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Subframe?

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by HuskerBlazer, Mar 25, 2001.

  1. HuskerBlazer

    HuskerBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Anybody out there put a Camaro (or other) subframe under the front end of a 2WD Blazer? I'm looking for a 1st gen Blazer or full convert. 2nd gen. and have been thinking about going this route for a smoother ride. This would be a cruising-highway machine only.


    K-5...Soccer moms inquire within.
     
  2. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    Any of the trick frontend conversions they have for the pickups would works just fine. They have airbags for the ''73-'75 style...don't know that I would convert to Camaro with all the good stuff they have for 1/2 tons.....unless ya just had a donor real cheap. I've seen in a few mags that the 2nd generation 2wd frontend will almost bolt up to the first gen.

    Michael[​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.jmartin.net/parker/goose.htm>http://www.jmartin.net/parker/goose.htm</A>
     
  3. HuskerBlazer

    HuskerBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Well I know this may come across as sacrilege, but the truck 2WD front end may bolt up a 4WD if I were to convert right? Or is this too simple? Maybe a 4WD tub on a 2WD frame?

    K-5...Soccer moms inquire within.
     
  4. Captkaos

    Captkaos 1/2 ton status

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    No, it won't "bolt up" if you are talking about pulling all the 4x4 stuff off an sliding a 2wd crossmember under it. The frames are physically the same, but there are alot of difference in where the shocks mount, brakeline are routed, etc. I am not saying it can't be done, some people I have talked to have done it, but it would be a major pain in the butt. I wouldn't feel comfortable doing it without a frame jig. Plus the back leaf perches are different, I think they are longer. I haven't researched it fully, just by looking.

    As far as getting a 2WD frame to put a body on, sure it would be easier, but the likelyhood of just running out and getting a 2WD frame is easier said than done. 2WD blazers are HARD to come by, and usually if you want the frame, you get the whole truck. There is/was a 2WD frame in a junkyard close to my house, but I am in Alabama.

    Chris Lucas
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.captkaoscustoms.com>http://www.captkaoscustoms.com</A>
     
  5. Michael

    Michael 1/2 ton status

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    I didn't read anything in the post about converting a 4WD into a 2WD.....just putting a Camaro subframe into a 2WD Blazer. My comments were concerning modifying a 2WD Blazer and/or swapping out an early non-disc brake frontend with a later style w/disk brakes.


    Michael[​IMG]
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.jmartin.net/parker/goose.htm>http://www.jmartin.net/parker/goose.htm</A>
     
  6. HuskerBlazer

    HuskerBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Well I was just thinking out loud really. I would like to find a 2Wd but those are few and far between. The way I see it, a conversion could be made easier with 1. a Camaro subframe or 2. "swapping" front ends with a 2WD truck, essentially subframing. Now I don't know of the majpor differneces between a2WD frame and a 4X4 frame other than the front end. I'm sure you all would know more. I'm just thinkning that this may be the best way to do something like this.

    I guess first I would have to find a nice project Blazer.

    K-5...Soccer moms inquire within.
     
  7. N2-TRUX

    N2-TRUX 1/2 ton status

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    My thoughts..

    I think clipping a first or second gen, or anything for that matter would depend on how easy or cheap it would be to get the 4wd, versus holding out for a 2wd. Then factor in the cost and labor of doing the clip conversion. Having gone through the same search you are asking about, I can attest that those models are not in abundance. What you do find is rusted and beat up junk, or high priced "restored" trucks.
    My first concern on doing a clip swap, is who is going to do it? If you are capable of doing the swap correctly, it might not be too bad. If you have never done it, you better hope you have a GOOD friend that has.
    If you have to rely on a shop to do it, there are a lot of concerns there. Finding a capable shop, that can do it right isn't always easy, and almost never cheap. If they offer to do it cheap, you should probably run like hell.
    There is another option to this delima. Although it's not cheap either, it may be the best deal in the long run. Jim Meyer Racing offers a conversion kit to replace the front suspension. It comes in a few different forms, including a bagged version. I would think that a kit that is engineered for the application by a reputable company would be a much better way to go. This kit offers the advantage of a raised crossmember as well as rack and pinion steering. All of those features would allow the front of your truck to lay flat if it were bagged. That is of course after you modify your fender liners.
    I realize laying frame may not be on your list of priorities, but if you can have your cake and lay it flat, why not...
    http://www.jimmeyerracing.com

    <font color=purple>N2TRUX<font color=purple>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://n2trux.coloradok5.com/>http://n2trux.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  8. HuskerBlazer

    HuskerBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    Well this is all up in the air until I find a project truck I am happy with. [​IMG] I have had expereince with a framing, helped my dad with a camaro subframe on his '56 chevy truck. It is a big deal, but not so much to completely blow off the idea. The problem I have is the availability of a nice project truck. Like you said, they are either rusty hunks of sh!t or high $$$ restos. Well if I wait long enough I'll find that perfectly rust-free original in somebody's garage for a few hundred bucks. [​IMG]

    Definitely the easiest way would be to find a 2Wd to begin with, but I have no reservations on converting.


