97 Chevy 1/2 ton to 1 ton conversion

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Forum' started by cutlass442_1966, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. cutlass442_1966

    cutlass442_1966 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I have a very nice 97 Chevy 1/2 4x4 pickup that I would like to convert to have 1 ton running gear. I've done a lot of work with old 80s solid axle truck but never anything with IFS, so I have a lot of questions for anyone that knows. First, is there even a difference between the 6 and 8 lug 4x4 IFS other than the lug hub, half shafts, spindel, or A arms. Is the differential itself the same between 1/2 3/4 and one ton (same carrior, ring size) or is it altogether different. Second, is the only difference between the dually 4x4 and single wheel 4x4 front end that 5 inch spacer behind the wheel. Can that spacer be removed to be like a single wheel front end. Third, I know that a dual rearend is narrower than a single rearend, but does anyone know if there are wheel spacers available to cover the distance so a dual rearend can be used as a single.(I ask because I found a dually parts truck for a great price) These are probably dumb questions, but this is the first truck like this that I've delt with and I just don't know much about it, plus its kind of hard to find any info on it. If anyone can answer any of these questions or send me a link to another site that may have more information I would really appreceate it.
    Thanks
    a lot.
     
  2. 03chevy

    03chevy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    1,244
    Likes Received:
    49
    for your first q. that is almost everything but you have to include bigger brakes. and the diff's have differant gears for each 1/2, 3/4 and 1 ton trucks because of the differance what the trucks are able to do and pull or carrie
     
  3. stumpuller454

    stumpuller454 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    2,206
    Likes Received:
    64
    WOW that alot of work! just finda wrecked one ton with all the running gear and swap your good body, you must have alot oftime on your hands, what do you intend to do with this truck that requires the one ton stuff? you could swap the body in a weekend, and sell the good 1/2 ton stuff for good cash, WAY less hassle, just my 2 and half cents though
     
  4. cutlass442_1966

    cutlass442_1966 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I've just found it to be difficult to find a wrecked one ton 4x4 that doesn't have some frame damage too.
     
  5. hotrodpc

    hotrodpc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    7,277
    Likes Received:
    108
    I would suggest this is not a feasible option at all. The brakes are bigger, including the power brake booster, the master cyclinder, brake lines, calipers and all. The ring and pinion in the rear is bigger, the axles are bigger, the IFS has bigger ball joints, stronger A arms, larger upper and lower bushings, not to mention the frame is even bigger. Just guessing, the 1/2 ton chassis is 4 in rails, the 3/4 and 1 ton is like 6 and even 8in in some spots. It would only be worth considering from a 3/4 to a one ton, and that is only consideration. I would not even consider 1/2 to 3/4 or 1 ton. Just my opinion of course. Anyone can do anything if they have the time and funds to do so. I just think it would be cheaper to buy you a wore out 1 ton start there bebuilding the brakes, and installing new suspension parts and it will be cheaper and less headaches in the long run.
     
  6. hotrodpc

    hotrodpc Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    7,277
    Likes Received:
    108
    BTW, also forgot to mention, the auto and even manual trans are more heavy duty as well as the transfer case if going 4x4. The cooling system is much bigger too for both water and trans coolers. Sometimes engine oil cooler too. As stumpuller asked, what are your intentions of use? You may be able to just beef up the half ton a bit and serve your purpose well and maintain a bit of fuel mileage and not have all the headache.
     
  7. 75K30

    75K30 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2006
    Messages:
    3,690
    Likes Received:
    168
    Nothing is the same, and nothing is a direct bolt up.
    Since the control arms will not bolt up to the frame, you cant use the torsion bars, and the rear suspension is not a direct bolt in.
    There is really no advantage to performing this swap. The frame is the weak link and you will never have the same weight capacities as the 1 ton truck.

    With all of this fabrication involved, you would be much better of just s******** all of the running gear, and installing a solid front axle from a Ford, and using the correct 1 ton rear axle.
    You will have far less work invested, and the money will be about the same.
    Kits are available for this, and this is a very common upgrade, but sticking with an already weak design (front IFS), is really not worth the investment of time, or money.
     
  8. brad4eva

    brad4eva Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2008
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    3
    good luck, be better off to buy a new truck
     
  9. wild bill

    wild bill Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    Messages:
    327
    Likes Received:
    7
    hd truck

    kind of like brad4eva said you would be better off finding a 1 ton to start with ,there are probably some out there now that most people are down sizing ,maybe some body will trade !!!:)
     

Share This Page