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1950 F5 COE Build

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  #16  
Old 03-28-2017, 11:12 PM
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Well first off i am envious of such a great looking Coe and on the east coast no less. What a great find. I was wondering where in Va you are since im in Md. I came to look at a few trucks down there but didnt buy. Good luck with your 1950. and keep the build pics coming.
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  #17  
Old 03-29-2017, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pweng1 View Post
Well first off i am envious of such a great looking Coe and on the east coast no less. What a great find. I was wondering where in Va you are since im in Md. I came to look at a few trucks down there but didnt buy. Good luck with your 1950. and keep the build pics coming.
More pics coming soon... I'm sorting through the pile of pics to choose the best ones to share... I'm a bit past the 50% marker now do I have quite a bit to share to bring everyone up to current progress

I live in Northern VA ... not far from Leesburg. Where Do you live in MD? I'm always up for visiting other similar projects to compare notes and methods on how to solve the most significant issues...

I'm relatively new to posting... so if I miss something, don't hesitate to let me know.

Thank you

Brian
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  #18  
Old 03-30-2017, 12:19 AM
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Nice truck. You found a good one. Warren, pa, huh. Some nice country up there. I drove through Warren with my new 55 F350 after I bought it in Erie last April.

Good luck with your build. Keep us updated with pictures of your progress.
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Old 03-30-2017, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50COE View Post
Believe it or not, someone had disconnected the front brake lines / capped them off -- my father said that in the old days people would cap off the front brakes on tractor trailer trucks to avoid jackknifing... not sure if that is legit or someone did it for another reason.
Front brakes are an option on class 8 semi tractors. If you do chose front brakes (wedge or S-cam) a valve is installed on the right side of the steering column to adjust the air pressure. Another reason to opt out of front brakes is the weight penalty.
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Old 03-30-2017, 11:02 AM
50COE 50COE is offline
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Frame and Suspension decisions...

I kicked around the idea of a van chassis; F250 chassis and even the thought of making my own frame... but all the while, I kept thinking:

1) Any frame I use will require loads of customization because it's a COE.
2) My original frame is practically spotless
3) My original frame (F5) is super strong
4) I need to keep somewhat of a budget / I can't spend $100K like everyone you see on the reality TV shows.

At the same time, I was thinking about suspension... when I came across a lot of examples of people who put Crown Vic front suspensions under a variety of 40's - 60's Ford Trucks...

and that's how I came to the decision to use my frame and marry a crown vic front suspension under it.

I found a 2007 Mercury Grand Marquis -- insurance wreck with 41K miles... belonged to some older folks that really took care of it... I'm using the engine / trans as well...

Pics of the donor:






It looks worse than it was... thankfully no damage to the engine






After cutting away all the damaged body parts, we started it and it purrs like a kitten





After confirming that the 4.6L ran perfectly, we pumped almost 20 gallons of gas out of the donor car... this was the best donor I could have asked for





Pulled the motor & trans ... this will be the heart of my new COE truck





Removing the front suspension for my project.
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  #21  
Old 03-30-2017, 11:32 AM
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Frame prep and front suspension

the 50 F5 Frame was 34 1/2" wide in the back and actually widened just slightly under the cab ...

Note: even though my donor was a "Mercury Grand Marquis" it's the exact same front suspension as the Crown Vic... and I'll refer to it as that because I've had it in my mind as such.

This is a pic of the first time we sat the frame on the Crown Vic suspension:




you can see that my frame needs to be just a bit wider to sit perfectly on the crown vic suspension mounting points.

I'll note that the Crown Vic car frame isn't straight (front to back)... it actually gets wider as you move closer toward the front of the vehicle...

I needed my frame to spread about 1 5/8" at the mounting points... I used a string to determine how far back on the F5 frame I would need to cut the top and bottom flanges of my frame to spread them perfectly for the Crown Vic suspension... we put a temp cross member in the very front to hold it perfectly and rewarded the top/bottom flanges.

