Here's when the real engine work began. I was hoping it would be a simple fix, but it never is. Wasted a couple hundred dollars buying everything for the top end rebuild.
The top end rebuild would ultimately fail, the engine and transmission would be pulled and get rebuilt
I always enjoyed the patina look, so i tried that until I could get some real paint on it
A little bit of wet sanding off the primer. I was undecided upon a color, however seeing the red on the door got me thinking. So red it was!
Wiring was a complete mess! I had tail light wires that didn't hook up to tail lights! I cleaned up the wiring, pulled a lot of the unnecessary wiring out. However who ever did the swap before me did not switch the switches to 12V, so this would soon burn out.
A little sanding and painting just to clean up the frame as I went along
I then pulled the bed off the clean the frame, and prep for the installation of the new planks
I could easily redo the bed without much effort. So I got the materials and bought a stain called "Gunstock" I bought it mainly because of the name to be honest.Measure twice cut once, and always test fit. Otherwise the weekend project would of soon turned into a week!
Got the new strips from LMC truck, bought the hardware at OSH and wood from Lowe's. Measured and cut myself. This is just a test fit.
Installed the wood after a day of wet sanding.
When i bought the truck, I mentioned the 54 having a 55 grille, the previous owner did not know that the difference even existed. I fancied the 55 grille, and 54s are hard to come by, however I saw the nice white teeth on a restored 54, and with my color choice of red, I needed to track down an original 54 grille.
Having a 54 with a 55 grille seemed a little hypocritical. So i got one from a guy up in Canada. I was tempted to clear coat it and throw it on to keep with the patina look
Every bolt and nut was rusted and no amount of WD-40 or Liquid Wrench seemed to help, but it eventually came off
Disassembly started getting ready to pull out the drivetrain
Most of my parts were just pilled in the back yard waiting to be worked on after they got pulled off the truck. The frame was the most difficult to tackle. The 60 years of grease didn't come off easily. I would work for an hour and it seemed like a drop in the bucket. This is when I even thought about selling the truck. (Glad i Didn't!)
Front sheet metal off, with hoist ready for the pull
A little bit of rain didn't discourage me from getting the hoist out. This has always been a driveway project, I wish there was enough space in the garage.
I got tired of watching Seattle walk all over Denver in the Super Bowl, so i went out in the rain and pulled out the engine and transmission
One of my passions is also photography, so I would find ways to make the doldrums of cleaning the frame look cool.
Grinding off the old engine mounts from the original six cylinder
A little paint made the old steel frame look new! This was after weeks of cleaning and even some sandblasting.
Cleaned off the frame and painted it satin black from Eastwood. Still sitting on stock suspension (for now )
Lots of sanding and then some painting. My goal was to get the engine bay looking nice first, then get the rest of the truck step by step.
After some sanding and work, started to prime the firewall getting ready for the new coat of red
I must have visited the shop five or six times during the two months it was in the shop. Had it done in Hayward in Al Hubbard Machining. Great shop, great work. However, I did have a minor oil leak, from the rear main seal, but I ended up fixing that after I blew it (I plugged the PCV valve trying to keep the burning oil smell out of the cab, and the pressure blew out the seal. OOPS)
Finally got a call from the shop saying the engine was done. 302 bored 30 over with a 268H Comp Camp and Comp springs!
The color on the firewall is a Porsche Red, the eurocoat was only around 180 a gallon instead of the FOMCO $600 a gallon. I'm not made of money, anyway the eurocoat happened to be shade brighter.
By then the firewall had been pained, and Old Ford Blue was the color for the block
Installation with new engine and transmission mounts. There just bolted to the frame, the previous crossmember went under the oil pan right where the cap to drain it was, so changing the oil before wasn't fun.
Rebuilt engine and transmission being put in!
Small pieces painted, including the lower pan, inner fenders, radiator mounts, running board mounts,
Some of the sheet metal was painted. Atleast the ones not requiring body work
Wasn't happy with the previous shifter. it was off to the side of the bell housing and would rub against my leg when I would push on the gas, so Lokar it was!
Lokar shifter from summit. Man does summit get your order out quickly. Ordered thursday afternoon, had it friday evening
Pieced it back together. I drove it without the front sheet metal on. Just frame and engine, nice rat rod look. This is before the grille was painted.
