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Username Post: 1948 chevy truck frame swap Question... PLEASE!!!!        (Topic#246292)
Forum Newbie
Posts: 1

Reg: 07-25-10
07-25-10 09:16 PM - Post#1950749    

Will the body on my 48 chevy truck work on a 1975 el-camino frame? Thanks!

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Age: 47
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Reg: 08-02-09
07-26-10 06:50 AM - Post#1950854    
    In response to troyb86

You might get a better answer posting this in the truck forum- but...

What you've REALLY gotta do is go out with your tape measure and a pad of paper. Check the wheelbases, width and location of the firewall on BOTH cars.

1951 Chevrolet Styleline Special. (350 4, Powerglide, '55 Driveshaft CE crossmember Heidts Mustang II front suspension, 3:10 Posi)

The '51 Chevy Blog

David Hayward 
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David Hayward
Age: 62
Loc: New Forest, UK
Reg: 04-10-99
07-26-10 03:46 PM - Post#1951094    
    In response to davidchristopher

Welcome to Chevytalk. I have put a link into this thread in the Trucks forum and hope that this helps.

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Avatar: sole surviving 1939 Chevrolet truck assembled in Southampton, England

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Posts: 13966
Loc: Baltimore, MD
Reg: 11-27-04
07-26-10 05:58 PM - Post#1951154    
    In response to David Hayward

What David said is good advice to start on, but there can be a lot more to it than that. Most pre-60's cars had pretty narrow frames with outriggers going to the body mounts.

So first check the wheel bases to see if they are close, next check how far back your firewall sets from the from the front wheel centerline compared to the forward mounts on the El Camino frame. These two things are the most important considerations as to whether the frame will work. Then see if the track width of the suspension is comparible to what you have.

Then you have to determine how you will bolt the body to the new frame. You can relocate the body mounts on the body to match the new frame or try to make some kind of brackets to make the original mount locations mate up to the new frame. Both methods require some hefty fabrication, especially since the El Camino is basically a car frame and won't have the bed stands like a pick up frame would have. But that may work to your advantage since you can fab those up any way you want to make it the correct height and distance.

Then you have to consider how you are going to mount your bumpers. Since the original frame may have been much narrower than the new one, the stock bumper brackets probably won't work. You may have to fab up new ones, but if you do the rest of the work involved, that is relatively easy.

Some days it's not worth chewing through the restraints.

1999 Silverado Z71 4X4 extra-cab short bed
1983 Malibu Fauxmad - tubbed
1978 El Camino Kustomized
1972 Monte Carlo
1957 210 handyman wagon
1957 Nomad sport wagon

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Age: 61
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07-26-10 09:29 PM - Post#1951278    
    In response to wagonman100

Why do a frame swap if the stock one is fine??
There are many front suspension kits out there.
Scott Danforth over on Stovebolt makes a weld in kit for the 1/2 & 3/4 ton AD trucks that uses the later model GM metric suspension(GM Metric include the '78-'88 El Camino, Malibu, Cutlass, Monte Carlo, S-10, Camaro etc.)....joe

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Posts: 156
Reg: 07-06-10
08-06-10 11:35 PM - Post#1956946    
    In response to TooMany2count

I saw someone build a 48 on a 73 chevy truck chassis once

Bill K.b 
Senior Member
Posts: 4371

Loc: upstate NY
Reg: 10-24-05
08-07-10 03:32 AM - Post#1956964    
    In response to LoneSpar

Probably not since the car frame under the El Camino is a perimeter frame and comes out to the rocker panels at the cowl. Those are somewhat collectible in their own right, too, I can think of better vehicles to destroy for a parts donor. Most guys who insist on a frame swap for an AD (48-54) Chevy pickup, use an S10 frame, they seem to fit pretty well. But there are a lot of options for suspension for the stock one, bolt on kits and easily adapted things.

It's just a common misconception that a frame swap is an easy, cheap way to modernize an old car, usually by the time you go through all the trouble to get it set right and modify the radiator support, make body mounts, etc. you've spent just as much money and twice as much time as if you'd just adapted something to the stock frame or used a bolt-on kit in the first place.

Those who can, do. Those who can't, criticize it on the internet.

1988 G20 van 5.7L - driver.
1993 3500 dually 5.7L NV4500 - tow truck
1991 G20 van - parts truck

Plus cars for swap and sale
&yes, I once tried a frame swap on a 51 Chevy.

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