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weight and size reductions revisited....body swap?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Thumper, Apr 29, 2002.

  1. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    OK, so I went on a trail ride with the club... we were led by our VP down a real tight muddy trail. We had 4 Jeeps, a fullsize GMC shortbox, a Ram 1500 longbox, and myself. The shock of the trail... I was the widest, biggest, heaviest, tree smashinest, elephant in a china shop truck there. I had to run in the trees to get thru. Even the Ram made it without a scratch. So, the realization came to me. I need to reduce size and weight. I saw you guys trying to cut weight by dumpin the tailgate, hardtop, doors fenders etc and was curious how you made out. The weights I saw after the mods was still nearly 5000 lbs. And just as wide.
    Has anyone ever weighed the body apart from the frame and driveline? What does the frame and driveline weigh including the motor, diffs, etc. I can get hold of a 4 door Jeep Cherokee body for very cheap. How much weight would I save by dumpin my rusted body, and swapping on the Cherokee body? I know a swap like this has its own series of headaches, but I will worry about that when I decide (and if) to do it. I am just looking for some opinions on the weight savings. Is there a major weight difference between the fullsize bodys and the Cherokee or S-10 Jimmy bodys??
    Just tossin around ideas here in the garage. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

    Mike
     
  2. jekbrown

    jekbrown I am CK5 Premium Member GMOTM Winner Author

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    just put on a s-10 body. Cherokee? YUCK! /forums/images/icons/mad.gif

    J
     
  3. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    a fullsize GMC shortbox, a Ram 1500 longbox,

    <hr></blockquote>
    Dude...maybe it's time to evaluate your driving skills /forums/images/icons/wink.gif Both of those should have had the same issues you did. They both should be heavier than you too.

    When I swapped the rear half of a 73 onto the back of my Jimmy I got a good feel for the actual weight of the body. The rear half (cut across the floor directly behind the front seats) is probably about 350 lbs or less. Me and my buddy picked it up and walked it into the back of a cube van by ourselves.
    Doors are probably 80 lbs a piece. Hood probably 75 lbs. Tailgate I'd guess 120 with all the junk inside. Topper is 188 (with sliding glass) Front fenders are light...maybe 30 lbs each. Core support is about 50 lbs. Add another 200 lbs for the rest of the cab. and maybe 40 lbs for front glass.

    That puts the body at about 1200 lbs. Of that you can easily remove 470 lbs by losing the topper, tailgate and doors.

    The drivetrain is what it is and is going to be hard to lighten up...unless you go to 2WD /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

    My drivetrain is about as heavy as you can get (OK a big block and D60 would make it even heavier...) With the cast iron 4 speed, NP205 and 14 bolt rear it ain't ever going to be a lightweight. I could get it down to about 5300 lbs though. For perspective I rode with a friend that has a near stock Jeep YJ. 30" MT's and no lift...and it tipped the scales at 4000 lbs. We were both shocked. I thought that litle Jeep was a lot lighter than that.

    If I was going to swap something narrow I'd go with a S-10 extended cab and build a flat deck...

    Rene
     
  4. DesertDueler

    DesertDueler 1/2 ton status

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    How did a fullsize GMC make, and you didnt? Maybe you need to go a little slower and finesse it through tight spots. Or you can just keep bashint it until it fits without a problem /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

    Dan.
     
  5. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I agree. The GMC short box should be just a little bigger (slightly longer actually) and a bit lighter due to the missing topper, no back seat, and lighter tailgate. The Ram should certainly have lost out to you in length and turning radius though.

    As for weight, I'm about as light as possible for 1 ton gear on 42s. I really should get it weighed. Right now I have only a stripped cab and hood. The hood is likely next to go, and I'll be cutting the top and back out of the cab as soon as I get a roll cage ready. The new hood will just cover the engine and radiator. Probably aluminum, maybe diamond plate (yeah not original, like Larry's). I may even do a fold down windshield. Dash has to go too, gauges will be mounted on the roll bar cross bar. The only thing I know I'm keeping is the fire wall.
     
