Restoring Grandpa’s 1979 Ford F-150

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1979 F-150 Outside

Few vehicles make for a better restoration project than grandpa’s 1979 Ford F-150 show truck that has been sitting in a dry garage for years.

A few months back, “thosey7″ joined the forum and introduced us to his 1979 Ford F-150 project. The truck belonged to his grandpa and served as a show truck until it was parked in a dry garage for many years. When the grandfather passed away, he left his sweet ’79 F-150 to his grandson, making for a cool project with a great backstory.

The Introduction

1979 F-150 in the Garage

When thosey7 first introduced us to his 1979 Ford F-150, this was the story behind how he came to own this short bed four-wheel-drive pickup:

Hey Everyone,
I’ve been lurking around here for a bit to gather info, but I figured now would be a decent time to introduce myself. My grandpa recently passed and left me with his 1979 single cab short bed. I don’t have much history on it other than I know it was a show truck of sorts and my grandpa only put about 1300 miles on it before he parked it in the garage. It only has about 54xxx miles on the clock, with I believe a 351M.

It is currently in a two door, two car garage between a 70s duster and a 30s dodge pickup. All three haven’t moved since the mid 90s so driving them out is a no go. I got some wheel dollies to go back up on the 20th to continue. Once it is out of the garage I’ll need to figure out some way of towing it back to Raleigh since it is currently in VA. I don’t think my little Nissan truck has the power to do it.

Once I get it back to my house I’ll probably look it over and see what all needs replaced/repaired and try to get it running as it is. Long term plans are to modernize it a bit for daily driving, and restore and bullet proof it as best as possible.

He also included the pictures of the truck in the garage with the bed packed full of random items. It was a little dirty under the hood, but what we can see in the garage shots looks like a clean classic F-150.

1979 F-150 Interior

The Inspection

The first task for the OP was to get his 1979 Ford F-150 from his grandparents’ house in Virginia to his house in North Carolina. While mulling over his options for transporting the truck, he looked it over and found some problems that you would expect from a 1979 Ford truck that had been sitting for some 20 years.

1979 F-150 LEaks

A look at the undercarriage revealed some leaks, including a fuel system leak. The OP also found that it had some electrical issues, likely stemming from wiring nightmare that is an aftermarket sound system under the dash.

1979 F-150 Wiring

However, once he got the 1979 F-150 outside and washed it up, we see that this is indeed a very clean classic Ford half-ton.

The Rebuild Begins

`1979 F-150 Clean

Earlier this month, the OP finally got the 1979 Ford F-150 to his house and began tackling the obvious issues. He fixed the fuel system leak and turned to the wiring problems, with the neither the headlights nor the radio working at all. He removed all of the aftermarket sound system wiring and components, along with some random switches and some foil-wrapped fuses that were a fire waiting to happen.

1979 F-150 Trash

For now, that is as far as thosey7’s 1979 F-150 project has gotten, but this truck is clean enough that once the wiring issues are handled – the truck should be ready to drive. We will definitely be checking back as this restoration continues.

Patrick Rall is a regular contributor to LS1Tech and JK Forum, among other auto sites.

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