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Old 12-14-2013, 03:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Jeep FC170 "Patina Rod" (and "mutt")

After a year+ of not owning a Jeep, and just focusing on my now 13-year-old daughter's 2-door XJ build (build thread HERE), I got myself into another big project that'll eventually give me some great utility, and have some great character at the same time.

This will be a fairly low-budget build utilizing late-model drivetrain parts (many I already have), with an attempt to maintain the character/patina of the FC cab. Here's the plan
  • Repair the floors in the cab and neutralize exterior rust as much as possible. Prep/paint the interior nicely, but retain the existing exterior paint scheme/patina, rust, etc. We're a big fan of Eastwood paints (but still use POR-15 "Metal Ready" for rust neutralization), and Eastwood even sponsored my daughter's XJ build.
  • Frame: 2005 F350 Cab & Chassis frame, which will be painted satin black.
  • Suspension: OEM 2005 F350 front coils/rear leaves
  • Front Axle: 2005 F350 Dana 60 SRW (picking up soon...still not sure of the gear ratio yet, and also need to find some OEM DRW spacers)
  • Rear Axle: 1998.5-1999.5 Ford F350 Cab & Chassis disc-equipped Dana 80 DRW with 4.30 gearing and Trac-Lok (see pics below). The cab & chassis version is a "narrow" dually axle...measurement between wheel mounting surfaces is ~70.5". The FC170 cab is 68" wide, as a reference.
  • Tire size? No idea yet. I'll have to 1) Do some research on tire size/RPM ranges with the 4.30 gearing. 2) Save for said tires.
  • Driveline: A 94K-mile 1999 Jeep 4.0L/AW4/NP-231 (I already own this driveline, and don't have the budget to consider other options, nor do I want to. It runs GREAT!). Investment in this particular driveline? ZERO (actually, it's negative after parting the Jeep, and using many of the parts on Mira's XJ project.
  • Custom bumpers. The front may potentially have extra tubing work to pay homage to its former plowing glory.
  • I plan to build a functional flatbed on the back (potentially a steel frame with wood planks). The original bed is shot, so repair is not an option. Some folks on my local Jeep forum recommended rebuilding a bed like the stock one, but for me, the flatbed will give me the utility I need, and be a lot easier/cheaper than trying to reconstruct the stock-style bed. I have seen a ton of photos of original FCs with flatbeds, and love the look. Mounts for the flatbed will include either a 3-point or 4-point mounting system that will allow a future camper/expedition box to flex independently from the frame.
  • Must be built with a meager budget.






The stock FC170 frame is pretty shot after spending (likely) decades sitting in the woods. Initially, I found half of my solution (pun intended) in this 1998.5-1999.5 Ford F350 Cab & Chassis "frame cut" with narrow disc-equipped Dana 80 dually axle (4.30 gearing with Trac-Lok). Dually nay-sayers may have a valid point about the weight of the axle, but I'm going with it. I also really dig the idea of a DRW FC, paying homage to the original DRW models, which are pretty rare, from what I can tell. I'm also not worried about the pig-like nature of the Dana 80, as this won't be a hardcore off-road vehicle. Ground clearance isn't hyper-critical given the intended use of the truck.

The guy I got this from had several of these "frame cuts" (various models, up to F550s), which were purchased years ago after ~1000 miles of testing use by Ford (so the story goes). He had an "in" with a 3rd-party company that got these frames after testing, and he used to build H.D. assembled vehicles. The frame is complete with axle, springs, sway bar, shocks, fuel tank, exhaust (which will be sold), e-brake lines, etc.

I initially planned to graft this to the front half of an FC frame (or a custom one using new steel) using my rusty frame as a pattern/guideline. However, I subsequently found a complete 141"-wheelbase 2005 F350 Super Duty Cab & Chassis frame relatively close to home, and will be picking it up in 2 weeks.




The frame rail width on these F350 Cab & Chassis frames is 34.1" outside-to-outside. The original frame (rear) is 44.5" wide, by comparison. I'll have to figure out a way to fit the wider XJ poly tank onto the narrow frame. From the little bit of searching/homework I have done, I think I'll be able to turn the XJ gas tank 90 degrees (sideways), and run it like that.



Narrow F350 Cab & Chassis Dana 80, 4.30 ratio with Trac-Lok (~70.5" WMS-to-WMS). That's dirt caked on the axle/caliper, not rust.


I'll have to remove a few leaves from the spring packs, me thinks. I actually posted these on Craigslist and my local Jeep board hoping to find someone with 6-leaf F250 springs that wants to trade for these heavy-hauling springs.



The Jeep FC180 was a concept drawn up in 1957, and featured a 120-inch wheelbase with a 12.5-ft. bed. Based on my calculations/estimations, the 141"-wheelbase F350 Super Duty Cab & Chassis frame should give me approximately the same bed length, with just a 21" longer wheelbase.








