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TECH: 47-54 Chevy truck on S10 short bed frame WITHOUT shortening bed...

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by kustombuilder, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. so my buddy Dan Turner picked himself up a decent 51 Chevy project truck the other day. it was poorly subframed with a 73 Camaro subframe and sat a mile in the air. well since Dan likes em low (prolly why we get along so well :D ) i told him the only good way to go about it was to swap the F'ed up stock frame for an S10 unit. after i made a couple phone calls i located him a nice cherry S10 shortbed frame from my old pal Studeboy. this particular frame had already been blasted and primed so Dan was real excited about it and more than happy to shell over a hundred clams for it.
    well Dan does'nt intend to chop this one (i think he is still burned out from choppin his 54 Ford truck) so shortening the bed of the 51 to fit the shortbox S-dime frame was'nt gonna happen (in Dan's eyes it would have thrown the proportions off to have a stock roof and shortened bed and i agree.) so we tossed around ideas of how to go about lengthening the frame to fit the 51's wheelbase.
    as some of you may know a regular cab S10 LONG bed frame is just about the right wheelbase for this conversion but as you may also know GM did'nt make near as many long bed S-trucks as it did short bed versions. so what is a boy to do??? well like i said we were tossing around different ideas when Dan had an epiphany. why not move the rear suspension BACK on the frame?? we looked it over and discussed the 'whys' and 'why nots', took some measurements and decided that it could be done and would be a much better alternative to adding a section of channel into the length of the frame.
    well, ole Dan is a thinker and is'nt one to just start cutting shit apart till he's THUROUGHLY thought it over and slept on it a night or two and thats just what he did here. i immediately thought it was a wonderfuly clever plan and told him to call me when he decided to start cutting cause i wanted to get it all on film (or at least the little piece of plastic that has since replaced traditional film). so this morning he calls. "it's nice outside and i'm gonna get started". anticipating this i had borrowed my mom's digital camera (it's alot better than mine) so i got my shit together and got over to Dan's as quick as i could. he was damn near half done by the time i got there. the following pictures and captions tell the tale of how he moved the S10 rear suspension back 8 inches on the frame. this is the part where you actually need to pay attention:




    the difference in wheelbase is 8" so after leveling the frame on some stands and rolling the rearend and springs out from under the truck a framing square is used to mark the frame where the center of the front spring eye lines up to it. then you simply measure back 8" and make another line parallel to the first. this is where you want the center of the front spring eye to line up when your done.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    before you can move the front spring eye hanger you will have to torch, grind or otherwise remove the heads of the rivets that are used to hold the hanger on from the factory. once that is done you can move the hanger back, clamp it in place and make damn sure it's in the right spot before you weld it in place. you may decide you don't want to weld the hangers in place. if that is the case ou can also drill new holes in the frame that corrospond with the rivet holes in the hanger and use grade 8 bolts to attach the hanger to the frame. another thing to keep in mind is that you may have to take a grinder to the head of the rear most rivet for the gas tank crossmember on the bottom flange of the frame so the spring hanger will sit flat against the bottom of the frame.

    [​IMG]

    you clever viewers may have noticed that by sliding this hanger back (and consequently up) on the frame it will place the front spring eye higher up on the frame effectively lowering the rear suspension and slightly altering the pinion angle. the total difference in height ends up being 1 3/4" which we were not concerned with concidering this truck will probably end up with lowering blocks to lower it even further anyways. also, since the stock 2wd S-10 rearend is too narrow for this application it is being replaced with a Ford 9" which will have new perches welded to it at the appropriate angle. if you were going to use, say, the wider S10 4wd rearend and you were concerned with the pinion angle change you could very easily buy shims from a suspension shop (they are made in varying degrees) to adjust the pinion angle to your liking.


    now that that is done it's on to the rear shackle hanger:

    you can see in the pic how the S-10 has a bushing pressed into a piece that is welded right into the inside of the frame so what we decided to do was to cut off the rear of the frame just in front of this piece (which is 8" from the rear of the frame rail) and switch them from one side to the other, in turn moving the rear shackle position back the required 8".

    before you weld the frame ends to the opposite sides of the frame you need to reweld the edge of the shackle bushing boss where you cut through it while removing the end of the rail. after you weld it you'll need to grind it flat cause you'll be welding on to that end aswell. more on this later.

