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How do i turn my 2wd truck into a 4wd truck???

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by fordeater, Nov 14, 2004.

  1. fordeater

    fordeater 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I've got a 72 Chevy 3/4 ton that I want to make 4wd. I know i need front axle, transfer case, etc... My question is, how do i bolt up the front axle. Do i have to drill holes in the frame to mount it? Does anybody have a writeup on doing it??? Just trying to get some info before i tear into it.

    Doug
     
  2. mountainexplorer

    mountainexplorer 1/2 ton status

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    I don't have any pre-'72 frames, but you're welcome to have or take any parts off any of my '73-'80 frames I have laying around (they are all minus running gear... only brackets, crossmembers and springs). You could take a whole frame if you wanted, and mount the '72 body on it.
     
  3. fordeater

    fordeater 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    what brackets and crossmembers would i need?
     
  4. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I've been tempted to do this to my 79 C10,using my 74 K20 as a donor--but its a hellatious job--you have to remove the entire 2wd front suspension/engine crossmember,install the leaf spring hangers(front)and bushing/shackles,the rear spring shackles and hangers must be swapped for 4x4 ones,the cab might hit the transfer case without a body lift,you will have to drill a lot of holes(the frames arent usually drilled for both 4x4 and 2wd),you need all the 4x4 drivetrain,tranny ,transfer case,shafts,crossmembers,and thats just the bigger issues,there will be lots of little details involved too.Its easier to put an ad in the classifieds and sell the 2wd truck,and buy a 4x4 in the long run,unless you are a glutton for punishment(like me! /forums/images/graemlins/1zhelp.gif)
     
  5. 79silverado

    79silverado Registered Member

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    Hmm..... you interested in losing that 79 c10? /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gifI got a weakness for the I-6 trucks and always generally looking around for new toys... got an 84 w/250 but just way more body work to do that thing right than I feel like spending on it, looking for a better project foundation
     
  6. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I might consider selling it,but its my only decent daily driver I have right now(at least as far as long trips go). But it has a 305 in it now--the camel humper six went to heaven in july when a peice of the #6 piston decided to chip off and expose the top compression ring--its now in the back of my 74 K20 awaiting the scrap yard grim reaper--the K20 might share the same fate--scrap prices are high,and my bank account is VERY low,and no job yet!--so something might have to dissapear pretty soon. I would kinda like another 4x4 more than the C10--I bought the 2wd for a summer truck for its better ride and gas mileage,and its fairly rust free body and bed,but it spent most of this summer getting the 305 instaled!.I guess I need to figure out ho to change my signature list at the bottom of my posts.
    Anybody have a 2 barrel 250 six they want to put a four barrel on??--I have the adapter! /forums/images/graemlins/whistling.gif
     
  7. 78GMC1/2TON4x4

    78GMC1/2TON4x4 1/2 ton status

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    JUST BUY A 4x4
     
  8. fordeater

    fordeater 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    i would just buy a 4x4, but i already have this 72, and i love it. so, its worth it to me to either find a 4x4 frame for it, or try to convert it.
     
  9. Corey 78K5

    Corey 78K5 1 ton status

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    I plan on doing the same thing to My 76 C-20 next year. Now Im not sure of the 1'st Gen trucks but for the most part it's just simply changing cross members and brackes. Steering is a toss up on wether You go cross over or stay with stock steering, but either way it's bolt in. About the only major task is locating the front spring shackel mounts and thats just a matter of breaking out a tape measure and drilling a few holes. The tranny tunnle clearence could be solved with either a ORD 1" body lift or cutting out the tunnle and adapting a 4WD cover or just getting fancy with some sheet metal.
     
  10. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    it is super simple to do
    no special tools required
    just takes time
    if you have a nice truck it is a far better idea to convert it then to sell it
     
  11. Sam 10b

    Sam 10b Registered Member

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    Find a donor truck and that way you have every thing you need. I was planning on dropping my 1968 cab and front clip on my 1991 jimmy frame and it seems like that wouldn’t be too hard, so you aren’t limited to 1967-1972 parts.
     
  12. fordeater

    fordeater 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    How much different is a 73 and up frame compared to a 72 and earlier frame?
     
  13. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    the 73 and up frames are no screaming deal
    stick with your vintage
    I do not think the older ones suffer as many problems as the 73+
     
  14. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    [ QUOTE ]
    i would just buy a 4x4, but i already have this 72, and i love it. so, its worth it to me to either find a 4x4 frame for it, or try to convert it.

    [/ QUOTE ] Buy a 4x4 from the same erea with a junk body and transfer your good body onto it.
     
  15. Sam 10b

    Sam 10b Registered Member

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    Good luck finding a junk 67-72 4x4 for cheap. Since those years are some of the most collectable trucks Chevrolet ever made, unless you are lucky, you can expect to pay twice as much if not more.
     
  16. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    If my 79 was a 72,I'd be much more likely to convert it to 4x4--I've had several first generation chevy trucks,and I love the body style.I have helped a few people put the old style 67-72 trucks on later frames--one we did we used a 75 blazer chassis and made the bed real short to match up with the frame length--another guy used a 74 suburban 3/4 ton frame,the cab was not hard to mount,we had to use the rear cab mounts from the truck onto the burb frame,the bed was a pain to mount and the frame was straighter than a pickup frame behind the cab--he eventually ditched the bed(was rotted anyway) and made a flatbed out of it.
    I cant see how anyone can say its "simple" to do this--I've done quite a few,and none have been easy--not impossible,but not easy--its a lot of hours spent fabbing things the 2wd didnt have and making it all bolt together.And when its done,its never as good as a factory truck,it will always be a "conversion"--but whether or not its worth it is debateable.In my area,there are far too many 4x4's with rotted cabs that still run and drive well and have decent frames available for reasonable money,to go making your own in the backyard--I've done it many times--but hope to never have to do it again.After you get over 40,your enthusiasm dies off quite rapidly for projects of this magnatude--at least it did for me.Now I'd rather buy one already 4wd and build it up the way I like it--no more building trucks from scratch for me! /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif
     
  17. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    simple easy using all factory parts
    nothing fabbed on mine that I recall
    bit of drilling and grinding but that is just time
     

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