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  #46  
Old 04-28-2008, 06:47 PM
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Doraville Doraville is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 52MercM3 View Post
Hi Guys,
I'm also a newbie to this forum, just signed up because of this thread. I've also just run into a couple of the same issues. When I picked up my truck it was a farm truck with a rotten flat bed and because the running boards had obviously been hacked with a torch I knew it was originally an express box. I haven't had any luck finding a raised panel box so i picked up an 8 foot box and thought it would be good enough for now with the proper fenders on it.
And this is where the fun starts. I don't know the exact year of the box, but it won't fit without chopping about 8" off the FRONT ( to center the bed side wheel indents). From my cab to the center of the rear axle is 47" and there is 54" from the front of the new box to the wheel indent center. I doesn't look like there is room to cut a full 10" off the back with the 52 fenders though. May end up with a 6' 10" box., granted, longer wheel base. The other intresting thing is the box has only has the middle stake pocket, maybe Ford changed them after 56 again. The drivers fender also has the fuel filler neck in in.

Hope that helps,
Steve
Steve,

My bed is about 48" (could be 47, depending on how you measure) from the front of the box to the wheel indent center.

My bed really looks likes it's been whacked off at the back.

Peace,
-Doraville
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  #47  
Old 04-28-2008, 07:45 PM
Sandidande Sandidande is offline
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Thanks Roger,

Well with that measurement, my eyes etc, that tells me the F1 and F2+ back fenders are the same length. The F2+ fenders may have accomodations for the raised bed sides though. This tells us if you have 38.5 inches from the center of your axel to the back edge of the bed side (where the tailgat closes), either fender will fit length wise!

If not, then there has to be some way to squeeze an inch or two out of a set of longer bed sides to squeeze in the fender.

I can't find the picture of Rogers bed on it's nose to look at the wheel cut outs (I'm sure it's hidden in one of the paint color threads or something silly), but perhaps Doraville could measure the 53+ back fenders from the front inner edge to the back inner edge and we can see how much difference we have between the two types of fenders.

What I'm looking for is how much distance the current fenders are taking up, and how that would compare with the F2/F3 fenders - will they fit. and if the F2/F3s are too long, by how much - 1 inch 3 inches 6 inches?

Hi 52MercM3!!!!! Welcome to the fun...we almost have the answer!!!!!...Could this be another case of Fordamese twins separated at birth and finally finding the other after all these years? Canadian Merc?

Oh and one last stupid Question for Doraville: Do you want to have the short bed configuration or would you be willing to put an 8 ft stock F2/F3 bed on it?
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  #48  
Old 04-28-2008, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Sandidande View Post
Thanks Roger,

Well with that measurement, my eyes etc, that tells me the F1 and F2+ back fenders are the same length. The F2+ fenders may have accomodations for the raised bed sides though. This tells us if you have 38.5 inches from the center of your axel to the back edge of the bed side (where the tailgat closes), either fender will fit length wise!

If not, then there has to be some way to squeeze an inch or two out of a set of longer bed sides to squeeze in the fender.

I can't find the picture of Rogers bed on it's nose to look at the wheel cut outs (I'm sure it's hidden in one of the paint color threads or something silly), but perhaps Doraville could measure the 53+ back fenders from the front inner edge to the back inner edge and we can see how much difference we have between the two types of fenders.

What I'm looking for is how much distance the current fenders are taking up, and how that would compare with the F2/F3 fenders - will they fit. and if the F2/F3s are too long, by how much - 1 inch 3 inches 6 inches?

Hi 52MercM3!!!!! Welcome to the fun...we almost have the answer!!!!!...Could this be another case of Fordamese twins separated at birth and finally finding the other after all these years? Canadian Merc?

Oh and one last stupid Question for Doraville: Do you want to have the short bed configuration or would you be willing to put an 8 ft stock F2/F3 bed on it?
Dan,

If I understood the question, the '53 fenders on my truck appear to be about 57" long at the point where the fender meets the bed. The distance from the center of the rear wheel to the back of the fender is about 29" on my truck. Even then, I don't think that the axle is centered in the wheel opening (they cheated a little bit and scooted the fenders forward in order to get the bed shorter). As you said, the length from the center of the wheel opening to the rear of the fender on the 51-52 is longer, which is probably why they didn't use them on this "rig box".

On the last question... I'm not really interested in a long bed. I had my heart set on a short bed F1 (it's a shame I didn't buy one!).

