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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

Has Anyone Built Their Truck in Stages?

 
  #1  
Old 07-30-2010, 01:31 AM
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Has Anyone Built Their Truck in Stages?

I've only got a couple more small projects to clear out of the shop before I can get the F-2 in and begin working on it. Just about all the mechanical parts are bought and I'm trying to develop a work plan. In the course of this, I've sort of come to Jesus and realized that I have serious issues with losing interest in a project if I take too big of a bite at once. I've started a couple massive restoration efforts in the past and got discouraged and gave up when the car was in a million pieces all over the shop. Both of those were pretty much a lost cause before I ever got ahold of them so reducing them to parts wasn't a great loss, but that's not the point. I've seen many, many people's projects abandoned over the years because they lost interest, so I know I'm not the only one that suffers from this. On the other hand, the cars that I've had that needed some love but were still somewhat driveable were a LOT more fun to own and they held my interest. A little weekend tinkering on this and that was much more enjoyable when the prospect of getting to go enjoy the fruits of my labor was just a few hours or days away instead of months or years.

For this reason, I'm thinking that I want to pull the body off the F-2 (there is no bed, so there's not much to it), build the chassis and mechanicals the way I want them, and then put the body back on as-is. I think that if I can cruise it around in all it's dinged up, slightly rusty, and heavily patina'ed glory for awhile, I'll stand a much better chance of actually taking it all the way to where I ultimately want it than if I try to tackle the whole scope of the resto and modification at once. Once it's running and driving, I can spend a couple weekends rewiring it. Then I can get a bed on it. Follow that up with replacing missing or cracked windows. Etc., etc. I think this will also be handy for working the kinks and bugs out of everything before I actually do the bodywork and get it painted. I understand that this will make more work in the end and require taking some things apart multiple times, but I think that it would be worth it.

So the question is: Has anyone else built their truck via this method? Were you glad you did? Did you wish you'd just restored the whole thing at once instead and why?
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:39 AM
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Well I cant answer you as far as a completed project but i'll say this (and I never thought i'd say this when I brought it home) I wish i'd never stripped the paint and started that whole part of the project. I wish i'd have done what you're saying and got it on the road and then worked on the rest of it. Just jumped the gun a little in my bringing it home excitement I guess. Good luck with yours, I think you have the right plan for your personality there.
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 02:17 AM
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I kind of did Joe.

The way I approached it was to restore all the pieces for one component(say a wiper motor), then put all the wiper components together into a complete wiper installation.

I did that with each restorable item - wipers, heater, motor, brakes suspension, door hardware, etc. And I kept within that group until I had everything in that genre complete. Then I was able to mount each completed item on the truck. That helps when you are doing a frame off but it also helps when you have inclament winter weather - you can do component work in the component under cover in winter and installations outside during warmer months.

One caviat to it was I strove very hard to finish the components needed to drive the truck and get it on the road. I found that driving it was a key to keeping my motivation. The other motivation was having $10K worth of unassembled parts sitting in the garage for a truck that didn't run.

I think your idea is a good one and very practical - keeps the project organized. And that keeps it from seeming overwhelming.
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 04:56 AM
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Project stages

Looking back over the now 6 years; I started out with a truck with decent body but no working power train. I had a tremendous first 6 months of dismantling, and assembling power train. From there to now I find I'm working on many little things, and close to having it running. To do over again; I would like to have found a working "flatty" and drove it; making all the upgrades to brakes, IFS, body work, etc later. It is a challenge to keep going, but its way too late to go back, LOL.

Tom
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:06 AM
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I think stages is exactly the way to go. I've done many motorcycle resto projects, but they rarely take more than a couple months, maybe a year. Hard to lose interest. After 2 yrs with the truck sitting in the garage, I realized if I couldn't drive it I'd give up, so I did brakes, then engine, fuel, and electrical. Drove it that way for a year and dove into the bodywork. By that point I knew what I was missing so I kept up momentum.
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:16 AM
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I think losing interest is just another name for burnout. It happens. One of the things I like about living in a cold climate is that I get every winter off. Doing the truck in stages is the best route and there's some enjoyment to be had "cruising around in it's dinged up, slightly rusty, and heavily patina'ed glory". That's not a bad thing...
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:28 AM
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Yep, I think a bit at a time is better, especially the body work / paint is major money (and unless you are going to sub-contract it) time consumer. My current project (last?) came with no running gear so that had to be done but I went in with NEVER (maybe) doing the body work / paint, over half the stress removed and a much more feasible / attainable project for me.

