Author Topic: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern  (Read 1242 times)

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Offline Chris73 'Willie'

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1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« on: August 16, 2020, 12:48 PM »
Greetings Everyone!  Looking for guidance as I begin hot-rodding the 1973 Winnebago Indian my wife grew up camping in...my boys have named him 'Willie' and he is not keen on stopping at the moment.
I want to lose the split rims and upgrade the braking capability all around - drums on all corners at the moment (everything is original - including the tires  ???).
Anyone done an axle swap and if so what did they go with?  I would like to go fairly modern (within past decade or so).  Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.
Chris

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2020, 05:37 PM »
Unless you go to four wheel drive I seriously doubt you are going to find a straight front axle from the last several decades let alone the last decade. The rear is no problem but the front with the solid axle bolted to the leaf springs will be your issue. Back when I had a shop I did a couple of 4x4 conversions on these but don't ask me for specifics, it was 40 years ago. The driveline was complete from a Dodge 3/4 ton pickup I know that. They drove and worked very well, I think they drove better than the factory setup. They certainly did not wallow as much.

Offline Oz

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2020, 06:28 PM »
The desire to axle swap has come up many, many times... for obvious reasons.  People have tried this and tried that, but none have been successful, with the exception of what Rick said... 4x4 conversion.  We have two members who've done that.  One is the "Blue Whale" built for cruising the beach dunes of the northeast.

Nothing old has been found to work as a swap, which would be the most likely thing to work.
"Modern"... last 10 years or so?  Even less likely. 

Unfortunately, this is one thing which has yet to be accomplished due to lack of any compatible vehicle to use.

Offline Chris73 'Willie'

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 12:25 PM »
Thanks for the input gentlemen, looks like doing a 4x4 conversion is the sensible way to go in the long run.  I will expand my research to gain an understanding of what's been done by others & see what turns up.

We live in WI and having Willie be more surefooted when the white-stuff starts falling appeals to me. 

Offline Rickf1985

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #4 on: August 18, 2020, 05:10 PM »
If you decide to go that route then the best way to do it is to use the entire driveline from a donor truck, you probably will not find much out there anymore that will bolt to the 413 as far as transmission in a 4x4 configuration. Getting the entire setup from a donor guarantees it will all work together.

Offline Chris73 'Willie'

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2020, 07:28 AM »
I have found a donor for the axle swap in my attempt to go modern - a 1992 GMC 3500HD.  Dana 80 rear, solid I beam front axle with disc brakes all around...GVWR 15,000lbs.

We will get this done.  The 3500HD production run was 1991-2002 ~ check out 3500HD.com for more info on these awesome trucks.

Offline Oz

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2020, 10:15 AM »
Definitely gotta keep us posted on your progress!

Offline Chris73 'Willie'

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2020, 08:22 PM »
Will do, the rough measurements are very close 👍

Offline Jonbbrew

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2020, 01:55 AM »
I am soooo interested in this topic. After researching what it would take to overhaul these old brakes I have wanted to see if this option was real. Good luck with and keep your build here in front of all of us.
Keep Er' Goin' Eh!

Jonathan

Offline Chris73 'Willie'

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2021, 01:44 PM »
The rear axle swap is done, we now have rear disc brakes and are using the donor truck's master cylinder for both the front and rear - pulled the hydro boost vacuum units and are using the power-steering pump and high pressure lines to make it stop.  Still stock up front with hopes to sort out how/if we can convert the cab-over rear steer to something that will work with the donor axle with all the links in front. Freightliner has a rack pinion set up that may enter into the equation.  The transmission is currently slipping and that rebuild is next on the agenda. 
We yanked the leaf springs and Willie now has a 4-link w panhard bar & airbags- it’s some impressive looking HD shoot underneath…handles much better & stops on a dime.

Offline Elandan2

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2021, 05:11 PM »
We really need to see some pics of that suspension setup.  :)
Rick and Tracy Ellerbeck

Offline Chris73 'Willie'

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2021, 12:12 AM »
Yes there was some pics I tried to attach

Offline Chris73 'Willie'

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2021, 12:14 AM »
Here are a few pics

Offline Chris73 'Willie'

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2021, 12:15 AM »
Murdered out the bumpers and wheels

Offline blk69stang

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2021, 04:44 PM »
What did you come up with for steering? The Winnie uses a push-pull drag link, but from your pics is looks like the 3500HD steering uses a crossover steering setup. Is that correct? I have a line on a 3500HD parts truck, and wanted to wargame the entire conversion before I pull the trigger. I also don't want to spend a fortune on this conversion, especially if I can do a 4x4 swap for similar money. Any info is appreciated!

Offline NotLaw

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2021, 08:15 PM »
I like the black front bumper in combination with the black headlight trim.

Rear looks like it's all custom fabbed stuff? What air bags did you end up using? One of my long term plans for my own coach is going to involve some serious suspension work, and airbags are definitely being considered.




Offline eXodus

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Re: 1973 Indian axle swap - going modern
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2021, 05:55 AM »
The rear axle swap is done, we now have rear disc brakes and are using the donor truck's master cylinder for both the front and rear - pulled the hydro boost vacuum units and are using the power-steering pump and high pressure lines to make it stop.  Still stock up front with hopes to sort out how/if we can convert the cab-over rear steer to something that will work with the donor axle with all the links in front. Freightliner has a rack pinion set up that may enter into the equation. 
e.

Any update on the Rack and Pinion?  Which model are you looking at?  I would like to covert the steering system.