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Will a late 70's body fit newer Suburban?

Discussion in 'Chevy Suburban Forum (GMC Yukon XL)' started by wmfarmer, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. wmfarmer

    wmfarmer New Member

    Hello, I am going to start spending my time this winter in the garage fixing up a Suburban.

    I figure there are two ways to get something: put in lots of work and barely any money, or put in lots of money and barely any work. Even if I had the money, there's no better way to get to know your truck better than to fix it up! So that's the idea.

    I'll try to be brief. I love the late 70's Suburban, although anything around here (Alaska) is rusted and banged up. Our winters are hell to drive, and all the ice and salt all over the roads are no friend to a beautiful body with a nice paint job. So I am able to find a late 70's suburban, but they are all in terrible condition. And the work going into making one look as good as I'd like would be out of my league.

    Even as rare as it still is, a newer Suburban body would naturally have a better chance to be in better condition. These I have found quite a few on Craigslist.

    So my question is this: Can I take a nice 1991 Suburban body, remove the whole front and replace that with a fixed up late 70's Suburban front? Just fenders, hood, and grille would be all I need.

    I'd like to know how well it would fit, if at all. I think (If I end up finding a late 70's front that needs work) I could handle JUST fixing that, instead of trying to rebuild an entire truck.

    Thanks!
  2. wmfarmer

    wmfarmer New Member

    That would be my ideal plan.

    Otherwise, I'm going to have to wait until spring (April or May, you never know up here) to be able to fly out of state and then drive one back up here. Which sounds fun, but I could not see it happening with the schedules and commitments I have. Which is too bad.
  3. Springthing

    Springthing Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    I really, truly do not know but wish you luck on your project whichever way you go. Please, PLEASE post pictures before, during and after if you decide to take this task on.

    As an aside... it would SEEM to know that the front clip off a '71 would need quite a lot of blending/rework. Strictly looking at pictures you can see that the earlier models are boxy looking and have square lines where-as any late model truck have curves and don't appear as 'bulky'. Is it impossible? I've seen 50's Cadillac corners on a late model corvette and a Jeep built to look like a Hummer.... so no, it's not impossible, but it depends on the work you want to put into it?

    I'm sure you'll get much better responses but that's just my $.02!
  4. 83BigBoy

    83BigBoy New Member

    hey! man that sounds like one hell of a project! anyway to give u somthing to study, look at the difference in sheet metal .One there would be MAJOR surgery involved mostly mating up the lines on the body,91' square frnt. 70"s vintagemore round to the very front. plus i'm pretty sure that the 70's subs were somewhat smaller as time went by they grew in size the "box" styles were the bigger looking models. and then there is the frame mounts maybe alot of fabrication to get them to line up properly.i've been around them alot.7box body subs since i started driving.
  5. ct9a

    ct9a Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Why not put an H1 body on it like they did on Xtreme 4x4? I think they called it the Suburban gorilla or something like that.
  6. MD4x4 Fireman

    MD4x4 Fireman Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Last edited: Dec 3, 2008
  7. JMoney02

    JMoney02 Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    There will be quite a bit of massaging with the core support, hindges, cowl/fenders/hood. But that's what its all about. Make sure to mock it up before cutting, trimming, driolling and welding. Go to the salvage yard and mess around with a couple if you can, even if its with the newer model so you have an idea of what you need and can do and must change.....
    Inner fenders will change, some of the equipment on the fenders/fender wells will need to be remounted and so on, so don't rush, make the plan and take your time, you will be happy you did....


    Jeff
  8. unplugged

    unplugged Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Moving the whole body intact would be easier. i met a guy at a local car show who dropped a 53 Studebaker Starlite body onto a Chevy S10 frame. He tucked a sweet small block under the hood. Killer looks and lotsa go! A real sleeper.

    So with a lot of work, I sure you could pull off what you want. If you want to try a dry run, buy a couple of Revell models and try your hand at blending the body lines. I'm not sure they have both versions of the Suburban, but they do have the trucks and the front ends are similar to the burbs.

    You can order them from: http://www.hobbyplace.com/plastics/cars1.php/4

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
  9. trenchwarfare

    trenchwarfare Rockstar 100 Posts

    I think everybody is getting their model years mixed up. The '91 suburban has the old body style as well as a blazer and a crew cab. I think it's worth a try and shouldn't be too hard. Why not patch the 70's with parts from the newer one?
  10. JMoney02

    JMoney02 Epic Member 5+ Years 500 Posts

    Everything is worth a try, if we didn't we would not have what we have today, Right! Anything can be accomplished if you have the right tools, a little knowledge, ambition, drive and the mind set to adapt, improvise and overcome, so my Marine wife tells me...... Never been in the military but unknown to me I have live these three words most of my life....


    Jeff

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