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#2421374 - 12/20/17 08:41 AM 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade
79beep Offline
member

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Rochester Pa
looking to upgrade my sons 70 Dodge Dudes brakes and steering. Currently he has manual drums and manual steering would like to upgrade to power and looking for ideas. Thought about swapping front end to a crown vic setup but he thinks doing a frame swap would be easier. If we swap frames what years are interchangeable?

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#2421474 - 12/20/17 12:50 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
stumpy Offline


Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 28840
Loc: Grand Prairie,Texas
Why change the frame just to upgrade the brakes and steering. Why not just use the stock Mopar parts?

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#2421486 - 12/20/17 01:32 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
79beep Offline
member

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Rochester Pa
if we swap frames then he would have modern driveline,brakes,etc it would be like a newer truck with the old body. that's what he is thinking

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#2421505 - 12/20/17 02:45 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
stumpy Offline


Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 28840
Loc: Grand Prairie,Texas
So you aren't talking a frame swap keeping your old engine, trans, and rear end. You are looking at a body swap on a complete newer truck. Is the old body in that great a shape?

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#2421531 - 12/20/17 03:22 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
79beep Offline
member

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Rochester Pa
its only a 318 truck he wanted to upgrade the brakes and suspension at first and then wanted a new style HEMI or cummins swap. That's why I am thinking frame swap would be easier. I told him to upgrade and just big block it. wanting to see what others have done

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#2421535 - 12/20/17 03:40 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
stumpy Offline


Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 28840
Loc: Grand Prairie,Texas
Way not just get a newer hemi truck? Cheaper and a bunch easier and a lot more comfortable.

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#2421546 - 12/20/17 04:15 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
Soopernaut Offline
top fuel

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 1994
Loc: Des Moines IA
CPP makes a power steering kit. Some have had issues with not getting power to the steering when standing still. That kind of defeats the purpose of power steering since that is when you need it the most. With a good front end you really don't need it when rolling.

Power brakes were an option in 1970 and there are at least 2 companies that make a disc brake swap kit. People have also added boosters from other vehicles.

A frame splice with a 72-93 truck might be easier than a whole frame swap. The frames are nearly the same height and width under the cab so that is where the splice is easiest. The rear portion of a newer frame has a higher kick up over the rear axle so either you need to lift the whole body, cut the bed floor or modify the frame.
_________________________
1970 Dodge d100/eventually going on a 77 D100 frame

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#2421577 - 12/20/17 05:26 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
JDMopar Offline
master

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 7789
Loc: Candler,NC / Myrtle Beach, SC
Check out Gerst Suspensions new, bolt in setup for Sweptline trucks. It's kind of like an Alterkation deal, but for trucks.
_________________________

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#2421703 - 12/20/17 10:29 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
poorboy Offline
master

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 6063
Loc: Freeport IL USA
If the 70 is a short box truck, the 73-93 frame fits very well. the rear frame above the axle on the 73-93 frame kicks up a couple inches, but when we swapped my son's 71, we just cut the top of the kick up off and welded in a piece of 1/8" x 2" wide flat steel bar. The whole swap took about 8 hours in our driveway. Short box wheel base is a match up. The best part of that swap is you still have a truck you can use as a truck if you want to.

The way modern swaps are going, it seems a Durango (after 2004 they put 5.7 Hemis in them) is a good chassis to start with. A lot of the guys building 50s trucks are starting with them, they use everything except the body, and some are using the firewall & front floor pan. The wheel base and firewall location might be off for a 70 though. might be worth doing some measurements. I suspect the full size modern Ram will be too wide. Gene

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#2421779 - 12/21/17 07:38 AM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
79beep Offline
member

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 47
Loc: Rochester Pa
the truck is a long bed. I can get a 2wd 1985 truck for free and I can get a crown vic cop car front end for 200. was weighing my options

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#2421780 - 12/21/17 07:40 AM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
Soopernaut Offline
top fuel

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 1994
Loc: Des Moines IA
The wheelbase is 3 inches longer on the newer frame.
_________________________
1970 Dodge d100/eventually going on a 77 D100 frame

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#2421790 - 12/21/17 08:22 AM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
bbtrux Offline
super stock

Registered: 05/03/04
Posts: 823
Loc: ohio
Im gonna eventually put a gerst under my 71. A crown vic front came with it, but turns out you have to run fugly wheels with one because of wheel track (think front wheel drive style wheel-eeew), so the crown vic front got traded off.By my figures, the gerst setup will be cheaper in the long run than even a frame swap, even if the donor was free.And you get great brakes and a rack and pinion. And it fits.