    K-5...Soccer moms inquire within.
     
  9. N2-TRUX

    N2-TRUX 1/2 ton status

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    The virtue of patience

    Patience,along with persiverence will pay off. I finally gave up on the first gen Blazers, and opted for a second gen.
    I REALLY wanted an all original truck that hadn't been "customized" to someone elses tastes, and wanted a rust free truck as well. I would have prefered a full top second gen, but that didn't happen either. When I saw "Paw-Paw" rolling past me in a clean 82, with a "For Sale" sign in the window I damn near attacked him. It was really hard trying to keep my composure while I negotiated a deal. I really wanted to beg him to sell it to me.
    The end result is I am the proud owner of a rock solid 82 2wd...

    <font color=purple>N2TRUX<font color=purple>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://n2trux.coloradok5.com/>http://n2trux.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  10. Crushergmc

    Crushergmc 1/2 ton status

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    Re: The virtue of patience

    Well, here's what I know so far in my 4x4 to 2wd conversion:
    The 2wd truck crossmember does "almost bolt right up" I will get pics of one if you want it. The way I remember is that one of the holes needs to be drilled and the ones in the crossmember bracket need to be drilled out bigger. No jig is needed, the frame sets on the crossmember and there are enough holes that line up too. There is another option, go with mustang II xmember from, say, Fatman Fabrications. The xmember will run you about $350+ but all the other components will be about the same as rebuilding a truck xmember. Good Luck and "Keep it down"

    70 Jimmy, 454, 2wd
    56 GMC, Big Window
     
  11. N2-TRUX

    N2-TRUX 1/2 ton status

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    Good input buddy...

    I am glad to hear from someone that can state facts about the 2x4 vs. 4x4 crossmember controversy. I know Capt. Koas, and myself have been very curious. It seems like such a natural thing, since so many of the GM components are compatible. But as we all know, GM has a mind of their own, so you can never be sure.
    I had forgotten about Fat Man fabrications “Don’t cut your truck in half” kits. They are more economical than the Jim Meyer kits. They offer a more “ do it yourself kit”, as well as complete bolt in assembly. They do offer an option for airbags, but no price, so it's hard to compare prices.
    As expressed above though, I feel if you are going to go through the trouble to convert one from 4wd to 2wd, then you probably want it to have the ability to sit low. Even if the stock 2wd cross member is “almost” a bolt in, I would explore all other options.
    My feelings are, no matter how you convert it to a 2wd, the stock cross member is not the way to go because it limits your ability to go low. The mounting location for the stock 2wd A-arms will be the limiting factor. From what I can tell either of these aftermarket crossmember assemblies move that mounting position farther up. They also convert the truck to rack and pinion steering. This allows you to have much better steering geometry at a lower height. The factory steering geometry goes downhill fast when the front is lowered…

    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.fatmanfab.com>http://www.fatmanfab.com</A>
    [​IMG]

    <font color=purple>N2TRUX<font color=purple>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://n2trux.coloradok5.com/>http://n2trux.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  12. HuskerBlazer

    HuskerBlazer 1/2 ton status

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    So just a clarification, but are the differences between 4WD and 2WD frames just in front of the crossmember? Any differences from the cross-member back that could cause a snag in a conversion?
    BTW this is some great help for future plans.

    K-5...Soccer moms inquire within.
     
  13. Captkaos

    Captkaos 1/2 ton status

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    In addition....

    I have looked at both 4x4 and 4x2 trucks and the brake lines go to different places (behind crossmemeber on 4x4, in front on 4x2) and these are held in by a punched hole in the frame. Also the 4x2 is angled and inset in the frame to clear the crossmember. The shocks on a 4x4 also mount differently in the front if I remember correctly. And the back leaf spring perches are longer.

    Chris Lucas
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.captkaoscustoms.com>http://www.captkaoscustoms.com</A>
     
  14. Crushergmc

    Crushergmc 1/2 ton status

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    Re: In addition....

