Welcome to the forum. Are you sure it's a half ton (F1) bed? The F2/F3 pickups came with an 8 foot bed since they had a 122 inch wheelbase. The F1s had a 114 inch wheelbase. You can make the conversion to 5 lug easy enough by changing out the rear end to a 57-72 F-100 nine inch which will bolt-in (you may have to fabricate shock mounts) and get the freeway revs down at the same time. On the front all you need are the 5 lug brakes and drums for an F1. They will bolt on to the F2 axle.
Thanks for your answers. I realized the part about the front fender opening. After GreatNorthWoods reply I started comparing pictures of the one I was looking at and other F1's. Just to make sure the information about F2 with F1 bed was correct. The front fender gave it away. It's an F2 with an F1 bed, the frame must have been shortened. I like the F1 fenders better. For variuos reasons I will pass on this particular truck, as it's too much of a clon for me. Considering the cost of shipping a p/u from the US to Europe, I have to find the right one, the first time.
Hi there, this question is mainly directed at greatnorthwoods I guess.
Please could you describe the conversion you did on your F3 in a bit more detail? It looks great.
I have a 1950 F2, 100% stock with low miles. The front end is solid but the bed is a bit rotten so I thought of the idea of changing it into an F1 clone. Is that a cost effective approach?
I was thinking:
F1 fenders front and rear
not too sure about the frame and rear axle though (and 8-to-5 lugs)!!
Welcome to the forum! It's not as hard as you may think. The hardest part would be shortening the frame. The axle can be changed out with a 1957-1972 Ford 9", and the front drums can be changed to a 5 lug(though I'd go with a disc brake conversion kit), and the box for the F1 is reproduced, as the F2 is not. You know about the fenders. Good luck!
Havi, Thanks for the reply. Those are helpful ideas.
One option I was considering was to buy (after saving up some $$!) a complete "rolling frame" which I guess would solve the frame/drivetrain issue in one go. Then I would still be left with finding f1 running boards, box and fenders. Feels like I'd be buying a whole new truck...ouch!
Maybe the most cost effective way is to get an f1 that is being parted out and take the frame, axle, rear springs, drums etc from that.
Thanks to all for a great forum.
Any suggestions to help me get this project on the road are welcomed!!
My suggestion?? Fix the bed, make the F2 nice, sell it, and buy an F1 to begin with. If you are patient, you can find a decent F1, that someone has started and lost interest in, with a lot of the serious work already done or in progress, pretty reasonable. Sure, anything CAN be done, but if your F2 is truly solid, it should fetch a fairly decent price, possibly putting you well on your way to an F1, without all the hassle - those parts can be more expensive than the whole truck! Plus, shortening the frame isn't just whacking off the back end - you need to take some out of the middle, for the bed to work.
Not trying to talk you out of the project, just food for thought...
edit - Oh yeah, you'd STILL have an F1 clone, and there's be one less old Ford on the road...
But, if you DO it, I'd be interested in all your F2 parts...
Yeah, the problem with buying a donor truck, is that it becomes another truck you want to finish, lol. I think Roger has a great idea. To restore it as an F2 would be worthwhile, and if an F1 is what you truelly want, then I would look for an F1...when it comes down to it.
Thanks, Havi - that's the reason I have my F2 - the gal who owned it, had dreams of an F1, and was planning to make one out of it, until she started looking at the amount of work, and the difficulty in getting all the F1 parts, to make it an F1, and decided against it. That, and she lost her storage for it. I think if someone had the capability, and the intentions of making a $50,000 hotrod, with almost NO regard for stock, it would be feasible, because chances are, even with an F1, they would constantly be looking for better fenders, running boards, etc, or fiberglass, possibly, so the little added stuff wouldn't matter. But, I just think it would be better/easier to START with an F1, than to make a somewhat salable F2 into an F1.
Oh yeah, the other thing - that's why I only have one truck, I KNOW if I bought a donor, I would then have TWO projects, and I decided at the beginning, I wasn't going to do that. Now, when I look at trucks, I look at them with my next project in mind. If it's an F1, it's with "hot rod" in mind, and if it's a bigger truck, panel, or COE, it's with "stock" in mind...
I've found in my life that ANYthing can be done. Whether it is wise to do it, is sometimes a different question...
At last count I've had 15 Bonus Built trucks, every model from F-1 to F-7. I've only kept one truck that was bought as a parts truck, the '51 F-4. The others were beaters, except the F-7 which was a '48 firetruck with 3,000 miles. I used the rust free cab for my F-2 and traded the rest for parts for the F-2. I bought the truck because they had parts I needed or were able to sell to help finance my truck addiction. It's not hard to scrap out a beater truck. It try to get rid of them as soon as I think I have all of the usable parts off of them. The bad thing is once I have all of the usable parts off of them and scrap the remainder someone always comes up and wants a part I didn't think any one wanted. I would completely salvage all the usable parts like rear axles and frames but I just don't have the room to store it all.
With the price of steel lately, and the natural depleting inventory, reasonable priced beaters are next to impossible to find. I haven't been able to buy one for at least two years. I'm getting anxious not having a beater to tear apart. I'm having withdrawls!
I just took the ol' truck for a spin, which put a smile on my face - even in the heat in Utah without a/c! She cranks and starts every time without a problem. The steering feels tight, like a new truck. It has an 8BA flathead in it which seems to run pretty well. I got lucky with this "barn find".
Like you say Roger, as this is an all-original truck it would be a shame to break it up. I'm minded at this stage to keep it as it is, get it fixed up enough to make it a little more presentable (should not cost too much) and then see what my options are next year. In the meanwhile, I can have some fun in a 58 year old pickup (nb. I'm from England so I like old stuff!)
If you chaps are interested I'll post some photos of her on our website.