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How to do a Body Swap

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by chvyhs, Oct 14, 2001.

  1. chvyhs

    chvyhs 1/2 ton status

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    I going to put an 85 body on my 77 frame. What needs to be disconnected or removed? I aslo plan on putting a 2" body lift at the same time. I know that there are some floor pan differences that's why I putting the body lift. I figure I can cut the body lift in some places if I have to make up any frame height differences. I know I have to disconnect the fuel filler hose, the clutch linkage, the brake lines, the throttle linkage, the steering, and the e-brake cable. Is there anything else?
     
  2. Waxer

    Waxer 1/2 ton status Author

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    All the electicals from the fuse panel on the firewall to the engine components obviously has to be disconected as well. a/c accumilator if you have it, heater hoses, electtricals on the back of the truck that go to the tailights. Thats about all I can think of right now.

    Crawlin the rocks with my K5
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  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I sawpped the rear half of a 73 onto my 81 Jimmy. I never thought it was going to be a big deal until it was time to figure out the mounts that didn't line up. The rear two sets were the same but the ones just behind the front seat area were way out to lunch. I spent many hours coming up with a custom body mount bracket for each side and getting it all lined up was a real PITA.
    I don't know if a 2" BL would even be enough...you might want 3". the difference is quite a bit more than you imagine.

    If it was me I'd look for a 79 and up frame (Pretty sure 79 was the first year of the footwell). It would be so much easier to just bolt it down like it was factory.

    My 2 cents

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
    <a target="_blank" href=http://coloradok5.com/gallery/project_T2> tRusty pics...</a>
     
  4. chvyhs

    chvyhs 1/2 ton status

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    The 85 body was free. I had picked up on a 79 body that was in a fire but I couldn't use it. I didn't really want to go 3". What are you talking about making coustom body mounts? Was it just the height or did they not line up?
     
  5. Cmoe

    Cmoe 1/2 ton status

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    Ground cablr and fuel Filer hose.... You'll have to make a hose for there due to the two diferent sizes of hose that go from the tank to the filler neck.....tail light and power reear window if power.....fuel gauge wire........

    C'moe

    Kill Roy was here!
     
  6. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    My frame is an 81 my donor was a 73...so I no longer have the footwell. instead I have a huge gap between the frame and the body in that area. the early style frame is different in that area and has a crossmember that supports the body in that area. The 81 doesn't have that so I had to fabricate some oddball body mounts in that area.

    I would keep my eyes open for a newer frame. It's a lot easier!

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
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  7. chvyhs

    chvyhs 1/2 ton status

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    The 85 donor is only missing the engine, tranny, and transfer case. The only reason I'm not using it's frame is because I thought it would be easier to swap bodies than entire drive train, axles, and lift.
     
  8. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I'd swap the drivetrain...much easier in my opinion.

    Rene

    <font color=green>Dyslexics of the world...UNTIE!</font color=green>
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  9. chvyhs

    chvyhs 1/2 ton status

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    I thought about swapping the drivetrain but I have a SM-465 tranny and the donor had a T-400. Will it be that easy to tranfer the clutch linkage? My wife wants me to put an auto in it so she can drive it. That's why I'd like to keep the 465. Thanks for all the info. BTW I have two 10,000 forklifts at my disposal.
     
  10. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Ohh I just answered your other post on the other thread. Yeah if you have the frame it would be much easier to swap the drive line. The only thing you will need to do to the frame is take the pivot bracket off the frame for the clutch. I'm pretty sure you will find that the holes are there and you will be able to bolt it on. The 85 harness will work fine for the 77 engine. Only thing will be you will have some extra wires for the electric choke and mix solonoid. You might have to trace that back and figure out if there is a relay for the choke light and pull it or maybe just the bulb for the choke light if it comes on.
    You will also have a hole in the fire wall for the knock sensor distributor that will need blocking off. The wires may still be hanging out of it. Clutch parts in the tub is no big deal. almost all bolt on. Drop the columns take some bolts out where the assembly is bolted to the brake booster and it will come out. The new tub may need a hole cut in the floor for the clutch down rod but the boss area is there.
    Swapping the engine is MUCH easier than swapping a tub. Tubs weight 2k
    easy.
    Now the real problem is VIN numbers. You live where they do emmisions checks? If not then you will be ok there. The 85 would have had air pump that I doubt your 77 had. Also would need a cat. Can you get the 85 title? Can you get a bill of sale (only need to trade $1 to make that leagle). Even swapping the to the 77 frame and using the 77 vin may present problem because the frame has the Vin on it as does the body in a couple of places. Those mismatching could cause you a problem if you ever have a run in with the law. I think on the 85 it will even have the vin stamped into the sheetmetal under the carpet somewhere.
    Might want to call your states DMV and talk to them and see the legalitys in your area. bottom line is if you can get a clear 85 title for the truck and no emmisions tests then really no big deal. Swapping vin tags might be a big deal especially if that tub has some questionable history. If you ever get hassled by the police you might have some problems that could well end in the truck being confiscated.

    Women dig dents and flat paint!
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    Grim-Reaper
     
  11. chvyhs

    chvyhs 1/2 ton status

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    How can I find out where all the vins are? I have to put up with emissions, I'm from/in california right now. Thanks for all the advice.
     
  12. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Put the VIN plate in the windshield and say you swapped on a newer front clip. They can never prove a thing--any number on the frame is covered in rust and oil from the last 15+ years, and the stuff under the floor has that many years of crap on it.

    It is an '77, just has a newer front clip on it. Explain that to whoever by looking at the axles. D44/12 bolt combos didn't come in '85 K5s.

    Tim
    '84 Chevy K10, lifted, loud, fast, and 3/4 ton axles
     
  13. chvyhs

    chvyhs 1/2 ton status

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    I was planning on putting the 77 front clip on the 85. Unless yu know Blazers real well you wouldn't really know the difference.
     

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