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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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1973 Crew Cab Conversion:)

A couple of weeks ago I bit the bullet and bought a 1973 D200 crew cab, short bed:





I already own a 1993 W250 regular cab, cummins, getrag 360:


I've been researching a ton, and the plan is to combine the two to make a 4wd, 5 speed, cummins, crew cab.

I know there are several ways to do this, but I think what I will most likely end up doing is extending the 93 frame, and dropping the crew cab onto it. The 73 is IFS, and although I saw some people convert that over to 4wd, I think I'd prefer a couple cuts and welds then drilling so many holes, etc. Also, my 93 frame is way cleaner, and I think beefier? (although haven't double checked all measurements yet). Also, my 93 is a longbed, and I think I want to keep that, and probably flat bed it later on. I'm not concerned with bringing it back to factory, and making it super pretty. It will be an expedition rig, and work truck, and it'll see some use.

I have a huge list of stuff to do, but first up is to hopefully get the 318 running in the crew cab, so that I can hopefully sell the motor and tranny to recoup cost a little bit. Anybody have any idea what a 318 with getrag 360 2wd tranny is worth on ebay? Should I separate them?

Once that's out, I can clean up the engine bay, interior etc. Basically, I'd like to get as much done as I can, so that when I go to do the swap, my truck is down for as little as possible. As soon as I take my truck down for some reason, I suddenly need to haul all sorts of stuff - anymore I just don't feel right if I don't have access to a truck. Anyway, it will probably be pretty slow, but here are some pictures of the truck before it all begins...

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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 01:13 PM
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 01:18 PM
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Since your going to be fabbing anyway, why not get a 3rd gen 4dr long bed frame? They are much beefier than any of the old trucks.

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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 01:25 PM Thread Starter
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Stuff to do:

I'm going to use this post as a sort of online list of what I have still to do, and cross off what I have done, as well as list some other info, such as parts I might have leftover. If they for sure end up being leftover I'll post them over to the classifieds.

• Stuff to do to the Crew Cab (in no order, and not complete list):
• Get the 318 going
◦ Rebuild/clean carb
◦ Drain gas tank/refill with clean gas
◦ Figure out spark
• Sell the 318/2wd tranny
• Take out seats (I have what I believe is the factory bench both front and back - need some serious fixing, but if someone wants them, I'm going to be putting other seats in - probably from a 2nd gen)
• Remove unnecessary wiring
• Weld in floor plans
• Prep for paint
• Body work
• Convert rear doors to power windows?
• Etc...

Stuff to do to the 93 (in no order, and not complete list):
• Rebuild the getrag
• Getrag cooler
• Update rear suspension (shackle flip? Chevy 63s? Other?)
• Crossover steering
• Fix brakes/wobble while braking from highway speeds

Conversion:
• I’ll update this as I form a solid plan, but as of now, I think I’ll be frame stretching the 93 then cab swapping on the 76 crew cab. I’ll hopefully use the 93 dash, column etc, as it’s in mint condition and the 73 is pretty bad, and I like my cruise control. I think I’ll use the 93 doors, as I’ve grown to actually like the power door locks and mirrors.
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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 98whitelightnin View Post
Since your going to be fabbing anyway, why not get a 3rd gen 4dr long bed frame? They are much beefier than any of the old trucks.
Despite reading about 1 million pages on these conversions, I haven't even looked into that option yet... but I most likely will stick with what I have because I already own it and I'm trying to keep costs down, as well as I don't have much room to add any more vehicle parts. Also, those frames may be more beefy, but there's a ton of conversions of the older frames out there that seem to be holding up just fine, so I think what I have should be more than good enough.

We'll see though... I'm sure I'm going to run into all sorts of curveballs.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 08-25-2019, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Cleaning up carb:

I'm no genius mechanic that's for sure, and what I do know is more about diesels than gassers, but I'd like to get the 318 going to hopefully be able to sell it for more, and also it would be fun to drive it at least once before it all gets taken apart. The PO says he drove it when he bought it, but then it got parked for about 8 months. He had someone rebuild the carb, and put on new plugs, wires, distributor, rotor, etc. but it's got problems. No spark for one. And secondly, I'm getting gas to the carb, but not into it. So, yesterday I pulled it off, and cleaned it out. First time I've ever done that. Definitely had some crud in there, so hopefully it'll be better now, although I'm sure new needles and jets would be better than just cleaning up the old ones. Only problem was there was a little plastic ring called the 'dual power piston retaining bushing' which disintegrated, so I can't get it all back together yet. I ordered one, and in the meantime I'll try to get all the old gas out of the system, and hopefully have time to work on the spark issue.

I do have a question though. Here is the bottom of the middle piece of the carb - can anyone tell me why these parts were glued up? Is this a mod which will help or hurt me? Thanks in advance...
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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 10:51 AM
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thats not a Getrag behind the 318, back then Dodge manual tranny for trucks was either the NP 435 or the NP445 the 435 was only synchronized in 2nd and 3rd gears the 445 had full sync, both are 4 speeds... not worth much more than boat anchors but a good 318 truck engine might get some old school hot rodders attention (old school as in not looking to run modern computerized FI engine which is pretty much all anyones doing these days... I'm getting so tired of looking at chevy LS engines transplanted into everything or 5.2 Dodges etc... Guess I'm gettin old thats why if its not a cummins transplant its 440s for the Mopar toys and 454s for the chevy toys...
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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 11:19 AM Thread Starter
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I made some progress this weekend, and depending on work I’ll hopefully get some more dine this week and update the thread.

But, it is most definitely a Getrag behind the 318 - says it in giant letters down the side. Maybe in certain applications they used them? Or maybe it's transplanted - that’s definitely possible as this thing has been messed around with some.

