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1961 - 1963 F100 Unibody 1961, 1962 and 1963 Ford F100 Unibody trucks

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Old 11-05-2003, 08:53 AM
DocRudy DocRudy is offline
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Drop old body onto new frame and engine

Would you suggest dropping my 66 cab and bed onto a newer model frame and drivetrain. If so what would be a compatible frame and engine combo?
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Old 11-05-2003, 11:29 AM
Mike G Mike G is offline
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Your call Doc....

The 65-66 can be swapped over to the 67-72 as well as the 72-79 with out too much trouble, at least from what I understand (no experience with it). I believe the cab is a direct swap. The bed needs to be re-drilled for the different mounting holes but will fit.

Do some searching on the forum, there have been many folks wanting the same info and if memory serves correctly, William (from Atlanta) has knowledge on this topic.

Enjoy!--Mike
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The Ford related items representing 1/3 of what's in the garage....
1965 F100 LWB 401FE power and C6
1968 Cougar XR7 (wife's toy)
2001 F350 Long-Crew-Dual-4x4-7.3L TD Hoss
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Old 11-05-2003, 09:06 PM
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Thumbs up Body Swapping to Upgrade

Doc.

I personally believe swapping chassis is the best of all worlds for these trux. I completely built/rebuilt chassis as it stood alone. When it was finished, I pulled my eFFy next to it & R&R'd the body from the old to the new.

I get too preoccupied or pickey & tend to spend too much time on stuff folks think is over doing it. But... it's MY Truck & I'll build it how I want to. If I want to devote 2 days mandrel bending my 3/8ths inch stainless fuel line I'll spend 2 days. If I clamp or cable tie long harnesses more often than really necessary, that's my deal. Other people need not concern themselves with my foolishness. I probably could have "whipped" the swap out in 24 or 30 manhours, but spent about 70 manhours taking my time.

When you start looking for a suitable donor chassis get one in good condition, that isn't whipped or hammered, and has what you've decided you need or want under your truck. Do your home work, study what your options are, make informed decisions, and by all means ask if you have a problem or question you need a little assistance with.

The Key is get rolling or complete chassis w/ same wheelbase & same model, for best compatibility. In other words, an F100 or F150, if you have an F100, F250 for an F250, and an F350 for a F350. That is not to say you can't put an F100 cab on an F350 frame, it's just easier to execute within most compatable models.

I've done more of these upgrade swaps than I care to recall to tell you the truth. What I learned from doing them is get the best package you can find available and afford.

When I did my own 66 F100 I selected a 79 F150 Trailer Special for it's chassis. It has/had more suspension, bigger power disc brakes front & rear anti sway bars, heavier guage steel rails in frame, dual fuel tanks, suspended spare tire carrier, saginaw style P/S, 460 CID V8, w/ C6 A/t & 9" FoMoCo rear, w/31 spline, 4 pinion set up. Everything I wanted was already there for me. I paid $500 for the whole truck, without the engine. My front disc brakes are 14" X 1.125" with F250 Style Calipers. BIG Brakes!

I made a few changes. 1, I eliminated the aux fuel tank because I prefer my dual exhausts to be on separate sides. Running the Auxilliary tank, with duals on the 460 engine means left exhaust must cross over to the right side and run doubled up side by side. It isn't aceptable to me.

Also I didn't want to use a C6 tranny. I woukld not be pulling any loads & I wanted power at my wheels, not eaten up in my torque converter or clutch packs. I opted for a "Comp" built C5 instead. I went to F 350 rear & sway bar + short stacked F 350 rear springs (I removed leaves to adjust handling & suspension) also. None the less, chassis came pretty much w/ what I wanted/ needed to put my 66 in 21st century, from middle 20th century it was built in.

I could have retrofitted all those parts onto my 66 chassis, but it was easier, faster, cheaper, better and to my advantage doing for myself what I been doing for clients for years. Besides, as I mentioned, 79 F150 Trailer Special Chassis has heavier guage steel than a 66 F100 did. Even a plane F100 or F150 chassis from under a 77-8-9 is a far cry from anything between 66 & 76 in my opinion. 75 & 76 are better than 66 - 74 probably also.

