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Projects 1948 F1 rattle can rebuild

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by LowKat, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. Last October, I went to look at a POS 1948 F1 for cheap which fits my very limited budget. My plan was to throw in a SBC and T350 I already had and make a beater / driver / trash hauler.

    I get there and the old guy had a pair of trucks but was 'restoring' the #2. We talked a while and when he figured out I was actually going to fix #1, he offered me #2 for the same money, if I took them both. (#2 is on the tow truck)

    He told me "this restoration stuff was a lot more work than I thought, so I'd like to see them go to somebody that will fix one".

    Trucks were both last licensed in 1982. The seller bought them about that time as a pair for restoration. In reality he only had removed a bunch of parts.

    I told him after I get one driving, we'll go for a ride.


    The #2 truck is in much better condition than #1.
    Good glass, very little rust. Pretty 'tight' rig.


    I get 'em home, loosely put all of the missing body parts back on and cleaned up, so my neighbors aren't looking at crap.

    2010 10 14 06 a.JPG

    #2 has the chrome wheels.
    It's the one I'm working on.

    2010 10 14 #1 g.JPG

    2010 10 14 #1 e.JPG

    Didn't do anything on them from Oct til after Xmas.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
    SOHC427 likes this.
  2. Well, I did do one thing right before Christmas. All of my neighbors loved it.

    2010 12 25 Christmas 01.JPG

    2010 12 25 Christmas 06.JPG

    So I put #2 truck in the garage and get ready to pull the crusty 1957 inline 223 six cylinder that was in it.

    2011 05 01 engine paint 1.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  3. I pull the front clip off and figure I might as well try starting up the 223. After getting the plug wires in order it fires up.... sounds good but needed the broken thermostat housing replaced.

    Ah... to hell with the Chevy 350/350.
    I'll go with the inline 6.

    Put a gasket kit in the carb, a redi-sleeve on the harmonic balancer, timing chain, and a new oil seal.

    Add some paint for a rattle can rebuild.

    2011 05 01 engine paint 1a.JPG 2011 05 01 engine paint 2.JPG

    Found an air cleaner off of a '49 Ford bread truck that had an aluminum lid. The red 'original' one shown above was rusted out.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
    6-bangertim likes this.
  4. torino_Joe
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 102


    I dig em both,especially #1.Nice score man.Keep the pics coming.

    Keep the 6!!!

  5. Well, now the engine looks decent so it makes the firewall really look bad.

    Found some Almond paint that nearly matches the truck perfectly....

    Rattle can rebuild the firewall.

    2011 05 04 firewall paint 1.JPG

    Couldn't find a wiring harness in a rattle can so I used one out of a 1969 Chevy pickup and got started on that. Also used the headlight and ignition switches from the same Chevy for plug and play.

    2011 05 04 firewall paint 2.JPG

    2011 05 04 firewall paint 3.JPG

    2011 05 04 firewall paint 6.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
    6-bangertim likes this.
  6. holy shit what a little paint can do to an engine bay.
    The 223 looks so good in there.
    I am sorry to say that iI have a 350/350 on my 51 f1 but one day that will change.
    nice progress
  7. I kinda lost steam for a month or so but went to the Portland Swap Meet in April and picked up a few pieces to fuel the fire.

    1st thing was a hood ornament from a '49 Ford car with broken glass. I made another 'custom' glass piece for it but I'm not really sure if I want to use it yet. It does fit the curvature of the hood perfectly.

    2011 02 11 hood ornament 1.JPG

    I was thinking about it lighting up from beneath.

    2011 02 11 hood ornament 2.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  8. Also picked up a set of 1948? car hubcaps that fit the 1953-56 wheels that came on truck #1. I'll be using the 'stock' wheels as a trade-off from the chrome wheels for 2 different looks.

    2011 04 01 hubcaps 2.JPG

    My wife repainted the one cap. She better get busy on the other 3... I'm gonna need 'em in a month or two.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  9. Old Lady Frightener
    Joined: May 25, 2011
    Posts: 25

    Old Lady Frightener
    from AUSTRALIA

    Great..........looking forward to your progress.
  10. Next up was more wiring.

    I went 'junkin' looking for a voltage reducer Ford used on gauges up into the 1980's on my stock gauges so they will work with the new 12 volt negative ground system.

