41-46 s10 swap pictures

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joedoh

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 5, 2015
Messages
1,725
Location
doodah ks
I apologize for my absence, between spurious and fitful supply of parts for my 47-55.1 kits I have spent a large amount of what was supposed to be building time, and therefore personally enjoyable time, hunched over my small cnc table cutting parts for orders. because I am an idiot who loves misery I also insist on iterative design changes at every order, so the lead time for cut parts takes 3x longer because they have to change the nesting and update it instead of just cutting what i ordered last time. :(

i planned to do 48-52 fords next and even bought a couple 1/2 tons to start with but the incessant cutting and all the rental problems... ugh. i keep getting asked for a 41-46 kit, i have pictures of the two I did in some of my ads. i had some patterns but they sucked and building it as 4 piece parts sucks too, i would rather have a cant-mess-it-up-on-a-bet folding set like the AD stuff. my friend had a 46 and kept it at my storage building as yard art when he took a contract job in florida, good enough to start with anyway.

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I did the 3D on the mounts and popped out an improved set to try out the cab. worked wonderfully (the second time, as usual)

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he had a 1 ton front clip that was in better shape and so I popped that on for a look too.

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everything looking ok, I started on making the running boards fit. but a big problem, no matter how i moved the front clip and cab around the running boards were way below the cab. weird!

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then i realized the problem, the one ton front clip had running boards taht were two inches taller than 1/2 ton. look at the vertical section under the door

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that meant that the back of the fender dropped two inches lower than a 1/2 ton, even though the wheelarch measured almost the same radius. a quick section was needed. success!

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so now the runningboards were sorted, i needed mounts for them and the front clip.

more in next post
 

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I had existing designs for the 47-55.1 running boards but they didnt fit between the frame and the running board mount, so I redesigned them and will use the same part for both kits now.

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the front clip of the 41-46 mounts back at least 4 inches from where the 47-55.1 does though so I coulndt use those mounts, and where the core support falls is right over the power steering hoses too so it needs more room. I came up with a 100% bolt on setup that keeps the room over the power steering box.

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everything fit well except the lower core closeout bracket, because i had welded in a piece of rectangle to keep the front clip square while building. i will trim this one and install it but the future trucks it will fit perfectly.

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that one ton front end is really in poor shape but better than the 1/2 ton stuff which looked like someone had crumpled it then on reconsideration uncrumpled it.

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since I have 4 pictures left in this post I will talk about the frame, it was an ext cab 123" wheelbase and the 41-46 is 115", so a longbed s10 118 doesnt really fit that well. i decided to take 8" out at the factory splice.

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by doing it at the factory overlap you dont need any fish plates or reinforcements, as long as you get good penetrating welds, and I am pretty sure we did.

btw the frame shortening is the last thing my friend larry and I worked on before he went in the hospital for his second round of thyroid cancer. he died 6 weeks later. cancer is terrible.
 

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i could mount the bed and bumpers now but thats easy peasy work, the 47-55.1 parts fit, so i decided to tackle steering and pedals. start by removing the dash and marking the centerline of the steering on a straightedge clamped to represent the bottom edge of the dash.

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hold your s10 pedal bracket up so that the upper column mount is centered on the mark you made and the booster side is flat against the firewall, then mark the 4 booster holes on the firewall.

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i use a 5 degree plate I designed, welding it in strengthens the firewall like you wouldnt believe because it doubles the thickness and the bends make it stiffer too. the 5 degrees is for the s10 maser which is made to have that tilt so the rear reservoir doesnt go dry on hard braking (the rear cylinder is the front brakes on s10s and really most GM after 1970)

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the s10 column has a lower closeout on it that wont fit in its current orientation so with some careful grinding you can grind gently through the weld that holds it on and reuse it.

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I slotted the column mount holes a little more so that the steering wheel wasnt a nut smoosher and let the column go another inch or two into the dash. I tack welded in some bolts so I didnt have to hold them to get the column mounted.

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I built an upper bracket to the original dash brace location on the firewall.

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the columns in these work out nice if they have a more horizontal position than stock, if youput a modern column in at that angleit looks like a bus steering wheel. I also move it up a couple inches so that its more comfortable, this means trimming the bottom of the dash. I use a 3" holesaw as a pattern, rough cut it with a slicer and then sand it nice with a flap disc.

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it looks like a ton in that picture but in the final shot you can see its really not raised much and has a great position in the cab.

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i want this done and outta here on the 4th of july, should just make it. more tonight!
 