    [​IMG]

    a piece of angle iron clamped to the bottom of the frame and a straight edge on the verticle edge made sure that the piece ended up square and in line with the rest of the frame.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Dan then welded the ends of the frame back on inside and out. if your a nervous Nelly and think it needs to be stronger (we did'nt) you can grind the weld down on the outside of the rail and weld a "diamond" over the seam to strengthen it. or instead of that you could simply box the inside of the rail in that section making the rear of the frame VERY strong.

    with that done all your suspension mounting points have been succesfully moved rearward the required 8 inches. BUT WAIT! your not done yet. you see the shortbox S-truck frame is about a foot short of reaching the rear mount of the stock length 51 Chevy bed. whats a boy to do??? well Dan (a far cry from being a boy and 60 years old) dug through his pile of "good junk" and came out with a section of Ford van frame rail left over from when he made is chopped and louvered 54 Ford into a flat bed dually (for haulin stuff to the swap meets :D ) . the Van rail was about 1 3/8" too tall so Dan simply "sectioned" the piece of C-channel, cut two pieces at 12" long each, welded them together and then welded them to the rear of the frame and VIOLA! now the frame is long enough to catch the rear most mounts of the 51's box. he still needed to do some trimming on the flange but that'll have to wait till the sun comes up tommarow. nevertheless, i think you get the gist of it.
    by the way. if your one of those nervous types i mentioned earlier or you simply prefer to OVERbuild when it comes to structural stuff (nothin wrong with that... to a point) NOW would actually be a good time to box the inside of the frame at the rear. you could go with one boxing plate (on each side) from the rear cross member all the way to the rear of the frame . you will have to make a small cut out around the shackle bushing but it should be pretty straight forward and simple otherwise.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    another thing worth mentioning: as of the last time we talked about it Dan intends to use the stock S-10 rear shock mounts. at least the uppers but he will also have to move them rearward aswell. because of the location of the stock rear crossmember he won't be able to go back the full 8" but he should be able to get about 6" and that should be plenty. the rear of the upper shock mount will likely get trimmed off and that end will get welded to the rear crossmember.


    this whole thing took Dan less than 4 hours to complete and a good majority of that was "thinkin time". not bad concidering i kept getting in his way to take pictures.
     
  2. mazdaslam
    Joined: Sep 9, 2004
    Posts: 2,526

    mazdaslam
    Member

    Wow!! Very nice.That looks almost too easy,your friend is a genius.
     
  3. zimm
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 802

    zimm
    Member
    from iowa

    nicw work. hows he plan to mount the box?
    also any one knoe thw wheel base of a exta cab s-10 and what has to be done there?
     
  4. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 14,572

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    looks good.. be sure to get back over there with your camera when he sets up the bed... then again when he does the front sheetmetal. I'd like to see the whole process...
     
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  5. Right on,great Tech article.
    Keep us posted o the "thinkin mans build"......Shiny
     

  6. not sure what he has in mind for the box yet. he's prolly still thinkin about it.

    as for the wheelbase on the E-cab S10. it's a bit long. Danimal just shortened one that he bought from me to put under his son's 54 Chevy truck. i forget how much but i think he posted on it. do a search and see what ya find. it's not too bad of a job because you can cut it apart at the factory seam (where the rails are attached to the front sub), shorten it and then weld it back together in the factory location. if your a decent welder it should be just as good as new. make sure you keep it straight though.
     
  7. Lugnutz
    Joined: Nov 21, 2006
    Posts: 56

    Lugnutz
    Member

    Thanks. This was a great writeup and the pictures are fantastic. With stuff like this on here, maybe even a rookie like me can learn to do it.
     

  8. if you take your time, THINK about what is going on and measure measure measure you shuold be just fine. don't get impatient. thats when stuff gets F'ed up.
     
  9. RodLand
    Joined: Dec 19, 2005
    Posts: 369

    RodLand
    Member

    Now that is serious Hot Rodding! Great tec. also.

    What did the rear end come out of, or how wide is it backing plate to plate?
     
  10. not sure on the rear. he picked it up at the local scrap yard for 50 bones.
     
  11. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,097

    Danimal
    Member

    Mike, you didn't tell me we had to be decent welders to do this. Good thing I let Courtland do that part, I suck.

