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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    19

    Default New guy here, 1951 Chevy 3100 questions

    First off, let me begin by apologizing for what I am sure will be some dumb questions. A bit of background. I have a BIG background in Offroad fabrication, rockcrawlers, rollcages, chassis design,... But when it comes to hotrods.... I am a bit out of my element.

    I started building cars when I was 14 with a 65 mustang, then a 68 cougar, and then went to crawlers. MY wife recently told me about her dream truck, and it got me on the hunt for a 47-54 Chevy pickup. I found one the other day and will be picking it up next weekend. Smoking deal on a relatively straight, rust free complete truck. So here are my questions:

    1. I don't want the stance to be stock, however I also don't want the stance to be in the weeds. I would like a happy median, and a VERY comfortable ride for my wife. I am not adverse to throwing it on an S-10 frame, but are there better options? Airbags? Coilovers? The rear will be getting a inverted 4 link (Its what I build for crawlers).

    2. If I run an IFS in the front, what do you guys recommend? Can I run a C4 or Mustang 2 front end? I do't mind cuttinga nd welding (I actually enjoy fab work).



    3. How do I figure out wheel width as well as tire size? I am used to tires not even being in the fenders. Now I have to deal with a fender in the way, I want to make sure the truck can turn and not rub tires.

    Any other advice you ahve for me, please let me know.

    Thanks
    Dima


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mena, AR
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    293
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    If I had to do it over again, I would seriously consider this option depending on your end use. Just an option. They also have complete suspensions and builders parts. Check em out.

    Chris

    http://www.nolimit.net/products#!/Bi...tegory=6257097


    Chris
    1967 ElCamino
    2004 Chevy SSR (my sons)
    1951 Chevy pickup(my sons)

    1967 Elky http://www.pro-touring.com/showthrea...587-Evil-Angel

    1951 truck http://www.pro-touring.com/threads/1...3-year-old-son

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    477

    Default

    Welcome. You are in the right place for information.

    Many, many combinations have been proven to work. You need to think about what you want the truck to do. Driver with occasional AutoX or track days is far different that a truck you want to compete with, for example. An easy thing to do is check out the trucks that are doing what you want to do and research them.

    As for suspension parts, IFS bolt-ins, or a full chassis. Again, think about what your expectation is and how much you want to spend. No Limit is proven, Hotchkis is proven. Detroit Speed is proven. Roadster Shop makes lovely stuff too. And there are others, the truck market has exploded since 2010.

    Personally, I wouldn't put anything Mustang II under a heavy truck that you are going to hammer on. Safety is paramount. I'd also recommend reading this thread from Ron Sutton, even if you aren't going to a full track car/street car - there is loads of information here that will give you ideas for what you should or should not do.

    http://www.pro-touring.com/threads/1...ing-Track-Cars

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Wilmington NC
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    242
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    I went the S10 frame route on mine..
    Primarily because the cab was already sitting on a 95 S10 frame (even though there were no mounts)
    I plan on adding some tubular control arms, bigger brakes, etc at some point, the fact that they make these for S10s makes it easier than going custom
    though not nearly as cool, lol. If I could afford it I would go with No Limit, but I need to find a way to make it work on a budget, and the S10 frame seemed like a good compromise.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Woodstock, IL
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    2,229
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    Default New guy here, 1951 Chevy 3100 questions

    We offer a nice bolt in chassis for these.. Check out our projects page on our site to see a 49 we built and a 52 in process. Also YouTube "Schwartz 1949 pickup" and watch it in action.

    The stock frames are weak so you need to box it and add some bracing. The labor to do that can be expensive, and you still have an old frame. S10's aren't the best handlers but they're much better than stock.

    www.schwartzperformance.com
    SchwartzPerformance
    The leader in bolt-in muscle car chassis
    SchwartzPerformance.com | GMachineChassis.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    Dealer for: Forgeline, RideTech, Tremec, American Powertrain, Silver Sport Transmissions, GM Performance Parts, RECARO, Cerullo Seats, TMI Products, Vintage Air, Baer Brakes, Wilwood, BeCool, AFCO, Tanks Inc, Holley / Hooker, Ultimate Headers, Rick's Tanks, Moser Engineering, Currie, TechAFX, Stainless Works, II Much Fabrication, and many more

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Wilmington NC
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    242
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    Schwartz

    It's funny, I was drooling over your Mustang chassis and didn't realize you made one for my truck as well!

