1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series TrucksDiscuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks
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Well this is my first post. My father died in January and as a memorial to him and his father I want to restore the 1949 F3 that has been collecting rust in our pasture the last 10 years. It hasn't run since 1976 when my grandfather died, it was parked in running condition and not put in storage.
Here is the flat head V-8.
Thirty years of mice and nosy cattle have raised hell on the interior.
Rusted through fenders and pickup bed.
This is a pic of an f1 that is the same color this was originaly and I would like it to look like this when done.
The crankshaft will wiggle so the engine shouldn't be froze. I know one of the brakes was frozen 10 years ago when we moved it. As far as me, I have experience welding farm machinery and I built my own BBQ smoker. I have friend who is a heavy machine mechanic who will help me with the engine and tranny. Several parts catalogs have been stacking up on my coffee table. So far I have more questions then I know what to do with. Does anyone have suggestions on what to do with the rusted through fenders and pickup bed? Is there patch panels for this? How can I find out what this thing looked like stock so I can match it? My goal with this is to restore it to factory with a few slight changes, 2 taillights with turn signals, new front disc brakes, and maybe convert it over to 12 volt. Thanks for your sage insight.
This truck likely has sentimental value to you, but if it was me, I'd buy another similar truck in better shape and use the existing truck as a parts truck.
One of the board members on here, reamer, is making lower fender to running board patch panels. No patch panels are available, as far as I know, for the upper section of the upper fenders. The F2-F3 rear fenders and bed are different than those on an F1 and harder to come by. Again, I don't think that anyone is reproducing the bed and fenders.
If you want to fix this truck, you'll need to make your own patch panels. Watch eBay and Craigslist in your area. Something in better shape might come up.
Main thing is to have fun. Perhaps you should fix what's needed mechanically and the interior and drive as is.
1951 Ford Panel
1952 Ford Panel
1937 Chrysler Airflow C17
...and way too many Bonus Built/Economy Built parts... -----------------------------------------------------------
I'll first welcome you to the group. Glad to have you.
I see that you live in Iowa. From the pictures, your truck has sunk into that black Iowa gumbo pretty deep. Before you get too far into spending money I'd suggest getting a good look at the frame and supporting suspension parts. If you've got that much rust in the fenders and bed, you'll be at risk in the frame too. Like Ilya says, body parts for F-2s and F-3s are different and difficult to find in good condition. You'll be like me and will spend your time looking for donors.
Another challenge you will face pertains to your wheels and rear axle. The wheels used on F-3s were a two part 17" design that have come to be called "widow makers". Besides the fact that yours have been down in the mud for years and are no doubt ruined, the design alone renders them useless. No reputable shop will work on them anymore for safety and liability reasons. Here's a couple pictures of one showing the raised band area that is the overlapping joint. I'll also post a cross section picture showing the construction.
Complicating your search for replacements is the rear axle. All F-3s from the 1948 introduction until mid year 1951 used 14" rear brake drums. F-2s during that time period used 12" rear drums. Late '51 and '52 F-3s used the same 12" drums that were sourced on the earlier lighter duty F-2 models. Finding replacement one part tubeless wheels to clear the drums can be a challenge. Some members have had luck getting later 16s or 16.5s to clear, others have said they rub the drum. There are 17.5" tubeless rims that will work, but you'll have to do some looking to find them. A simpler solution to all this is to swap out the stock Timken 4.86 ratio rear and find a Dana 60 rear from a '67-'72 F-250. It should bolt right in. Here's a pic of a green '52 that is in a museum out west. Stu
Looking at the pick of the rim makes me wonder what they thought when the made those. Will the stock hubcaps work with the new rear end? I was told to try junkyads in Nebraska because they don't salt the roads and shouldn't be rusted as bad. I think I will make an English wheel and try making my own panels.
My sole purpose for this restore is that dad always wanted to do this but never did and it will give me a connection to my past. So a little more work is worth it to me. Dad told me the last time they drove this every time the got above 60 MPH the rear fender came up like a pair of wings so I better do something about that at least.
I found a crash sheet for these Body Part Interchange Guide that gives me some ideas for what I can swap out. Just in-case anyone else has been scratching there head looking for what parts go where.
Welcome to FTE!! Bob's a regular on here as well, and the chart is a great asset. I would agree with Stu, and take a good look at the frame, especially behind the spring perches, and where the crossmembers meet. Depending on your metalworking and welding skills, this truck could be brought back to life. It looks complete, so replacing a fender or cab corner here and there isn't a bad idea. But it all starts with the frame...I've learned that the hard way, lol.
Life is too short for traffic. ~Dan Bellack
I have a 52 F-2 that I was just going to swap the cab off for another truck I'm working on. However I'm not 100% that will happen or not yet?? trying to decide what I'm doing and it's going slow!
However I put the express bed, fenders etc up on the classifieds section here, (should be the same as what you have) If I end up doing this cab swap and you need anything or even a frame thats good let me know.
I also contemplated depending on what happens to maybe make a truck bed trailer out of this one??
I am new to this site and new to writing to forums like this. I have a 1952 F2 and am currently restoring it. The bed is in real bad shape. I see by your pics yours is in much better condition and if its still available I would be interested. I would put a picture of my truck here but I have not figured out how to do that yet.
This is all very interesting to me because I am also restoring a '49 F3 long bed pickup. In my case, the body and frame were in excellent condition, but the engine was in pieces and replacement wheels are difficult to find as Stu mentions. Good luck. You have a serious project there!
Carl - Those don't match any of the part numbers I find in the catalogs, and don't even follow the numbering sequences. I wonder if that's the production date of the wheel, July '58, and the "C" maybe a plant code or some other Kelsey Hayes code that would mean something only to them. The fact of it having no actual part number doesn't surprise me if it is a Kelsey Hayes product. I've not had luck finding them either.
May I ask if the wheel is a 17", first of all, and does it have hub cap clips? And third, does it look to have two rings holding the tire in place. One large one, called a "side ring", and a much smaller one called the locking ring. If so it's I think a Chevy 3/4 ton truck wheel that has what's called an "AR" rim/ring design. I'll post some cross section pictures of the AR below. Stu
No, Stu, this is a one-piece wheel, 8 lug bolts on 6.5" centers. It looks just like one of those you pictured in a past posting (which I can't seem to find). Center hole is 4.75". The tire on it is an old recap size 8 X 17.5. The wheel fits over the rear brake drum nicely. But so does the odd wheel on the other side...an alloy spoked wheel, kind of like those on a hot rod! LMC sells something similar if one wants to go that route.
Just an FYI the 8' box and F-2 chassis I recently sold are for sale again, the guy I sold it to is selling all of his collection of trucks and parts. his price has come down quite a bit. If I had more space I would jump on them but not sure I could find a place to park them all!
anyway's just trying to help anyone out who may need some parts for there project, and just saw that this post came back up top so ksl.com - Classifieds for Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming=
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