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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

To build a Flareside (with pics)

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Old 04-10-2015, 11:02 AM
SCFlareside SCFlareside is offline
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To build a Flareside (with pics)

Hello all, new to the community - have already learned a lot from the forum. About a year ago I ran into a guy at a local gas station with a really clean '82 F150, and I realized how long it had been since seeing a good example of one locally.

That truck stuck with me, and I began to think about watching for "the right one". Something that I could wrench on with my (basic) abilities, maybe use as a weekend driver / Lowes truck and slowly bring back to great shape.

Started looking at Flaresides too, and appreciating the last of the "old" Flareside look on the 80-87s. Problem was scarcity of course.

Finally, I came across a Flareside parts truck with a bed in great shape. Owned by a young man about 30 minutes away, it was an '81 F100 with a cab that was toast... but it had been restored about 37k miles before the accident. Went to see it, and not only was the bed really clean, the interior was nice with a great dash pad, great bumpers front and rear... and a 300 CI six that fired right up and purred with 37k miles on it. The tailgate wasn't available, so am in the hunt for one (anyone?)

Click the image to open in full size.

Now, my very understanding wife had already bought into the idea of a weekend truck, provided it looked ok in the driveway. This parts truck didn't fit that bill. It needed to be bought, so I struck a deal with my local garage for it to live there for a while... and the truck was mine.

Click the image to open in full size.

Unloading it from the rollback (above):

Prior owner was awesome and threw in a few other bits - the Flareside cap had come with the truck when he bought it, and while I don't have plans for it, it's good protection for the wood floor and other parts storage. Had an OE cassette player, and side steps to boot.

The truck had been in a slow roll, so lost the hood, drivers fender, and the cab was crushed on the top left. A little damage was done to both flareside fenders, almost identical damage on each side (probably from flexing? - see below)

Click the image to open in full size.

So now the hunt was on for the right truck to go with it. I definitely wanted a 4x4, but now didn't need to worry about the bed. I settled on an '85 F150 that was fairly local, and owned by a mechanic. It was his daily driver which I liked, rather than buying something sitting in a field someplace. He had installed the 302 HO with EFI from a 1995 F150, along with swapping in it's '95 styleside bed. it was originally a 300 CI six truck, but still had the granny low 4 speed it came with. New brakes, bearings, U joints, belts, clutch, water pump, cap/rotor/plugs and wires.

On the downside, it still needed some things: Nice frame and cab corners, but a rust through hole at the back of the floor pan (drivers side). Distributor was wobbling and the truck was running a bit rough. O2 sensor was damaged (laying on the frame). Water pump new but needs the right bolts... and the Fuel Pressure Regulator was bypassed. Gauges inoperative except Alt and Oil pressure.

The truck had a red interior that was really well worn BUT the parts truck had... wait for it... a red interior. I figured that I could swap on the correct bed and sell the '95 bed to recoup a few hundred bucks.

Other details I liked - he already had the "right" wheels on the truck, and a set of good BFG A/Ts on the front which meant I only need two for the rear eventually. My goal is to go back to the look that the truck would have had in '85 / '86 when I was in High School, but upgraded just a bit.

Thought about it for a week, and a deal was struck! Here it is sitting out front:

Click the image to open in full size.

And so it begins.

My first goal is to get the truck happy and running right without breaking the budget... and then to get it pretty, so it can sit in the driveway while I putter with the small stuff. Starting with Distributor and Coil, and O2 sensor, then hopefully bed swap and prepping for paint.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:06 AM
SCFlareside SCFlareside is offline
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Things I forgot to mention:

F150 needs front fenders as well (rust on the arches). It also has dual tanks, which makes for a good but interesting dilemma with the Flareside bed. I'd like to keep them, and got some input from the community already in another thread (thanks lads!). Will probably run the filler neck to a flush mount filler in the bed floor, or possibly let it live in the fender well.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:07 AM
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countryboy82
Welcome to the FTE forum, so are you keeping both or just going for one nice solid truck?
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:09 AM
1986F150six 1986F150six is offline
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Great project! Keep sharing with us.
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Old 04-10-2015, 11:34 AM
SCFlareside SCFlareside is offline
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Thanks guys! Once I get the '85 up and running, not sure what I'll do with the '81 parts truck. I'm removing the bed / interior and some other bits, but it has the great motor with a clear title (wreck was never reported).

