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Need info on making my '63 F-100 road worthy.

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Old 07-20-2008, 02:44 AM
'63 F-100 '63 F-100 is offline
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Need info on making my '63 F-100 road worthy.

I will be picking up my great grandpas 2wd '63 F-100 from the farm and bringing it home soon. I dont really know much about these trucks. I dont really know much about trucks at all. (im a motocross guy) Im about to be fifteen and would like to make this my first truck. I figured I'd start early and take my time. I was told the truck was in working order when it was parked where it is now. It hasnt been driven in 15-20 years. It has ben kept under a shed type structure with a roof but no sides in Northern Central Texas. I would like to spend the least amount of money I can on this project, but do everything right and not cut corners. I would only like to make it road worthy for now.

What are the most susceptible parts needing to be replaced?

How much will it cost me to make this truck road worthy?
(I know its hard to estimate without going over the truck, but I would like your best shot)

What kind of load is this truck capable of pulling/hauling?

What is a comfortable highway cruising speed for this truck?

Im sorry for this excruciating long post, but I am very determined to find out info on fixing up this old truck. And yes I did search but didn't find exactly what I was looking for. Thanks guys I really appreciate all your help!
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:39 AM
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ddavidv ddavidv is offline
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I like your enthusiasm. The F100 is a half ton truck, designed to haul a half ton of weight. I can maybe equate it this tractor bucket of earth is a pretty acceptable load. 2 buckets of bark mulch will put it on the spring stops. Ask me how I know.

When you get the truck, post all the information that is on the tag located on the driver's door. We can tell you most everything about your truck with all that information, down to the colors and where it was built. Speed will mostly be determined by your rear axle ration (on that tag). Most half tonners have a gear that is easily good for 65-70 mph cruising speed. Above that and wind resistance starts to really take it's toll. They will go faster but they have to work harder to do it and you'll find the fuel mileage really begins to suffer. But, you can keep up with traffic no problem.

You are smart to worry about simple roadworthiness first and worry about cosmetics later. First thing is to thing about fluids...anything that holds fluids is going to need going over. Engine oil, fuel, coolant, brakes will be the most crucial items for something sitting so long. You may find you have to repair/replace all the brake cylinders, hoses, radiator, fuel pump and so forth. After that, check the suspension, steering and driveline joints and bearings and lubricate. Replace anything sloppy. Then electrical. Lots of problems here are usually just dirty connections. Lastly, deal with the body issues. Since you are in Texas rust shouldn't be a huge concern, but do look at the critical parts like cab mounts, floors and radiator support first before spending any money on the truck. If it's too rusty, it is not worth wasting the money on. Much cheaper to buy a solid truck and use yours for parts.

Hope this helps. They are easy to work on and it will be an exceptional learning experience!
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Old 07-20-2008, 11:39 AM
billy12360 billy12360 is offline
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does it start? move under its own power? turn the way it is sapost to when its sapost to? and does it stop? thats road worthy right there in my books....

a f-100 is a half ton truck... but my dad used to say "everything back then was underrated, horse power, towing weight, amount of weight you can throw in the back.... and heck even girls..." if you try hauling around anything more then a half ton... or so... dont expect to stop so soon....

CHECK YOU GAS TANK FOR RUST!!!!!!!!!! when talking to a older guy about trucks... he said that not alot of people bought them[anytrucks] for anything more then a farm truck... or to haul a camper or other stuff around... and said that normally they never really had a full tank of gas in it... causing rust, because theres all the room that gas doest occupy, there air there, and in alot of places theres alot of mositure in the air...

and personally i love my 63 as you can see in my sig. [in all honesty, i do love my girlfriend more then my truck.... though i do tend to spend more time with my truck... ]

be warned though.... quoted from my dad "this truck handles like a tank" but none the less... they are great trucks... and they will move your house if you tied a chain around it and hit the gas in 1st gear LOL...
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Old 07-20-2008, 12:44 PM
jimstrecker jimstrecker is offline
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comfortable cruising speed is 50 to 55 least with my 223 and engine now has a little of 3k on it with new front end and new barkes, hoses and tune-up
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Old 07-20-2008, 07:27 PM
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Now here's a long post...PRINT IT OUT

I've been through this countless times and have managed to put together a mental (that's the right term!) list of things that you've got to have on hand...

