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Thread: Looking at using the running gear of a 1981 GMC 2500 4x4 on an '87 YJ

  1. #1
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    Looking at using the running gear of a 1981 GMC 2500 4x4 on an '87 YJ

    Well..... I have finally secured the canvas for my project. I found an '87 YJ with a solid body and not bad frame. Only hole on the frame is on the sweep up behind the DS seat on the inside of the rail. I am hoping that this will be an easy fix. Shackle mounts, PW pump mount are solid. It came with a 4" lift and 5 BFG MT's on AR rims with little wear.

    Now, the engine has a blown head gasket. Both axles leak and i find that the transfer case shifts "Funny". So..... As i sit here, i am thinking... Do i rebuild all this OR go for broke and swap in some heavier equipment?

    Just browsing this morn, i came across an '81 GMC2500 4X4 with

    • Rebuilt 350 10K ago
    • T400 Tranny
    • Presume to be Corporate 14bolts (Brakes have all been rebuilt)

    Not sure of the Transfer case as of yet. The truck also comes with a plow as a bonus.

    For the $1000 that i can probably get this for, i will have a full 3/4T running gear and probably be able to sell of the plow for about $600.00 and the rest of the truck to a local scrap metal yard for about $100.00

    Big question for me though is....... Is it doable? Am i looking at allot of fab work? Will the frame be able to support the 3/4T undercarriage? will it need to be reinforced? Would i be able to use the existing 4" lift with the 14 bolts or am i better off using the 3/4T springs as well????

    Anybody with links to resources on such a swap would be greatly appreciated!

    Cheers,
    RIP OD, YOU'LL BE MISSED.... BUT that's OK 'cuz you've been REPLACED !!!

  2. #2
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    anything can be done, and with the long winter approaching, it sounds like a fun way to pass through the cold months. i'd go for it, but your tires will stick out way further, and you'll need to do lots of custom bits to get it to all work, but it'll be a big tough truck when you're done. i'd go spring over with yj leaves, and you'll be able to get 35's + in those wheelwells. go for it, anyway you can get more chevy under your jeep, you're better off.
    currently building a toyota. i'm sorry.

  3. #3
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    Yep, it's certainly doable. I think the hardest part will be getting the steering set up well. Given that you've already got the 4" leafs, I'd go spring-under. Finding good YJ springs is getting tough.

    If I was going that far, I'd pull the injection system off a 90-95 K-Truck w/the 350. Probably $200 from a scrap yard or do what I do and find a 'retired' truck in someone's yard and offer them $200 for it. Usually it's an old guy that doesn't want to see his truck die, so to know it's going to be transplanted into something else gives them a smile.
    ....-Noltz
    '91 Frankenheep Edition. 4.0, 4" BDS, Richmond 8.8, 35" KM2's, Titan 12k, ... gone.
    '95 4Runner SR5. Air-Lift bags, OBA & 8K Winch, DD... gone.

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    not a huge project but will involve some work.going to have to fab up some motor mounts. the tranfer case is simular to the jeeps so you can use the origanal skid plate. just to get it rolling i would use the stock jeep axles for now and take it easy on the loud peddle. in the future you can upgrade to some h/d jeep axles such as a set of d44s or if your budget has room some dynatrack d 60s set up for the jeep.
    there is a million diferent route you can take to do this such as using the stock jeep running gear and using a adaptor to mate the 350 to the jeep trans.
    think about you budget and do you reserch if you rich defonatly go with big axles.
    and by the way gm axles have alot of problems and if your not running 40 in tires forget the 14 bolt as you will be draging it everywhere it has a monster pumpkin.

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    do a search on pirate, keep ya busy for hours, lots of guys have done this. Mine is all one ton stuff it holds up just fine cuz all the extra weight is unsprung.
    CHARLIE DON'T SURF!!
    DINGA DING DANG, MY DANGA LONG LING LONG
    OF4WD#5576
    BOOYAH!!!

  6. #6
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    Hey Thanks Man... I have actually changed plans a tad

    Sold the '87 and bought a '97!!!! Am now in the process of tearing it down to the frame for a RockKrawler LA 6" and some new gears, a new paint job and a complete detail of the undercarriage. We'll see how long THIS will take!

    Your Green YJ is shweet. What color is that? My colors for the TJ will revolve around the army spec olive green and black.

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