    Those are 2 good looking trucks, and good looking chassis as well!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Woodstock, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue70 View Post
    Schwartz

    It's funny, I was drooling over your Mustang chassis and didn't realize you made one for my truck as well!

    Those are 2 good looking trucks, and good looking chassis as well!
    Thank you sir!

    -Dale
    SchwartzPerformance
    The leader in bolt-in muscle car chassis
    SchwartzPerformance.com | GMachineChassis.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

    Dealer for: Forgeline, RideTech, Tremec, American Powertrain, Silver Sport Transmissions, GM Performance Parts, RECARO, Cerullo Seats, TMI Products, Vintage Air, Baer Brakes, Wilwood, BeCool, AFCO, Tanks Inc, Holley / Hooker, Ultimate Headers, Rick's Tanks, Moser Engineering, Currie, TechAFX, Stainless Works, II Much Fabrication, and many more

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    477

    Default

    Sorry Dale, I meant to put you on my list too. Send him a picture of that shop truck you built. Very cool stuff.



    Quote Originally Posted by Schwartz Performance View Post
    We offer a nice bolt in chassis for these.. Check out our projects page on our site to see a 49 we built and a 52 in process. Also YouTube "Schwartz 1949 pickup" and watch it in action.

    The stock frames are weak so you need to box it and add some bracing. The labor to do that can be expensive, and you still have an old frame. S10's aren't the best handlers but they're much better than stock.

    www.schwartzperformance.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Idaho Falls, Id
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    Default

    What's your budget?

    I'm not a fan of 2wd s10 frames but I put my 54 GMC on a Bravada frame to make it AWD. Basically same stuff as a Cyclone/Typhoon. It's getting a turbo 5.3



    I have Jag suspension front and rear for my 53. The IFS is nicely self contained,easy to adapt, gm bolt pattern, and has discs and rack and pinion




    I used a 2nd gen TA sub frame to clip the frame on my 49. They are a little wide but it's what I had laying around. With cut springs and crappy old shocks this still rode really nice



    For a low buck IFS, I think the late 70s-early 80s G body front suspension is a good option to clip a stock frame. Hub width is good and there are after market parts available. The steering box is kinda in the way of the radiator support but it's not hard to get around. This suspension can be made to both ride and handle well.

    For after market, I don't know for sure. Mustang II is popular, but there are better options if you want the truck to handle. The roadster shop's RevoIFS for these trucks sounds like a good set up

    http://roadstershop.com/suspension/1947-54-chevy-truck/
    Traven

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    25
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    I've seen these put on modern Silverado chassis and look and work great. Drives like a modern day truck and you get a good motor transmission combo depending on what you get. But he s10 always looks off to me for some reason like the wheels are too far under the truck. The Silverado makes the tires fill the fenders real well. My brother is in the process of doing this to his 47. There is a guy on Facebook called "purple monkey kustoms" his trucks look great. He does the Silverado frames.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    El Segundo, CA
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    268
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    Hi Dima,

    As others have mentioned, it is good to think carefully about what you ultimately want from your truck and then aim for that target. I did not do this, and ended up spending time and money trying to improve the leaf springs and solid front axle, when I new deep down it was not going to yield the results I wanted. And it sure didn't.

    I understand the part about wanting it to be comfortable for your wife. That is also a strong consideration for me.

    I would not even think twice about going IFS up front. Do it. Also consider that one strong contributor to comfort is the stiffness of the frame. Yes that also helps handling, but NVH is very dependent on everything being as stiff as possible, so that only the suspension and its bushings absorb impacts and bumps. Unfortunately ladder frames are not very stiff at all. Luckily there is a lot of room between the bottom of the cab and the ground to build a stiff frame

    Wheel and tire sizes are not straightforward, because there are so many variations on suspensions and track widths. But there is a lot of room under the fenders of most older trucks, so that helps. Trucks have a lot of weight up front, so if you want good handling try to keep the wheel/tire sizes close to the same front and rear. Too much stagger will result in understeer city.

    Building a good frame from one of the reputable frame builders is not a bad way to go if you have the funds. Otherwise you can use your fabrication skills to make stuff yourself.

    What is an inverted 4-link? Rock crawling and road driving are pretty different. Something that works well for one may not work as well for the other. 3-link or parallel 4-link with a Panhard bar or Watts link are most common on the rear. And truck arms, which is what I have at this point, but they take up a lot of room and are heavy.

    Keep the questions coming!

