And so it begins...1957 Chevrolet, meet 1994 Dodge

Discussion in 'Shiny Things' started by Purcell69, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Purcell69

    Purcell69 Mors ex Tenebris

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    Some of you out there will consider this sacrilege. Fine, you're entitled to your opinion. I've been considering what I am about to do for some time now and I am ready to move forward to the execution. About 20 years ago, I bought a fairly solid 1957 Chevrolet 3100 long bed, minus engine and transmission for a project vehicle. Over the years, I have tinkered with it, driven it a few times and enjoyed playing with it. I started out with an uncut frame and OEM suspension, did a disc brake and PS conversion. It was ok, but 1957 steering tech.

    Later, I chopped the frame and went to a Camaro front clip. Once that was done, I ditched the carb and went to various forms of EFI, Crossfire injection and later a single TBI.

    I've always had my eye on an old NAPCO 4wd set-up. I liked the all business attitude the truck conveyed, but it just isn't practical now. They ride rough and have gearing that will climb a brick wall, but...

    My project is going to be mating the 1957 Chevy body to a 1994 Dodge Ram 1500 4wd chassis and running gear. Originally I was going to use the drivetrain out of a 1996 Jeep Cherokee in the Dodge chassis, but CG69 talked me into staying with the Dodge V8 over the 4.0 inline 6 and AW-4 automatic. I liked the idea of the Jeep motor for the appearance of the inline motor, as was standard in the '57. She convinced me that I would miss the power of the V8.

    I chose the 1994-2001 Dodge chassis for the solid front axle and coil spring front end. The ride is far better than the leaf spring front suspension. I was also looking at the Dodge due to the front pinion location (when considering the Jeep drivetrain), which isn't an issue so much now.

    Yesterday, I picked up a 1994 Dodge 1500 4wd long bed with a 360 V8. The motor is dead, but the rest is all good. $500 and a two hour drive to tow it home. I will need to shorten the frame to match my wheelbase, modify the rear driveshaft to match the frame. Make my cab mounts, etc. this is going to be fun. Pictures to follow.

    -Joe
    #1
  2. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Sounds interesting to me. :lurk

    Jim :brow
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  3. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    In my younger days we had a 460 ford in a 66 chevy (fordlet) a cadvrolet 500 caddy in a 80's chevy and a Dord. (440 in a beam axel ford) The Dord was the most scary. The cadvrolet was actually a very nice truck.

    So a chrysolet or a dodolet makes perfect sense.

    The driveshaft guy we used to use is long gone to his reward.

    Rod
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  4. Purcell69

    Purcell69 Mors ex Tenebris

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    When I first started playing with this truck years ago in AZ, I had a neighbor who lived down the road who had swapped a 472 Cadillac motor into his '64 C-10. Granted that was GM to GM so other than the correct transmission bolt pattern, it was somewhat straight forward. Of course, gasoline was also about a buck twenty per gallon.

    -Joe
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  5. ragtoplvr

    ragtoplvr Long timer

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    Actually the Cadvrolet got much better mileage than you would expect. We took out a blown 5.7 diesel. It had the stock air cleaner with an extra snorkel grafted on, so cold or heated air as needed, dual exhaust, rejetted quadrajet, and recurved distributor, it would often get in the 17-18 MPG range unloaded, and 14 pulling a decent bass boat, lots of power to spare. The diesel before it blew was hard pressed to get 22 and with boat, kids on tricycles wanted to pass.

    It sure was fun passing an the shiny new diesel trucks going down highway 65 to Branson in a older chevy with 5.7 diesel badges still on it. Some of trucks going up hill once I put in the 383.

    Rod
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  6. Purcell69

    Purcell69 Mors ex Tenebris

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    :rofl. I remember those 5.7 diesels. Dad got on the diesel band wagon back in '75 when we lived in Maryland. He traded in his Olds 442 on a Peugot 504 and brought in a fuel tank to put beside the house. He'd get the tank filled about once a year with #2 home heating oil to run in the car. That little diesel routinely got 38 mpg, so he figured that a diesel Olds had to be the best of both worlds, because Dad was an Olds guy. That car was slow and loud, but not much else. Surprisingly, he did get a speeding ticket in it once...driving down a 6% grade in New Mexico. He should have fought it. Nobody in their right mind would believe and Olds diesel could break 60 mph.

    -Joe
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  7. madeouttaglass

    madeouttaglass The AntiHarley

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    I'm all for it. You are not cutting up an unmolested vehicle, not to mention keeping a '57 on the road. Start posting the before pics!
    #7
  8. Purcell69

    Purcell69 Mors ex Tenebris

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    Pictures will be coming soon. I am at work right now and it was too late to start taking the yesterday, between unloading my buddy's trailer and taking it back to his place. Patience my friends...

    -Joe
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  9. High Country Herb

    High Country Herb Adventure Connoiseur

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    Sounds like a great project.

    I have seen some mixed breeds that turned out fine. My friend's 80 year old father runs a 4X4 pull truck (like at the county fair) that is a '51 Dodge pickup with a Ford 514 big block. It is barely streetable. It is seriously loud when he opens up the cut-outs for competition.

    The other one is an early 50's Ford 2WD pickup with a heavily modified Cadillac motor.(He used to build Caddy motors for the Engine Masters build-offs.) I haven't seen the completed show quality truck since it got out of the hot rod shop, but I will get a really close look at it soon. The rear main seal is leaking, my friend and I will be providing some help to get it fixed.
    #9
  10. troidus

    troidus Long timer

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    I don't know why no one ever put a turbo on those 5.7s. Maybe they did and I never heard about it. (Probably have to o-ring the block to keep the head gasket together, so maybe it was cost-prohibitive.)
    #10
  11. Purcell69

    Purcell69 Mors ex Tenebris

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    I think the 5.7 diesels got such a bad rep that GM stopped right there with spending money on them. Most were lucky to make it to 50k miles before the nylon teeth on the timing gear gave out. GM went back to the drawing board and came up with the 6.2 and later the 6.5 turbo.

