1951 GMC/Chevrolet Resto Mod Chassis Swap

This 1951 GMC truck sits atop a 4th generation GM B-body chassis, in this case, a 1992 Chevrolet Caprice, which is one reason why this GMC truck has a Chevrolet tail gate – the other reason being the GMC tailgate was missing. The entire chassis, suspension and drive-train were used as well as the entire wiring harness including on-board diagnostics and under-hood A/C components.

The drive train features a Throttle Body Fuel-Injected 5.7L/350 CI mated to a Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 4-Speed Automatic Transmission with Overdrive and limited-slip rear-end.

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1951 GMC Chevrolet Truck Resto Rod

  • 4th Generation GM B-body Chassis (1992 Chevrolet Caprice)
  • Throttle Body Fuel-Injected 5.7 L/350 CI Engine
  • Turbo-Hydramatic 700R4 4-Speed Automatic Transmission
  • Ice-Cold Air Conditioning and Heat
  • New Gauges
  • Power Steering
  • Power Brakes

1951 GMC Chevrolet Truck Resto Rod

1951 GMC Chevrolet Truck Resto Rod

1951 GMC Chevrolet Truck Resto Rod

The interior is freshly re-upholstered in white with red piping to include seats, door panels, kick panels and durable carpet.

1951 GMC Chevrolet Truck Resto Rod

The truck has power ABS brakes (disc/drum), power steering, tilt column (w/ turn signal switch and shift handle), new glass and seals, new door handles and window cranks, new Dolphin Gauges as well as Ice-Cold A/C and heat in a single under-dash unit.

1951 GMC Chevrolet Truck Resto Rod

This truck drives like a couch. And it boogies.

The GM B-body drive train was built for the weight of a full-size modern automobile; with the body swap, hundreds pounds were lost, and power to weight ratio is a wonderful thing!

1951 GMC Chevrolet Truck Resto Rod

As a bonus, this truck can be serviced at any service center anywhere (just convince ’em it’s a 4th gen B-body) and any parts store on the planet will have thrice the parts you’ll ever need, as the drive-train, wiring and computer are complete from a very popular GM B-body: Chevrolet Caprice, Impala SS, Buick Roadmaster: 1991-96.

1951 GMC Chevrolet Truck Resto Rod

1951 GMC Chevrolet Truck Resto Rod

The 1951 GMC / Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap and Build

This is what we started with, a project that was 1951 GMC project truck that was underway, but had a long way to go. The owner hoped to place the cab on an S-10 and call it good. We had a ’92 Chevrolet Caprice already torn-down, stripped and ready to go, and the rest appears below…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

Generally, we modify the cab when using the 4th generation b-body chassis. The owner was not having that so we opted to narrow the chassis…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

See more on the narrowing of this frame in this article: How To Narrow a B-Body Chassis

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

All set. The original frame rails were stripped and used to narrow the donor chassis so the cab will lay right down without modifying the cab or step…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

Initial placement. The cab will move forward a couple inches after some relief cuts are the transmission and firewall…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

Cuts made and front-end in place, bungs are welded into the framerail and the cab is mounted with hockey pucks…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

Setting the steering column with a simple yet effective stand which has served us many times. The pedal hangar from the donor was used in its entirety with minor trimming…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

And with the column in place, we can get on to the harness…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

Untangled, the harness spread out as it will be fed thru the cab and body: forward lights closest…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

With patience, the entire harness fits up under the dash cleanly and is simply zip-tied and/or anchored in place with various size harness anchors…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

The fuse block was attched under the dash.

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

The weather seals from the original harness were carefully removed with the harnesss and reused where appropriate.

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

The splash pan was missing from the truck, so we fasshioned one quickly out of another from the yard…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

The running boards fit to the original brackets that have been welded to the chassis (which we missed photos of).

Positioning the running boards and brackets was easy by mounting the brackets to the running board, fitting, then clamping the brackets to the frame rail, remove the running boards, and weld ’em up…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

The rear of the donor chassis remains largely unchanged. The frame rail ends were cut to fit behind the bed, and the fule tanks straps were refashioned to work with the current setup.

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

A simple 2″ x 2″ and 2″ x 4″ frame was contructed andbolted in to support the bed material…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

Fitting the auxillary cooling fan and transmission cooler. The Transmission cooler is from the donor, the fan was an add-on in place of a mechanical fan and clutch setup…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

Fully fit and functional, time for body work and paint…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

The owner handled the body and paint work, an returned the truck to us to wrap it up.

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

 

So in goes the bed. Nine (9) 2″ x 6″ boards plus eight (8) 10 penney nails fill the bed width exacly…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

To ensure the 2″ x 6″ boards lay down nicely, pilot holes are drilled as instead of simply driving the screws in directly. 

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

This approach allows the wood to shift slightly when the screw is tightened and helps boards with slight bow from the store to flatten out, plus the screw head seats neatly with no tearing of the wood.

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

On to the new gauges…

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

1951 GMC Chevrolet RestoMod Chassis Swap

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