Tuesday, June 28, 2011


So I recently realized that I have never elaborated on what exactly I plan on doing to/with my truck. That was a large oversight on my part and so now I shall do my best to rectify the problem. The real question is how do I begin? Guess I’ll start with what I actually have.
 For those that don’t know I have a 1959 F100 Custom Cab Styleside Longbed that was given to me by my parents for my 16th Birthday.  It currently has a 390ci FE big block engine and a C6 automatic transmission with a 9 inch rear of uncertain gearing. 
I have always wanted to convert my truck from 2 wheel drive to a 4x4 as 2/3 of the seasons and 8/10 of the roads we have up here require 4 wheel drive.  I plan on doing this by building 2 “609” axles. A “609” is a Ford 9inch center section with Dana 60 knuckles(in the front), bearings and axles. This combines the best components of both axles for the strongest set up short of using the enormous Rockwells found on military vehicles.  These axles will be connected, via what will most likely need to be custom driveshafts, to either an Atlas II or a Monster Box transfer case.  I haven’t decided to use a divorced case or an attached one but either way it will be connected to a new high performance C6 automatic transmission.
Now we come to the engine…  This is the most contentious topic that I have yet to make a decision on. I am a purest when it comes to the make of engines in vehicles so I will never put a Chevy engine in my Ford. As the truck has already been separated from its original underwhelming 158hp 292ci engine, and it currently has a 390ci FE big block, I have many options to choose from.  There are basically 5 routes I am considering;
1. Keep and stroke the current 390ci,
2. Buy or build a stroked small block,
3. Buy or build a Boss 429 big block, 
4. Buy and install the new Ford 5.0 liter Coyote engine,
5. Buy or build a diesel engine and convert it to biodiesel.
Each of these has their pros and cons (including some that I may have not considered yet) but none of them is easy or cheap…
            All of this will be mounted to the frame. Through years of research, I have found that I have two options, either swap the whole frame or modify my existing frame.  I have recently been offered a 4x4 frame from a 67 F250 that will require about half as much modification as the existing frame, so I am thinking that is the way to go.  This also has the benefit of giving me a frame to work on before I completely teardown the truck.  My only hesitation is that I would much rather find a 59 4x4 frame to have the right year and to avoid any modifications, but that is a needle in a very large haystack.  In any case, I intend to fully box and clean up the frame and add some crossmembers for strength. To the frame is mounted the body. And here my plans are fairly modest.  The only big modification I plan is to raise the top of the bed sides above the body line to match that of the cab and hood.  Other than that I am thinking about having all of the existing chrome plated in satin nickel rather than rechromed because I like the brushed metal look. I also may shave the drip rails from the cab. I will be frenching in LED stepside style brake lights like these:
into the rear bed panels in place of the current brake lights.  I will also try to figure out a way to add a third brake light on the back of the cab, perhaps something Ford oval shaped.  In the bed, I will remove the dented metal and replace it with a very nice wood bed floor though I haven’t yet determined what species of wood I want to use.  So far I’m thinking Zebrawood or sugar maple.  The paint color is another decision I am putting off but I do know that I will have a creamy off white color below the body line and a darker color above.  It will most likely be either a dark copper color or a dark blue like the samples I posted below and you all can vote on. In any case it will be of such a high quality that I will have to post no swimming signs around the truck to keep people from bonking their noses.. 
     Now for the interior.  First off I am going to relocate the gas tank from behind the seat. It will either be an aftermarket tank located under the bed or a custom gas tank integrated into an oak barrel mounted behind the cab in the bed. Originally the truck came with a bench seat but it was moss and mold filled so was disposed of, (which hindsight has shown to be a mistake).  From the beginning I wanted to put bucket seats in the truck with a custom console but I have recently decided with help from my son to install a nice custom bench seat, something like this;
to be able to seat 3 comfortably.  I would like to cover the seat with leather of some sort possibly suede, bomber leather or ostrich leather (which would match with the sugar maple if used in the bed).  I like the look of bench seats that have two tones or two materials like this. 
So I will probably go with something along those lines.  I will probably still add some sort of small custom console in the center under the dash to have a better mounting place for a stereo and such but it would have to be small enough to not get in the way of the feet of the person in the middle. The dash will remain fairly stock possibly wrapping the top of the dash with leather to match the center of the seat.  I will add modern yet classic looking gauges and a custom half-wrapped steering wheel, again keeping it classic looking.  The interior of the doors will be treated similarly to the rest of the interior, most likely being wrapped with the same leather as the seat with new speakers inserted in the door panels and new custom arm rests.
So that’s about it. At least for now….

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