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My 1954 F100/F250 4x4 Build

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My 1954 F100/F250 4x4 Build

 
  #496  
Old 04-17-2016, 07:40 PM
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Well today I started out by doing a rough cut out of the kick panel plate.




Next I had to do some more trimming of the cab sheetmetal. This is the before picture.




Then I did some test fitting of the plate.











Here you can see why I can't weld in the outer patch panel. The upper hinge pocket will need three plug/rosette welds. That will add some more strength back to that area. That and the big old piece of 10 gauge steel I'm welding in there.




I didn't get very much done today. But it's nice to be working on the 54 again.
 
  #497  
Old 04-18-2016, 09:45 PM
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Today I started by drilling 15 holes in the kick panel plate. Then I used a hand held jig saw to cut out the center. Then I installed all the nuts and bolts in the plate. I'll have to pull them back out and do a quick grind around the holes before I weld the nuts to the plate. I was hoping to get it done today but it was threatening to rain all day. So I didn't want my welder getting wet if it did rain.






Then I did some more test fitting.









I did run into one issue. The support bracket on the upper hinge pocket is a little too long. It's keeping the plate from seating all the way like I want it. So I'm just going to cut it off and make a new shorter one. Not a big deal just a little more work.




It sounds like it is going to rain the next couple of days. So much for having a whole week to work on it.
 
  #498  
Old 04-19-2016, 01:11 AM
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Good to see you making some progress!

Building your own frame is a good idea, should be a piece of cake compared to trying to make all the bodywork fit something it wasn't designed for. And it's so much easier to work with everything on the same plane, vs the up down all around stuff you get on a typical pickup frame...

Personally, I think it would be easier to build it as a 4x4, I'll bet you could just use two pieces of straight tube and wouldn't have to cut a notch over the axles... Not much harder than building a trailer! Figure out how far apart you want the rails, weld in a cross-member at each end and hang some axles!

In a 2wd rig, I'll bet the rear axle would need a substantial frame notch...

Just some food for thought!

Sam
 
  #499  
Old 04-19-2016, 03:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Rusty_Old_F250 View Post
Good to see you making some progress!

Building your own frame is a good idea, should be a piece of cake compared to trying to make all the bodywork fit something it wasn't designed for. And it's so much easier to work with everything on the same plane, vs the up down all around stuff you get on a typical pickup frame...

Personally, I think it would be easier to build it as a 4x4, I'll bet you could just use two pieces of straight tube and wouldn't have to cut a notch over the axles... Not much harder than building a trailer! Figure out how far apart you want the rails, weld in a cross-member at each end and hang some axles!

In a 2wd rig, I'll bet the rear axle would need a substantial frame notch...

Just some food for thought!

Sam

I've wanted to build my own frame for a project. And making my own will let me move some things around a little to make things easier in the long run.

The rear will be slightly easier on a 4x4. The 2wd would require a couple C-notches in the frame. But otherwise the rears are pretty much the same. But the 4x4 front is a whole lot more complicated then the crown vic set up. The crown vic unit would require 4 vertical holes in the frame rails for the main mounting sleeves & bolts. Besides that just a pair of brackets for the lower control arm rear strut rod mounts and the two anti-sway bar frame mounts. The 4x4 will require drilling and sleeving the frame for the coil buckets, upper shock mounts, upper track bar mount, and the steering box. Add to that the radius arms are designed to work with the 78's dropped center frame. So I'll have to either add a second set of short frame rails in under the main rails where the radius arms meet the frame. Or I'll have to fabricate a dropped crossmember for them to mount to.

When I get to that point I'll be picking up two 24' 2" x 6" 3/16" wall tubes for the rails. That will give me some extra to use for some of the crossmembers. The rails are just going to be straight tube. I'm going to set the frame width to match the 54's stock frame ( 34" wide ) . I figure there is going to be 7 or 8 crossmembers ( stock 54 has 6 or 7 ) .


The main downside to keeping it a 4x4 is the front diff is more complicated to set up and I will need a lot more parts. The front diff needs just about everything but the gears and carrier. And I also will need to rebuild the transfercase and have the front driveshaft shortened. More parts means more money. And that means it'll take that much longer to finish it.

But I have been thinking about it. And because of my modified floors and firewall. I may run into a tire clearance issue on the front of a lowered 2wd set up. So you add that along with me preferring it to be a 4x4, I'm leaning towards keeping it a 4x4. I just really need to keep making progress on it.
 
  #500  
Old 04-23-2016, 10:44 PM
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Due to the weather this week has pretty much been a bust.

Yesterday I was able to drill some holes in a small filler piece. And I was able to weld the nuts onto the back of the kick panel plate. Then I sprayed both parts with some copper weld thru primer. It doesn't really look like copper. It looks like some cheap gold spray paint. After that I decided to let the primer set until today.

Well today when I pulled the plate out I noticed it was warped pretty bad. I must have got it a little too hot while welding the nuts on. I didn't have that problem on the plate I did on the other side. But a few hammer blows managed to stretch things back out and get it back to being pretty flat. You can see the hammer marks in the primer. It would have been nice if I would have noticed the warping before I primed it.





