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Old 06-09-2005, 05:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Converting Longbed to Shortbed?

I was going to ask this on a street-truck oriented forum somewhere, but I think the idea of cutting a bed in half and welding it back together is foreign to those types. I've bobbed 2 different vehicles beds - it's not hard. Moving body mounts and such really isn't difficult.

I have a 79 C10 2WD I want to convert into a shortbed because, well, SWBs look

At any rate, those of you with a 73-87 chevy: Is it possible to double bob a long bed (shorten before and after the fender) to make it the length of the shortbox? Does the body maintain the same contour in the right places, and is there a good place to cut it without any bulkheads or ribbing in the wrong spot?

The reason I ask is that right after I bobbed my 4Runners bed 12", A buddy of mine and I were looking at his 72 blazer, and there's just no really good place to shorten that thing behind the wheels. Is the bed on the pickups the same way? You all bob these things routinely, don't you?

Am I correct in assuming that the difference in short-bed and long-bed is that the bed is 6ft. long vs. 8ft long... and the wheelbase is a foot shorter as well? What is the factory wheelbase in a 79 2WD long and short bed?

Thanks all,
Evan

[EDIT:] And yes, I do realize that it'd be much easier to go buy a shortbox and lop 12ish inches out of the frame. Problem is that I can't FIND a cheap shortbox... and I have 3 long beds to experiment on right not. The damn things are everywhere.
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Old 06-09-2005, 05:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm thinking the same about my '74 k20. It looks like I'd also have to get rid of my deathtrap side-mount gas tanks, which would be OK with me. Maybe do a link suspension or 63" springs on rear at the same time... Shortboxes are relatively rare around here, too. If you do it, keep us informed on how it turns out.
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Old 06-09-2005, 05:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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whats the point in having a truck if you can't even go over speed bumps or haul a cinder block wihtout it bottoming out?

i think that you could probably do what you're saying without much trouble, just look under the bed and see where the bed crossmembers are and make sure if you move them too much to relocate them to they can still support the bed. if i'm thinking about the right truck the bedsides are fairly flat so blending them back togeather shouldn't be much of a problem.

have a good time and let us know how it goes
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Old 06-09-2005, 08:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mountain4x4
If you do it, keep us informed on how it turns out.
If? There ain't no if. If I have to buy a short-bed because it turns out to be impossible to shorten somehow, I will. I ain't driving a long-bed 2WD. Jack it up to the sky and a longbed is tolerable, but with it down low like that 2wd, that bed looks every bit of 15 feet long.

I guess all I really need are dimensons. How much shorter is the bed (6 ft vs 8ft if I'm correct)... and what is the wheelbase of a shortbed truck? How many inches do I have to lop out of my frame somewhere?
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I heard you can look things up on the internet
google?
http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/

I have a shortbed, they are impossible to find.
in your case (a 2wdr) shorten the front section of the box and leave the rear untouched.
it would look way tuff with the long ass of the long box left in place.
getting the box mounted is not as easy as you are making out.
none of the box mounts will line up with origonal cut down long box locations, at least mine didnt.
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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do a search on weelbase dimensions i believe mine used to be somewhere around 117" not sure though. the length you are going to have to lose should all be in front of the wheel opening. as far as i know everything behind the axle is the same. i have the bed sides off my bed i can get measurements tomorrow and post them up if it would help. let me know.
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Old 06-09-2005, 09:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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personally id just cut the rear down and have the wheelwells right at the gate, put a big set of slicks on there and a nice set of coils and call it a day
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Old 06-10-2005, 09:39 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mj
I heard you can look things up on the internet
google?
http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/
I found his page last night with google. There's nothing on there pertaining to this. The frustrating thing is that I know the specs on the two different trucks box lengths and wheelbases are undoubtedly all over the internet, but about 12 different google searches have gotten me jack squat. That's why I posted here.

Quote:
it would look way tuff with the long ass of the long box left in place.
getting the box mounted is not as easy as you are making out.
none of the box mounts will line up with origonal cut down long box locations, at least mine didnt.
Funny - I was actually considering (assuming I had to bob both ends of the bed) leaving a short rear overhang and a longer section in front of the tires. Sort of like a SWB bed length, but with a 4" longer wheelbase because the rear fenders were pushed back down the bed. Just something subtle enough to get you to look twice, trying to figure out what isn't quite right about the way it looks. Plus it'd add a wee bit of stability when towing.
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Old 06-10-2005, 12:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Email me at muddmann05@yahoo.com for some pics if you're interested, I cut 16" (if I remember correctly) behind the wheel well on my '79.
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Old 06-10-2005, 05:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I know I'm a noob, but if you know the wheelbase and the overall length of the 2WD the you could break out the tape and figure out how much you need to take out of the front and rear of the bed right? And while you're doing a custom job, sketch it out to scale and make a different bed length than either of the factory options. You've got the oportunity to make something really unique that everyone that sees it will say somethings different there but I can't quite put my finger on it....hmmmm. I likes the idea!!
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Old 06-10-2005, 06:48 PM   #11 (permalink)
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http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/framespecs.html
http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/models.html

I was talking the other way.
shortbox from cab to rear axle with the extra long overhang of the longbox out back.
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Old 06-11-2005, 07:27 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/framespecs.html
http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/models.html

I was talking the other way.
shortbox from cab to rear axle with the extra long overhang of the longbox out back.
I know what you meant. I sketched it roughly, and I frankly don't think anything could possibly look worse.

