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Help with swapping 92 cab onto 83

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Old 08-20-2017, 12:17 PM
Tbrooks26 Tbrooks26 is offline
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Help with swapping 92 cab onto 83

Hi everyone. I've got an old 83 f150 long bed 4wd that has been my work truck for many years. It even survived being near a house fire although the dash, windshield, and some trim didn't fair so well. So I recently picked up a 92 2wd that had been wrecked for $200, mainly for the bed. The cab and fenders are still good also, mainly just the front clip damaged, and the motor is a little iffy. It has a slight knock, 200k miles, and the guy that wrecked it had a heart attack and wore the rear tire Down To the wires. Honestly I can't believe it still runs, but I yanked the radiator and fan and looped the tranny lines and it fired up.

Anyway I've decided if I can go ahead and swap the cab along with the bed it would be awesome. My 83 is pretty rusty, and the 92 is spotless. It will be a plus too to get power windows, a working intact rear window, more than 2 wiper speeds, pretty much better everything. I know it's possible, and I saw a thread on here where a guy asked and kohlerjd110 had been working on a similar swap.

So, I'm a basic do it yourselfer. Never done cab or dash work really, although I've done a decent amount of basic mechanics, even as far as doing a tranny swap and pulling an engine in a friend's Chevy. If there was a guide somewhere to help me I would appreciate it, but I can't find it. Id like to keep everything in the 92 cab that I can. I realize there's issues with the speedo cable, maybe the pedals, and I'll have lots of work to do with wiring.

I really am just trying to get another 5+ years out of this old truck. It wont be in my budget for awhile to get a new one and my foot will be through the floor before long. I've got my dad to help and he's a decent mechanic as well, and a buddy's jd tractor to do the heavy lifting. Any help would be greatly appreciated, maybe we can turn this into a how to thread for future use
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:26 PM
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How is the frame on your old truck? If it's as rusty as you say, you may be better off swapping your engine/trans/transfer case and your rearends into the later frame. Probably the same amount of work.

No matter what you do you are going to have to figure out the gas tank. The 92 is setup for fuel injection. Ok, let's swap in the older 83 tank. But wait, the older 83 sending unit is not compatible with the later model gas gauge in the 92 dash. So you will have to keep the later fuel tank(spotless too correct?) and then modify the 92 sending unit for a low pressure fuel system. You can probably take the in tank fuel pump out and bypass it with a steel line.

Do you have inspections? They may not like a older engine in a 1992 truck. No matter which way you go, you are going to end up with a 92 correct? You have the title for the 92 and you will register it as a 92?
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Old 08-20-2017, 12:57 PM
Tbrooks26 Tbrooks26 is offline
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Surprisingly the frame looks pretty sound. I hauled 2k lbs of tile in the bed last fall, placed up as close as I could to the cab, and it didn't break lol. I'd thought about swapping over to the 92, but then I've gotta find a front clip for it.

I didn't think about the sending unit. I could live without a gas gauge, but it would be nice to have. The 92 also has dual tanks.

We have "safety inspections", no emmisions, and I'm in a very rural area, the shop I go to never even looks at my truck. Honestly I wasn't going to worry about the VIN issue, or changing registration, I've never seen a cop around here check vin's, and actually where I drive it, it's very rare to see a cop. I haven't talked with the guy much since I got it, it came straight to me from the accident scene, but if I can get the title and make it all legit I will. I didn't worry about it before because I was just gonna use the bed and back window
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Old 08-20-2017, 02:32 PM
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Till I got papers on the 92 I would hold off. If you use the 92 cab with the VIN even if so far you have not had anyone look at VIN's if the owner of the 92 reports it stolen and you do get checked guess who is going to jail?


So lets say you do get papers for the 92, what motors & tranys do the 2 trucks have?
How bad is the front clip on the 92, pictures maybe?
How much could JY parts be for the front clip?


Sometimes it is cheaper to fix the 92, after you get papers, than to try and swap parts, other than maybe motor/trany to get the 92 running.


Oh I think there would be issues of using the older trucks front clip on the 92 but other would know for sure.
Dave ----
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Old 08-20-2017, 03:19 PM
Tbrooks26 Tbrooks26 is offline
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Well the owners dead, that's why I got the truck, and I've known the family for probably close to 10 years. If they have/can find the title it won't be an issue, or I could file for a lost title.

Both trucks have a 302, 92 stock EFI, 83 carb with roller cam and headers. I don't particularly like the EFI, the 83 is so much easier to work on. I dont recall the trannies, but both are auto, I know the 92 has od, and the 83 is 3 speed. Both trucks have cruise and ac.

