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is it easier to swap a new tub onto an old frame, or swap drivetrain?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by colbystephens, Oct 3, 2006.

?

you should...

  1. swap drivetrain

    16 vote(s)
    59.3%
  2. swap tubs

    5 vote(s)
    18.5%
  3. fill the tub w/ hot water and sit there nekkid

    6 vote(s)
    22.2%
  1. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    i'm looking at picking up a rust free tub, and am curious if it's easier to swap the tub or the drivetrain? either way, i was thinking of taking the tub off and rust-bulleting the frame. depending on people's answers, i have more questions...
     
  2. pplblazerdude

    pplblazerdude 1/2 ton status

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    Seeing as how you said you are going to rust bullet the frame I would jsut do the tub cause you will more then likely need to remove the tub to get good coverage. I did a full frame swap and motor swap at once on my blazer and it wasnt to bad just took some time and thinking. Oh yeah all I used to lift the truck was a few bottle jacks. Not to hard at all.
     
  3. camok5

    camok5 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I would say that it is probably easier to swap drivetrain because there would be alot less electrical stuff to deal with. It might be different though depending on what years of vehicals we are talking about.
     
  4. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Both are an assload of work IMO. Drivetrain gets the nod in my book though...lifting a body on and off a frame is a PITA!!

    Rene
     
  5. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    Sure got wood on option one, swap drivetrain.
     
  6. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    rene, so both the tubs i'm considering are originally gasser trucks, what all is involved in swapping the wiring harness?
     
  7. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    how would you go about swapping tubs efficiently - would/could you use a fork lift?
     
  8. yoshisv

    yoshisv 1/2 ton status

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    I am using a tractor with a loader for my body swap, So a fork lift should work fine.
     
  9. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    how much exactly does the tub of a k5 weigh? this would be a mid-80's model w/ no doors, top, front clip, tailgate, all the interior could be gone, etc. as plain tub as plain tub can be.
     
  10. roadnotca

    roadnotca 3/4 ton status

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    iron claw foot?:haha:
     
  11. imiceman44

    imiceman44 1 ton status

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    I can't tell you a weight but my 73 tub took 4 guys one on each corner to lift it on and off.
    A 76 and up could be done with 4 guys but they have to be healthy.
    The other option is a engine hoist ( cherry picker), a buddy of mine did that.
    If you are doing a frame restoration I would say swap tubs.
    I did a frame off as in took every single bolt off and rebuilt everything and painted everything, took me 6 months and $2k and I did all the work except the paint. :doah:
     
  12. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    i was wondering how many guys it would take to move it. :) thanks for the 4 man quote - maybe 6 would do it easy on a mid 80's. :) i won't be doing a frame off resto, but wanted to clean things up a bit and protect from rust. :)
     
  13. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    ok, so if 4 guys can lift a tub, i'm having a hard time seeing why it would be more difficult to swap tubs than drivetrain. can someone tell me what's involved?
     
  14. freeflow

    freeflow 1/2 ton status

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    Taking the body off isnt really that hard just take your time. Remove the front clip,disconnect the steering column and throttle linkage fuel filler hose from body, then the electrial plugs from the firewall and a few ground straps also the rear taillight wiring needs to be undone. Then its time for the body bolts lol and hope that yours all come out without breaking , then well lift the body off anyway u want to, I have lifted 2 suburban bodies off and have done both by myself using a engine hoist, floor jack , many jackstands, and a pile of lumber.


    Brad
     
  15. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    that's encouraging. :)
     
  16. colbystephens

    colbystephens 1 ton status GMOTM Winner

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    so how long would it take, as a general idea, to swap a new body onto an existing frame, assuming there's a body already on the old frame?
     
  17. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    2 days maybe..

    I've done a body swap with the owner and my co-worker from the junkyard before..the guy bought a parts K5,and we took his old body off the frame,then the one off the other truck (the good one!) and it took us all of both days of a weekend,from morning til dark,and we still had a few minor loose ends to tie up,but we were able to drive it to work monday morning!..

    We had a forkloader at our disposal--doing it any other way would have taken a lot longer,had we had to use jacks and lumber,etc..

    One thing we ran into was rot on the body mounts where the rubbers sat--we had to weld washers on 2 of them ,and swap one complete mount from the other truck onto the old frame,it was crumbling away it was so rusty--also had to swap one spring hanger in the rear too..that wasted a few hours.

    A few wires weren't the same too--they plugged in fine,but the pins were not in the right spot on the plugs,and it took awhile to figure out why a few lights didn't work!..the steering colum rag joint had to be swapped too,it was different spline than the original body had..we put an 87 K5 on an 84 chassis...

    All told,I'd rather swap a cab or tub,than have to bolt in the axles,motor,tranny,t-case,and all the other crap --neither is an EASY job,but it seems much faster, and somewhat less work, swappping sheet metal than drivetrain parts, IMO...:crazy:
     
  18. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    I don't think it has been said but is the tub complete. I mean if there is still a dash in it and wiring and everything like that than the drivetrain swap may be easier. Like has been said either is a huge PITA but more time consuming than hard
     
  19. diesel4me

    diesel4me 1 ton status Premium Member

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    time..

    We thought one day was going to be enough--but we didn't plan on having to fix rotted body mounts, and a spring hanger on the old frame,and we used the original "nose" ,because the donor truck was smashed in the front--we also had to remove the A/C evaporator core from the original tub,(without dissconnecting any hoses!)--so we could avoid having to re-charge the A/C system..that took awhile too!..

    All told,swapping tubs only took an hour or two--it was hooking up all the stuff like wiring,filler neck,steering colum,and other minor things that wasted most of the time it took...we were sore for a few weeks after that marathon!..and were in NO hurry to do it again!..:crazy:
     
  20. 1976Blazer76

    1976Blazer76 1/2 ton status

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    I don't know if I'd use a forklift. I attached a picture of my cab with no frame under it, my dad and I did it ourselves in about 5 hours, wasn't horrible, but not something I would want to do everyday. This is the 2nd time we've done this, so if you've got any questions, I may be able to answer. I do just live right up the road from you.

    Cab on 005.jpg

    Cab on 009.jpg
     

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