Good Luck On your project. . . FBp
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Old 11-05-2003, 09:26 PM
merc460 merc460 is offline
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I dropped my 66 on a 75 f150 frame It was pretty basic, and like
Fbpete says It gives you a chance to go over the running gear and do what ever needs to be done. My donor had a 400/c6 combination which I swapped out for a 460/c6 combo.
I did have to move my rear end ahead 3inches [ Thanks to 6t6 Merc letting me measure up his truck, for box placement] I am using a ford nine inch with a trac lock. There are some under construction pics in my gallery. Eric
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Old 11-06-2003, 07:13 AM
William William is offline
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FBp, merc460! Does the 3" gap between the bed and cab really make a difference? Someone was discussing a set of leaf springs that moved the differential forward a couple of inches yet used the original rear spring shackle and front mount point? Anyone remember this? I know Eaton Detroit Spring would build these springs for us. I plan to build on a 79 frame and retain the 79 bed. I think a bed from 79-89 would work on that frame. I'll graft LWB 66 Style Side fenders to the later model bed and not have the fitment problems with the bed bolting to the frame. I am also thinking a later bed will be rust free since Ford galvanized the metal in the late 70s. I am also kicking around the idea of extending my 66 cab about 3". Actually I am planning on using a top from a big window Uni-body and adding 3" behind the doors when I put it back on. No I am not going to be hacking up all our cherished Uni's. I'd use long beds and rusted hulks for a supply of cab tops and these would be few built anyway.
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Old 11-06-2003, 08:25 AM
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Cool

William,
How ya doin up there? "Hotlanta" isn't so hot today is it?

Another solution is to fudge a bit by redrilling spring center bolt hole in rear axle housing, spring perch, "shoe" back 2" which is 2/3 of the gap. Due to teardrop design of rear wheel opening the difference is hot noticeable to me, all that much.

I really doubt John Q even sees it or knows it exists. In fact I'd bet many 61-66 eFFy owners know. They seldom realize I have a fuel filler door in my L/H bedside, or any implications of that subtle change.

What is noticeable is when there's a 3" gap between bed & back of cab, but as you noted, using newer double wall bed with older side skin fitted should prevent this gap & windsplit misfit.
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Old 11-06-2003, 08:04 PM
merc460 merc460 is offline
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I agree the 3" gap behind the cab was too much. To move my axle ahead I had a spring shop redo the main leaf with the center bolt hole 3 " ahead, I could not get past having the tires that far back in the wheel well. Another thing to consider is the 73 - 79 9" are wider than the ealier ones and rim width will need to be checked I have a 235/60/15 on a factory slotted mag I think 8" and they fit okay but you do have to hang the axle down a little to change tires. But then I lowered the truck slightly about 2" in the back. Eric
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Old 11-07-2003, 08:00 AM
William William is offline
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Eric, I agree. The wider frame with fuel tank in the back under the bed and a rear mounted spare is what I am after. The fenders from the 66 bed will be grafted to the 79 and up bed, (almost like a patch panel) so I'll be able to adjust somewhat where the wheel well goes. If adjusting the spring works as well as I expect and lining up the wheel well by sliding the wheel well/fender forward, bobbing 3 " off the rear of the frame should get it? The bed would be moved forward on the 79 frame by about 2-3" and new holes drilled in the frame. With the exception of grafting the 66 fenders to the 79 bed no special body work will be required. Did you move the bed mounts forward? Did you use a 66 bed? Did you bob the rear of the newer frame? Do you think grafting the bottom of 66 bed fenders to a late model bed is a good idea? I was thinking of retaining the later model tail lights because they are so nice and big. I would simply saw off the wheel well and dart from the 66. Changing the curved section of the bed in front of the wheel well should be fairly easy as well.
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Old 11-09-2003, 12:28 AM
merc460 merc460 is offline
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I think that grafting the box sides on a later model box would make things easier. It's a good idea, I used a 65 box as when I started my project , I did not have a box. One thing I did find out is if you have a side cargo box it is to wide to fit the later frame
I removed it and thats where my batteries are. I did have to wack 2 inches off the back off my frame. I just drilled new holes in the frame for the box mounts. Eric
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Old 11-10-2003, 06:22 AM
William William is offline
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Eric, Thanks for the reply! I can so relate to your comment about "Batteries". I remember, extra batteries, battery heaters, batteries in the house and still when it got to be -30 you just never had enough batteries. I almost feel guilty with my little 85 amp alternator and 650 CC amp battery down here in the South. Its 62 degrees this morning and I had to turn on the heater, first time this year.
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Old 11-12-2003, 10:29 AM
alphadenim alphadenim is offline
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Could this application be used with a 61 unibody?
Also, what the wheelbase of these pickups (61-66 shortbox)?
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Old 11-12-2003, 03:09 PM
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Wheelbase on a shorty is 114".



