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Projects Finally! I got a HAMB-worthy vehicle! (59 F100 build)

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Flingdingo, Sep 18, 2011.

  1. When I joined the HAMB a few years ago, mostly for the excellent tech and obscure information, I knew one day I would own a traditional hot rod, but I had a few O/T projects to finish first. About a year and a half ago, I was given a pre-war flathead and a few speed parts and I began slowly gathering parts for a 40's style hot rod of as-yet undetermined body style.

    After buying a house a couple years ago, I decided I need a truck. I am constantly borrowing my buddy's truck for various errands, and he doesn't mind loaning it to me, but it does cost me a lot of beer! After following a few build threads like Terd Ferguson's and The Sydicate's, and browsing Craigslist and EBay, I started saving my nickels and dimes for a 50's Chevy or GMC.

    Then, a month ago, my daily driver quit for good. It had been headed downhill for a while, and I was hoping to get another year out of it, but that wasn't in the cards. I started shopping for a new vehicle, and tried to stick with my goal of a 50's Chevy truck. After all, if I had to buy a $1500 pile of crap, it may as well be a cool old pile of crap.

    I ended up with this:


    It's a '59 F100 longbed with the 223 and 3-on-the-tree. It ran and drove when I got it, but the fuel pump quit as I was driving it home. It needs the brakes gone through, the electrical system is a mess (the PO and I spent 3 hours trying to get brake lights working so I could drive it,) the tires are dry-rotted, blah blah blah. But it is pretty straight, mostly original equipment, very little rust, and hasn't had 50 years of monkey-fisted wanna-be mechanics tearing it up. I paid $900 for it, so I've got about $1000 left in the truck fund to get it road worthy.

    Oh yeah, it also came with this:


    According to the casting number it is a 62-64 292. Any ideas what I should do with it?:D

    One thing I want to do very soon is some mild lowering, and new wheels and tires. I've seen a few of these trucks on the HAMB (I know there's a group for them) but I haven't found much info about wheel and tire sizes. So maybe you guys could post up some pics of these trucks lowered, and what wheel/tire sizes you're running for some inspiration?
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2011
  2. Normal Norman
    Joined: Aug 9, 2006
    Posts: 510

    Normal Norman
    from Goshen IN.

    Flingdingo, Nice find! and cheap too! I've been wanting one of those for awhile as a daily driver. I not much of a fan of 292's but mabey a quick rebuild and drop it in. I guess I'd go late(er) model engine, but a Ford for sure. Good luck with the project!! Normal Norman
  3. Tie a chain to the 292 and use it for a mooring anchor...!

    Hahaha... but seriously it's a good find but I'd recommend an engine that runs or is fresh... no telling why that is in the back of the truck and how long it sat outside and for what reason it's out of the vehicle!
  4. Yeah, no doubt. If I use the 292, I'll rebuild it first. Engine choices mostly depend on the health of the six that's in it now.

  5. Shopking
    Joined: Jan 10, 2009
    Posts: 106

    from central Pa

    Great looking truck.That 292 is a torque monster if it runs right.Had a few of over the last 30 years.
  6. fordsteel
    Joined: Jun 27, 2006
    Posts: 490

    from Elkland PA

    nice looking truck 292 is a great engine tho a y block v8 would be the best in that truck get a hopped up 292 and drive the hell out of it. my two cents
  7. Finally!

  8. Dan in Pasadena
    Joined: Sep 11, 2009
    Posts: 862

    Dan in Pasadena

    Sounds like there's the order to work on things right there. Personally, I make 'em stop good before I work on making 'em go and making them look good. If under a $1000 is the total short terms budget then after brake and tires (Craigslist) I'd be doing fluids, filters, belts and hoses. THEN think about things like lowering. Just my $.02.

    If its not obviosuly cracked, etc I'd keep it dry and covered and hold on to it until you can afford to rebuild it and detail it out.

    Not trying to sell you anything just mentioning this to give you an idea what's out there. My few-months-old-to-me '55 Chevy truck had three 15" slot mags and one 14" Pontiac rally wheel on it when I bought it but I had four torque thrusts I'd been holding on to. I bought used tires from Craigslist that had been on an F150. I have the four chrome F150 rims on sale for $60. I just need to get rid of them. Someone in your area has something like that deal you can get cheap and make look decent until you have the cash to get what you want.
  9. I'm beginning to think that time to work on this thing is harder to come by than money. Between full-time work, full-time school, dad duties, home improvement projects, etc, I'll be lucky to have this truck on the road by Thanksgiving!

    For example, the battery in my wife's car quit suddenly yesterday, so I had to rescue her, get a new battery, install it, and there went the afternoon!

