looking for any advise on updating chassis for my "suv". truck is 108" w/b,65"track.looking for 4x4 suv/pick up,w/v8. i plan on swapping body shell over to "new"chassis.any ideas would be a help. thanks,. jay
Well, the Ramchargers have a 106" wheelbase, and the first-gen and second gen Dakota has a 112" wheelbase in regular cab short bed models. It would probably be easiest to use the Ramcharger for a base, depending on the amount you can fudge the wheelbases or slightly relocate the leaf spring perches. You might be able to bring a Dakota's rear axle forward, but I'd think the Ramcharger would be easiest. The Grand Cherokee also has a 106" wheelbase.
Concern yourself with the width of the vehicle (Dakota has a sturdy/simple frame), wheelbase is very easy to shorten or lengthen, the rails are straight on both mentioned vehicles.
Don't even have to use the whole thing, you could use the front half of any frame and graft it to your 56 frame in the rear unless you don't want to do that, which could simplify cab and back attachment to the frame, which simply requires footpads from the frame to the body mounting locations.
The following chassis changes; in 1961 the trucks changed from Power Giant to Sweptline. The front frame width changed considerably.
In 1965 the WB changed from 122 to 126, the short beds remained 114.
In 1972 the D models, (2WD) changed to IFS Lifestyle pickups.
The D frames are considerably different from the straight axle frames.
ALL rear portions of the frames on all 100 and 200 (and 150 and 250) are essentially 34" wide and little changed until the 2009 coil link rear.
There are several companies making Mopar based IFS kits that would be a LOT less work than swapping frames for negligible differences.
There isn't much in common in WB or suspension kmprovents that will fit your Town Panel.
For a W (4WD) the only advantage is using a 1972 and later disc brake open knuckle axle and upgrading to power steering.
Avoid the CAD axles and note there are MANY changes in both steering linkage type, differential location, shock location, transfer case type and linkage and other items that will make your search that much harder.
If you have a detailed list of wants and needs that will help us narrow down the choices.