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Projects New project: 1959 F-100 short box shop truck

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Chris, Dec 21, 2017.

  1. I’ve been meaning to start a thread on this a while. I have a pretty heavy love affair with Ford pickups and trucks from 1957-1960. I’ve owned a lot of them, nearly my whole life from the Time was 18-on. I have a 60 short box/big window project...but started thinking that finding a runner/driver may be best for me right now. I have a young son, who is only young once. And like I did, I want him to grow up riding in old pickups. I’m not sure when the 60 would be on the road...I had big plans. So...

    This 59 short bed Custom Cab had been on Craigslist for over a year. I had called one it about a year earlier. It was about 200 miles from my house. The owner was asking 5,500.00, and it was just too much for the truck I thought. Fast forward a year. It is still advertised with a lower price. I call the owner and he remembers talking to me. Tells me to come look at it. So, one Saturday morning my 3 year old son and I drive to Yakima WA to take a look.

    Ed, the owner, had owned this pickup about as long as I’ve been alive. It was his toy, but it had sat outside neglected for the last couple years. It fired right up and sounded good. 292 V8/4 speed. Most all electrical worked and it looked decent enough so we struck a deal for about half what he was originally asking. So I loaded it up and Cohen and I took it home


    The steering was absolutely shot. You could turn the steering wheel nearly a full turn before it started moving the drag link. This, along with very rusty front cab mounts, I’m sure is why he couldn’t sell it. First thing I did was went through a spare box I had and swapped it in. The truck really isn’t rusty aside from cab mounts and front floor...very common on these trucks. The bed is beautiful.




    The truck was originally light blue and white, and sometime in the 80’s I’m guessing it got painted a metallic blue and white. Interior paint is still original. I put my good Custom Cab steering wheel, a decent spare seat and custom cab dash panel and 1960 silver gauges in it. I’ve saved these parts for a long time for “the truck” I wanted to do. Too bad someone hacked a radio in this dash at some point...the dash really cleaned up otherwise


    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    Larryboy?, OahuEli, scott27 and 14 others like this.
  2. oh man thats a good one!
  3. This was fall and weather was closing in. I stared buffing the truck but only got it half done here and there. The paint it pretty shot but I think will clean up decent for the time being.


    I put a set of 16” Ford wheels on it I had, along with some stock hubcaps I’ve been hoarding. My plan is 6.50 16 whitewalls with that same metallic blue wheels. But I just had to get those old chrome wheels and tires off. The truck runs and drives really well. Engine makes a noise I need to figure out but I think (hope) it’s nothing too serious. I do have a rebuilt 292 and three speed OD to swap in at some point, regardless.


    I had a dropped axle that Sid did for me, and I took a spare set of springs to Pohl Spring here in town. They reversed the eyes, installed new bushings and de-arched them. This and the axle should get it low. I installed and honed some new king pins (new kit bought in 1995 found under the seat of the truck) on a spare set of spindles I had and put the front end together.




    Also around this time I had a 53-72 Ford short step side box listed for sale on Craigslist. A guy contacted me and wanted it. Mentioned he had a 1960 big back window truck he bought for the short wheelbase frame...he has a 57 long bed and wants to make it a short step side, hence why he wanted my box. Long story short I traded the box and my labor for the cab, doors and front sheet metal. A couple days at my place and I have my self a big window cab...and imagine that, it’s light blue and white. And there’s no radio hole hacked in the dash! He was tickled pink as he got a box he wanted and didn’t have to put any work in dismantling





    This cab also needs front floors and cab mounts. So I will fix this cab and eventually swap. I may even try to get the dark blue paint off the current truck bed (it’s very thin, I’ve alrwady buffed through to it) and see if I can make an original paint truck out of all of this. If not, I wouldn’t mind repainting it the original colors and leaving the inside original paint. I have a thing for original paint ‍
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017
    OahuEli, fauj, LOWDUG37 and 5 others like this.
  4. After getting the front end done, I decided to swap it under the truck. I bought dropped tie rod ends and had a friend make me a tie rod. I bought all new brakes and a new drag link. I want to at least mechanically restore this truck. I’ve wanted to do this to one of these since I was a young man. I want it to drive as nice as I can, most all trucks I’ve ever had were basicly “worn out”. I had to heat and bend the steering arm, which was kind of a bitch to do on the truck but got it done. I cleaned and Por15’d the front frame rails, before installing new shackles and brake lines and such. I just got the front end all all buttoned up last weekend. This brings us to current. It snowed and I had to do the last of the work in the snow. I still have to bleed the brakes and align it, but I did drive it up and down the driveway using the E brake. So. I will update this as I go. Once I get tires I will decide if/what I do to lower the back, and just keep going. It will be a work in progress, but I hope to leave it a usable truck as I go.


