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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
does anyone know how big a job or if it is possible to change a 2wd pickup to a 4wd pickup by stealing the running gear from a 4wd truck on my 79 chevy half ton?

the transmission has given up (automatic) and would like to swap it to a stick and if it is possible id like to change the front, rear axle and add the transfer case. anyone have any ideas, tips, or suggetions?

thanx
keep
 

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its a big PITA

cheaper to just buy a 4x4

if your particularly attached to the body it would be easier to swap bodies than make a 2wd a 4x4.

JMO
 

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Being your truck is old, and the parts are a dime a dozen it won't be that hard.

The driveshaft might be shorter in the back. Got to cut floor for t case shifter.

If you truck has leaf springs in front the job will be easy, if not, then you're talking welding shackles to the frame, and they must be right. This is where Ratlover is correct on the frame swap also.

I think time and dollar ratio would be better to swap the frame out also, or at least cut the front off and put a new front frame in.
 

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Your best bet is to find a 4wd frame intact; this can be a K10, K20, or a K30 srw. Get a frame (4wd) that has front and rear axels, all drive shafts, transfer case, and a transmission. It is much easer to change a cab and bed. The frame for a 2wd and a 4wd are different. The suspension on a 2wd frame is mounted different than that of a 4wd, there is a lot of cutting and welding to change it over. Have seen it done and it is not worth all the work. IMO


Tileman
 

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http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/robsK35.html

You can see some of what is involved here.....

I have always recommended finding a good 4wd chassis, and going that route. I think I know these trucks pretty well, and I would never attempt to swap in a front end from a 4wd into a 2wd. Too much work, and just not worth it. Find a nice rust bucket for a couple of hundred and you will be all set to start the swap.

Here's another link...

http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/2wdto4wd.html

~Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanx guys,
that helps, but my problem is that i live in maine. if the cabs rusted out, then most likely, the frame is too.

my thoughts are that maybe ill get lucky and find one in a junkyard... not always easy to find one in good shape around here.

anyways, thanks a lot,
keep
 

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If the cab and bed on your truck are good save them and use them on a 4wd frame.

A cab and bed swap are not to hard at all.


Tileman
 

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Chuck I read all 8 pages, Does Rob have more?

Anyhow, where is Rob, haven't seen him for a long time.
 

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Rob stopped sending pics.... Last I heard he had a promotion at work, and was putting in more hours, and a new lady in his life that he was going to marry. I seem to recall he said that he finished the conversion, but never sent more pics. I have not heard from him in about 6 months or more.

~Chuck
 

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Keep, I've got an early 80s frame for a K2500 camper special. Axles are there, 10 bolt front and 14 bolt SF rear. Frame is sound but the cab is rotten. No engine tranny or t-case but both driveshafts. PM me if you're interested and we can work something out.
 

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2wd to 4wd

It's a really big job. I have just recently done just what you are thinking about. I took a 78 3/4ton 4x4 regular cab and transfered all suspension to a 79 3+3 2wd. Not one hole lined up. Had to drill about 90 holes, not to mention removing all rivots. had a few problems with clutch pivot point, frame was really different there, but a little fab work and everything is fine. Had to shorten drive shaft from 2wd. Shock mounts in the rear are different. Outside on the 4x4 and inside on the 2wd, just rewelded the perches on the axle. MUST USE 4X4 REAR AXLE Width of spring mount on rear axle are 3 1/2inches wider on the 4x4. Lots of carefull measuring when placing the suspension, little errors here could cause huge problems later
 

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Hey keep,welcome to the site,it nice to see a fellow Mainer come on board,there are a few of us here,Plow Dak,****,ATGreen,Nben,and a few others,enjoy:D :drinkup :drinkup
 

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2wd to 4wd

I haven't done the swap myself, but have considered it... I in turn bought a 4wd to swap my cab and box onto duw to the extensive work needed to convert a 2wd to a 4wd... The best way to learn this is to consult a body shop about the differences, like I did...
 

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Iceman8741,
Welcome to SC.com! I didn't see capnkel post saying he is a chevy expert anywhere, so your comment is really curious to me. His only post in this thread was welcoming a new member who lives in his state. Why the questioning of his qualifications to post in this thread? The same could be posted of you as you stated it was too extensive a job to do & you need to consult a body shop to know about this subject. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thankyou for all your imput guys. at this point i am hoping that with a summer job around the corner i will be able to afford and find a 4x4, preferably a 3/4 to 1 ton that i can do a body swap with, and use one of my 305's in should it not have a good engine. anyways, all this is based on money, so the money will be the limiting factor.
 

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Sorry BRL, and actaully capnkel. But as you can tell, I'm still very new at this and I was only kidding... If it was meant as an insult, then I would have made it a lot more insulting with a lot more excalation marks... Thanks for pointing that out... I've been thinking about how that would have sounded, and now I know... I'll try and think a lot more before I type something... Again thanks for the opinion... :):) :D
 

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Keep.. It would be a lot better/cheaper to find a 1/2 to 3/4 ton and convert it to 1 ton... Actually 3/4 ton would be best seeing that it should already have the 14 bolt FF rear, like the one that I have and the one that I just got... I fluked out with the one that I just got because it is suppose to only be a 3/4 ton, but the guy swaped in a Dana 60 front... So I now have a 1 ton 4x4, SM465, NP205, 14 FF rear, for only $600 CAN... lol
 

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:) I know how you feel Keep.. I bought this parts truck only on the fact that the previous owner thought that the truck was only a 3/4 ton... Well seeing that I now have a family, my budget is slim to nothing, maybe $100 or so per check... So I could not pass up the deal.. The wife knows the value of the deal now, so she is behind me all the way.. :) If I were you keep... Find a 1/2 to 3/4 ton 4x4 and convert it to 3/4 ton to 1 ton... It's a lot cheaper...Trust me.. I have a 3/4 ton 2wd and a 1/2 2wd... There is "a lot" of differences between the 4x4 and 4x2... A lot nore than what I even knew..... I thought that I knew a lot about chevs... Well guess what, I didn't... I hope that this helps Keep....
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
is it possible to take a 3/4 ton 2 wheel drive that has the leaf springs up front and convert that to 4x4 by adding in the t-case, front axle and drive shaft and then shortening the one for the rear?

if so, are there any things that i should consider ahead of time, and any of you maine guys have any suggestions as to good places to get the t-case and front axle and driveshaft at a cheap price?
 
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