Archive | February, 2011

The Fordolet Project Continues

13 Feb

Did the heads today… lapped in the valves, new double springs, to match the 280 degree, .480/.480 cam.  In a couple of days, I’ll go back over and finish putting in the crank, camshaft, pistons and timing gears. Had a couple of distractions today, so didn’t get as far along as I had hoped.

Found out the body work is all done on the cab and bed. Chassis should be done by next weekend, and I want to have the engine ready to mount, so I can lay out the mounting modifications. Who’d a thought that Ford didn’t allow for mounting a Chevy engine in their trucks, eh?

(Click to enlarge, but be warned, they’re large files)


'54 F-100 chassis

The chassis before chopping it to add the new front end

We want to close up the C-channel frame with some stainless sheet metal before painting it. Makes for nice clean runs for wiring and brake lines.

Heads like new

Heads are ready to go!

I had hoped to finish the heads, and install the pistons, crank and cam today.  Just wasn’t to be, I guess. Ah well…. it’ll still be there tomorrow!

Cleaning a piston

Taking a "break" to clean up a piston for a custom ashtray

Not much of a break, but once I get started, I like to keep on… getting back up to speed ain’t as easy as it used to be!

351 Cleveland

This is the 351 Cleveland we pulled out of the truck

The 351 ended up at the dump, as we couldn’t find anyone interested in it, and it was taking up too much space. Pity! A great engine.

'54 F-100 bed

How the bed looked when bought

As you can see, the bed was pretty rough. When we’re finished, it’ll be red oak, with polished stainless, boltless deck runners. The tailgate will have invisible latches, instead of the stock chains and hooks.



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.