    Anyway, X cab I cut 5 1/2" out of it at the stock location. I posted some shots a while back but we went ahead and made a big lap joint out of the outside of the rail by not cutting that section and then bending it out and back over the frame. Weld is now 5 1/2" on top, 5 1/2" on bottom, and then stock over the frame top and down the side. Wheel base is almost 116" which was the goal. To square it off I measured from the top of the riveted plate near the A arms back to the spring mount at 92" I believe. Then across and over and under and back and forth and level and then tacked then measured then measured then welded then measured. Body if fully on it now and at stock S10 height, front fenders are about 8" off the ground, the rears are about 12 but we haven't dropped the bed yet. We're going to split the difference at 10" then cut a coil and eventually dropped spindles and/or bags when we grow up.

    Nice tech! I'm trying to score a short bed from a yuck down the street who rolled it. He keeps going back and forth on selling it. Maybe I'll get Aaron51 to go over with me. Power in numbers...
     
  12. zimm
    Joined: Jan 22, 2006
    Posts: 802

    zimm
    Member
    from iowa

    hey thanks for the info i was thinking of just an s-10 clip on stock frame but this almost looks easier
     


  13. almost NOTHIN. i'd bet money it's easier and your alot less likely to screw somethin up this way too.



    we played around with it for a bit today and got the bed where we want it. it turns out the 12" we added to the rear of the frame was about 3" more than we needed so Dan trimmed it off so we could drop the bed down a little more than where it was at first. the bed ends up 3" higher (in relation to the cab) than it did on the stock frame. to compensate for this the rear fenders need to be lower the same amount in order to line up with the running boards. we played around a bit before we decided on 3". we went 4" at first but the gap between the top of the fender and the bed rail seemed a bit much. so we lowered the bed an inch and raised the fender back up the same amount and we all agreed it looked best at that height.
    to us the bed seemed a bit low in it's stock configuration anyways. you just see too much of the back of the cab below the rear window. raising the bed 3" makes the proportions a bit more pleasing to the eye. besides, if you did'nt raise the bed a couple inches the S-10 frame would encroach on your already limited space inside the bed.

    the whole thing needs to come much lower to the ground but i think you can get the idea from the following pics:

    bed raised 4", fender in stock location on bed:
    [​IMG]

    bed raised 4", fender lowered 4":
    [​IMG]

    bed raised 3", fender lower 3":
    [​IMG]


    it should be mentioned just for clarification that by lowering the fenders on the bed side the same amount as the bed is raised we are effectively putting the fender back where it is suppose to be in relation to everything else (running boards, the ground, etc.).
     
  14. mazdaslam
    Joined: Sep 9, 2004
    Posts: 2,526

    mazdaslam
    Member

    Looks great so far.Do you have any shots of how he mounted the cab and the rad support?
     
  15. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,097

    Danimal
    Member

    Yeah, go on about the radiator support? I'm starting that area right now and it looks like the steering box is going to be a pain in the ass. It is right there and with the frame sitting on 3 2x4s for height, it looks like I'll eat 1/2 of my radiator. What do you suggest? Also, how tight to the firewall are you putting the dizzy? We haven't sorted that out yet but I'm going to kick this yahoo down the street to get his beater truck for a mock up engine and trans. Looks like I've got about 37" from the firewall to the edge of the hood latch panel.

    I haven't done anything about inner fenderwells yet, either. That is still on my list of things to do...

    By the way, the 54 is a little tougher to move the fender around only because the bed has that raised panel on the inside that shows where it is supposed to be.

    How far below the ridge line on the cab is the top of Dan's bed now?
     
  16. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,097

    Danimal
    Member

    More questions: Your frame doesn't look level under the cab. Is that just an illusion or is that what is happening? I leveled mine there and then started the mounting of the cab and bed.

    How far from the ground is the front edge of your rear fender? Mine is ending up at about 14" at stock height so I want to look at dropping the bed 2 and the fender 2 or something like that.

    Have you put the front fenders on to compare to the running boards yet?
     
