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Options to AWD/4WD a B-Body Wagon

6548 Views 95 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  wagonmayne
This is totally serious. There's been musings about this on this forum in the past, and I remember reading about at least one frame swap that was done. I've got 3 (4?) B-body wagons in my driveway, most in reasonable shape. I'd love to convert one of them to AWD or 4WD to use as a winter warrior. So what would be viable options to achieve that goal?

Things I've considered:

- find an Astro/Safari AWD subframe and weld it in place of the front section of the B-body frame

- find a pickup/SUV frame with a similar wheelbase and re-body it

- buy a Dodge Magnum instead

The first option seems like it would retain a reasonable ride height, whereas the second one seems like it would require a significant lift. I would prefer to retain a stock-ish ride height with stock-sized wheels and tires, even if there's a change in wheel stud circle diameter involved.

The 3rd option is boring, but probably the most cost-effective.

Are there any other options I'm not thinking of?
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I know i'm late to the party but i've been tossing the awd idea around for a few years now. the tahoe and escalade wheelbases within a 1" of the wagon wheelbase so my plan was to buy a truck with a beat up body and do the body swap. For me i like that option the best because i can then use all the truck electronics and systems. But from watching the awd cutlass guy explain his build on hoonigan doing the subframe setup would work well too. He sectioned in a trailblazer ss frame and used the trans, and front diff but factory rear end. But my end goal is to make my wagon reliable for cross country trips so im gonna do a frame swap.
Yea I see your points, my wagon is my shop vehicle so it's gonna be a full build regardless. I don't mind the fabrication to mate the frames but I just figured for what it would be doing the body swap would be easier. But my reasoning for awd or even 4x4 is bc I plan on road tripping in this and I live in Chicago so half the year it's cold and icy. But I definitely appreciate the knowledge I was unaware of the frame differences, I haven't done much research aside from the wheelbase and wheel track.
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