Monday, December 20, 2010


When we acquired the F100, it had 'brakes'. In fact, the previous Fella had rerun the brake lines, and got the original drums working as well as original 54 year old drum brakes can work! Being that the F100 will be carrying some precious cargo, and moving at a much faster rate then the original Y-block had intended, we went for the upgrade! The Mustang II front end allowed for disc brakes, and Pat installed a new brake pedal, and all new brake mechanics. A Mustang II master cylinder with boost was also used, as it's set up for disc fronts, and drum rears.

The new brake pedal was outfitted with the original brake's pedal cover to keep the stock look. You can also see in the previous picture the custom transmission cross member Pat built to accommodate both the transmission and the new master cylinder. This allowed us to not cut into the floor as well.

Step inside.

We have wrestled back and forth with what to do with the interior. After exploring different options of new benches, and seeing some pretty creative seating fixes, we have decided to just run the original bench. With the exception of removing the original gas tank, and hiding some speakers in it's place, the whole cab interior will remain simple and original.

This is the back side of the original speaker that is mounted in the center of the front of the cab. Mr. Cody J. Simpson will be rebuild it's guts, and design a nice box for behind the seat where the original gas tank (a.k.a. time bomb) used to live. This will allow us to have modern speakers with out cutting into the dash or doors. We will also forgo any sort of head unit in lieu of a hidden iPod hook up.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sitting pretty.

While the look of the original flipped leaf springs and straight axle was undeniably cool, for the sake of safety, and my molars, it had to go! Hitting any sort of pothole, bump or good sized rock would bump steer the Ol' F100 as much as a foot to either side, as well as give your skeleton a good rattling! We decided to go with a Mustang II front end from Speedway Motors. It allowed us power steering, disc brakes, and a smooth ride. It also worked well with the engine we were planning of installing, as well as being easy to find parts for should the need arise. Pat cleaned up the frame, welded a new crossmember, and moved the wheelbase slightly. We also opted for a beefier lower control arm to eliminate the need for a strut bar. Running a car style front end meant we needed to change the rim, and we went with a classic steelie. We will have to adjust the front just a little to make up for the loss of weight now that the Y-block is gone, but overall, she is now sitting just right.

Once we get the truck back on the lift, I will take some more pictures of the crossmember and steering rack.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Procuring a much newer engine.

There is no denying the allure of a finely tuned carbureted engine. The ever versatile small block Chevy, or the rumble of a flat head V8 will forever be etched in American hot rodding. The dependable ol' Y block was nearing the end of it's life, and we made the controversial decision to fuel inject. The blasphemy didn't end there though! We were going to swap in a 5.3L Chevy V8 from a 2004 Tahoe. The LS is reliable, powerful, air conditioning ready, and easily allowed us many other modern conveniances. We have received a lot of flak for not keeping the original engine, and using a GM in a Ford, but with a 90 mile total commute each day, and living in the temperamental Mid-west, it was really not a hard decision for us at all.

Pat had already done an LS swap on his Frankenstein of a truck comprised of a custom frame, an 80's Nissan cab, the interior of '49 Pontiac, and more fabrication then I have space to list!

After the success of this swap, it was time to locate our F100's new engine!

We tracked down the Tahoe engine in rural Oklahoma, and made the 6 hour trip down to collect it. Our trip included many amazing old truck sightings, many rolling hills, rural highways, a bevy of hawks, and one bobcat sighting. In an attempt to save some gas, and in the spirit of keeping things interesting, we took my trusty old Subaru on the 12 hour mission. It turns out you CAN fit a V8, transmission, headers, starter, alternator, and a/c compressor in the back of a station wagon!

Let's begin at the beginning!

Around May 2010, Pat Cox, owner and operator of KC AutoWorks, and I procured this fine F100 from a great guy over in KCK. He had redone the floors, got the engine running nicely, and had the truck sitting at the appropriate height. The lowering had been done in the classic hot rod style, and the straight axle minus suspension was equal parts fun AND scary. We drove around on the original V-8 Y block well into early fall, and after Greaserama 2010, we got to work!

This was how the truck appeared the day we found it: