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Grandpa's 55' F350 restore

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Old 11-22-2015, 02:08 PM
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Grandpa's 55' F350 restore

My 1955 F-350 239 Y-Block

ITS TIME - I am creating this build thread to share what is about to happen. As most of you know this thread may go on for many years, but it is time to move forward before I run out of time on this dear earth. I have viewed many of the members builds and have come to ONE conclusion. "It does not happen overnight" After spending multiple hours on FTE's site I can see this is the place to be for a Novice such as my self. HERE WE GO.

Truck History - My Grandpa (1896-1970) was a farmer in Southeast Nebraska his whole life. Farming with horse/mule teams and early model tractors through the mid sixties. My Dad (1928-1996), also a farmer, took over the farm duties as Grandpas 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, 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.

My Plans - Because I know the history and have a strong sentimental connections to this Truck I will be leaving it as original as possible. I am a novice to vehicle restoration but plan to learn and have fun on this journey. I realize there will be many frustrations and $$$$$$ along the way but I see no other options. With two grown boys of my own, I look forward to bringing Grandpas truck into the next generation. Wish me luck!

The pictures I am sharing you might have seen in other threads but I would like to get them all here in one place. More to come!!!!
 
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:15 PM
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Welcome Dave! As you have already learned, many of us started with limited abilities and simply developed a level of skill-ish over time. You have great historical treasure in a handsome original color. I'll wait patiently as you work to bring it back to the road.
 
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Old 11-22-2015, 02:55 PM
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I love it! It's great to see another f350 getting some love! I'm glad you have kept it all these years. I have my great grandfather's (1895-1985) 1952 Nash ambassador and it has a similar story. My great grandfather would ride the train with his sheep to market and buy a new car to drive home every other year. The Nash was the last one he bought that way. I showed up at the local swap meet to find it on a trailer with other stuff my father was trying to peddle. I couldn't see it go so I bought it. I still have the original title from 1952 and it has only ever been registered to him!
It has not ran since the 60s and was parked away in a shed at the ranch. Some day I will bring it back to its former glory as you are doing! Cheers to you for keeping a hold of it all this time!
 
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Old 11-22-2015, 03:52 PM
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Add my welcome. Great story, and great looking tonner. Looks to be very straight and rust free. Love the 9' beds.

One of the first things to learn about are your wheels. Beginning in 1955 Ford equipped SRW tonners with Budd #68600/Ford #B5Y 1007-B wheels. They are 17" x 5.5" wide, have 1/2" of positive offset, 6 lug x 7.25" bolt pattern, and Firestone RH-5 style two part outer rims. The rims today are called widow makers. In most parts of the country they are unserviceable. Because of the obsolete bolt pattern no cheap replacements exist.

But there are options. One is the below dealer listed set of Budd #70740 tubeless 19.5s that are the technically pure replacement size for your 17s. The other option is to have your centers pulled to have remounted into new custom 19.5" outer rims. First I'd suggest reading about the RH-5. Stu

AKH Vintage Wheels - Ellensburg Washington
 
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:25 PM
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Thanks Stu, I was aware of the "widow maker" issue but had not researched it to much. Would you have any suggestions on where to research the RH-5 degree two part rims. I will probably just do an internet search. See the fun ($$$$$) has started already. Thanks again. Dave
 
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Old 11-22-2015, 04:37 PM
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There's plenty on Google. Glad you're already aware of them. So often guys think they are one piece because the joint isn't easily seen, and it's a rude first exposure to the issues. Another thing you might do a google search of is American Wheel Specialist of Kennewick, WA. They are a source to contact about having your centers remounted into 19.5" rims. To my measurements, and having read others' experiences, the centers are a perfect fit. I've visited the company, bought a set of their custom 19.5s, and think highly of them. Stu

Edit - as I think about it we've also had guys have their centers remounted into drop center tubeless 17" rims. As mentioned above, an old tube type 17" and tubeless 19.5" are equals. Modern tubeless 17s having a drop center also fit. Stu
 
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Old 11-22-2015, 05:40 PM
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Good looking truck , hope you have as much fun with the restoration as we did
 
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Old 11-22-2015, 07:39 PM
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Dave, welcome to FTE, the best Ford Truck forum on the World Wide Web.

Your truck and mine have a lot of similarities. My Grandpa bought my truck new in Dec of 1954. He used it on his dairy farm in south eastern PA. He also started farming with teams of horses and mukes then shifted over to John Deeres. He was born in 1898, died in 1998. I bought the truck directly from him in 1977 and also paid $200! I will post pics of mine when I get to my desktop.

Your truck is in better shape than mine was when I bought it from Grandpa. Your grille is near perfect. Most sheet metal looks good. The patina on the truck looks like faded Meadow Green, but under the hood I see blue. I am glad you kept it under roof all these years.

Good luck and check back often with pics of progress and questions.

Edit: I agree with you about keeping it stock. I have done the same due to its family history. I think it is easier to keep them stock, and it might even be less expensive, too.
 
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Old 11-22-2015, 09:45 PM
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I really like story's like this. Good luck with your build.
 
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Old 11-22-2015, 10:49 PM
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Good for you for taking on the restoration. Having been in the family it will have special meaning. Lots of sharp people on this forum who will be happy to help you out if needed.


Best of luck,


B
 
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Old 11-22-2015, 11:45 PM
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Here are some before and after pics of my stock 54.Yours is in better condition than mine was. Good luck. Hopefully you can get it running with out too much work.

If your bed or tailgate needs replaced you are in luck. Now days they reproduce the long beds. Here is a link to MidFifty F-1oo truck parts: Home - Mid Fifty F-100 Parts






 
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Old 11-23-2015, 08:54 AM
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Nice looking Truck Abe. You should be proud. I'm sure I'll be in touch. Thanks for sharing!
 
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Old 11-23-2015, 09:35 AM
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Dave welcome to the site. I have learned a lot from this bunch also plus the always entertaining cat fight now and then. A place close to you is terry's f-100's in Stromsburg actually closer to Polk . I looks like you have most everything but Terry will have other parts plus a lot of info. I grew up in Grand Island go big Red. Good Luck on the build.
 
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Old 11-23-2015, 04:20 PM
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Dave I sent you a private message
 
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Old 11-23-2015, 04:24 PM
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Hi Dave, I just want to add my welcome to you. This FTE forum has been a great help to me. Like you, I am working on a family heirloom--trying to get it into shape to pass on to the next generation. I'm about a year into my project, and finding myself a little lacking in skills and tools. The substitute for these deficiencies I have discovered (to my wife's chagrin) is money--lots of it. But my journey so far has been fun and the FTE members really knock themselves out to be helpful. Welcome to the madness.
 
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