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andrgo 08-23-2007 05:40 PM

Hey you! Need advice auto gurus...
Okay, so this isn't really about automotive repairs as the forum is titled. What I want to do is take an old extended cargo van (3/4 or 1 ton) and turn it into a "van truck", like this little photo-manipulation I made shows:

By now you're either thinking, "wow, this is one helluva cool idea." Or "wow, that's one of the stupidest things I've ever heard of." Regardless of what you think, it's what I want to do. I need something to keep myself busy and work on.

Now if I could have your input...
1. What should I use to saw off the cargo area, a Sawzall or something?

2. I'm don't know how to weld, so should I save the very back of it (where the doors are) and bring it to a welder to have them close the cab off?

3. Am I correct on the following 'steps' to pursue this?
Start -- Disconnect battery --> Gut interior --> Draw markings where to cut --> Cut into small sections with reciprocating saw --> Save doors and back area so it can be welded onto cab --> Bring to welding shop to have them close off the cab -- Done

slickshift 08-23-2007 06:53 PM

Sounds like you have a firm grasp of what's involved
The sawsall will work well, but get a few specialty blades
I forget exactly which ones I use for this, but they are always labeled well
If you are re-welding I'd go for a "smooth cut metal" rather than a quick cut metal
Expect to break a few, but with good blades and some care you might not
It should cut easier than you think (if you've never done it before)

joasis 08-23-2007 10:51 PM

Used to be a company in Oklahoma that did these as a conversion, but they started with a 1 ton chassis, with bed, and then placed a van body, cut about like you have it in the pictures. This was before the growth of trucks into the crew cabs of today....I bet I haven't seen one on the road in 10 or 15 years....some even had the fold down van seat/bed.....

zel 08-24-2007 06:38 AM

Look for a truck and van that share the same frame, like maybe a Ranger. Then you might be able to just use the bed from the Ranger, rather then trying to build the bed with the left over metal from the back lower half of the truck.

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