    If your so inclined, and I am, you can "notch" the crossmember and gain about 1.5" in drop. I read an article on this and there was a guy on one of the boards that did this. I will be doing it this summer ( supposed to be last winter ;[ ). 2.5" drop spindles + 1.5" notch + 2" or 3" drop springs = really low. I plan on taking lots of pics and I'll keep you posted.
    "Keep it down!"

    70 Jimmy, 454, 2wd
    56 GMC, Big Window
     
  15. N2-TRUX

    N2-TRUX 1/2 ton status

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    What about the rear...

    I have seen the crossmember notch. Actually it's a frame notch, to raise the crossmember. Then you have to notch the crossmember to clear the tie rod. All that with spindles, springs, or bags will get the front very low. So low, in fact that the fender liners, and inner fender panels will have to be severly modified as well. What I'm wondering is, what you plan to do in the rear. Do you plan to cut a whole in the rear floor, or raise the entire pan, to clear the pumpkin?
    All the front end effort will not help if you can't get the rear down too.

    <font color=purple>N2TRUX<font color=purple>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://n2trux.coloradok5.com/>http://n2trux.coloradok5.com/</A>
     
  16. Crushergmc

    Crushergmc 1/2 ton status

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    Re: What about the rear...

    I don't plan on notching the frame, just the crossmember. I didn't see the frame notched in the article. I'll take a closer look, thanks. I have the article electronically and when I have time at home (12 hr work days and 2 kids=little free time!), I will send it to you. Yes, I will have to redu my bed. I was thinking of keeping the wheel wells and making a smaller shorter hump between them. And yes, I will c notch the frame too. Let's all keep this post going so we can share info.

    70 Jimmy, 454, 2wd
    56 GMC, Big Window
     
  17. Captkaos

    Captkaos 1/2 ton status

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    Seen it, doing it on the Blazer.

    Seen it and the Blazer will be getting it done. Although I have no idea why I would want to do it since I got this one this low and will raise it and put the 2.5" spindles on it.
    [​IMG]
    BTW, that is a standard matchbox. It is in front of the crossmember because it wouldn't go under.

    For the rear, you will HAVE to notch the floorpan under the rear seat to get it low.

    Chris Lucas
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.captkaoscustoms.com>http://www.captkaoscustoms.com</A>
     
  18. Captkaos

    Captkaos 1/2 ton status

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    For the front...

    Got a better idea for the front Ken, I will send you pics when I get it done. I agree on the rear though, the floor pan will have to be modified to match the front.

    Chris Lucas
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://www.captkaoscustoms.com>http://www.captkaoscustoms.com</A>
     
  19. Crushergmc

    Crushergmc 1/2 ton status

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    Re: Seen it, doing it on the Blazer.

    Yep, that's the reason I'll be notching the crossmember. I want the truck low but don't want to drag the crossmember on the ground. It'll have an extra 1.5" drop but the xmember will not change. Thanks for posting the pic.

    70 Jimmy, 454, 2wd
    56 GMC, Big Window
     
  20. N2-TRUX

    N2-TRUX 1/2 ton status

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    Here\'s what I mean....

    The problem with getting a Blazer really low is this. Once you get it as low as you can with suspension, bags or whatever combo, you run in to two obstacles. The first point of the front suspension to get close to the ground is where the A-arms attach to the crossmember. No matter how much you notch the crossmember, it won't get you any lower because the pivot point doesn't change. The only way I know of (I'm sure someone will correct me) to get the front any lower at that point, is to notch the frame, so you can raise the entire front crossmember, along with the A-arm mounting points. Once you do that, the frame itself is the lowest point. Then you have to notch across the front of the crossmember creating an L shaped channel for the drag link to move in. All this is based on stock A-arms. If you run dropped A-arms, the spring or bag pocket may be lower than the A-arm pivot point.
    That takes care of the frame, but creates a problem with the fender liners. They can be cut, or removed, but they will need some surgery, along with the inside of the fender. Depending on what size tire you run, the A/C blower motor might get in the way too.
    All this really doesn't matter, unless you plan to notch the rear more than the heigth of the frame. If you run a large notch in the rear, you will need to modify the rear floor pan. If you don't plan to monster notch the rear, and mod the pan, the front mods are pointless. The rear won't go low enough for you to need all the extra drop up front.
    That is unless you like that tractor puller look...

    <font color=purple>N2TRUX<font color=purple>
    <A target="_blank" HREF=http://n2trux.coloradok5.com/>http://n2trux.coloradok5.com/</A>
     

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