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Old 11-21-2010, 01:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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new "old black" -getting a 1 ton makeover!

for those of you who found this thread because of searching. here's the following things i have done to my truck if you're searching for a particular subject: 56" front spring install, 64" rear spring install, Psc steering (page 2), Anti Wrap bar (page 3), doubler shifters, shorty headers and new exhaust install, shortened a longbed frame to shortbed length, Hydraulic clutch conversion (do a search for this, i made a thread just on this subject). if you have any questions pm me.
here's a link to my recent 14 bolt e-brake disk caliper install: /forum/chevy/1081186-14-bolt-disk-brake-conversion-e-brake.html


this thread covers many upgrades i have done to my truck including: dana 60 axle swap, 1 ton frame swap and cut down, 14 bolt axle swap, fuel injection install, rear anti-wrap bar, rear shackle flip, 64" rear spring install, 56" front spring install, doubler install, sm465 hydraulic clutch swap, front shackle re-location, my way may not be the right way according to others , but it works well for me and i don't add to this build plan unltill after i've tried it out and make sure it works.i hope this little preface helps those who are searching for answers.

so after many many snow trips and a few trips into the rocks my hand me down old chev is finally getting a upgrade. it belonged to my grandpa and i kind of feel a little sentimental wheelin' the same truck he drove for so many years. here's what i'm starting off with 74 chevy stepside 1/2 ton cheyenne super with 350 HO vortec crate motor, sm465/205, posi rear 12 bolt and detroit front dana 44 both with 3.73's, 4" rough country lift w/blocks on 35" km2's. needless to say it did great in the snow, didn't last too long on the rocks before the d-44 grenaded the diff. did some research on pirate and got my wish list together then got a spending approval from the household bank (my wife) and dropped the hammer on a complete frame swap. i knew i didn't want to waste time and some serious coin upgrading a d-44 to be as strong as a stock dana 60- when i could just upgrade to a dana 60 and be done. so after looking around on c-list i found what i was after- an 85 cucv longbed pickup. it had d-60 front w/posi and 14bolt rear w/detroit. also the gear reduction to 4.56's was perfect for my tire upgrade- 40"ers. after selling off parts like the engine, trans, transfer, etc. and hauling the rest to the metal recycler i ended up nearly paying for donor truck. here's what i started off with:
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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i want a stronger frame from the weakish 1/2 ton frame (barely 3/16" and a 6" 'C' at the widest point compared to a the cucv frame with a full 1/4" thick and 8" wide 'C'). so i've decided to keep the longbed frame and shorten it- so i took about 30 different measurements from frame height to pinion angles and such.... then lopped off about 12" of the back of the frame. next i wanted softer more flexy suspension- so i swapped the rear springs to the front (56's and removed a few leaves) with a new front spring hanger from diy4x and made a new rear shackle hanger frame mount for the front springs and mounted it just under the front cab mount. that front spring hanger was worth its weight in gold when i re-mounted the new springs as it allowed me to fine tune the front spring location to get the steering geomety corrected. i finished it off with 6" shackes and all greasable bushings from ORD and DIY4x. shackle angle now doesn't look quite great, but as this is a totally empty frame and even the littlest bit of weight and they start to rotate back. i corrected the pinion angle with some 6* shims from DIY4x and now my pinion angle and caster are back to stock. the lift ended up being around 5". i added ORD crossover highsteer and welded in a frame steering box reinforcement:
