Hey guys. I am planning out my F-3 buildup. I am having trouble finding a long bed for my '48 F-3. I would really rather have a short bed anyways(better aftermarket parts availability and better looks IMO). Would it be better to shorten my F-3 frame or find an F-1 frame? If I go with the short bed,I would also change the front fenders and running boards to the F-1 style. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks.
if you can find a 1/2 ton frame it'd be a lot easier on you . if not go for it . i shortened my f 350 used to be a car hauler that was 30 foot long down to a reg cab long bed without much incident . just time consuming as all get out .
Frames can be shortened, or in the case of my 52' F-3, actually lengthened. (I stretched my entire truck 20 inches to make an extended cab with an 8ft express box). I now have 142 inch wheelbase.
There are actually several members who have shortened their frames, and it involves removing a section out of the frame behind the cab (to get the proper wheelbase) as well as removing a bit off the tail end of the frame rails. Its not too overly difficult to do and I have a few pics of the prefered Z-cut method to cut and weld a frame in my gallery. In my case I was lengthening my frame, the the principals are the same.
The one comment I would make however, is that if you plan on swapping over to the smaller opening F-1 fenders, you may be better off trying to find an F-1 as a donor instead of cutting up your F-3.
Personally I prefer the larger trucks and have finally found all the bits and pieces I need (8ft bed, running boards, etc) they are out there, they just takes a bit of searching.
Last edited by irondragon79; 01-04-2008 at 08:49 AM.
I just read your first post and it sounds like the F-3 is in pretty rough shape. You said you have found a rust free cab and doors so why don't you save yourself a lot of work and find a F-1 frame.
In your original post you said you bought the truck because it belonged to your grandfather. I can see putting a lot of work into a rough truck if it has sentimental value, I rebuilt my F-2 because it belonged to my dad and I spent many hours in it when I was a kid. I spent way too much time, energy and money, I suppose, on a rusty piece of junk but it held a lot of sentimental value for me and I restored it back to stock condition. From your description you are going to change the entire design of the truck and it will not retain any of the charactor it had when your grandfather used it for whatever work he did with it. I see no reason to go through the hassle of modifying the frame when it's basically not going to be the truck your grandfather had.
I swapped out 90% of parts in my F-2 but I swapped them with stock parts. I didn't modify the truck in any way, other than a few trim pieces, than what it was when my dad owned it, actually it's a lot in better condition than when my dad had it, but it still has a lot of the same charactor it had back then. I kept flat six engine so I could heard the familiar whine, the non-synchronized four speed transmission so I could double clutch and the heavy duty suspension so I could experience the hard bouncy ride. These are the things I remember the most about spending time with my dad in the old truck.
Thanks for all of the input everyone. I was checking out the truck today. The bed needs some major work,but it might be possible to restore it. I really need to finish the disassembly to see exactly what I have to work with. I like the short beds,but it adds a lot of work to my already large project. I think that I'll keep the long bed if mine is able to be restored. If my bed is too far gone,I might consider the F-1 frame/fenders since the long beds/fenders are so hard to come by in good shape.
Havi,I think that I know where I might be able to get an F-1 frame locally if I decide to go that route. Besides,Minnesota is kind of far from Pennsylvania. Thanks for the offer though.
You would have to cut the frame in two places to get it stock. We cut the frame on my F-3 but only had to cut off the back because we installed an IRS from a T-bird. The hump for the rear end did not matter for ours but to get it right for a straight axle requires two cuts. The fenders on my F-3 were not too bad but I am going to use fiberglass fenders and running boards. Don't know how the fiberglass parts will end up but looks like they will be ok. I will let you know when we get them installed.
Mark, I already did exactly what you are comtemplating. I agonized over cutting my F-3 frame and welding it back together too but it was easier than I thought. Check out my gallery. If you like the looks of the short bed over the long one do it as you will never be satisfied with the truck otherwise. If you buy an F-1 frame then you also have the problem with taking the cab off the frame. I never had to take mine off. I put fiberglass fenders and running boards on mine and they worked great...
I am still up in the air about which direction to go with this truck. I've been looking for some front/rear F-2/F-3 fenders and bed and I'm having no luck. Modifying my F-3 frame to the F-1 length and going with the F-1 fenders and bed seems like an easier route at this point since they reproduce all of that stuff. It looks pretty straight forward to modify the frame......you really have me thinking about doing it. I might have to do some measuring now. Thanks for the info.