I don't have pics at the moment, but I had to remove the fan and radiator just to turn it over. He nailed a tree dead center so everything in The front including the hood, ac condenser, grill, bumper, radiator, and all subframe or mounting parts on the front. Basically everything between the fenders and in front of the motor, headlights might be usable.
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Old 08-20-2017, 04:10 PM
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You probably can't use some of your early frontend parts on the 92 to repair it, you will have to check. But usually they don't swap over easily. But if you swapped the whole complete early clip, front fenders and all, it would probably work out. The whole thing comes off in one piece. The rear lower fender bolts are different, but I have heard a simple homemade l bracket makes it work.
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbrooks26 View Post
I don't have pics at the moment, but I had to remove the fan and radiator just to turn it over. He nailed a tree dead center so everything in The front including the hood, ac condenser, grill, bumper, radiator, and all subframe or mounting parts on the front. Basically everything between the fenders and in front of the motor, headlights might be usable.
Sounds like a pretty bad hit, that more than likely bent the frame of that truck.

Cab swap is possable, but will require some fabrication on how to remount the older truck dash into the newer cab. Along the firewall under the windshield will require correct mounts to be installed. The brake/clutch pedal bracket will need to modified to the other cab. The wiring in the newer cab's use either a round or rectangle bulkhead wire connection while older trucks just gromet the wire harness.

Best thing to do is put both trucks side by side and start figuring things out.
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Old 08-20-2017, 05:59 PM
Tbrooks26 Tbrooks26 is offline
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I had wondered about the frame too.

Do I have to use the old dash? That would suck. It's damaged from fire, among other things. I understand that maybe how to get the speedo to work, but I'd rather go without it than use the old dash
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:05 PM
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Dashes don't interchange anyway, since the cab structure is different by TWO generations. Fuel gauge won't work. The '83 truck is high resistance empty, low resistance full; the '92 truck is vice-versa. So your fuel gauge work backwards. Other gauges are a crap-shoot; if your '83 truck still has the 1G alternator, I don't think there'd be a way to use the voltmeter in the '92. At the very least you'd be wiring it yourself. Temp and oil gauges MIGHT be compatible.

As for the damage to the '92, you're still looking at needing a bunch of parts from yet another truck. The hood, grille, etc. from your '83 obviously won't bolt up to the '92 fenders or cab.

Ultimately it's all "doable", with enough fabrication, money, time, etc. Shoot, the dude who built that six-door Bronco even fabbed up a VSS on his driveshaft in order to operate the OBS speedomater. It could just easily become a project akin to Johnny Cash's Cadillac....
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:32 PM
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Quote:"in order to operate the OBS speedomater. It could just easily become a project akin to Johnny Cash's Cadillac...."
Now that right there is some funny $#!T no mater who you are ! Towmater with a Speedomater !
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Old 08-20-2017, 07:40 PM
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If you know the family then a lost title might be the way to go.


I think there is just too much work needed to make 1 truck out of the 2 and I would try to make the later one the fixer upper using the motor of the early truck being both 302.


Even the frame may not be that and only the frame horns bent in if hit in the center.
Dave ----
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:35 PM
Tbrooks26 Tbrooks26 is offline
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Well I'd be happy with a backwards fuel gauge. Oil pressure and temp are kinda important, but voltage I could do without.

I've got the next 2 weeks off, so I'd like to get this figured out and get it done. I know a guy that has a few Ford's laying around, maybe I could get some front end parts from him for cheap. I really don't have much money to put into it though, if I did I wouldn't be going the Frankenstein route.
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:10 PM
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Bootlegger's Deluxe , 07-12-2011 05:54 PM
i do know there were SIGNIFICANT changes between the 82 body style and the 92 body style ... firewall wasnt even close. Had to hack it all apart twice before i gave up on it all ... i figured the 87 and 95 cabs would be close ... i dont mind having to do some light fab work, but i dont want to have to do things like change heater box holes, move wiring harness holes, move steering column holes, things like that ...


After reading that, I feel like I'd be better fixing the 92, swapping motor, tranny, and diffs. I'm not much on fabbing, but I could build a front clip out of wood if I had too😁
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:44 PM
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Front clips do interchange, just finished putting an 84 front clip on my 95.

https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...o-80-86-a.html

I think I would sell the 92, and buy a 80-86 with a blown motor. That way you avoid doing a ton of wiring, and trying to make 2 different generations of parts work together.
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:07 PM
Tbrooks26 Tbrooks26 is offline
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Thanks for the info. The more I read and think, it probably would be simpler to swap things over to the 92. I know I'll have issues with that route as well though
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