    I got a few things done to the truck, but nothing photo-worthy. I put the new fuel pump and filter on, changed the oil, and took a look at the front brakes. They are actually in decent shape, so I'm just going to replace the hoses, rebuild the wheel cylinders, and clean everything else up and run them for now. I have to build a new fuel line to the carb, and then I'll be able to fire it up and do a little engine tuning.

    On the bright side, I knew I would need new tires since the ones that are on it are wasted. I had dinner with my parents Friday, and they offered to buy me four new tires as an early Christmas present! That frees up a huge chunk of my $1000 Get It Back On the Road budget!

    Dan, can you send me a pic of the F150 wheels? I just might take you up on your offer, cause as sweet as these wagon wheels are:

    I'm not feeling the early 80's gardening-truck look.:eek:
  10. Looks like nice truck!
  11. ardyboy
    Joined: Mar 5, 2008
    Posts: 664


    cool truck. good luck with your project
  12. Hotrod1959
    Joined: Nov 3, 2007
    Posts: 690


    Don't waste your time rebuilding the wheel cylinders. Napa has new ones cheap! I think the fronts are $12 and the rears are $10.
  13. True, I haven't priced brake parts yet. I know the (3rd generation) owner of my local NAPA, they've got parts books going back to the '50's. He'll let me go through the books and find what I need.

    One thing I'm going to do during the buildup of this truck is make my own parts catalog with all the NAPA #'s in it.
  14. sbin
    Joined: Mar 30, 2011
    Posts: 100


    Nice looking truck!
    Dan is right stopping, steering, lights and good rubber then work the punch list of wants.

    Wish we could find stuff in that condition in Ohio.
    30 years ago i had a 55 F250 would love to build one with a Cummins 12v and Dana 50 axles.
  15. AKA Kustoms
    Joined: Oct 18, 2006
    Posts: 199

    AKA Kustoms
    from Racine, WI

    Nice looking project you got there, I picked up this F100 for $100 about 5 years ago, I wanted to build it, but title issues caused me to sell it. I often regret not straightening out the title and keeping it. :(

  16. Well I haven't updated this for a while, because who really wants to read about me repacking wheel bearings and chasing black widows out from under the dash.
    I got the truck running again with a new fuel pump, changed the oil, etc. and had about 5 pounds of oil pressure at idle once it warmed up, and maybe 20 psi at 2000 rpm. If you drive it for more than twenty minutes the oil pressure goes away completely, and the rockers start making noise. I tried running 20-50, straight 30 weight, and even some 60 weight Valvoline racing oil with the same result.
    After reading about these motors having oiling problems even when new, I decided to drop the oil pan, and have a look at the oil pump. Everything is actually pretty clean inside the engine, which was a surprise, but when I pulled a main cap to look at the bearings, I discovered the crank is wasted. No wonder I had no oil pressure!!

    So my $1000 dollar budget is blown on engine bits and pieces. Anyone close have a good 223 crank??

    Also I can't seem to get the distributor out of the block. I pulled the gears out of the oil pump thinking that was the problem, but no luck...any ideas?
  17. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,195

    Bruce A Lyke

    sorry to hear about the engine, that is too bad. is you need this as a driver, and have a limited budget, you maybe able to find a replacement 6 cyl runner for a few hundred from someone who is ready to switch to a V-8, preferably one you can hear and check out before you buy.
  18. Bruce A Lyke
    Joined: Jun 21, 2009
    Posts: 2,195

    Bruce A Lyke

    Sorry to hear about the engine. Since your on a tight budget and want this to be a driver, maybe you can find a running replacement from someone who is ready to swap theirs out for a V-8,. i see then here on CL for a few hundred where you can check them out while still in the car running. i found this one a year ago.
    [​IMG] [​IMG] got a "traditional SBC" 283

    Sorry for the double post, i thought i lost the first one trying to grab the link
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2011
  19. I've been looking for a couple weeks, and haven't found a 223 that's close enough to get easily. Right now the cheapest route for me is to have my crank turned, throw new bearings at it, and put it back together.
  20. grm61
    Joined: Oct 19, 2009
    Posts: 179

    from Washington

    You might also keep on eye on the older big trucks for a good Y block...
    You may come across a low mileage or rebuilt 292 in a clapped out farm truck
    with a top loader four speed or Clark 5 speed.
  21. More fun! I pulled the head this morning and discovered I have a bent intake valve. That explains the uneven cranking. I'm amazed the engine ran as smooth as it did. It'll be like that Lexus with the wine glasses on the hood when I put it back together!

    On a good note, it looks like I'm the first one to pull this engine apart. All the bearings still say Ford on them, and everything is standard size.

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