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Old 08-02-2016, 01:09 PM   #1
musicman75
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Long bed to Short bed conversion.

I recently purchased a c20 long bed. I know short beds are becoming harder and harder to find unless you have a wallet full of cash. I've been reading about the conversion you can where you take out 12" from under the cab and 8" off the back and converting it to a short bed. It looks relatively straightforward. "Looks" being the keyword. I'm considering this conversion for my truck and wondered if anyone here has had experience with it? I would love to see pics and hear your thoughts. Was it easy, or do you regret doing it? More hassle than it's worth? I'd love to hear feedback. Thanks in advance.
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:27 PM   #2
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Been done a million times, and well documented. I'd start with the Search function and read up as much as you can, then when you get down to specific questions (how long should my fish plate be?) I'm sure folks can chime in with details.

There's also a set of "Trucks" episodes where they shortened a 66 and show a fair bit of detail, those should be available online somewhere.
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Old 08-02-2016, 01:47 PM   #3
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Yep, I'm familiar with the Trucks build. I actually saw that truck at SEMA right after it was done. Even more beautiful up close. I'm just worried about the magic of television making it not as easy as it looks lol. Cutting the frame doesn't bother me at all. It's getting everything back together in one piece and everything in the right place that troubles me LOL.
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Old 08-02-2016, 03:02 PM   #4
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

I did it to my truck. I would consider my skill level as "Advanced-beginner" and would do it again.

The frame chop and weld was easier than cutting the bedsides and putting them back together.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:14 PM   #5
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

The other option is a swb frame swap.
This allows you time to rebuild the suspension and get a good look at the brakes and etc.
then perform a body swap later.
Personally I would use reproduction short bedsides with a cut down or short bed floor.
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:40 PM   #6
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Here are the frame dimensions of both LWB and SWB frames side by side... for reference if needed!
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Old 08-02-2016, 04:41 PM   #7
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Don't do it , lots of guys love their c-20 long beds but once it's cut down it loses its long bed value and will never have short bed value , it becomes a clone and then you have the suspension differences between the 10 and 20 , 6 vs 8 lug , etc etc etc . There are still lots of short bed deals out there . Use searchtempest.com to search all of the Craigslist ads at one time . The way the value is climbing almost weekly even finding a short bed (TITLED ) builder is money in the bank .
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:02 PM   #8
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

You are in a unique position with your dilemma . You have a c-20 LB frame that is worth as much or more than a short bed c-10 frame. If you cut the frame , you kill the originality and there is no going back. If you buy or trade out your long 3/4 ton frame for a 1/2 ton shorty, you can come out on the swap moneywise, pretty well. Of course the bed needs work but since you have to remove your cab anyway, a frame swap would be the way to go. There are some differences in the floor ribs and wheel well openings in the bed to deal with to pull it off perfectly, but it can be done. Study it from all angles before you take a saw to it, and save as much work as you can.
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:11 PM   #9
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Don't cut up a C/20!!!
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Old 08-02-2016, 06:48 PM   #10
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

LWB 2wd frames are a dime a dozen, nobody on this planet is going to trade you for a SWB frame. Cut it and build what you want, one old pickup truck isn't an investment, it's a toy. Any SWB frame you come across will most likely be damaged...otherwise it would still be under a truck, keep that in mind if you decide to swap. For the bed I would just buy an aftermarket kit.
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Old 08-02-2016, 07:56 PM   #11
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by leddzepp View Post
LWB 2wd frames are a dime a dozen, nobody on this planet is going to trade you for a SWB frame. Cut it and build what you want, one old pickup truck isn't an investment, it's a toy. Any SWB frame you come across will most likely be damaged...otherwise it would still be under a truck, keep that in mind if you decide to swap. For the bed I would just buy an aftermarket kit.

I agree..... Well said. I have two LWB frames right now that I can't sell. If they were SWB frames they would have been gone a long time ago.

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Old 08-02-2016, 11:32 PM   #12
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Thanks for the picture 69GMCC10. That gives me several reference points for measurements. I agree with others that the chances of trading my long bed for a short frame is not likely, at least in California. I should add that I have a buddy that is giving me the 5 lug setup off his 76 c10 . I'm also looking at doing a LS swap. If anyone is looking for a 8 lug setup, send them my way. The bedsides on mine are not great and need a lot of work to get them back into shape. I would probably just buy a repro short bed unless I found a good price on an original if I decided to do the conversion. I don't plan on selling the project, so I'm not too worried about keeping it original. And as we all know, you will never get out what you put into it because labor is always free. I would love to see pics BS46488 if you have any and any advice you have to give. Thank you all for your input. I'm on the fence, but really leaning towards the conversion.
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:22 AM   #13
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