Potentially, the back of the FC may get some sort of camper or "tiny house" treatment similar to THIS, which would be put to use in retirement years.


And finally, here's a little "patina" build inspiration (but minus the tilt bed, and add DRW)...
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* Custom '61 Jeep FC170 project, '97 XJ 2-dr. (13-year-old daughter Mira's project)

Last edited by 1x1_Speed_Craig; 01-07-2014 at 05:09 PM.
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Old 12-14-2013, 10:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Looks good Craig !! As always I know you will put your heart and soul into this project.

Might want to talk to Chris, Chris Fitzpatrick Offroad | Menlo Park, CA 94025 he was getting involved with some FC stuff and might be able to help out.
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Old 12-14-2013, 11:13 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Looks good Craig !! As always I know you will put your heart and soul into this project.

Might want to talk to Chris, Chris Fitzpatrick Offroad | Menlo Park, CA 94025 he was getting involved with some FC stuff and might be able to help out.
Thanks for the tip...much appreciated. I'm also fortunate because the guy I got it from (now a friend of mine) is local, and owns 3 of them himself, so I amazingly have a local parts supply. There also won't be much "FC" on this FC project, just the cab.

I'm excited to get it underway! I have wanted one of these for a decade.

Craig
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Old 12-14-2013, 11:32 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Awesome Project!! Looking forward to the build. Ive always been on the look out for a cab or a whole truck to build one myself. Seems a bunch of FC Builds have been popping up lately and I love it.
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Old 12-22-2013, 06:26 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A few updates...

I found someone who could use the heavy-duty 12-leaf rear springs from my "frame cut", and will be pulling them off the axle later this week.

My '98.5-'99.5 F350 rear "frame cut" is now stripped down to a bare frame, and will likely be going to scrap in the spring. I had originally planned on grafting the stock front half of my stock FC170 frame to the rear half of the F350 Cab & Chassis frame. However, I found that the stock FC170 frame isn't actually solid enough to work with, and there would be a LOT of fabrication work to get everything aligned properly, as well.

I did, however, find a complete 2005 F350 Cab & Chassis 141"-wheelbase frame that I'll be picking up about 1 1/2 hours from my house this Friday. I'll have to build custom cab mounts up front, as well as figure out how to set up the steering box on the new frame, which is about 7" wider than the stock FC frame up front. The DRW rear axle will bolt into the new frame just fine. 2005 is the first year that the F350s utilized coil springs up front, which leads me to my next find...

Timing is up-in-the-air depending on when the seller can get the parts pulled, but I'll be picking up all of the front & rear suspension-related parts, and the Dana 60 front axle a 2005 F350 (SRW) that was hit in the rear. I'm not sure yet about the gear ratio of the front axle, and will likely have to regear to 4.30 eventually to match the DRW rear axle I already have. I'll also have to locate some DRW front spacers to mount on this SRW axle. The biggest challenge, though, will be finding a set of wheels. 2005 introduced bigger brake calipers & rotors on the F350s, requiring a minimum 17" wheel diameter. Most 8 x 170mm dually wheels I have seen are 16" wheels, and to further complicate things, the later-model (bigger diameter) DRW wheels used a different bolt pattern (8 x 200mm). I have a couple 16" DRW wheels, and rounded up some others, as well. However, I'll have to research if these are even an option up front, or if I'll have to go bigger down the road (aftermarket DRW wheels are stupid-expensive).

This is the result of my (novice) Photoshop work, giving me a "blank canvas" to hand-draw in the rest of the custom vehicle build using my somewhat dormant artistic skills (I started working on one today). Based on my calculations/estimations (many of which came from studying the drawings on the Ford Fleet "Body Builders Layout Book"...a GREAT resource!), the 141"-wheelbase F350 Super Duty Cab & Chassis frame should give me approximately the same bed length as the 1957 FC180 concept vehicle, but with a slightly longer wheelbase.

Pics of the "new" frame to come at the end of the week.



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Old 12-22-2013, 07:05 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Very cool! Always nice to see an FC getting brought back to life!
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Old 12-28-2013, 02:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Very cool! Always nice to see an FC getting brought back to life!
Thanks!



Here's my "new" 2005 Ford F350 141"-wheelbase Cab & Chassis frame. I coerced my girls into heading to Clare, MI to pick it up by offering to buy them lunch at "Cops & Doughnuts" in Clare (they're suckers for sugar). I also drove them (briefly) through Mt. Pleasant, where I went to college.



Here's the muscle of my Jeep rebuilding operation...my fiancee, Amy, and my daughter, Mira.


