I have acquired a 1980 E-350. I was thinking of using the frame, running gear, and steering with a pickup truck cab. I was curious if anyone has done this, or if it is even possible. My main concern is if the steering gearbox could be used with a pickup cab?
Anything is possible with enough time and money. The steering box would require a custom steering shaft. You also have to figure out the engine set back and make sure it will work with what ever cab you want to use.
And I'm not sure but I believe the van frames are wider then the truck frames.
You will have to break out the tape measure and do a lot of measuring of both the chassis and body and see if they'll match up and how much fabrication it would require to bring them together.
And another thing to look into is the legal side of doing the swap You'll have to check with your state's DMV to find out what's required. I know I have to file an "affidavit of reconstruction" in Minnesota for my 54 build. And to do that you need a title or bill of sale for all the major components of the truck.
like fordman75 said anything is possible but my question to you is do you just want the cab of the trucks look or are you going that route because you want a pickup bed. If the pickup bed you could do like the E350 centoriouns had they were pretty neat.
I was thinking of putting a steel flatbed on it. The cab that I have is off of a 1946 International 2 ton truck. I think it would be cool to have a old truck cab on a modern chassis. I was thinking of shortening up the frame of the van so I could put on a 6 foot flatbed. Has anyone out there attempted something like this?
Sounds like a cool project. There may be a few issues.
I'm not real familiar with IH trucks but most trucks that age are pretty narrow. So the first thing I would do is measure the track width of the van chassis ( out side of one front tire to the out side of the other front tire ) . Then measure how wide the front clip/dog house is on your IH truck ( outside of the one front fender to the outside of the other ) . If the van chassis track width is too wide then you might as well forget it. Unless you plan to widen the front fenders.
Next thing to check would be if the IH cab is going to fit on the van frame. The 40's trucks have a fairly narrow cab. So measure the width of the van frame. Measure the IH cab and see if it's going to fit.
As far as shortening the frame goes you have a couple choices.
1. You cut out a section in the middle and weld the two ends together. If done incorrectly this can be dangerous.
2. Depending on the contours of the frame you might be able to remove the rivots on your rear spring hangers. Then slide The rear springs and rear diff forward. Drill new mounting holes for the spring hangers. Bolt them to the frame in the new location. You will also need to move forward a crossmember or two, maybe three. And you will also have to move the upper shock mounts. After everything is moved forward you cut off the excess frame. This method is a lot of work. But it let's you shorten the frame without welding. I did this on a 84 F250 extended cab 4x4 chassis. You can see it here http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/75...4-build-9.html . Scroll down towards the bottom of the page.