1950 F5 COE Build - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums



1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

1950 F5 COE Build

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-28-2017, 11:39 AM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
1950 F5 COE Build

This is going to be my best attempt at documenting my 1950 F5 COE truck build.

My goal is to have a '50 COE pickup truck with modern drivetrain & suspension.

My inspiration picture is in my profile -- this is very similar to what the truck will look like when I'm finished.

I searched for about 4 months hoping to find a truck with as little rust as possible knowing that would save me a lot of headaches and labor in the course of the project. I have moderate/advanced mechanical experience and very little bodywork experience. I found my truck about 6 hours away near Warren, PA near the PA/NY border in the center portion of the states.

this is the first picture I saw in the ad:





At the time, I didn't know anything about it other than it looked like it was once a fire truck. As it turns out, it was a fire truck in service at the Warren State Hospital from Nov. 1950 through approx. 1986.

I went to see the truck -- with no money and no trailer the first time you all know what I'm talking about... I can't tell you how many times something followed me home even though I knew it wasn't exactly what I was looking for... In this case though, I was completely blown away by the overall condition of the truck. The owner bought it from the PA state auction in 1988 and put it in his barn. Thankfully for me, he was purely a "Dodge" guy and never had any time to get to this one... He actually drove it to his home and parked it.

Here are a few pics from my initial visit:

Yes, you're reading it correctly... that's 6,523 original miles.



The truck had more miles in the 4th of July parades than it did in service. If you think about it, How many fires take place at the state hospital...?

It was everything I could do to not let the owner know I was drooling all over it...




the cab corners and skirts have no rust...





there was a little bit of rust around where the frame pokes through the front skirt.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-28-2017, 12:39 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
More initial find pics



The truck had the short 110" wheelbase and was used as a tractor trailer -- the trailer had ladders and hoses etc. I don't think the spare was ever used -- it still has the nubbin's on the rubber tread





amazing how rust free this Ol' girl was...





Even the interior was all there... I believe I could have the seats re-sewn with the original fabric/material... it has sat / not run for over 25 years.




someone had welded a small patch on the surface over the small rust hole in the fender





Warren State Hospital faded but still legible on the doors..





I came back the following week with cash... This is the truck loaded at the previous owner's place





after the initial visit, I did as much research as possible about the Warren State Hospital and found this newspaper article from Nov. 11 1950

The truck initially had a siren on the driver's side fender... the three holes are still there... the light on the roof was added later... I'll post another photo I found in my research from 1976 next...




this is a picture / slide I purchased off eBay... this is the exact same truck updated with the siren and light as you can see in my pics...


Digging up the history is almost as much fun as building the project...

She has great heritage...
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-28-2017, 12:55 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
More initial find pics and the initial dismantle

My Favorite two trucks:



'99 F350 7.3L I've owned since she was new... this is the day I brought the '50 COE home.




Even the frame has practically no rust... someone added the external fuel pump

My initial intention was to get it running and see what we had. I struggled with the idea of making an awesome Resto-Mod out of a truck with some much History but realize that will always be a part of her story.

The truck had a 236 flat head straight 6 in it with the 4 sp. crash box. I put a couple ounces of miracle mystery oil in the cylinders a few days in advance; bought new plugs, wires, distributor cap, points condenser etc. The fire department converter her over to 12V at some point... they also completely bypassed the original mechanical fuel pump. With a lot of grit & grime we did finally get her running. Brakes were not working properly as to be expected. the emergency brake worked perfectly in the place of normal brakes original drivetrain pics:







these were taken 4 months later...




from the driver's side




gotta love the emergency brake: band with brake shoes squeezes a pulley that is connected to the output of the transmission...
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-28-2017, 06:06 PM
tinman52's Avatar
tinman52 tinman52 is offline
Welder User
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: northwest MT
Posts: 4,833
tinman52 has a superb reputationtinman52 has a superb reputationtinman52 has a superb reputationtinman52 has a superb reputationtinman52 has a superb reputationtinman52 has a superb reputationtinman52 has a superb reputationtinman52 has a superb reputationtinman52 has a superb reputationtinman52 has a superb reputationtinman52 has a superb reputation
Welcome to FTE.......what a great looking truck! Appears to be in very good condition.
Looking forward to your build.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-28-2017, 07:08 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
It's such a small world! -- you made the best extended cab I've seen

Quote:
Originally Posted by tinman52 View Post
Welcome to FTE.......what a great looking truck! Appears to be in very good condition.
Looking forward to your build.
Scott, It is such a small world!!! I have a second COE ('49) that I've traded to a friend who is helping me with mine ... he was so inspired by my project that he wants to build one... he showed me pics of your "extended cab" project a couple months ago and he's already found and purchased 2 other cab backs and roof sections to make his an extended cab... he will start his project after mine is complete.... You have created the best extended cab out of the 49-56 years that I have ever seen... Great Job!
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-28-2017, 07:33 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
Getting Ready to start...

I purchased the '50 COE in the late fall of 2015 and I did nothing but research for the next 4-5 months. Deciding what I wanted to create and generally how I wanted to go about doing it.

I sat with the truck for hours on end during that time. I had it sitting just outside my garage:




pic just before I officially started the actual build.




only the driver's front tire had a slow leak... all others held air...