https://goo.gl/photos/J9BiFpuowa4HJAts7
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Old 08-03-2016, 12:43 AM   #14
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Be very careful where you cut the left frame rail. The trucks serial number is located in the area under the cab. In many states this must be inspected by law enforcement to be regerstered or titled. If the inspector believes the s/n has been altered, you my have great difficulty with the regerstation process.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:28 AM   #15
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Anytime you permanently alter any truck frame you take it out of the available "stock" marketplace being as these trucks are coming up on 50 years old every stock frame has value to someone they just may not be beating your door down to get it "YET" but eventually they will . With the cost of restorations or even bringing one to safe daily driver status is expensive for the average guy add all the custom stuff and they are an investment not just a toy . Unless your in a tax bracket that most guys building these trucks aren't . With families ,mortgages , rent , etc,etc buying one in the first place is an investment in time ,and cash that you hope increases in value while you enjoy your hobby and not lose value . You want a short bed C-10 take the time to find one in your price range and start building it into your baby from there ,Don't buy a long bed C-20 and chop the frame and swap out all the suspension and every $1.00 you drop in to it will turn into a .10 . Not everyone has disposable income . Add in the fact that most guys don't have the tools /equipment /garage space /or experience to do a frame swap and the cost of mechanics and body men who are still willing to work on these old trucks everytime you look at it will cost you more $. Just my Grumpy ol opinion ,What's yours ?
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Last edited by Grumpy old man; 08-03-2016 at 05:35 AM.
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Old 08-03-2016, 09:58 AM   #16
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

My opinion about cutting up a perfectly good truck just for vanity's sake aside .... have to say I am with Grumpy on this one.

Do you already have the tools & facilities necessary to make the conversion happen? May find it would have been more feasible to buy a real SWB. And do be careful when looking. A lot of hack jobs out there. States vary. Around here a modified frame will never pass inspection and would have to be tagged 'historic', with all driving restrictions that come along with that.
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Old 08-03-2016, 10:37 AM   #17
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Please for the love of God don't do it! It will not come out the way you think it will! Good luck selling it if you do!
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Old 08-03-2016, 01:53 PM   #18
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

I cut the frame the same way Stacy from Trucks did. I followed LFD's "how to" on cutting down the bed sides:

Starting on page 8
http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...=223158&page=8

The best tip is the little screwdriver that LFD shows in post 201

I priced out using aftermarket bedsides, but I think it was like $1400 to get them to my house. No install or paint work.

Just remember that everything needs to be shortened, exhaust, driveshaft, brakelines, wire harness, etc

It took me and my father (visiting from NY) 2 full days to disassemble, cut, and reassemble the truck.

Here are some pics:





1st layer of body work


More recent with bed in epoxy primer
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Old 08-03-2016, 04:32 PM   #19
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

I wish my truck was a lwb. I think they look way more balanced and you can haul more.
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Old 08-03-2016, 05:08 PM   #20
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

CUT IT! Over 2/3's of these trucks were LWB. There is no "shortage" of them.
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:39 PM   #21
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Bah ... It's your truck. If you want a short box, cant find one in your price range, just cut it. Its not the hope diamond, its a truck. Just be honest about it when its time to sell. It wont bring the same dough as a real short bed. But whatever you do Dont Cut The Dash!
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Old 08-03-2016, 06:54 PM   #22
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

HaHahahahha Yeah , That's it cut the frame but don't dare cut the dash !

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Old 08-03-2016, 09:57 PM   #23
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

I love these threads. In trade school, [auto body] in 1979, we built a short from a long that our teacher brought in,and gas welded every thing , sheet metal wise. The welding shop shortened the frame and the mechanical shop took care of the rest. The bed work was a pain as we had no internet or experience to draw from. Just a couple of short beds to measure on the parking lot. If I remember correctly, they slash cut and welded the frame and installed a plate on the inside. It looked like a hack job but it was stout. Bed turned out really nice and the teacher sold the truck. I saw it some 20 years later and it still hadn't broke in two. Most people never knew, cause it just wasn't done that often. It was a well optioned super [1972] 350 auto and the buyer wanted a short bed.
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Old 08-03-2016, 11:20 PM   #24
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Cut it

I knew I wouldn't be able to find an original paint shortbed Cheyenne Super at a reasonable price (if at all) so I bought my longbed with the intention of cutting it down.

before and after, with a little elbow grease
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:20 AM   #25
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Re: Long bed to Short bed conversion.

Thanks all. I have all the tools needed to do the job, minus maybe a few more c-clamps and panel clips to hold everything in place til it's welded. Due to me wanting to do a ls swap with either a 700r or a 4l60e tranny. I'm going to have to shorten the driveline anyways. I plan on a gas tank relocation kit which means new fuel lines too. So in actuality other than brake lines, I have to change everything anyways. Wiring will be replaced just because it's age. I have time to think about it while I'm waiting in suspension parts from my buddy. Waiting for him to get parts he needs and I get the rest of the truck. I see both sides of cut or dont cut....that is the question. I guess in the meantime, I start pulling things apart and building a stand for the cab
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