Grandpa’s 1955 F-350 Brought Back to Life!
FTE member refused to let classic F-350 family heirloom get away. And now he’s giving it the love it deserves!
If we were to take a poll, we’d wager that the vast majority of Ford Truck Enthusiasts members are at least second or third generation Ford truck owners. Our passion is one that was forged at a young age and passed down from those equally passionate. Far less of us get the opportunity to own the same Ford truck that our ancestors did, however. But FTE member df85732 is one of those fortunate few, lucky enough to gain possession of his grandfather’s (and father’s) 1955 F-350.
But this isn’t exactly your typical story of a pass-me-down truck. Not by a long shot!
“My Grandpa was a farmer in Southeast Nebraska his whole life. Farming with horse/mule teams and early model tractors through the mid sixties. My Dad, also a farmer, took over the farm duties as Grandpa’s energy declined. Well, GP made a special purchase in 1955. The truck that I now have and the subject of this thread. The truck was used for multiple purposes such as hauling grain and livestock.
In 1986, my Dad decided to retire. And since farming wasn’t in my cards, it was time to “sell the farm.” The truck was put on the auction block. Much to my surprise, the bid got stuck at $150. I could not let this happen, so I raised my hand. SOLD to me for $200. So as a young man with a wife, three kids, 5 homes, and fast forward to 2015 and this is where I am at. I have managed to keep it under cover about 95% of the time and it last ran in 1996.”
After reading through many other FTE build threads, the OP was finally convinced that he could bring the old F-350 back to life. So a couple of years ago, the process was officially started with his own build thread.
The first order of business was removing the 9′ express bed, which proved to be a difficult task. And amazingly enough, after several failed attempts at getting the original 239 Y-Block to start up, the old engine started for the first time in 20 years! And after removing the interior, it was on to check the status of all the mechanicals. Which included the brakes, which also didn’t come off very easily.
Progress came rather swiftly after that, however. The brakes were rebuilt and put back together, then out came the gas tank. And before you know it, the old F-350 was roadworthy for the first time in decades!
“A BIG day today, so I though I would share! After 20 years I got my truck on the road again! Completely new brakes, brake lines, wheels, and tires. The 239 is still pretty tired but I just had to do it. The seat is not reupholstered yet, so I had to sit on a bucket.”
With winter setting in, it was time to get down to business. So off came the front clip, interior, and cab. Then the OP pulled the tired old 239 and began the cleaning process. He dropped off the original motor at a machine shop and began the dirty process of de-crudding the frame. And, along the way, he cleaned up and replaced all the suspension bits. But in the end, he decided to have the entire thing professionally powder coated instead of painting it himself.
With the engine still in progress, it was time to start putting the foundation back together. And just as soon as the engine was completed, the OP was already dropping it back in. And just like that, the body parts were headed to the paint shop.
A little water in the crankcase and a certain hurricane in the Houston area temporarily brought progress to a halt, however. Once things were back on track, the OP did as much disassembly work as possible to save coin in preparation for paint. And he couldn’t resist driving by for a peek after the whole shebang was sandblasted.
The OP’s current goal is to have the truck completed by summer. And considering the blistering pace at which he’s moved so far, we have little reason to doubt that it’ll get done. Be sure and follow along, drop some encouraging words, and maybe even gather up the confidence for your own build by heading over here!