I did get the 318 running, and drive it around for a bit using a camp chair as a driver seat was pretty fun! I’m thinking about pulling the cab, and selling the rest as a running, rolling chassis. I’ll post up in the classifieds when I have time, but at least for a minute I need to hold onto it for measurements and such. Think anyone would be interested in a chassis like that?

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 01:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spruce View Post
I made some progress this weekend, and depending on work I’ll hopefully get some more dine this week and update the thread.

But, it is most definitely a Getrag behind the 318 - says it in giant letters down the side. Maybe in certain applications they used them? Or maybe it's transplanted - that’s definitely possible as this thing has been messed around with some.

I did get the 318 running, and drive it around for a bit using a camp chair as a driver seat was pretty fun! I’m thinking about pulling the cab, and selling the rest as a running, rolling chassis. I’ll post up in the classifieds when I have time, but at least for a minute I need to hold onto it for measurements and such. Think anyone would be interested in a chassis like that?

Spruce

in 73 Dodge didn't have any getrags they came in the CUMMINS trucks only starting in 1989... at least based on the Dodge factory manual... but they probably don't know what they printed the gas engine trucks all came with the 435 and later the 445 right up till 1991 in 1992 the gas trucks got the NV4500 and a lil later they used the NV4500 behind the cummins as the Getrag was too expensive...so if ya got a getrag someone went to alota expense to transplant it into a nothing 318 1/2 ton... the tranny is worth more than the entire truck plus ya should have some custom crossmembers etc.. cause ya can't even come close to mounting it to the stock 435 cross member..

edit; btw if its a getrag ya needa keep it as you can't get spare parts for them..... and you will need spares I'd at least de-rigged the getrag ya got behind the cummins and use the one behind the 318 to get the other one right...

was just thinking... will the bellhousing for the Getrag even bolt up to a 318? cause all the USA Getrags have a cummins compatable bell housing, the 73 woulda also needed to be converted from a linkage clutch to hydraulic etc...
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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-09-2019, 02:26 PM
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Sub'd because i support the LBDT community (Long Bed Diesel Truck) And make it an old school crew cab, how could i say no?

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post #11 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 03:15 PM Thread Starter
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Had a bit of progress. I rebuilt the carb (first time I've ever done that), put it all back on, and presto, I was suddenly at least getting fuel. Next I tackled the lack of spark. Had a buddy come over, and we started probing around, and eventually found a wiring diagram for the 73. The PO, (actually PPO I believe) put on a push button ignition, and did some hackery wiring with the keyed ignition. There were wires horribly spliced into wires for accessories which no longer existed, the plugs melted, one wire was getting scary hot when plugged in, so we abandoned the entire setup under the dash, cut the wires on the bulkhead connector side, and rewired from scratch. And, waddya know, it actually worked, and we had spark

Next we started trying to get it to fire, but it would just crank and backfire every now and then, so we started playing with the timing by ear, and waddya know, it fired right up It's just got two cherry bombs, screwed in, and no exhaust past them, so it actually sounded pretty good We got everything pinned up, and I drove it around the block a few times, so now I know the getrag tranny works, as well as the engine, brakes, power steering etc. I was glad to get to drive it one time on the gas engine, just for the heck of it.

I'm thinking about pulling the cab, and then doing some quick hack fab work to hold the steering column, brake booster, etc. so that it then becomes a running, driveable chassis. I don't have tons of room, so that would be handy for moving it out of the way, and hopefully I could sell the whole shebang at some point and be able to just drive it onto a trailer.
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post #12 of 30 (permalink) Old 09-13-2019, 03:33 PM Thread Starter
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Small update

Got a little more done... but unfortunately still all demo - haven't got to the fabbing yet.

Got the seats out, dash, everything off of the firewall, couple trim pieces, the gas tank, etc. It's almost a complete bare cab now - I think I have the sun visors to go and that's about it.

The floor was pretty bad in some spots, but a lot of it is saveable. I put my foot right through it on the passenger side at one point. There was a piece of metal tek screwed on over a rusty part, which of course just made a spot for more moisture to catch, and rusted everything even worse. I pulled all that junk off, and I have a couple of floor pans I ordered, which kind of fit, and after some massaging I think I can get to replace quite a bit of the rot, and from there I'll start fabbing pieces to do the rest. I'm not super experienced with sheet metal, but I'm sure after enough noodling around I'll get it looking good Couple of pics:

Both trucks in the garage next to each other:


Most of the demo:


Some of the rot:


This part was a little freaky - the seat belt tabs, especially on the passenger side, were so bad I just broke them off by hand:


Bed off:


The windshield channel is going to take some work:


The pile of junk. I'll keep or sell some of this, such as the metal part of the dash, but most of this is trash. I kept the original wiring harness as intact as I could - what you see here is some of the extra junk that was hacked in over the years (an aftermarket cruise control setup, a block heater, trailer brake wiring, ignition button, CB, a bunch of switches and wires which no longer went to anything, etc.):


This is how she sits now. I was hoping to get to fabbing in the new floor pans, but ran out of time. I'm away for work for a couple of days, but when I get back I think I'll have some time off, and next I'll hopefully give the truck, and whole garage, a good cleaning, and then start on the sheet metal work.

After that I'll be priming and sound deadening the inside. I've been reading a lot, but still not sure what direction I'll go. I like the cheapness of the DIY lizard sking type stuff using ceramic micro balloons, but not sure if I'll go that route yet, or one of the commercial spray on products. Ultimately I'd like to bedline the inside just for durability, but I'm not sure I can spray that over spry on sound deadner? Or if you need both? I s the sound deadner tough enough? I think no matter what I'll be putting sound insulation, padding and carpet down to quiet things up as much as I can, so maybe I won't even need the bedliner. Any recommendations?

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