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My 69 J3000 has been a real horse.  But I beat it too hard.  The first update was when the Buick 350 broke in half, so it got replaced with a SB400 and a NV4500.  The 400 had lots of power and I broke a couple rear axles, so I went looking for a stronger axle set.  I found them on a 92 Dodge 4x4 that had been T-boned.  Now with a little encouragement from my trusty tape measure, it looks like with a little moving radiators and fans, I could get that Cummins under the hood with just a little body lift.  I picked up a straight frame from a 98 Dodge extended cab 3500, and it has axles as well, so now it looks like the smarter thing to do is make the dodge frame the right size and put the J truck on top of it.  Anybody out there have any insight on such a combination?

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Umm...I have a friend who could cast light on this topic.  He's doing a similar swap with a late Ram 1500 gasoline powered chassis...I'll see how busy he is and whether there's time to respond.

 

Moses

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Hey guys,

I did do a similar build up that I completed a few months back and have been happily driving since! I used a 07 Ram 1500 chassis w/ a Hemi so dimensions may be a little different but in terms of overall build it is possible! I shortened the frame by carefully cutting the factory welds separating the front and rear sub sections. When they build these in the factory they have common front and rear sections that they use and wheelbase in determined by the intermediate straight rails they weld between the 2. Luckily for us that makes it much easier to shorten since we can cut the welds and using the same straight section bring the frame together and reweld it exactly like the factory would. Gives you piece of mind knowing it is supported the same as the factory. Track width is spot on which is a blessing. As for the frame width/ body mount locations, the original j series body mounts are almost right on top of the frame so you will have to get creative as to how you want to build the body mounts. Nothing that can't be overcome though. Also depends on how you want the build to look in the end. You had mentioned above that you were thinking body lift which might help you with some of this. I tried to keep the body as low on the frame as I could so you wouldn't see the frame but that has it's own set of problems. I ended up having to cut a portion of the floor out of the truck (behind the seats) and welding in a new closeout to clear the frame. It all depends on how nice the J series truck is and if you are ok with doing a little hacking and slashing. As for the radiator and fan I used the stock Hemi fan and a 87 Chevy radiator which involved cutting out the stock rad support and creating my own. Like you mentioned above it depends on what kind of clearance you have with the big cummins as to how you would go about mounting it. Hope some of this helps and if you have any questions feel free to ask!

PA180213.jpg

Initial cut done on Drivers side, passenger side has initial cut as well as the excess frame section removed. You can see the factory C shape that will glove over the intermediate section and provides the factory designed weld/support.

PA210222.jpg

Not the greatest picture but you can see where we rewelded the frame after pulling it together and getting everything lined up.

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Shot of the cab floor where I had to cut out a section to clear the Ram Frame. This is just the patch panel tacked in place, I ended up going back and finishing the job up later on.

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Finished product!

(Thanks for the nod Moses, sorry it took me so long to post this up!)

Until I get a chance to transfer all the posts to this site of the build up here's a link to it on ifsja.

http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=172148

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Dude! That is one awesome build!  Thanks for posting.  You answered quite a few questions I was pondering.  I have not done much with my project as Honey decided it was time to remodel the kitchen and both baths.  Yes I ended up doing that too.  With some luck I hope to pull the frame up and get to it this spring.  I am considering stretching the cab a bit to make room for my long legs and give it a bit more custom look. My frame is also from a double cab Dodge, so there is plenty to work with.  Just need to pick up an extra door somewhere to get the body to match without having to bend it by hand.

What did you finally decide to do for guages?  I am going to want to have a tach, but would also like to keep things period correct.

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Gladiator265...This is so cool!  What a blend of something new with classic style!  The original J-trucks of this era were simply awesome, and so is your truck's theme and modernization plan!  Looking forward to the rest of the build details...Like the frame mating and attention to cut shapes, physics and welding...Keeping with the late Jeep/Ram family, it's Mopar all the way!

Moses

 

Edited by Moses Ludel

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