  6. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Well, I guess I asked for the 'driving skills' burns. However, trust me, I do know how to drive my truck. And if you take a look at my pics in readers rides, you will notice that my rig has never been 'bush bashed'. My driving style is totally finesse, and there is no damage to my truck from plowing thru trees other than the odd scratch. But, regardless...
    I rewound the video and watched it again, and saw the troubles.
    #1. The reason I had to knock the trees down (3 or 4 little 2" diameter saplings) was the quad rut my drivers side tire slipped into. It tossed my truck sideways towards the edge of the trail. My tires knocked over them and I continued.
    #2. The Ram and the GMC both hit the same rut, and slid sideways the same amount towards the trees. They didnt run over the trees because the front track on both is narrower than mine. eg: the Ram is stock, with 285/75 16s on stock rims. The GMC has 31x10.50s on 8" rims. Mine has 35x12.50s on 10" rims. I bet my wheel track width is fully 4-6" wider than both of them.
    As far as fitting the body thru the trail, my Jimmy is shaped like a brick. The body lines of a 90s GMC and a 2000 Ram are a bit less brickish then mine. Add my snorkel to the side of mine, and I am way wider than they are all the way up to the roof line.
    I know I possible didnt give enough information with regards to my not fitting thru the trail, however the question wasnt whether or not I can drive, it was concerning the weight and size of the body. So, thanks to the guys that gave the 'on topic' replies.
    I am rethinking the body swap if the only thing I will gain is a narrower body. It may not be worth all the work.

    Sorry for spouting... nuthin personal.
    Mike
     
  7. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Hehe, no offense intended. I just couldn't see how they made it and you didn't. Makes more sense now. Also, with 35s (compared to them) your likely taller in lift too, which means when off camber the same amount, your top edges (fender and roof) will be fruther over than theirs.

    Good luck on the weight savings. My goal is to get my rig well down into the 4s empty (pass the pipe! /forums/images/icons/wink.gif LOL). Not sure that is possible yet or not but, we shall see.
     
  8. 55Willy

    55Willy 3/4 ton status

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    <blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr>

    That puts the body at about 1200 lbs

    <hr></blockquote>
    Anyone else know how solid this number is? I would like to know how much all this work is gonna save me in weight.
    I can get the numbers for the Willy's off thier yahoo forum.
    I want to be in the low 4's
     
  9. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    Mike I couldn't resist breaking your balls a little bit (please refer to the smilie in my first post...)

    I forgot about your snorkle and didn't realize it stuck out that far. As for track width, if it's really important mount up some 8" wide rims and lose 4" of total width. A 12.5 wide tire will fit nicely on an 8" wide rim...

    Personally i like the tires sticking out a bit as it keeps those annoying trees off the body.

    I should not talk about trail driving skills anyways...my last trip out cost me a door/forums/images/icons/tongue.gif

    Rene
     
  10. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Good point on the wheels Rene. My 42s on 8" wheels with 4" back spacing leave me really narrow (though they took some effort to make work with only 4" lift). I'm actually narrower (or no wider than) than some of the guys running 35s. And I'm way narrower than Matt running 42s on 12"(?) with 2.5"(?) b.s. Not sure on the numbers but that's close and Matt can correct. As for using tires as bumpers to protect the body, there is a real easy answer to that... /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
     
  11. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    I think they claim the "Bummer" fiberglass replassment bodied on a full size chevy frame weighs 3,600 lps. Jim Allen's book Chevy &amp; GMC pickup performance handbook, page115.
     