    (The voltage reducer is the little box in the lower left with the black and white wire)

    Find a '69 Ford PU with the reducer. The gauge wiring harness looks like it will work on the '48 cluster so I grab it too.

    I get it home and it works perfectly. The little connectors slid right on to the '48 gauge posts. Only had a couple of extra dash lights that needed clipped.

    Spent the next couple of days tearing the cluster apart for cleaning and a rattle can rebuild. Then tracing wires to meld the Ford/Chevy harness, soldering and shrink tubing everything under the dash.

    2011 05 11 gauges 2.JPG

    2011 05 11 gauges 1.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  11. While all the wiring was going on, I installed an alternator off of the same 69 Chevy PU that gave it's wiring harness. Modified the original generator bracket and used the adjuster arm from the Chevy pickup after shortening it.

    Oh yea........ a rattle can rebuild and a wire brushing

    2011 05 22 alternator convert 1.JPG

    2011 05 22 alternator convert 5.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  12. lookin good. so whats the plan? get #1 running and driving and use it as a parts hauler for the full rebuild on #2????:D
  13. I got this bugger hooked up but it was a trial of my patience.
    Hunt and peck.....

    Luckily my tail lights already contained a 2-bulb setup so no need for extra brake lights.

    2011 05 10 turn signals 1.JPG

    Needed a break from the wiring so I worked on a seat.

    Found a nice lowback bench at the wrecking yard in a mid 80's Ford Ranger that is nearly perfect for width. It did need raised about 4 or 5 inches.

    I got some seat brackets off of a mini-van back seat and cut them down on one end, added a piece of square tube across the top.

    Then cut the floor braces on the Ranger seat square and welded to the mini-van brackets. Welded some tabs on the sides of the brackets for bolting to the original location on the floor.

    2011 05 27 seat 1.JPG

    I have my original seat and will probably get it properly recovered as the budget allows.

    2011 05 27 seat 6.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  14. Working on #2 (chrome wheels) haven't decided the fate of #1 yet.

    I have a Model A as another project that could use quite a few parts from #1 to build a traditional rod but I kinda hate to cut it up.

    101_3124 small.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  15. I had some seat sides from a 1950 Buick that I'm going to rattle can rebuild or recover to hide the seat brackets.

    2011 05 27 seat 3.JPG

    They'll tuck-in under the seat better after I trim a little off the back.

    2011 05 27 seat 5.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  16. Next up is the dash.

    I don't have a 'before' photo of the truck I'm working on but here's the dash in #1 truck which was actually in better condition.

    2011 05 15 dash 05.JPG

    In #2, the radio hole was enlarged and some extra holes from people making different radio mounts over the years.

    rattle can rebuild......
    Navy blue and the same almond color as the truck's exterior.

    2011 05 15 dash 07.JPG

    2011 05 15 dash 08.JPG

    Due too the enlarged radio opening, a stock radio block-off plate wouldn't cover the hole and I don't like the looks of the factory one or the speaker grill anyways.

    I used a piece of beltline stainless trim off of a 73 Dodge Adventurer pickup, bent it to fit the curve of the dash and installed a hoodside emblem from a 48-50 P.U. The underside ends of the emblem needed ground to match the radius of the dash.

    2011 05 15 dash 20.JPG

    Speaker grill from a 1956 Ford car dash.

    Here's a factory block-off and speaker grill for comparison.

    The knobs, switches and heater controls are from a 69-72 Ford pickup because I had plenty of them (freebie). Maybe later I'll install some old school knobs.

    2011 05 15 dash 19.JPG

    Had to do some customizing to the Chevy headlight switch bracket to make the Ford face and knob work. Also had to enlarge the hole in the dash to accomodate the Chevy ignition switch.
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  17. Bruce Lancaster
    Joined: Oct 9, 2001
    Posts: 21,682

    Bruce Lancaster
    Member Emeritus

    This is great real world scrounging and fixingupping!! Keep it coming!
    For future reference, there is a great Don Francisco 223 thrash in HRM, somewhere around 1954. He was building it for his truck. More on 223 hopping in Car Craft, same period, and also back in the old mags Manifold Guru Austin built fuel injection for one, using metering parts from an oil furnace...
    "...another project that could use quite a few parts from #1 to build a traditional rod but I kinda hate to cut it up..." Hey, forget that. The way you're moving on this you should have all three on the road by this October!
  18. Got the dash all put back together.

