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1955 F350 Build

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Old 04-29-2018, 11:13 PM
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1955 F350 Build

Well ladies and gents, I have reached that point in my life. My mid life crises will be sometime in the next decade so I decided to to get a head start and get me a vehicle that can handle the demands of building a hot rod. Hauling axles, engines, car carcasses, those kind of things. After a few months of searching and learning I found a perfect candidate.


About to find a home


'All she needed was a battery and a brake job.' AWESOME!! I've done the brakes twice on my sedan, I could do that no problem. And a battery pssshhhh how hard could that be. I would be up and driving in no time flat. Sure it was still wired to be 6 volt, positive ground but I took a couple of electronic courses in College, that would be a piece of cake.



All of the glass pretty much looks like this.


Still no bench seat.


That is a sexy looking truck.


Another glamour shot



Interior without bench seat


Kinda like the color contrast


Is that a FINGER ..... poor camera work man


Wet spots are water pooled in the truck cover

Previous owner picked the truck up from Nebraska. It was a farm truck, carried a fuel tank around fields most of its life. It had no bed when the PO picked it up, so he bought one on his way back to Iowa. Did some work on the bed and decided to sell it. My gain

So I got me a 12v battery and tried to start it. Everything I read so far let me believe that it should be OK to if I tried this. Just positive to ground and negative to the battery side of the starter. What could go wrong? "Crank Crank Crank Slow Crank Slow Crank Crank Crank" Huh shouldn't it be a smooth ish sound? Well, time to diagnose .... First up spark. OK there is spark. Next lets test fuel. Tank is dry or varnish so lets try some starter fluid. Not even a puff. OK so compression ....... Huh the first few plugs look OK, this one is a bit oily but that is normal right? eh, I'll worry about that once it is running. Cylinder 1 .... 35 PSI .... "Um, that's normal right? yeah it should be normal." Cylinder 2 .... 0 PSI. Cylinder 3 0 PSI, Cylinder 4 35 PSI, Cylinder 5 0 PSI, Cylinder 6 0 PSI. Huh maybe these old trucks didn't need compression. Lets check the valves.



Just in case you missed it. the fifth pushrod from the left ....

Well Fuuuuuuuuuuu ....This is where I learn the definition of snowballed ......



Huh looks more like a stick figure person than a fan ...


Rockers off, yeah ... the pushrod was bent.


Lots of air flow now that there is no radiator.

Whelp bent push rod. Lets take off the head and check the lifters, make sure the cam wasn't wiped out.



This thing weighs a ton


After a good wire weeling


Some more wire wheel attached to a drill

Since the heads are out lets take out the valves and lap them.... might fix the compression issue. After trying three different valve compressors, before ordering one off of amazon, I finally get the keepers removed. There were two valves that I had to remove with a hammer because they were essentially glued shut.



Um ... That shiny stuff is not fluid.

I wonder if this is why the push rod bent? Also all of the old seals are now hard plastic, not rubber.



After some pin tumbling


Out come the valves


Don't have a bench grinder, have to make do with a couple of drills


Some where there is a manual that has this picture with a red circle and line through it


Impromptu paint job.

Last of the pictures for now, phone ran out of juice before I could take any more. But I put the head back together and fluid tested the valves. They leaked pretty badly. So I took the head apart again and re lapped all of the valves. Got the head together again and in the truck. Did the first two torque specs have to wait to do the last one since it requires it to be hot.. Didn't have enough daylight to go any further but the old oil is out, I got a new push rod and the rockers are ready to go in. New seals and everything. That is tomorrows job. Sorry for the humongous pictures didn't know how to shrink them. Also the long post, as this is about two and a half weeks of work.
 
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Old 04-29-2018, 11:53 PM
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Hotrod, welcome to FTE the best Ford truck Forum on the world wide web! You've come to the right place and you've made a lot of friends by showing us all these pictures! Keep us posted with your progress.
 
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:05 AM
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Add my welcome. Your truck looks to be in good shape, and at the rate you’re attacking it it should be driving down the road in no time. The truck was an original 9’ flat bed based on the running boards and dually wheels. As an FYI, the pickup bed the prior owner found for it is an F-250 8’ bed that is one foot shorter and will leave the rear wheels off center to the fender openings. Stu
 
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Old 04-30-2018, 07:48 AM
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Great start so far. Good pictures and text to explain the steps. Note that your truck was originally 6 volts, and you said you put in a 12 volt battery. 1956 was the first year for 12 volts at Ford.
FTE members can take you through the steps if you want to convert to 12Volts.
 