I'm already scouting for another truck. Anyone know how hard it is to reverse a suicide door conversion?

Peace,
-Doraville
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  #49  
Old 04-28-2008, 08:27 PM
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Hi again!

Hey I found somehting kind of interesting that might fit in with our lab project here.

I was looking through e-bay seeing if there might be a 48-52 F2+ with a decent bed we could all pitch in on and get for DV (you know - an anniversary or birthday gift type of thing) to cheer him up, and I came across these two trucks.

Look at the photo's - they are both long wheel base (one is an F2 the other an F3)....notice anything weird that might be related to what we are talking about?

Click the image to open in full size.

Stock 8 Ft Express!


Click the image to open in full size.

8 Ft cut in back?

Click the image to open in full size.
Notice lack of gap behind fender!!!!


POINT: this may be exactly the kind of mod we are moving toward to give you the stock F1 look!

Well, I thought it was interesting!
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  #50  
Old 04-29-2008, 09:18 AM
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It is very interesting. The truck in that second photo looks like they did a really nice job on it. I'm guessing they chopped off about 10"?

That's probably not a bad option for someone who already has all the right bed parts for the express box and wants it to look more like a short bed. It would be a shame to buy all the express box parts new, and then proceed to butchering it.

One option that we really haven't talked about much is shortening the wheelbase. In addition to the new bed, it would mean taking an 8" section out of the frame. The driveshaft would need to be shortened, and new brake lines. I haven't gotten up under the truck to see what else might be impacted. In my case, since the frame has already had the ends cut off, I would need to add some length back on the ends.

This might be a viable option for someone who has the equipment and the know-how (not me). I used to know a garage that would go out and find 67-72 longbed fleetside Chevy pickups (cheap) and cut them down to make shortbeds out of them. They looked original when they were done (although it would be unnerving for most people to know that their frame had been sectioned, but hey, we do that with some of the front clip mods anyway).

Peace,
-Doraville
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  #51  
Old 04-29-2008, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sandidande View Post
Thanks Roger,

I can't find the picture of Rogers bed on it's nose to look at the wheel cut outs (I'm sure it's hidden in one of the paint color threads or something silly)
Click the image to open in full size.

Here's 'tis...

R
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  #52  
Old 04-29-2008, 10:04 AM
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Perfect Roger, thanks!

That answers another question I had...can the fender be moved forward or backwards on the bed side an inch or two and not have the outside edge of the fender intrude into the wheel indent. Answer is YES!

Also, DV. Your option is a good one. But, it might be less work and easier just to buy an F1 Rolling chassis for $400 and swap everything over, then get the F1 aftermarket box and put it on. I mean seriously, the truck is really nice and the body is in super shape (question: Front fenders fibergalss?). Also, what you talked about is very do able. There are beds on e-bay every now and then that are really reasonable.

But to close the loop on just replacing the fenders, can you possibly measure your 53 fenders where they mount to the bed? Here is what I'm thinking....If you are only talking about an inch or two too tight in the back you could probably move the F2 fenders forward and no one would know the difference. Or you could get a pair of F2 back fenders and take 2 inches out of the center of them...no one would notice that either. It all depends on how much bigger the F2 fenders or as compared to the F-100 fenders.

You have a lot of great options with the truck!
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  #53  
Old 04-29-2008, 04:03 PM
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Thanks for all this info guys. What an education!

I have come to the conclusion that probably the best option is to leave the truck the way it is. It will never be my "dream truck" no matter what I do to it. There are a few easy things that I can do to it to make it more of a pleasure to drive. Here is what I'm thinking:
  • The truck already has power brakes. I'm thinking about adding front discs.
  • It needs power steering really bad. If I can find out more about what is involved in adding power steering to the straight axle front-end, I may do it. An IFS is out of the question now (too much investment).
  • I hate the mag wheels that are on it now. I'll probably go ahead and put a set of smoothies on it.
  • I think that I can build a set of running boards to mate the '51 front fenders to the '53 rear fenders that will look decent.

Then I'll just drive it while I continue to look for (and most likely build) my dream truck. Even after I find a suitable project truck, it will probably take me a year or more to do all the things that I want to do to it, so I now have an old truck to drive in the meantime.

The long bed trucks are beautiful in their own way, but I really have my heart set on a short bed (with a short wheelbase!).

