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1950 F4: 7.3 diesel, chassis swap, Model A hauler

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Old 02-01-2017, 09:55 AM
ThatGuyFromGates
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1950 F4: 7.3 diesel, chassis swap, Model A hauler

Hello all,

After lurking for quite some time I finally broke down and decided to join the party. This build was meant to be a somewhat restored farm truck to be used as a prop in my wedding in March 2017; but one thing led to another, and instead of just getting the F4 back on the road and running, I decided to turn it into more of a "usable" truck with a few modernized pieces. Unfortunately it will not be ready for the wedding, but luckily the fiance is ok with it (she has enough on her plate to keep her busy).

This is an ongoing project, shooting for this summer to have it running and driving. I have built several vehicles since I began driving- I am by no means a bodywork aficionado, but I'm trying. This truck is not an OE restoration with all period-correct parts, metal finished panels, no nicks or dings...I want to use it as a truck (maybe not daily, but more than the occasional nice weekend). Thought about adding air suspension to aid in loading my '29 Model A (whenever I get to working on that) but for now I'm just sticking to stock suspension to get it on the road.

So I bought the F4 in Oct 2012. It was used on a farm not too far from me. From what I have collected it had the flathead v8 with Mercury 4" crank and still ran good (don't worry I didn't junk it- I am putting this in my Model A with a t5 behind it). It became essentially yard art for a few years until I pulled the trigger on another investment (engagement) and that lit a fire under me to start the teardown and begin getting it fixed up. Here it is when I brought it home:











Widowmaker Poster:





Beginning teardown:








 
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Old 02-01-2017, 09:57 AM
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More teardown:













 
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:00 AM
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Cab stripdown











 
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:04 AM
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Few bodywork progress pics

Overall the cab, doors, hood were in pretty decent shape. Front end/fenders...well, different story (haven't gotten around to messing with patching them yet).














 
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:12 AM
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Chassis swap

So I wanted to make the flatbed a little longer, not quite a ramp truck length but almost like a small car hauler. Why the chassis swap? I went back and forth between the ideas of keeping the original chassis, outfit it with newer axles, brakes, wheels, drivetrain or throw the body onto a chassis that was already rigged up with that.

I went with option B...use an updated chassis, and mock the old cab and front end onto it.

I found a chassis for a P30 stepvan, running Rockwell axles (front beam, rear dually) huge disc brakes on all four corners, massive leaf springs, 19.5 wheels, and a stout frame. Here is the donor:










 
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:14 AM
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Great progress on good rust free steel. I'm envious.

The wheels pictured are NOT widow makers. Save them. Stu
 
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:20 AM
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Was it easy? Eh, not so much. Would I do it again? Maybe. I am still in the process of getting some things worked out (I'll post those down the line) but the biggest was dealing with the front axle width.

Our brethren on the GM side (Stovebolts) use the P30 chassis for their swaps, and have documented the sectioning of the front axle to get it closer to the older setup width. I ended up sectioning 10" from the front axle.





Engine crossmember and mount mods:



 
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:22 AM
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Originally Posted by truckdog62563 View Post
Great progress on good rust free steel. I'm envious.

The wheels pictured are NOT widow makers. Save them. Stu
Thanks Stu. Here is a shot of the rear rim- these WMs?


 
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:28 AM
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Powerplant

No offense to those who have done it, but for some reason I have always been a Ford in a Ford kind of guy. If I could have found an E350 bus chassis or the like, with a diesel motor, similar to what some of the guys here have done- that would have been ideal.

But, I always seem to take the harder route. Luckily I found a drivetrain not too far. I wanted to try out the diesel path just because I wanted something with grunt, something that could get decent mileage (ha) and lastly- something different and cool. And I wanted a crashbox because it just felt more old school truck-ish to have gears to change. Enter the 97 F350 Powerstroke with the 5 speed ZF5 trans:








 
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:44 AM
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Cab epoxy primed, set on new chassis.










 
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ThatGuyFromGates View Post
Thanks Stu. Here is a shot of the rear rim- these WMs?


No, not widow makers, but there's a lot of rust around the rivets. Might be some are okay, and others junk. Stu
 
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Old 02-01-2017, 10:50 AM
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Off topic, here is the Model A, and my '49 sled:











 
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:30 AM
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You have good taste in trucks! Your project looks great!
 
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Old 02-01-2017, 11:33 AM
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You have good taste in trucks! Your project looks great![/QUOTE]

I saved your image a long time ago- if my truck wasn't already red I totally wanted to do a color like this! Looks good man, and I really like the red flatbed frame.
 
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Old 02-01-2017, 12:26 PM
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Good to see another F4 (in spirit) being saved and put back on the road. IMO, they are the right size for a usable truck. Take care of that script bed. Sometimes good fenders show up for the larger trucks. An add in the FS WTB section may save a lot of metal work.
 

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