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Bags to Body Drops Info and pics of bag jobs and body drops

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Old 11-26-2012, 09:10 AM   #1
Devs93
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Default How to Channel your truck

ter many, many requests, I'm going to post up my article first published in Street Trucks back in '05. These are all of the pictures I originally turned in and the appropriate text.

I also have all of these photos, in order, at the following locations:
My Buzznet Page
The kevinwhipps.com Gallery

And of course, please visit kevinwhipps.com for all of your funny, stupid and interesting truck and custom car stories.

And now, the tech:

Drag the rockers off
Channeling your truck the easy way
By Kevin Whipps

The one mod that will really set a truck off is a body drop. Setting the rockers on the ground really completes any truck, and will definitely cause some heads to turn. There are a lot of different ways to do it though, and it can be a little confusing. Which method should you choose for your truck?

There are really three ways to go about getting your rockers on the concrete. The first is commonly referred to as a traditional body drop. That’s when you take a sawzall, plasma cutter, or any other cutting device and cut the floor out of the cab of your truck, raise it up the appropriate amount, and weld it back in with filler plates. It gets the job done, but in the process you lose a good amount of headroom, and in some cases, knee room. If you’re a taller person, or your vehicle of choice is a mini truck, a traditional body drop may not be the way to go.

The second method is called stock floor body dropping. To do that, you drop the cab mounts the amount you want to get the body down and then you weld in a new, shorter frame underneath the cab. Stock floor body drops are great, but you really need a skilled welder to perform the modification, because modifying your frame is a big deal. Plus if it’s not done correctly, you’ve got a rolling accident waiting to happen.

The third method is channeling. Now a lot of people confuse channeling with a traditional body drop, but they couldn’t be more different. The term “channel” comes from the hot rod world. Back in the day, people would cut channels in the floor of their t-buckets and cut down the cab mounts to get their car sitting lower. This same principal can be applied to a modern day truck, with just a little bit of tweaking.

The premise is this; we’re going to cut sections of the floor out that are the same size as the stock frame. Then we’re going to cut the mounts of the cab down 2.75”, which is what we need on a 99+ Chevy fullsize to lay body. Then we’ll cover up those channels with some bent steel. The only other holes we’ll need to cut will be for the tranny, the driveline, and the gas tank. The end result is a stock frame, with minimal intrustion into the cab, and getting those rockers dragging. Sounds easy, right? Follow along and check out another way to make your truck lay.

Captions:


1. The truck is a 2004 Chevy fullsize that was already bagged on 22’s and laying frame. We started by getting the truck up in the air and tearing it apart.


2. First on the list is the core support mounts. Since the cab is dropping down 2.75”, the core support will need to go the same, so we took a sawzall and cut off the front framehorns.


3. On the 99+ fullsize Chevy’s, the lower radiator hose is right above the frame. To accommodate the hose, we notched the top of the frame and gusseted it appropriately.


4. Here’s the highlight of the whole install, the channels. After some careful measurements, we cut out the sections of the floor just above the frame.


5. The end result is a hole in the floor about 6.5” wide on the passenger side, 8.5” wide on the drivers.


6. Then we started welding up the holes in the floor, using bent steel. The key here is to be sure that you have at least 3” of room between the floor and the frame, transmission, driveline, gas tank or other objects that may be in the way.


7. Speaking of the gas tank, we used the stock hump in the floor as a base for our new, lifted floor.


8. We need to get 2.75” between the cab mounts and the frame mounts. We measured 1” off of the top of the bushing into the cab mount. Once we plate it with ¼” steel, we’ll get the ¾” of an inch that we need.


9. The new cab mount is formed from ¼” steel, and has a hole drilled in it for the cab mount. Now the cab is ¾” lower than stock, and we’re halfway there.


10. A lot of people forget about the other things that are in the way once you drop the cab down, like this section on the passenger side just above the transmission. We used a plasma cutter to take it out, then welded in a filler.


11. Another one of these sections is right above the factory ABS system on the drivers side. There’s a crossmember right above it that needs to be notched.


12. Next on the list are the four frame mounts. We cleaned off the factory frame gunk, and marked off 2”.


13. The mount is then cut off, and tacked to double check the measurements. We then welded it up and cut off the excess that hung too low.


14. Most of the items in the engine bay were already relocated when the truck was bagged, but the fan is going to have to go. The shroud won’t fit with the engine up higher, and the factory fan won’t cool the truck enough.


15. Now trust us on this one; Go to your local auto parts store and get a fan clutch removal tool. It’ll take a LOT less time to remove the fan, and a lot less headaches.


16: We installed a Flex-a-lite electric fan. It bolts right in with no problems, and we’ll gain a few horses at the same time. Not a bad side effect huh?


17. We’ve shown you hydraulic brake boosters before, but here’s why we like them: It gives us lots of room for big wheels, and things like relocating wiring harnesses, like we’re about to do.


18. Another thing on the list is the firewall. After some careful measurements, we cut out the driver’s side. Notice how we kept the sheetmetal around the wiring harness.[/
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:11 AM   #2
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19. We used that metal to relocate the harness up higher on the firewall. Once it was out of the way, we welded it in place. Then we welded in a tub for the tires. One thing to note, we did have to remove the e-brake pedal in this process.


20. On the passenger side, we marked the spot for the wheels. It’s just below the bump-out for the cowl.


21. After cutting out the passenger side, we found a fun little surprise – the blower motor. Don’t worry, the way we’re doing this you can keep your a/c and heat and still run 22’s in the front.


22. The tub on this side is the same as on the driver’s side, but we notched it for the blower motor. Then we used sheetmetal to cover it up as closely as possible. After it was all said and done, we had at least a ½” between the tire and the fenderwell.


23. Our fenders were already notched from bagging the truck, but they had to come up about 3” higher. We used an airsaw to handle the job, and at another time we’ll weld up some fender tubs to make it look pretty.


24. When all was said and done, we place dynamat all over the floor. The transmission, the new exhaust, and everything else is a lot closer to the floor, and so is the heat they radiate. Notice that we put the extreme mat right over the tranny and the exhaust area. We also doubled up on the drivers side, so the mat is level with the channel – that way we don’t notice it when we’re driving.


25. After everything was said and done, the stock carpet dropped right in place, with a little work. You’d never know that it was bodydropped.

Source:

Dynamic Control of North America (Dynamat)
3042 Symmes Road
Hamilton, Ohio 45015
(513) 860-5094
www.dynamat.com

Flex-a-lite
(800) 851-1510
www.flex-a-lite.com

Hydratech Braking Systems
26642 Haverhill
Warren, MI 48091
(586) 427-6970
www.hydroboost.com

Q&A

Q: How do I figure out if I should channel my truck?

A: It's all math. A-B+.25=C, here's how you figure out which is which.

Take a piece of square tubing, and clamp it to the bottom of your frame. This will represent the ground. Then measure the distance between the top of the square tubing and the bottom of the rocker. Should you want to go to the door, then just measure to the door. That number that you get is now referred to as A.

Now measure the distance from the top of the frame to the bottom of the cab. You want to take into consideration which part is the actual floor versus what is a crossmember, and measure off of the floor. That number is now referred to as B.

Let's put this into practice.

99-06 Chevy truck. I measure, and it's 2.75" to rocker. It's 2" to the bottom of the floor. So...

A-B+.25=C
(2.75-2)+.25=C
.75+.25=C
1=C

If you channeled the truck, you'd have a 1" tall channel.

How about a 88-98?

(2.75-1)+.25=C
1.75+.25=C
2=C

A 1" channel isn't bad, but the 2" channel we did on Dante81_98's truck is a bit tall. It's ultimately still better than a traditional bodydrop, but in that case, a stock floor may have worked out better.
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