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55 F500 first timer

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  #1  
Old 06-01-2013, 12:30 PM
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55 F500 first timer

I bought a 55 F500. Common story I suppose. Rusted tight Y block, 292 I am guessing at this point... 4 speed trans and six 5 lug 20 inch widow maker wheels with every tire dry rotted junk. Frame seem to be in good shape. Its all there for a Restoration. I would like to move the 55 body to a later model chassis complete with drive train, around 2000ish. Have been considering the ranger, explorer and Dakota as wheel bases seem usable but I don't know about hub width or how well body would fit. I am looking for advice here and hope someone knows if these are good or bad ideas. I don't want to cut and splice frames if I can avoid it. I am OK with fabbing mounts if it is an option. Will the body line up OK or is it a waste of time to keep these in mind. And any other suggestions are welcome
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:48 PM
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Cool project! Are you going to keep it a dually?
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Old 06-01-2013, 12:53 PM
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Still undecided on dually. I have seen some cool ideas for it though. Have been leaning toward rat rod pickup style though
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55 F500 project/ 2003 F350 Super Duty flatbed dually
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Old 06-01-2013, 01:32 PM
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Awesome truck you have there melon!
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55 F500 project/ 2003 F350 Super Duty flatbed dually
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Old 06-01-2013, 03:13 PM
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Well you have come to the right place for info, but I don't think that you will get the suggestions you want to hear. Basically, frame swaps are very rarely ever successful, unless you have lots of experience, equipment, time and $$$$$$$. Since you already admitted that you are not an experienced fabricator, I believe that you would be in over your head with the frame swap idea.
If you want and F100, it is best to actually start with and F100. The larger trucks are sometimes easier to find and almost always cheaper to buy. There is a reason for that, based on modification cost. You have what looks like a workable project there and the truck is a good candidate for an updated drive train and you could swap out the rear end and front axle to get rid of the widowmakers.
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:31 PM
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Thanks Harley. I want to hear the truth. Not just what I want to hear. I appreciate the input. I had an idea that may be the answer I was would get. From what looking I have done, it seems the original frames for these trucks were fairly straight and flat from F100 and up and the later model frames seem to have a lot of dips and rises. Which would probably make for a difficult body alignment. Am I correct there?
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55 F500 project/ 2003 F350 Super Duty flatbed dually
http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/12...l#post13371797
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Old 06-01-2013, 04:39 PM
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I have heard the mid 70s ford frames work well for this. Any thoughts there?
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Old 06-01-2013, 06:16 PM
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You could build a frame for a few hundred in materials. Just have to source the front suspension and rear axle. This was my 92 Mazda all 2x3 3/16 wall tubing. You can build it to suit your needs.
Click the image to open in full size.
Or you can modify the stock frame to suit as I did on the F1
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 06-01-2013, 08:32 PM
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I don't think my skills are at that level yet. But it is an idea worth considering. I am a good learner. Thanks for the idea. And beautiful truck you have there.
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55 F500 project/ 2003 F350 Super Duty flatbed dually
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:44 AM
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Welcome to the madness! Honestly, I would find a good frame setup for a F250 from 53-55. They come up on CL and ebay all the time. You could buy one for a few hundred. Move all the sheet metal/cab/engine over from the F500 and have a running truck. Dealing with the widowmakers and the heavy frame can be time/money consuming. Just my .02. Good luck!
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Old 06-02-2013, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tnguynaford View Post
Thanks Harley. I want to hear the truth. Not just what I want to hear. I appreciate the input. I had an idea that may be the answer I was would get. From what looking I have done, it seems the original frames for these trucks were fairly straight and flat from F100 and up and the later model frames seem to have a lot of dips and rises. Which would probably make for a difficult body alignment. Am I correct there?
Teardropy had a pretty good suggestion about the 53-55 F250 frame, but of course I don't see too many of them pop up in our area. I noticed the plate on the truck, are you in Putnam county?
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1950 F5 Stake Truck Flathead 8 "Edith" FOR SALE
1951 F1 5 Star Extra (in progress) "Dollie"
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Old 06-02-2013, 11:09 AM
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Thanks teardropty. Well said "welcome to the madness" lol.

Harley- I am in Cumberland Co. The truck came from Putnam. It has been left to sit for about the last 18 years. The tag expired in 95 so I am guessing that was the end of its career on the farm. It was driven to its parking spot and left to solitude among the trees. He said he brought it down from Michigan to Tn in 1986.

She is pretty solid for the age. Right fender need replaced and the lower panel behind the bumper looks to be finished but so far the rest seems to be good. One small spot in the floor pan on passenger side around the frond cab mount about the size of a baseball, but the mount itself seems to be solid still.
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55 F500 project/ 2003 F350 Super Duty flatbed dually
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Old 06-02-2013, 12:21 PM
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Cool, I'm in the NE corner of the county, out past the Genesis "Check In Station". I'd like to take a closer look at that truck. maybe bring Edith by for you to get some ideas.
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1950 F5 Stake Truck Flathead 8 "Edith" FOR SALE
1951 F1 5 Star Extra (in progress) "Dollie"
2001 F250 XLT V-10 4X4
2000 E450 Hippy Bus
www.fordbonusbuilttrucks.com
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Old 06-02-2013, 01:24 PM
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That would be cool! I will pm directions.
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Old 06-08-2013, 12:57 PM
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Smile

Well I finally got one side of rear brake unstuck and turning now. Drive shaft spins when I turn it so at least I know diff isn't locked up. Don't know if it is any good still but turning is at least a good sign
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