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Body swap questions


Active Member
Mar 26, 2019
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Everett, WA
My 75 is running well but has some rust issues. Yes, floor pans, but even with my lack of welding skill, I would feel comfortable replacing those. The real issue is the upper cab corner along the drip rail. It appears that the rust extends down below the gasket line for the windshield so I'm looking at replacing a good chunk of the corner of the cab and probably a portion of the A-pillar. This is a welding job way beyond my lack of welding experience. I did pick up a corner from a 74 so I have the sheet metal to replace the rusty stuff with, I just lack the skills to do it.

Alternatively, there's somebody near me with a rust free (so he claims) cab from an 81. It's cab only, doors, glass, dash, etc. So, even if it truly is rust free, it would still be a project!

First question. Would the cab from an 81 play nicely with the doors, fenders, hood, and cowl from a 75? It's got a flat bed on it so compatibility with a bed isn't relevant.

The truck is a beater (or I could call it a rat rod to make it sound cooler). Could I just cut out the rust from the drip rail, re-seam seal the drip rail where salvageable, and then use some sort of a putty to keep the water out where the drip rail needs to be cut off? I would probably need to use some sort of putty along the fin that holds the windshield gasket in places as well.

Mostly, my goal is to have a dry interior so I can add some sound deadening and make it a little more comfortable to drive. I can make hideous booger welds for the floor pan and hide them under carpet and seal up anything I miss with seam sealer and undercoating. I can't do the same thing, exactly, if I'm cutting out 20% of the cab roof and A-pillar.


Well-Known Member
Dec 21, 2013
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Kingsville, MO
Sounds like a pretty complete 81 cab. Fenders, hood and cowl will work. I think there are some irregularities in the cabs threw out the years as far as windshield glass and cab roof dimensions so not sure about the doors. If the fender to cab body lines are the same old fenders and new doors would work.
Also if so inclined both the interiors will interchange. You may have to change out the dash frame to do it but it is doable.


Well-Known Member
Oct 4, 2012
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North Fond du Lac, WI
Yes, it would work. My '79 Lil Red has an '85 cab (from a 4x4 even) and I was able to put pretty much everything on it that I had for my Lil Red. I used the dash, heater core, brake booster. The doors and fenders fit fine since they didn't extend that upper body line into the cab on '81 and later. The roof line is different (1979 Dodge Lil Red Express Truck Restoration) you can see it in my post, but nobody's really going to notice that.

I had to do the following:
  • did a little cutting for the heater core.
  • cut a hole in the cowl area on firewall for the hose to the heater core.
  • use the wiper motor from the new cab.
  • used the '85 gas pedal but had to drill a hole for the throttle cable.
  • cut a larger hole for the wiring harness connector
Probably a few small other holes here and there for stuff, but nothing big...man, those step drill bits are amazing for this type of work.