If she'll crank're about got it licked....SUGGEST taking an older buddy with some kind of mechanical know-how...YOU do the work..LET him teach you stuff.

You are going out on a farm ..prolly 20 minutes minimum from town...plan ahead...stock up on stuff, what you don't use THAT'll eventually need OR if you need the bread back in your pocke just return it..

You'll need two solid days minimum ahead of you to get this thing done and driveable to your house. And don't be discouraged if'n you don't get it at the first'll learn alot about the truck AND yourself by sticking with it...

Materials/Equipment you'll need.
Basic Chilton's or some such manual for that type of truck very handy for specs and basic info on things.. that's about all they're good for
Take a Battery: $60 - 80 or borrow one to see if she'll crank.
Oil Filter: $8
Oil: $20
Fuel Filter: $12 inline Glass View type..lots of these truck didn't have a filter beyond what was attached to the fuel pump.
Fresh Gas: 10 gallons = $45~
Fuel Pump....$40...take it back if you don't need it...install it if you ain't getting fuel out the line at the carb...
Rebuilt Carb...$40....take it back if the truck runs ok enough to get down the road to your house.
Ignition Parts: Points, Condensor, Rotor, Dist. Cap $50~
Set of standard plugs: $35~ reach oil drain plug, spin wheels..listen to sounds while spinning...borrow a floor jack.
Brake Fluid: $5 small can...$9 big bottle...get the big one..
Coolant: 50/50 ..bring 4 gallons $10 each gal.
Compressor...small job'll do..or a tank of compressed air. Do you know a carpenter or roofer...ask to borrow their little compressor..they all have one..
Short stretch of air hose
Blast tool. $5 or in a kit of Air tool goodies...$20 (fits in to end of air hose and you can blast short bursts of air in to lines....and such stuff that needs debris blown away)
Top Radiator Hose: $15
Bottom Radiator Hose: $15
Truck have a heater? 8 feet of 5/8 heater hose...$10-15
3/8 Rubber Fuel Line..

To Do List<<you may need to
Replace Radiator and heater hoses...check all Fuel Lines...replace as needed.
Check all Fan belts......if needed remove, go back down to parts house to get them sized and buy them.
Change oil and filter
Drain and Refill Radiator
Check/Fill Brake Master Cylinder...this is on the wall under the hood in front of the driver's side...note; that 'wall' is called the firewall.
Install in line Fuel Filter where easy to see...I put mine right next to fuel pump or up topside next to carb...also a good spot is at the line under the truck coming out from under the cab...less preferred if'n you're using the glass view type filter..
Drain OLD fuel out of tank...easy look for fuel line under the truck just behind the drivers door..
Disconnect line between pump and carb BLOW it out...
Disconnect line from pump to tank...BLOW it out...
Remove line leading INTO the tank..and BLOW it out...
Reconnect pertinent fuel lines...

Pull Gas tank OUT...Easy to do...2 bolts, 1 line, 2 wires, filler tube with 2 hose clamps...1 hour tops R/R with a friend...
Put it on some table or saw horse...and shake rattle and roll that thing and LISTEN....if you hear stuff rattling in there...understand it will either not let the engine get fuel or will clog up the lines and leave you stranded.
If stuff in fuel tank...that's a tough one...the truck I bought sat 10 years in a dry climate and I STILL had to put in another fuel tank...but it DID go down the road but the junk inside DID clog the line and leave me stranded ONCE in a while before if you got stuff inside, do your best to rinse it out with some fuel or even a half gallon of diesel or sure to rinse again with pure fuel to get residual diesel out..

Reinstall tank, connect all lines...and pour fresh gas into tank...

Install new ignition parts and plugs to spec...easy peezy to do..look at your Chilton's
Install new battery or borrowed one.
Disconnect fuel line at carb and giv'er a crank...have your bud look for fuel coming OUT....if fuel coming out..
Connect Line and try to start
If NO fuel, install pump and try to start...
If starts and coughs and spits and fuel is running out of carburetor...replace carb...

