Like we ever have a thread in this forum that is not hijacked at some point.
Well it sounds like a bunch of people have had some of the same thoughts as me. That's encouraging. I'm leaning toward putting the body on. Since I don't have a standard bed that simplify's things a little. When I get the chassis really running (I can't wait for that! And yes, a video will be taken.) I will take a much closer look at the body parts which will help make my decision.
If anyone has any more stories or thoughts I would love to hear them. So would others in my situation. I mean at this moment we have 290 people viewing the 48-56 forum. That's a lot more people than actually post.
When the weather warms up, I need to offer a meal or two and some cold beverages to some of you guys within an hour or two to have you inspect my work and BS. Hmmmm Brats on the grill sounds real good right now.
Joe, what does your original flatbed look like? Was it a Ford script bed or an aftermarket bed or a wooden homemade bed? Why don't you use that ?
It was a Knapheide grain bed. It's gone because I'm an idiot sometimes and thought it was in too bad of shape. I now know I was completely wrong. I did save the bed wood and stake sides and made a workbench and shelving.
Here is the bed:
If it were me and I felt like I wanted to get the cab on and get the truck running again, then I would prep the underside of the floor and paint the floor and firewall. That way you can bolt it up and still be able to paint the cab in such a way that it looks good. Good luck!
Exactly how I did my last two builds which were "patina" style rods and I would do the same with your truck. Everything finished off where it allowed the truck to not have to come completely apart for paint if you decided on paint in the future. Building the car or truck is fun but the real excitement is driving them. But as was said already be ready to accept that once you are driving it the chances of wanting to take it apart again are pretty low, so dont build it in a way that you would not want to drive it forever that way.
Building the car or truck is fun but the real excitement is driving them.
This is exactly why I have begun thinking about getting the body on sooner. One of the question I will be asking myself is if the prep work I feel is necessary will take me far enough down the road to go ahead and get a clean coat of paint or if the patina look will work for a while.
My situation was different in that the PO had the truck mostly in pieces and the engine and trans were unknowns, so take this with a grain of salt.
If I was in your position, I would do as others have suggested and do some basic prep (firewall, inners, interior paint if possible), then put it together and drive it. Enjoy it for a while, then next winter, pull the front sheetmetal and do the bodywork. Depending on how far you get, paint it if you have time. Otherwise, put it together again in primer and drive it again for a while. Just remember, most primer isn't weatherproof.
It is easy to get so involved in wanting everything perfect that you lose a huge amount of time that you could be enjoying driving it.
It took me 2 years to get mine on the road, and, like Joe, I have a ways to go still. But, you would be amazed at just how good it feels to just drive it into town. Every time you park and come back to it, you will think "I put it together and can drive it around - how cool is that!"
I did my own body and paint (never done it before, but am happy with the results) and only had around $500 into supplies. No, it isn't a show winner, but it is mine and I can say I did it all. A basic HVLP ($30-80) gun and some single stage paint at $100/ gallon will go a long ways. And without a bed, you just saved about 50% of your necessary bodywork.