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Old 11-21-2010, 01:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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now i'm sitting at step 3- the drivetrain. i completely dissasembled my old truck- it's now a bare frame/axles in the back yard. and swapped my drivetrain over to the new frame. engine fit like a glove into the mounts that originally had that big ol detroit diesel in it. i've decided to go with a ORD doubler transfer cases and found that adapter made from unobtainuim to go from the 465 to the 203 range box. the 205 got new front 32 spline output and then i mounted 1350 cv flanges front and rear from JB conversions. they have 4 different choices of cv flange style that can be used with them as they have 16 holes. i also wanted a shift arrangement different from all the available shifters out there so i made my own. i wanted the front low/high range selector stick closest to me (since thats the one that gets the most use once you've selected a range) and withing a fingertip reach so i wasn't always reaching through my passengers crotch of someone was riding in the middle. so, i took advantage of the 205's twin stick ability stock and made it so the front output can be "turned on and off" in any range (yes i now have 2wd low range, should be handy for making turns on the trail) and it didn't cost a dime. i figure i could to the shift rail mod later when the budget permits. the shifters are made of 3 pieces of DOM that slip inside one another and a solid rod through the very middle. it works very well and is very smooth and didn't take any special machining (although this is the second version). the shift arrangement is (from R/L as sitting in the cab) 1- front low/high, 2-doubler low/high, 3-rear low/high.i also placed them as far to the left as possible (but still clear the trans shifter) to keep them close and give the center passenger somewhere for thier feet on the right side of the tunnel. then i made the crossmember out of a 5th wheel mounting plate i removed from my tow rig, and used poly suspension bushings/DOM tubing for the mounts. i attached it to a support bracket that i made to go under all 4 pieces that make up the doubler transfers and even mounts to the 205 on the pto output cover plate to give it support. here's a few pics of the transfers, new custom crossmember/transfer cradles and tripple stick shifter i made:
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Last edited by sjracer; 11-28-2010 at 09:57 AM.
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:12 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thats looking good. I like the step side, Ya don't see that to often around here. Nice work
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Old 11-21-2010, 02:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quick question what kind of shaft connects the 4 speed to the 203 ? And the 203 to the 205 ?
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:09 PM   #6 (permalink)
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it's a 10 spline stock input shaft and adapter for the 465 to the 203 (kind of hard to find though), then for the 203 to 205 i used a doubler kit from Offroad Design and a 205 th400 transfer.
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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it's a 10 spline stock input shaft and adapter for the 465 to the 203 (kind of hard to find though), then for the 203 to 205 i used a doubler kit from Offroad Design and a 205 th400 transfer.
Thanks I didnt know there were 10 spline 203s
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Old 11-21-2010, 03:53 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Is the doubler shifter in the middle?
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks I didnt know there were 10 spline 203s
quite honestly if i had to do it over i would seriously consider a Lomax 205. in the end it would have been much easier and cheaper.
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:07 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Is the doubler shifter in the middle?
yep. the shifters are all pivoting on each other. they are made of pieces of DOM that slip inside one another.
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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looks like a good start, i have the 32 spline 465 and got very lucky finding a 32 spline input for the 203.
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Old 11-21-2010, 04:35 PM   #12 (permalink)
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quite honestly if i had to do it over i would seriously consider a Lomax 205. in the end it would have been much easier and cheaper.
I'm gonna guess u had a hard time finding the 203 adapter and parts ?i

