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Jeff and Nicolle 03-01-2012 09:00 PM

Build Thread: '49 F321
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I bought this in April 2010. Shortly after, I found this great Forum!
My wife Nicolle bugged me about this truck for a good 2 or 3 months. She found it and wanted me to look at it. I said, "We don't need anything like that. Too much money, too much time, and I get a bad case of OCD. You don't understand!" So for an old fishing boat and $200 dollars cash. It gets hauled to our house by a friend of the previous owner. No charge for the delivery. And found out that the previous owner went to school with Nicolle. He was the grandson of the true owner. Him and his Dad were going to do something with it.
And decided that their time was better spent fishing.

Jeff and Nicolle 03-01-2012 09:10 PM

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So it sat in the drive for maybe a couple weeks, while I was doing some research on the rebuilding of the flat six. I couldn't afford that so it's time to start leaning on the door of the darkside. MII front suspension? too expensive. Jag IFS?
$300 and a trip to the salvage yard.
I wanted it low and with modern day abilities like power steering/power brakes/etc.
So I started removing the 6 cylinder and tranny.
With alot of time spent on here asking millions of questions, I picked up my '79 JAG XJ6 IFS, A rear axle from a 2001 Ford Explorer( 8.8, 3:73 limited slip, disc brake unit.) and an AOD tranny from a '91 Ford Grand Marquis. Also bought the rear half of an '89 Dodge Dakota for the rear springs and hangers. I learned that worked, by reading here.

Harrier 03-01-2012 09:23 PM

Jeff, Glad to see you start this thread. I look forward to your progress. This thread might take a while to get from this point to where you currently are.

Now let me get this straight, Nicolle convinced you to get it, she watches while you fix it all up......Now be careful, she will use her wifely charms (or threats) to get to drive it all the time. :)

Jeff and Nicolle 03-01-2012 09:50 PM

Yeah Joe, no kidding...I sort of wish I left it hard to drive!}>

So I am going to try to fill in the blanks, but it will be tough doing it after the fact. But I will try.
I took the flat bed off the truck because it was home built and, to me, ugly.
I needed a bed and bought one from a guy here on the forum. I don't want to mention a name, but he is very knowledgeable about "widowmakers" ....

Rojak 03-01-2012 11:16 PM

Good stuff Jeff. Cool to see the before pics. You were right about the bed... um... interesting. If you ever need any help with your build look me up!

underthebridgejim 03-01-2012 11:44 PM

I think youve got a good idea Jeff. After watching other build threads over time, Ive regretted not doing a step by step thread myself. There is so much stuff I didnt take pictures of, so its pretty much out of the question for me. Ive always admired your front end work, so Im looking forward to seeing more.

ben73058 03-02-2012 12:24 AM

Hey Jeff,
I'm signed on - I like your resourceful approach!
I've got exactly the same rear Explorer axle & gears - It's working
nice for me. Now that AOD - I hope you can find some experienced AOD guys to help you with it. You are looking for that wise old guy sitting in the corner who can attach & set that cable correctly.

Good luck over there! It's looking good. Not sure what you are doing for ignition but solid state electronic ignition beats old school points/condenser as long as you are on the dark side anyway.

Ben in Austin

55 f350 03-02-2012 05:18 AM

allright jeff you got too much time on yer hands to put up a build thread !! LOL !! now come on get all the other photos up and to date for the newbies here in so they can see where you are , and that a long bed can look damn cool too !!!!!!!!!!! got the engine out and apart yet ????? later i got the itch to go order some more parts to let sit around here and gather dust while i drive my time away ....................:-jammin

barnfind 51 03-02-2012 06:50 AM

Hey Jeff that flat bed did't look so bad:D. I did see the battery box you fab up in the inner fender look real good ,great job on it looks like it was made for it. Keep up the good work . And keep this thread going you are way ahead of me. Buzzy:-X0A6

Harrier 03-02-2012 07:54 AM

Originally Posted by barnfind 51 (Post 11516959)
Hey Jeff that flat bed did't look so bad:D. I did see the battery box you fab up in the inner fender look real good ,great job on it looks like it was made for it. Keep up the good work . And keep this thread going you are way ahead of me. Buzzy:-X0A6

This got me thinking, you can locate all your threads like this and put them in this thread for easy access.

Jeff and Nicolle 03-02-2012 04:53 PM

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For all the guys/gals that aren't familiar with my project, I am running about 1 1/2 years late on this build thread. Bear with me and I will work on catching up.
May 2010: I started to remove and replace the the old Timken split axle(original to the F3) and install the 8.8 from an Explorer. Mounting it to the original springs could have worked, but being an F3 they were short and stiff. Also you can use the original Explorer spring pads on the original F3 springs. It puts the pinion angle up about 15 degrees, way too much. Unless maybe it's a 4x4, but not the case here. So I went to the salvage yard and found an '89 Dodge Dakota. Spring hangers and springs were just what seemed to look about right.

Jeff and Nicolle 03-02-2012 05:25 PM

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And here is some of the Explorer axle trials and tribulations.

Jeff and Nicolle 03-02-2012 05:48 PM

In the end of dealing with the pinion angle, I had to fab plates for the front end of the springs and reverse flipped the rear shackles, to get the right pinion angle. I have no pictures of that at the moment apparently, and will get some on this post when time permits. But my pinion angle is somewhere between 3-5 degrees up. I can adjust, if needed, with taper shims when that time comes.

Jeff and Nicolle 03-02-2012 06:15 PM

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On to the JAG IFS. I sent a few questions to the JAG IFS users here. 48Steel,49Willard,Rhopper,Hillbillybob, if I left someone out, please accept my apologies. Also thanks to all who have answered my questions!
The Jag IFS can be soft mounted using the JAG hardware and some fabbed brackets or hard mounted/welded. I tried to set up for a soft mount and wanted it lower than what I was seeing. So I played with the thoughts of welding it to the frame. I did a bunch of research about this before doing it. used measurements acquired by 48Steel, to set it in the right place. after I was happy with what I saw, I prepared the frame for modification.

Jeff and Nicolle 03-02-2012 06:23 PM

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Then after doing the basic welding to the frame, I fabricated boxing plates out of the 1/4" steel plate, that were once the bedsides of the original homemade flatbed! I had to clean the rust and paint off, it was a pain, but it was free!
I made templates out of foamboard, bought at most department stores, works great!
A note I forgot, after I made my plates and welded them to the frame, the crossmember was welded to again. so there are 3 welds front to back.
1.Outside the frame 2. inside the frame where I cut out the lower flange and 3. a weld at the crossmember where the boxing plate goes across.
it's welded anywhere I could effectively weld.

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