TIP 1: Put some gas in a spray bottle and at start up spray a little into carb ...KEEP A BIG TOWEL on hand in case of a little calm...smother big deal...

TIP 2: If you got puddles of oil and what not on top of motor...wipe it up before you go to start it...

TIP 3: DON'T get in a big hurry to fire that baby up..take your time, check stuff over, get to know your truck...keep sodas and sandwiches on hand, HAVE FUN..

At ever chance you get...use your air to blow away dust, spiders and fun and is helpful too!

If you get her running your brakes are you biggest worry...
PUMP on the brakes there pressure? Ok..if not...mmm..maybe the master cylinder is truck sat for 10 years...and the master cylinder had to be replaced SOON after I bought it...

Moisture is drawn to brake Cylinders can freeze up...not from just being cold...but because of a build up of when you get her running tool around the yard SLOWLY and hit the brakes to see what you've got... I've got one wheel cylinder that is froze..that is I'v got PLENTY of pressure at the pedal..but that left front brake cylinder doesn't engage fully..SO, I've got a strong pull to the right when I step on the brakes...

After tooling around yard.
Jack up each wheel...remove drum and LOOK at brake are the Brake Shoes (the part that pushes against the drum to help you stop)..are they cracked and dried out?...are they worn out?...Are there any fluids oozing where they shouldn't be? If there is some but NOT too much..not much need to worry about at this time..that is if you've got good pressure at the pedal........if there's a lot of fluids.....or if you have like NO pressure on the brake pedal...then you'll have to put some attention to the brake system...

Now, pulling the drum on the front is don't even have to take the wheel off...pop the hub cap...LOOK at the center SEE the cap in the middle..take a flat screw driver and POP it off...SEE the nut and all that grease...SEE the cotter pin..remove the pin, remove the big nut..and very carefully and gently remove the entire wheel and brake drum... If that seems too heavy to you, take the tire off and do it that a way..

Rears are easier still...Pop off the tire...and put your fingers on the out edge of the drum and might need a small hammer to tap it off..NOTE: I've had to pound on these to get them off and that was on vehicle I drove all the time...take your WANT to see inside there..

NOTE: On both front and rear..SOMETIMES the brakes are adjusted too far out and prevent the drum from coming off....What I do is...Look behind the drum and at the bottom of the drum you'll see an oval piece of rubber or an oval hole...THAT is where the brakes are adjusted...get a Brake Spoon and loosen the'll take some practice here, but you'll get the hang of it..

OH: When you put the drums back on..this your chance to adjust your brakes up snug so's they rub a little on the drum. I adjust them so it takes just a little bit of effor to turn the wheel..not too little, not too much...

Brake Parts you HOPE you won't need...No need to take this stuff out to the farm, chances are good you won't need them ..fingers crossed though.
Master Cylinder: $40
Rear Wheel Cylinders: $20 to 60 each
Front Wheel Cylinders: $40 to 80 each...
Brake Shoes Rear: $60 for a set
Brake Shoes Front: About the same or more as Rears.
Turn Brake Drums at Machine Shop...1-2 days turnaround...and $15 to 30 bucks a drum...
Time to replace all: 1 solid day with some experience....2 days with none.

I'm not trying to scare you away...and I know this is a lot of information, I've tried to keep it simple.....but there's some stuff to know and be aware of...the last thing you want is to hit the road and hurt someone or yourself because you had no brakes...and the last thing you want is to be out on the highway broke down...

Tires in Fair condition...that is not too many cracks...hold air and so on.. GOOD...Take a Spare with you BEFORE you hit the road...Have a friend follow you home..GO SLOW

Complete Socket Set
Open End/Box End wrench set..from 5/16s to 3/4
Tire Tool for your lug nuts and hub caps removal
Brake Spoon
Compressor and accessory as described above
Bunch a rags noone cares about
Big Towels to smother fire if you get one..
Nice set of various screw drivers


Ford nut from the git git 'n go get'er duunnnn!
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Old 07-20-2008, 08:50 PM
camperspecial65 camperspecial65 is offline
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Th1567, you pretty much nailed it all...but FIRST, Welcome to you see from the previous post theres a TON of great guys on here, old and young and in between who are a tremendous wealth of info...

