Been trying to gather all the nuts before winter, went and looked at a S10 frame today. The 56 I.H. truck I have is sitting on a 73 1/2 ton frame right now. The rise in the frame starts about mid way of the cab. I was going to lengthen the S10 and drop everything on that. But I got looking at both and just wondering if it would be at all possible to use the front half of the 73 and weld it to the S10. I found in searching a lot of guys do the nova front frame and weld it in, The 73 appears to be about the same c channel as the S10. Anyone try and attempt this yet? The bonus would be you could cut the 73 right behind the transmission cross member and continue on with the S10 frame from there. Get the right length for your wheel base and have your V-8 set up with a heavy enough front end. Bigger and better braking up front too. I would even swap in the 73 rear axle and have 5 on 5 all the way around. Opens up the possible for 8 inch rims. Just a lot on the brain right now before I lay down.
Lots of questions.
Are both frames good, as far as rust issues?
Is the width of the 73 frame the same (or very close to, as in slide inside the other) as the width of the S10, at the point you want to splice them?
Will the 73 rear axle fit on the S10 springs?
Is the step up in the 73 frame the problem? Can you notch the cab to fit, or notch & box in the 73 frame to solve that issue? Can you adjust the 73 frame to correct the wheel base length and solve the kick up issue?
Would it be easier to back 1/2 the 73 frame with a straight tubing frame and add your 73 springs & rear axle, Pro Street or Drag racing style?
Guess I'm not seeing the reason you want to swap the 73 frame back 1/2 for the S10 back 1/2. Gene
Here's what I have so far. I bought a 56 I.H. pickup, longbed, body. I also have a 73 chevy C10 frame with a 350/350 turbo and the rear axle. I also acquired a 86 chevy half ton with a 350/400 turbo, rear disc, body is still on this. It has a brand new radiator, gas tank and sender, all new summit gages, and the motor has a lot of goodies. I would like to run the front half of the 86 and weld in the rear half of a s10. I can get a s10 frame for next to nothing. I would cut the 86 right behind the crossmember and add the s10 frame from there on. Then I would have a nice flat low frame to drop the cab and bed down on. The full size frame starts a up rise about middle of the cab. That would be a lot of cutting and notching in both the bed and cab. I also have to mate to a 127" wheelbase to line up for the I.H body. I would have the whole V-8 set up already there. I'm even considering cutting out the firewall and floor of the 86 and blend that into the 56 cab. I mentioned putting the half ton axle under because then I would have matching bolt patterns on the rims. I saw a truck at a car show this year and its got me wanting to do this. It was a 53 I.H. on a s10 extreme chasiss. It seemed to me like the wheels were inside the fender wells a little to far for my liking. I'm going to do some measuring between the 2 frames and go from there . I posted in here hoping someone had attempted this already. Kinda give me a road map for my build. Thanks for your reply. Hope this helps in understanding what I'm trying to attempt. In answer to some of your questions, I will know more once I measure everything out between s10 and 1/2 ton. My son has a 92 s10, he's pouring concrete out of town all this week, but will be back friday night. I'm thinking one might slide inside the other as you said, which would be sweet. The frames I have are good for rust. I can make any axle work, I use to offroad with a club and did this a few times. Mainly I want to build something the easiest. But safe is my main concern.
Originally Posted by Gene
Last edited by binderbart; 10-22-2015 at 01:05 PM.
Sounds like you have a great start. Measurements are a good place to start. S10s are pretty narrow. Part of my concern is mounting the C 10 axle to the S10 springs.
Did you get the frame with the 56 IH body? Can you splice the rear of the IH frame with the full size Chevy frame, then replace the IH springs & rear axle with the Chevy springs & axle?
