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55 Chevy 150 on G body floor and chassis

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by WV junkman, Apr 15, 2012.

  1. WV junkman
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 28

    WV junkman
    Member

    I have a pretty rough 55 Chevy it is fixable but I don't have much budget. I do have a idea and although it may be alot of work, it wont be alot of money.I have a 80 Chevy Malibu it has a great frame and pretty good floor pans.The wheel base is 7'' shorter than the 55 but the track width is the same in front and narrower in the rear. The fire wall is going to need set back and the trunk may give a little fight as well. I have just about worn out a tape measure just figuring. Anyone done this or have a good reason why I should not?
     
  2. Duration
    Joined: Oct 2, 2006
    Posts: 543

    Duration
    Member
    from Wayne, MI

    its been done but its a lot of work if your 55 doesn't need a new frame. you have to stratch and box the g body frame and do a lot of welding. tri 5 chevys twist like pretzels once their floor and or rockers are compromised so keeping the body straight during the surgery is tricky. if you don't have a host of skills and quality shop equipment there is no way this can come out as a reasonable budget solution.
     
  3. 49ratfink
    Joined: Feb 8, 2004
    Posts: 18,036

    49ratfink
    Member
    from California

    this is only a good idea if you have no frame or floor in your 55.

    no I take that back. even then it is not a good idea.
     
  4. JAWS
    Joined: Jul 22, 2005
    Posts: 1,846

    JAWS
    Member

    Keep the 55 on the oem frame if it's solid. If not you could clip it with the malibu's. Swap the diff if your oem one is gone too. Dontate the motor and trans to the 55, wiring? brake master and prop valve, maybe salvage the lines.....I dunno.

    I agree with the above about tri 5's twisting up if not braced. Rusty floors is easier to patch with the car on it's original frame.

    MY $0.02 spent
     

  5. I personally see no way of it coming out as good as you would like. But thats just my opinion. If its fixable, just wait until you can do it the right way.
     
  6. biscaynes
    Joined: Mar 16, 2008
    Posts: 1,648

    biscaynes
    Member

    you explained in your post why it's not a good idea. save your allowance ;) and do it right, buy the correct '55 parts. they're all repro'd, car is much more with stock sheetmetal.
    tough sell the day you want to get rid of it.
     
  7. WV junkman
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 28

    WV junkman
    Member

    I respect your thoughts and appreciate you responding but I have priced the parts I need just to get her rolling around and its not gonna be cheap.I. don't want to be one of those people that has a old car that has to tell everyone ( I'm gonna fix that car one of these days so its not for sale) I do realize it won't be worth as much as an original but if I don't have much in it and it sold I may profit more. I will post some pics and you can see what I'm starting with.
     
  8. GaryB
    Joined: Dec 19, 2008
    Posts: 3,529

    GaryB
    Member
    from Reno,nv

    pics would be a good idea,swap not so much
     
  9. Edelbroke
    Joined: Dec 12, 2008
    Posts: 770

    Edelbroke
    BANNED

    I would say anything can be done. If your set on transplanting the body I would start with a donor that at least has the same wheel base as the 55. It's one less major hurtle after the floor work is done. Is the frame good on the 55? Lets say it is, if your floor is toast including the floor braces I think it would be easier make a new floor in the 55. If you can't buy the correct parts you could use rectangle tube for floor braces and sheet metal or aluminum like a drag car for a floor. Inner and outer rockers for the 55 are fairly inexpensive and you'll need good ones whichever route you chose as you'll need to tie the floor into the rocker panel area. Post some pictures of your 55.
     
  10. badshifter
    Joined: Apr 28, 2006
    Posts: 3,324

    badshifter
    Member

    Yes. In the time it takes you to complete a proper swap, (not that there is a proper 55/G body swap possible) and I mean complete every part of it, you could be saving your money and watching diligently for another chassis to come up for sale. And it will happen if you are patient. The 55 you have may be rough, but it will be scrap once you cut it up for a chassis/floor pan swap.
     
  11. WV junkman
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 28

    WV junkman
    Member

    Well I'm personally not afraid of a challenge, or some work to get what I want. So I read all of your replies and decided to dive in.
     
  12. flatheadpete
    Joined: Oct 29, 2003
    Posts: 10,124

    flatheadpete
    Member
    from Burton, MI

  13. slammed
    Joined: Jun 10, 2004
    Posts: 8,151

    slammed
    Member

    The suspension need rebuilt on the '80? The gains (or savings$) are offset by the tremendous amount of fabrication involved. What style of car will this be when it's done?
     
  14. WV junkman
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 28

    WV junkman
    Member

    The car is going to have the appearance of an old gasser. Just won't ride and drive like one. The suspension was rebuilt on '80 buy previous owner.
     
  15. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    young'n'poor
    Member
    from Anoka. MN

    Why not sell the Malibu and use the money towards fixing the 55?
     
  16. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    young'n'poor
    Member
    from Anoka. MN

    Or if you like g bodies so much sell the 55 to someone here...
     
  17. WV junkman
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 28

    WV junkman
    Member

    What happened to the idea of taking what you can gather up ,put it together and enjoy it. That is what I thought traditional hot rodding was. Everyone seems to want to spend thousands of dollars on all brand new parts that may or may not fit properly. One thing is for sure, I have learned here criticism is much easier to get than useable advice.
     