And here's the frame all nestled into it's longer-term home. I'll have to build custom cab mounts for the FC cab, custom motor mounts, and a custom mounting solution for the oddball cab-over steering box. Suspension & axles will be stock F350 items.
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Old 12-28-2013, 04:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Shipping on Amy to 48066. There is a frame in your post, where ?

Looks like a great start to what will be a super duper build.

Taling reservations for rides yet ?
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Old 12-28-2013, 09:41 PM   #9 (permalink)
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This is going to be cool! Another thread of yours to watch!
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Old 12-28-2013, 10:37 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Damn I'm subscribing can't wait to see more.
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Old 12-30-2013, 10:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Old 01-02-2014, 05:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Thanks guys!


What do you see here? I see replacement cab corners & sheet metal for my FC cab. Big thanks to my buddy Kyle for the scrap FC170 roof. The profile of the corners should work pretty well for the lower body corners. I traded an XJ 242 transfer case for a bunch of misc. parts...some sheet metal (including some floor pan sections coming soon) that I'll use to patch my FC cab, a better set of seats, and some small parts I was missing.

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Old 01-03-2014, 07:11 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Looking good, im building a FC 170 myself. What is your plan for the steering?
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:12 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Looking good, im building a FC 170 myself. What is your plan for the steering?
Cool! Do you have any pics and/or a build thread?

Good question. I just started looking at Isuzu NPR steering-related stuff, and have to do more research as to whether it would work or not. I'm definitely open to suggestions. I just saw your "Fc 170 power steering ideas" thread, as well.

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Old 01-03-2014, 12:32 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Yea my build is over in ifsja.org Fc 170 build... - International Full Size Jeep Association. I also looked at the NPR stuff but it can be hard to find good pictures and information on them or any cab over set up for that matter. I am looking at trying to do a set up similar to this one http://www.rvcruzer.com/images/UFO_2...ering2_XGA.jpg But with the steering box pretty much directly attached to the 90degree box, the only trouble is finding one of the little boxes. The main issue I have found with looking at the steering on various cab overs is that they pretty much all use rack in pinion.
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Old 01-03-2014, 03:53 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Yea my build is over in ifsja.org Fc 170 build... - International Full Size Jeep Association. I also looked at the NPR stuff but it can be hard to find good pictures and information on them or any cab over set up for that matter. I am looking at trying to do a set up similar to this one http://www.rvcruzer.com/images/UFO_2...ering2_XGA.jpg But with the steering box pretty much directly attached to the 90degree box, the only trouble is finding one of the little boxes. The main issue I have found with looking at the steering on various cab overs is that they pretty much all use rack in pinion.
Yeah, I have seen your IFSJA thread (didn't make the connection). Thanks for the steering ideas. I'll look into these, as well.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:43 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I like the concept named "the mighty Fc" with portal axles although it looks likes it's lifted higher than it should be it's very stable because of the weight distribution. Are you thinking of doing Portal axles?
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:34 PM   #18 (permalink)
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I like the concept named "the mighty Fc" with portal axles although it looks likes it's lifted higher than it should be it's very stable because of the weight distribution. Are you thinking of doing Portal axles?
I've seen the Mighty FC in-person, and yes, it's pretty tall (although I didn't take notice of what axles it was running when I saw it). I have no desire to use portal axles...too tall, and it wouldn't fit the character of this build anyway. I'm using stock F350 axles on my FC project (Dana 60 front, and a dually Dana 80 rear).

Here's a pic of my fiancee next to it at the 2012 Jeep Blessing.



I'm definitely a "keep it low" kind of guy, too. This is the '05 LJ I built on 1-tons, 37" tires, and only 3 1/2" of lift.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:53 PM   #19 (permalink)
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my dad has a few 170s one being a crew cab. other being a factory dual rear wheel. very interested in this.
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:16 AM   #20 (permalink)
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my dad has a few 170s one being a crew cab. other being a factory dual rear wheel. very interested in this.
Sweet!
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Old 01-06-2014, 04:19 PM   #21 (permalink)
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If it ever warms up ill post some pics. I know he is on forward forum or something beause he registered his crew cab. has all the military paper work and service records. I believe its a 64?
The dually vins out to be the last 60 or first 61 dually with a 4 speed and vaccum assist brakes as well as a factory ramesy winch (missing of coarse along with the 4 speed shifter which is like hens teeth) but they are very cool trucks.
Good luck with the build!
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Old 01-06-2014, 05:22 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Looking forward to this build subscribed.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:28 AM   #23 (permalink)
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I'll be watching this build, I have a 170 dually that I am going to start working on this year.
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Old 01-07-2014, 12:25 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Cool build looking forward to more updates
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:44 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Love the FC build, but the title disappointed me a bit, I thought maybe you were going to incorporate some m151 (mutt) parts into this. Not sure why you would, but it'd be cool ( to me at least)
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