Hey guys, now that I have pretty much figured out this photo posting thing I will share some build photo's of my friend Jon's 1950 ford f1.
The story behind this truck as told to me is this, it was his grandfathers farm truck from the time it was new until Jon bought it with sweat while working the farm when he was in junior high school.
He drove the truck for quite a few years then as many young men did those days he went off to vietnam leaving the truck quietly parked at his parents home. Upon his return he went off to college and formed other interests and started his own buisness.
When a family friend asked to buy the truck Jon parted with it, thinking it was gone forever. Then in 1999 his old family friend showed up at the hangar one day and explained to Jon that he was needing to get rid of some of his toys and wanted to give Jon first dibs on his old truck, so Jon bought it back 20+ years after he had sold it.
We put the truck in storage for another 9 years or so before we had a slow winter and he decided to tear into it.
The plan when we started was to retain the flathead but put a c4 automatic behind it instead of the top loader 4 speed, add rack and pinion steering to reduce the steering forces because of the wide tires that were now on the truck, to beef up the braking system, and to have the entire truck repainted and new interior.
As you will see, we scewed far from that original plan as we got more and more involved.
I hope you enjoy the photo's, and we hope to finally complete the final assembly before the snow gets to deep in Idaho to be test driving it.
The PO had done a mini resto of the truck and it looked really good other than I am not a fan of lemon yellow.
The front end was flattened out a bit and Jon confessed to nailing a tree or two with the truck before he sold it, just boys being boys with their truck.
The interior had been redone and left pretty stock with the exception of the addition of the Nissan front bench seat and the 15" spoked steering wheel.
Jon had had the engine overhauled about a year before he had sold it, when he bought it back it had only accumulated about 3800 miles since the milage listed on the bill of sale. It ran like a top and had good power (for a flatty).
Once we began tearing the truck down to rehab anything that needed attention and to install the c4 tranny, the plan began to morf,,lol
The front clip and radiator core support were removed as a unit just to make it easy to get to the steering and front brakes but we also planned on removing the cab to make fabrication of the new tranny crossmember easier.
We knew we had some additional work to do as soon as we pulled the carpet out to get to the front cab bolts and found a huge chunk of sheetmetal screwed in over a large hole in the left and right floorboards.
The passenger side hole is still covered with its screw in patch and about a quart of undercoating that had been liberally poured over it.
So Jon made the decision to do it right and have the entire cab media blasted so we could find any other hidden damage. Are you beginning to see the snow ball effect comming on?
So, beings as we were going to media blast the cab, we decided to blast the entire truck, repair all the damage and build it back up with a solid foundation again. That snow ball is getting a bit bigger!.
Ok, all the aircraft are safe and warm for the night so I will continue with the saga.
So, with the new plan of media blasting everything Jon and a few of us pulled the bed and broke it down into pieces.
the front clip which had been removed before recieved the same total disassembly trick and the baggy's of bolts, nuts, and widgets began to grow rapidly.
Now that the 60+ year chassis was exposed to the light Jon asked me what we could do to get rid of the rust and make it look like new. We talked about painting, vs powdercoat and he finally decided that we should take the extra step to powdercoat the frame before we put it all back together. This of course now meant that we had to completely disassembly the rolling chassis but also had to make sure that every modification that he wanted to do was done before the frame went to the powdercoater.
That snowball was getting bigger by the second.
So Jon and Dan pulled the flatty out and bolted it into an engine crib, fully expecting to put it back in in a few weeks,,,,lol, so wrong was I.
It was somewhere about this time that we began throwing around ideas for making the "new" truck ride a bit smoother, steer better, stop better, etc and I said that we had to do anything he wanted done before powder coating because after that all we were going to do was waste his cash if we changed plans after it was shot. Thats when the dream list began.
We stopped work after we had the bare frame resting on jack stands and began doing a bunch of research to fulfill his end result desires which now included a mustange II IFS with power rack, power disk brakes in the front (preferably all around), making the rear end ride soft and smooth and we finally settled on a four link with panard to accomplish that but he wasn't really sold on having coil overs all around so the decision was made to go air ride on all fours. One thing that he had added to the wish list was AC, it was at that point that alarms began to go off in my head because our powerplant was a flathead that made a whopping 110 bhp on a good day and we we now taxing 20 hp for the tranny, 12 to 15 for power steering, and an additional 15 to 20 for the AC compressor. Thus sucking about 50+ hp from our available powerplant with everything running.
Jon thought long and hard for several days then decided to go with the wish list and he would explore re engining the truck as well.
So, as he found a new powerplant, I started on the mustang II IFS kit we bought from TCI.