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Old 11-21-2010, 09:15 PM   #13 (permalink)
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I'm gonna guess u had a hard time finding the 203 adapter and parts ?i
pretty much had almost given up and gone with a th350 slushbox when i found the one i got on flea-bay and had to pay $350 for it. so the total price with new driveshafts, 203 range box, and the miriad of other special parts or new parts needed is going to cost around $2500. should have bought the Lomax and saved around $1000. i really didn't want to go back to a th350 as they are known to crack cases when the frame is twisted up. and my previous th350/205 setup was already pulling out the threads in the back of the trans and had cracked the adapter between the trans and transfer, which i had to have fixed.

edit: after posting this i checked the jb conversion website and i don't think they offer the lomax 205 transfer anymore.
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Old 11-21-2010, 09:35 PM   #14 (permalink)
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do your self a favor and build up/plate/brace up the ever living shit out of the steering section, mine has failed 3x now, 2x with the external plate.
i gave that alot of thought and heard alot about frames around the steering cracking even with the reinforcements in place. in fact is was your build thread that convinced me to step up and buy the PSC steering assist kit. man i realllllly hope i that it keeps me from having to go through what you did. that sucks.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:22 PM   #15 (permalink)
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well now it's on to the rear suspension. i've gone with 64" rears off of a mid 90's chevy pickup. i made about 30 measurements between the old and new frame and after figuring the wheelbase i wanted i cut off the extra frame. i needed a place to mount the rear spring hanger,so what i ended up doing was cutting the bottom off of the frame where it "u"d up to clear the original rear axle location. then i made a frame out of 3x3 square tubing and mounted my custom rear spring shackle hangers to it (i left it a little long so i could trim it up after the bed was back on). the front spring hanger had to move forward a little over 17" to get the original wheelbase of the shorbed truck (you can see the witness mark from where it was in the last pic). after i got the rear frame stuff figured out i got some help from my buddy josh. he cleaned up the rear axle by cutting off the old shock tabs on the axle and then he fabbed out the rear shock mounts, made a mount for the limit strap, and re-mounted the bracket for the rear brake line. did this while i finished up the transfer shifter and rear trans mount setup. thanks man! i still have to make bump stops, weld up a rockproof rear axle cover that i will mount the limit strap and brake line to, and re-do the rear springs with greasable bushings and custom leaf pack.
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Old 11-21-2010, 10:38 PM   #16 (permalink)
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man there are alot of brackets on the rear of a stock frame. must have cut and drilled about 50 rivets. found the quickest way to remove them was to cut the rivet head in half right through the top with a die grinder with a cutoff wheel, then air chizel off each half with a sharp air chizel bit, then drive the rest out with a pinpoint bit. even using my $10 home depot air chizel it worked quite well, took about 5 mins per give or take. luckily most of my neighbors were at work, or this could have gotten ugly. then i ended up with two boxes full of all this crap:
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:57 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Man, you aren't lying. There are a million and one rivets on those things.

I used the cutoff wheel to slice the head of the rivet off, and then pound it thru with a drift punch. All of them were pretty easy except for the rivets that hold the rear spring hangers on. Cause they go through the frame, the hanger and the frame to hanger support bracket on the backside. That was ugly.

Good looking build. Do box the front frame sections. I did mine, can't recommend it enough.
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Old 11-22-2010, 06:15 PM   #18 (permalink)
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A sawzall works really well with rivets if you have enough room to use it...
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:20 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Watching this one... Looks good!
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:33 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Subscribed. Looking forward to this one.

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Old 11-23-2010, 08:02 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Can't wait to see this thing on the trail. T minus 60 days til' Snowfest 2011, keep up the good progress. I just hope the power steering fluid reservoir doesn't fall off. That would be embarassing.
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Old 11-23-2010, 09:46 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Can't wait to see this thing on the trail. T minus 60 days til' Snowfest 2011, keep up the good progress. I just hope the power steering fluid reservoir doesn't fall off. That would be embarassing.
it better not seeing as how your the one who built it. here's a note to all other who visit this page. this guy here shows up at my house, drinks my beer and then whips out a bracket for the psc steering resivior and calls it payment! all the while telling me and our other buddy that i could have built a whole toyota for the cost of my transfers alone .........i swear if i had money i'd buy new friends
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Old 11-23-2010, 10:33 PM   #23 (permalink)
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it better not seeing as how you built it. here's a note to all other who visit this page. this guy here shows up at my house, drinks my beer and then whips out a bracket for the psc steering resivior and calls it payment! all the while telling me and our other buddy that i could have built a whole toyota for the cost of my transfers alone .........i swear if i had money i'd buy new friends
Haha that sounds about like my friends. The best kind to have thou . . . most the time
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Old 11-23-2010, 11:14 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Man, you aren't lying. There are a million and one rivets on those things.

I used the cutoff wheel to slice the head of the rivet off, and then pound it thru with a drift punch. All of them were pretty easy except for the rivets that hold the rear spring hangers on. Cause they go through the frame, the hanger and the frame to hanger support bracket on the backside. That was ugly.

Good looking build. Do box the front frame sections. I did mine, can't recommend it enough.
i think i got lucky as that was the part of the frame that is going bah-by.
do you got any pics of how you boxed your front frame. i added the ord wel on frame repair kit as a preventive measure, and bolted on their steering box support kit.
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Old 11-24-2010, 03:43 PM   #25 (permalink)
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so today it's on to the cab so i can put it back on the chassis. the underside had alot of surface rust and a couple of rusted through cab supports. since i had the cab off i got the help of a couple of buddies and we laid it on its back for easier repair. then i got some new weld on cab support repair pieces and after a couple of hours cleaning oil, grease and loose rust off of the bottom i welded in new cab supports and then por-15'd the whole underside and part of the firewall. it looks f-in great! that por-15 is some nasty but amazing shiznit. it lays out smooth and coverage was great. half a can did the whole underside. i'm gonna give it a couple of days to dry and get this thing mounted on the new frame.
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