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Old 11-12-2003, 04:30 PM
alphadenim alphadenim is offline
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What about track width? How wide is that?
Sorry to be asking so many questions, just cant find any knid of specs for these trucks!
thanks
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Old 11-12-2003, 10:49 PM
yarite yarite is offline
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66 Body/ 79 Chassis

Hi Guys, Thanks to to you my project is comeing together nicely. 66 1/2ton 2wd long borust free Montana truck)
79 f100 2wd donor chassis, 90 Grand Marquis w/5.0 aod(running but crunched) donor drive line. Anybody know of problems with this swap?
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Old 11-13-2003, 05:42 AM
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alphademin,

Theoretical median Track width is 61" (aka 5' - 1") C to C. That will vary, of course, depending on OEM wheel & tire combination
or aftermarket wheel/ tire combo the truck runs.

Anything can be done with anything with enough resources thrown at it. In order to do this chassis swap upgrade on a pre 64 F series FoMoCo you will have to mess around relocating your body mount outriggers on the later frame in a couple locations. I know for a fact the front cab Mounts, and radiator support core locations & type, are way off. I would assume the bed mounting bolt holes are also off.

Additionally, although I have not tried this retro-upgrade for several reasons such as those above, I can also forsee that swinging that whole body mass around, from one chassis to another, could be a rogue of an operation. It has to be close to a ton or so of weight!

In order to get a better visual concept of some of subtle body differences between 64 & earlier or 65 & 66 bodies, check out the sticky Krosati has kindly posted atop of forum on 61 - 66 F Series body difference comparison, by clicking on the link in my 1st post.


So what I'm saying is this "transplant" type upgrade can be done
with anything. But the point of this thread is just how somple it is to do with the 65 & 66 F series Bodies, or at least more so with 65-6s than with others.

A friend of mine put a 66 Rolls Royce sedan on a 4X4 Ch******t pick up chassis, not my 1st choice of swaps, but point is, anything is possible, virtually, with the right resources.

65 & 66, or for that matter any F series between 65 & 79 can be interchanged by the average guy with some wrenches, skills & abilities, minimal equipment, and a decent place to work. Once out of those 65-79 parameters the task gets more complex. For example doing a 61 SWB Integral bed is going to require some rivet cutting, outrigger & bracket relocation, front core support mount engineering & fabrication, probably some cutting & welding
along with die grinding and so forth.

It will also require trial fitting, as will any 61-64 standard cab & body, since they are slightly different than 65 & 66s are. Trial fits with cab & doors is one thing. Although somewhere around 1/2 a ton in weight, it's not as heavy or bulky like an integral bed body is. They require different types of equipment & technique to "lift & swing". However, I would like to do one, & video it for that form of reference I mentioned above.

I don't mean to discourage you from doing this sensible upgrade to your 61 Integral Bed, aka "Uni". All I'm trying to do is suggest you check into it thoroughly, do your homework & research, take time generate a "plan" & itnierary B4 you start twisting wrenches & taking stuff apart.

Be sure you know what you're getting into and understand you may/ will run into glitches you'll have to remedy along the way. I would like to execute one of these early Integral Bed body onto a later twin I beam chassis swap myself just to gain knowledge & experience of having done one myself.

In fact, my oldest son & I have been discussing making a series or "set" of videos on "Slick 60s Trux". We are talking along lines of retro fitting chassis, engine & powertrain upgrades/ swaps, top chopping, bedside alterations, Power Disc Brakes, Power/Strg & Suspension Upgrades. He has a degree in & teaches courses in Film & Video Production, TV Production & Broadcasting.

I'm in no position to do another project right now at this time. I would however, like to include upgrading these earlier Solid axle, 4 leaf sprung, F Series trux, including Integrals. So a "Library" of Custom Upgrades & Retrofitting both in Motion Graphic & Text format seems a good idea to me. We'll just have to see how it goes along here.

Also here's a tip for anyone who has gone from column shift to floor shift. Steering column "mast Jacket" & mounting bracket [to dash board] used in any F Series that came with a "granny 4 spd" has a very clean, set up. There is no lever or shifter tube!

All you need is a "mast Jacket" [outer tube of steering column] from same year/production series F, or P series cab as truck you have. For example mast jacket from 61-4 F350 that came OEM w/ 4 gear granny replaces mast jacket in 61- 64s, bolt in! Same goes for 65-6s and for that matter, for all F series from 61 through 79.

FBp
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Old 11-13-2003, 05:42 AM
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