We bought the TCI kit with the x member already welded which saved a lot of time, all I had to do was weld in the supplied boxing plates, slip the x member into place, set the angle and begin tacking things in one at a time. The TCI kit went in very smooth and in no time at all I had the shock towers aligned and tacked in place, ready to mock up before I welded it all in solid.
The pieces all fit together just like they were meant to so I began the slow process of jumping from side to side and stitch welding eveything in solid.
As you can see, the sway bar is not attached, that is because TCI sent one that was 2 inches too short to connect to the lower a arm, after a chat on the phone and sending a photo of the item they sent one that fit properly during final mock up.
Thats all for tonight, a new day of xmas tree harvesting begins at 0500.
Thanks for the comments, this has been a really fun project for me because as an aircraft mechanic / inspector I don't have the latitude to "free style" whatever I want on the aircraft but each thing that Jon wanted let me run free and design and build something new.
Now I'll get back to it and post some more pic's. Then I will have to load more into photobucket before I can continue.
I had run out of gas and of course it was a weekend so to tack the front end in I had to convert my wire feed back to rosen core wire, note the white flux haze at each weld.
But rest assured, I went down monday morning and got a new tank of stargon before I finish welded things.
I truely hate the fumes that come off of rosen wire.
Note to self,,,,,nomex flying gloves are not welding gloves,,,,hot splatter goes right through, then is held there against your finger while it brands you!!!!
We bought a bolt in power brake booster kit which was designed to pick up existing frame holes, there was no drilling required once the original mount was cut out.
It uses the 8" covette booster and master cylinder which is so popular because of its small profile.
The new mount and booster actually take up less space inside the frame rail than the oem mount did.
Very nice history about the truck, wich im sure makes the build even more rewarding. You guys are doing a great job, and its gonna be a super nice truck when you finish. Thanks for sharing it with us, I hope you keep us updated on your progress with lots of pics.
Ok, at this point of the game Jon walked in and announced that he had decided to replace the flatty with a built chevy 350 and wanted me to go help him plan it out with the builder he had been talking to, so off we went to Spokane, WA.
After several hours of discussing all the variables for his engine he consigned them to build him a fully built 350 that they garanteed to make 400+ hp on the dyno.
So, we now had a couple of more items that we now needed to mate the new powerplant to the truck, a transmission and a rear end that could hold that much umpth when Jon padded the throttle.
I lucked out almost immediately and snagged a posi unit from a 2003 ford mustang GT. It fit Jon's wants and needs to a tee, it had the Roush performance kit already applied to it plus it had the disk brakes that he wanted on the rear wheels.
So, while we waited for the engine and the new Raptor 4L60E transmission to be delivered I installed the 4 link kit on the stang rear end and got it installed.
Again we bought the TCI 4 link kit with the air bag option for around 4 bills (with the bags).
The front mounts are pre drilled to align with the upper rivet holes of the front spring hangar, then we had to drill the lower hole through the frame (the upper link hole)
The rear mounts are weld on units so after some very carefull measurements to make sure they were centered to the pumkin centerline and were aligned to pinion angle I tacked them in place.
This system uses a lower panard bar which runs from the lower link bolt on the R/H side diferential mount to the lower bolt of the L/H frame mount.
Now the the diferential was stabilized within the frame I tacked the bag mounts to the dif so that they were straight up and down.
Then we had to pause and do some more math to figure out how high or low to placed the upper bag mount/crossmember. The bags are supposed to be at mid stroke when at ride height so I had to go back to my teardown notes, cumpute how much frame drop we needed for ride height, the diameter of the tire and wheel combo that Jon planned on useing, etc,,,It made my head hurt but we finally located it near the top edge of the frame. I should have paid more attention in math class.
This is what it looked like from the drive end (front) when we finally had everything tacked in place.
A shot from the rear showing the mounts in relation to one another and the shock installation.
Heres a shot of the Roush performance kit that came with the unit.
It was a nice score to find the posi 8.8 dif with almost new disk calipers and rotors, the brake pads were still clean.
And here it is a week or so later after it had all been finish welded, primed and painted.
I'm gonna jump around a bit here because I don't have all the thumb drives with me down here in rainy Oregon, so heres the air ride installation we did.
The ride tech air pod was housed in this huge ABS enclosure that was like 36x18x12 inches, there was no place to mount it except the bed which was out of the question, soo
I pulled the compressors, computer, fuses
The air manifold
and the 5 gallon air tank and decided to hide it all either under the running boards or between the frame rails on the left hand side of the truck.
So after several layouts useing scrap plywood I mounted everything on one 10 ga plate that I box formed for rigidity and bolted it to the bottom of the frame rails, this way it could be easily unbolted and dropped down if repair or service was needed.
The bottom of the plate is still 1/2 inch above the lowest portion of the running board mounts so a lot of sheetmetal is going away before this unit ever touches mother earth.