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Technical 1954 Chevrolet truck to 1970 Chevrolet truck frame swap

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Sqeaky Hinge, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. Sqeaky Hinge
    Joined: Oct 10, 2011
    Posts: 303

    Sqeaky Hinge

    I have a 1954 Chevrolet 3600 3/4 ton longbed truck , I want to make it a 1/2 ton shortbed truck , I already have a short box bed , and I also have a 1970 1/2 ton short box frame , the question is , how hard is it to make the change to make the '54 body fit the '70 frame , I know there is some fabrication to do with the cab mounts , but is the wheel base the same from center to center of the wheels , meaning , is the width of the frame too wide for the '54? any info on this will be greatly appreciated, but , if your just gonna bust me out about a frame swap from the original , then please do not comment...that being said , thanks in advance!!!
  2. Sqeaky Hinge
    Joined: Oct 10, 2011
    Posts: 303

    Sqeaky Hinge

    this is the truck...

    Attached Files:

  3. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,229

    from California

  4. I think you might find it is too wide. Unless you find some older Eldorado wheels I've heard.

  5. junkyardjeff
    Joined: Jul 23, 2005
    Posts: 8,233


    Just find you a correct 54 short bed frame and start from there,I have seen a couple on the 67 to 72 frames but the suspension is too wide in my opinion to look right.
  6. 33sporttruck
    Joined: Jun 5, 2012
    Posts: 532


    Shorten the 54 frame, then upgrade the suspension to satisfy your needs................. Jeff
    volvobrynk likes this.
  7. I feel this is the best way also ^^^^
    33sporttruck likes this.
  8. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,937


    The track width will be about 5" too wide. Waste of time, and the ruin of a perfectly good truck.
    You can find the 1/2-ton frame out there.

    Or, you could cut the rivets and move the spring hangers forward to the correct wheelbase for the short-bed, and reattach. After that, you have a shortbed truck, with a stout frame, which you can hang upgraded suspension on.

    The only way that you are going to get us to not comment on the veracity of your proposal, would be to not post it, at-all.

    What you want to do is not a good idea. If you want me to hold back in telling you that, don't post.
    33sporttruck and Model T1 like this.
  9. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620


    Unless you are planning to widen the front fenders 2.5 inches each, it won't look right. And perhaps some hybrid of the 54 and 70 beds, also to get the wheels tucked in.
  10. BamaMav
    Joined: Jun 19, 2011
    Posts: 5,490

    from Berry, AL

    If you are dead set on changing frames, the S-10 is a much better fit. There is even a company that sells bolt on brackets to make the conversion. A fiend of mine is in the middle of doing one of these with the kit. Everything looks pretty sturdy.

    Or like was said, either get an original short bed frame, or shorten the one you have now. The later model GM trucks are way wider than yours and will never look right.
  11. Well, I read the original post earlier today and didn't comment but I see others have posted pretty much what I was going to post so I may as well pile on. That swap ain't gonna work very well. As others mentioned the track width is too wide.

    On the positive side, You have a heavy duty frame underneath, why not find a '54 era 1/2 ton front axle and a rear axle the right width and put it together? It will be a lot easier and you will end up with something a lot nicer. For the short wheelbase, get a tape measure out and figure out if you can move the rear axle spring mounts forward or if you have the fab skills, cut a section out of the frame in the back of the cab and weld it back together. This should get you what you need and you can have it driving in a couple of days instead of a couple of years.
    volvobrynk and 33sporttruck like this.
  12. anthony myrick
    Joined: Sep 4, 2009
    Posts: 10,067

    anthony myrick

    I friend of mine did that swap years ago and it looked horrible!!!! the track width is way to wide and sits way to high for my taste, your taste may be different. S10 works much better, if you want measurements for shortening your stock frame I have both long and short frames and beds. There are a lot of stock frames on craigslist around due to the amount of s10 swaps. anyway good luck
    33sporttruck likes this.
  13. PKap
    Joined: Jan 5, 2011
    Posts: 593

    from Alberta

    Like the other posts, I would not recommend this. The S10 frame is a better fit, and stock frame is not that hard to shorten.
    My truck has a widened 2 ton nose and flat deck dually, so I did the swap. For me it was the best way to drop my truck down over a foot, and I did not want a pick up.
    If you still do the swap, things to think about;
    The steering in the stock location of the cab comes out right behind the left head on the later frame. You will need a few u joints or a steer clear.
    The later frame has a bend under the cab, you will need to modify the floor or mount it high.
    The frame is longer in front of the front suspension than the original frame. The stock rad support will be in front of the grill, and quite a bit of modifying will be needed.
    The track width is 5" too wide. You will either need to run front wheel drive ( no offset) wheels, widen your fenders, or widen the entire cab.
    In addition to this list, the wheel base is still not the same as the AD truck. You will still need to adjust your box length or the suspension.
    Good luck

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  14. 302aod
    Joined: Dec 19, 2011
    Posts: 275

    from Pelham,Tn.

    I don't know anything about Chevys, but I went from a 64 F100 to a shortened 87 F150 frame and would never swap frames to a different year ever again.
  15. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,868


    It would work a whole lot better to shorten the frame you have 9-1/4 inches and put a notch in the frame over the rear axle if you want to lower it very much. A Mustang II style or Jag XJ front suspension will get it down in front (Jag costs about 400 complete in most areas if you can find them) and a mid 70's Camaro rear end. would get the job done.
    This poor AD truck is sitting at a Car lot in Union Gap Wa where it has been sitting for over a year. It has the frame you are asking about under it. And is pretty much a cobbled up mess.
    That photo shows why the guys who said don't do it said don't do it.
    Saxman and 33sporttruck like this.
  16. bald_and_grumpy
    Joined: Mar 13, 2010
    Posts: 117


    I would keep it as a 3/4 ton long bed. That's a pretty neat looking truck.
  17. gimpyshotrods
    Joined: May 20, 2009
    Posts: 19,937


    Yeah I'm not really seeing a "problem" with it.
  18. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 7,273

    from Oregon

    Everybody has a short bed early 50's Chevy truck! Your truck with the long bed would be so unique by just dropping it a little, and maybe removing some leafs to make it ride better. Long and low would be so cool!

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