1954 Ford F-100 Brought Back to Life

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Rusted-out vintage Ford truck gets new lease on life with an array of modern upgrades and a whole lotta new sheet metal.

FTE forums member jakevidrine pulled a badly rusted 1954 Ford F-100 out of a barn with the plan to rebuild it, and so far, the project is coming along very nicely. He began sharing his progress back in March and over the course of the past eight months, the antique truck has been stripped down to the bare frame and rebuilt – nearly to the point of being roadworthy.

There is still a ton of work left to be done, but based on what we have seen thus far, this 1954 Ford F-100 is going to be an awesome cruiser once the project is completed. In the meantime, here is a rundown of jakevidrine’s F-100 build.


‘The plans for this truck are to put in a reliable engine that makes decent power… I basically want to build a reliable daily driver that will turn heads.


The Introduction

While jakevidrine first began sharing the details of his project in March 2017, he actually purchased his 1954 Ford F-100 back in November 2016, when he traded a gun for a rusted-out vintage vehicle that was literally dragged out of a barn.

While there was plenty of obvious work that needed to be done, it looked like a pretty solid basis for a project truck.

Unfortunately, the OP found that the rust damage to the body was worse than he expected, so before introducing his project to the FTE crowd, he spent roughly five months replacing the rotted portions with new sheet metal.

This is his intro post for the project:

“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.

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, I 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.”

Knocking Out the Rust

Along with that introduction, jakevidrine included eight pictures showing the extent of the rust damage and the many pieces of new metal added to solidify the cab of the antique pickup. He also included a list of the components which were replaced, essentially creating an all-new body.

1954 F-100 Bad Floor

Just a list of the rust damage:
Both rear corners were replaced, inner and outer; both front cab corners were replaced
Both lower a-pillar (door columns) were replaced
Both lower b-pillar (rear of door columns) were replaced
Both rocker panels were replaced (waiting on driver side, currently backordered)
Entire floor pan has been replaced
Both doors had inner and outer skins replaced
Battery box has been replaced
I trashed the bed and I plan on replacing it with a Dan Carpenter bed
Both running boards are going to be replaced

F100 Coming Along

The OP also provided a wife-approved timeline for the project:

“I told my wife I would take 2 years to complete this truck, the Torino took 6 months. As long as she doesn’t cut my funding I should get it done in about a year and a few months. The goal is to have the chassis and bodywork completed this year then engine and interior next spring. I have a pretty fair amount of time to work on it so I’m able to get a lot done each week. I’m hoping that now that I’m finishing up the rust repair things start to move quicker.”

1954 F-100 Front

Performance Upgrades

Once the OP had hammered out the majority of the body repairs, he turned to the handling capabilities of his 1954 Ford F-100. Along with the independent front suspension from a Crown Victoria, the OP added a late model power steering setup, both of which will make this antique F-Series far more comfortable to drive.

1954 F-100 Suspension

More importantly, this 1954 F-100 was fitted with a rebuilt 5.0L V8, a T5 manual transmission and an 8.8-inch rear differential with 4.10 gears. Needless to say, in this classic pickup, that modern Mustang drivetrain should make for a ton of fun on the street.

1954 F-100 5.0L V8

Getting Closer to the Road

Finally, the most recent updates on jakevidrine’s 1954 F-100 project include him adding the customized bed, getting the whole truck in primer and beginning the process of running wires throughout the truck. These pictures were posted about two weeks ago, showing how far the OP has come over the course of the year.

1954 F-100 in Primer

Looking at the 1954 F-100 here, it looks as though it won’t be long before jakevidrine can fire up his antique pickup and get it off to a paint shop.

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