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  #1  
Old 07-22-2014, 09:50 PM
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Chassis swap

I have a 1954 f100 and am thinking of doing a complete chassis swap. What would be the best vehicle for this swap?
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:29 PM
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Welcome to FTE!
We would love to see pictures of your truck.
Chassis swap is an often discussed topic here. There are many threads on it.
The first question I would have is what is your skill level. This is a very advanced project. I would guess 1 in 10 succeed, if even that. The frame widths and many other dimensions are different, you can't just put your body on a new frame.

Why are you looking to do a frame swap? You might be better off another route.
Have you considered something like this: TCI Engineering ~ 1-800-984-6259 ~ American Made Street Rods, Hot Rods, Classic Trucks, Ford & Chevy Muscle Cars Suspension and Chassis Parts. 1948 Ford Truck or Pickup Chassis 1949 Ford Truck or Pickup Chassis 1950 Ford Truck or Pickup Chassis 1951

You would be cheaper in the long run going with that unless you are doing all the work and are expert level fabricator.
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Old 07-23-2014, 03:12 AM
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Why is it you want to do a chassis swap? As said earlier, many are started and few are finished, but the best thing about it being your project is that you get to decide how you want to do it.

If you are looking at it from an upgrade standpoint, when I did mine I added power steering, power brakes, disc brakes on the stock front axle, 289 and C4, and a 9" in the rear for better drivability. All were fairly simple upgrades to perform in the garage and cost was reasonable.

When I answered a CL ad for some tires for the rear of my F1, I found the guy was building a 49 F1 for his son. He had adapted the body onto a Ford Ranger frame and said he only had a couple of things to do to finish (looked like all he had done was body mounts and, of course, a hydraulic suspension). That was last summer and it hasn't moved from that spot in his driveway since.

Whatever you decide, keep us posted on your progress. And welcome.
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Old 07-23-2014, 07:37 AM
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I am doing a chassis swap on a 54 right now, I used a 4 door explorer 1997 model, the wheel base is about 1" longer than the original , but it works good, im using the running gear also. I used the floor and firewall out of the explorer, if I had it to do again I would have just used the whole cab from the 54!! [a lot of fab work] but im happy with it so fare, George.
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Old 07-23-2014, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gas6999 View Post
I am doing a chassis swap on a 54 right now, I used a 4 door explorer 1997 model, the wheel base is about 1" longer than the original , but it works good, im using the running gear also. I used the floor and firewall out of the explorer, if I had it to do again I would have just used the whole cab from the 54!! [a lot of fab work] but im happy with it so fare, George.
Please post photos. I always like the idea of frame swap options but very few people post details about them. Please share more of your build.
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Old 07-23-2014, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gas6999 View Post
I am doing a chassis swap on a 54 right now, I used a 4 door explorer 1997 model, the wheel base is about 1" longer than the original , but it works good, im using the running gear also. I used the floor and firewall out of the explorer, if I had it to do again I would have just used the whole cab from the 54!! [a lot of fab work] but im happy with it so fare, George.
Yeah gas6999 show us what's goin' on!
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:05 PM
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I appreciate everyone s input.I am new to this site and the online forum s.I have finally got some pictures up. I am looking at doing the swap a means to achieve comfort and dependability.
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Old 07-23-2014, 09:34 PM
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A big part of the equation is skill and money. I have neither, so I'm staying stock. That and I like the idea of a stock truck.

If you are new to restoration, here are some good reads:
TRIALS OF A FIRST TIME BUILDER
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CLASSIC FORD TRUCK: Part 1 | Ford Trucks
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CLASSIC FORD TRUCK: Part 2 | Ford Trucks

Actually those are good reads even if you are well versed in this hobby.

It's a pretty good group of guys here. If you ask an opinion, you are sure to get many different sides of the issue. About the only thing that gets us riled is safety issues (well and rat rods, but that goes back to safety.)

Ask away on anything. If you include pictures, we answer faster. We love pictures.

For those that don't like to click to find pictures. Here is one.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 07-23-2014, 10:48 PM
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Hey Our 1954,
Welcome Aboard!!!! Looks like a fun project. Whereabouts in North Carolina are you? We've got some experienced members in NC - I grew up in Chapel Hill - Go Heels!

Why not tell us a bit more about your truck & your current plans?
Looks like your front left fender met up with something.

Full chassis swaps are discussed often on here. You can search for that one after you have a few more posts. You can get rid of the annoying ad's & post pics directly from your hard drive if you become a member - makes the site easier to use.

