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

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Old 08-07-2008, 08:42 AM
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Question New to '61 trucks

Hey guys, I'm about to become the owner of a '61 F100 Uni in about a week. I have a 79 Bronco, so I'm familiar with some of the older technology. But as a truck overall, this one appears to be very sound structurally, body and paint in good condition. It has a 302/C6 combo in it, and it appears to be relatively untouched in other areas. So what should I begin to expect with this style of truck. I'm guessing that with the unibody construction that I will need to pay close attention to body mounts and the like, but are there any little tricks, or gremlins that I should expect? I know I have a leaking cylinder on the front pass side, but I'm hoping that a rebuild kit will take care of it. What are the common things to these trucks? I've heard that they are very reliable, and I hope this one is really as solid as it looks. Thanks ahead of time for the wisdom!
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:48 PM
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The problems I had with my 61: Bondo, bondo and more bondo; wheel cylinders and bearings, e-brake cables, gas tank float, garbage floor shifter adjusted poorly at up tranny, heater core leaked, door steps (can't recall technical name) rotted through, front cab mount sheetmetal completely rotted, every bolt that had a tin cap holding it in place was to rusted to the nut to for the tin cap to hold it in place when I reefed on it, carb needing rebuilt and adjusted, distributer worn out.

Pretty much if you don't know the matainence history a through inspection of wear parts and replacement of worn parts would be a good start, otherwise it will be the problems with bolts being stuck or breaking off and the tailgate hinge corners are probably shot or the whole thing is missing. However you look at it, the 61 Uni is my favorite Slick (the uni styling, with the 61 chrome grill is what I like most)

I think I'm going to email the guy who has my 61 and see if he will sell it back to me.
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Old 08-07-2008, 12:54 PM
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Good stuff to know. From what I know about this truck, they guy said that it had been bought, restored a bit, sold, restored a bit, and that's about it. I should be able to get a closer look this weekend. It does have a different color tailgate on it, so I can only imagine that something happened at some point. He's a body guy, and said that he thought it was all ready to go. He wanted to replicate the old XL Gasser and drag race it. So I'm guessing it must be in somewhat decent structural shape to consider it for that. But we shall see.
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:05 PM
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Unibody taigates always rot and are unique to unibodies. Core support, front cab supports, stepwells, door opening lower hinge area, drip rails, the area under the gas tank, are all common rust breeding grounds on unibodies. I had a 302/C6 in mine. Got around 10MPG I'm now putting in a 460. I figure if I'm getting 10MPG it might as well be a fun 10.
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Old 08-07-2008, 02:19 PM
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Ok something to think about on my side, what is the "standard" gear set on the 4x2? I know it will vary, and until I get the VIN I won't know for sure, but just curious, because there are quite a few options for the 9" rear.
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Old 08-07-2008, 04:06 PM
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I think 3.89 and 4.11 are pretty common in the truck 9"ers
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Old 08-07-2008, 09:22 PM
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Get all the info off the door tag and go here: Didgey Specs 61-66
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Old 08-08-2008, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by soundman502 View Post
Ok something to think about on my side, what is the "standard" gear set on the 4x2? I know it will vary, and until I get the VIN I won't know for sure, but just curious, because there are quite a few options for the 9" rear.
The VIN does not have the rear AXLE code listed within it. The AXLE code is on the Warranty Plate, located on the inside of the glove box door.

There were three different rear axles used on 1961/66 F100's.

Standard equipment was the Ford 9 inch, optional was the Spicer 44 if the truck was ordered with a Limited Slip (LS) rear axle.

The Spicer 60 was also an option, it could be ordered with or without LS.

Both Spicers have rear inspection covers, the Ford 9" does not.

1961: With a M/T and a 9" rear axle, the usual ratios are: 3.54-1 / 3.70-1 / 3.89-1 / 4.11-1. / With a A/T, add 3.25-1.

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Originally Posted by soundman502
I'm guessing with the unibody construction...
Uni-body is an in-correct (and sometimes misleading) term used by enthusiasts.

The correct Ford term is Integral body, which means the cab is integral with the box.

The truck is body on frame construction, as every F Series truck has been from 1948 thru today. It's not a uni-body like most modern cars are today.

Post the VIN and all codes off the Warranty Plate right here on FTE.

I can decode all of it. I've decoded over 600 VIN's & Warranty Plates on FTE.

As you may know, the 302 engine was not offered till 1969 (on 2WD F100's only), the C6 wasn't available till 1968.

The first year F100's (and F150's) came with a 302/C6 combo (as an option) was 1978.
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Old 08-08-2008, 07:21 AM
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Ah, so much info! I love this place. Well the gearing info was exactly what I was guessing at. My Bronco has a C6, and while yeah it's in a big 4x4, I can still squeeze 15MPG out of it with 3.50 front and back, so since this one will be the DD along with the motorcycle, I was of course hoping for 3.50 or less, just for the highway time. I knew the 302 wasn't a stock item, as the guy told me it was from a Mustang, which opens up a lot of mods down the road. (Can anyone else hear the whine of a supercharger?) And barring major cancer at the critical body to frame mounts, I should be driving this thing home next week. It appears there is quite and aftermarket for parts on these old slicks. This is going to be a fun project.
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Old 08-08-2008, 08:54 AM
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My 61 was running the 3.70's (at least originaly). When I bought my 61 about 16 years ago the only fenders you could get were overpriced fiberglass or sheetmetal patch panels unless you went to the junk yard. There were a few other parts available new but most things were junk yard only. Now I believe you could darn near build a brand new truck if you had a frame and enough of the cab/bed. Good luck with the truck and enjoy it.
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2001 F-250SD V10-BSEG 5-Speed Stick, Manual 4X4, 4.30LS SC SB XL - Bilstein HDs
1999 F-150 V6 Auto XLT - Traded
1988 F-250 351W Auto 4x4 - Sold
1961 F-100 292 Y-8 3-Speed Unibody, Custom Cab - Gave Away
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:13 PM
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Well I would have loved to have enjoyed it, but the person I was buying it off of, decided at the last minute, he wasn't going to sell it. So, thanks for all the advice, and hopefully I'll find another one so I can put all this to use.

Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:13 PM
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