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#861111 - Fri Jun 22 2012 05:10 AM '57 3100 FRAME SWAP  
cprteacher  Offline
New Guy
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 3
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!


#861113 - Fri Jun 22 2012 05:19 AM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: cprteacher]  
49sub  Offline
New Guy
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 24
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.


#861178 - Fri Jun 22 2012 03:37 PM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: 49sub]  
LONGBOX55  Offline
Master Gabster
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 9,469
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

#861182 - Fri Jun 22 2012 03:58 PM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: LONGBOX55]  
46gmcpu  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Jun 2009
Posts: 1,605
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 Pickup - S-10 Frame, 455 Buick, TH400, original patina.

My 46 GMC on Photobucket

#861190 - Fri Jun 22 2012 04:43 PM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: 46gmcpu]  
johntsmith  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 783
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

Last edited by johntsmith; Fri Jun 22 2012 04:49 PM.

My Fleet:
1941
1953
1959
1965
1966
1953 Willy's Pickup

John

Vegetarian- old Indian word for bad hunter

#861195 - Fri Jun 22 2012 04:59 PM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: cprteacher]  
Dogs51Burb  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 108
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.

Last edited by Dogs51Burb; Fri Jun 22 2012 08:45 PM.

{Progress}<51'sub on a shortbed 4x4 74'Frame
1975 CJ5>327TPI
1977 K10

#861263 - Fri Jun 22 2012 09:27 PM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: Dogs51Burb]  
jomichael  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,045
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.


#861349 - Sat Jun 23 2012 04:03 AM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: jomichael]  
LONGBOX55  Offline
Master Gabster
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 9,469
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

#863383 - Sun Jul 01 2012 02:03 AM Re: '57 3100 FRAME SWAP [Re: LONGBOX55]  
jomichael  Offline
Shop Shark
Joined: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,045
Vero Beach, Florida
I agree with Bill on this one.



Moderated by  KCMongo 

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