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Old 07-31-2018, 11:58 AM
cu4whln's Avatar
cu4whln cu4whln is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
Posts: 1,047
Long bed to Short Bed: Can it be done?

OK - have been looking for a really good body to start with .. short bed J 10. I found a super original step side that is rust free, but don't want a step side...

So, my buddy has a project long bed truck that is GREAT. Is it a stupid idea to buy it and shorten the frame/bed to make it a short truck? Its a 73. Really solid Jeep from west coast and its already here in MI.

I don't know the trucks so well .. like what different between the long and short beds... is it all in the middle? Is the rear overhang the same? It appears there are 2 sets of holes in the frame for the rear suspension.

Possible? Am I an idiot ?

Just cant find a rust free short bed. Don't need a drivetrain, just a solid body.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:23 PM
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Cecil14 Cecil14 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 22, 2001
Location: Carson City, NV
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This has actually come up a couple times in the last few months. From everything I have seen, the truck frames ('74+) are the same between long and short beds, with the except of a little extra frame on the end of the long bed. The general consensus is that you can chop that off, rework your bumper mounts, and be good to go.

In my opinion, you're shooting yourself considering that '73 frame. A LOT changed with the '74 update, and all for the better. The rear springs are oddballs on most of the early-mid '70s frames. I think they might have settled on the last revision somewhere around '76?

You should have no issues converting, but I would suggest finding a bit newer frame.

edit: There might have been some moving of spring perches as well...I can't remember 100%. I know the spots existing in both frames, though. If you do need to move mounts, ranger spring mounts work for the rear (shackle-end) rear spring mount, and it's bolt on.


aa
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Last edited by Cecil14 : 07-31-2018 at 12:29 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2018, 09:08 PM
cu4whln's Avatar
cu4whln cu4whln is offline
350 Buick
 
Join Date: May 16, 2008
Location: Canton, Mi USA !
Posts: 1,047
Thanks Cecil14 ...

Any others have an opinion ?
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It's not yours 'til ya bleed on it . . .

1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness"
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2001 XJ : Driver 1998 XJ 2 door

'Da Chief here: http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showt...ighlight=chief


"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2018, 10:09 PM
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Carnuck Carnuck is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 12, 2011
Location: Gold Bar, WA
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Depends on pre or post ‘80. But a frame that’s already short to start with is a good way to go. I have a Townside bed that’s short complete with a tailgate and the frame from the Honcho that is giving it’s bed and axles to other projects.
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2018, 02:39 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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I would think it would be doable to shorten a long bed. I have seen it done on C-10s and F-100s so why not a J10? The body lines are pretty straight so I don't think it would be a body work nightmare. The chassis's aren't that complex either. Nothing a 140amp welder, 4" cuttoff wheel or plasma cutter, and some time couldn't deal with...

It looks like you could take some length out between the front of the bed and the rear wheels and get a short bed without messing up the proportions. The distance between the rear wheel wells and the rear bumper looks the same to me between a long and short bed...
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2018, 08:42 PM
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Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
258 I6
 
Join Date: Sep 27, 2017
Location: Pacific Northwest
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If it's a '73 it's a J4000 and has 132" wheelbase. In '74 they changed the bed and went to a 131" wheelbase. I think they actually moved the wheel wells forward but haven't confirmed that. I just measured my '72 which should have the same dimensions as the '73 and there is 36" from the front of the bed to the fender flare and 26" from the flare to the back. Cutting 12" off the back would look weird but I have seen that done. A rust free '73 bed is actually a pretty rare and special thing and in my opinion shouldn't be shortened. That said I don't see why it couldn't be done but personally I'd look for a short frame rather than shorten one, but that's just me.
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