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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

'85 Flareside street truck build!

 
  #1  
Old 12-30-2013, 01:26 AM
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'85 Flareside street truck build!

Figured I should share my baby with FTE! It's been a long time coming and it's still changing. Maybe I can help some people out with their builds. I'll try not to ramble, but it's been an awesome project for Dad and I. Now don't think that Mom didn't help out. Her back yard looked like a wrecking yard for about two years straight and I know she wasn't pleased. Thanks, Ma!

It started out as this '85 Flareside custom cab that I bought when I was 14. It was bought new by two brothers who used it for years to haul pigs, bed racks and all. Then later went to haul 50 gallon drums of insulation - there was evidence of this all over the box. I'd been saving every paycheck from stocking shelves after school at the local hardware store. We'd been looking for a project, then this little truck showed up. It looked pretty rough - Dad had to try awful hard convince me that there was potential there. With a 5.0L EFI, AOD trans and an 8.8 rear end it was a good platform to build a sweet little truck.



Initially the plan was to build a daily driver to drive to and from school year round, Canadian winters and all. But with Dad preaching "Do it right and you'll only have to do it once," it quickly went beyond that.







With help from this forum, I began to learn more and more about the truck. It didn't run when I bought it, but a fuel pump and a relay got the 5-oh singing again. We found the driveline to be really sound and actually ran very strong - enough to light the tires which I thought was just great. The hot rodder in me decided to put a set of longtube headers on and a cold air kit, but there's alot more than that later on.

With as much of the body off as I could get, Dad and I started the long process of cleaning up the frame and entire underside of the truck. At the time I thought this was ridiculous but Dad, if you're reading this, I thank you for making me do it now every time I'm under there!





With the frame (and a lot of myself) painted front to back with POR 15 it looked great. Seriously, if anyone else is planning to use this stuff don't get it on your skin, okay? About the only thing that will take it off is wicked chemicals and time. I went to school for a week with gloss black freckles. Chicks dig that stuff.

Then came the body work. Aside from the fiberglass rear fenders, there really wasn't a straight panel on the truck but it still has it's original cab corners, floor pans and rocker panels. Rare for an '85 pickup of any brand in Ontario. I lucked out and we found a MINT set of doors, fenders and a hood from a Southern US truck for an awesome price from a friend of Dad's.



Having never painted a vehicle before, it was a learning experience for both Dad and myself. Between the two of us and hours upon hours of sanding, we put the primer to it and painted the cab and front cip - inside and out! The box would come later.



Once the fenders and doors were hung and aligned it was time to stick some mufflers on to keep the neighbours happy and wheel it outside to get a sneak peek.


I'd never planned to clean the engine bay all that much but sure enough, I found myself degreasing and detailing for hours. Worth every minute!


As mentioned, the truck was originally a Custom cab. On a trip to the local pick 'n pull we found a VERY rotten '85 F150 XL. We'd been looking for a vent window assembly, Dad found that it had a real nice one in it. He yelled over to me from a couple vehicles away that I'd better come have a look inside. With a one owner title and a sun faded "Thank you for not smoking" sticker on the dash it had a very nice red XL interior. Sixty bucks and 45 minutes later we had almost an entire smoke-free interior to take home. I even got the red seatbelts, just pulled 'em out of the floor! Dad's a smoker, but it's staying smoke-free Here's a before and after shot of mine.

 

Last edited by EffunFiddy; 12-30-2013 at 01:51 AM. Reason: adding details
  #2  
Old 12-30-2013, 06:09 AM
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Looking damn nice so far love the look of these in white.

Keep up the good work.
 
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:19 PM
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Thanks! The restoration part is done now, I'm trying to dig up pictures of the box. That was by far the most challenging part of the whole truck.
It's not done yet though, I'm still changing things all the time. I'm 20 now and it's had a different engine in it since I bought it. It's a 5 speed truck now too. I'll keep the pics and details coming till I'm up to date.
 
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Old 12-30-2013, 12:35 PM
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Once we got the box off it was pretty obvious there was some work to do. All the crossmembers but the front one were toast and all 4 corners of the box sides had been previously "caved and paved" It was more like sculpting really, someone had A LOT of bondo in them.
Where the rear fenders meet the bed sides on these trucks it gathers all the salt in the winter and rots them quite often. In hindsight I would have been farther ahead to have bought a southern box and tailgate. But this way it's all original, and without fixing this one I never would have learned alot of things. Lots of pics to come on this part.

 
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:02 PM
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Just starting on my 84 Flareside 4x4, 302 4sp. Red with silver panel, going to be blue soon! original wood bed and cab corners!.
Has the red interior, looking to get rid of it for a tan or grey interior.
Other option, has anyone spray-painted the plastic interior parts?
 
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Old 12-30-2013, 01:27 PM
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I re painted my panels red. Use LOTS of grease and wax remover. I had to go over mine a couple of times before I got it to quit coming up with fisheyes. I just used several light dust coats and it covers like new. It works pretty good, I definately wouldn't hesitate to do it again.
 