First basic rule... THE ONLY STUPID QUESTION IS THE ONE YOU DONT ASK...Dont feel like you are asking an easy question or something that should be obvious...when you first get a car/truck its one big learning curve...dont expect perfection from yourself on all things the first time...BUT, when you do nail something ...pat yourself on the back, make mental notes and carry on.
As for the front drum removal...Th1567...where in the world were you 20-25 yrs ago when I had my first car...I spent about 3 hours beating the tar outta the fronts until I discovered the lil cap and cotter pin and nut and viola...its in my hand....Dad didnt help me either...and I had asked he wanted me to figure it out for myself..
Anyway, since it hasnt been run in a long while, one thing I would do before starting it...pull the plugs...note their condition...wet and oily...not a good sign if alot are like the...dry plugs...great sign...ideal plugs should be a tannish colored pocelain...prolly wont be...gray/black is carbon...clean and put back in and regap...get one of the wire type plug gappers...2 bucks at the most...When pulling the plugs...use a plug socket!!! a good plug socket will have a rubber insert in it to cushion the plug...they are glass and will break...get a straight bite on the plug and undo it...before doing so, if theres a lot of crud or whatnot around plugs after the wire is pulled off...blast the area with air...dirt is a bad thing for inside engine as Im sure you know. When doing the plugs, there should be a firing order cast int the intake manifold...thats a good thing to clean up pretty like...also, undo the plug wires and service one at a time so the firing order doesnt get messed up...
pop the cap off(theres 2 spring clips 180 of each other) look at inside of cap...if theres lotta marking on the areas of the cap where the rotor fires off would most likely be greenish due to sitting...if its a grayish color, thats not too bad...if the cap inside is the greenish color on the contacts, replace the cap...again, when doing plug wire replacement on the cap do them one at a time. If the cap is good but rotor end is all rusty or crusty looking...replace it...most tune up kits come with cap/rotor/condensor/points at least...condensor is the lil round thing under the rotor that connects to the points.
When it comes to adding an inline filter, if the truck has its original metal line from fuel pump to carb, theres 2 ways to do it...get 2 shorts pieces of tubing(3/8" or 5/16") and put on either end, bridge the gap with the rubber fuel line and the fuel filter. Cutting the line with a hacksaw could get shavings into the carb...if you or your friend has a small tubing cutter, great...a lil one is maybe 5 bucks and easily fits in palm of your hand.
Oil...dump that crud...I would jack it up to get to drain plug and put a stand under it just in case for safety...take that puppy out and let that stuff drain its heart out...after that I would go back to messing with other it LOTS of time to drain. Oil should be black as tar, if its creamy a coffee with cream in it...that a bad sign...water in the oil...that should be able to be seen by pulling the dipstick.
Radiator and coolant...if you dont see water at the top when you take the cap off...undo the petcock at the bottom of the sticks out about 3/4 of an inch...get a pair of pliers to just break it free...then undo slowly to see what, if anything come out...if its green...thats good...that is rust...if its empty, that I would take as a good sign moisture to cause rust or whatnot from its sitting.
Rememeber to tighten petcock back up...a snug hand tight is sufficient. add coolant as needed...get a funnel so it all goes in, that way if you see water coming out of the core you know theres a leak...fill are displacing air as you fill and it takes a bit of time for all the air to work its way out.
Belts and said before...dont forget clamps too...fuel line size, heater hose size and radiator hose size...can always take them back if not needed.
When working with the battery...note which is pos (+)on the truck(the cable that goes to starter relay on the firewall. clean the terminals on the cables and battery...leave battery undone when doing the plugs...if you hit/contact the rear of the generator just so with battery hooked up...can cause major headache as it can mess up the will prolly have to undo it and take the belt off to get the front 2 plugs on a V8. A 6 cylinder should be ok as far as being able to get to plugs...
Brakes...th1567 pretty much nailed it...if shoes are wet from brake fluid or grease from the rear axle, replace them...other conditions th1567 said as well ...
When you grease up the joints...fill JUST enough to see the rubber boots balloon up on the steering linkage...also a good idea to wipe the old crud from around this area too and the zerk fitting(grease fitting)
Th1567 pretty much nailed he said...go slow, dont be in a rush...I know its a ton of fun to bring something back to life thats been sitting ...I once brought back a 55 Buick back to life that had been idled since 1971...I still have its bad piston as it had a stuck valve.
Oh other thing...on the drums...on the rears I THINK there are some huge straight slot screws in the middle area that go into the axle...if those are there...they gotta come out...those can be a royal pain in the behind. Im most familiar with 3/4 ton trucks so that might not apply...but just in case...
Get a can of PB Blaster and/or Liquid Wrench...I advise against WD40...I did that once on tailgate hinge bolts ...took hinge off, ran bolts in, left for 5 yrs...I broke 2 off flush...and I had lubed them well before...with WD40...the W is, I feel PB is a better rust penetrant and lubricant.

