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need input to help change 2wd to 4wd

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by chevyhemi, Mar 10, 2002.

  1. chevyhemi

    chevyhemi Newbie

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    i have a huge array of 4x4 chevy parts '73-'87, but none 2wd. I just bought a 2wd 1980 truck. (4 the body). With springs, front axle, and crossmemeber off of one of the 4x4's i have that has the bent frame, would all the pieces fit, are the frames the same, generally speaking? Front spring mounts, shackle mounts, ect an easy swap. I'd go outside and cop measurements, but i haven't towed the 2wd home yet.

    Thanks to anyone who has input. Peace out.
     
  2. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    You might try a seach on this subject...it's been discussed to death....with no real answers. Some guys say it's easy others say it's not. I would try to find a 4WD similar to yours and measure.
     
  3. Ddragggon

    Ddragggon 1/2 ton status

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    from what I recall on the last discussion I've heard on this, the frames are marginaly different, but if you want to fab up some spring hangers, and a custom engine cross member, you can make it work. just fab the sporing hangers for the front, and hang the axle off of that, put the 4x4 steering box in place of the 2x4 one, put in a transfer case, with proper cross members, proper drive shafts, and you're done.

    the problems associated with this are the rear spring hangers on a 2wd make the truck sit a lot lower then a stock 4x4's spring hangers. you might need to put the 4x4 hangers on it to make it sit higher, or just do an oversized lift.

    -Rich
     
  4. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I have dismantled countless numbers of GM trucks, both 4x and 2x, and will confirm that neither one are the same. There are too many variations to each that make each other not able to work in place of the other.

    Like Rich said, the rear spring hangers are the major item for the rear. 2wd hangers are 'shorter' than the 4wd and if you used the 2wd hangers, the rear of the truck will sit lower than if you used the actual 4wd hangers.

    The whole front clip of the frame section is different. There are notches, dents, dimples, etc. for the 2wd suspension counterparts that will not allow the bolt on of 4wd parts. Even the crossmembers, from the front to the transmission are all different.
    Cab mount brackets are different between the two.

    Now you could make the 2wd into a 4wd by fabbing or locating the proper hardware to do it, but why do that when you can simply and easily use an original 4wd frame and save yourself the many headaches you would have trying to figure what and what to fit here and there. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  5. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    gee
    i wonder how my 1 ton 2wdr frame possibly has all the factory 4x4 crossmembers in it then?
    and while you have the air chisel out knocking out rivets you just knock the rear spring hangars off and use the 4x4 ones
     
  6. StonerK5

    StonerK5 1/2 ton status

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    Aye carumba!!
     
  7. m j

    m j 1/2 ton status

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    actually i lied a bit
    it doesnt have the first crossmember that would mount the 4x4 swaybar, I dont run the bar so never even checked if it would go in
    but the 1/2 ton 4x4 engine crossmember and tranny crossmember are in
     
  8. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    I told ya so...../forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  9. 72THING

    72THING 1/2 ton status

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    My truck was originally 2WD. Take my advice and start with a 4x4 frame- its a big job to convert. I agree with the thing about the rear spring hangers. I have about 8" of lift in the front and about 12" in the rear just to make it sit level! (6"springs, 2" blocks, and 4"shackle flip.) It sounds bad but I don't have any problems. The main reason I started with a 2WD frame is because I couldn't find a 4x4 truck from '71-'72 for cheap and plus I already had most of a wrecked '72 C10. Good luck if you decide to go that route.

    Will
     

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