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

First Ford Truck (and Project)! Need Expert Help!

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Old 02-13-2018, 07:20 PM
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Question First Ford Truck (and Project)! Need Expert Help!

Hey FTEs, I recently joined the forum after lurking for a while. My first ever truck is this 1980 F150 4x4:
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I'm mainly got this truck to haul around yard waste and for small loads from the hardware store, etc. It was very cheap and it starts/runs/stops decently. I also would like to restore it, but it definitely is in rough shape:
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Under the hood:
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Interior:
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And worst of all, the frame under the bed:
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So... what do ya'll think? It'll be a challenge to work on this, if it's even worth it. I guess my main questions would be:
1. Is the frame worthless? If I find another frame, does it need to come from a 4x4 or can any 80-86 be used?
2. I have no idea where to even start. Should I get the engine running well first?
3. Any other thoughts on this truck?

Don't know much about these trucks but I'm excited to learn more. It's been fun already.

R5
 
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Old 02-13-2018, 10:39 PM
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Just keep it running and use it until it's used up. No way is that rusted out body worth switching to another frame, IMO.
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 03:30 AM
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I see a shiny new filler hose on the fuel tank, and some new brake lines.

Is that driver's rear shock mount broken off the frame? The shock looks like it's laying against the fuel tank, but it could just be the angle of the picture. Both rear shocks look like they're laying forward.

I'd work on making it reliable and safe to run down the road.

Fix the emergency brake cables
Fix the exhaust
Check over the front end parts/suspension/steering, etc.
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:50 AM
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Originally Posted by willowbilly3 View Post
Just keep it running and use it until it's used up. No way is that rusted out body worth switching to another frame, IMO.
Alright. I'll use this truck to get familiar with how to work on them. Or if I happen to find a better frame, switch the body and replace it one piece at a time...
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:54 AM
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Hard to tell from the pics, but unless its bent or crumbling you could wire wheel/sand blast it and then paint the frame with POR15. They do call this model year the "swiss cheese" frame, though.
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Rembrant View Post
Is that driver's rear shock mount broken off the frame?

Fix the emergency brake cables
Fix the exhaust
Check over the front end parts/suspension/steering, etc.
I don't even know enough yet to check on the rear shock. Can I find all these fixes/checks in a Haynes manual? I'm getting one today.
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by jackietreehorn View Post
Hard to tell from the pics, but unless its bent or crumbling you could wire wheel/sand blast it and then paint the frame with POR15. They do call this model year the "swiss cheese" frame, though.
I'd do that if I knew it'd be safe/worth it. The frame is pretty rusted through in the rear, even looks like it's missing crossmembers. I'd even be willing to pay someone to weld, or learn to weld the frame myself, but it seems too worn?
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 07:32 AM
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I can't really tell from the pictures. Look up pics of what a good frame looks like and compare. If its just surface rust with solid metal underneath. I don't see a problem. Try poking around and scraping with a screw driver. If it goes through the metal, you need a new frame.


If shock supports, spring supports, etc are eaten away by rust that is also a problem. Grab things and see if they move.


Before you get under, be careful, make double sure the parking brake works and is applied. Chock the wheels. Put it in first or reverse. This thing weighs a lot more than you do.
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 08:09 AM
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From your posts, I am going to assume you are young, maybe even in high school? You have a good truck to learn on but not something that is worth sinking a lot of money into. Don't let your ambitions, or what you see more experienced owners do, get you in over your head. Have you thought ahead on what swapping this pos body onto a different frame would entail? It's a pretty big task on a truck that ISN'T a rust bucket. You could pretty it up some by getting rid of the bed and building a flatbed. Then you could address the frame issue with the bed off.
Resist the temptation to start dismantling the truck. It will be all blown apart, reality will set in, then you run out of ideas, ambition and resources all about the same time and your parents have to pay someone to get it off their property in 4-5 years after you have moved on.
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:45 AM
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Nah, I'm in my 20's and own the house where I'll be working on it. Thanks for the input, that's what I'm looking for. I bought it for the utility and am trying to feel out if it's worth "restoring" and if so, where to start. I'm okay with it being a very-involved challenging project, that's how I'll learn. From a purely financial standpoint, it wouldn't make sense, but I hope to learn a ton and of course will have a limit (won't spend more than a couple thousand unless it really starts to come along).

Can you really find drastically better trucks without driving it from down south, or spending a ton of money? I wonder if I find a solid frame and even things out, if I won't be a decent but ugly truck.
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 09:56 AM
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I am also in my 20's and did all my work outside on a gravel driveway or in in the street. I've noticed since cash for clunkers, there are a lot less of these trucks around for cheap.


It is true though, if you wait you could find a much better one that would save you a lot of headaches.


I spend probably more than my truck is worth but I really learned a lot and don't question it's reliability.


If I could do it all over again, I probably wouldn't. Given that yours is 4x4 it is a bit more desirable. Where are you located? You could get a whole new bed w/out rust for 1K or less.
Bed: $1,000
Doors: $200
Fenders : $200
Cab corners: $70
Misc:$300 (argon, mig wire, wire wheels, etc..)
Paint :$1,500


You're looking at 3-4 grand min to make this truck right.


Where are you located?
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:28 AM
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Good points. I'm in Michigan... most older trucks around here have at least some rust.

3 or 4 grand over a few years seems reasonable. Of course, you need to double the time and money you think you'll spend with these things.

I think ill try and get this into good condition. Need to grab all the resources I can on this truck! If anybody has any tips on the 1980 specifically, I'd love to hear them.
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 11:49 AM
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Michigan...that frame looks pretty good for a 40 year old Michigan truck. My cousins 2002 Chebby looks worse than that.

i found you a perfect bed and tailgate for.....$250. Thing is itís in South Carolina.
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:18 PM
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Well that's a little encouraging! Looks pretty dang rusted to me.

Originally Posted by jackietreehorn View Post
i found you a perfect bed and tailgate for.....$250. Thing is itís in South Carolina.
Hey I appreciate that man. For now I will probably put my money towards tuning up the engine and getting it road-safe like others have said. But if I go through with working on the frame/body... it looks like I'll have to be making a trip to the southern states...

Where are you finding these parts? Just local junkyards and craigslist?
 
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Old 02-14-2018, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by RedFive_R5 View Post
Well that's a little encouraging! Looks pretty dang rusted to me.



Hey I appreciate that man. For now I will probably put my money towards tuning up the engine and getting it road-safe like others have said. But if I go through with working on the frame/body... it looks like I'll have to be making a trip to the southern states...

Where are you finding these parts? Just local junkyards and craigslist?

Craigslist mostly. Some through this site.
 
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