Before cutting out the existing front cross member, we took loads of measurements of the radiator mount, cab sub-frame etc. Pic:




confirming original location of the radiator mount -- the front clip attaches to the radiator mount...





Front of frame -- cross member removed and cleaned up ready for mods





you can see where we scribed the top/bottom flanges for cutting... this is where the frame spread started




Closest thing to a frame machine that we have... this pic is after we cut the flanges and spreading the frame as required.




Front suspension now in place


Sorry for the fast forward but I'm not good about taking pics all the time... you can see in this photo:

1) the flanges spread and welded
2) temp cross member in front to hold everything in place
3) we had to make a basic mod to the bottom flange of the frame so that the Crown Vic suspension would sit flat; We drilled the holes for the Crown Vic bolts

I'm still stoked about this solution.

Rack & Pinion steering; disk brakes; new motor mounts; and platform for my air ride (you'll see soon) All in one solution.
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  #22  
Old 03-30-2017, 11:48 AM
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more info about the Crown Vic front suspension

side view: you can see that we had to flatten about 8" of the bottom flange on the frame -- my F5 Frame was curved above the original leaf springs. After creating the correct "flat" spot for the Crown Vic suspension, we boxed in the inside of the frame just to make sure we have loads of strength.




inner frame view after mods to fit the Crown Vic front suspension





Fabbing up the rear control arm mounts

We had to make a slight mod to the top flange on the passenger side -- the 4.6L actually sits slightly toward the passenger side (this is a real blessing) because I needed every bit I could get on the driver's side for steering...




reverse boxed out a small portion to make space for the exhaust on the passenger side...





This was the first mach up with the 4.6L sitting in it's place on the Crown Vic front suspension in the F5 COE frame... I remember this day thinking, "This is one step for man... one giant leap for mankind."
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  #23  
Old 03-30-2017, 11:58 AM
50COE 50COE is offline
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More work around the front suspension

I didn't want the frame to continue spreading once we got past the Crown Vic suspension... It would have caused loads of issues with the mounting of the original COE cab subframe and the front clip. so we cut the flanges and brought the frame back in parallel / straight.




picture showing the flanges of the front section of the frame welded after we brought it back in parallel

We also cut the frame off because I'm closing in my lower skirts and making the front lower section all one piece...




marked and ready to cut off the front portion of the frame





under side of frame... front section

front section cut just behind the front skirt.

front frame mods just about complete other than the permanent cross member (later)

btw, I think we flipped the frame no less than 10 times working, cutting, welding, fabbing, spreading... Ugh.
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  #24  
Old 03-30-2017, 07:31 PM
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Wow, some really good looking work going on there. Looks like a fun project and going to be a great practical driver on that suspension and engine/trans choice. Off topic, but I noticed something in the background of post number 9, first pic, in the upper left corner. It looks like someone has set a mid 90's F250 frame with the 7.3 Powerstroke on a 2005+ f250 suspension and I see what looks like a 1978 F250 cab just ahead of it that may go on that frame/engine/suspension combo? Could just be the camera angle so thought I'd ask
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  #25  
Old 03-30-2017, 07:40 PM
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Not what I expected

Wow, did not expect you to go the direction you have. What are your plans for the rear diff ? Are you maintaining the original ride height ?

You've made a lot of structural progress, hoping you can keep the drive alive!

Good luck with your project.

Tom
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  #26  
Old 03-30-2017, 11:28 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
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2005 F250 front suspension under a 90's F250 frame...

Quote:
Originally Posted by markfuga View Post
Wow, some really good looking work going on there. Looks like a fun project and going to be a great practical driver on that suspension and engine/trans choice. Off topic, but I noticed something in the background of post number 9, first pic, in the upper left corner. It looks like someone has set a mid 90's F250 frame with the 7.3 Powerstroke on a 2005+ f250 suspension and I see what looks like a 1978 F250 cab just ahead of it that may go on that frame/engine/suspension combo? Could just be the camera angle so thought I'd ask

