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body swap or drivetrain swap?? which one

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by rick88blaze, May 9, 2003.

  1. rick88blaze

    rick88blaze 1/2 ton status

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    My K5's body is rusting out. I have access to a couple of late 70's bodies. Mine is an '88. My questions are: will the 88 body and a '78 body interchange on the frame? and, would it be easier to swap the entire drivetrain(suspension lift, engine, tranny and t-case) or to just swap the bodies? One of the K5's has the entire body front to back, and the other is just the main shell, no front end and no top. the guy who has just the shell doesn't want to part with the frame, so that one would have to be a body swap. /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif
     
  2. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    rust in las vagas!!??

    ive been down the same road you have,..(but for me..the truck with the better body was crap too...so i got my turck instead)..BUT anyway. its a lot easier to do a drivetrain swap..thats what i did with these blazers i have. had one blazer...with a 305/700/208/ 10 bolts...and another blazer with nothings but axles. swapped the whole drivetrain into the other one...got it running..but that body is to far gone to mess with to..big waste of time really..it was a little anoying of course..but all in all i would say its a lot easier than the body swap!
     
  3. rick88blaze

    rick88blaze 1/2 ton status

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    my blazer lived the first 12 years of it's life up in Missouri. I bought it there at the end of 2000, about 2 months before I was sent out here by the military. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  4. wadinator

    wadinator 1/2 ton status

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    I don't know about the interchangeability of the differnet years between frames and bodies. I also don't know how much work it would really be to swap drivetrains (though it sounds like a buttload!) However, I've done the body swap routine.....with my burban!

    If you go the body swap route and you run into questions, I'll love to know how it goes and hear any questions you have. /forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif
     
  5. rick88blaze

    rick88blaze 1/2 ton status

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    Cool, i'll let you know whether i do the body or drivetrain, and i'll let you know how it goes.
     
  6. wadinator

    wadinator 1/2 ton status

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    One other thing....the way I did the body swap was faily simple. Loosened the frame from the body and used a combination of a chainhoist and some 50 gallon drums....I still regret not having pictures!
     
  7. rick88blaze

    rick88blaze 1/2 ton status

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    in a couple of weeks, i'm going to strip the carpet from my interior, if the sheet metal doesn't look too bad from the top, i might just see what it would run to get the new body mounts, and floor pan installed. Anyone close to Las Vegas, Nv know how to do body work??
     
  8. outlaw612

    outlaw612 1/2 ton status

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    Personnally, Id swap the drivetrain. You could do some maintenance and upgrades in the process.
     
  9. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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    I say swap bodies,you could do that in a day. /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  10. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    [ QUOTE ]
    I say swap bodies,you could do that in a day.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    The wiring alone will take longer than that, especially doing an injected setup to the older body. Gauges are different, no ECM holder, fuse panel is different, and so on.

    I'll bet a body or drivetrain swap is equally difficult. Moving multiple relatively small parts, or trying to raise one huge piece, and doing all the wiring to match.

    I built mine up from the ground, and the drivetrain stuff was a snap, at least with the body off. But even with the interior stripped, running the wiring was a chore, and would have been worse if the fuse panel and so on were different.

    If you've got the space and time, you may contemplate doing what I did. Keep the on truck up and running, buy the other truck in parts and assemble it, and finally sell the rustbucket to help cover some of the build costs. This route is probably the *best* way to go if you intend to some day go with different axles, transmission, engine, and so on.
     
  11. rick88blaze

    rick88blaze 1/2 ton status

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    as for the wiring, i was thinking about spending the money on a whole new wiring harness. the one in mine has a lot of cracked insulation, and it's got some places that the PO totally jerry rigged the wires. one of the trucks is complete, if i use that one i'll probably do the drivetrain swap, the other one, the owner want's the frame, so it would have to be a body swap.
     
  12. FRIZZLEFRY

    FRIZZLEFRY 1/2 ton status

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    I did mine in a day but I went from a 81 to a 74 so no EFI or too much wiring to mess with.I didnt think of that /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Some have said the aftermarket harnesses are ok, but from what I've seen, they are the "early" style fuse panels (must have changed about '84) and aren't arranged the same way.

    If the wires are cracked, I'd say definitely replace it though. If it's just stuff from an idiot messing with it, solder up the bad connections, cut out all the old crap, and use it.

    Only harness I'd consider using short of a stock one is an EXACT stock replacement one. Trading one set of problems for another if not.
     
  14. rick88blaze

    rick88blaze 1/2 ton status

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    a lot of my wires are dry rotted, and cracking. i was going to check with Painless wiring, and the dealer for a complete wiring harness.
     

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