In my mind, I think its going to be difficult to get your needed wheel base using the S 10 frame combined with the C 10 frame, I think you will come up short. I suppose you could add in a "C" channel or tube to make up the extra length, but double splicing frame rails is a recipe for disaster. Its much easier to shorten a long frame then it is to add length to a short frame. If your measurement prove out to be able to make the frame with a long enough wheel base, splicing the S10 and the C10, that would be great, but the back end of the S10 may be too short for that long IH box as well.
If a flat rear frame is the desire, splicing a fabricated tube or channel (I would prefer a 2" x 4" tube) frame onto the front 1/2 of the C-10 frame might be a good option. Depending on how low you want the truck, and weather or not you intend on hauling stuff, a kick up over the rear axle might be the only diversion from flat you might need, and you might not need that. Building a new rear frame will allow you to put things where you want them. If you can splice the frame, building a new rear frame is not that much of a stretch. Weld your C10 spring brackets onto the tube frame add a couple crossmembers, and angle iron brackets for any accessories you need (box mounts, fuel tank brackets, shock cross member).
Sorry, I'm a welder by trade. I've been down this road before, not with these specific trucks, but with enough other trucks to have an understanding. I'd much rather build a new rear frame then mix match a bunch of stuff to get where I'm going. Give me new steel to start with and I'm pretty happy. Gene
First let me say, thanks for all the help and input so far. Its made me think of a few things I didn't consider. I'm hopin my son will stop by the shop after work with his S10 so I can do some measuring and comparing. I also may have found another 56 I.H. for a parts truck. Mine didn't have the frame when I got it, but the price was right on the just the body so I jumped on it. I'm also considering looking for a short bed, then it would fall into the 118" wheel base. I'm going to do some measuring and see what all the options are. I dont care for the S10 rear axle, I have changed out a lot of rear axle shafts in them after a serious groove was wore into the outer axle shaft. I even keep spare shafts from the boneyard for customers S-10's. Cutting wood tomorrow, maybe I'll pop back in tomorrow night with my results from measuring.
I've been down this road before. I mounted my 52 IH on a free s10 frame, bolted on my front clip and hated it. It looked way too small. the wheels sat really deep inside the wheel well. I scrapped my s10 frame and went with a 2wd 90's dakota instead. The IH body fit really nice on the dakota frame, track width was right on and it came with a v8 all ready to go. I'm not a dodge guy but I would recommend the dakota. I used a extended cab short box for mine.
Update. I've purchased a 90 dakota extended cab. I've been looking for 4 months for a 5.2/manual dakota to install in this build, no luck. I'm going to cut everything away but the firewal and floor and fit the I.H. cab to this. I just parted out a chevy truck with a good running 350 chevy, carburated. I know the dakotas came with a nv3500 so I've been looking for a gm nv3500, this way the hydralic clutch would be a straight plug and go. I found one tonight its in a 95 s10 and the price is right. Anyone ever do this conversion? the 90 had a 3.9 manual. I know I can buy aftermarket mounts to make the chevy fit in the dakota. Just wondering on the gm manual working with the carburated v8
I am in the process of putting a 1998 Dakota under a 1950 Studebaker 2r5 pick up. Pulled the Dak V6 and 5 speed. In its place went a carbed 318 that I converted from throttle body. Works perfect with the Dakota 5 speed
If you have the Dakota 3.9 with its manual trans, all you need is a 318. The 93 and newer Magnum 5.2 (318) makes more power, factory stock, then the old LA 318 (67-92). Either 318 will bolt up to the 3.9 bell, and everything will work. You will probably need to put a carb on the 318 intake. The manual trans in a 90 3.9 should be the AX15 with a separate trans and bell, they are not a bad trans.
You may be able to swap parts between the GM and the Dodge, but in my opinion, your asking for trouble. The little things will burn you, and down the road, you will have to remember what parts came from which truck. Gene
On the 1990 LA 318 I put and Edelbrock carb and intake that I scored from Craigslist. Added a plug and play small cap HEI and even used the center dump exhaust manifolds. FYI. Agree with gene about not mixing and matching but sometimes you need to use what you have. I get that too