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Converting a 2wd to 4wd?

If I had a 1960’s Chevy C10 and wanted to change it over to a 4wd, would it be a costly upgrade? Would I be better off finding a similar truck that has 4wd?

Yes and yes.

Im just learning about classic trucks. Any reccomendations for classics with 4wd?

Willys Jeep.

If you want to go off-roading with an old truck put a winch on it. That will get you out of trouble a lot better that 4wd.

Old 4wd drive trucks are hard to find, in the 60s and earlier most people had more sense that to buy 4wd unless they bought a jeep. The 4wd trucks that were bought wore out long before the 2wd ones because of their complexity and the uses they were put to.

Off roading is not my immediate concern. Its the occasional winter conditions I may have to drive through. I have not owned a car for almost ten years. I have been living in cities, but now I am moving to Wisconsin. My previous car was a 1968 Plymouth Sport Fury. I was thinking of buying a newer car but I just really dig the classics.

I know someone who did this. It was his dream to convert an old 2WD truck to 4WD. He was a prefessional mechanic and an excellent welder/fabricator. The project was a thing of beauty when he was finished.

For the money he spent, he could have bought a Ferrari.

You CAN convert the truck if you really want to, but it would be significantly less expensive to buy a truck that already has 4WD.

You really don’t want to drive an old classic truck in winter. The road salt used in rural Wisconsin will just rust out your classic killing its value.

For Wisconsin winter better to buy a used Ford Explorer and save your money for buying and restoring your classic truck. Once you get into spring you’ll be able to drive your classic 2WD truck anywhere you like as much as you want.

There are lots of 2wd trucks that make it through winter just fine in WI., except for days like today. I think everything is shut down today, so there is nowhere to go except out to take pictures. We have an east west drive, I snow blowed it last night, it is clear, now to work on the 5’ drift in front of the door. Been up a half hour and have not seen a car, but it kind of looks like there might have been a plow down the street at some point, I’ll have to shovel my way out there to see. I do like the used SUV Idea as an alternate, unless you are morally opposed that is.

Back in the 70’s it was the rage to convert any 2wd vehicle to 4wd…I’ve seen Firebirds, Mustangs, 2wd Vans and even a Vega and Pinto converted to 4wd. I have no idea how much it cost or what was involved. But it can be done…and financially probably not worth it.

Willys brought out a 4 wheel drive pickup just after WW II. In 1948 or 1949, the Willys Jeep Station wagon was available with 4 wheel drive. It seems as though Willys was ahead of the curve with its 4 wheel drive pickup trucks and the 4 wheel drive station wagon that was roughly equivalent to either today’s SUV or crossover vehicles.

If you are doing the work yourself and enjoy working on your truck go for it.

If you plan on paying someone you’d be better off buying a truck with 4wd.

A set of modern winter truck/suv tires will alleviate the desire for 4wd likely. Far cheaper and FAR FAR safer than running around on all-seasons or so called mud tires on a truck in winter conditions.

Nokian makes some that are studded yet quiet. I am sure other decent makers like Michelin and Bridgestone Blizzack do also but finding your size is key.

Winter tires while an investment at purchase time are far cheaper than buying a winter vehicle. They require little money and save you from wearing your standard set of 3 season tires.

Unless you go driving in the Dells, the highest hill you’ll climb is at the interstate ramp. You will be fine with any car or truck as long as you have winter tires.

I had my 65 GMC when I lived in WI. The 65 was not a truck that made WI winter driving very much fun. After one winter of driving it got parked inside for the next ones.

I went to school with a guy who did something like this. He built a one-of-none-made 1979 Chevy shortbed stepside 4X4 with a mega-lift. The project involved plenty of cutting, welding, and a host of donor vehicles for the appropriate 4X4 parts. If you are an excellent fabricator and welder, this project may be up your alley. If you are hiring this done, save yourself some money and buy a late model 4X4 truck or SUV to get around in.

If you can find a more modern 4x4 truck setup that is the same size as the C-10, you might get off cheaper than fabricating things yourself; just transfer the body onto the newer frame.
You’ll also want to run more modern brake/steering system on the truck(I doubt it has power steering on it)

Good advice but the question was asked 8 years ago .

On the other hand converting an old (60’s) truck to 4WD is an order of magnitude easier and cheaper than converting a modern truck to 4WD. On a 60’s-70’s truck it’s doable for a mechanically inclined person to pull off. On a 90’s-up truck (for the most part) there’s much more to the job and it’s not worth attempting unless you’re a masochist.