  17. AAAAAAHHHHHHH!!! :eek: too many questions. head. hurting. gears. grinding. smoke pouring out of ears!!!!! :rolleyes:


    ok, lets see what i can tell ya....


    we did some measureing and thinking about the rad support. no offense to Clark but i don't like how he mounted the front of his front fenders or the rad. what Dan is thinking so far is maybe running a cross flow radiator perhaps from an S10 even. it would be able to sit above the frame (and the steering box) and should'nt come up too high either. we would have to trim the front of the inner fenders off though and protect the ends of the radiator from stones thrown up by the front wheels. basicly we'd have to modify the front of the inner wheel houses to both clear and protect the cross flow type radiator.
    we pretty much decided that Dan is gonna just have to start putting stuff in place and figure it out as he goes.
    another option would be to have your radiator and the rad support "sectioned" the required amount to allow it to mount above the steering box. your probably talking about taking 4" of your radiator's height that way. i think it would look best but would probably be the most costly way to go and it will likely effect cooling to some extent (though i'm not sure if it would be a detrimental amount or not). i'm thinking perhaps having a custom alluminum rad built to fit into the sectioned rad support. it's a thought anyways.

    as for the leveling thing. the body is not yet mounted. Dan ran out of welding gas and had to borrow my cylinder to finish the rear of the frame the other night so it'll be at the least a few days before he gets back on it. everything is just temporarily set up on wood blocks just to get an idea of where he wanted everything mounted. now that it is basicly figured out (other than the front clip) he can start building mounts and getting things EXACTLY where they need to be.
    we were checking things out and the way it sits in the pics there is an 1/8" difference from the front of the cab to the back in relation to it's height off the frame. so no, it's not exactly level right now. he needs to mount the front fenders in order to insure that the cab is mounted in exactly the right place by centering the wheels in the fender openings.

    we did hold the running boards up in place to see how things where gonna look but i don't remember how high off the ground anything was at this point. it'll be slammed when it's done. thats just how Dan rolls and i'm glad :D .

    we did take some rough measurements for the motor too. the motor mounts will prolly sit back about 4" from where the 4.3 V6 motor mounts are on this frame. that should put the dizzy fairly close to the firewall but not too close. look at Clark's tech piece. i believe he moved the motor back 4" and the HEI dizzy is real close to the firewall but i believe he has a smooth firewall (no recess like the stock firewall) so a 4" set back should yield you PLENTY of room at the firewall. keep in mind you need to have room for a fan on the front of the motor. Clark ran a big fat electric fan but it looks to me like there is room for an engine driven fan if you prefer (and i do).


    any other questions???? i think my carpal tunnel is acting up from all this typing. no i'm not joking!!
     
  18. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,097

    Danimal
    Member

    You've done a hell of a job explaining. Clark's post is great but because I came along 2 years too late I don't have the ability to bug the heck out of him like I do with you right now!

    I know about running out of gas, mine died on Wednesday and I planned a thrash fest this weekend to get the floor up to snuff and the body mounts put together but the Airgas in Adrian, MI was closed for the holiday! I bummed my neighbors tank just to cut off a few things but I couldn't go fetch the backing for the MIG like I had planned. More mocking tomorrow, I suspect. I'm going to push for the S10 complete so I can shoot for the rad as well.
     
  19. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 5,036

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    You guys are doin some slick shit here...no bullshit. I'd like to throw a couple things at ya's if ya don't mind. He's gonna slam it so the front wheels will need to go forward just a bit...maybe1/2 to 3/4". This will offset the "overbite" that many slammed rides tend to have. That might be handled with the cab placement. I'm sure you kinda figured that in. 2nd, think about raisin the rear fender up just a bit more to close the fender/rail relationship. I see what you wanna do and I agree, but how can we "whatever"? In the stock location there's about a 2 1/2-3" gap between the boards and the door bottom. If you lose that it looks lower. Normally this means a channel and a sectioned hood. However, if you maybe section the front fender just a bit...ya know, cheat it some, you'll get back what you wanted and keep the bed closer to the beltline. And I totally agree, they look waaayyy better that way. Once again you guys are doin some fine work there. Really awesome you sharin on here like this. If I'm outta line with these ideas I won't be offended if you tell me to fuck off.:D
     
  20. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,097

    Danimal
    Member

    Highlander, I know you've got one of these trucks so instead of fucking off, why not come out and play. We are all within 2 hours of each other so we can fight in the parking lot if we disagree but I like your points. I think it wouldn't be a bad thing to shorten the bottom of the front fenders to cheat up the boards and then I don't have to drop the rear fenders so much...something to think about.

    I didn't know about the overbite thing either, that might make a difference as I slid the cab forward an inch today and I liked it better back but it wasn't centered.

    Super tech, Mike. Keep rolling through the carpal tunnel...
     
