Under the Hood: 1947 F-1 Rat Rod’s Secret Features
Vintage Ford Truck’s Classic Styling and Modern Chassis — and Some Serious Engineering — Make the Perfect Combination
Rat rods like this 1947 F-1 are all the rage these days. Trucks that folks used to drag out of barns and restore to perfection are now being left as is. At least visually. Underneath, these old classic trucks feature modern drivetrains and sometimes even more.
But while many simply replace the front and rear suspension, the owner of this 1947 F-1 took things a step further. The beat-up old truck features the complete chassis and drivetrain from a 1997 Explorer underneath. With a fuel injected 5.0 V8 and AOD transmission, you can’t beat that newfound driveability.
The swap also brought with it four-wheel disc brakes. Even though the donor Explorer had over 100,000 miles on it, these modern drivetrains will run for a long time. Additional upgrades include power steering, cruise and a tilt steering wheel. The 18×10 rear and 18×8 front wheels add a modern touch to the styling.
Interestingly enough, the chassis fit the old Ford with only minor modifications. A bed floor from an S-10 was tacked in to make for easy clearance. Even the wheels and tires fit rather well despite a slight difference in proportions.
“There’s 100,000 on the chassis and 1,000-plus miles on swap and counting and the truck runs great, no problems, everything works,” says the truck’s owner, who goes by the tag 1984SWM. He posted the clip with hopes of selling the revamped classic cruiser for $22,000.
Inside, the seat and steering wheel carry over from the Explorer. The dash and instrument cluster needed some modification to fit, of course. The engine and radiator fit rather well under the stock hood. All in all, a rather tidy package.
Good news if you’re thinking about bringing the drivetrain of your classic truck up to modern standards. Instead of just swapping out suspensions, you might want to consider doing an entire chassis swap instead.
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