I originally was thinking of keeping the original suspension (modify by removing most of the leaf springs) but quickly decided to scrap that idea. To begin with, the wheels are the widow makers that everyone talks about plus all of the issues with modern braking etc.

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. Also, the F5 had 12 leaf springs in the front -- Holy chip a tooth while riding down the driveway, Batman!

I had heard of people using Crown Vic front suspensions... and I researched that for a good while. I was most concerned about how I would get the steering issues resolved but still thought it was a good idea. Especially considering I wanted to use the original frame. The frame was too clean to trash AND I didn't want to spend $10K for a new custom frame that I would have to completely customize anyway.

In the next pic, I'm getting ready to actually start the tear-down






taking the truck down to the garage where we are doing most of the tear down and fabrication
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-28-2017, 07:41 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
and the tear down begins

These are pics that I took during the teardown ... basically down to every nut & bolt.




We had the engine running for short periods of time just to show everyone the drivetrain was in good order.





When we first started, it seemed that we did everything the hard way...

Only AFTER we got most of the front clip removed did we realize that it was made so that the entire front clip could be removed in one piece by just removing about 10 bolts. Ugh!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-28-2017, 07:48 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
More Tear Down



This pic makes me laugh because I'm reminded how we made everything difficult the first time...





Check out the condition of the inner fender/cab area.


The Truck appears to have originally been black. My understanding is that the entire truck was painted the same color inside and out during this era...




Unbelievable condition...





I don't know if you'll believe this but I only broke one bolt off removing the skirt from under the cab.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-28-2017, 07:59 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
Wrapping up most of the tear down



The rear lower skirt on the back of the cab...




all the skirts are practically flawless.




both of my rear cab mounts were damaged... I've had to weld new mounting brakes for both sides.




just about ready to remove the cab
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-28-2017, 08:08 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
I guess it's official -- Frame off Restoration



This is the original frame -- After we removed everything. you can see the cabover sub-frame still in place



236 flathead straight 6 with a cashbox...

Everything removed -- still lots of smalls to dismantle (hardware, etc)
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-28-2017, 08:21 PM
tip49's Avatar
tip49 tip49 is offline
Posting Guru
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 1,915
tip49 is a name known to alltip49 is a name known to alltip49 is a name known to alltip49 is a name known to alltip49 is a name known to alltip49 is a name known to all
Unbelievable Condition

That truck is in amazing condition; didn't think they existed like that anymore.

It seems to be complete as well; there are COE guys on this forum that are probably turning green with envy.

You should be able to make short work of it to get it on the road.

Good luck with your project.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-28-2017, 08:25 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
Body / Rust Repair

I am fortunate to have found a few guys to help me on areas of the project that I have less experience that I feel is appropriate.

In addition, buying a truck in as good of condition as you possibly will save you big time during a build. You will NEVER regret spending the extra money for a great starter vehicle.

I had some rust in 3 primary areas: spots at the front wheels where the fenders and the lower fender skirt came together -- an obvious place where dirt/mud/water/salt would collect.




All Steel weld in fix for the rust holes ... these are as solid as the day it was first stamped.


Also at the base of the fenders where the floor boards attached... another spot where dirt, water and salt would collect...




cut the small area of rust out, fabbed a new piece and welded it in...






small hole repair just to the right of the headlight - grill. These were all areas where dirt/salt would collect.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-28-2017, 08:32 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
Rust repair / more details

Pics of the lower fender area... this is a common repair for just about all vehicles.




Using vise grips and magnets to hold replacement metal in place for welding.





We also filled a lot of drilled holes the were used for a variety of things on the fire truck: handles, Lights, outlets,etc.





filled holes where rear facing lights were mounted





Filled in where they cut a huge hole for the roof light and the auxiliary wiper (top mounted)
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-28-2017, 08:39 PM
50COE 50COE is offline
Junior User
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 98
50COE is starting off with a positive reputation.
Hood preparations

As you have likely already noticed, there was a HUGE siren mounted on the hood. Whomever mounted it, cut a huge 10" diameter hole in the center of the hood. They also, very neatly, cut the stainless steel trim piece on the hood. At the time I bought the truck I had no idea that I would spend $250 for just one piece of stainless steel trim for a replacement...




initial tack in of the hand formed piece of steel...

Thank God I found someone with body fabrication skills -- I would have worked on this for days... and frustrated myself to no end...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-28-2017, 08:40 PM
Marauder2004's Avatar
Marauder2004 Marauder2004 is offline
Elder User
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Roanoke, VA
Posts: 511
Marauder2004 has a good reputation on FTE.Marauder2004 has a good reputation on FTE.Marauder2004 has a good reputation on FTE.
You have a great start to a fantastic project! Enjoy and keep the pictures coming!
Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
by Pletcher -- anyone know anything about a company that enhanced early fire trucks? 50COE 1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks 14 07-07-2017 11:23 PM
Hunting for Ford OEM Under Hood Power Distribution 4 Relay Box KLONDON WTB - Parts & other 11 04-19-2017 12:33 PM
Broken standpipe ? 3 pcs 163junk 6.0L Power Stroke Diesel 4 02-11-2017 03:32 AM
Fuel Bowl Check Ball Cover BlackLead 1994.5 - 1997 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel 0 10-10-2015 03:21 PM
Name That Hood Ornament abe 1967 - 1972 F-100 & Larger F-Series Trucks 4 10-13-2014 08:21 PM


Go Back   Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums >

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:35 PM.