So I'm going to try to go the other way. I dunno how I missed those links on the chuck's site... I was so focused in on the bed that the frame and specs pages blew right past me. Thanks a ton.

From that site:
C/10 & 20
Wheelbase (6 vs. 8 ft. bed) 117.5" 131.5"
Overall length (6 vs. 8 bed) 191.3" 212"

Difference is 14 inches in wheelbase, 24" in bed length.



Quote:
I know I'm a noob, but if you know the wheelbase and the overall length of the 2WD the you could break out the tape and figure out how much you need to take out of the front and rear of the bed right? And while you're doing a custom job, sketch it out to scale and make a different bed length than either of the factory options. You've got the oportunity to make something really unique that everyone that sees it will say somethings different there but I can't quite put my finger on it....hmmmm. I likes the idea!!
I'm going to have to. I stripped the bed off the frame tonight. Both my gas tanks are right up against the front edge of the rear springs, and right up against the 6" high indent in the bottom of the cab under the seat. I was hoping there were at least 3-6 inches of space at either end of the tank I could take away when shortening the wheelbase, but nope. It's as tight as can be already. Since the SWB is [/b]14 INCHES[/b] shorter... if I move the big freaking hump under the seat for the tanks forward 14 inches... the driver and passengers feet would be right resting on a big hump in the floorboard. Not cool.

So now I'm hoping to make the wheelbase 10 inches shorter, but the bed the full length shorter. So it'd be a shortbed with the wheelwell 6 inches further back than standard. Maybe even more... 8 or 10. The less I shorten the wheelbase, the less I have to shove the gas tanks forward (from under peoples seat to up under their feet)

Plus it'd look just strange enough to be really cool. I hope.
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Old 06-11-2005, 07:36 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'd also have to get rid of my deathtrap side-mount gas tanks
Yeah, I quoted myself...

I'd like to make a fuel cell, 25 gal or so, that would be a custom fit and go right behind the front of the bed. It would sacrafice a little cargo space, but if youre cutting 2' off the bed already... Then you could shave the filler doors off the sides of the bed for that cool lowrider look youre going for.

I'm not decided yet, but was thinking to go for a 120" or so wheelbase for my k20. It'll be a while for me, I'd really like mog axles and 42" tires on hand before I chop up my truck.

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Old 06-11-2005, 09:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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I sketched it roughly, and I frankly don't think anything could possibly look worse
LOL precisely my opinion of what you plan.
it will look terrible like the 67-72 shortboxes or the new ford 150 with the wheels pushed to the rear of the bed.
look at a nascar truck series, or any ProMod drag truck, the long deck looks tuff
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Old 06-11-2005, 10:38 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Cant find a shortbed?????? They are all over the place over here, I dont like them and have one, got over $7,000 into it and cant sell it for $1,000 Mine is a 2wd, lowered, fast, new everything, not rusty, nobody wants these god damn things where I live. I have 5 longbeds and people keep trying to get them from me but I love them and they are staying, I like being able to haul a quad and a gas can at the same time Worthless shortbed p.o.s, the toyota hauls more stuff than that and thats sad
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Old 06-11-2005, 11:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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how much for a rust free box?
when can I come get it?
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Old 06-12-2005, 12:53 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Easy on the lowrider crap Mountain. It'll be stock height... I may run a set of 17" wheels if I can find a set that aren't chromed and ungly as sin, but it won't be any lower than stock.

I actually toyed with the idea of bringing the truck up to 4WD height by dropping the front suspension mounts... but I already have one truck on 38s. I'm building this to tow that truck. Variety is the spice of life.

Ideally mj, I want it to look just like a factory shortbed. But if I have to move the wheels, they're getting moved back down the bed, not forward. Difference of opinion.

It also struck me that I may not have to hack the frame a ton: Just move the springs forward and shorten the bed. The factory frame is back at least 6 inches from the end of the bed... I can have it stick back flush with the bed or trim of anything that hangs out. I have a good bit of flexibility with what I do to the frame/ rear springs.

Now I just have to find someone who'll let me measure their shortbed before and after the centerline of the wheelwell to figure out exactly how much of that 24" lies in the front and rear portions of the bed, so I know how much to cut out of each half of the bed. That's one spec I don't think anyone has got online, and I think you guys are right: Most of it lies in the forward portion of the bed... but I think around 6" of it is in the rear as well.

I did find a couple pics of someone else converting a LWB into a SWB here:http://totallypolished.com/projects/71.htm
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