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suburban body swap

Discussion in '1973-1991 K5 Blazer | Truck | Suburban' started by Fusion, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. Fusion

    Fusion Newbie

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    Hey all, kind of a general question. I have a 1977 Suburban that has come down a bad case of body rot. What I am looking to do is find a straight suburban body, preferably late 80's to put on this frame and running gear. I have heard rumors (at the local wrecking yard) that I should be able to bolt any suburban body on up to year 1989. Does anyone here know if there is truth in this? I am not looking for an easy answer as I will still measure everything up, hopeful for a match.
     
  2. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    I know that up to 86 will work, i just did a body swap on my dad's...he has a 77 that we just swapped bodies to a 86, perfect swap.
     
  3. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    what all is involved in doing something that big?
     
  4. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    the easiest thing to do is to find a body that is complete (which is what we did) that way all the wiring is there.
     
  5. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    you mean like seats and all?..how did you transfer the body to the other frame?
     
  6. Muddytazz

    Muddytazz 1 ton status

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    no need to worry about seats, just make sure that the body is good, preferrably complete body, and that the wiring isn't messed with, unless you know anything about wiring. But we were lucky and found a 100% complete DEAD burb...didn't run. Got it for $500.
     
  7. bryguy00b

    bryguy00b 3/4 ton status

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    nice..i would like to find something like that..but a k5 only..that would be great...good by body work!! /forums/images/icons/tongue.gif
     
  8. 55Willy

    55Willy 3/4 ton status

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    contact Heavymetal- Mike did this on his and had a whole album in webshots on it, he did the swap in his driveway.

    -Jeremy
    and you can swap up to 91 since burbs,blazers and crewcabs kept the straight axels til then.
     
  9. 84_Chevy_K10

    84_Chevy_K10 Banned

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    Just remember to use the bushings from the year your frame is. My '84 is on a '79 frame and I used the 73-80 bushings.
     
  10. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I couldn't say that an 89' would fit for sure, but I would think so. I did this swap with an 87', 2 wheel, auto tranny body onto a 77', 4 wheel, manual frame. Do yourself a favor and find one that is 4 wheel and same tranny.(auto/stick) I will also second the body mount comment. The body mounts need to match the year of frame, not the body. Also, do it on flat ground, slanted driveways suck! Another thing to consider is the interior. Not all interior trim is the same from year to year. Ie, a 77' panel might not work with a 89' panel. You may need to swap wiring harnesses as well. I tried to use the 87' body's wiring and got fed up. I yanked it and replaced it with the 77's wiring harness just to make it easier on myself. I'm sure it could be done with the 87's wiring, but the conversion was more of a headache than it was worth to me. 87's and up have computers! Yuk! Lastly, if you plan on keeping it forever, it MIGHT be worth it. In hindsight it might have been better to buy an 87' and swap over the good parts then sell the 77'. Just my .02
     
  11. thatK30guy

    thatK30guy 1 ton status Premium Member

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    Do what 84 Chevy K10 said...use the frame year for new bushings. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

    I'm still waiting to hear back from the guy I'm trying to get an '80 Sub from. The body on that Sub is totally wasted from rust.
    I found a totally rust-free body from a salvage yard about 5 blocks from me, for free!! /forums/images/icons/cool.gif The owner wants the frame and rear end only. So he said "take it." I'm giving him the '80 body for scrap metal, which he collects.

    The rust-free body is an '83 and to make it fit the '80 chassis, I will probably be buying new Energy Suspension body mounts (73-80) and either a 2" or 3" body lift, just to get the body up in the air slightly. /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  12. Fusion

    Fusion Newbie

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    Remember to tag and bag parts as they come off. I have the frame completly stripped, took a weekend to do. to lift the body off the 77 I pulled the noseclip, (saving the parts I wanted) and then proceded to rig and lift the cab using a farm tractor. Worked great, although I may need to find a machine with more finess when I put the new body on.
     
  13. Fusion

    Fusion Newbie

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    Thanks for the insights, I plan on doing it the hardway (2-wheel drive body) otherwise I will just end up driving the new 4-wheeler and have no motivation to finish what I started. I bought a 75 donor 2 wheel drive suburban last summer with 42 k on the 350 that was in fairly good shape, but alas, in the year that I have owned it has started showing its age, the body doesn't seem as straight as when I bought it, rust is popping up everywhere, etc. This is when I decided to find a newer body. The reason though that I am doing this is because the 77 was my old mans hunting rig, he owned it since 84, it was handed down to me in 93 and I have driven it since then off and on hunting trips and even on my first date, haha. I just can't seem to bear to get rid of this rig (even if it is only the frame and drive-line) that I remember from my youth.
     
  14. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    Well if you use a newer 2 wheel drive body, you may need to cut the tranny hump out and bolt the tranny hump out of the old 77'. I had to do this with the 87'. I don't know which year they started using the one piece floor pans, but this is something you should keep in mind.
     
  15. 90K5

    90K5 1/2 ton status

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    Either that, or do a body lift
     
  16. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    True a body lift will help clear the transfer case, but you still have to cut a hole for the shifter levers. Actually cutting holes for the shifter levers would be easier then trying to get the 77' transmission hump to fit the 89' 2 wheel body.
     

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