1979 Ford F-250 4×4 Build Inspired by Nostalgia
This 1979 Ford F-250 4×4 build project is a frame-off trip down memory lane.
We all remember our first vehicle and FTE member kawasakiklx1 has based his 1979 Ford F-250 4×4 build project on his first ride – a high-riding 1976 F-250. He spent his teenage years building up that 1976 Ford truck and as he has gotten older, he wanted something similar. Rather than paying big money to buy a completed truck, he has taken on a project to bring a similar truck back to its original glory.
FTE member kawasakiklx1 introduced the forum to his 1979 F-250 project a few weeks back, explaining that he began gathering everything that he would need to assemble his ideal Ford pickup nearly a year earlier. This included the two-tone, brown-and-beige truck shown above, which served as the $400 base vehicle for the project. The OP also picked up three nearly-complete trucks for parts, a couple of flareside beds and “an expensive pile of parts” that he would need to piece together his dream truck.
“My first vehicle was a 1976 Ford F-250 4wd. It was modified to a short bed and lifted about 8″. I spent way too much money on it and a good portion of my late teens working on it. Some would say I’ve grown up, I’m now 34 with a family and the nostalgia hit hard when I saw an early F-250 cruising around, looking bad-ass.
I got this truck about 8 months ago with the intention to rebuild it from the ground up. Along the way, I purchased some parts trucks in order to save money on random parts I’ll need. I have amassed an expensive pile of parts along the way to avoid the impact of buying it all at once.
I have replaced 99% of the bolts and pretty much every wearable part. My goal isn’t to make something show-stopping, but to build a truck I can use for years, that will take some abuse and hold up well.”
Beginning the Build
Although kawasakiklx1 purchased a handful of classic Ford trucks with the longer bed and wheelbase, his plan was to build his 1979 F-250 with the flareside bed and short wheelbase. Of course, this meant that he would have to shorten the frame, so the first step of the actual build was to strip the truck down to the bare frame. With the help of a friend, the OP cut the frame and shortened it up to work with the flareside bed.
Next, he began working on the components which would motivate his 1979 F-250, including the C6 transmission and the NP205 transfer case. Along the way, the OP wanted everything to look nice and he also wanted this truck to last for years once the project was complete, so literally everything that is exposed to the elements has been coated in POR-15 rust protectant. That prevents corrosion, but it also gives everything a black, glossy finish, as you can see in the image below with the front and rear differential and the springs installed – all finished in gloss black.
Onto the Body
Once the frame was completed (for the most part), kawasakiklx1 turned to the body of his 1979 F-250 project. He had several cabs to pick from, but the cleanest still required him to put one patch in the floor. After the floor was solidified, the OP coated the underside with POR-15 and lined the inside with sound deadener and insulation – using roofing material from Lowes.
The process of working on the body also required kawasakiklx1 to replace some sheet metal, adding the patch shown below to part of the flareside bed.
He also cleaned up the radiator support, painting the entire piece in POR-15.
Building the Big Block
Finally (for now), kawasakiklx1 put together the 400 cubic inch big block V8 which will power his 1979 Ford F2-50. After sending the block out for machining, he reassembled the engine, topping it with an aluminum intake manifold and surprisingly, he painted it the correct blue rather than painting it gloss black with POR-15.
With winter upon us, the progress on kawasakiklx1’s 1979 F-250 project has slowed, but we will be sure to provide an update as this truck continues its match towards being a very cool daily driver.