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Old 12-30-2013, 04:45 PM
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Forgot to say how great it is to see another young bloke getting stuck in and learning some mechanical skills, as well as other hand skills. I'm not sure about Canada but here in Australia we are heading into a deep shortage of tradies and people with real skills, so keep it up

And don't ever be afraid to ask questions, no such thing as a stupid question, only stupid answers there's plenty of guys and girls more than happy to pass on their learning.

Of course having a great name helps
 
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Old 12-30-2013, 05:24 PM
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Haha thanks! I'm currently going through college for Power Engineering. Lots of hands on skills there which I like. These old trucks are the coolest thing for anyone to learn on. I just love driving the older stuff. I'm currently doing a frame off build on an '85 Bronco as well as toying with the pickup too. I'll do a build thread on the Bronco shortly as well!
 
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Old 12-30-2013, 07:32 PM
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what type of paint did you use on the interior? Looks great so far! I would love to see a picture of the bronco!
 
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:58 PM
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Sweet ride. I think iv seen that truck around lol
 
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Old 12-30-2013, 09:30 PM
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Nice looking truck. I haven't really seen too many trucks this body style painted white.
 
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:26 AM
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Thanks for the compliments guys. At first I thought it was Duplicolour but it turns out it was Plastikote vinyl and plastic paint that I used for my interior. Rattle can stuff, works awesome! Can get it at any auto parts store.

Here's a peek at my 85 Bronco I've been working at. Stock with 33s in this pic. All original US truck XLT Lariat, loaded with 351W and a C6 auto.


Texas, I initially wanted to paint 'er black, but there was already one up town that was black. I wanted to make it one of a kind around here so white it was. I love the turnout.

As promised I have the box restoration here too.





As I mentioned before, the previous body man was very, VERY generous with the bondo. It's GONE now, no more bondo!



The entire box was right plastered with rocker guard. I wanted a nice smooth, glossy surface. It took hours and hours of sanding, paint thinners and scraping to get it all off. Notice strips cut out for rust repair as well. Rust never sleeps here till you kill it all together.



The tailgate was an awful mess too. When we took the tailgate off, we noticed it was a LOT heavier than even the fleetside tailgate on our 2000 F150. There was a 1/4" plate (yes, that was a ball buster to remove) welded across the lettering since the tailgate was badly rusted out. We took that off to see what we were up against.





Again, it would have been more time-effective to have bought a new tailgate. But, it's the original! By the time Dad and I got it fixed and welded back together, we almost had to take a minute to make sure we had FORD spelled right, it was that extensive. Might be able to see how badly bent the tailgate and front panel were. As mentioned before, the truck used to haul 50 gallon drums of foam insulation. As they slid back and forth they eventually took their toll on the box. No secret to straightenting, we'd just prop one end up and jump on it!




After hours upon hours, and I'm not exaggerating, we finally had the box assembled for mock-up and in primer


There was no way that I could not put a wood floor back in. It's just too cool. So we sourced some white ash, often called 'poor man's oak' and tried our hand at woodworking.



Some white paint and it was beginning to look like a truck again!





Lots of sanding, six coats of clear and some new stainless strips.


We'd started the truck when I was 14, and had it restored and on the road again by the time I was 16, and what does a 16 year old need more than just "a little more" horsepower... By this time I'd moved from stocking shelves at a hardware store, to answering phones at the local auto parts store. Needless to say, my employee discount was very helpful.



A friend of mine heard that I was looking for some more power in my little truck. A couple of years prior to this, my Dad had given him some engine parts to get his car going and he remembered this, as repayment for the favour I was GIVEN a complete '91 5.0L H.O. from a Mustang GT. Saving every penny I could, Dad and I went at rebuilding the 5-oh with some go fast goodies too.

It was bored .030 over with flat top Keith Black pistons, GT40 heads which were later replaced by a set of AFR's, a full COMP valvetrain, Edelbrock intake and a 670 Holley carb.

We soon found that it didnt work to its potential with the stock converter and gears. So we went to the rear end and replaced the stock 3.55 gears with a set of 4.10s and a Ford Racing trac-loc unit so as to leave a pair of evidence marks, as opposed to one.

Then came the torque converter. I got in contact with Alan from DirtyDog Performance who built me a custom 9.5" non lockup 2800 rpm stall converter. This guy knows his stuff, if you purchase a converter from him then I suggest buying some new underwear as well. You're going to need them.

This is what happens when you leave a real engine unattended in a bowtie shop...



This combination was enough to get me into trouble driving to highschool for a couple of years.
 

Last edited by EffunFiddy; 12-31-2013 at 01:28 AM. Reason: adding details
  #13  
Old 01-01-2014, 12:31 AM
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Hey nice truck I started mine when I was 15, and now I'm 24 and i still dont have it done
 
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:40 PM
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Nice job!!!
 
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:13 PM
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Good job! Well done, for sure.
 

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