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Sharing my 56 F100 project....

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  #151  
Old 10-30-2012, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by JDBeck23 View Post
Dano - I've looked a few places but cant find any previous discussions of how to convert the ammeter to a volt meter. Mind walkin' us newbies through how you switched yours over?

Thanks!
JD- I didn't convert mine. i just purchased Mid-Fifty's replacement gauge that looks like the factory Amp gauge but works like a Volt meter. The gauge conversion i did was regarding the temperature gauge.

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Originally Posted by Chicago Fire Patrol View Post
Dano, Your truck cleaned up nice!! Think of all the thousands you saved now that you don't need a new paint job!! LOL
HA HA! Thanks! Well, its still a 50 footer, just has a really nice shine to 'er now! I'm collecting body parts that I'll be needing for the re-paint so I'll have them when i get started. BTW- Been following your Firetruck thread off and on. That thing is really looking sharp!
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  #152  
Old 10-31-2012, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Dano78 View Post
JD- I didn't convert mine. i just purchased Mid-Fifty's replacement gauge that looks like the factory Amp gauge but works like a Volt meter. The gauge conversion i did was regarding the temperature gauge.


HA HA! Thanks! Well, its still a 50 footer, just has a really nice shine to 'er now! I'm collecting body parts that I'll be needing for the re-paint so I'll have them when i get started. BTW- Been following your Firetruck thread off and on. That thing is really looking sharp!
Thanks Dano, Your truck looks good now and will be even better sporting new paint. Keep up the good work!!
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  #153  
Old 12-11-2012, 12:07 PM
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  #154  
Old 12-12-2012, 10:56 AM
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Hey just read your whole thread! Very inspiring! And helpful too. Going to swap rears on my 51 f1 soon and your info is great!
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  #155  
Old 01-09-2015, 05:00 PM
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Awesome truck, Awesome thread, what ever happened
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  #156  
Old 01-23-2015, 12:50 PM
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***UPDATE*** JAN 2015
I kinda disappeared. Life in general just gets in the way at times. Had issues with the '56 and kinda back burnered it for a while and took on some other much needed projects. Major yard and house cleanup. Had done a complete backyard remodel and dropped utilities to my shop. New fencing and new gates. Money shortages, braces on the kid, new girlfriend, eh... who's got time for all this!?
But i've been working on the '56 here and there. Got the fuel system issue squared away and fixed the rod knock and lifter issue for now. I rebuilt the front suspension and put in Sid's dropped axle and ended up with bump steer from hell. Soooo addressed that and I think i've got it figured out. However, I found a crack in the steering arm in the process so it's been sorta fixed but i'd like a more accurate solution. Then had overheating issues so I went from a single electric to dual electric fans and that pretty much took care of it. now having problems getting the charging system to keep up with the amp draw at idle. I put in a 100 amp alternator but at idle it won't pull the load. So need to figure out that one. I'll toss up some pictures here in a bit. Gotta run out and dump about 25 old tires. (how do i accumulate all these????) But the truck is still runing and driving, just have my '78 Super Cab in the shop now for repairs.
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  #157  
Old 01-23-2015, 05:18 PM
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Okay realized I need to post UPDATES! So here we go!
After my all but interesting trip to the beach and limping her back wounded I began surgery!

Here's my little roadside repair to get the fuel up to the engine again. Had an open spot on the ign side of the fuse panel so it was as simple as running a wire and adding in some line. Yep... all zip tied to the fuel pump! Hey it worked! Got me through the weekend and back home 200 miles!


Next order of business was to yank the 390 and survey the damages.






Found some rod bearing damage. The engine honey i think prevented any further damage and enabled me to get it back without being catastrophic.





So i got a new crank and rod/main bearings. The lifter noise was believed to be a stuck lifter from lack of proper oil pressure. Took the cam back to the cam grinder and he cleaned up and gave me a new set of lifters. I had the cam custom ground from a comp cam spec (reground cam).


And here is the cause of the bad oil pressure. The Cam bearings were wasted. Used engines. I never messed with the bearings, when I had it opened up. Fixing that this time.


All buttoned back up and back in the truck.



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  #158  
Old 01-23-2015, 06:34 PM
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Amongst other things, I had a leaky o-ring on the input of the third member. Not pinion oil seal, but the o-ring that seals the pinion cone to carrier housing. Never seen one leak there before, but an easy fix.



Then to the next issue I had. Fuel flow. Apparently I did NOT get the fuel tank as clean as it needed to be and that's what caused my fuel loss. The lines plugged up and in turn it tore the diaphragm in the fuel pump. Solution- buy a new tank or get mine professionally cleaned. I opted for a professional cleaning. For $125 our local radiator shop cut open the tank blasted it all out welded it back up and then accidentally added the inner coating/liner (was another $100.... freebie!) that i didn't ask for. Either way, it turned out fantastic and since have yet to have an issue.


Tank installed.