You guys are awesome! I would have never expected the help that you have provided in sorting this thing out. We now know that there are several reasonable options (short of sectioning the frame) for someone to make the Express Bed pickup to look more like a short bed. Hopefully someone searching the forums in the future will be able to put this information to good use.

Thanks again to all of you.

Peace,
-Doraville
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  #54  
Old 04-29-2008, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Sandidande View Post
Perfect Roger, thanks!

That answers another question I had...can the fender be moved forward or backwards on the bed side an inch or two and not have the outside edge of the fender intrude into the wheel indent. Answer is YES!
The only minor issue I with sliding the fender forward an inch or two is that the bolt holes will no longer line up and you will need to either relocate the bolts (best option) or weld the fenders to the bed (my only option aside from buying FG or another set of used ones).

I agree with you Doraville, drive it till you find what you really want and maybe spit polish this one just a little to increase your ROI so you can put the extra cash towards what you really want. The only time we really have to settle............is if the wife says so.......
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  #55  
Old 04-29-2008, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Sandidande View Post
Click the image to open in full size.
Notice lack of gap behind fender!!!!
I also noticed that some mysterious force is holding the hinge on too!!!!!
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1948 Ford F-68 - Built Ford Tuff with Chevy Stuff!!!!!
2008 GMC 3500 4X4 LWB CC, Duramax, SLT - Summit White, 3" Lift, 33"x17" Toyo M/T's, Fender Flares, Aries Bull Bar, PIAA Fog Lights
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  #56  
Old 04-29-2008, 04:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Kusto View Post
I also noticed that some mysterious force is holding the hinge on too!!!!!
If you look really close, you'll see that it's "dark matter", gathered with great personal risk, from a "black hole". See the resemblence??

Click the image to open in full size.

R
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  #57  
Old 04-29-2008, 06:04 PM
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Very similar to the one that has recently developed in my wallet but much smaller and less destructive.
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  #58  
Old 04-29-2008, 06:39 PM
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Very similar to the one that has recently developed in my wallet but much smaller and less destructive.
The Dark matter attacking wallets seems to be a gasoline additive!

Hey DV. Glad we were able to help (kind of).

One last suggestion: Keep this truck and play with it. It's a really nice truck. But, as you go along, figure out what you like about it and what you don't. Learn about the different options, configurations, and problems. Then when you really have settled down and have a knowledgeable firm picture of what that dream truck is going to be, you will be able to go out and know what to look for - and what to look out for.

Shoot, I'm on my third complete restoration and the stuff I'm still finding out is incredible.

Stay with us and participate in the forums - the information shared here is invaluable.

It's been fun working with you, and I think we have a second person with the same problem...Stay tuned!
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  #59  
Old 04-29-2008, 08:04 PM
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Ditto what Dan said...who knows, it might be easiest to put a flatbed on it, or something along that line. But, it doesn't look too bad to me, and if the mechanics are well done, it's a nice truck. My F2 will never be a truck I would take too awful far, but with modern gear, it would go anywhere.

R
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  #60  
Old 04-29-2008, 08:26 PM
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Thumbs up

Actually if we are only talking about the 53 fender being an inch shorter (and not centering as well which may not be an issue), he could put an F2/F3 fender on it, move it forward 2 inches and make new mounting holes in the bed sides.

Or, he could buy a set of F2/F3 fenders and cut the center 2 inches out of it and it would fit just like the two pictures I posted on the modified truck above. Shoot as big as those suckers are, no one is going to miss those 2 inches.

But, he still has the long bed space between the cab and fender. Running boards from an F2/F3 would fit either directly or with a slight mod, but he likes the short bed look and that's cool!

It sounds like he's in no hurry and maybe after some time he can find an F2/F3 fender at a swap meet for $40 and cart it home to hold up and compare, or play with. In the mean time he's driving a cool lookin' truck and there's only about 5 of us who know the difference. I wish my truck looked that good.

If nothing else, he's got the rating plate chart and knows where the serial number is now so he'll know exactly what he's buying 100%.

But, one thing is very definate: all of us are a lot smarter now about F1/2/3 Vs F-100 fenders and beds - that's for sure!

Hey DV, when you go truck shopping again, let us know...We'll help ya!

As far as the suicide door reversal...there's a thread running on suicide doors as we speak! See ya there!
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Old 04-29-2008, 08:26 PM
 
 
 
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