    After: C9EDEC2A-4BA6-49E0-8F84-F7A327800C40.jpeg BB5339A7-9778-4856-A68C-11C5C15FCCBC.jpeg 76AE73E3-9AE6-44F7-B6EA-CE09B69EACCE.jpeg

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2017

  5. wayfarer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 1,790


    I've seen it sitting in your driveway all Fall; my wife comments on it every time we drive by. Nice truck!
  6. Nice....I drove my '55 Merc Montclair with only the E-brake for a week over 30 years ago......I shudder just thinking about it. That after shot is looking good........
  7. Does she wrinkle her nose up and say "Look at all that guys junk" hahaha!

    You should stop by sometime
    catdad49 likes this.
  8. bct
    Joined: Apr 4, 2005
    Posts: 3,105


    Good taste, great skills and willing to share. Triple threat!
  9. wayfarer
    Joined: Oct 17, 2003
    Posts: 1,790


    Not at all. Her parents live not too far from you, at the intersection of Cascade Way and St. Thomas Moore.
  10. brad2v
    Joined: Jun 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,650


    Always like your stuff Chris. You have good taste, and a great eye.
  11. BuiltFerComfort
    Joined: Jan 24, 2007
    Posts: 1,620


    Tasteful mods, me like.
  12. Man,I can't believe how much better that truck looks lowered. HRP
    OahuEli likes this.

  13. But Danny, everything looks better lowered HAHAHA!!
    Stogy and brad2v like this.
  14. Thanks. I just do what I like. Which is obvious, beings I’m working on one of these “step children” hahaaa!
  15. Looks good! Nice work.
  16. Last night, with help of my wife I bled the front brakes and took it for a spin. I was amazed how well and strait the truck drove. Even without it being more then an “eyeball alignment” and no front shocks on it. When I bought the truck, the drivers side main leaf was broke and the spring wedged itself up against the frame. So it rode and handled horribly. This thing now drives nice and steers like it has power steering. I am very pleased

    BA22075C-F2BA-4164-87EC-88924A63E9EE.jpeg 76DD723C-97D1-4D29-AFC0-E7999F33BB89.jpeg
    catdad49, OahuEli, LOWDUG37 and 5 others like this.
  17. Hot Rods Ta Hell
    Joined: Apr 20, 2008
    Posts: 4,450

    Hot Rods Ta Hell

    Looks great Chris! I love those trucks. I'd say lower the rear 2" or so. Should still have plenty of travel if you haul something?
  18. I think that will be about right. I want some rake, but don't want it to look like a stink bug. And ys I do plan to sue the truck as a truck. I think flipping the front spring hangers on the rear leafs will get it down where I want it. Cost: zero dollars.
  19. blucar
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 118


    Well now Chris, your love affair with the '57-60 Ford pickups sounds about like mine. In 1959 when I was first getting started in my profession the company I was working for gave me a '59 Ford F100 292 V8 custom cab short box fleetside. I loved that truck, drove it until the company bought a new fleet of trucks in '63, it was a Chevy..
    My father had a '59 exactly like mine except it was all white where-as mine red/white. When my father died in 1966 I bought his 59 from my mother.
    To make a long story short, I have had a '59 Ford F100 V8 in my life every since 59, I currently have three of them. During the early '70 I got hung up on the 4 x4 version of the 59 F100's, the three 59's I have are all 4x4's. Through out the years I have parted out several 58-60 F series pickups, I actually prefer the '59 grille. I have a very nice '60 chrome grille along with lots of body parts, radios, heaters, steering wheels, doors, etc.
    One of my '59 4x4's is a custom cab big window that has all of the custom cab features, the rarest of which is the Safety Package, padded dash, visors and seat belts. The truck also has the winter, artic package, which consists of two heaters, and under dash fresh air unit and an under seat heater. The truck came from Montana, up near the Canadian border.
    I have attached a pix of my 59 4x big window.