Then decided to attack the front suspension since I had picked up a dropped axle from the swap meet. Rebuild time! Sway bar, New bushings, and new stock springs. I had already put new tie rod ends on and the upgraded tie rod from Mid-Fifty.


My swap meet dropped axle that I later found out was a 4.25" drop! A bit much... but thought it would be perfect with my new stock springs. The older rusty looking springs are a spare set i got with another axle assembly I bought.



Break down and tear out... The old leaf springs just literally fell apart! The shackles were so sloppy. You could almost use the springs as swings there was so much wear and play in them!




New springs and bushings going in.


Now because the dropped axle I picked up was for a '58-60 I had to get creative and order '58-'60 U-bolts and make a shim/spacer that wrapped around the spring packs at the u-bolts to take up the gap. The bolt spacing on the 'later axle is about a 1/4" wider across the springs. Also had to notch out the shock mount plates to accept the wider pattern.



Wasnt too crazy about the notched plate but it all torqued down just fine.


The bolts were ordered from LMC truck. This was before I shortened the bolts to the length of the '56 bolts.


Then while going through reassembly I had noticed a hairline crack at the Kingpin boss. No Bueno.


That being a bummer i too it to my machinist and he magnafluxed the whole axle and the crack was just that spot. He also noticed that the kingpin bosses were egg shaped. Decided to have it professionally welded. This pic compares the stock to the 4.25 drop. Quite a difference. The welded end is the one on the right. I had my Machinist true up the kingpin bosses.


FINALLY got it into the truck only to find that the camber in the axle was terrible! And the scrub line of the center of the axle couldn't even pass a 2x4 laid flat under it. That's just no good. And it was a far bit lower than I anticipated. I like the look, but not the function. This axle was proving to be junk done by some amateur. Not happy...




So after discovering the axle's camber was WAY off, thehaving the crack int he kingpin boss and the fact it's simply too low (scrub line in danger zone!) and then topping it off I'm looking at the spindle bearings and the kingpins aren't even perpendicular to the casting either! Only bearing contact on on edge! I decided screw it.... junking this axle. That was a $200 lesson learned. So i sent my spare stock axle out to Nostalgia Sid in Oklahoma and get this done right. I had him drop my stock axle 3 inches. He knows what he's doing. No screwing around this time...
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  #159  
Old 01-23-2015, 08:12 PM
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So while waiting for Sid to do up my axle I decided it was time to rebuild and lower the rear end. The PO already removed two leafs so it was already a touch lower than stock. I removed the bed to make like a little easier. Glad i did!

I'd say these are rear shackles and mounts are about wasted....




My front mounts were wasted too but was able to source some good used ones. I decided to relocate their mounting position to go with the extended Y-hangers I got from Mid-fifty.
Relocated them and drilled new holes. Think I gained about 1.5-1.75 inches of drop with the front hangar relocation.



For the rear I bought Mid-fifty's replacement rear hangar mounts. These are pretty nice units and omits the stock style pin to a more modern bolt and urethane-style bushing more common on the later trucks.



Installed Mid-Fifty's extended Y-hangars. Had to press out the brass bushing to work with the newer rear spring hangar mount.


Front spring mount and spring all back together.


Just as I was finishing up the rear suspension, I got the axle back from Sid. Looks VERY nice, a job well done.


Before removing the junk axle and putting in Sid's I set the truck on the ground with the bed back on. VERY pleased with the way the rear sits now.

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  #160  
Old 01-23-2015, 08:28 PM
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Lookin' good Dano. Welome back.
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  #161  
Old 01-23-2015, 08:35 PM
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Sooooo since i'm this far and I have the new Drop axle from Sid I figured I'd address something else that bugged me once i did up the suspension. I wanted to change the location of the front axle... move it forward. I had bought stock springs and the price was right but the wheel location was bugging me. Mid-Fifty offers springs with the centering pins relocated but the set wasn't cheap. So i went to our local spring shop to see if they could modify a set of springs to do the same things if the springs were in good shape. After talking with them and looking over their copy of the spring blueprints they had on file for the '53-'56 F100s, they told me they could make new main leafs (the 2 longer ones in each pack) with relocated pin holes and reuse the remaining leaves. The remaining leaves would no longer be centered but they felt that it was no big issue with the little movement we're doing and the fact lots of other springs are actually designed like that. So here they are, rebuilt, new bushings, with the pins relocated forward. Also pictured are the old stock location leaves they replaced. Total cost? $150 for the pair! NICE!


Threw the rebuilt modified springs in ....again....




Now as for the tie rod, you're gonna need to use tie rod drops. I initially purchased the spherical ones From Mid-Fifty and had installed them on the other drop axle. I learned that they are a ******* to work with and get a wrench little alone a cotter key into. When i talked to Sid he offered up a set he has made that are much easier to work with. i used them instead, this time. Sid's are the 'C' looking wedge ones.


And installed.




Before and after the spring modification.


I like it alot better now!

All together and back on the ground.



Measurement at the front bumper.


Measurement at the rear of the rear fender.


