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Hello all! And there's already a question...

This is my first forum! I'm just about to get into a project that i am very excited about, i found a 51' F1 with an i6 that runs like a top and a 3-speed trans that seems to be in perfect order. Brakes are all original and rusted beyond repair so i haven't been able to drive it but I'm really not worried about any mechanical stuff. My biggest concern is the body work, this will be my first crack at welding and repairing body panels myself, i had all body work on my 66' fastback done by a pro, i just did everything else. Also, the frame on this one is pretty bad and the truck sags between the cab and bed. I still see it having huge potential and am wondering, since all i know is mustangs, if you guys could tell me if I'm getting ripped off at a price of $1200, and then just some quick advice on how bad you guys think the restoration would be in general. Thanks a lot in advance for any help and I'm sure I'll be able to pay it forward soon, I'm researching these trucks as much as i can. Hope i posted this correctly....
 

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dustybumpers

don't play well w others
Welcome to FTF
Depending on what part of the country you are from, that could be a really good price, or a really high price.

Frame is probably good, the bed boards are more than likely rotted out, and the bed is sagging

There are many reproduction parts for your truck, so welding will be mostly on the cab. Looks like a nice project
 
Thanks a lot for the reply, I'm in new York city. Really hope you're right about the frame, that would be great. Looks like I'm picking it up Sunday. The guy I'm buying it from also mentioned his friend might have a frame for it, an F1 frame that is and he may only be asking around $200, i thought that was a great deal but won't be spending the money there if i can salvage the original... Only other thing I've been heavily looking into is the ifs swaps cause i need too repair the brakes immediately. Looks to be more cost effective to do the jaguar swap then just a disc brake conversion but i kind of hate the idea of not putting Ford parts in this thing...
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
The really nice thing about doing trucks over cars is the abilty to take it all apart. The frames on trucks most times are solid, especially the older ones like that. It isn't impossible for it to be weak, but generally the sag you see is more body mounts than anything.

For IFS, you can check out a few other options, turn of the century Crown Vics and Grand Marquis are also a common swap, and they use a bolt off cradle that makes it even easier to swap.
 
Very good points, I'll definitely post better pics once i get under it but the weather been pretty bad over here. Like i said, i would much rather save the frame and I'm figuring with a nice mig welder anything can be fixed:) I'm definitely interested in the crown Vic swap but have to do more research i guess, from what I've seen people are only referencing earlier model trucks, f-100's. I wasn't sure if that swap would be a "bolt-in" for my F1....
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
Very good points, I'll definitely post better pics once i get under it but the weather been pretty bad over here. Like i said, i would much rather save the frame and I'm figuring with a nice mig welder anything can be fixed:) I'm definitely interested in the crown Vic swap but have to do more research i guess, from what I've seen people are only referencing earlier model trucks, f-100's. I wasn't sure if that swap would be a "bolt-in" for my F1....

Technically, there isn't much for "bolt on" as some modification is always required. However, being the Vic has a bolt out subframe that has the suspension fully attached, it makes it a lot simpler. A common rodder deal is the Mustang II - Pinto sub, and there is plenty of aftermarket companies that make those as well. Something that I haven't seen much on, and maybe for good reason, is the Aerostar front stub. I need to tear into the one I have, but it seems to be a bolt off subframe as well.
 

dustybumpers

don't play well w others

mtflat

Flatheads Forever
2,559
147
Welcome - as you can see, you've found a site with a bunch of guys willing to help with suggestions!

It is possible to disassemble these trucks, rebuild and even restore. I did a frame-off rebuild on my 48 15 years ago. Often that's the best way if you have time and space.

I remember the hardest part was deciding exactly what I wanted to end up with when I was finished. Make that decision first. Don't get in a hurry and don't look at the whole project - just one piece at a time.

Good luck with the project, keep us informed and ask questions as you go along. The metal in these rigs is pretty stout - you can still hammer, bend, reshape, weld, etc. long after newer truck panels would be scrap.

ps: more than a few of us have 'Stangs too. I have a '70 sportsroof around here somewhere - belongs to my youngest son, but it's currently scattered over about 3 acres. (highschool rebuild ;) ) Owned several others over the years but current joy is my '07 Shelby GT
 
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And yes all, unfortunately the rear section of the frame ours rusted through, didn't get a picture but i got my head under there...:( any suggestions? Can i technically just cut out the bad section and make a new one out of quarter inch plate?
 

