Trade Frame help/advices - S-10 Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 03-25-2019, 05:02 PM Thread Starter
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Trade Frame help/advices

Hi Everyone, I have a '97 S10 4WD, 4.3 auto that I love driving, but the frame is getting pretty thin. I have a chance to get a '99 4.3 4WD manual (bonus points) that won't run and I'm considering swapping frames/transmissions. So let me detail the '99. Current owner said he bought it used, drove it for 6K miles when it suddenly would start and die. Then it was just cranking. Said he put in new plugs, wires, coil, crank sensor and fuel pump. Said the new fuel pump turned on once then just died, won't turn on again. So here's the worrying part - R title due to flood in WVa.. He said it has the '99 cab but motor and rear end replaced, '02 frame from down south (pics of frame look really good), '01 bed and '98 blazer interior. All this before he bought it. So my questions:

1) What might I be looking at just to get this flood truck running? I'm concerned electrical issue due to you know.. flooding... If new motor, it must have been pretty well submerged. Can I swap out my computer/wiring into the '99? How hard/expensive to run a whole new wiring harness? The body actually looks pretty good, cab supports all good, rockers, etc.

2) Will the frame work under my '97? What about changing the auto in my '97 for the manual in the '99? Will I need a different computer set up for the manual?

He's firm at 500 for the '99.

I'm pretty good at wrenching on things, but have never done a swap like this before, so I thought I'd ask before I spent all the $$ and time and ran into something I really can't handle in a home garage. Average tools, no lift or anything extra.

I'm sure I've missed some questions, but please feel free to in add anything you think might help.

So run screaming or go for the swap? Thanks in advance.

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post #2 of 6 Old 03-25-2019, 06:48 PM
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Re: Trade Frame help/advices

Flood cars are usually a hard pass for me.

If the frame (just the frame) is in better shape, and you feel like transferring all your running gear, body work and wiring to the new frame, go for it.

I wouldn't trust mechanical parts (transmission, rear axle) or electronics or wiring from a flood vehicle.

Every machine is a smoke machine if you operate it wrong enough.
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post #3 of 6 Old 03-25-2019, 10:53 PM
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Re: Trade Frame help/advices

I agree nothing on the flood vehicle is worth saving. Water for a few days didn't hurt the basic steel frame. Part out and sell everything off the 99.
The frame doesn't care what trans you use, but as Racer-X said I wouldn't trust a trans that's been submerged.
We're talking removing suspension and everything. Crossmembers, everything.
Title is irrelevant because DMV goes by the one on the dash. You'll be keeping that. Just doing some under body repairs and it will remain the same 97.
When it comes time to swap the cab you'll need a hoist for a couple hours or a good sized endloader unless you want to strip the cab completely. Which really isn't necessary.
I did a 94 on to 97 frame on a K1500 a few years because of rust. Big job. Once you get the chassis rebuilt it's goes fairly smoothly. One nice aspect is you can move the whole power train nearly fully assembled. Same with the front clip. I have a hoist and working 4 hours a day it took a month.
You might want to have the frame media blasted and epoxy painted.
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post #4 of 6 Old 03-27-2019, 05:13 PM
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Re: Trade Frame help/advices

Idk,Iím going to have to go the exact opposite of these other guys. Iím from&live in the gulf coast. I returned after Katrina,because of Katrina,...I fed,and ate good on those flood vehicles. I was able to get dozens of them running again,and make a small fortune...those where salt water flooded too!

Anything can be fixed. It all depends how far down that rabbit hole youíre willing to go. These trucks are also extremely simple,and easy to work on. Iíve gutted many of them,swapped frames,cabs,power trains,you name it...Iíve had flood s10ís too. as long as the water is drained before theyíre ran,and they werenít running when they got baptized theyíre fine.
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post #5 of 6 Old 03-29-2019, 09:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Trade Frame help/advices

Thanks everyone for your input. I think if I can get the $$ down for the truck, I'll use the frame and transfer everything over. I really hate to loose my truck to rusty frame. I'm sure I'll be back on here for swapping issues... thanks again!!
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post #6 of 6 Old 03-29-2019, 11:05 AM
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Re: Trade Frame help/advices

Good luck on your quest - truck should come apart quite easy, I would pull the front clip as one, the cab and bed are easy. I used my engine hoist. You might want to drill 1/8 alignment holes where the fenders bolt to the cab if you have good alignment and make assembly easier.
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