Measurement at the rear bumper. (I have 'up and in' bumper brackets from Mid-Fifty too)


And how she looks on the turf.







VERY happy with the stance now!
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  #162  
Old 01-23-2015, 08:41 PM
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I like that stance a lot. Nice job.
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  #163  
Old 01-23-2015, 08:59 PM
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Probably noticed the sway bar in a couple of the earlier pics. I was kinda mocking it up to see how it would fit. Another piece I got from Mid-Fifty. Here it is all installed.



I'll tell you what. A sway bar in the front is the ONLY way to go. Took it for a few drives and noticed I had crazy-hellish bump steer but other than that, the truck handled VERY well, and rode nice (as nice as a all leaf sprung truck rides) and tight. Very surprising how responsive the front end is now with just a touch of the wheel! Much much much better than before. Now to address the bump steer.

So all the head scratching about the bump steer and having a buddy that owns an alignment shop, all we could come up with is the angle of the drag link is too steep. Nobody makes a dropped steering arm for the spindle and making the pitman arm on the box longer was out of the question. Solution? Heat up and bend the arm on the spindle. So thats what i did.
In the process of heating it up I happen to find a crack right int he middle of the radius... no bueno! So knowing that I just went on and heated it up and bent the arm as need be. I'd have to address the crack when i was done.






This crack had been here the WHOLE time and I never knew it. Glad I caught it. I was in a pinch to get it back on the road so i called up a welder buddy of mine who does marine welding and heavy industrial stuff. He said with the proper prep and a good mig burn I can make it work for right now but suggested later get it in to a professional.
So i stop drilled each end of the crack, then dug down till i couldn't find anymore. Then cranked up the welder and proceeded to lay in beads until it was filled back up. Showed my buddy and he said that'd do the trick for now, but keep my eye on it.





Been on the truck like this for over a year. i haven't driven it much just in-town jaunts and have been checking it regularly. Seems to be doing good. I'll get it back into the shop this spring to take it off and send it out and have it checked or redone professionally if they find it needs it. The biggest thing was to see "if" bending the arm fixed the bump steer problem in the first place, which it did. Flattening out the drag link angle cured the issue. Now i can look at getting the arm permanently repaired.

Also while it was down int eh shop, I wanted to install the CORRECT radio antenna rather than the garbage the PO installed. Had to weld up the hole and installed a reproduction antenna from Mid-Fifty. They give you a template to use to locate the correct hole if your truck didn't originally have one. Turned out pretty good and works great.


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  #164  
Old 01-23-2015, 09:28 PM
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And the final leg of my 2014 year working on the truck was to solve the cooling issue. Sitting still in traffic it would just heat up like crazy but going down the road it was fine. So my best guess was the single fan just wasn't cutting it and getting the surface area coverage I needed. i opted for a set of Spal dual 11" fans. I used the Permacool thermal switch that I was using with the single fan and used it as a trigger for the relays I installed with the new Spal fans.

Just gathering though on how to mount it up. The old single fan in the background.



A simple couple pieces of trimmed up angle in which I drilled and welded bolts from the back side to used as studs. Then added a tab on the upper bracket from larger angle to serve as the mount for the thermal switch. It doesn't show a picture but I had to do a little trimming to get the fan's shroud to sit nice and flush between the radiator side brackets. It was very minor.






Now for the wiring.. I used 2 Bosch 30A relays that had mounting tabs and also a single stud bulkhead that is a hot feed direct from the battery. I removed the hood latch panel and horn to make life a little easier to work in there. Figured this would be a good place to somewhat hide all this wiring. Turned out pretty good and works fantastic!





Here's the a diagram I drew up to show my wiring. Unlike most temp trigger switches, mine is designed to 'ground' rather then send a hot signal. If it looks a little backwards to anyone, that's why. But it works fantastic.



So that's pretty much what I've been up to most the year aside of a couple huge home projects and other vehicle work. One problem I'm having now with the '56 is the charging system will not put out enough amperage at idle to keep up with the fans. I installed a 100A alternator and still not doing it. Once you add rpms, it's fine, just terrible when idling. So I'm up for suggestion on how to tackle that as I'm at a bit of a loss here. i'm thinking there is some sorta adjustment in the voltage regulator maybe? Or?? I'm not sure yet. But that's the update for now.
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  #165  
Old 01-23-2015, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by yamagrant View Post
Lookin' good Dano. Welome back.
Thanks! Yeah just been plain BUSY. No real time to sit down and tipity-tap on the computer like i use to. I'll try to be around more, no guarantees, but i'm gonna try! Kids are gettin older and really keep me running. How's your truck coming along??

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Originally Posted by Jolly Roger Joe View Post
I like that stance a lot. Nice job.
Thanks! Lots of work, but well worth it. Drives soooooo nice now and yes the stance is just right. I think the fron has come down just a touch more since the pics now that it's been on the rebuilt springs a while. Very happy with it. I see your pluggin away on your truck little by little. Looking really good!!!
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