharging, I wondre what twin turbos would be like on the 455... :D
  22. squirrel
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    squirrel Member

    here's the 1969 version of that engine

    Attached Files:

  23. Fresh469
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    Fresh469 Member

    shit i wonder what twin turbos on the 4.3 in the bravada would be like :cool:

    they make lowering kits for 4x4 blazers, i would assume they would work on the bravadas....

    talk about a sleeper.....twin turbos, ARB locker up front, spool out back.....

    bye bye ricers :D
  24. 36couper
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    36couper Member

    Off topic but in the corporate world we used to use the term BOHICA.
    Bend Over Here It Comes Again.
  25. BOHICA
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    BOHICA Member

    Ooooh, that's an aluminum block, too, Squirrel. Dang, that would be nice.

    36couper, we use that term in the military, too.
  26. Relic Stew
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    Relic Stew Member

    Just get a couple of Olds Toronado 455's and transaxles. One under the hood, one in the bed.
  27. PBR Allstar
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    PBR Allstar Member

    This may be Biased since I manage an audi tuning shop, but how about An Audi Quattro driveline??? Six Speed gearbox, independent front and rear suspension, torque biasing center differential. I've wanted to drop an S4 driveline complete with the twin turbo V6 in an early falcon, valiant or nova for years now.
  28. BOHICA
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    BOHICA Member

    I like that idea, PBR, but do you think an Audi suspension can support the weight of a big block? Even if it would, I would probably have a hard time affording it. I have to take out a loan so I can finish the truck while I'm in school and save money, but I'm limiting myself to 10k to spend on the body, drivetrain, etc. So, unless you guys want to sponsor me... ;)
  29. repoman
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    repoman Member

    I think Relic has the right idea.

    Here's an AWD Olds powered ride. Wouldn't this be more fun than a rebodied Bravada??? Cheaper too.

    [​IMG]
  30. squirrel
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    squirrel Member

    It would damn sure sound and smell better.....tire life might be a bit troublesome though.

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