I have a 1996 F150 2wd with the 4.9l 300 and a 5-speed with 145k on the odometer. It is Pacific Green Metallic on the top and the lower section is Silver Frost. The truck is pretty much rust free except for one bubble on the left rear wheel arch. Nothing bad at all and that bubble is not noticable until you are right on it like when washing. Anyways I have had the truck since 2008 and bought it when I was 23 years old. It was the truck I wanted when I was like 12 or 13 when they were new. I still think that this body style is the prettiest of all Fords. My dreams got crushed this past July when a Taxi cab ran a stop sign and hit the truck in the right front suspension, bumper and fender. Since then the insurance has paid me and I bought the truck back. I have already bought a 06 Super Duty Diesel (another dream truck of mine) and have a 99 F150 that I use as a daily driver. Now I hate seeing the 96 sit out side in a mangled shape. I may sell the truck but if I didn't get reasonable money I will probably keep it. I have two ideas for the truck since the accident. I know that the "its 100% stock" them will not work well with a previous salvage title, so now I may go custom.
Plan A - Hot Rod - I may pull the six banger out and drop in a 460 EFI from a later model F250 or 350 or graft a front frame clip from a late model Crown Vic along with the 4.6 I would lower the truck 3-5 inches in front and 5-7 in rear with a wheel like a 18 or 20 inch American Racing Torque Thrust. I would repaint and repair body and keep the same two-tone and keep body all stock
Plan B - 4x4- Since I know I have some type of suspension damage I may just locate a suitable 4x4 frame and slide it under the truck and make it just look like a stock 4x4. If I went this route I might would use it as a daily driver for a couple of more years and then turn it over to my nephew when he is 16. He is 12 now and has always loved the truck.
I am leaning toward Plan A. I have always been a Hot Rod and Drag Race Guy. I have always ran Pontiacs (Still Drag Race a 64 GTO) but a real Pontiac has not been made since the late 70's. I think this might be a fun project for a weekend cruiser, but will take a couple of years to do. Money will be tight either way as I am getting married in March but she knows how I am. I always have to have a project brewing.
I like the hot rod idea. Make it into a big block lightning sort of provided its a short bed truck.
Knowing how the frames of the 150s are you would need to do a little boxing work to hold that 460 properly.
It is a short bed. One reason I like the hot rod idea so much is because you never see this body style done that way. I kind of like being the odd man out I guess. It is that way at the drag strip when I am usually the only Pontiac running.
As a look on both ideas..
You wouldn't need to box the frame with the 460, it will handle it just fine. If you were to lower it that far, you would probably be getting into custom fabrication territory. Either way, plan A isn't really my style, being lowered like that.
Plan B would be an easy swap. If your frame isn't damaged, you can just slide the 4x4 components (front axle, suspension, driveshaft, tcase, tranny, etc) and call it done. The frames are identical between 2wd and 4wd.
I don't think you'd ever be able to pull off a "hot rod" look with it. You could certainly make a mean, but still streetable, truck with a little less lowering, and a 351w (or 351w based stroker) built up a little. A truck that light with a screaming small block should really be able to move and be a much more straight forward swap.
Personally I like lifted trucks but if you dropped it low channeled the frame in he rear and cut out the inner fenders and cut down you axle tubes to stuff some big ol slicks in the back with a 408 stroker and 4.56 gears it would be bad ***! Just a thought.. Or even put a 6.0 in it instead of a 460!
Only reason I bring up boxing the frame up is if he is going to make any kind of real power that 460 will twist that frame. Ive seen them twist 1 ton frames when guys put the real power to them.
I'm not doubting that it would twist the frame with enough power, or that you've seen it. I had a 95 F150 (reg cab short box) with a 460 in it that made just under 500 horsepower that never seemed to come close to harming the frame, so based on that experience, I think the OP would be fine.
I like plan A , i did this with a 95 reg cab sb 2wd , i just lowered it 2in in front and 4in in rear and ran light 15in wheels for traction , you will find your going to need some big sticky tires to get it to hook up , and traction bars to , i used 315-60-15 drag radials and also used et slicks , thats with a built 302 , 14.2 1/4 mile , with just the motor , low 13s with a light shot of nitrous , it was a good street able truck , a 460 would be bad ***......
Thanks for all the replies. As far as lowering the truck goes that is no problems. I have dealt with alot of Rangers and the I-beam suspension is about the same. I might could do only a 3" front and 4" rear to achieve the look I want. If you buy the correct kit you can still get a good alignment and ride with factory springs (Dropped I-beams). I also have a set of 32x15 inch tires on some 15x15 Weld Rod-Lite wheels in the garage that would look good tucked in the bed for a Pro-Street Look. I do not mind the custom fabrication as I can weld pretty good and my dad is also a certified welder who is recently retired and looking for projects. I do think that the 460 with a mild build would be cool, especially if I can keep EFI and maybe even do turbo(s) or procharger. I know most like the 4x4 look but since I have drag raced most of my life and my current car is a low slung tube chassis car I really like that look. I also already have 2 4wd trucks for when I need them and I am not really a back in the mountains 4 wheelin' type of guy. It is a lot to think about. As far as my frame is concerned, I really haven't had a chance to check it for straightness. Let the ideas keep flowing.