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#2422120 - 12/21/17 09:26 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
poorboy Offline
master

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 6063
Loc: Freeport IL USA
I've not heard about this "gerst setup". Do you have a link we can get into from? Gene

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#2422243 - 12/22/17 07:45 AM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
Soopernaut Offline
top fuel

Registered: 12/13/07
Posts: 1994
Loc: Des Moines IA
http://gerstsuspensions.com/products/gts-ifs/

There is no way that costs less than a frame swap. I probably have less than that in my whole truck including the purchase. I still have a lot to do but the frame/suspension/body mounting portion is complete.
_________________________
1970 Dodge d100/eventually going on a 77 D100 frame

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#2422259 - 12/22/17 08:48 AM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
bbtrux Offline
super stock

Registered: 05/03/04
Posts: 823
Loc: ohio
In the long run , I will almost guarantee with certainty that you will spend more time and money on a frame swap. You will eventually go through the brakes , the steering , and every component on it, right to the spring shackles. But if youre not looking to make it driveable and nice, maybe youre right. Just been there, done that.Most recently on a 69 satellite that shouldve gotten an alterkation for the money spent.

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#2422491 - 12/22/17 08:17 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
poorboy Offline
master

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 6063
Loc: Freeport IL USA
I also will not have that much money in my current whole project truck.

To be fair, that suspension kit only does the front end, and then you have to add up the expenses of rebuilding everything else on the 61-71 truck. The cost of the front end does not give you everything new on the whole truck, it just gives you new stuff on the front suspension.

I'm pretty sure a guy can rebuild the front brakes and front suspension on a 73-93 1/2 ton pickup a lot cheaper then $2795 then the "kit" does not come with a steering box ($200 for a manual or $400 for power steering), or suspension springs ($400 for new coil over shocks, or free spacers, but no springs at the base price). Most anyone even a little frugal should be able to buy the 73-93 frame, rebuild the front and rear brakes, rebuild the front and the rear suspension, replace all the body mounts, and still have money left over to put towards other things he wants to upgrade for the same money the kit costs.

When you buy that kit, you will still have to remove the front springs and the standard trans mounting brackets, you still have to make a trans crossmember, and install the front suspension. You still have to deal with the master cylinder, brake lines and the gas tank mounting & associated fuel lines.

In the short term, I guarantee installing that front suspension kit will not be the final money spent to make a 61-71 truck a nice driver. To assume adding a front suspension kit will make something old new again is incorrect thinking. The front suspension is only part of the deal, and though it is in line with most other currently available front suspension kits on the market, $3 grand is a pretty big bite to start with. It may have an advantage over other kits because it is specifically made for the Dodge trucks. I believe for my money, I will pick up a newer Dodge truck frame or clip and use OEM factory stuff. Gene

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#2422675 - 12/23/17 12:11 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
bbtrux Offline
super stock

Registered: 05/03/04
Posts: 823
Loc: ohio
If time means nothing , then maybe. Still have to build a steer shaft , bumper brackets and the list goes on and on. In the street rod world, time and time again Ive watched guys try to do it cheaper. Buy old nova subframe. Blasting. Painting.All new bushings , joints and brakes.Replace leaking steering box. Build steering shaft . On and on and so forth. Grand tally is usually equal to a really nice looking good performing new front end. And the labor time is quadrupled.

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#2423792 - 12/25/17 09:20 PM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
poorboy Offline
master

Registered: 01/19/03
Posts: 6063
Loc: Freeport IL USA
Your kit does not sand blast or paint the truck frame. It does not replace the body mounts. The steering and brakes (on the kit) are extra cost items, and are modified MMII parts, not truck parts, and they have to come from the kit supplier.

I don't know if you have actually ever done any of the stuff you speak of, but I have. The rolling down the street money spent and the time invested may well be nearly equal, but the rolling truck has much more done then just the front clip laying on the shop floor.

If a guy has to pay someone to assemble the truck, the clip is probably a good deal. If I'm doing my work on my truck, the time I invest is paid for by the reward of being able to drive something I have built. My time working on my project does indeed not cost me anything, in fact, it probably has saved me a ton of money in health expenses and lawyer fees over the years. Gene

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#2423891 - 12/26/17 10:55 AM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
bbtrux Offline
super stock

Registered: 05/03/04
Posts: 823
Loc: ohio
Yes, there are adavantages either way. Complete frame swap gets entire frame painted , cab bushings replaced ,etc. I guess it really depends how much labor you wanna do , and how long you want the vehicle down. There arent really wrong answers, as the "right" thing is situation dictated.

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#2424335 - 12/27/17 09:39 AM Re: 1970 Dude brake and steering upgrade [Re: 79beep]
themoparmanjc Offline
member

Registered: 08/16/15
Posts: 83
Loc: Wisconsin USA
Frame swaps are a pain because you are putting something on it that wasn’t designed for it. Another thing to take into account is that some of these newer vehicles have crush zones integrated into the frame so they bend in a predictable manner. They are used in conjunction with safety restraint systems. Since you won’t be using air bags, be careful on what you use from new stuff. When you build stuff like this l, think about how it is going to perform in a collision event. I would just weld a front stub on from an 80s dodge as mentioned above. Just make sure you do a ton of measuring beforehand. And good, safe frame rail sectioning methods are a must! Being an I-CAR certified collision tech, I always cringe when I see guys wanting to do stuff like this. I’m not questioning your intelligence or abilities, it’s just scary how much stuff is on the road that was hacked together. Frame and suspension are a huge safety concern.

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