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1957 - 1960 F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Box Style Ford Trucks

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  #1  
Old 06-23-2013, 10:19 PM
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Lateral (side to side) Tire Spacing Changes

I'm trying to avoid doing "surgery" on my newly found truck bed. The bed is about 1" too wide to allow clearance if the fattest part of the tire ends up inside the wheel well under a load. I can re-do the wheel wells, but I'd prefer to NOT have to cut and weld and I like the 48" spacing between the inside of the wheel wells--very convenient to carry building materials flat on the floor.

Is there a good and more importantly SAFE way to add some distance between the inside rear tires and the frame/wheel wells? The inside-to-inside measurement for my duals is 48" give or take. That's the same distance between the wheel wells at the bed floor. Is there a way to add bushings to each stud, stack some washers, or maybe even thread a nut on first between the inside wheel and mounting point and not compromise mounting integrity?

Another option I'd gladly explore is changing from duals to singles with a track that has a tread centerline measurement about the same as the front tires. I've seen spacers and lug converters for modern sized wheels that accomplish this (as in running a "super single" on a big rig or trailer or changing from 8-lug to 10-lug wheels), but I'm not so sure I'd be able to find a spacer compatible with my '59 F-500's 5 lug x 8" bolt pattern that would either move the duals out an inch or allow me to run singles in back, and I'm equally unsure I could have such a thing made at a local machine shop because of the safety considerations involved.

Please don't treat this as frivolous or too stupid of a question--I can find my way around an engine and do body and paint, but I am a novice with tires, wheels, and related subjects. I'd prefer to maintain the integrity of the bed I bought and not make adjustments to it even though that would be pretty straight forward--once my hand heals up that is. :>)

Thoughts?
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:06 PM
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Nobody has an idea?
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Old 06-25-2013, 02:47 PM
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Back in the early years, Depression and into the war years when materials were scarce, adapters were available for lighter duty truck owners to allow wider wheels and tires to be fitted to a truck to increase its load capacity. I don't see why you couldn't do the same to move your wheel mounting surfaces outward away from your bed sides. Depending on how much spacing would be needed, you might have to install longer studs to reach out beyond the spacers. You can go to the Dorman Products web page to see the variety of studs they offer, then press one of yours out of the hub to compare to their on-line life sized pictures. You'd have to have a machine shop make you spacers of the needed width. If/when you come to my place to pick up the set of 22.5s I'll show you some old sets of spacers I have (not for sale). Stu
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Old 06-25-2013, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckdog62563 View Post
Back in the early years, Depression and into the war years when materials were scarce, adapters were available for lighter duty truck owners to allow wider wheels and tires to be fitted to a truck to increase its load capacity. I don't see why you couldn't do the same to move your wheel mounting surfaces outward away from your bed sides. Depending on how much spacing would be needed, you might have to install longer studs to reach out beyond the spacers. You can go to the Dorman Products web page to see the variety of studs they offer, then press one of yours out of the hub to compare to their on-line life sized pictures. You'd have to have a machine shop make you spacers of the needed width. If/when you come to my place to pick up the set of 22.5s I'll show you some old sets of spacers I have (not for sale). Stu
Sounds good...hope to see you in July!
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Old 06-25-2013, 11:59 PM
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Are you mounting a pickup bed low on the chassis? These are usually a flat bed, high enough that tire clearance side to side is not an issue....
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Old 06-26-2013, 12:05 AM
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As I understand this is a non-conventional build. If I use the r__ r__ term there's risk flames could erupt in this thread. Stu
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 85e150six4mtod View Post
Are you mounting a pickup bed low on the chassis? These are usually a flat bed, high enough that tire clearance side to side is not an issue....
If you mean "low on the chassis" as in the way the bed was mounted on the F-350 from which it came, then the answer is "yes." The 350 was supposedly a SRW model from the late-60s. I saw one of these "conversions" done to a '56 F-600 and it looked good and operated well, but I do not recall if the bed was widened or if he adjusted the wheel wells inside it or if his tires just fit with the existing the bed sides. If I recall, the guy had a fifth wheel gooseneck hitch on the bed floor. There's no way that my truck would be fully loaded to max GVWR and the pickup box is just more practical for what we'll do with the truck. I'm about an inch shy of it being a perfect drop-on fit from what I can tell.

And I'm not sure what r____ r____ means, Stu.