Slowly pieced the sheet metal back onto the frame. It started to look like an actual truck
I had four tires and all of them were different sizes. Dry rotted kept me from going very fast or far, so some 265s in the rear was a nice wide grip for the ugly wheels I have
Got new tires from tire rack with some actual meat on them
Picked this up in Benicia, some rust, but a little work would fix it up. I was happy, they were happy to get rid of it. They had a 55 project sitting on an 85 corvette suspension with its engine and transmission. It kissed the ground, and their budget was also a lot larger than mine.
The hood that I got when purchasing the truck was junk, so I bought a slightly better one for $100 bucks
The stock hinges are junk even when they work. The bolts in the hood were stripped and retapping them didn't work very well. Having the hood open the stock way doesn't leave any room to work on your engine. So MMB tilt kit from CPP distributed and bought from Mid Fifties fixed that problem. I recommend it, it bolts right in with just a little trimming and drilling a few holes.
Having access to the engine bay itself was a must, plus this looks pretty slick when it tilts forward.
So of course theres always rust and things to fix. Always things that never go according to plan. So heres a few of those. starting with the dreaded cab corners
After the welding and bondo
After a lot of work and making sure it looks good, and then finishing it off with some paint. There's the fixed corner.
The finished corner
Another problem is overheating. I would run cool without a thermostat, however sitting in California commute traffic was my nemesis even though i would miss the 9-5ers. I got some scrap aluminum from my work (manufacturing and fabrication shop) to make some brackets for the fan to bolt onto the radiator. With the help of my dad he designed them to fit perfectly, I came back from work just as they were getting painted. They look sweet
Electric Fan installation
The old rusty gas tank ended up sending some junk past my fuel filter in the carb. I ended up stalling while going to work, i assumed it was the carb, but there was an electrical miss i couldn't figure out. I crawled it to work, sputtering and stalling, but upon diagnosis after an expensive tow home, the coil had gone bad. Rebuilt the carb, and ordered a new fuel tank as the next step, no point on putting junk back through a clean carb.
New 17 gallon tank from Mid Fifty
Dragged the hood to work to spend some time fixing it up. I got my boss to weld in some new metal. I am quite inexperienced in this, so i just got him to do it. It saved me a headache.
So those six volt switches from earlier. They all burned out and every couple days i would have to fix another shorted wire. My headlights would dim when pushing the brake, and last thing i wanted was to start a cab fire with all of the sparks going. So i bit the bullet and bought a 21 circuit fused wiring harness from EZ Wiring. It was straight forward if you know the basics of wiring. Runs right off of the alternator, then you just wiring it all up to your accessories.
Once mounted, I took it a section at a time starting with the tail lights then forward to headlights, then to the cab
I always liked a clean look when coming to an engine bay. Watching overhauling, Chip Foose always paid attention to the details. I noticed that they tuck all of the wiring under the inner fenders. So i routed all of the wires in black split tubing and worked a little magic to make them disappear. Looked clean, and was simple, just took some time to get it all worked out.
The coke overflow. It is inspired by some rat rods at a local show. Ive seen overflows of jack daniels or other liquor bottles. Haven't seen a coke bottle, so this is what i came up with. Theres always the compliment of "nice truck" shortly followed by "nice coke bottle."This is the engine bay before the tucked wiring. It was clean, but the small detail made a difference.
Engine Bay shot
This is a before and after comparison shot of the engine bay. Day 1 of having the truck at home and then after around 10 months. The "after" shot is even old now. Not having the tucked wiring and a few other details
So far i have replaced almost everything mechanically. I still have drums, but a rebuilt master cylinder, new brake lines and pistons. I need a rear end rebuilt and a new driveshaft, but not immediately. In the engine bay, a new electronic ignition distributor will finish that off. I have worked a little on carpeting and some panels for the interior. I have seem a cool stereo deck mounted into the headliner and I will try to copy that. Some Flow Master Original 40s should make for a nice quiet ride
Suspension wise, i hope to install Bob's F-100 bolt on kits for now. I do not have the fabrication skills or money to get weld in kits. I hope to C-Notch the frame later and add some accuair bag kits on it. American racing wheels should top it off. But that is much later. I hope to finish the suspension before finishing college. Then it'll be time to start all over on the drive train. (Im thinking roller cam 5.0 with a six speed )
I will continue to post on this build as I go along. Hope you guys enjoy the build as much as I have (but you don't get the frustration of it)
Once road worthy, I took it for a nice little drive and photoshoot
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