  18. HamD
    Joined: Mar 3, 2011
    Posts: 298

    HamD
    Member

    On the bright side, the suspension of the 78-88 is better than the Tri-5, stock for stock.

    If you're not going with cubic dollars in your build and buying aftermarket crap, you may be better off with the newer frame.

    But, I'm funny about swapping stuff in that I wouldn't modify the body for it; I'd put all the mods to the frame.

    Good luck and sorry for the negative vibes. You've got a lot of work ahead.
     
  19. WV junkman
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 28

    WV junkman
    Member

    By the way my '55 shell has been sitting on My g body floor since April 30. I was pretty surprised at how well it fit. I do have a lot of work ahead of me but I will make it safe and it will work.
     
  20. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

    Damn West Virginians... oh wait.
     
  21. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,906

    need louvers ?
    Member


    The deal is this, It's not that everybody wants to criticize you, it's that most of us have tried things like you are wanting to do and ended up working twice as hard for a less than stellar result. As far as this being traditional rodding, (using what you have and such) two things occure to me. Yes, on one hand it was, but "back in the day" people built '55 Chevys because they were cheap! These days that isn't the case. Nobody wants to have to come along in a year or two and try to repair this thing when "a simple frame swap" reveals it's monsterous amount of work they actually are. The other thing about the statement traditional rodding is that we for the most part MEAN TRADITIONAL RODDING. Were talking build styles using nothing but parts from before '64, and I mean nothing else.

    Now my personal opinion is that if I had a rusty floored but solid outer shell of a '55 Chev, and a G body with clean floor pans, I'd do a bunch of measuring, then dig in for the long haul. I have looked at this as a possiblity for cars that were too far gone for conventional methods of resto. And, in my opinion, the "G" body cars were about the best handling of the rear wheel drive Chevy products. That's just me. BUT, I would go into this with the knowledge (and that's 35 years of this crap now) of how freakin' much work I will be doing to make it go together. It isn't going to be simple to do it correctly.

    If you do a quick search, you'll find a similar deal on a Caprice frame that goes on for about 12 or 13 pages before he abandoned the whole deal. Good luck with how ever you decide to do this.
     
  22. young'n'poor
    Joined: Jan 26, 2006
    Posts: 1,280

    young'n'poor
    Member
    from Anoka. MN

    I have nothing against you personally and wasn't attacking you. A frame swap is a pain in the ass and in the end 9 out of 10 guys quit and el polacko or someone else has to step in and fix these monsters. It's your car and you can do whatever you want. Hopefully you will complete it and be happy with the results. It won't be a traditional hot rod or custom.
     
  23. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,006

    koolkemp
    Member

    Lots of work but sometimes its the only way to save a rusty parts car...that being said its harder to find a g body around here than to find a rusty project car! I would have cut up a g body frame for my 47 Ford but I couldnt even find a parts car with a salvagable frame, I would have had to buy a solid car to cut up and they arent cheap here in the rust belt..dont worry about resale value if the car is a keeper, just build it and enjoy it! Lets see some pics!
     
  24. 1971BB427
    Joined: Mar 6, 2010
    Posts: 6,688

    1971BB427
    Member
    from Oregon

    I wouldn't compare a complete GM engineered frame swap to the kind of abortions that people assemble and later have to be fixed by good builders.
    A complete frame swap is lots of work, but it does give the advantage of having everything modern, matching, and engineered to work together. Not a bad idea when you have spent hours and days trying to figure out what the heck that master cylinder, brakes, or etc. some previous owner used, and why it doesn't stop or handle well.
    Considering it's on the frame now, I'd enjoy seeing those pictures of the car and how it's coming along now.
     
  25. specialk
    Joined: Sep 28, 2005
    Posts: 598

    specialk
    Member

    It's possible to buy a 55 parts car for $500+/-, take that frame, stick it under yours and be done.
     
  26. drptop70ss
    Joined: May 31, 2010
    Posts: 1,173

    drptop70ss
    Member
    from NY

    I see no gains swapping the frame, a tri five suspension works just fine, same design as the G body. I would upgrade to disk brakes and quicker steering, easy bolt on stuff. I pro streeted my 55 210 in the early 90s, got sick of it and picked up a 55 parts car with a good frame for $600 to undo it. Donors are not hard to find and you can use all the parts already out there to restore your car, once you swap the chassis things like floor pans and braces are not going to work without changes.
     
  27. chopped
    Joined: Dec 9, 2004
    Posts: 2,047

    chopped
    Member

    My take on this is that you haven't learned anything. If you want a lot of "yes men" look elsewhere.
     
  28. WV junkman
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 28

    WV junkman
    Member

    My car was that parts car for someone. When I picked up my car there was no frame. It was on blocks high enough to roll the frame out. The only reason I got the car is I have always wanted one and got this one for almost nothing. At least I'm trying to repair the car and not scrap it.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2012
  29. WV junkman
    Joined: Jun 16, 2011
    Posts: 28

    WV junkman
    Member

    I've learned plenty. And I'm not looking for yes men. I simply asked if anyone had a good reason why I shouldn't do the swap. I read all replies and didn't personally think that any was enough to change my mind. I do appreciate all replies negative or not.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2012
  30. TrioxinKustoms
    Joined: Oct 16, 2009
    Posts: 551

    TrioxinKustoms
    Member
    from Romney, WV

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