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Crew cab body swap onto 1st gen cummins?!

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  • Crew cab body swap onto 1st gen cummins?!

    Hey everyone,

    New guy here with a few questions. I've got a 78' crew cab short bed 4x4, non running 318, etc. After a bit a research here, my current plan is to find a wrecked 89-93 extended cab longbed diesel 4x4 and throw my cab on it.

    Same wheelbase? From the little I've found, the crew cab short bed and the extended cab longbed are the same.

    Potential issues?

    With my trucks unknown mechanicals, no A/C, etc... I think this would be the easiest way to get a modern, yet classic crew. I'd love to hear your comments, thanks!


  • #2
    You may want to consider taking the diesel drivetrain and dropping it onto your 78 chassis and body. It all depends on your strengths in doing trucks and doing body mounts etc. You will see trucks on this forum that have gone both ways so anything is possible.


    I also don't like the idea of wrecked frames... but it all depends on how bad it has been wrecked.


    • #3
      Use the crewcab frame,even though the wheel bases are the same the dropcenter for the crewcab extends further back towards the wheel kickup.
      1964 w300 440 9' utility bed
      1972 w200 440-III,445 4 speed,Dana 60's w L/S
      1975 d500 flatbed dump
      1990 D350 Cummins 5 speed one ton flatbed(ugly maybe donor for ???)
      1998 3500 12 valve Cummins Quadcab 4x4 Dually
      Various and sundry IH farm and construction equipment
      Not enough firearms


      • #4
        good ideas...

        Good points about the swap, and after relooking at the truck and how simple all the components are, a drivetrain swap into my chassis shouldn't be too bad.

        I've been playing with cars for years, but this is my first "truck" project. This brings up a few more questions:

        What years should I concentrate on for a donor? I have dana 60s front and rear, should I swap to the diesel components? I know the engines were basically unchanged until they went to the 24v configuration, with the exception of injector pumps and what not. Ideas? I'd like to get an 89 - 93... so I can swap interior, gauges, and body parts. Intercooled?

        My 78' is full time 4x4, how will this affect the swap?

        4wd? 2wd?

        Thanks again guys, I can't wait to get into this!


        • #5
          Originally posted by sirhc View Post
          I have dana 60s front and rear, should I swap to the diesel components?

          My 78' is full time 4x4, how will this affect the swap?
          Full-time 4x4 would mean your front axle does not have hubs. If that is the case, your Dana 60 front will have drive plates. These can be swapped out with Selectro hubs but they are an external hub. There is a special gear you can order to make them stronger. I'd double check to see that you have a dana 60 front.

          If you can manage to get a complete 4x4 diesel for your swap, that dana 60 will possibly have internal hubs and that would be stronger for you. I believe the first generation cummins had NP-205 transfercases. You would then have a part-time 4x4 truck.



          • #6
            I could go either way with the full or part time 4wd, from what I've read the part time makes it easier, more like a conventional truck.

            My front axle, best I can tell from this diagram, is a 60.

            Its got a "60" on the lower right, shown as the model in the picture. Is this right?


            • #7
              Take a look at the wheels/Rim area. There are external hubs as I described and internal. Internal are more desireable. They both do the same thing though.

              With the NP-205 you will be part-time. Does your truck currently have a NP-203? You could do a doubler swap while you are at it... you could.
              Not sure what your intentions are for this swap though.


              This is a dana 60 front axle with internal hub


              • #8
                I've attached pictures of the front and rear axles, and one of the truck itself so you can see the hubs. Its definitely still a full time 4x4 truck...


                • #9
                  Kewl looking truck!

                  Dana 60 front for sure!
                  Just keep in mind about the hubs, if you want to change it out to part-time.



                  • #10
                    SIRHC i want to look over your shoulder before doing my conversion. what part of the country are you in.,??