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Newbie member looking for help!

Hi all, First time on here. hopefully more to come ove rthe years.
What i am looking to find is an old ford f6 truck to pull my 1954 airstream safari.
I don't have much knowledge of where to start looking and hope someone out there may know where i can get one. I am looking for a project. Budget is minimal. I want to keep it original, so as complete as possible. Any help from you guys would be appreciated. I also need to ship it over to the uk. Greg
 

mtflat

Flatheads Forever
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Hi Greg, welcome to FTF!

You probably know this already, but an F6 has a very large 2 speed rear end, dual wheels and weighs approx 6500 pounds curb weight, depending on wheelbase. In stock form, top speed is about 45 mph. Not exactly a highway cruizer.

I'm not trying to discourage you, its just that I haven't seen anybody looking for a truck that big to ship overseas. Hopefully our guys on the east coast US or someone closer to the UK has what you're looking for.
 
I really need educating then. This what i want (attached) V8 model. I want the pick up version. And the front grill! Any condition. What do I need??? thanks guys!
 

Attachments

  • ford.jpg

mtflat

Flatheads Forever
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147
It looks like a '51 truck and is likely an F6.

If you're looking for a pickup, restrict your search to F1 thru F3 as these all have box style beds. F4 comes with dual rear wheels and flatbeds.

Each one has some issues to deal with. The F1 weighs less than 3500 lbs so you need to keep the trailer weight pretty light. They have a 6' 6" box and you can purchase replacement parts or even complete boxes and tailgates

F2's/F3's and larger will usually have the 4 spd spur gear trans and require double-clutching. Rear gears create a pretty slow road speed. They have 8 bolt wheels that interchange up thru 1996 making wheel selection easy. The boxes are 8' long but parts aren't being reproduced.

F4 uses 5 bolt wheels but are usually fitted with 17" or 18" "widow-maker" Firestone 5 deg split rim wheels that need to be replaced.

F3 had larger brakes/drums that make it hard to fit modern wheels.

Personal opinion: if I were going to pull a trailer I would look for an F2 (light duty 3/4 ton).
 
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Thanks Tim,
Looks like a f2 then. Really appreciate your help on this. I noticed a few people import them over here but they wack up the price and make it unaffordable. What do you think i would have to pay for a 'project' over there. Also do you have any idea where to start looking. I brought my airstream over there and shipped it back. it was surprisingly easy. Thanks bud.
 
Hi, forgot to say the total trailer weight is 3500 lbs so that should be 85% of the trucks unladened weight. The minimum truck weight unladen should be 4200 lbs.
 

mtflat

Flatheads Forever
2,559
147
Yes. I didn't have time today to add that the F2 and F3 are virtually identical. The only difference that I know of is an extra spring leaf or two. There can't be more than 100 lbs difference in the weight.

Due to brake drum issues on the F3, I'd go with an F2 and make a couple of additions - something like a replacement rear end with better road gears. Any differential in an F250 from 1957-1972 will be an almost bolt in replacement. That would probably add enough weight to make it work. A receiver hitch mounted on the back would add to it.

Regardless of the above, if you find a good solid truck I'd grab either an F2 or F3.
 
Thanks Tim, I will keep you posted as to my progress. You have been a real help. I'm going to completely strip whatever i get back to the bones and rebuild. I love to get into things and this way will give me a good knowledge of what i have. Do you have any idea at all what i should be looking at spending?
 

mtflat

Flatheads Forever
2,559
147
Prices are all over the place. The best metal comes from Arizona to North Dakota and into Canada - semi-arid inland states/provinces.

Worst come from the coasts and midwest US where moisture is always present - and salt is used liberally to melt ice on hywys.

There are areas that are exceptions here and there, but is generally true.

F2/F3 don't usually command as high a price as F1's. Check out ebay to get an idea - search 1948 ford truck or pickup, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952.
 
If I may add to or modify Tim's point in favor of an F-2 over F-3. Any F-2 will be a good choice, I agree. The early F-3s, 1948 to early 1951, have 14" rear brake drums that necessitated the 17" widow maker wheels which must be replaced.
In late 1951 Ford converted the F-3s to 12" rear drums, same as F-2s. Those trucks will accept any F-250 16" wheels up to 1996 as Tim explained. Stu
 
thanks. Can the f3's rear axle be changed for a later one therefore getting rid of the problem? I need to try and get one 1950 or earlier partly because it will suit my airstream well but also import tax into the uk goes from 22% import duty and 20% value added tax down to 5%in total for pre1950. This is based on the shipping fees as well. What about adding weight to an f1. would need to add about a fair bit but with some uprated parts do you think this is possible or just to difficult? I also have obvious access to european parts has any one ever heard of european motors and running gear being used under the hood?
Am i being sacrilegious? or is it acceptable to keep the visible parts original and have modern parts under the hood?
 
Another rear axle fix is to install custom 4.11s that are available from Chuck's Trucks in CT. Here's a discussion thread from the FTE site where another UK owner made this swap. As for widow maker 17s, so much has been written, and pictures posted, I'd suggest doing a Google search of my user name, and the terms "widow maker" and technical name "Firestone RH-5°". Stu

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1280661-chucks-trucks-4-11-conversion.html
 
I'm going off the airstrip site. think i will take it to a weigh bridge and check. I am pulling it with an mercedes ml at the moment and that is 4200lbs. going to feel a bit different pulling. i presume the v8 is best what do you think to an auto.rather than manual gears?
 

mtflat

Flatheads Forever
2,559
147
I prefer a clutch, but a built C4 should do the job just fine.

When figuring weight, don't forget the propane tanks, supplies and accessories that go into a trailer.

Because of the long stroke, the flathead V8 and six are both great for torque. I've only run the V8 so far so I can't give any personal experience on the 6.
 

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