    Gustave

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Idaho Falls, Id
    Posts
    1,327

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    Quote Originally Posted by bwilde86 View Post
    I've seen these put on modern Silverado chassis and look and work great. Drives like a modern day truck and you get a good motor transmission combo depending on what you get. But he s10 always looks off to me for some reason like the wheels are too far under the truck. The Silverado makes the tires fill the fenders real well. My brother is in the process of doing this to his 47. There is a guy on Facebook called "purple monkey kustoms" his trucks look great. He does the Silverado frames.

    I've seen a lot of Purple Monkey's builds. He uses narrowed A arms to bring the wheels in. Stock 1/2 stuff is too wide, and stock 2wd S10 stuff is too narrow so you need wheel spacers. I think I like the idea of a 1/2 ton frame with narrowed arms better than a 2wd S10 frame with wheel spacers.
    Traven

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    mo
    Posts
    1,343

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    My dad has a 49, he did on a s-10 we are putting it on a roadster shop now, if you want a high end truck you have to start with high end products, the s=10 frame if you want a driver is fine, but its really imo a half ass set up, this will be 3rd chassis its been on the original frame was subframed with a Camaro clip it was installed wrong.. I would suggest an aftermarket chassis, IMO roadster shop is probably the best out there
    Thall shall fear no amount of boost, For thy bottle is with me.......

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19

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    Well I finally picked up the truck, and then got a nice surprise on the way home... My FIL wrecked his 2000 Tahoe, so I got a motor and trans as well. But this got me thinking, and hear me out.

    I was actually considering building an AWD truck out of this. I know I am not going to use the frame at all. I was planning on building a complete tube chassis (something I have experience doing anyway). So tell me what you think of this, and whether or not it can work:

    S10 4wd chassis. I basically use the one little section that holds the control arms and the front diff. The rest gets cut off, and I work some tubes in place of the factory steel. I have been thinking about this quite a bit, and it doesn't look that tough to do to be honest. The hood height of the 3100 allows me the ability to clear the front driveline.

    Then I got to thinking about using the chassis off the tahoe. Has anyone ever done a build with a 2000 tahoe chassis (or the like). I am more concerned about track width I am trying to find all kinds of info, and just like everything else on the net... Its all confusing.

    How about the track width of the 4wd s10? Any info on that? Finally, how about a bravada? Has anyone heard of this being done before?

    Thanks
    Dima

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Posts
    6

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    Hello Dima. there are a lot of people that have done the AWD setups in their trucks and cars for that matter. Just search online. I have toyed with the idea of AWD for both my first gen Camaro and 72 C10. If you can tell me the dimension across the front wheel openings I might be able to steer you in the right direction. First you need to understand the difference between 4WD and AWD, they basically use two different types of transfer cases. Big trucks and offroad vehicles are usually 4WD, and have two speed transfer cases with a low setting. For what you are doing, you probably want AWD. AWD transfer cases are usually one speed, but split the torque between the front and rear by an approximately 40% front/60% rear ratio. In older vehicles Cyclones and Typhoons were AWD, and shared parts with AWD Astro vans. In newer ones Trailblazer SS and some of the full size trucks used AWD. The really new AWD transfer cases are not usable unless you integrate the whole ABS system from the donor vehicle. IIRC the Transfer case numbers you will want are: Cyclone/Typhoon/Astro=NP136, Trailblazer SS=NP120, and the big boy for full size trucks=np149. I have the front section of the frame, and most of the driveline from a Trailblazer SS sitting here if you need measurements. I don't have enough of the brakes to give you wheel mounting surface to wheel mounting surface dimensions, but I am sure you can find that online somewhere.

    Joe

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Idaho Falls, Id
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flatty View Post

    S10 4wd chassis. I basically use the one little section that holds the control arms and the front diff. The rest gets cut off, and I work some tubes in place of the factory steel. I have been thinking about this quite a bit, and it doesn't look that tough to do to be honest. The hood height of the 3100 allows me the ability to clear the front driveline.
    I replied to your pm, but I'll post some info in here too.

    This is basically what I'm doing with mine. The 4x4 S10/Blazer/Jimmy and Bravada frames are all basically the same on the front. I'll cut off the rear and build my own frame rails. I may even build a full round tube frame.


    Quote Originally Posted by Flatty View Post
    Then I got to thinking about using the chassis off the tahoe. Has anyone ever done a build with a 2000 tahoe chassis (or the like). I am more concerned about track width I am trying to find all kinds of info, and just like everything else on the net... Its all confusing.
    I have seen this done, but it's a pretty wide track width. Ok for a lifted truck, probably too wide for a lower ride height, plus you'd have 6 lug hubs.


