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A project. Metal working of a sort..................

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  • A project. Metal working of a sort..................

    ......My daughter Chris was rapidly approching 16 years old. We'd spent lots of quality time together. As we lived in a canyon out in the sticks we had no TV reception so there was no TV in our house for 20 years. Yup, Chris grew up with NO TV! And I sure wasn't about to pay for satellite.

    We had horses and mules and did a lot of riding and packing. My wife could care less about hunting but Chris would go with me. Anyway, she was getting older and your kids turn into adults. They're always your kids, but it's different, yes?

    I wanted a project she and I could do together to build some more memories. Something we could actively do as a team and have somehting tangible to show for it afterwards. So the below:

    I'd wanted to build a 53-56 Ford F-100 and Chris figured it'd be fun to drive. The deal was it'd be hers to use and drive as much and as long as she wanted. When/if we sold it part of the proceeds would go to her for her help in contruction. We found a pretty solid 1955 F-100 for a grand and drove it home.

    What a hilarious 25 mile ride THAT was! It had a way tired FE series 352 V-8 and granny 4 speed that was so loose you could toss the shifter lever around. The door latches didn't work so the doors had bungie cords hooked to some knobs on the dash to hold them closed. The engine smoked ferociously and when you stopped at a light you were enveloped in this huge cloud. Plus the smoke you'd laid down earlier would catch up and pass you while you sat there.

    The steering was shot and the wheel could be turned 180* with no effect, but the front tires would follow all the seams and whoopsies in the asphalt. Mr Toads wild ride had nothing on THAT trip! At home it sat about 6 months or so while we worked up the nerve to begin, plus there was negotiations with SWMBO as to a budget for the project.

    In addition to doing this together I wanted Chris to not be some helpless female. I wanted her to have an idea about tools and how to use them, and how to handle them. I due course we began. We stripped the truck all the way down to the frame like a big kit.

    She and I learned how to use the MiG welder I bought to fully box the frame and to weld up and patch in some panels to replace some rust spots (not many) in the cab. They say they don't build'em like they used to, and thank God they don't!

    We had a Volare front end installed for the power disc brakes, tosion bars and power steering. We spent a LOT of time wreaking yard crawling too for misc bits and pieces. I forget the year, but Dodge van sun visors and Toyota inside door handles work perfectly! We installed a '78 Caddy tilt/telescoping steering column.

    My grandmother had given us a 1969 Ford LTD with a 4 bbl 429 V-8, C6 auto trans so that was the engine and trans that went in it after having the trans rebuilt. No money for engine work, but it didn't need any. I DID put an Edlebrock aluminum intake on it. Aftermarket 'Go-Fast' parts for big block Fords are expensive!

    My wife Donna did bitch about that engine but I explained that we didn't happen to have a 200 cid 6 available so we just had to suck it up and put in that nasty ole V-8 :-).

    Further stuff we did was to put in a BMW hood tilt conversion (tilts forward), full VDO instrumentation (engine and trans oil temp too), new original type, but 5 row hi-efficiency radiator, electric fan cooling, engine and trans oil coolers. The bed got clear Red Oak boards between polished stainless bed strips.

    The rear end was a Ford 9". We installed a 'Smoothie' reversed eye rear leaf after removing every other leaf, new eye bushings, and Delrin leaf sleeves. The tailgate got a smooth skin as it was kind of dented beyond my capabilities. The chains and latches were trashed and chrome inside the de lathes were installed.

    New rear original type tail lights were added with chrome "Ford" scrip overlays and purple dots (never got pulled over for'em). Cast aluminum step plates on the running boards was a detial item we added. Chrome smoothie wheels with baby moons finished it off.

    We gave Chris the right to pick the interior and that was charcoal gray carpet and gray tweed upolstery. It was fully done from the firewall up the back of the cab and headliners, door panels and sun visors. Exhaust was dual 2.5" pipes through Flowmaster Turbo mufflers and they dumped out in front of the rear tires.

    I got 2 tickets in it. One for exhibition of speed and the other for excessive noise. Chris got pulled over 3 times in the 3-1/2 years it was on the road, and all they wanted was to talk to her about the truck!

    She drove it daily to work and college. We ended up selling it as she was gettng married and had just gotten hired by a local PD as a forensics investigator so she felt she needed a bit more normal car :-) Sold it to a guy in Alaska (we live in So. cal).

