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  #1  
Old 07-31-2018, 11:58 AM
cu4whln's Avatar
cu4whln cu4whln is offline
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Location: Canton, Mi USA !
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Long bed to Short Bed: Can it be done?

OK - have been looking for a really good body to start with .. short bed J 10. I found a super original step side that is rust free, but don't want a step side...

So, my buddy has a project long bed truck that is GREAT. Is it a stupid idea to buy it and shorten the frame/bed to make it a short truck? Its a 73. Really solid Jeep from west coast and its already here in MI.

I don't know the trucks so well .. like what different between the long and short beds... is it all in the middle? Is the rear overhang the same? It appears there are 2 sets of holes in the frame for the rear suspension.

Possible? Am I an idiot ?

Just cant find a rust free short bed. Don't need a drivetrain, just a solid body.
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  #2  
Old 07-31-2018, 12:23 PM
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Cecil14 Cecil14 is offline
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This has actually come up a couple times in the last few months. From everything I have seen, the truck frames ('74+) are the same between long and short beds, with the except of a little extra frame on the end of the long bed. The general consensus is that you can chop that off, rework your bumper mounts, and be good to go.

In my opinion, you're shooting yourself considering that '73 frame. A LOT changed with the '74 update, and all for the better. The rear springs are oddballs on most of the early-mid '70s frames. I think they might have settled on the last revision somewhere around '76?

You should have no issues converting, but I would suggest finding a bit newer frame.

edit: There might have been some moving of spring perches as well...I can't remember 100%. I know the spots existing in both frames, though. If you do need to move mounts, ranger spring mounts work for the rear (shackle-end) rear spring mount, and it's bolt on.


aa
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Last edited by Cecil14 : 07-31-2018 at 12:29 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-01-2018, 09:08 PM
cu4whln's Avatar
cu4whln cu4whln is offline
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Thanks Cecil14 ...

Any others have an opinion ?
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1977 "401" 'Da Chief
1979 Chero: "Madness"
1985 CJ : Renegade -locked and loaded
2001 XJ : Driver
1998 XJ 2 door


"Madness" build here:
http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=89280
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  #4  
Old 08-02-2018, 10:09 PM
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Carnuck Carnuck is offline
 
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Depends on pre or post ‘80. But a frame that’s already short to start with is a good way to go. I have a Townside bed that’s short complete with a tailgate and the frame from the Honcho that is giving it’s bed and axles to other projects.
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  #5  
Old 08-03-2018, 02:39 PM
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rang-a-stang rang-a-stang is offline
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I would think it would be doable to shorten a long bed. I have seen it done on C-10s and F-100s so why not a J10? The body lines are pretty straight so I don't think it would be a body work nightmare. The chassis's aren't that complex either. Nothing a 140amp welder, 4" cuttoff wheel or plasma cutter, and some time couldn't deal with...

It looks like you could take some length out between the front of the bed and the rear wheels and get a short bed without messing up the proportions. The distance between the rear wheel wells and the rear bumper looks the same to me between a long and short bed...
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  #6  
Old 08-03-2018, 08:42 PM
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Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
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If it's a '73 it's a J4000 and has 132" wheelbase. In '74 they changed the bed and went to a 131" wheelbase. I think they actually moved the wheel wells forward but haven't confirmed that. I just measured my '72 which should have the same dimensions as the '73 and there is 36" from the front of the bed to the fender flare and 26" from the flare to the back. Cutting 12" off the back would look weird but I have seen that done. A rust free '73 bed is actually a pretty rare and special thing and in my opinion shouldn't be shortened. That said I don't see why it couldn't be done but personally I'd look for a short frame rather than shorten one, but that's just me.
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  #7  
Old 08-08-2018, 05:44 AM
threepiece threepiece is offline
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Shortening a truck bed is no small task if one wants it done properly. I have considered this to some extent for my FSJ Hybrid project. If you decide to go this route Jim feel free to get with me. I would be happy to share my thoughts as I have come up with what most would consider an unconventional way of doing it that could save you some trouble and offer good results.
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2018, 08:16 PM
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I have a shortbed frame with good cab.
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2018, 04:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crankyolman
If it's a '73 it's a J4000 and has 132" wheelbase. In '74 they changed the bed and went to a 131" wheelbase. I think they actually moved the wheel wells forward but haven't confirmed that.

They didn't change the bed. Jeep moved the front axle 1" toward the rear, thus reducing the wheel base from 132" DOWN TO 131". No sheet metal changed. It's kind of obvious that the front tire isn't centered in the wheel well on the 74+ Jeeps if you look close.
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  #10  
Old 09-12-2018, 11:30 AM
threepiece threepiece is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiserMan
They didn't change the bed.

When I was restoring the bed of my J20 I looked in my yard for a patch panel. As I recall I found a difference in length in the area behind the rear wheels. The lower panel from the 1969 bed would not fit the 1979 bed.
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The generation of the past was appalled with the idea that the government would install a device inside the bodies of its people that would track their performance and influence their behavior, the generation of the near future will insist upon it.
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  #11  
Old 09-13-2018, 08:50 PM
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Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
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My reason for believing there actually is a difference is also because the replacement bed sides have this note


Quote:
Originally Posted by replacement bed side
**Note: 1963-1973 long-bed models will require modifications to panel in order to fit. The front of this panel is shorter than the original long-bed during those years, and will place the wheel well in a different spot.



If it places the wheel wells in a different spot it must not be the same and indicates that the '74 and later models have a shorter distance from the front of the bed to the wheel well.



I would actually like to know for certain if anybody with a post '73 long bed would be kind enough to take a tape measure and measure from the front of the bed to the fender flare along the rust seam and see if it is 36". I have been considering buying a set of bed sides but have been concerned about exactly what modifications I would have to do to make them fit my bed.
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  #12  
Old 09-13-2018, 09:31 PM
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Front of bed to flare, along the seam, ~'85ish bed, passenger side:




aa
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  #13  
Old 09-13-2018, 09:55 PM
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Crankyolman Crankyolman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cecil14
Front of bed to flare, along the seam, ~'85ish bed, passenger side:




aa


Thank you, looks like it is the same length as my '72
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  #14  
Old 09-20-2018, 08:04 PM
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itselliot itselliot is offline
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Jtruck

http://www.ifsja.org/forums/vb/showthread.php?t=179354

Its been a few years …. my memory of what I did isn't all that clear.....Im now left with wiring and upholstery to complete.

If you can view the photobucket stuff ...you might have a few answers I never altered the frame to mount the short box ...but moved the crossmember back to allow for the cab extension
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