Probably a self fulfilling prophecy but I like the looks of the old girls dressed in patina!
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 08:44 AM
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Many people,it seems, have to do it that way out of financial necessity . In my case,with my truck being my only vehicle,I drive it while I improve it - so it's not a proper "build".I'm fortunate to be able to do it this way,as I get the pleasure of driving it daily,(for the past 11 years now)and the pleasure of doing most of the work - or trying to learn how to.Not having a running vehicle is great motivation in getting things done.
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:05 AM
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I have restored a couple of Mustangs and have developed a spreadsheet to itemize tasks for each system, writing things down and using check lists helps me stay focused on the task at hand. I will be taking a less "energetic" path with my F-3 and will follow smarter and wiser folks than I, like Jules Cool F-1 and others. Best of luck with the new project.
w
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:08 AM
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Sorry about the typo Julie!
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 09:25 AM
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If it is a straight restoration then you pretty much know where you are headed with regard to the chassis. I would pull together everything that I could in preparation for the start on the chassis and then begin the process. I can recall growing up in Ohio and what it was like to have to deal with winters so maybe the chassis work would be a good winter project. While the cab is off I would prep and paint the underside of the floor and detail/paint the firewall, that way when the cab is reinstalled the tough work has already been completed. I think that by spring you would have a running truck again and could tinker with the bodywork as the spirit moves you.
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:23 AM
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i bought a 94 f150 that was a lanscaping truck when i was 14 and it was pretty much used and abused and i knew that if i spent all my time workin on it, it would just become a headache. so instead, i would work on it whenever i had free time and it slowly came together.i would pick somethin i wanted to accomplish that day and work on it and nothin else so i didnt feel like i had too much on my plate. i had this image in my head of what i wanted to do to it and if i ever felt as if it was becoming a headache, i would go on the internet and search for that year of f150 and see what everyone else has done and get ideas and that seemed to give me drive enough to refresh my want to keep pursuing my dream of the truck i wanted to build.
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:33 AM
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I agree - Take your time and enjoy the ride - I will take a beat up scratched old Ford anyday! There are many positives - you don't have to worry about paint chipping during normal operation, you know that you are one of the LUCKY few to have a truck like this, and painted or not, these old trucks turn heads just by being on the road. When I first got my truck, all I could do was think up cool things to do to it - then I reminded myself that I bought the truck to drive not sit!

So, if you bought the truck to drive - DRIVE IT!

and you can never have too many projects -just not enough time! Our projects give us something to do, keeps us active, and replaces boredom with awesomeness!
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:40 AM
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Willard will be my 4th ground up restoration. In the past I seemed better at staying focused on just the one project. Now I have other toys that need regular attention drawing me away from the single project. I have another project lined up after Willard and I am considering doing it in stages. There are a lot of "taker aparter's" and far fewer "puter togetherer's". I would absolutely do your truck in stages and drive it inbetween.
 
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Hickabilly1960 View Post
I agree - Take your time and enjoy the ride - I will take a beat up scratched old Ford anyday! There are many positives - you don't have to worry about paint chipping during normal operation, you know that you are one of the LUCKY few to have a truck like this, and painted or not, these old trucks turn heads just by being on the road. When I first got my truck, all I could do was think up cool things to do to it - then I reminded myself that I bought the truck to drive not sit!

i love the fact that i can scratch it or dent it and not even think twice except just goin "oops" ha ha. and you are absolutely right, when im drivin around in my old beat up work truck with a fiberglass ram air hood and a big sticker on the back that says "Duct Tape Racing", people break there necks tryin to look, its awesome i love it. wouldnt trade my truck for anything in the world.
 

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