Figured I would start a build thread for my 79 swb 4x4. Alittle history on how I got the truck. Me and my girlfriend were going to take a weekend vacation to Virgina beach and stay with her aunt and uncle. Well everyone who knows me, knows I love old ford trucks. So a week before we go down I get a call from my g/f's aunt saying her neighbor is selling a 79 for truck and only wants $500. So I ask some questions and she sends me these pictures.
So needless to say I am all over this thing. I have always wanted a short bed dentside 4x4 with an inline 6 and granny 4 speed. Soon I forgot we were even going there for vacation because all I was worried about was the truck. So I talk to the neighbor and he's really talking the truck up, telling me it was just all redone 5 years ago and has no rust blah blah blah. So we get there and I start looking over the truck and its not as nice as discribed and has been stripped of all the extras like the tool box and vent visors that were in the pictures sent to me. Also I could tell the truck had been sitting for a while. So I take it for a test drive and start to worry that it might not make the 360 mile trip back.??? So at first I pass on it and refocus on enjoying my vacation. But then after sleeping it over I decide its a 30 year old truck its not going to be super nice and decide I have to have it. So I pay the guy get a temp tag and start on the trip home. As I drive I notice it starts to run better and better and also that its leaking oil pretty bad. So 2 quarts of oil and 360 miles later I made it home, no problems.
So this is what I started with 79 F150 4x4 shortbed with 300 big six, granny 4 speed, lumpy bondo work, rustoleum paint job, and a worn out drive train. Doesn't look to bad does it haha
I drove the truck like this for 6 months, it was actually my only transportation for a while because I sold my Ranger so I could buy my house. Here's a picture of my ranger just for fun.
Finally everything started to go, carb went, then clutch, flywheel, tranny mounts, throw out bearing, clutch linkage and all the universals. Fixed all that and then it started to developed a bad miss that still hasn't been fixed even though everything in the ignition system has been replaced and was only runing on 4 cylinders. So I decided it was time for a short & sweet overhaul. Now I am no professional and have been learning as I go. But I plan to have this truck for a while and figure I can learn on it now and restore it from the ground up in the future.
I started sanding it down and took the bed and fenders and hood off the truck
I also made a few trips to the junk yard and bought those 15x8 steelies, some corner lights and headlight buckets and found 4 mint dog dish hub caps that you can see test fitted in a couple of the pics. Also found some stuff of craigslist, a full rebuild kit for the motor for $200 and a nice undented grille shell for $50. I found a mint steering wheel on ebay and mint horn pad as well. The horn pad is rapped in the blue shop towl. Here is a picture of my parts shelf.
I then started the rebuild process. First i refinished the frame and iner fenders. Its a little dusty in this pic.
After the old rustolium paint was sanded off and the frame was refinished, I bedlinered the underside of the bed and reinstalled it. I wanted to get everything mounted on the truck before I started to do some bondo work.
Then I started spraying some primer.
Here is a close up of the cab corner I had to reshape. It was dented in right on the body line and wasn't matching up with the door so I tried to fix it with bondo, its filled in pretty good just needs some more sanding.
This is current. I now need to block sand it down, and try to smooth it out some more. I don't know if I am going to try and paint it or have someone else do it. Also I still need to figure out whats up with my motor, I might just have it rebuilt if I can find someone local that does good work since I pretty much have all the parts. I am going on vacation all next week so there wont be any updates for a while. Let me know what you think.
Thanks for the comment. It was in Norfolk, Va I believe. The guy had it on CL I guess and said some dudes came and looked at it but he never heard from them again. All I know is when I was talking to him on the phone he made the truck seem like it was brand new, but it was far from that. haha That would be funny if it was the same truck.
Here is an update on the truck. I went to go look at a 75 f100 4x4 with a 460 in it this weekend that I found on craigslist. Truck looked good in pictures but was a pile when I saw it in person. Looking at that truck made me realize how nice my 79 was. So I decided on my way home that I was going to put the 79 back on the road and drive it as I finish the body work. I havn't worked on the truck in over a month because I have been frustrated with smoothinig it out. So this is how it looked on Saturday when I started.
First thing I did was hooked up the fuel filler neck and put on my 33in BFG's
Then I put the grille back together and put all the lights in. Looks good with a nice grille shell on it.
Put the tail gate on and then pulled it out into the yard so I had more room to work.
Then I put the mirrors on. I sprayed them with duplicolor bedliner spray. That stuff works great, I have used it all over the truck.
My little helper Cubbie came out to keep me company.
Once outside I started working on getting all the lights to work. Had a couple of bulbs out and had to change a socket on the front. Got them all to work and then took it on a cruise around the block. It was awesome to finally get to drive in it again. It is going to need a new head gasket so I am debating on doing it now myself or having it done by a local shop.(thats why the hood is still off) But thats as far as I got. I am pumped, check back for more updates.
Posted: 01 Nov 2011 16:29
Hi all, sorry for the long wait on updates, hopfully the current progress is worth it. This truck just seems to have one major problem after another, but what can you expect from a 30 year old truck haha. So as soon as I got the truck back together the head gasket went. It wouldn't even start. So I decided to try and tackle this job myself. I was a little scared at first but it went together very easy! Here are some pictures:
Here is the engine apart:
Here is the head on the table(Notice the bent push rod):
Here is the faulty head gasket:
Dent Side Guys 73-79 Ford Truck Club
After I fixed the Head Gasket the truck was running great! So I started cruising it around.
I then installed the 4" lift springs from JBG up front. I noticed the rear springs looked brand new when I was redoing the frame. The truck was a little nose high at first but has settled down and is pretty even now. I only got a picture after it was all done.
Dent Side Guys 73-79 Ford Truck Club
After driving it a while, I started to hate the primer! So I decided I was going to paint the truck mint green. I like mint green because it was an origional color and it has that classic look.
Trying to get a visual of the truck with a door logo, looks awesome!
If you notice in the last couple of pictures, the truck has different tires on either side of it. While in the painting process, 2 of my old 33's gave up the ghost. So I decided to mount up some BfG 31's I had on my factory 15x8 ford steelies. I got 3 of them mounted and then on the last wheel, I noticed it was bent up. Well after I got the tire off I noticed it was really bent bad, and later found out it couldnt be fixed- AKA I needed new tires and wheels! So I did a quick Craigslist search and found some band new BFG 33's on centerline wheels for a great price and got them mounted.
Well thats pretty much it for today. I have been painting the bumpers and mirrors because I wasn't digging the black and green. Let me know what you think. I will update new pics once the newly painted bumpers and mirrors are on. Let me know if you like the wheels, I think I might have to get some new steelies??
Dent Side Guys 73-79 Ford Truck Club
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