    Steering wheel is a deluxe 1957-60 Ford pickup.

    The back of the steering wheel looked unfinished and had a gap where the original wheel tapered in to 'blend' into the column. I used the back half of an aftermarket steering wheel mounting kit and fastened it to the back of the '57 wheel to fill the gap. Painted to match. You can see it in the photo above.

    2011 05 15 dash 25.JPG

    Big gauge lower left is a "Mileage Minder" vacuum gauge.

    2011 05 15 dash 23.JPG

    I got a 'new' heater for the truck.
    6 volt from a 40's Chevy pickup, probably aftermarket.

    heater 01 small.JPG

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  19. Great work, digging the color combo on the dash. I'm still struggling with mine.
  20. 2dr_sedan
    Joined: Mar 25, 2005
    Posts: 265


    Can't wait to see more of your project
  21. Hotrod95
    Joined: Jun 15, 2009
    Posts: 1,136


    Sweet! Makes me want to get back to work on mine! Then I remember all the bodywork..
  22. I like this one... it gives me some inspiration for my own daily drive project!
  23. You may have noticed the 8 track stereo under the dash....
    It didn't need a rattle can rebuild since it's all chrome.

    2011 06 04 radio 1.JPG

    Amp, sub, speakers under the seat.
    Couple more speakers in the kick panels.
    Tweeters hidden behind the sunvisors in the corner of the headliner.

    Crappy photo but you get the idea.
    The 8 track face hinges open to reveal the CD player inside.
    If anybody steals my 8 track, they're gonna be surprised.

    2011 06 04 radio 2.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  24. Got some 'new' carpeting out of a freshly restored then wrecked 65 Ford pickup. It fit very well with some trimming around the edges and the price was right.

    Problem with wall to wall carpet is my master cylinder is under the floor and access is through the center of the floor on the driver's side. I just cut a hole in the carpet for it and figured I'd find a mat to cover it.

    Next trip to the junkyard yielded a set of small black carpeted mats from the back seat of a new Caddy that match my carpet so well you barely notice them.

    I'd show you a picture but it's just black carpet.

    Oh yea, got the door sills installed too.
    Used an aluminum one from the back of a 96-up Suburban.
    Cut it in half for right length.
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  25. Hot Rod Elvis
    Joined: Jan 24, 2011
    Posts: 606

    Hot Rod Elvis

    Now this is what I call "hotrodding" like back in the day....when guys were rebuilding a car/truck, they took pieces from other cars or made them by hand. I really like how this is coming along!

    So the paint is just spray from a can? If so...great job. I never knew spray paint could look so good!
  26. yep, rattle can rebuild
    my wife calls me the 'Krylon King'

    A shot of the rattle can rebuilt heater
    I used a 'hammered' finish paint.

    2011 06 02 heater 1.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  27. Got the headliner and door panels done.
    Materials from a 'camper van' I boned a couple years ago.

    2011 06 04 headliner 3.JPG
    Sunvisors are from Ford Ranger the seat came from.
    They slid onto the F1 visor bracket perfectly.

    At the bottom of the door panel I used a chrome strip channel from the door panel of a 68-72 Chevy PU.

    2011 06 02 door panel 3.JPG

    I was going to use another at the top of the panel but the window regulator screws wouldn't let that work.

    Yea I know, kinda 1970's looking, but price was right.

    Now at least inside of the cab isn't an echo chamber.

    2011 06 02 door panel 2.JPG
    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  28. captainjunk#2
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,418


    damn i dig the recycled headliner and door panels you do nice work , the engine looks beauty to , nice color choices , always dig pick ups anyways
  29. koolkemp
    Joined: May 7, 2004
    Posts: 6,006


    I like this build ! Looks like a pile of fun!
  30. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,714


    Man impressive.... Its official there is someone who likes scrounging and spray paint more than I do! I love the head liner and door pannels, I was contemplating attempting to make door pannels in the same pattern with Black leather/pleather? But I want tuck and roll seats so who knows?
    6-bangertim likes this.

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