The Project: ’54 F-100 with a Chevy 350, Built!

10 Feb

I’ve been promising to post some pics of the ’54 Ford pickup I’m helping my brother-in-law build, so here ya are… the 1954 Fordolet! (click to enlarge photos)

As purchased

Love at first sight!

1954 F-100

Could use a little work

We didn’t take a bunch of photos before the tear-down, unfortunately. Let’s just say that the chassis is about a mile away, and the body panels are about 15 miles beyond that. The drive train ain’t leavin’ my sight, though!

When we got the truck, it had a 351 Cleveland with a C6 tranny in it. But the 351 didn’t give me the options I wanted, so we unloaded that, and went instead for a 350 4-bolt main that we took out of a motor home, complete with the 400 tranny. When I tore the engine down, I was VERY pleased to find it almost new. It literally looked to be barely broken in!

After a few days hunkered over the computer, shopping parts, I started slapping her back together.

350 cid 4-bolt main

First, some paint work

350 cid 4-bolt main

Posing for posterity

Of course, I had to check out the 400 transmission, too. Again, we struck paydirt…. like new! So a clean-up and some paint seemed to be in order.

400 transmission after cleaning and paint

Looks a little better now

And this is where we work all this magic…

The workbench

Gets a little crowded at times

The chassis is being sandblasted and primed, and when we get it back, we’ll be chopping the front end out and replacing it with a Volare front end, for the disc brake and power steering mod. Then we’ll set the engine and transmission in place, and weld up the new mounts and various brackets. Pull the engine back out, paint the chassis, and back in they’ll go!

The body is going to take the longest, as we’re chopping the cab down about 4-1/2 inches, customizing the bed, shaving the doors, and installing a front-tilt hood mechanism. We’re having that done outside, though, as it’s not our “area of expertise”. When all the body work is done, it’ll be time for paint.

My BIL is having second thoughts about paint, now. Originally, we were going to go with flat black, accented by black chrome. Now he’s re-thinking that, and may go with a two-tone paint job and conventional chrome.

I don’t really care, as I’m more interested in performance than appearance. ‘Sides, I’m not the one that has to drive it.

More pics to come, as the work progresses.

2 Responses to “The Project: ’54 F-100 with a Chevy 350, Built!”

  1. Dan February 10, 2011 at 11:38 pm #

    Look at those grease monkey’s! You both look like dab hands at the engine game.

    The photos give a good indication of how much work is ahead. If the body looks that shabby, you can just imagine what’s happening under the hood (if anything hahaha).

    Shiny black with chrome does sound appealing, heck I can even picture it.

    I really hope that you do a stage-by-stage blog and picture update of the project as it is very interesting. A simple before and after isn’t nearly as exciting as seeing all the hell you’ll go through to restore this wonder to its former glory.

    Best of luck, glad I saw this on FB and came for a look :)

    • Doc February 11, 2011 at 8:16 am #

      Hi Dan. Thanks for popping in. Yeah, I like the idea of flat black, too. And I’ve always been a big fan of black chrome… gives that “classy, yet sinister” look to it. ;) Gonna try to be more conscientious about taking in-progress pics, but it seems we tear into something new, get all wrapped up in it until it’s done, and then realize we forgot to take any. Thanks for the comment. Keep checking back, eh?

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