After that I clamped the filler piece to the door post so I could weld it in.






Then I welded it in. My welds aren't pretty but it's welded in.




Next came the grinder.




Then I welded in the plate.








My welds started out ugly but towards the end they started looking a little better.









Then I ground down the welds.




That's as far as I got today.
 
  #501  
Old 04-24-2016, 04:31 AM
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What do you have for a welding setup? From what I hear, a wirefeed with a bottle is the only real way to go with thin stuff

Personally, i would try and find a leaf spring front axle, should be much easier to setup!

Sam
 
  #502  
Old 04-24-2016, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusty_Old_F250 View Post
What do you have for a welding setup? From what I hear, a wirefeed with a bottle is the only real way to go with thin stuff

Personally, i would try and find a leaf spring front axle, should be much easier to setup!

Sam

For this I was using my old reliable Lincoln Weld-Pak 100 wire feed welder with flux core wire. The MIG set up is great if you are working in a shop. But I do all my welding outside in my driveway. If you try and use a MIG set outside the shielding gas just gets blown away. And you end up with poor quality welds. Plus I don't have to worry about running out of shielding gas. The Lincoln wire I use is great stuff and requires little to no chipping like most flux-core wire does. I just go over it with a wire brush and it's cleaned off. This work I was welding 10 gauge plate (right around 1/8th thick ) to 18 gauge. So I couldn't run beads. It was pretty much all short tacks skipping around until it was all welded. I turned up the amperage on the welder and focused the weld on the heavier plate and then trailed it off into the thin stuff. I think it turned out pretty good.

I've got a new Eastwood 250 welder that I will be using when I weld the firewall in. But I will be using the same Lincoln flux-core wire.

When I get into the major sheet metal welding work, when I extend the cab. I want to do hammer welding with an Oxy/Acetylene torch set up. That will give me a much better quality weld with very little filler needed afterwards.



Negative on the front leaf set up. I had that on my first & second attempts at the 4x4 chassis under this 54. The front body clip/dog house may require a dropped frame rail set up at the front valance. Especially now with a flat frame rail and no cab lift on the body mounts. This coil sprung/radius arm set is fairly easy to set up. It's just a lot of drilling & welding for installing all the sleeves in the frame rails. I'm going to sleeve all the mounting bolt locations for more strength. Luckily I've got a nice Milwaukee mag. drill set up. So drilling will be a breeze. And the coil spring front will ride much better. Even if I ever upgrade to 3/4- 1 ton diffs I'll be keeping the front coil spring/radius arm set up.
 
  #503  
Old 04-25-2016, 12:31 AM
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Sounds good! Yeah, bottle fed welders don't do so good outside, didn't think about that. I do love me some O/A welding, but I think my next attempt at sheet metal will be with some 1/16 6011, I have yet to get myself a wirefeed.

You know, now that I've done some research, a coil sprung setup looks pretty easy to setup, that may come in handy later...

Sam
 
  #504  
Old 10-28-2018, 09:30 PM
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How is the project coming along?
 
  #505  
Old 10-29-2018, 02:38 AM
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Life has kind of got in the way of this project. So it has been packed away and put in storage. I haven't touched it in a couple years. I've got 3 or 4 other vehicles I need to get built/repaired before I start on this one again and no shop to work in.

I also decided not to definitely not use the 78 F150 frame. I'm going to build a new frame from rectangle steel tubing. And I've still been torn between staying with the 4x4 plans or go 2wd with the 2003+ Crown Vic front suspension and either a custom 4 link rear suspension with a disc brake Explorer 8.8" rear diff or a modified Mark VIII/Thunderbird 8.8" IRS set up. But whatever I do it's getting some kind of built 240 6cyl with some scratch built headers and intake manifold.
 
  #506  
Old 11-12-2018, 12:16 PM
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I know how you feel. Life has had me working on my build going on 18 years. I dont think I am capable of not changing plans. I think if I'd stop visiting FTE I would but slim chance that'd happen..

I look forward to the continuation of ur project.
 
  #507  
Old 11-12-2018, 05:00 PM
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It also doesn't make it any easier when I've got 6 or 7 different versions of what I'd like this truck to be in my head. Do I want a hot rod truck, a work truck, a 4x4, a 60's/70's gasser, a shop truck, a street cruiser, a daily driver or something else ( like a stretched panel truck ) . Trying to get a compromise out of all of those condensed into a single build. It just has me flip flopping, second guessing what ever you want to call it. If I want a hot rod then a crew cab doesn't really fit that. If I want it to be a work/shop type of truck then a little short box isn't as functional as a long box would be. Not having a clear picture of what I want out of it, just has my ambition to work on it at a real low spot. Especially when I have other vehicles that I actually need that need repairs/modifications.

I own a couple Econolines. I really love how useful the vans are. I would love to find a cheap local 53-55 Ford Panel truck shell to graft onto the back of my cab. But I just haven't had much luck finding any in my area that I can afford.

I'll get back to the 54 build, It just might be a couple years down the road. When I do I'll probably just start a new build thread and throw a link at the end of this one.
 
 
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