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  #1  
Old 07-01-2017, 11:33 AM
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trbankii trbankii is offline
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Default Another Durn Fool Idea - Chassis/Drivetrain Swap?

I picked up a í94 Yukon 2-door two years ago (LINK). For the most part, I like the little bugger. Easier in traffic, parking, and maneuverability than the í93 K2500 long bed, but still enough room to haul things if Iím not looking for the full 4x8 sheets of building supplies and such.

Still, there are things that leave me wanting. First is the automatic. Mostly, it just comes down to that Iíve always driven a manual. I donít like the feel of it and off-road I donít feel I have the same control. A lot more riding the brakes instead of downshifting and letting the engine do the braking. Then, despite the PMD being relocated onto a cooler, Iíve got misgivings about that too. Finally, the K1500 just doesnít feel as robust at the K2500 (more about that in a bit).

As mentioned in the other post, Iíve been keeping my eye out for a manual transmission MFI truck to cannibalize for parts to upgrade the Yukon. The manual transmission in a diesel is a rare one. It seems that most of the manuals you see out there are gas C/K1500 trucks. Diesels are more likely to have an automatic. Iím guessing that once you spend the extra for a diesel, youíre willing to spend the extra for an automatic - but the diesel/manuals are out there.

Initially, I was thinking Iíd find a parts truck, swap the transmissions, swap the injection pumps and related paraphernalia, and then sell the parts truck again. With any luck, I could sell it for what I paid for it and just be out a bit of tax and minor costs. But as I thought about it more - and thought about the K2500 being more robust - the idea of swapping the bodies slowly grewÖ

The parts truck is likely going to be a pickup - if only because there are more of them out there. The bed on my K2500 has seen better days, so grab the ďnewĒ bed for it if it is in better shape and then pull the cab and front sheetmetal. While everything is apart, go over brake and fuel tubing and hoses, brake cables, wiring, and such. Iíve been replacing that on the K2500 lately - after 20+ years it all needs attention. Section the frame and plate it back together to get it down to Yukon length and drop the Yukon body onto it for a K2500 manual transmission MFI Yukon. If I were feeling adventurous, I could throw a short flatbed and the pickup cab back onto the Yukon chassis and sell it.

So, what are peopleís thoughts? Worth doing? Totally crazy?
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í94 GMC 6.5TD K1500 4L80E Yukon SLE 214K
í93 Chevrolet 6.5TD K2500HD NV4500 Std. Cab Longbed 183K
í85 Toyota 22R RN60 4x4 Std. Cab Shortbed 178K (Currently retired for rebuild)
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:17 PM
convert2diesel convert2diesel is offline
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Seems like a lot of work just to be able to row gears. If its all that important, you can get a full manual valve body for the 4l80 and break into the lockup circuit to manually control the torque convertor. Install the mechanical fuel injection pump, figure out how to get the speedo to work without the ECM and file the computer onto the shelf.

About 1,000 bucks and a good weekend instead of a major project.

The 4L80 is as strong a tranny as you can get without stepping up to an Allison and is far more user friendly in stop and go traffic. Lost my desire to row gears years ago.

Bill
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:22 PM
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Step 1: Remove the radio antenna
Step 2: Install a new truck on it.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:54 AM
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arveetek arveetek is offline
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I'm at 322K miles on my Tahoe. It's plenty robust for me! And I love my auto.

If you want to do the swap, then that's cool too. It would definitely be a cool project. I wouldn't try to justify it, though! Just do it because you want to.

Casey
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Old 07-14-2017, 10:44 AM
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trbankii trbankii is offline
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Thanks for the responses.

I think one of the problems is having both the K2500 Pickup and K1500 Yukon. That means that every time I switch between the two, Iím comparing them and I just always find myself preferring the K2500.

Then, as I started thinking about the MFI and manual transmission swap, I started thinking about whether it made sense to swap other things over too if I got a K2500 donor - which led to wondering if it was just easier to swap the bodies.

As I mentioned, Iíve been doing a bunch of stuff to the K2500 too - new fuel lines, new brake lines, and such. Twenty plus years of use and winters with road salt are taking their toll. Everything Iím doing seems like it would be easier if the body was off and I was working from above - like they did on the assembly line. So the body swap would be a good chance to just go over all that too.
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í94 GMC 6.5TD K1500 4L80E Yukon SLE 214K
í93 Chevrolet 6.5TD K2500HD NV4500 Std. Cab Longbed 183K
í85 Toyota 22R RN60 4x4 Std. Cab Shortbed 178K (Currently retired for rebuild)
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