Author Topic: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!  (Read 35128 times)

Offline ToreyC

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81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« on: October 08, 2011, 10:36:06 PM »
Well, the project has finally started. I posted a while back about the project i was fixing to be taking on. First, a little recap. I have an 81 long bed chevy that my dad bought brand new in 81 and has now passed it down to me. This over all plan. First, tear down the entire truck. Convert it from 2 wd to 4 wd. I have 1 ton axles that i'm going to put under it. Once everything is mocked up for the conversion, i'm going to have the frame and axles sand blasted and powder coated along with any other parts that need powder coated. I'm going to run new brake and gas lines, and replace anything in the suspension and steering that needs replaced. With the body off, i'm going to coat the bottom of the cab and bed with a rust preventer, do all body work, and then put back together. I have a donor truck with a 400 small block that will be rebuilt hopefully pushing at least 450 hp. For the paint, i am going back stock. Blue, with a white stripe on the bottom. Out side will be pretty much stock (with the exception of the lift and tires, more on that in a min). For the interior, i am going to have a custom dash (look like the 66 models) with a middle console and box behind seats for subs. in dash dvd player, window and lock controls in middle console. Completely custom. Now for the lift. I plan on putting a 12" lift and 44" tires. It's gonna be a beast. This will be a long process, as i have never done anything like this before, so it will be a learning experience, and it's gonna hurt the pocket book a little bit. Anyways, i'm sure there is something else i meant to say but have fortgot, but i do plan on keeping this thread updated and am take as many pics as possible. Some of the builds on here are awesome, and all of you guys are great with helping everybody out, so i'm hoping yall can help me when i need it ( which will be quite often ) haha. Now i'm ready to get started!
81 LWB 2WD converting to 4WD Chevy
85 SWB 2WD Chevy
2011 Chevy Suburban 4WD
2003 Chevy Express Van (Work Truck)

Without The Risk There Is No Reward

Offline ToreyC

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2011, 10:47:47 PM »
I have been in the process of getting a building for my business ( Heating and Air Conditioning ), and i finally found one. 1300 sq. ft. shop with an office and a bathroom. Although i did need a bigger building for my business, i really wanted one so i could move this truck inside and get started on the big project. I finally got moved in and got to start the tear down process today. So far i got the hood, both fenders, both doors, bed, core support, front and back windows, and the entire enterior stripped down. Tomorrow i have a guy that is hopefully going to come help me lift the cab up. I plan on building a cart to put the cab on so i can roll it around where i need it. Here are some pics of the truck after a days worth of work.
81 LWB 2WD converting to 4WD Chevy
85 SWB 2WD Chevy
2011 Chevy Suburban 4WD
2003 Chevy Express Van (Work Truck)

Without The Risk There Is No Reward

Offline Engineer

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2011, 10:48:32 PM »
Pics?

Oh, I see you added some. ;D
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Offline bake74

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #3 on: October 09, 2011, 03:59:21 PM »
     Well, you got a good project in front of you.
#1: The easiest and most obvious solution to any problem is 99% of the time correct.
#2: There is no such thing as impossible, it just takes longer.
  74 k10, 77k10    Tom

Offline keachers

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2011, 11:19:48 PM »
sounds interesting. i bought a 1976 K10 with 8 inches of lift, 35 inch mud tires. It has a 350 with a sm465 transmission. It has an updated 1982 body. I paid $500 for the truck not knowing if it even ran. I wish i had a place to work on mine. Keep us posted and good luck.

Offline ToreyC

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2011, 11:22:44 PM »
Well, i was able to work on the truck again today. With the help of a guy i know, i was able to get the cab completely off of the frame, and get the engine and transmission pulled out. I do not have the knowledge or tools needed to convert this truck from 2wd to 4wd, so i am getting the help of a local company called ATX Customs to do the conversion for me. I will talk to the guy tomorrow to see about him getting started on it soon. I will visit him often and get pics and update yall on the progress of the conversion. While he is doing that, i will be starting on the body work, so stay tuned.
81 LWB 2WD converting to 4WD Chevy
85 SWB 2WD Chevy
2011 Chevy Suburban 4WD
2003 Chevy Express Van (Work Truck)

Without The Risk There Is No Reward

Offline ToreyC

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2011, 11:31:57 PM »
     Well, you got a good project in front of you.


