Figured I'd start a thread about the F-100 I've been working on lately. And also upon request from a few members for some more pics.
The story starts with a couple of buddies and I going down to Colorado, little town named Center to be exact. One guy was looking for Mercury Cyclone parts, the other for Mercury cougar parts, and me, what ever I could find. I ended up buying this '81 flareside for $800. The owner said the truck was not for sale until I told them "That's too bad because I have cash".
Here's when I first brought it home
I drove it most of the way back until I had tranny problems in south central Minnesota. Then had to get home, unload the trailer and get back to it because the employee of the gas station said it would be towed if still there the next morning. What a long day (we were driving all day and all through the night)
I have a few pics of when I first did it up eight years ago, but those really aren't that important.
Here's after the first build
Drove it for a few years and kind of got bored with it, so I felt it was time to "take it to the next level".
After teardown, I did some mocking up for the new frame
Not too many of building the frame so here's what I got
Still in mock-up
Here's where the fun really started. The box has seen better days, the previous owner had put plywood down and had rusted the lower mounting lip and the rolled edge was rusting pretty badly so I thought it was about time to give the truck a new custom box. Here's the parts I cut and formed
I really like the tapered posts and wanted to enclose the top edge. We figured out how to form it up and made it happen.
Also our machinist made a punch and die to inset the Ford oval.
Coming together, but still getting mocked up.
Some may be wondering, why does that look different? It's chopped 4 inches too. That's always something I've wanted to do, so what the heck.
I also wanted a little more "sleek" look, so the handles and locks got shaved, along with the front side marker lights.
Then I wanted a single serpentine belt but the only one I could find for a 460 was from Billet Specialties and I wasn't going to spend over $2000.00 on one, so I made it.
Also wanted a tri-lid tonneau cover, which nobody makes, so guess what? Had no choice to make that too.
Underside of the covers
Drip rail for when it rains. There will be drains installed later
With the new tailgate
Now the next problem, needed a fuel cell to fit inside the frame rails, but not too tall. Checked all over and nobody had one the size I needed, so it's off to make that too.
Covers opened. Very happy it's working out.
The hinges are from a Ford Focus deck lid. The latches are also from a Focus. They lock the back seat in the upright position.
Still need to install these.
Almost forgot, I built another custom hood. Torino center welded into the trucks hood and using some Buick hinges, made it flip forward.
For the details:
Front clip is from a '73 T'bird. Just wanted to do away with the twin beam front. 460 engine, C-6 trans and a 9 3/8 rear with the center removed and a 9" installed (needed a narrower rear and this is what I found), fits perfect. The doors, hood and tonneau lids will be on poppers. I was going to make the box tilt, but decided if I needed a dump truck, I'd just buy one. It's been two summers so far and expect another two to get it finished.
The part I really enjoy is planning things out and making it all work together (oh, and building it). It's amazing how projects like this keep snowballing into something more. Like I once heard, "Sometimes you have to shoot the engineer and just build it". There were so many more things I was going to do, but decided it was just too much as I will have enough time into it already.
Didn't know how long of a post I could make, so we continue.
For the interior, it's going to be completely custom. Going to build a center console to hold the shifter and have a compartment for junk. Also need a space for the switches to open the bed covers and such. For the dash, I wanted to do something that's never been done (at least I haven't seen it done). Got a dash out of a '98 Mustang, have to stretch it eight inches and some how get it back together. I've been scratching my head on this one.
The curve of the windshield was different from the trucks, so I used a '87-up dash and cut the front edge for mounting. Then cut the front edge off the Mustang's and started screwing together. I really hope it works out because I like the looks of it. Almost forgot another- smoothed out the cowl too.
For a little back ground on myself, I've worked on cars and trucks for as long as I can remember. I've painted many as with the black and flame work on this one. Currently, I work at a fab shop, so I get everything laser cut and stay late or go in early and can form or fab anything I like. All I have to do is a line drawing in Turbo-Cad and import it to the laser and start cutting. I have access to the lasers, press brakes, welders, saws, basically the whole shop. I know I would never build anything like this without the use of such machinery.
Here's a few random pics too, no particular order.
First flame job I've ever done
Tailgate, didn't know what to do with it at the time
The light panel in the rear is the factory one with the "slots" welded up and plate recessed.
Well, I can't seem to find any more good pics, so for now, that's it.
For the door glass, I'm not 100% sure yet. I'm thinking of either making the quarter windows bigger or finding someone to make custom glass for it. It'll be expensive, but maybe worth it. I have also thought about straightening out the tracks and putting in flat glass, but that just might look weird.
billt28 - I'd love to do another, but maybe a little more stock this time, just a little.