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Old 04-30-2018, 03:22 PM
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Hey Hotrod,
Welcome aboard! Looking good over there in Iowa!
That pic where you have an electric drill & a long rubber hose attached...looks like something my proctologist
brought out just before I fainted.... I like your humor.

Ben in Austin (My dad was from Burlington).
1950 F1
 
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Old 04-30-2018, 10:54 PM
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Originally Posted by truckdog62563 View Post
Add my welcome. Your truck looks to be in good shape, and at the rate you’re attacking it it should be driving down the road in no time. The truck was an original 9’ flat bed based on the running boards and dually wheels. As an FYI, the pickup bed the prior owner found for it is an F-250 8’ bed that is one foot shorter and will leave the rear wheels off center to the fender openings. Stu
Stu thanks for the info on the bed, I will have to add it to the growing list of items that I will have to overcome

Originally Posted by ben73058
That pic where you have an electric drill & a long rubber hose attached...looks like something my proctologist
brought out just before I fainted.... I like your humor.
I swear, its just a valve job

I have been trying to think of a name for this build and I think I came up with a perfect name: Snowball. Because of the way things just tend to snowball with her Let me know what you think.

Now time for MORE PICTURES!!!!



Progress!

This is where I left off last night, all of the head bolts are torqued to 65 ft/lbs. Need to warm the engine before I can go to final torque.



Picture with the valve cover on.

Valve cover setting over the valves to protect it for the night, I need to get it cleaned up and painted, probably black.



Took the inspection plate off of the lifter valley

Decided to take the inspection plate off of the lifter valley and yum, 70 years of dried on gunk :s



Wide shot.

Push rod five being a problem again :x Eventually got him sorted out though. Also did a test crank and it cranks so smooth now, of course there is no load but can't wait till I get to turn her over.



Rockers on and lash set to eyeball tight

I ran out of time to lash the valves, but that is my next task. After that, I can make sure I have enough oil and do another compression test.



Mr Gasket-Scrapper

Guess how many time I almost stabbed myself with my gasket scrapper? If you guessed zero, wrong. It was once, but I consider that to be a great track record for me.



Looks like the perfect candidate for some more Ford Blue

Crusty Cover. Back side of the cover was covered in about an eighth inch of muddy oil. I had to stop here because I was losing daylight. I was also out of brake clean. There might be rain for the next few days so it is time to do some side tasks, maybe a soda blaster, or I could clean and organize my tools .... Nah that sounds boring.

I forgot last time but I didn't know if you all do cat taxes.


Dax
 
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Old 04-30-2018, 11:07 PM
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9' Flareside Express bed: 1953/72 F350.
 
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Old 05-01-2018, 02:13 PM
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No fancy garage, no fancy tools, love your build!!!
 
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Old 05-03-2018, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Aloha-boy View Post
No fancy garage, no fancy tools, love your build!!!
Thank you!

There has been more progress in the last couple of days. Yesterday was boring in the picture department as I just lashed some valves. I hate valve lashing, Cylinder 6 is hard to get to. Today was beast mode day. I finished lashing the valves, yesterday I got the adjusters and locking nuts close enough to be considered in the same Time Zone. After I was satisfied with the valve adjustments I finally go to the good part: Compression Testing. Right after cylinder 1 it started to rain, I was going to pack it up but was so excited with the first result that I decided to forge on and get it done.



Some compression testing. Rain started here. Wait what do you mean water and electricity doesn't mix?

Previously before I took the head off my compression results were 35-0-0-35-0-0 all dry.
Now, it was so much better 92-90-90-105-115-125 dry. 92-120-100-125-125-145 wet. Looks like the rings are a bit worn, but all that means is I can add a turbo and I wont need to gap the rings right I know the first three are a little low but I am ecstatic about the results. Also it was cranking so smooth. All of the hesitation between bad cylinders was gone and it was just one fluid action.



SPARK PLUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!

A wild pack of spark plugs has appeared. This must be fortuitous as I need some of those.



Mmmmmm so close

Spark plugs installed and torqued in. Don't worry about that jumper cable. nothing to see there (But seriously it was unhooked at the battery. I may be crazy but I know better to work on a hot circuit o.O)



This is where I left off for the night, right before this picture a voice from the heaves said "Its time to go inside now." Is sounded more like "BOOM CRACK rumble rumble rumble" but I could read between the lines. What? Doesn't everyone work on their project truck outside in the middle of a thunderstorm?

If the rain holds off tomorrow (and maybe even if it doesn't) I will be testing spark, make sure the new plugs work well.after that I need fuel. A bottle of ether should work for that right now. I still need to clean and replace the gaskets on the header/exhaust, and add a layer of paint. The carb needs to be cleaned and rebuilt. I am close to getting this engine to fire up. I really hope the bottom end holds up, I cant pull the engine. XD

I plan on redoing the wiring when I can as any wires leading to the rear end are rotted out and missing. but this is the biggest hurdle that I have right now.