  21. 40Chevrolet
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 17

    40Chevrolet
    Member
    from WV

    This is an awsome post! I only wish you were doing a 40 like mine. Thanks for all the tips and great pictures.
     

  22. yer not out of line but FUCK OFF anyways!!! :D HA HA HA. you asked for it.

    i like your idea about raising the running boards. never though of that. it would effectively shorten the overall height of the body. pretty slick thinkin there. i'll run it by Dan but if he does'nt do it to his maybe i'll do it to mine.
    everything Dan builds is slammed so i'm sure he has put the necesary thought into how to compensate for any movement of the wheels front or back.

    and yeah, what Dan said. you should come hang out. Sephgato was gonna come back over here today but he got sick so it was just me and Pinball. we had a pretty busy day though. just came in from the garage at 11:30pm. been at it since 11am on one thing or another.
     
  23. Gambino_Kustoms
    Joined: Oct 14, 2005
    Posts: 6,560

    Gambino_Kustoms
    Alliance Vendor

  24. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 5,036

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    "yer not out of line but FUCK OFF anyways!!! :D HA HA HA. you asked for it."

    You know, it comments like this...that make me feel like I'm there! I appreciate the sentiment. If shit like this keeps up there's liable to be a renegade group of ADs pilaging S.E. Mich one of these days. I'm looking for a weekend to get hooked up with you guys. Danimal's got some stuff I wanna fuck with to get some other ideas outta my head. That in itself is a big job...gettin shit outta my head! Anyways thanks again.
     
  25. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,097

    Danimal
    Member

    Maybe next year we can DELIVER all of those HAMB calendars with our post office approved ADs.

    I suspect the neighborhood will hear us coming...
     

  26. that would be cool. i can't wait to get my shit on the road. it's been too many summer's without an old car to drive. i'm hoping to have the car and the truck at least driveable by spring or early summer. i just gotta keep pluggin away at em.




    it's the weekend right now, what the hold up???? i hear ya though. i've got so much shit goin on in my head i have'nt had a decent nights sleep since i don't know when.


    BTW what the hell are you guys doin up so friggin early on a Sunday??? it's almost noon and i still have'nt got all the crusties out of my eyes yet. ofcourse i was up watching MFS3 till 2:30am.
     
  27. PurplePearl50
    Joined: Aug 1, 2007
    Posts: 816

    PurplePearl50
    Member
    from Sedalia,Mo

    any new pics on this truck after you have the been and stuff on? im gettin ready to build 2 48s one for my dad and one for me..got two short bed frames and i plan on doing it like you have done for both. i plan on getting my truck down pretty low. how low will you all go on this one?
     
  28. ....you guys are doin a nice job, I think as you mock up the bed and rear fender you should have a rim/tire mounted up close to the actual size you will run; it mite give you a better visual. The ones on there look small...? Just my 2 cents.
    ..keep us updated on your progress.
     
  29. 16grem72
    Joined: Feb 20, 2007
    Posts: 63

    16grem72
    Member

    Good job so far. Only thing i see that might cause a problem is the back part of the frame. i would do some major bracing between the uncut frame and the the piece that the spring hanger is on. I would trust a weld to hold everything solid.
     
  30. Danimal
    Joined: Apr 23, 2006
    Posts: 4,097

    Danimal
    Member

    I don't know how low Dan/Mike's ended up but he sold it last summer, I think. We've just got the drivetrain in my son, Courtland's, truck this month. We set the body about 5" above the frame rail from the rail to the bottom of the floor. 4" is too far back, we can't get the dizzy out without jacking up the trans and the right hand valve cover just touches the firewall. We're pulling it forward this week about an inch. With a 327 and a 5 speed we put 4" lowering blocks in the rear and we are at 7" +/- from the bottom of the fender edge to the ground.

    We picked up a 4x4 rear end this weekend but we need either deeper offset rims or spacers because the G78-15s on chrome steelies are touching tire on the bed sides. We dropped the bed 2" using angle iron and a couple of square tubing cross members.

    I agree about a cross member there. I need to get some measurements because I'm looking at getting a Blazer gas tank and cross mounts from our local yard. I think it will work out better back there and we can run it all up inside the frame and have our dual exhaust tucked into the frame as well.

    Eventually, we'll probably 4 link and bag it but for now, it looks pretty ok. There are some pictures on my Danimal_9395 photobucket album under Courts 54 Chevy Truck. Hope to have running boards on this weekend.
     

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