1954 F-100 Goes from Rusty Relic to Reliable Beauty
Fixing an old rusty truck isn’t easy. But there’s nothing we love more than seeing an old F-100 brought back to life!
Rust repair isn’t a job for the impatient or the meek. It’s a job that requires skill, perseverance, and sometimes, a little bit of crazy. But we’re thankful that there are people like Ford Truck Enthusiasts member jakevidrine in this world willing to whip rusty relics back into shape. If not for them, trucks like his 1954 Ford F-100 might just rot away, taking an important piece of history with them.
“I traded a gun for a 1954 F-100 last November and I have been cursing my way through rust repair ever since. The good news is it looks like the rust repair will end this weekend and I can finally start putting the truck back together.
I’m in the process of putting new floor pans in, but while I’m waiting on a replacement rocker panel I decided to start swapping out the existing front suspension to the CV IFS. Hopefully I get that buttoned up this weekend. After that I will put the cab back in place and replace the rear end with an 8.8 from a 1997 Explorer with a 3.73 gear set and locker.”
Then he outlines more plans for the truck. And it’s quite obvious the OP has already thought this whole thing through quite thoroughly.
“The plans for this truck are to put in a reliable engine that makes decent power, power steering and brakes. I’m dropping it without airbags. I basically want to build a reliable daily driver that will turn heads.
I’m planning on putting a 302 in the truck and mating it to a 1999 WC T5. The only problem is this is my first build with a manual trans and I have no idea how to do it. I’ve been looking for a brake booster/hydraulic clutch pedal combo with limited success. The problem is everything is $500+ just for the pedal assemblies.
I was hoping to get some insight on how everyone is doing this. Stripped all of the existing pedals and linkages when I started tearing down the truck. I figured I didn’t want floor mount pedals anymore either.”
By the looks of things, the OP had already done a heck of a lot of work. The F-100 was pretty rusty to begin with, but you would never guess this was only the second restoration he’d ever undertaken.
“The truck was parked in a barn for God knows how long and there was carpet in it. I’m assuming the carpet was wet at some point and it helped to expedite the rusting process on the floors, rockers, and doors. I did find a few pin holes in the nose of the hoof, but I should be able to weld them shut without any issues. “
With the rough work out of the way, it was time to move on to the fun stuff.
“I also managed to get the CV IFS swap done this week. Tomorrow I will finished up that project, mount the trailing arms and sway bar, then box in the frame. I will also be installing new rear leaf mounts for the front and rear of the rear leafs. Purchased drop shackles and adjustable mounts so I should be able to get a solid 4.5″ out of the rear drop. I will be replacing the rear leafs soon too, so I should get a little more out of it.”
The next order of business was bodywork, which was completed in a matter of months. Before long, the engine was test-fitted and the inside panels were painted.
Tons of work and plenty of parts later, the old F-100 was looking like a complete truck again.
Wiring, exhaust, and other little details continued until old man winter came along to delay progress. But nothing seems to get in the OP’s way for long!
“So far everything is working well, engine runs great and cranks right up. I ordered the driveshaft from Denny’s two weeks ago so it should be coming in soon. I also started the brake lines but it’s been way too cold to work on them. Hopefully this weekend I make some decent progress. The gas tank and hard line should also be here soon, I ordered it earlier this week. Once the drivetrain is finished up I will finalize the wiring and order the remaining parts I need before paint. It’s looking like I will be ready for paint in last March or early April!”
And that’s where this incredible F-100 project stands today. The amount of progress and quality of work here is top notch, however, and you can bet we’ll be following this project to completion. You can (and should!) do the same by heading over here!