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55 Ford F100 Build

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Old 05-15-2018, 02:02 PM
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55 Ford F100 Build

So after lurking around the boards for awhile, I've decided to start my own thread to track our build. Last summer we picked up a 55 F-100 from a long time family friend who was using it as a daily driver. My mom has always wanted an old pickup for going to estate sales and cruising around in. So technically this truck started as hers, but I have always claimed it to be mine. Some things have happened recently in the family and now I'm the only one driving it and I plan on continuing to fix it up as I have time. I currently have one more semester of college left so I plan on getting as much done this summer and then coming back to it after I graduate (or when I come home).

Here's the truck as we got it. The family friend was actually my grandpa's best friend since first grade so it has special memories. This is the first Ford we have ever had so I am really excited to learn as I mainly only know Chevy (dad had a 40 Chevy).

Everything I know about the truck when we picked it up: 1955 Ford F-100 with a '67 Impala rear end and a '71 GMC van steering column. It's sitting on a Mustang frame but the year is slipping my mind right now. At the time it had a two barrel 302 from a '76 Ford. The chop is 4" in the front and 3" in the rear. Vintage Air, power windows, new gauges, new tires, and all new glass. Also it has a VERY unique yellow paint....


 
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:35 PM
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That thing is sweet!
 
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Old 05-15-2018, 06:38 PM
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Looks to be a great start - driver . What are your plans ? As a caution lurking here can become quite expensive .
 
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:48 PM
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With the truck home we finally were able to dig into it and see what we were working with. The current state of the truck wasn't really something that my mom could take out by herself and drive comfortably, which was/is the main goal of the build. It ran as one would expect an old pickup with a 70's motor to run. With some recommendations from our trusted mechanic we met with an engine builder to see what he could do to make it more comfortable. I realllllly wish I could have been able to do some of this work but in reality it wasn't feasible. I had to go back to school and I definitely do not have the skills to build a better engine than what was in there. It also worked out well in the end because we found a lot more issues with the truck that the builder was able to help with and I was able to learn a ton during this process.

Engine build (straight from the build sheet so it may read funny):
- Late model 302 hyd. roller core
- GT40 heads
- Thumpr COMP cam
- Weiand aluminum intake
- 600 CFM Holley carb
- 2500 stall converter
- MSD billet distributor

In the second picture you can kind of see the engine sitting pretty far to the right of the engine bay. We assume that the original engine must have sat to the side like this and we just never noticed it. We did know that the old engine did sit pretty far back in the bay and was tilted slightly so it most likely was off center as well. With the new motor re-centered we could also add a kickdown kit since there was room now.




 
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Old 05-15-2018, 07:50 PM
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Welcome to FTE the best Ford truck Forum on the world wide web!

Thanks for the pic. Keep us informed of your progress. We have.e a lot of experts here so don't be afraid to ask questions!
 
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Old 05-15-2018, 10:14 PM
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Looks pretty darn nice as it is.... what’s are your plans?
 
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Old 05-16-2018, 05:35 PM
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Congratulations on a very sweet ride!
 
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:36 PM
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Early on we knew that the gas tank wasn't sufficient so that was a major upgrade that had to be done. I talked with the old owner because I knew the tank had already been relocated but wasn't sure of the size. I guess during the relocation they also switched the gas tank out with an 8 gallon tractor tank... No idea why but that's what we found LOL. Below you can see the 26 gallon tank we were able to jump up to. I'm still fighting with the tank as it spits every time I try to fill it up and is a big PITA. I'm assuming its a ventilation issue in the filler tube so I am going to check that out hopefully this weekend. Also the gas gauge is all over the place with the new tank and shows it full when I add only like 9 gallons. Minor issues that have been giving me some trouble lately.

 
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Old 05-16-2018, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by iadoin View Post
Early on we knew that the gas tank wasn't sufficient so that was a major upgrade that had to be done. I talked with the old owner because I knew the tank had already been relocated but wasn't sure of the size. I guess during the relocation they also switched the gas tank out with an 8 gallon tractor tank... No idea why but that's what we found LOL. Below you can see the 26 gallon tank we were able to jump up to. I'm still fighting with the tank as it spits every time I try to fill it up and is a big PITA. I'm assuming its a ventilation issue in the filler tube so I am going to check that out hopefully this weekend. Also the gas gauge is all over the place with the new tank and shows it full when I add only like 9 gallons. Minor issues that have been giving me some trouble lately.

Looks like the 78 Bronco tank I have in mine and I'm never sure if I ever completely fill it, please post what you find out..
 
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:35 PM
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So tomorrow is the first day of my summer internship so I tried to get some work done on the truck today. I checked out the gas tank and I think I found the issue with the vent line and I have a temporary fix. The hose had a pretty gnarly kink in it which I assume was enough to limit air flow and cause the spitting. Temporarily I have two pieces of wood pinching the hose to remove the kink. If this fixes the issue when I fill it up next then I'll just replace the hose and keep it shorter.

The past few days I have been noticing some new leaks in the garage and didn't think too much of it since I have been trying to put some miles on the truck. While I was underneath it today I noticed that it's the left rear drum brake that's leaking so looks like that is the next project. I've never worked on drum brakes but I'm going to see what I can do on it. A little hesitant to drive it until I get that resolved. Any thoughts?


 
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Old 05-17-2018, 08:40 PM
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I'd just buy a new wheel cylinder for the brakes and do both sides while you're at it..
 
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Old 05-17-2018, 11:19 PM
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Hey Iadoin,
Welcome Aboard! On the Gas gauge jumping around & not showing accurate readings.
You will want to know what type of gauge you have & what Ohms range it uses to report Empty /Full.
You will then need to find out what sort of Sending Unit you have in your tank - they need to be operating off of the same Ohms range.
In our example we had new Autometer gauges that operated on something like 0 - 200 ohms. The '70 Mustang tank sending unit worked from 11 - 80 ohms.
That will never show an accurate fuel level....

We clipped off the old 11 - 80 ohms unit & soldered on a nice new universal sending unit that worked from 0 - 200 ohms.... Victory.. accurate fuel readings.
You will also want to look at how your float arm is sitting in the tank. If it was set up for your 8 gallon tank - you may need to do some adjusting to get it to work across it's full range in the new tank.

Looking good over there.
Ben in Austin
1950 F1
 
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