    I had toyed with the idea of going diesel, a 4BT to be exact. The drawback is the noise and vibration. I could pretty well sound deaden the '57 cab, though there are metal to metal points of contact that were never meant for a diesel when this truck was built. Then there is all the small hardware that holds thing like the grille together. Literally hundreds of small screws and nuts needing Loctite of the highest order. As much as I love my Cummins trucks, I just felt there would be a lot of retro engineering to make a diesel a viable engine choice for this project.

    For what I really want to do, enjoy driving something unique, the gas V8 will work. Early on, I had been in hot rod mode with this. An early hemi would have been cool, but the cost is beyond my budget. I did have a 454 in place at one point, but to enjoy driving this means not stopping for gas every 150-200 miles, so I started playing with a small block and EFI.

    In addition to modifying the Dodge chassis to accept the Chevy body, I have a few patch panels that need to be installed and I am seriously considering adapting in more modern cab mounts for the body. 1957 tech was a rubber wafer about as thick as a heavy duty MC tube that sat between the body and frame at mounting points. As a result, almost every noise and vibe was transferred and amplified in the cab.

    [​IMG]

    -Joe
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  12. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    I say good and cool! A 57 truck is worth no where near what a 1957 Belaire is so go for it. Now if you were gonna mate a Dodge truck to a 57 belAire 2 door, we would all collectively kick your ass. :roflOr fell like it!
    #12
  13. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

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    That will certainly drive the Chevy fanbois insane, and that alone is reason enough to do it. :evil Just be prepared for lots of moronic comments from Bowtie Believers.
    #13
  14. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    I'm nondemoninational, but you are obviously a "fanboi" of some denomination to hold so much disdain for others.

    I haven't seen anyone act foolish about this until now!:deal

    Jim :brow
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  15. Sniper X

    Sniper X De Oppresso Liber

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    I have a 1974 3/4 ton Chevy C20 and have Dodge Wheels and hubcaps on it. You should hear the questions....I call it the Chodge.
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  16. Gas Hog

    Gas Hog Two Wheel Fanatic

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    You Son of A Bitch..:huh













    :lurk
    Gary
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  17. Purcell69

    Purcell69 Mors ex Tenebris

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    :rofl

    I was removing the right front tire this morning in anticipation of mounting up some roll around stock. I looked up and realized I will need to combine the inner front fenders from the two trucks to accommodate the new front suspension. This is going to be good. I could go without inner fenders, but I like the challenge.

    -Joe
    #17
  18. ddavidv

    ddavidv Thrifty not cheap

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    You're reading something into it that isn't there.

    I go to a lot of car shows. The mouth breathing, "My brand is the only good one" types are out in full force and a swap such as this will drive them absolutely bonkers. The owner can do whatever he wants to his truck; it's his and he should build what he wants. But the Brand Loyalists are typically unable to keep their mouths shut and their comments to themselves. I was just pointing out this side effect of marrying two brands together. Doesn't sound like the OP will be bothered by this in the least, but hearing the stupid comments can be wearing.

    I'm hardly a fanboi...have played with vehicles from nearly every country and nameplate. I've got some I like more than others, certainly. Every brand made turds. Every brand also has flashes of brilliance. Time spent behind the counter of a speed shop will illustrate which brands have the most blindly loyal followers though.
    #18
  19. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Seemed kind of obvious to me:

    None the less, there is no need for that kind of thing in this thread, and most everyone else has not mentioned it at all, so no need to continue to hijack what should be an interesting build thread!:deal

    Jim :brow
    #19
  20. Weekend_warrior

    Weekend_warrior Been here awhile

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    But, its a dodge! :huh

    Ha! Seriously not a dodge fan. I've had some experience with 2 cars my mom owned in the 80's, one in the 90's and my Ex had a 2001 PT cruiser. Had issue will all of them, but the PT was the worst in terms of accessibility. She sold it soon after we were done as she got tired of putting money into repairs after she figured out I was not going to work on it any more! Not a fan, but I think it will be good build.

    Please take it to the car shows just to piss a few "Mouth Breathers off".

    Always been a Chevy guy myself . I do like to kid my buddies that drive fords, dodge, Toyotas, etc.... It's really just that. I kid. Yes, every brand has turds. Truth is I looked a Toyota for my last truck, but the blind "its better than all other trucks because Toyota is reliable" attitude and the 4K it was going to cost me (even used) more than a Chevy or ford took it off my list. At the time of my purchase Chevy just had what I wanted and the best in class MPG so that was my choice after selling my 96 GMC with 185K that was mostly stock (as in not a ton of replacement stuff on it). I had to ask myself "would I buy that truck again" The answer was yes, so I picked up an 08 GMC. Just over 96K on it now and its been a good truck.

    Great project and I'd love to see some photos of the along the way.

    I've been watching a fella on another site put a 66 Dodge body on a new Eco boost truck he bought from a wrecking yard. He ended up with a brand new frame from ford and is using the ford Full dash in it. His build has stalled due to health reasons, but some amazing work so far and looks like it turn out to be a dam cool daily driver. He is very close to finishing with the ford fully assembled and the body ready to mate.

    I hope your build goes as well!
    #20