From Rust to Riches; 2001 - 2005 Cab swap

Discussion in 'Under Construction' started by trocko, Mar 20, 2019.

  1. trocko

    trocko New Member

    Mar 20, 2019
    Nova Scotia
    Hey all!

    I've been creeping and crawling since December 23rd when I picked my truck up, and trying to figure out what to do with it...

    Here's the history......

    On December 22nd, a buddy on Kijiji messaged me wanting to trade his 2001 GMC Sierra 4x4 for my 2007 Ford Ranger. My ranger was a 2WD, ad had a flat deck that I built. The engine had a nasty knock, and I wasn't looking forward to replacing the engine so I was more than happy to trade the ranger for the Sierra. Now, the Sierra had some problems... The cab mounts were shot, and the cab was really sagging. The rockers were also shot, according to the guy but they didn't look that bad upon first inspection. It also had an exhaust leak, which looked to be a hole in the muffler. It has a 4.8 and it started right up, and purred. When I took it for aquick test drive, the cab creaked and made lots of noise but I figured that to be the cab mounts. Now, lets make a disclaimer... I like to think of myself as a mechanic, but I am just a humble farmer / teacher. I like learning, and a challenge. I got under the truck and looked at the box, and I "thought" it looked fine.... I also looked at the "cab mounts" and "the frame" and thought they didn't look that bad. So we did the paperwork, traded the trucks and I took my shiny new 2001 Sierra back home.

    Upon arriving at home, I took the truck for a drive. It had an engine light on, so I checked. Knock sensors low voltage and purge valve failure. EASY I thought.
    I frigged and fooled for a few weeks, looking at all these wonderful go fast bits on amazon, and decided not to buy anything until I really got into the truck and made sure it was something I would be able to do / be interested in.

    I started by removing the bed. I like to strip the rust and shit off my trucks and repaint the frame, and it also gives me a good idea what needs to be done.

    With the bed off, there was a lot.... A LOT of surface rust. I grabbed my hammer and started beating the holy hell out of the frame. I knocked off over 35 pounds of rust according to my scale... LOL. After all of my frustrations were played out, I checked the damage. The shock mounts were flimsy, all 3 cross members had holes, and I actually found out someone had previously "fixed" the frame and plated it with 1/4 steel.

    I got under the cab, and with my new found knowledge of what cab mounts and rockers really are (I know, I can be a bit dense) I checked them again.... My rockers were made of cardboard and bondo. Removing that, they really were shot. Also, the cab mounts really were shot.... Meaning not there. At all. Also, there was a good sized hole in the floor of the cab, which would need repair.

    At this point, I thought well, I'm done... I traded a semi working truck for one that should have been condemmed long ago.. Then, my dad said he knew a guy with a parts truck.

    I contacted "the guy" and we talked about my truck, and his truck, and his dog, and my dog... After a few hours, we had a deal worked out. I was going to take his truck, take the cab off it, and put the cab on my truck. It was a rust free cab, from down south, but the frame was shot (not sure how that makes sense). I got the cab for $300, and a rust free tail gate for $50. I also made a deal to get his rear end with drums for $50. I thought sweet, I am still in this!

    The only catch is that his truck is a 2005 silverado. I didnt think that was a problem, but it ended up being a problem.

    I got his truck home, undid the cab bolts, all the wiring up front, the e brake cable (cut it), the hood cable, and heater hoses. I undid the shift cables and removed the steering column to send back to the guy.

    I got my dad to help lift the cab, with a tractor, and we got the cab off (after 4 hours in the rain.... my tractor doesnt have forks) and into the garage..

    Here's the fun part... The wiring harness in the cab is different from the one in my 2001. So I need to swap out the whole cab harness from my 2001 to the 2005 cab.

    So this is where I am now. I am working on stripping the 2005 cab to prep it to be put on the 2001 chassis.

    What needs to be done:
    Needle scale the frame
    Treat frame with Rustoleum, POR15 or rust converter then paint
    Paint truck
    fix emergency brake
    repair and replace crossmembers
    replace bed or make a flat deck
    swap cab harness and things
    Cut muffler out and put 2.5" magnaflow in

    What I WANT to do:
    Get 2-3" lift
    285/70/17 Tires
    Taylor 10.4mm Wires
    NGK Iridium Plugs
    Stainless brake lines
    Redo Fuel Lines

    I am hoping to chronicle my journey on here, and hopefully get some tips and help since I know little currently. I will be doing most of my own fab work, but I hesititate to call it "fab" because I have a mig welder and grinder.... Basic tools lol.

    First questons..

    I removed the 3 10mm bolts from my door hinges to remove the doors. They are stuck and wont just lift off. What do I do?

    My brakes are nonexistant. The front rotors and pads are fine, rear rotors are a bit grooved. The pedal is VERY soft and ABS only kicks on when on ICE. The pedal hits the floor with ABS, and it slows me, not really stops me... I am assuming air in the system.

    Thanks! And Hi haha:D:D:D

    SPDMETL New Member

    Nov 22, 2018
    Have you gotten anywhere with this? Sounds like the basic frame-off resto...make sure the frame repairs are safely done, you don't want to get launched into oncoming traffic by murphy