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I'm lookin to get a full-size regular cab pickup, somewhere in the 70s-80s (before computers), 4x4, with a manual tranny and straight axles, and at some point in the next few years do a body swap probably with a Gorilla (or Bummer) kit body. Any ideas on what kind of truck (chevy, dodge, or ford) would be good to look for and would be relatively easy and straightforward to do the engine swap on?

Those Gorillas will go on virtually any chassis, so that's not an issue. I just want to avoid as much expense (i.e. a bunch of spacers/adapters) as possible with the engine swap (who doesn't?). I understand that alot of 4bts came in Chevy and ford step vans, so I figure a Chevy or Ford would probably be easier to match up than a Dodge. I suppose it ultimately boils down to the transmission...it'd be cool to have the cummins bolt right up, but that may be wishful thinking, especially as I want a manual, preferably 5 speed. I can fab my own mounts so I aint to worried in that department.
 

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The simplest bolt in 4BT installation there can be is a 1980 to 97 Ford truck with a 300 six/manual. If you need a straight axle then start with an '86 to 97 F-350 4x4 with a 300 six. That said though, The F-350 axle bolts under the F-250's and if you start with an F-150 you can bolt a D44 from any 66-79 F-150 4x4 right under it. These years F-150 4x4's with 300 sixes and 5 speeds are dirt cheap. A 66-79 D44 will run a few hundred bucks tops with radius arms and lift springs.

The 4BT bolts into these trucks. There's no cutting or fabricating. Ford EEC-IV engine controls are stand alone and very easy to eliminate from the rest of the trucks wiring.
 

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I'm lookin to get a full-size regular cab pickup, somewhere in the 70s-80s (before computers), 4x4, with a manual tranny and straight axles, and at some point in the next few years do a body swap probably with a Gorilla (or Bummer) kit body. Any ideas on what kind of truck (chevy, dodge, or ford) would be good to look for and would be relatively easy and straightforward to do the engine swap on?

Those Gorillas will go on virtually any chassis, so that's not an issue. I just want to avoid as much expense (i.e. a bunch of spacers/adapters) as possible with the engine swap (who doesn't?). I understand that alot of 4bts came in Chevy and ford step vans, so I figure a Chevy or Ford would probably be easier to match up than a Dodge. I suppose it ultimately boils down to the transmission...it'd be cool to have the cummins bolt right up, but that may be wishful thinking, especially as I want a manual, preferably 5 speed. I can fab my own mounts so I aint to worried in that department.
I'm not familiar with the Gorilla, but the Bummer body requires extensive drivetrain relocation, namely moving the M/T/TC back a couple of feet.
I off-roaded for years, and can tell you from experience that for 70s-80s chassis the Ford and Dodge are far superior to the GM. GM chassis tend to break at the steering box mounts and spring perches even here in rust-free TX, the military had steering box mount reinforcement kits made for the CUCVs.

CD
 

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I've heard that about the Bummer too. According to Gorilla, there is no driveline recolaction. All that needs doin is new body mounts, different fuel tank location, and relocate the radiator up and angled. The Gorilla has a huge doghouse between the driver and passenger just like the real H1, so I reckon there's a lotta room under there.

My only concern with doin the 6 cyl F150 is I want some reasonably herky axles under there (for off-roading) and by the time I put some axles like that (i.e. 60 front, 14 bolt or D70/80 rear) I might be ahead financially to just get a 3/4 or 1ton truck with a manual tranny and buy an adapter for the 4bt, rather then goin with the easy engine swap, then having to buy (and do) the solid axle conversion plus swapping out the 1/2 ton rear axle with a bigger one...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Hummer sued Bummer. They changed their name to Urban Gorilla.

Ahh interesting...then they also changed their product from all-fiberglass to 14 guage steel...

I was under the impression that Bummer was made by Tatonka out of Salt Lake? Tatonka is still in business but they only make one kit body and its some goofy lookin little ugly thing. Of course Urban Gorilla is also out of Salt Lake, so I guess they branched it out seperate from the original company.
 
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