View Full Version : 1981 3500 4x4 frame?

04-04-2014, 09:28 AM
I been pulling apart this 1981 1 ton 4x4 pick-up. Rear springs have 8 leafs and an overload. Figured it would make good HD trailer but I don't want to butcher the 1 ton frame if its rare or what. I was wondering if the 1 ton frame is heavier gauge, deeper, wider than a 3/4 ton frame. A guy at the coast said he would buy the frame for $200 because I have a 1980 3/4 ton frame I could use for a trailer project too.

04-04-2014, 05:12 PM
I've been told the frame is stronger. According to these guys the 1 ton is about .040" thicker than a 1/2 ton but very close to a 3/4 ton.


04-04-2014, 05:13 PM
Measure the height of the frame at various places front to back, I'm curious if it's different

04-04-2014, 08:19 PM
Believe they are built a little tougher. Also narrow spring perches on the rear by an inch either side and believe the spring pin is moved forward an inch compared to the 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton.

04-07-2014, 09:20 AM
Just have cab left to remove on 81 1 ton frame. Then going to remove rusted cab\box off 1980 3/4 ton frame and then I'll take measurement to compare. I hope to be done that in couple weeks.

SBC hris
04-10-2014, 09:55 PM
1 ton frame is much beefier. 1/2 ton and 3/4 ton are pretty much the same. Measure the "depth" of the frame rails.

04-12-2014, 10:39 AM
Cab is off. Yah frame looks really big and beefy up to front cab mounts. Hope to get cab and box off 3/4 ton next week to put frames side by side to compare.

04-27-2014, 02:56 PM
1981 4x4 1 ton frame definitely deeper, wider, and thicker than 3/4 & 1/2 ton frames. 1980 4x4 3/4 ton and 1984 4x4 1/2 ton frames same depth (6.25" ahead of rear spring front hanger) and appear to be same thickness. Yet 1/2 ton frame narrower where nothing attaches such as box mounts etc. You can see how they designed the 1/2 ton frame to lighter and not as stiff as the 3/4 ton frame. 1/2 ton frame definitely weigh less than 3/4 ton frame. Holes for cab mounts smaller dia. in 1980 frame vs 1981\84 frame. 1981 and 1984 cab mounting bushings\hardware definitely different compared to 1980 era frame. I am going to put 1984 cab\box off 1/2 ton frame onto 1980 3/4 ton frame. I have 6 hardly used cab mounts from 1981 cab so looks like I'll have to cut out larger holes in metal on 1980 frame, quicker than re&re'ing mounts off frame rails.