It is definately a huge project in front of me. Thanks for stopping by.
81 LWB 2WD converting to 4WD Chevy
85 SWB 2WD Chevy
2011 Chevy Suburban 4WD
2003 Chevy Express Van (Work Truck)

Without The Risk There Is No Reward

Offline bake74

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2011, 11:32:55 PM »
     What would be better is if you could learn some stuff from the company, since you have to pay them it would be nice to learn how to do it at the same time.
#1: The easiest and most obvious solution to any problem is 99% of the time correct.
#2: There is no such thing as impossible, it just takes longer.
  74 k10, 77k10    Tom

Offline ToreyC

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2011, 11:34:03 PM »
sounds interesting. i bought a 1976 K10 with 8 inches of lift, 35 inch mud tires. It has a 350 with a sm465 transmission. It has an updated 1982 body. I paid $500 for the truck not knowing if it even ran. I wish i had a place to work on mine. Keep us posted and good luck.


Sounds like a nice truck. I hope you enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by.
81 LWB 2WD converting to 4WD Chevy
85 SWB 2WD Chevy
2011 Chevy Suburban 4WD
2003 Chevy Express Van (Work Truck)

Without The Risk There Is No Reward

Offline ToreyC

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2011, 11:36:35 PM »
     What would be better is if you could learn some stuff from the company, since you have to pay them it would be nice to learn how to do it at the same time.

The good thing about the company that is doing the work, is that they are about 5 buildings down from my new office building. Which means, since my business slows way down in the winter, i will be spending a lot of time at his place watching and learning. I am always trying to learn anything i can about whatever trade i can, so i will definately be visiting very often. And the guy is very cool and won't mind me stopping by all of the time.
81 LWB 2WD converting to 4WD Chevy
85 SWB 2WD Chevy
2011 Chevy Suburban 4WD
2003 Chevy Express Van (Work Truck)

Without The Risk There Is No Reward

Offline ToreyC

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2011, 10:05:47 PM »
I was able to get out in the shop for a short period of time this evening. I got all of the brake lines, gas lines, wiring harness, gas tanks, and any supporst that can unbolt taken off tonight. I am slowly moving towards the 2wd to 4wd conversion. I hope that part of the build will start by next monday at the latest. I know it's kinda slow and boring right now, but i can't wait to be able to post some pics of some good progress.
81 LWB 2WD converting to 4WD Chevy
85 SWB 2WD Chevy
2011 Chevy Suburban 4WD
2003 Chevy Express Van (Work Truck)

Without The Risk There Is No Reward

Offline ToreyC

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2011, 10:07:50 PM »
Where is the best place to buy new pre-bent brake and gas lines as a packaged deal? I am also wanting to replace any hoses on the truck that i can with the braded stainless hoses. Any ideas on the best place to purchase these items would be appreciated.
81 LWB 2WD converting to 4WD Chevy
85 SWB 2WD Chevy
2011 Chevy Suburban 4WD
2003 Chevy Express Van (Work Truck)

Without The Risk There Is No Reward

Offline ToreyC

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #12 on: October 11, 2011, 11:15:34 PM »
Anybody?
81 LWB 2WD converting to 4WD Chevy
85 SWB 2WD Chevy
2011 Chevy Suburban 4WD
2003 Chevy Express Van (Work Truck)

Without The Risk There Is No Reward

Offline thirsty

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #13 on: October 12, 2011, 06:23:18 AM »
I've never bought any, always make my own. When I did my chassis without it was real easy, actually a treat compared to making lines for repairs.
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Offline Captkaos

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Re: 81 Longbed 2wd to 4wd Conversion/ Frame off Restoration!
« Reply #14 on: October 12, 2011, 11:15:03 AM »
Inline Tube or Classic Tube has pre-bent lines....