    Quote Originally Posted by Flatty View Post
    How about the track width of the 4wd s10? Any info on that? Finally, how about a bravada? Has anyone heard of this being done before?

    Thanks
    Dima
    Pretty sure hub width is 59.5". S10 style Bravadas are the same. I don't know much about Trailblazer style Bravadas, but that's electronic AWD, so I think the older stuff is better for a swap like this.

    I've seen these trucks on 4x4 S10 frames. I've never seen one that was AWD, but my buddy and I are each building one with the Bravada parts. Bravadas had the same AWD parts as the Syclone and Typhoon. Astro Vans are a wider track width, but have the same AWD t-case, and I'm pretty sure the same front diffs.

    The 4x4 front diffs have an actuator that locks the axles in, where the Sy/Ty/Bravada diff doesn't.



    Front diffs also came with bolt on cv shafts, or the kind that pop in with a clip on the axle.

    The Syclone, Typhoon, and early Bravada and Astro Vans have a t-case with a viscous coupler. I believe they switched to electronic awd in '98, so the viscous coupler set up is what you want. T-cases all have a 27 spline input shaft to mate with a 4L60e, but there are two output shafts, 27 spline or 32 spline.

    So basically, you can get a Bravada, it'll have a good hub width and the right t-case and diff, then fab rear frame rails. Or get any 4x4 S10/Blazer/Jimmy frame and get a diff and t-case from a Bravada or Astro.

    You can get a frame cheap enough or buy a whole car and part it out. I bought a Jimmy for $400 and parted it out and kept the chassis, got a diff and t-case. But then I bought a Bravada for $500, parted it out and kept the chassis. Got my money back from both so all of my chassis stuff was free.

    If you use the engine and trans from the Tahoe, you can use a stock t-case adapter to put the awd t-case behind the 4L60e. There are different S10 and Bravada adapters. They all fit, they just clock the t-case differently.
    Traven

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Idaho Falls, Id
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    This is how mine's sitting currently. The body is on the Jimmy chassis with the 4.3L in it.




    But now that I have the Bravada chassis, I'll build it and move the body over. I'm using a 5.3, 4L80e, and t-bird IRS. I'll probably set it up at a 110" wheel base, and modify the bed to fit. It's all just strapped together so I could roll it around lol.



    My buddy's is a 53 Chevy. I was gonna be done first, but then I came back overseas so he's getting ahead of me lol. He's got a 6.0 he's gonna twin turbo, 4L80e, t-bird IRS, a manual steering rack and he's going to put electric assist on the steering.



    We'll have to figure out front driveshafts, but if you're an offroad/rock crawler guy, you probably know plenty about shafts and joints and angles and whatnot. He set his engine really far back and found a shaft out of something else that was long enough. I don't think that joint set up isn't gonna work though.





    I think this is as far as he's got, but he's getting there.

    Traven

  18. #18
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    Feb 2006
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    Idaho Falls, Id
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    I almost forgot. There is a limited slip diff available for these front diffs. I'll have to get one of these.

    https://www.facebook.com/BullyRacing...95391210715969

    Traven

  19. #19
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    Jun 2008
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    Raven!!!!! WTF?!?!?!?! That is amazing!!! Exactly what I was looking for. I spent the entire evening outside in the freezing cold looking this truck over, trying to figure out how to ge the Tahoe stuff under this car. I found a bravada for $500 last night, and realized they are always there, and always cheap. I wil part out whatever I don't use from this tahoe and keep the motor and trans. This is going to be my wife's truck, and she has a HEAVY right foot... So no turbo's for her. the AWD is more for me anyway (I just want to prove to myself that I can do it). My best friend was a R&D engineer at FOX, so we already talked suspension setups. I have built countless tube frames, so this will get tubes from the subframe back for sure (just because I can). I LOVE fab work, and not a fan of bolt on at all.

    I have a house to build first (family just got bigger so we need more space). I start on the house in the next few weeks, and then its double time on the 3100.

    Raven, I love the stance, but the old lady wants it to be a bit taller. She wants factory ride height, I talked her into a 3" drop from factory. But its going to sit on airride (somehow, have to figure this out still). I want a driver, not a show car at the end of the day.

    Thanks for all the advice. I plan on using everything you wrote (already printed it up).

    Dima

  20. #20
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    Jul 2018
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    Default

    edit, answered my own question.

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