    Attached Files:

    czuch and Elcohaulic like this.
  20. That is really neat. I have a 60 4x4 long bed project as well, but the body is rough and I have a decent 59 F-100 I plan to use the 4x4 running gear under. My 60 short box/big window also had the safety package. The padded dash is long gone but the stainless divider trim is still there. It also has seat belts, magic air heater, radio and factory spot light. It was a 292 and a 4 speed. It is red and white and was probably a pretty sharp pickup new.
    catdad49 likes this.
  21. LM14
    Joined: Dec 18, 2009
    Posts: 1,937

    Member Emeritus
    from Iowa

    Had a '57 big window short bed, wouldn't mind having another some day. Fun truck.

    catdad49, Elcohaulic, OahuEli and 5 others like this.
  22. Needs white walls ! LOL. just kidding.. nice work Chris... those are great looking trucks..
  23. blucar
    Joined: Nov 3, 2009
    Posts: 118


    Do you know that the '59-60 4 x 4 trucks are very different from the common F100/250's ? The Cabs are re-enforced in the rear quarter panels with diagonal bracing at the "B" pillars.. Another unusual feature is the front end core support is spring mounted.
    The common '58-60 F series had Gemmer steering gears where-as many of the 4x's, and some panels, especially those that were intended for panels and/or utility/suburban conversions, had Saginaw steering gears.
    My 59 4x has the Saginaw steering gears which make it drive like it has power steering.
    An interesting side-light to the 57-60 F series trucks is that Ford continued to use that cab until 1973 in Argentina. They even made it as a Club Cab..
  24. manyolcars
    Joined: Mar 30, 2001
    Posts: 8,700


    I drive a 60 with a 460. New wood, stainless strips. 7347094878_d9ddea448c_z.jpg mastercylinder2.jpg 60newbed.jpg
    catdad49, czuch, Elcohaulic and 5 others like this.

  25. Yes, I knew about the B pillar gussets and spring mounted core supports...did not know about the steering box. I’m not sure if I will swap the running gear under the 2WD or body swap my nicer sheet metal onto the 4x4 chassis.

    The 4x4 is pretty ratty and rusty. Plus a flatbed. I want and “original paint” truck, which is what my 2WD is. If I swap the 4x4 running gear under I will add the gussets to the B pillars and remove the core support mounts with the long studs and use them on the 2WD frame. I will look at the steering box in the 4X4 and see what it is

    078B9D71-35C0-4D07-9593-8A678CED8187.jpeg 8B292939-0847-4E42-8CC7-653C9C8A2777.jpeg 7AEC35D5-F396-4650-B42A-ED6DF0518C7A.jpeg
    catdad49 likes this.
  26. Last night I decided to take the 59 out. Bad idea. Got buried in the snow

    53CCC41B-CF02-48B5-9DCF-DC28A89B60C1.jpeg BA7C8C32-9661-4436-8522-8DF901FB2FD0.jpeg
  27. Today was warmer, so I used this special rubber wheel you attach on a drill to remove tape pinstripes. This truck has god awful two tone blue stripes all over it. I got it nearly done. It’s a small difference but looks SO MUCH better and cleaner CE5C7D3C-DAE7-43D7-B93A-B7E78B77D7D4.jpeg 5CAF24A6-0F2C-4ED7-AFBA-F82912C27AB6.jpeg

  28. Weather got worse, but has been in the upper 50’s the last couple days. So I took the opportunity to buff on it a little more. The paint was really dead as shown in the last pic. It’s shinning up to a pretty cool poly metallic blue. It will eventually get 16” wheels painted that same blue with 6.50 16 whitewalls.
    I also swapped on a nice chrome bumper I got. Also put a “era correct” pair of plates on it. It’s starting to clean up.

    BA9AAECA-E1E0-47F3-A771-9B9B3B76DDB2.jpeg D9212017-DA16-4B83-9A61-8CD930C1216F.jpeg 871F32FA-4BE9-40B3-B78B-460B4141DF2B.jpeg A4694632-20A0-437E-9112-16B57A9D4BC6.jpeg
  29. Drove down to the parts store yesterday, found a can of Duplicolor paint that looked like a decent I just need the tires.

  30. The only vehicle I've regretted selling is my 60 F100 longbed. 292, column 3 speed. Pretty much all stock. I went through the mechanicals and she drove just sweet. I know there's another one in my future... a step side would be perfect.

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