Thanks!
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:11 AM
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Oh, and the idea is to NOT mess up the truck. I don't even want to consider replacing the Six with a V8. It's pretty much original save the seat cover and a couple other very minor things. If I can do "non surgical" things like bolt on a wheel spacer or something that's the goal. I'd like to be able to pull the pickup box off the truck and have it as you see it now--but with a better paint job and the cancer behind the front wheels fixed and maybe with seat belts added.

The bed is nice as is, but it's got enough "issues" that a very minor bit of surgery to the wheel wells is possible. I'd just like to avoid that, too, if possible. What I have is a 98% fit and I'm looking for the easy 2% fix.

Hope that helps clarify things better.
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:13 AM
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Maybe I got it wrong, but I got the impression you were doing a rat rod. Those sometimes draw unfavorable comments here.

Edit - if you are only shy an inch or so on each side the spacer idea seems real workable to me. Stu
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truckdog62563 View Post
Maybe I got it wrong, but I got the impression you were doing a rat rod. Those sometimes draw unfavorable comments here.

Edit - if you are only shy an inch or so on each side the spacer idea seems real workable to me. Stu
NOOOOOOO!!!!! I love original if it's at all possible! My truck came new as a straight frame with no body, platform, or stake truck. The pickup box idea is to kind of make it like a retro version of today's Super Duty dually pickups--the F-350 or, what the F-500 morphed into based on similar GVWR range, the F-450.

ONLY if this truck were rough, with lots and lots of mods or maybe if it needed an extensive rebuild or if its drivetrain were in bad shape would I consider doing much to it. Even then, I'd try to make it into what folks call a "resto-mod," like my friend's Corvair 95 Rampside pickup: 90% or better original, original look unless you look REALLY closely, and a few modern upgrades like a better electrical system, brakes, lighting, and a few things like seatbelts which I may do anyhow--IL required them to be added for some year trucks and newer I think, but my truck came from IA and may be "too old," so they were never added to it. Only because I and my kids (both college age) would be in it and I like the safety factor will I consider adding them.

As I said, I'd prefer that the pickup box be fitted such that if there ever were a new owner who wanted something else, he or she could just lift it off and have what I started with--cosmetics improved, of course. In fact, the pickup box is just "good enough" that I really hesitate to mess with it all that much; hence, the idea to find a quick and safe fix to move the wheels or change duals to singles in back. Too bad I can't just find a 22.5" 5 x 8" wheel that would allow me to do that...or maybe I have?

Rat rod? Air bagged lowrider? Stuff in a 502 BBC mated to a 700R4 GM transmission? No. The most that could ever happen to this is to replace the axles if it ever got too hard to keep it running--and stopping!
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Old 06-26-2013, 10:11 PM
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Sounds like a good plan. Hope you and Mark can work out a deal. Stu
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:24 AM
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Bob here is a custom wheel maker, Rickson Wheel Manufacturing not sure if they could help or not.
I like the super single idea, that would help keep every thing inside the wheel wells.
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Old 06-28-2013, 11:22 AM
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Bob here is a custom wheel maker, Rickson Wheel Manufacturing not sure if they could help or not.
I like the super single idea, that would help keep every thing inside the wheel wells.

I sent them a request for information with a brief description of what I needed. Thanks for the reference--I'd seen their website before but missed the point that they can make wheels. Not sure what it costs, but....maybe they can make me a pair of appropriate wheels or posisbly spacers that will work with the 22.5s I am in the process of acquiring with a couple folks here's help.

I love this hobby!
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:42 PM
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My '59 f350 was a factory stakebed. I had a 9' flareside bed and wanted to use that so I installed a sterling 10 1/4 rear from a '92 f350 dually pickup. 60 mph feels perfectly normal now. Like you I didn't want to molest this rare nearly perfect bed. The side to side lineup in normal pickup fenders is perfect, as we remember the dually pickups started out as a bolt on fender on what was an otherwise standard bed. I almost opted to keep the stock narrow cab/chassis rear axle and tub the inner fender wells and buy some of those 4" extra wide fiberglass rear fenders made for wide tires on hot rods (or R-Rs) and kept it a dually pickup. First, the bed was too nice to cut and more importantly I make my living building cabinets and oftrn pick up 40 sheets of 3/4 at a time. So we have had some paralell experience here. Oh, and my camper would not have fit any more either......
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:50 AM
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Spacers and longer studs are probably the lowest cost way to go. With the wheel nuts properly tightened it will be as safe as without spacers. If you have a small machine shop nearby they can be made for a reasonable cost from either steel or aluminum.
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Old 06-30-2013, 10:50 AM
 
 
 
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