BUCKEYE BOB

Florida Chapter member
the aerostar is about 2 inches to wide for our 48-52,it is just right for the 53 on up as the 48-52 had the front of the frame pushed in about 2 in-in 53 the frame was pulled out 2 in making the aerostar a great bolt on swap it only takes 6 or 8 bolts & you have everything now the jag ifs fits our 48-52 it is almost a drop in & you have everything that you need,i saw a 51 f1 withan aerostar ifs in it &they made it fit but you could see that the tires stuck out to far & the wheels were not in the center they were to far forward
 
Thanks guys, i really do appreciate the advice and i do already have a basic idea of what i want, i would be really happy with a sort of "beater" truck that is mechanically sound, reliable and fun to drive. I just love old cars and i don't get to drive my mustang as much as I'd like due to weather and road conditions over here. I feel like when I'm done this thing will be a tank and i can just hop in and go whenever. Hope that all makes sense. The truck needs absolute immediate brake repair, there's nothing but old rusted 4 wheel drums so I'm really trying to make the decision of what type do there. Part of me just wants to get the power booster/master cylinder kit i see on the net with a front disc brake conversion kit, but then seeing everything you get out of the jaguar swap option 1almost seems ridiculous. Either way wouldn't be all Ford parts... Don't know why i can't make up my mind here...
 

mtflat

Flatheads Forever
2,559
147
I drove my 48 for 10 years as a year-round daily in Montana winters. They are tanks! Throw some weight in the back, studded snows and you can go about anywhere - just keep a narrow, stock profile tire. I run 215/85/16's for handling deep snow and slush.

Stock brakes can be cleaned up to +.060 Be sure to replace all the worn components and lines. It's worth it. I have locked up all 4 wheels (LT radials) on multiple occasions for deer.

But as in all cases, do what makes you feel comfortable.
 

Big Jim F150

73-79 Ford Trucks Rock
Welcome to FTF, I have seen several 47 - 52 F-1s and F-2s at car shoes, you can restore 'em or you could street rod 'em, but that's up to you. But that's my opinion, for I'm into the Dents 73 - 79s myself.
smilieFordlogosmilieFordlogosmilieFordlogo
 
I may be a couple days late to the party, but welcome to the forum! There's some good advice here, and just for good measure I'll toss out a couple more ideas for you.

If you're really set on an IFS swap, the jag is not a bad option. It fits the best of the OEM options listed above. The Crown Vic front end is about 6" too wide to fit right in a 48-52 truck. It takes a lot of custom fabrication and aluminum welding to make that one fit. Going with an aftermarket kit, from a trusted name brand (the Heidt's link is a good one. Beware of the inferior, cheap kits on ebay and the like, from off-shore copycat companies that aren't worth 10c) that's been well engineered is always a good plan, but not always the cheapest. The good side to that is you get all new parts with instructions. When you add up all you need to replace with used parts in unknown condition, plus the technical support offered, they start to look like a bargain.

There's nothing wrong with sticking with the original straight axle and just going through all the bushings and hardware, and doing a disc brake swap. It costs about the same to do that as to rebuild the drum brakes, if you look at replacing all the parts you should; drums, shoes, wheel cylinders, hardware, hoses, bearings, etc. Plus, by retaining the stock suspension and steering, you don't fall into the trap of 'project creep' where you have to also swap out the steering column, deal with the wiring, figure out how to fit a power steering pump, fit the linkage around exhaust, the list can go on and on. Sometimes less is more.

Good luck with your project, and keep us posted on your progress and decisions.
 
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Late or not, great advice:) I have been leaning towards keeping it stock with the front disc conversion, hearing your opinion on that i think just locked that decision in. I've got so much work to do to the body and frame first, i don't think swapping out non-stock parts/components it's the best road to take right now. I'm gonna try and get her stock, complete, with no holes and mechanically sound. When i accomplish that, then I'll tinker if i don't like the ride or something... Thanks again
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
Sounds like a great plan. Sometimes it is best to get the basics covered first, then see what you want to do from there. You can always come back to this kind of thing if you feel you really want it in the future. Sometimes when you are first getting going and all excited about it, we tend to over do the dream when it would be just fine without the changes...
 

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