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85 g-10 van body/78 k-5 chassis

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by carolina k-5, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. carolina k-5

    carolina k-5 Registered Member

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    my uncle has a 78 k-5 with a completely rotted out body. he wants to put my 85 g-10 van body on his chassis and have a 4wd van. has anyone seen or heard of this? what problems should we be aware of? wheelbase, body mount positioning, etc. thanx in advance.
     
  2. carolina k-5

    carolina k-5 Registered Member

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    any info at all would be appreciated
     
  3. conoverbandit

    conoverbandit 1/2 ton status

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    Try google search on 4x4 vans. It turned up a lot of info for me, I'm not sure you can take an actual blazer chassis and put inunder a van, something about the engine/tranny and possibly rear axle sit funny. I know on my 93 g-20 the engine mounts actually move the engine over some. I wanted to try this too but I can't seem to figure out how to bolt the front axle in mine since the frame rails are not the same from tranny to front bumper. I've seen one or two around here, most done by quigly 4x4 conversions. I think they may or used to offer a kit to do this. I think it's www.quigly.com? Just my $ 0.2............
     
  4. R72K5

    R72K5 Banned

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    vans are sheetmetal frame

    alot wider body

    lots other totally different than c/k series

    so i dunno..

    good luck
     
  5. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Pathfinder Conversions made some 4x4 vans...

    There was a few GM vans around here that were converted to 4x4's by Pathfinder Industries in CA,they used normal K5 or K10 front ends with leaf springs,and a NP205 T-case--the ones I saw were TH350 tranny's,not sure if any manual tranny's were offered..

    I have an 81 G10 I considered converting a while back,when I wanted to swap in a V8,and I had a rolling K10 chassis out in the back yard.. :thinking:
    but I decided it was a lot of work I'd rather not do,and the van was starting to get rusty,so I never pursued the project..

    The vans are either 110" or 125" wheelbases,depending on whether its the "shorty" version or not...so a K5's 109.5 wheelbase IS real close to the short ones wheelbase--a K10 with an 8' bed is 131.5 inches,a lilltle too long,but you would not be using the original "K" series frame anyway,only adding the 4x4 drivetrain to the vans "unirails".....I know the motor is offset in my van towards the passengers side quite a bit,and sits slightly slanted instead of paralell with the unirails,but I think that doesn't really affect anything,the driveshaft appears to be "slanted" too,rather than a straight shot to the diff,and it does not affect a stock van..

    A van rear axle is much wider than a K5 or pickup truck one too--might be best to just use the vans original rear axle,and install a matching ratio front 4x4 axle..could be fun joining the steering colum to a 4x4 front axle.. :confused: My van has a "straight" colum,right into the box,not hard to adapt--the later "G" series have a "driveshaft" with 2 U-joints at goofy angles,and the box stands straight up and down,they made it "collapsible" so the steering colum wont impale the driver in a crash--could be a bit tricky to hook that setup to a 4x4 axle..

    It would be best to find one already converted to look at--I've seen several "homebuilt" ones using ford axles and divorced transfer cases,and they looked simpler than the GM drivetrains to install and make work... :crazy:
     
  6. Emmettology 101

    Emmettology 101 3/4 ton status

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    Quigley is the best place to go for van conversions...

    But I would suggest pulling the drivetrain out of the K5 and fabbin it up under the van.... It would be like an IFS type swap in the front..
     
  7. carolina k-5

    carolina k-5 Registered Member

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    sounds like more work than i "want" to undergo. but the more difficult its starting to sound the more i "have" to do it. im hoping to simply hoist the van body up, roll the van chassis out, roll the k5 chassis under it, and bolt it up with as little body mount mods as possible. maybe mod the floor and t-case shifter, and reuse the k5 steering column. i dont think the engine compartment will be a problem, i am a little concerned about the transmission tunnel. now my uncle (who by the way is like 6'8" and about 400 pounds, so i dont argue with him "much") wants to put 14 bolt springs on the 12 bolt rear and the 12 bolt srings on the front. if it ever rolls itll probably ride like a brick! :D
     
  8. carolina k-5

    carolina k-5 Registered Member

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    if anyone else has any more to add or if anyone wants to get there hands dirty i sure could use the help. i promise i wont let my uncle eat you, i keep him well fed. hawgnutz!
     
  9. Blazer1970

    Blazer1970 1/2 ton status

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    You do understand that those vans are unibody don't you? You can't just "roll the van chassis out" since it is integral with the body. They do not have a conventional ladder frame under them.
     
  10. CB77GMC

    CB77GMC 1/2 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    I've seen it done.

    I've seen it done. 78 chevy van short body on 77 pickup frame. Seen around north Charlotte, NC. Setting up wheelbase is the trick and building body mounts. Then just basics left like brake lines, gas filler, lights ext... A lift is handy too.
     

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