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absolutely nothing. which is to say I planned it very carefully that the running boards just barely clear the frame, are level with the bottom of the frame, and there was no cutting of the frame needed at all. pretty neat eh?
 
I wondered where you'd gone, but it sure looks like you've been busy JD! Sorry to hear about the loss of your buddy,
 
Welcome back Joe. Sorry you lost Larry. Nice work installing the 1 ton clip on your 41-46. Like those welds on the frame splice. Keep us posted.
 
yeah loss is funny, not funny "ha ha" but funny like sometimes you pick up the phone to share a picture and then remember, then you dont do anything for a day or three.


i decided to be "efficient" (lazy) and just pull the cab to do finish welding on all the brackets, leaving the front clip and running boards installed. why undo many bolts when few bolts do trick?

when I was scooting the a frame into postion i felt a stitch in my calf muscle, like you get from not stretching. it wasnt the calf muscle cramp though, it was a wasp nest in the a frame. they were pretty upset i was dragging their home around. some wasp killer and some spray foam and no more prob.

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pulled cab, welded everything up. shot some chassis paint

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secured the column top and bottom, no shake at all, very sturdy. I dont like a wobbly steering column, this one is like a rock in the dash.

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reset the bottom bracket and tacked it on. worked great.

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today I am mounting the bed and bumpers (well bumper mounts, since he doesnt have any bumpers except that one destroyed one. maybe i can mount it
 

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happiness is putting the cab on for the last time. check out that alignment!

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bed kit works perfectly! wood will lay right on top of the rectangle tube and the framerail above the axle.

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tiny garage, cant show alignment but its really good.

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front clip had a big twist in it, i tack welded a length of tube to the core support and used the torque to move things around till they fit.

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drill and tap all the old stuck bolts. previously both trucks (the one ton clip and the original 1/2 ton clip) were farmer welded in place. you can see the remnants of brazing on both the half ton support rod and the one ton core support

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bullnose on, alignment on this side good! pass fender still need a lot of tug.

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getting very close to empty! still gas on the little gauge even though that needle is bottomed out on the big gauge.

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just need front bumper mounts installed. I was getting really tired and bent up the mounts and realized I made two rights. bent another and it was a right again. time to quit for the day haha. (cooling the welds in front of the fan)

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delivery day is thursday, making instruction for the kit this week and then its on to the 55. kit should work well!
 

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thanks guys!


i do get feedback. every order I make iterative design changes based on the feedback. I could just order what I ordered before and have it next day instead of making design changes and waiting 3 weeks to get them programmed and nested. I also offer the updated parts to guys that havent installed their kits yet. however, I have offered tiers of rebates from $50 to a full refund for youtube videos of the install. no one has taken me up on that yet.

with new design stuff I offer a full rebate +20% to the guy with the first article, in the form of payments on each kit sold. so if a kit is $600 (this kit will be $600 shipped) the first article guy gets 10% every kit sold till 10 kits are sold, then $120. since nick is a good friend and we have done work together before, I refunded him up front and really he is only paying for the extra stuff, like the pedals and column, and the labor to install. works for him, works for me. although he didnt plan for wheels and his current plan is borrow my set up wheels. :mad:

as far as time goes, I have about two weeks of 4-5 hour weekdays in this. it helps I have done two before and really helped to have larrys here to measure from. (he bought a cab kit years ago of the old design). my wife got to see the design process on the front clip parts, she was amazed how fast it went from brain to 3D to cut to iterative change to cut and done, like 5 hours. mounting the bed took maybe an hour. when you let the parts do the work its great.

I will start the 55 today, my plan is to make my 47-55.1 kit 100% bolt on, that is the #1 request I get. then I will do a 53 to final proof it, and order the laser parts.
 
absolutely nothing. which is to say I planned it very carefully that the running boards just barely clear the frame, are level with the bottom of the frame, and there was no cutting of the frame needed at all. pretty neat eh?

If you're providing these kits to customers, I hope they don't have running board to frame clearance problems. Looks like your running boards meet the fender farther forward than they should. Maybe because you're using bigger truck fenders with the bigger wheel opening? Or when you shortened the wheelbase, were the running boards left regular length? The running board should also be tucked under the rocker and isn't, so I'm wondering how it would all line up. I haven't known anyone that has done a 41-46 on an S-10 without some type of work there to fix the clearance issue, so its curious that yours just fits. I hope it works out well if you've figured something new out.

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Image of another 46 for what the regular alignment looks like for comparison.
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