You can replace a rear axle with a more modern one in (1) weekend with minimal welding/grinding. Most folks go with a Ford 9 inch or an Explorer 8.8 inch axle with gearing to match your needs. (We've got the Explorer axle with 3.73 gears & a locking diff - from a 2001 at a salvage place for $125 & then some replacement pads, etc.).

The front Axle is a different story. If you want to replace that one you get into extensive welding/grinding, pulling the engine/trans, ripping out wiring,
re-doing the steering & hoping the geometry & alignment work when you are done. (4) months & $2500 - $4,000. Or - You can refurbish the stock front end & install Power Steering in a couple of weekends with no life dependent welding. Approx. $800.

I can only think of (1) or (2) members who have successfully completed a chassis swap. I can think of 100's who have upgraded the stock chassis with axle swaps.

Looking good in North Carolina.

Ben in Austin
1950 F1
  #10  
Old 07-23-2014, 11:07 PM
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Chuck Frank
Wow, has it really been two to three weeks since the last chassis swap thread???
To summarize all the past couple hundred chassis swap questions/answers:
1. There is no easy or ideal late model chassis to swap into one of our trucks.
2. Any chassis swap is going to require a great deal of fabrication, metal working, problem solving skills and functional compromises, as well as time and money.
3. There are a whole lot of cheaper and easier ways to achieve the same end result utilizing the stock chassis.
4. the start is the easy and seductive part, the devil is in the details.
5. The majority of the attempts have ended up providing scrap for Chinese steel manufacturing, the basis of another rat rod/off road buggy or a very often amusing post on ebay or Craigslist when the starter thinks the remains still has value to someone and tries to recoup some of his investment. It has brought some of the best to their knees.
If you really think you have what it takes to beat the odds, please take lots of pictures/notes and stop back in at least once a year and update your progress.

I have been on this forum for 10 years now and have seen a couple dozen starts and no more than 2 of what I would call a successful (driving, with a functional bed deeper than 6", didn't look like it escaped from a tractor pull) chassis swaps. I'm not particularly a purist, but a realist. You won't likely get much help here, not that we don't like to help, because we really do (I'm trying to help right now) just that there is no one I know on here with any significant experience with getting much past setting the body on another chassis.
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  #11  
Old 07-24-2014, 07:52 PM
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Maybe not a truck (which would be much easier) but I have done a "completed" chassis swap.



I did it for the same reasons you are probably considering it, a faster and easier way to get modern suspension and brakes. After doing it IMO there is no time savings in it and a better chance of making your truck worthless.

Here is a dodge truck for sale locally I would of loved to get before somebody thought a frame swap was a good idea. If they hadnt cut the whole firewall and dash out it may have been savable, but the guy thinks it is worth 5x what it is really worth..which is less than if he had left it alone. These "chassis swap" trucks show up pretty often for sale as half done projects, wonder why?




It can be done, but there is no time or fabrication time savings. Unless your frame is garbage I would mod the stock frame.
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  #12  
Old 07-24-2014, 08:21 PM
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The best chassis swap is one that involves a custom-built chassis ala TCI, Art Morrison, etc.
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Old 07-25-2014, 11:10 AM
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Yes please do tell where in NC you are, and about your fabrication experience level. If that's you in the pic, I suspect you might be in the Fayetteville or Jacksonville area? We really are a friendly and extremely helpful group, but sometimes being the most helpful means being completely honest rather than telling someone what they want to hear. Chassis swaps has got to be the #1 most often brought up topic, so we sometimes get bored saying the same thing over and over. There just isn't any later model chassis that fits these trucks worth a flip, where as it is relatively easy and highly successful and satisfying to update the chassis Ford originally put under them (altho, just a safety update and rebuild of the OEM chassis and suspension with a drivetrain update yields a very comfortable, dependable and enjoyable truck in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost). Because of the former problem and complexity, trying to do a chassis swap would be a multi year project (if ever completed) for any but the most highly experienced, skilled and dedicated full time fabricator with a fully equipped shop.
PS: I have a set of older (that's a good thing) but unused FG repro front fenders and valance I might be interested in selling.
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Old 07-25-2014, 01:38 PM
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well, #1 if you can change cab corners you could do a chassis swap
#2 you talk about after market chassis you didn't add how much they cost!!
#3not everybody wants a old chassis under there truck, maybe they want a newer modern suspension!
#4 a ford explorer 4 door fits real well, and the bed only has to be lifter 2"s so I really don't know were the 6" bed comes from!! George.
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:25 PM
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Old 07-25-2014, 02:25 PM
 
 
 
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