As for the warranty plate info...on yours that will be on the inside of the glove box door...take a pic of it or write the info down and I or others here can decode it down for you.
Lastly...if your truck is a unibody...go easy on loading with heavy stuff...and just rememeber while you are tinkering on the truck who has been under the hood before you :-)

- cs65
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:52 PM
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th1567 th1567 is offline
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Ok..yes..CS know it takes alot a shade tree action to build up your Ford Knowledge Base... shade, Fords, parts, frosty throat charmers and I'm fine...

3/4 tons...well trucks with the Dana/Spicer 60 do have three big headed standard head machine screws holding the drum to the axel flange...just did some brake work on a 66 know I looked at them and said..'oh no' here we go...but I got a screwdriver, a crescent wrench and shees..not a one of 'em more 'n finger tight...! close one!

Well, on the 1/2 ton trucks...those are like cars...pop the wheel the drum off...

I'm no mechanic just a dude that's been knocked around a bit by these heartbreakers..

Tally ho!!

Just another Ford heading toward who knows where....but he's doing just fine..
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Old 07-20-2008, 09:58 PM
billy12360 billy12360 is offline
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the only thing i would really add... is try turning the motor by hand before you attempt to throw a new battery in there and try starting it... and maybe grind a few teeth off the starter...

just for clarrification... just attempt to rotat the motor by hand... DONT TAKE THE STARTER OUT AND START GRINDING TEETH OFF!!! lol
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:43 PM
camperspecial65 camperspecial65 is offline
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Th1567..If you run across any of those moster straight slot drum screws, let me know...can never have too many of them...Ya never know when ya are gonna be needing them.
Thanks for the clarification on the 1/2 tons...thats what I was thinking too, but better to be safe then sorry...

- cs65
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Old 07-20-2008, 10:54 PM
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Okay. You know I found a guy in Sacramento that has a bunch of old've been looking for the firewall cover for a 65/66...I know he has a cab/bed and various sundries for those two I'll axe him 'bout that...

Well, my point is I'll be seeing him tomorrow to pick up a set of 5 stock split rims for my if'n you got a list of doo dads you're interested in..I can take a gander on your behalf. He's kind of a junk yard guy...I think I got his number off ebay but I can't remember anything except that his name is Adam and somehow I got his cell.

Oh, the other good thing is he ain't looking to get rich off'n his those 5 rims with decent rubber on them for $100..real good deal 30 days guaranteed though...

Feel free to email me any time...we can exchange info on that private channel...and we'll just see what I find...

And if I find something on your list...I can let you know or worries mate. Parts are out there for these trucks...but they ain't ever'where.

Tooling around town, doin' errands, lookin' cool....66 Ford dude, way to go!
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Old 07-31-2011, 12:57 AM
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Great info everyone! I'm making some good head way on my 62 F-100 using the info provided above.

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Old 09-04-2011, 02:00 AM
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You may want to add a small amount of Marvel Mystery Oil to each cylinder before you attempt to turn it by hand. Let it sit in there a couple days and then add some more. Try and gently move it back and forth until you can get a good full rotation and then add some more. It will help with cleaning your rings to some degree as well as lube the cylinfer walls. Your lucky northern Texas is fairly dry , but 10+ years is a long time to sit in one position.
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