Also as I sit here writing this I just noticed that I left a pair of vice grips attached to the engine (lower right corner of the last picture) Good thing I am not a surgeon
 
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Old 05-03-2018, 09:36 AM
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Welcome to the forum. Make certain the D ring is in place in the block and on the oil tube to the rocker shaft. Those D rings get old, hard, and make for poor oil flow to the rocker shaft.
Good looking helper.
 
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Old 05-10-2018, 12:10 AM
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Originally Posted by raytasch View Post
Welcome to the forum. Make certain the D ring is in place in the block and on the oil tube to the rocker shaft. Those D rings get old, hard, and make for poor oil flow to the rocker shaft.
Good looking helper.
When I first took my valves off I thought it was using plastic umbrella seals :S

The last few days have been a little slow. I am mostly waiting on parts. I did get some paining done though. I don't have pictures of the valve cover, but I do have one of the lifter valley cover.


Fresh Paint



Crusty Intake


Weird gasket
Any clue what this gasket is? Why would they staple a bunch of them together?



Good 1/8" dirt caked on


Let the teardown begin
The Carb is about as crusty as the rest of the engine. 60 years of farm dirt will do that I guess. Unfortunately my phone died at this point, so I don't have pics of the carb tear-down.



Cant find these carb numbers

Then the carb rebuilt kit came!!!!
Time to do this! This is after a night in mineral spirits, loosened up the dirt pretty well.



Time to re assemble


I can't lie, I am unreasonably attracted to this carburetor.

One of my dreams was to own a Holley carb. Looks like that one came true



mmmmm perty


I can't wait to put this on the truck! Hopefully get some life in this engine.
 
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Old 05-10-2018, 05:14 PM
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Doing a fine job! I love it.
 
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Old 05-16-2018, 01:58 AM
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It has been a while since I posted my last update, and a lot has happened. I fitted my carb to my intake and tried to fire the engine. It didn't work and after a while I realized that the starter was turning awfully slow. so I took it off to be rebuilt. Since then not a lot has progressed with the engine, If the starter doesn't work then I am out of ideas on how to get this truck running again. Since I have the engine bay torn apart and the radiator drained and out, I decided to take a break from the engine and work on the wiring. Mainly the front end which will be blocked when I put the radiator back in, So I took apart the headlights and park lights and cleaned up some surface rust in the grille. I also removed the wiring from the engine bay and cab in preparation of installing an American Autowire Wiring Harnesses. All of the wiring except the wires running to the back are out and I am striping the cab for the new wires. That is the progress so far. (Special link for those of you who make it to the bottom of the pictures.)



Good 1/8th inch of caked on dirt down here.


Really wish I could better show how much.


Wow this wiring is really bad.


Good thing I got this the other day


Rust


Good thing I have some rust reformer!


Wait .... **** that's not rust reformer


Gotta see how much of this I can reuse.

Just hit it with a hammer.


Starting to take the dash out.


Dash is gone now the light switch


Keep the interments bulb socks but I am going to have to switch out the wiring to them.


Heater core is out of the truck, wont need that for a few months


Starting to open some space.


First time I've had a good look at my tag.


Old rotted glove box out.


Starting to look a little bare.


Rebuilt starter.


I think my cab mounts are blown


This is safe right?


Didn't work



Spoiler
I gotta say, I needed that. I have spent the last month tearing stuff off this truck and no real progress to getting her running again. This is a big win for me. and one that is helping me stay motivated and hyped about the hard work I still have to do. The trick with getting her to fire was ditching the jumper cables, They weren't supplying enough current to spin the starter fast enough. As for the future, I have a pulley for my water pump on order, hopefully it works for me as I had bad luck finding one that will fit my hub. Once I get that pulley and verify it will work I can start putting the front of the engine back on. Once the accessory are on I can try and run it for more than half a dozen puffs
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 01:04 AM
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Got the water pump pulley today and installed it on the pump, It only took about .5" of spacers to align it correctly with the groove in the crank damper (I hear you cringing behind your monitors. It is hard finding a pulley this small in the right configuration.) I also got the alternator in position. I used the stock generator bottom mount and a couple of flat washers, but will have to Jerry rig a top mount.




New pulley installed. Alternator mounted using stock generator bracket and a few flat washers


Need to get a new Top Mount


Aligned


Aligned
 
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Old 05-18-2018, 11:10 PM
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Also, would anyone be surprised if I said my fuel pump wasn't working? Nope, me neither.

 
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