- Could sell the '81 F100 with the good motor and trans (4 speed OD) / clear title, OR

- Could look for a good F100 / F150 that needs a 300 CI six and put the motor in it... but that would be another project and then I'd have ANOTHER truck.

In the end, I just want to end up with one
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Old 04-10-2015, 07:24 PM
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I have a Brand new tailgate in the box from a project from 20 years ago if you are interested


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Old 04-10-2015, 07:57 PM
SCFlareside SCFlareside is offline
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Tailgate

Interested! As a new member I can't PM but will message you on your visitor page
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:24 PM
SCFlareside SCFlareside is offline
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Interior

Spent a bit of time pulling the interior out of the F100. Man what fun working on a simple vehicle again! Really happy about the dash, a bit of discoloration on the edges but very solid. Cleaned up well, and happily soaked in a few coats of ArmorAll:


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-11-2015, 10:28 PM
SCFlareside SCFlareside is offline
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Seat

Here's the seat after it's first cleaning. Prior owner had pulled the back window out of the F100 for his other truck, and am not sure how long it sat that way. I think it was just for a few months. I was worried about moisture on the seat and interior but it doesn't seem bad. I haven't taken the cover off yet though.


There's one stain on the passenger side that you can see, and a very small tear in the fabric part. Tear is only about a half inch long, need to figure out how to stop it from expanding though. Sorry the pics are a bit grainy


Click the image to open in full size.





The door cards are in great shape too, all must have been redone when the F100 was rebuilt before the wreck. The F150 will have the interior pulled and replaced with these. For now they'll sit in the garage until the other work's done though
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Old 04-12-2015, 07:27 AM
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Nice project! It's funny that the 85 was owned by a mechanic, and had all those mechanical issue's.
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Old 04-12-2015, 10:42 AM
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I know, I think he was doing what he could, my sense is that the distributor happened after he decided to sell and he came down on the price. Still the truck drives well and tracks great, you can tell it wants to run
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:08 PM
SCFlareside SCFlareside is offline
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Moving the ball forward

Some of the parts are starting to show up at the front door thanks to USPS - or, I'm lugging them into the garage. .

First off the distributor - went with an MSD Pro Billet ready to run version (again this is for a 1995 5.0 motor)... along with a coil.

Click the image to open in full size.

Just as I was about to go out and do the install this weekend, I watched a video online where a guy had the oil pump drive shaft fall out and down into the pan. NOT what I'd like to have happen in my driveway, given my ability level. I'm thinking about letting the lads at my friendly neighborhood shop do the dizzy install... besides I don't have a timing light. Yeah, that's it. A timing light. Call me a chicken and talk me into doing it guys

In the end I got distracted with some other things this weekend (see below):
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:20 PM
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This kind of work is most easily done with a timing light. *hint* *hint* *hint*
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:37 PM
SCFlareside SCFlareside is offline
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Anyone have good recommendations for ECU box?

Click the image to open in full size.


Here's what you see looking into the passenger front fenderwell - at least the O2 sensor's factory connector is intact though. The sensor itself was still sitting in the bung at the H pipe, but the wire was broken off. Easy fix!

Click the image to open in full size.

We got a bunch of rain this weekend - knew it was coming, so accelerated all the lawn chores outside on Saturday. Didn't leave much time to work on the truck, but did get a few things done.

The PO had completed the engine swap but there were still some cleanup items left. One big one was the ECU which was sitting on the drivers side fender and needed some kind of box built for it. I was thinking of an ammo can, but the two or three I have are all a bit too small. I may need to go with a larger size, or buy a box that's purpose built for it. I don't want to go to the trouble of moving it into the cab, but would like to build a weatherproof box in the engine compartment. If anyone has good ideas let me know!

This weekend on Sunday, we had a bunch of heavy rain. I popped the hood and this sight of a wet ECU greeted me

Click the image to open in full size.

Decided i needed to do something right NOW... so I took a plastic case that I had on hand, stripped it of it's innards and cut a hole for the wiring harness. I put heavy duty velcro on the bottom of the case, and the fender to keep it in place. I lined the inside of the case with a bit of foam, drilled a few holes in the bottom for drainage, and hit it with some paint. Not pretty and not what I want for a permanent home, but at least now it will stay dry, and in place.

Pic below is closer than the one above - case is just big enough to fit the ECU and the first four inches of wiring. I also cleaned up some other areas of the engine bay with wire loom.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 04-21-2015, 09:40 PM
SCFlareside SCFlareside is offline
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Ctubutis sealed the deal - letting the shop do the distributor I get the hint!
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