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Today: Nov 13, 2018
The Story Behind the Project PDF Print E-mail
Written by janman   
Friday, 30 April 2010 09:09

This project got its start more than 10 years ago. I got my first Travelall  mine  for $150 around 1998. It didn't run and my time was spent on Volkswagens at the time. When I finally started working on it, I had it drivable in a few months. The automatic transmission went out within the first 9 months, so I swapped in another of the same type because I had a spare. I had thoughts of switching that transmission out in favor of a Chrsyler 727, which is a strong and reliable one found in later model IH light trucks. In the meantime, I found a 1974 Travelall 100 4x4 74_travelall_100  in the classifieds. It had a 392 engine mated to the 727 trans I wanted. It also had a Dana 60 rear and 44 front. I picked it up for a few hundred dollars and brought it home. Not too long after that, I found a '67 2wd Travelall 67_travelall_1000  in the classifieds and went to look at it. It had a 345 engine and T-98 4 speed transmission. I bought that truck for $50 because the owner wanted it out of his back yard. When the second transmission finally died in my driver, I decided to swap in the manual trans rather than the 727.

So what to do with the 74? Mechanically and technologically it was the superior rig in my fleet. Aesthetically, at least to my eye, it was the ugly duckling. The "D" style body of the 70's was square and boxy while the "C" body of the 60's was more rounded and classic looking. That's when I came up with the idea of a body swap. I had originally thought of putting the body of my daily driver on the 74, but that was impractical since it was my transportation. The '67 that I bought for $50 was pretty beat up and really didn't have a straight section of sheetmetal other than the roof and floor. Then my buddy found a '62 62_travelall  that he wanted in order to use some of the frame and running gear for a Scout monster that he wanted to build. I had room at my place, so we towed it there for a while. fleet_and_sport  He didn't want the body, and it was in really great shape so I offered to go halves with him if he'd let me have the body for the swap. Now the pieces were starting to fall into place.

Now to come up with a plan to actually make the swap. I had given thought to renting a crane but that would have required that everything be perfect and that the older body would easily attach to newer chassis. Preliminary measurements had proven otherwise, so I needed a method that didn't cost $60 per hour. What I came up with was a plan that I called haybale technology. haybale_technology  One hay bale stacked atop another gave almost the perfect height to be able to raise the body and roll out the chassis. I used four of these stacks as jack stands and then ran 10' lengths of 4-1/2" square steel tube across the stands to support the body. precarious_perch   perch_close  I did most of the work by myself after I'd get home from work each night. It was a slow process but it was done carefully and safely.

Once bodies were separated from chassis, I was able to take better measurements and see just how everything needed to line up. The front arms (body mounts) frt_mt_74  of the 74 were much larger so I had to swap those out. The positioning was the same, luckily.  Each mount was secured by 5 huge rivets, for 20 rivets total. I drilled each one out, then ground them flat and then punched them out. frt_mt_74_removed  I resecured using nuts and bolts. frt_mt_installed_62  I also had to cut about 9 inches from the back of the 74 chassis. I then sent the 62 frame home with my buddy and gave the 74 body to another friend. 

     separation   separated   separated2   74_lift    74_side   bodies1   bottomshot   chassis_frt_74   chassis_rear_74

Before joining the two pieces back together, I cleaned each one thoroughly, removing decades of grease and road grime. I also decided that I didn't really want to use the 727 transmission, since I really loved the power of the T-98 wide ratio in my driver. So I picked up a used transmission,  T98_74_side  transfer case, bellhousing, clutch and all the necessary parts to do the conversion at a wrecking yard. I chose to use the older NP-202 transfer case instead of the NP-205 that was in the 74. Not much of a difference, but the 202 was all cast iron while the 205 had some aluminum parts on it. Installing a transmission and transfer case trans_tc_74  is so much easier when there is no body in the way!

I also had to add a piece for the center body mount under the grille. The 74 chassis just had a huge opening ctr_mt_area  there, so I made a plate ctr_mt_new  to fill the gap ctr_mt_installed

The merge was a fairly simple process, other than the fact that the 74 chassis sits much higher lined_up  than the 62 did and there was no way to roll it in while the rear tires were on. But luckily, I had a spare set of rims that I put on the back. I used the extra set of square tubes (now that the 74 body was gone) as a track lft_side_rails  for the wheels to roll on rt_rear_rails   and slid it into place. rear_almost_in_place   I put the tires back on to level out the chassis, then lowered the body down. complete_lft_side   complete_rt_side   frt_in_place Everything lined up perfectly. I did have to redrill some holes for other body mounts, but that was easy compared to moving the front arms.

The front grille section wouldn't bolt back on due to the difference in steering gear. phx_backyard2  I am still in debate as to whether to modify the grill section or replace the steering gear with an older one. Probably the latter because the hydraulic assist of the older rigs is far superior in my opinion.

Shortly after I put the pieces together, I had to move due to my landlord selling the property. I quickly found a place in downtown Phoenix and my new landlord had no problems with me keeping a few vehicles in the backyard. phx_backyard1  For two years, I had no problems, then all of a sudden got a notice from the City giving me two weeks to move them or face huge fines on a daily basis. I gave the 67 T-all away and towed the 62/74 leaving_phx  out to my buddy's house in AJ. I had it there for a few months then put it into storage at a yard nearby. That was in May of 2004. I didn't do anything with it since then, other than drive by it and make sure it was still there when I'd go visit my buddy. Now it's gone.

Please send me an email if you have seen my truck. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

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