    The sun has this washed out, but this is the interior. We had a good time doing it overall. There were times we'd have liked to have just set it on fire. It took about 9 months to do.


    PS: That 429 would make that pup haul the mail, believe you me!

    Son of the silver stream ..... Bullet caster.

  • #2
    that is one sweet pickup. you did a super job on it.


    • #3
      Sounds like you have done a pretty good job raising her. Problem with raising a kid without real-world influence is that they are kinda Naive. I hope you have educated her about predators too.

      Us old harley riders always have a soft spot for a pickup truck. I had one harley that thought it was a coon dog, everytime I'd leave it'd end up riding in a truck. It is nice to have friends w/trucks when you have something like that. It took a while to work out the bugs.

      My kid is growing up similar like. She is 8, I think she cried when we sold the 51 studebaker truck we had built.

      Can't keep all the toys you touch.. pity..

      Hard to find a good solid body here to start with, all them have hundreds of hours work in sheetmetal repair.. Not to mention the abuse the farmers put on them. I had goat hoove marks on the stude body to work out.



      • #4
        Nice truck!No TV means your duaghter has an intact attention span Pobibly patients too,both good qualites.

        David,goat hooves!That reminds me of a buddy who had this all original Olds 442,only thing he ever did to it was a very$$$$ paint job.He was staying over at his sisters place one night and woke up the next morning to see a goat on the roof of his car he was going to calmly walk up to the goat and lift it off his paint,but his sister got ahead of him and spooked it,he said those little hooves made the slickest little curls of laquer He did say the goat tasted good thou

        [This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 04-25-2004).]
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #5
          .....Thanks for the comments guys. Yes, having no TV is NOT a negative by any means at all. Living in the country allowed Chris to see animals breed, give birth, and some even die. Further, other then school there were no kids, only adults around to interact with. So with no TV, you had to entertain yourself, rather then just sit drooling like the RCA dog with your brain in neutral BEING entertained.

          As a consequence she kind of grew up knowing her own mind. Although I'm proud to say pretty conservative, politicly :-). She was a joy as a child and is now an adult who is just a gas to be around. She completed a 4 year forensics certification program in 3 years and was immediately hired by a local PD. Makes more dough then her mom, who makes more then me! Are we proud? Naw. Well maybe a little.

          Funny you mention goats. Up the canyon in the hill from where we lived there was a 1000 acre hunting preserve. Have had wild pigs come down (the mules worked'em over good!) but we had a ram of some description show up once.

          I was in the house and heard this, "BAM, BAM, BAM!" sound outside. Turns out he saw his reflection in the door of the pickup and took an exception to it. You guessed it, he was ramming the door just like that Dodge pickup commercial showing the 2 rams butting heads. The hunting place took care of it no problem, but we were pretty sick about it for some time.

          Son of the silver stream ..... Bullet caster.


          • #6
            I got to say,I don't have any kids,but from what I have learned and witnessed awesome children are the single greatest legacy we can leave behind.If more parents realized that,then think what the world would be.

            Goats,gotta love'm,neighbor had them for years,comical critters,especially when you wake up to the sound of hooves on the roof and it ain't Christmas Those little buggers can climb trees.
            I just need one more tool,just one!


            • #7
              Good looking truck Rick, and your right about that 429. I had one in a 69 T-Bird, if I remember right it was 360 hp. James


              • #8
                Lived around a herd of goats growing up, don't miss it.
                Nice truck, beautiful work.
                Shame when they(the kids) grow up and leave home. Hopefully they will move in close by and not have half a country commute.
                David from jax
                A serious accident is one that money can't fix.


                • #9
                  Kids always come back... and bring more with them. That's a good thing, right?


                  • #10
                    My yongest girl informed me her high school grad. gift was my 53 f100.[To live on a beefalow ranch]. fortunatly my 56 was about to run with a 437" lincoln,auto,ps,9"rear. Good enuf to run 108.300 at El Mirage dry lake in 11-79. I now have a small block move it. To lazy to install posi. or Chrysler torsin bar kit which was bought in 94 [1 year before re marrying,but she stays out of the shop]. My truck has 200K on it but will have to do. My backup is my 56 dodge. But that is another story.