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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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Discussion Starter #1
I looked up the wheelbase, my '82 Dodge D350 is 149". I've been debating all of the options for restoration, up to and including swapping the crew cab and bed on to a different frame.

The up-through-'93 Ram club cab long bed is also 149", so that could be an option.

The current model has a 149.4" wheelbase for the Crew cab Short Bed 2wd for at least the 2500, maybe for the 1500 too. The 4wd is 148.9". Either would work for that...

So my question, I see a modern truck on CL, "can't be sold with title", which I assume means either a lien or some other issue. I'm thinking that the VIN goes with the frame more than with the cab, but is it at all possible to use the cab's VIN, rather than the frame's VIN?
 

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Tannon, if all you are doing is swapping the frame and the cab and running gear being swapped to it, should not be an issue. How often are these numbers checked unless crossing state lines? It is then akin to using a door or a grille off another car, just as long as you can get proof the truck itself is not hot to begin with. If it isn't, don't sell it across state lines unless the cab numbers and VIN on the dash are good, along with a good title, nothing else will need to be checked. As a third thing, is there a VIN on the frame I am not aware of? When I changed my Dakota frame, although I didn't look, I didn't see anything jump out at me, either.
 

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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
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Discussion Starter #3
Can't remember off-hand if there's a VIN on the door frame or not.

The biggest worry in a grey-area frame swap is that since I want to go with a newer drivetrain, that may cause issues when it's time to emissions-test.
 

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Your drivetrain test is pretty easy out there, stick a probe in the tailpipe and I think they plug into the computer and look for codes (if so equipped). Did the PT Cruiser when I gave it to the daughter out there, about as uncomplicated as could be, takes half an hour out here in California. Now, I do know there should be a build plate located somewhere at the back of the cab on the passenger side and not the frame, I simply changed mine since both my rigs were in my name.

One thing you may want to check with as far as the smog goes is, what are your state abilities to change power plants. They are not as worried about the vehicle itself if is in your name, simply that the engine is identified as not stolen by its number, and from there the state site should, as they do here, put a tag/sticker on the door jam to identify the vehicle engine has been changed and approved. Gotta check with the locals on your specifics, maybe something online as to where to go or what the restrictions are. The Fiero I helped build with the Cadillac 4.9 simply had to have all the smog equipment that was stock to the Cadillac engine, which had to be newer and factory spec cleaner smog numbers than the engine it was replacing. Once he had it smogged and inspected, he showed me the "inspection" sticker installed by the CA DMV.
 

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DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS!
Joined
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8,808 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
The changing powerplants issue is what has me worried, if they feel that they need to do a deeper inspection in the process and find that the frame VIN doesn't match the sheet metal VIN, and how they go about rectifying that, especially if there are issues with the frame VIN.

I'm not in a hurry, just figured I'd better start figuring all of this out. As of this moment my options are to either restore the truck from the sheet metal and frame that I have now, doing a drivetrain swap if I decide so, to find a different whole crew-cab truck, to do a drivetrain swap, or to find a different truck with the right drivetrain and frame, and to swap either my current cab and bed or else a different cab and my bed on to it.

I wish that the late D/W club cab long bed trucks had the same frame shape as the crew cab short bed, but the frame differs as it heads upward to go over the rear axle differently than the crew cab. I'd have to notch the cab at the back, which is do-able, but a pain. But, then I'd get a '92-'93 type era diesel without having to do a whole lot of work to make it happen, compared to a drivetrain swap.
 

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Need to identify if there is indeed a frame VIN or whether it is just cab VINs.
 
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