  12. Thumper

    Thumper 1/2 ton status

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    Rene, no real offense taken dude... I saw the smile. /forums/images/icons/smile.gif I just didnt like the main question being ignored to point out my possible lack of driving skill by the other guy... but Im over it now... /forums/images/icons/wink.gif
    That Bummer body was kinda where I was lookin. Of course $$ wise, its way out of my range, but if it weighs in at 3600 lbs, thats basically the driveline... how much can a fiberglass tub weigh? By thier numbers, say the driveline weighs in at 3000 lbs. 600 lb tub?? dunno... but for arguments sake, 3000 lbs. Add a 1200-1500lb S-truck body... still 4200... hmmmm guess thats not bad.
    Mike
     
  13. laketex

    laketex 3/4 ton status

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    got crossover steering? I dont and it kills me on the trails.
     
  14. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I would guess you could shave 600 lbs off a K5 by going 'Glass...I'd have to see it on a scale to believe 3600 lbs though. Call me a skeptic I guess. The weight doesn't bother me too much anyways. More stabilty as long as the weight is as low as it can be. The width is just something I choose to live with...

    Bryan, I don't have crossover either...but what has killed me on the trail twice now is snow and a welded 14 bolt./forums/images/icons/tongue.gif The last trip out I physically fit through the trail, but slid into the trees a few times on icy off-camber areas...

    Rene
     
  15. Sandman

    Sandman 3/4 ton status Author

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    There were some guys down in moab that had taken their fullsize bodies off and stuck on s10 bodies. They stretched the front end 8 to 10 inches to help clear the engine. they said that they lost about a 1000 pounds doing this. They also got real narrow and drove right through stuff that I had to squeez through.
     
  16. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    Well in your deffence. If the GMC was the new body trucks then yes it is not as wide in the body. They are about 4 inches less in width. Off camber with a nearly stock rig on 31's is going to make a big difference over a lifted truck on 35's. I went from 32 to 35's and gained 3 inches of lift in the back and 1 inch body and I noticed it.
     
  17. 6.2Blazer

    6.2Blazer 1/2 ton status

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    We have several guys in our club using the fullsize running gear with smaller bodies. I will have to see if any of them have weights.
    Here is a list if anyone is curious:
    1. '72 K5 Blazer with an S-10 Blazer body. He was able to keep the S-10 Blazer stock (i.e. no stretched hood or front fenders) by using a custome aluminum radiator and some other tweaks. Drivetrain is basically stock and includes a crate 350, SM465, NP205, Dana 44/12-bolt w/ 3.73 gears and lockers, 33x12.50 mud-terrains on 15x8 rally's, and stock height suspension. He sectioned the rear floor where the fullsize frame raises up over the rear axle so the body would sit as low as possible. There is plenty of room for the 33's.
    2. Started out as a 3/4 ton longbed of various years with an S-10 Blazer body. The front hood and fenders were stretched probably around 8" to fit the 454 and stock h.d. radiator. The rear frame was chopped off and he simply moved the spring mounts forward on the frame to the desired wheel base. The rear floor was also sectioned like described above to reduce overall height. The drivetrain is a built 454, TH400, NP205, Dana 60 (35-spline stubs)/ 14-bolt w/ 4.88 gears and Detroits. He had about 6" lift springs on it and was able to run 42x15 Swampers on 12" rims. The stretched front end was done so the front wheel openings were enlarged and looked fairly proportional to the tires. He has since downgraded to some 38x13 Swampers to easier manueviring on the trails.
    3. '93 Dakota (early body style) extended cab, basically just took the Dana 60's off his fullsize Dodge pickup and stuck them under the Dakota. Has the stock f.i. 318 and auto trans, upgraded to a NP241 t-case, and has 4.56 gears w/ lockers. He was running 39x15 Swampers but was planning on going down to some 37's.
     
  18. 70~K5

    70~K5 1/2 ton status

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    On weights, the sheetmetal in the body of my '95 X-cab dually is alot thinner that whats in my '70 Blazer. Lean against the side of a late model Chevy truck and feel how much the doors etc. flex. I think they did this to improve the fuel mileage. Less weight to haul around. So how much would you save in weight putting late model body parts on an earlier truck? Also by building your cage out of Chromemoly you could use smaller size tube for the same strenght. Every pound you can shave off without compermizing the strenght adds up.
     

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