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Body Swap

Discussion in 'Chevy Trucks' started by Jeffrey Thomas, Mar 17, 2001.

  1. Jeffrey Thomas

    Jeffrey Thomas Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I have a 78 k10 that needs a new body.Iwould like to put a 88-93 body on my frame.I was wandering if anyone has done or seen this swap done and what all it would consist of. Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. plowking35

    plowking35 2000 Club Member
    from SE CT
    Messages: 2,923

    Since I have never done this swap, I will talk in generics.
    The body and radiator mounts will have to moved on the 78 frame to match up with the new body.
    Steering and tranny linkages will have to be made. Brake lines made to attach to master cyl.
    You will have a host of computer controlled electronics that wound be used withe the older drivetrain, so those will have to be identified, and then rewired accordingly.
    I ma sure there will be a ton of minor odds and ends that will have to be addressed.
    Anything can be done with motivation money and time.
    Dino
     
  3. Bill c

    Bill c PlowSite.com Veteran
    from ny
    Messages: 85

    I gotta agree with dino,sounds like to much work I would just swap another pre 88 body on it.
     
  4. MTCK

    MTCK Senior Member
    Messages: 346

    You can do anything if you throw enough time/money at it, but speaking from experience, I've swapped bodies on two very similar trucks, and it was a LOT of work. The frames are different on the two trucks you want to combine, and some serious fabrication and electrical work would be required. I'd opt for a 73 to 87 body. I'm sure it could be done, it would just be a huge project. Good luck.
     
  5. Chuck Smith

    Chuck Smith 2000 Club Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2,317

    Dino is right. Consider this as well.....
    For what it would cost, a new body swap would run you about the same. The labor involved in restoration of your body, if done from start to finish by you, would be less than swapping the body, plus the cost of the "donor" truck.
    Fenders and Doors, inner fenders, rocker panels, cab corners, floor supports, radiator supports, battery trays, grilles, headlight bezels, marker lights, tailgates, etc. can all be purchased. The more of these parts you can install yourself, the cheaper it would be to restore your 78.

    I mean Fenders from JC Whitney run $59 each. (GM fenders run $500 each) inner fenders $39 each. Doors, $116 each. Rocker panels, less that $20, floors and cab corners, less than $20 each.

    IF you want a truck that won't rust, you can go the fiberglass route. They sell cabs, hoods, doors, fenders, inner fenders, all made of fiberglass now. They are expensive, but no more expensive than swapping a late model body on to your 78 Chassis. You'll never have to replace body parts again due to rust!

    Also keep in mind a newer body swap would require all emissions devices to be on the motor of the 78. YOu would need the distributor from the donor truck, or from another V8 engine with an on board computer. The ABS would have to be addressed, or not used since the brake proportioning valves are different on each vehicle.
    When I personally need body parts, I look locally for 2wd trucks, with blown motors or transmissions. The 2wd's tend to be in better shape than 4wd's in this area. I got a bed off an 87, that had a cap on it, and was in nearly mint condition. All the 2wd body parts from 73 - 87 will fit your 78. The nose is the only tricky part. YOu can mount from 73 - 91 Blazer and Suburban noses on the 78 chassis, but you need the whole nose. Hood, fenders, radiator support, inner fenders, and hood cowl. For more info on what parts from what years interchange, go here.

    http://www.chuckschevytruckpages.com/bodyparts.html

    ~Chuck
     
  6. Jeffrey Thomas

    Jeffrey Thomas Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    I would just like to say thank you for all the info! After reading all of your replies I belive I'll stick to the older body style since it's so much work. Besides I've got all these spare parts.