Converting a D200 to a W200, worth it?

Lonesome7.3

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I cannot believe I am the one asking this question. Usuallywhen someone asks about converting a truck like this to four wheel drive I tellthem it is better they just go get one that is already a 4X. After the time andexpense of doing it, one is usually always better off getting a truck that camefrom the factory with a T case. However, I have so much sentimental value wrappedup in this old Dodge and the overall truck is in such good shape I find myselfconsidering the possibility. I was just under it pulling the worn outsuspension components and it looks like all I have to do is cut the rivetsholding the two wheel drive cross member in place. Then I can fab up a simplerone to take its place. The biggest problem I have is I really do not want tomake drastic changes like that. But if I am to keep the truck forever, I wouldlike to make it a bit more versatile. Has anyone else done a conversion likethis? What are some pros and cons to just a swap?
 

tleach17

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It sounds very involved but with a good donor truck it's a lot like playing parts swap. The is if the frames are the same. I have done a 2-4 wheel drive conversion with a friend. The difference was he had a leaf spring front end. Try to use as many factory parts as possible. Gabbing takes a lot of time. A good grinder and a punch and you can use the factory 4wd cross members.


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Lonesome7.3

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I have done a lot fo Fords, but they are pretty easy. This one, I am not sure about.
 

tleach17

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I would try to find a 4wd and take some measurements. I wouldn't take a piece off the truck until you know the frames are the same. Don't go by people's word, the tape measure does not lie.


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Lonesome7.3

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I agree. I am looking at two options if I do this.

Getting a junk parts truck and going with all OE stuff.

Or, fab up a more modern coil spring set up with radius arms.
 

Cowboy Cadillac

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Go custom....diy4x.com would have all the suspension brackets you'd need, then just find an axle and tcase at a pick-a-part, ebay, craiglist or car-part.com

If you want cheap and easy....buy a 4wd chassis with a clapped out body and do a body swap.
 

Lonesome7.3

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I have come to a conclusion with the conversion idea. I havebeen crawling around under the truck for a couple of days now. For the firsttime I have paid a lot of attention to the forward frame rails and cross member.I see a conversion would not be all that difficult. However, these old Dodgetrucks can be bought so cheap it is just not worth it… if you plan to go stock.If I am going to make that kind of change to my granddaddy’s truck, I may aswell go all out and drop in the 4BT I have been kicking around. So, if I doconvert to a 4X I will not use stock leaf springs either. Here is what I planto do.



Fist thing, I will cut out the rivets holding the crossmember in place. I want to remove it intact. Once the new engine it mocked upand the front end it sitting in place I will build a one piece cross member thatwill incorporate spring buckets. I will run coil springs, radius arms, and atrack bar. However, I do not plan to lift it. I want to run stock tires andkeep it no higher than what the truck would have sat stock.



Parts I want: I want to find a D44 eight lug from aChevy/GMC. Why a D44 from a GM? Because they are simpler, have no vacuum lock,and do have locking hubs. Plus, the diff is on the same side as Dodge ran backthen. As far as a T-case, I want a new process that bolts to the 727 in thetruck. I do not want to run an independent T case for this build. Hell, I mayeven keep that old reliable 318, who knows?
 

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