Don't be fooled... Mark is a good friend and has already completed multiple projects of his own. He is on the down hill stretch on a 78 F-250 that he's sitting on a mid 90's Frame with a 2005 F250 front suspension with a 7.3 and it's going to look and drive like a new one. He's a 7.3 fanatic (even more so than I) ... He has engineered and sells solutions for putting newer super duty suspensions under older super duty frames. He has engineered and sells alternative fuel delivery systems for 7.3s He has a great shop and has the capability to perform anything you could ever need when it comes to restoring a car or truck to building a full custom project. If you need help with your project, you'd be in good hands working with Mark. I can tell you from first hand experience that my 10 year custom project will most likely be completed under 2 years because I am fortunate to be working with him.
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  #27  
Old 03-30-2017, 11:37 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
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Rear suspension selection ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by tip49 View Post
Wow, did not expect you to go the direction you have. What are your plans for the rear diff ? Are you maintaining the original ride height ?

You've made a lot of structural progress, hoping you can keep the drive alive!

Good luck with your project.

Tom


We decided to use a rear diff out of a late 90's Ford Explorer.. I scoured craigslist looking for one with the D2 gear code -- It's a 4.10 limited slip. The rear is super sturdy. It's also 9" more narrow than the Crown Vic suspension -- that gives me another 4 1/2" on each side to play with. I'm hoping to put a set of 15" wide Mickey Thompson Sportsman's on the rear. Pics coming soon.
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  #28  
Old 03-30-2017, 11:58 PM
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Rear Suspension Pics

We decided to use a late 90's Ford Explorer Rear end. I only searched about a week before finding the perfect candidate: 1997 Ford Explorer with the "D2" rear end gear code: 4.10 limited slip

The explorer rear is 9" more narrow than the Crown Vic -- that gives me another 4 1/2" to play with to put wider tires under the rear.



Rear Diff first mach up.

Note that the frame hasn't yet been channeled.




Installing 4-link


I decided to go with RideTech for the air bags and the 4 link





We tacked the rear in place before welding the channel / frame cut outs in place. This is actually only an inch or so lower than what will be the ride height





Getting the 4-Link components set up and in place.




frame cut outs just about finished. first stages of maching up the rear air bags.




still calculating where to put the bag support tube etc. you can see the frame cut out and boxing in just about completed.





would love to say this is the finished rear suspension but it's not...

After this mach up, we really have no real estate for the tortion bar so we are moving the air bags to the front of the axle next. These are the steps you take when your "custom" project.

another look at it ... all of the airbag hardware you see will be removed shortly...




At the time, we thought this was the best place for the air bags...
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  #29  
Old 03-31-2017, 12:10 AM
50COE 50COE is offline
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RideTech Air Ride

For everyone out there who is wondering what ride height I'm looking for I'm going to post my "inspiration" picture. My COE, when finished, will look similar to this:




The inspiration picture that I look at every day...

I don't know who owns this COE, but this is the one that inspired me to create something similar. I have no idea what's in or under the one in this pic... but mine will ride about the same height when finished.

The RideTech air ride was an easy decision. The have bags for the Crown Vic front suspension:




first time we installed the front air bags just to see what they fit like...





Installed later with air all temporarily connected.






we first thought we'd hide all the air inside the frame... we've moved it since this pic




the RideTech controller is easy to set up and simple to use. This one has 3 pre-sets that you can set.
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  #30  
Old 03-31-2017, 07:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 50COE View Post
More pics coming soon... I'm sorting through the pile of pics to choose the best ones to share... I'm a bit past the 50% marker now do I have quite a bit to share to bring everyone up to current progress

I live in Northern VA ... not far from Leesburg. Where Do you live in MD? I'm always up for visiting other similar projects to compare notes and methods on how to solve the most significant issues...

I'm relatively new to posting... so if I miss something, don't hesitate to let me know.

Thank you

Brian
Brian I am in Glenburnie Md but I don't have much of a shop. I would love to see yours. From the pics looks like you can do it all in yours. I'm hoping to mount my body this year. I'm also painting mine disassembled so I've been waiting for warmer weather. I'll PM you my number.
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