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post #1 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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body swap or everything else?

Hey Zukers,

I have a hardtop. I want a softtop. I briefly considered the sawzall method but decided to look into getting a softtop body instead.

I have managed to find a decent 88.5 softtop body and frame with all the driveline and suspension stripped out as well as the radiator and most of the interior. To me this represents my softop which I so desire.

Here is my possibly stupid question, since I think I alreayd know the answer: Should I just yank the body off my hardtop and drop the softtop body on it, or should I pull all the stuff off my hardtop and install it on the softtop chassis? I have to swap around the interior stuff either way, but which would be easier/simpler?

To switch the bodies it would seem all I need to do is unbolt the mounts and remove all the electrical and fuel connections and maybe the steering columns on both trucks, then I can swap 'em. To do the drivetrain and suspension would mean taking the suspension off and maybe dropping it with the axles, then the Tcase, motor and trans.

variables: The body/chassis I am getting has been rewired for a tracker 1.6 and EFI and my hardtop chassis has nice rockrails permawelded to the frame.

~thanks for your opinions/ideas/admonishments/insults/etc.

~daxe
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 06:45 PM
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Re: body swap or everything else?

how good is your hard top body? if its in good shape let me know...maybe i will take it off your hands if you decide to do a body swap....help fund the purchase of a soft top tub

J
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 06:57 PM
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Re: body swap or everything else?

I've thought of making mine a removable hardtop. I have done this mod. on a Mazda PU before. It depends on many things. How is the frame, etc. on the other one VS. yours?
I think changing the body may actually be easier. Are you getting a title with the other one? I hope so.
I was going to switch to a softop by taking a spare (mint)softop body onto my frame but decided to stick with the hardtop because it is different, I drive a full size work van everyday so I'm used to the rear blind area, warm in cold weather (plan on plowing with it & eventuall putting tracks on it), & isn't nosey & flappy at high speeds.
HHHhhhmmmm................I THINK that if you wanted to trade your body & those tires for the Tracker that would be cool. My hardtop body has some rust issues & MANY dents now but I have an exo-cage going on soon so a dent/rust free body would be cool.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 07:07 PM
 
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Re: body swap or everything else?

Not too long ago I faced this same problem. I owned a zuk that had more rust than you can imagine and wanted to do a tub swap. I went to about 10 salvage yards before I found my doner. I found a excellent soft top tub with no rust and only one tiny dent. I got it for next to nothing and it still had a tranny (works great) and a t-case (works as well) It also came with a complete a/c system still under pressure. Anyway I wanted to swap the tub. I found out that the frame and tub on the junk that I bought was better than the one I was driving. And since i was going to install a new suspension, lockers, ott steering and birfield rings, t-case, bumpers and a bunch of other crap, It made it easier to just build up the junk that I had just bought instead of do the tub swap.

To make a long story short, pick the best chassis (frame and tub) combo and put your stuff on it. It will pay off in the long run. [img]images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 07:46 PM Thread Starter
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Re: body swap or everything else?

>>I THINK that if you wanted to trade your body & those tires for the Tracker that would be cool. My hardtop body has some rust issues & MANY dents now but I have an exo-cage going on soon so a dent/rust free body would be cool.

My HT tub is far from rust free! The rockers are toast, to the point where the seam inside passenger side with the floorbaord is open to the air. The drivers side is just starting to crack through on the same seam. Other than that the floorbaords are pretty solid, though.(I think) The rockers should just be cut out and replaced with steel channel, IMHO.

the area where the flare attachment things are welded to the tub is also pretty crusty all around. The previous owner bondoed it in those places. I had to put on a patch (screwed on sheet metal) over a quarter sized hole in the front fender near the headlight on one side, too, but that looks kinda cool.

at least there is only one dent in it, in the very back passenger corner I squeezed against a tree limb and distorted the body a bit. thats all.

to be fair, before I even came back to this thread I PMed freebird and said he could have the thing if he wants it, so if he wants it I have to give him first dibs on it. If he doesnt feel like driving all the way from PA to get it, though, that idea about trading it for the tracker sounds REAL good. That kills a couple birds with the same stone for me.

~daxe
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 07:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: body swap or everything else?

NC,

Thanks for the reply. I knwo the chassis I am getting has about 170K on it, but it has no running gear at all, so the mileage shouldnt be much of an issue. My chassis (same year BTW) has only 90K on it and I know its pretty solid. (plus it has the rock rails already attached.) The tub is not an issue, since the whole point of this is to move over to a softtop from my current hardtop.

~daxe
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 08:51 PM
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Re: body swap or everything else?

I have just went throught the exact same delema...actually the project is still on hold in hopes of a nice warm day to come.. I dicided to do the body swap vs driveline ect... tub un-bolts with 10 bolts (lots of beer and friends to help!) and to transfer the driveline and susp. would have taken much more time and effort (OH and beer too!)... Good Luck with your project what ever route you take!
post #8 of (permalink) Old 10-24-2002, 10:01 PM Thread Starter
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Re: body swap or everything else?

Thanks SuziCrazy. Thats kinda what I am thinking. I was just recently diagnosed with GOUT, so I am gonna have to lay off the beer. [img]images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] but at least I have friends. [img]images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

~daxe
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 10-25-2002, 10:59 AM
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Re: body swap or everything else?

</font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
my hardtop chassis has nice rockrails permawelded to the frame.


[/ QUOTE ]

Nothing is permanment. Plasma is your friend.

BUT, I would recommend swapping tubs, unless your frame is tweaked or rusted.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 10-25-2002, 11:11 AM
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Re: body swap or everything else?

I did a tub swap in a day, also hard top to a convertable.
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