Hey guys whats up. I am new to the forum and had a couple of questions,
I am thinking about getting a 53-56 ford truck, have any suggestions on what to look for as this is going to be my first build. I see them out there but was also wondering what the average price. and last thing is f100vsf250 any tips on which one would be easier to build or find parts for.
Welcome to FTE! I don't own any truck that new, lol, but prices can be all over the map these days. You have folks who need money, so it goes fairly cheap, and you have folks who forgot there's a recession going on, and want Barrett Jackson prices circa 2007.
I will say that an F100 will be much easier based on aftermarket parts availability.
Scott's right, buying a F100 will give you more options for brake and wheel upgrades,and much wider range of donor vehicles for the common Ford 9" differential vs the Dana 60 of an F250.
There is not a lot of difference, body-panel wise between the two, at least in my era of trucks,57-60.
You'll be money ahead,in my opinion, to buy a truck with the best body/chassis you can find, even if it has no engine or transmission.Engines/tranny's are (relatively) easy to obtain ,while bringing a rusty old hulk up to snuff will eat your time and finances alive.The easiest money you'll never spend ,is the money the previous owner pumped into his truck before the project went south ,and he sold it to you at a loss.
Of course,if you've got bodywork and fabrication skills, ignore this advice.Have fun in the search,be patient.
Since you mention this as a build, one of the big things to watch for is rust. The least amount of rust will save you money in the long run. One used fender in good shape or a new replacement can run 3 to 4 hundred dollars each. If you have things you plan to upgrade any way like the motor, find something which doesn't run and save some money.
From personal experience and tastes I would say go for a 53-56. I love the look of the 48-52 and 57-60 but the most support in the aftermarket world tends to be the 53-56 and that can save you time and money. As for the differences in the F100, 250 and 350 there are a few differences. Most F250's came with a Timken split rearend. Get rid of it. Very few parts remain for those rearends and the gear ratio will kill you. The F100's had a Dana 44 that works better. Mainly, 250's used a wider and heavy spring setup in the rear springs over the F100's. I have often switched out the hangers and springs from a F100 unto my F250. It does derate the load capacity a bit (down to a F100) but I don't plan on ever using the truck for real work again. If you have to go through the springs anyways it's not a big deal. It is also possible to fit late model Ranger springs and hangers if you go that route. The front fender wheel openings on the 250 and 350's where bigger to accommodate larger wheels up front. Also, F250+ either came with a 8ft. long bed or flatbed, whereas the F100's where 6.5ft in 53-55 and didn't start the 8ft. bed until 56. I personally like the looks for the 8ft. bed so I have always tried to purchase F250s. Many guys cut down the longer F250 chassis rails to make a shorter bed work. IMHO unless you are good at fabbing and welding I wouldn't try to cut down a chassis. Brakes are different sizes on the F250 and up. You will also have to deal with 8 lug wheels versus 5 lug. If you want to do a disc brake conversion on the front (which I highly recommend) you will have to switch to 5 lug rims.
Look for the best you can afford as it will save you time and money in the long run. Don't buy a truck because you want to make a fortunate selling it. Buy something because it appeals to you. Also, the more rust = less value. Don't let a seller tell you it's worth X. Sellers try to get top dollar for rusted out junk. You sometimes are better off paying to have a truck shipped from 5 states away then you are buying what's easily towed home. Check the cab corners, floor pans, fenders for rust and rot. I love the F250's but most of them where used as farm/work trucks. I find a lot of low mileage F250s compared to F100s. Check the frame for cracks around the spring hangers (front and back). Also decide if you want stocker or a more modded truck. Both have a place in this world, just try to figure out if you want to do before jumping into things. I like my trucks updated with seat belts, front disc brakes, dual master cylinders and better shocks. Other than that I like them to look a bit more stock or at least to look like Ford might have done that in the 50's. Lastly, IMHO don't buy a truck that someone has highly modified (read chopped up). There are MANY talented builders on this forum (I take nothing away from them) but there are a lot of idiots out there that chop stuff up and leave a mess. The last thing you want is something thrown together and rigged. It costs time and money to undo someones problems. Good luck and welcome to the fun!
thanks guys for all the input. I have begun my search,wish me luck. i will keep you guys posted. Is there any place that would be better to buy from then Chicago,or is there any certain area to stay away from. I have herd the term rustbelt but know what area it refers to.
What's wrong with Chicago? I buy all my good rusty stuff there. lol Newguy there are a lot of trucks in Southern Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Kansas. Get on searchtempest.com which scans all the Craigslist ads and go from there. Unless you are willing/able to seek out something from Arizona/SW USA, you will most likely have some rust issues with a 55+ year old truck. Rust is not the end all death of a truck but it does have to be dealt with. I am about 2 hours from Chicago over in Michigan if you want to take a look at how a rust bucket can be turned into a daily driver. Keep us posted.
Welcome to FTE! I've got a 1950 F1 that I'm in the late stages of renovating - Hmmmm - What I've learned this year:
o I agree 100% with the advice to get the best Cab/Body you can find - the engine mechanical stuff is fairly straight forward to find & install.
o I replaced the Fenders on both the front & back - The aftermarket ones are all heavyduty fiberglass - $1500. So if you can find a truck with the steel ones in good shape you are coming out ahead.
o We spent 6 months fixing the old rusty Cab - Installing the rusted out cab corners, replacing the floor, firewall, welding up new undercab supports, replacing the firewall. Easily $10K - Find a solid cab with a good floor & corners.
o Engine replacement & new motor mounts, etc - Depending on what you get - $2K to $4K.
o On my year of trucks (1948 - 1950) - there are no aftermarket Doors or Hoods so be sure those are nice on whatever you get.
Good luck & have fun searching for a good truck! Take your time.