1961 - 1963 F100 Unibody1961, 1962 and 1963 Ford F100 Unibody trucks
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Hey Guys! I bought a '63 F100 last summer for too much money($1200) that runs ok, but the brakes are terrifying, the steering dodgy, and it makes a weird humming noise when riding at speed! Oh yeah, the floor boards are rusting out, theres rust holes on either side of the bed. But, I still had to have it! I love the look of these trucks. My first question is: It seems to have a 262 i6 according to the VIN (I bought a shop manual) and I was curious if the 262 is worth rebuilding someday or would I be better served with a V8? Second question: How bad is that rust on the bed sides? Is it going to be a fortune to fix? I plan on keeping it fairly stock. Thanks!
My '63 also has a 262 and I like it. I plan on rebuilding it- no interest in a V8 swap here! The 262 is a heavy-duty workhorse and if you want more performance you can always increase the compression (by shaving the head, not an expert here), and there are aftermarket headers, as well as intake manifolds for twin or triple carbs available. If you just want a hot rod, go ahead with a big V8 swap.
Regarding the humming noise- that could be a wheel bearing or u-joint going bad, or a transmission issue. Not a bad idea to replace the bearings and u-joints anyway since you have no idea how old they are, and these are things that you definitely don't want to fail while driving.
I redid the brakes on mine- not too bad. I also replaced the lame original master cylinder with a dual cylinder master and power booster from Classic Performance Parts ($300) the difference in braking is huge. Front disk upgrades are also popular but I'm happy with my power drums all around.
As far as the rust goes- this kind of body work can get expensive, no doubt. I had one floorboard replaced, the other floorboard repaired/reinforced, new cab mounts welded in, and some patches welded in in the bed floor corners. All this (no paint) and a few other things including spray lining the bed cost me $1500 from my body guy who does this as a side business. I feel like I got a good deal on that. You have a lot more rust than I did! For your body work done the right way ( rusty metal replaced, not too much bondo) and new paint all around, you are talking some serious bucks- as much as you want to spend, really. If you don't have deep pockets, find someone who does it on the side.
Mine was almost un-drivable due to loose steering and wandering all over the road. Turns out the steering box was okay, and $500 worth of front suspension work took care of that.
Thanks for the reply! Thats exactly what I was hoping for. Sounds like yours had a lot of the same issues as mine does. Im actually going to try and replace the floorboards and running boards myself with replacement panels, but Im going to leave the visible body to an expert. As of now, Im not sure if this truck is going to be too much of a project or if I should just keep it and work on it over time. I do love Uni's! Do you have any shots of truck before and after?
If you check out my gallery you will see some pics of my new brake booster/master as well as pics of the replaced floor boards. Not before/after , as such.
Yes the issues are pretty much the same, but I think I had less rust overall- my truck came from New Mexico. Also my truck had the current paint job when I bought it. Not a great paint job, mind you, and there's quite a bit of bondo on the bed sides.
Let me know if you have specific questions. Feel free to start new threads with each subject.
Welcome to FTE! You'll find this is the most knowledgeable and friendly community around.
I bought my '63 unibody this spring and immediately my wife called it a "money pit" too! I prefered the word "project". I plan on fixing it up - looking nice but not being afraid to drive it to the lumberyard, nursery, etc. Even driving it to a few local "car shows" - no trailer queens here!
I bought it sight unseen off the internet - yea I know! - the PO said it had solid floors but the cab mounts need replacing. He was right in the cab mounts but the floors just had sheet metal pop riveted in. I will need to remove the sheet metal and put in new floors too. I also discovered the core support was rusted out on the bottom. It was beyond my skill level to repair, so I purchased a used one on eBay. I'm waiting for the weather to warm up some to work on it again. (It was about 2 below this morning - before wind chill).
One of the reasons I bought the truck was the big back window but the PO had huge bucket seats which completely covered it up. I pulled those out and replaced them with a bench seat - I covered the seat with a quality horse blanket seat cover - not the cheap China ones from the local auto parts store.
Eventually, I'd like to install disc brakes on the front and put in a new master cylinder and brake lines too. I'm not planning on going overboard on any part of this project - just to have fun while I'm doing it.
Here's a picture of my '63:
Nice start, though! She looks pretty straight...my '63 doesnt have the chrome side trim. Was that an option?
Mine doesn't either!! It was missing all the side chrome and the trim strip under the rear window along with the interior trim! Not quite sure what the PO was thinking....
I found out later the side trim is very rare and very expensive. So unless I find a great deal on the trim strips somewhere, I may be filling in 29 holes (I think) on each side....
Hi welcome, your truck looks pretty savable to me, Im doing 63 uni and have to do floors and have a small spot on box to fix also, but am going to try and do most of it myself. It takes time and money lol. If you really like it keep it youll regret selling it. As for the engine just depends what you want to do with it the engine in it is probably worth rebuilding if you want to keep it stock and there are upgrades you can do for brakes. Im keeping the body stock on mine and the interior but doing major upgrades in front and rear suspension and engine and trans. You don't have to spend a lot so far I got my uni for $400 and sold a extra grill that was in the box for $100 and sold the front straight axle and steer box for $150. Then I bought the crown vic front suspension a lot of guys are doing for $250 and disc brake rear for $100 and a roller 351w for $100 and already have a AOD trans. But am far from done just get a piece here and there when cash is available. So keep it and plan it out.
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