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#861111 - Fri Jun 22 2012 12:10 AM '57 3100 FRAME SWAP
cprteacher Offline
Moderated
Registered: Mon Apr 30 2012 09:59 AM
Posts: 2
Loc: Northern California
I am getting ready to "restore/modernize" a 57 3100. I am thinking about putting a later maodel, 4WD chassis under the sheetmetal. Has anyone done any research on possible donor chassis? I'm leaning toward a mid 90's to 02 Tahoe or perhaps a Toyota T100. Any ideas? Thanks, Bill
_________________________
When I die, I want to go peacefully in my sleep, like my Grandfather. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car!
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#861113 - Fri Jun 22 2012 12:19 AM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: cprteacher]
49sub Offline
New Guy
Registered: Wed Oct 27 2010 07:41 PM
Posts: 23
Loc: bakersfield
Best fit for a complete frame swap is a 1973-1987 Chevy/GMC 4x4, or a Chevy S-10 can be swapped also. There is a company that makes a lot of the necessary parts to swap the 1973-1987 frame to your truck, http://www.e-zchassisswaps.com/1955.htm, although the 4x4 requires a little extra fabrication. If you use a full size 1973 Chevy/GMC frame to swap the wheels will stick out past the fenders a little unless you have a shop narrow the axles. Also the truck will be pretty tall as you need to use a high body lift to make the old style cab fit the newer style frame, most people say about a 6" body lift.

A member on here did a 1955-1959 Suburban by converting the stock frame to 4x4, his member name is Bartamos. You can check for pictures of his Suburban.
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#861178 - Fri Jun 22 2012 10:37 AM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: 49sub]
LONGBOX55 Offline
Master Gabster
Registered: Mon May 08 2006 12:00 PM
Posts: 9102
Loc: DANVILLE IL
A Tahoe frame would be too short, and would also interfere with the door steps. The '73-'87 would be better, even then there's a wheelbase issue (114 vs 117). Avoit the Toyota, thet're bad about rusting apart at the rear cab mount (Toyota had BIG recall on that).
Best bet, though, to keep everthing properly lines up and fitting right, would be to convert the stock frame. Since the stock frame is already leaf spring, it's not really a big issue to install drive axles on the stock frame. Check out the Napco trucks, which was a conversion. If you can find it, 4 Wheel & Off Road did a buildup of a '57 shortbed back in the late '80s, Project Early Iron. They kept the stock frame, but used all the running gear from a later GM truck.
_________________________
Bill Burmeister
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#861182 - Fri Jun 22 2012 10:58 AM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: LONGBOX55]
46gmcpu Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Mon Jun 29 2009 10:34 PM
Posts: 1474
Loc: Alberta, Canada
I agree with you that a frame swap would be the easiest way to go. Converting the original frame to 4WD is always way more work in the long run, and when you need to get parts for it in the future, it's hard to get parts when everything is different.

If you use a modern frame, you can walk into any parts store and buy parts for that vehicle.

I've seen a 55-59 suburban that was put on an 89 or 90 suburban frame. I wouldn't go with the tahoe, suburban is a better fit. He cut the floor out of the 55-59, and put the full newer suburban floor, frame, running gear, etc. in the 55-59. It is quite a bit of work but it worked awesome, and this way he was able to adapt all 3 rows of seats, the carpet, and rest of the interior into the 55-59. Made it a 90 suburban that looks older. He says it works great!
_________________________
1946 GMC 3/4 ton - S-10 Frame, 455 Buick, TH400.

My 46 GMC on Photobucket
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#861190 - Fri Jun 22 2012 11:43 AM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: 46gmcpu]
johntsmith Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Fri Sep 24 2010 03:39 PM
Posts: 782
Loc: Tampa Bay FL
I am in the process of switching a ’59 onto a ’87 frame 2wd with a ’79 305 bored and stroked to 308, ¾ cam and 350 trans with a shift kit.

I contacted Ed at info@e-zchassisswaps.com and purchased a kit from them. The kit is really well made. Ed is a great resource and has done the 4x4 swaps and has kits avalaible.

John

http://s783.photobucket.com/albums/yy117...mview=slideshow

Here’s the build so far


Edited by johntsmith (Fri Jun 22 2012 11:49 AM)
_________________________
My Fleet:
1941
1953
1959
1965
1966
1953 Willy's Pickup

John

Vegetarian- old Indian word for bad hunter
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#861195 - Fri Jun 22 2012 11:59 AM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: cprteacher]
Dogs51Burb Offline
Wrench Fetcher
Registered: Thu Apr 10 2008 01:50 PM
Posts: 106
Loc: Campbell,California
Do what your doing, do research on wheelbase, and width, if you’re going that direction be ready to fabricate what you’ll need..
a Re-frame, I would think a truck cab/bed would be much easier to manage than a panel/sub.
Like 49Sub said: look at 1973-1987 Chevy/GMC 4x4 < just the fact that there is so many of them. Parts in every wrecking yard! Upgraded disc brake system.
You can upgrade from there. Dana 60, 14Bolt, My 6 ltr. engine I bought out of a wrecked 2006’Van with 6K miles. Complete engine with accessories cost less than I could build a long block.


Edited by Dogs51Burb (Fri Jun 22 2012 03:45 PM)
_________________________
{Progress}<51'sub on a shortbed 4x4 74'Frame
1975 CJ5>327TPI
1977 K10
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#861263 - Fri Jun 22 2012 04:27 PM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: Dogs51Burb]
jomichael Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Fri Jul 29 2005 12:00 PM
Posts: 1045
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
Quote:
I agree with you that a frame swap would be the easiest way to go. Converting the original frame to 4WD is always way more work in the long run, and when you need to get parts for it in the future, it's hard to get parts when everything is different.


Well, that depends. The NAPCO's were just converted 2wd frames. You could mount late model axles to the springs, shorten the front axle to fit within the fenders. Add a power steering kit and there you go. May have to fuss with the cross members depending on powertrain choice.

Seems like trying to fit the body to a different frame would be a pain.
_________________________
1955.2 Chevy 3100 NAPCO
In the Stovebolt Gallery
Action on You-tube!
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#861349 - Fri Jun 22 2012 11:03 PM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: jomichael]
LONGBOX55 Offline
Master Gabster
Registered: Mon May 08 2006 12:00 PM
Posts: 9102
Loc: DANVILLE IL
With the frame swap, you have to deal with changing body mounts, frame length, possible wheelbase issues, brake master cylinder mounting, plus the axle width issue. Using the stock frame takes out virually all of that, exept for the axle width and trandfer case crossmember issue. The cleanest conversion I've seen using a Task Force body truck used the stock frame modified to take the steering boxe, trannsfer case crossmember, and axles from a '70s model GM truck. It looked almost factory.
_________________________
Bill Burmeister
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#863383 - Sat Jun 30 2012 09:03 PM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: LONGBOX55]
jomichael Offline
Shop Shark
Registered: Fri Jul 29 2005 12:00 PM
Posts: 1045
Loc: Vero Beach, Florida
I agree with Bill on this one.
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1955.2 Chevy 3100 NAPCO
In the Stovebolt Gallery
Action on You-tube!
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