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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This isn't going to be a step-by-step build up thread, since I just finished the truck (mostly) today. I've been too busy thrashing try to get this thing done to do a day by day build-up thread. So here it is:

'79 F-150 SWB

-351M (although theres a GT-40 windsor waiting to go together on my engine stand)
-NP435
-NP205
-HP D44, 9" w/ mini-spool, 4.10's

Some might also find it interesting that I did the entire build up in under three months, and for well under $3,000. Also, it was built in our farm shop, using farm shop type tools (AC arc welder, oxy-torch, HF pipe-bender, all hand tools.)

So this was what I started with:



It was a $500 basket case, rusted beyond belief, rear axle and motor on thier way out.

The rust on the rear frame was impressive to say the least:



So, out came the torch:
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
New rear frame was in order, staying with the whole 'farm truck' theme, I built it pure straight-truck style: :p


Lots of fabrication went on between these pics, but I was too busy welding to be taking pics. Heres the rear suspension setup that I went with:



This setup gave me about 4" of lift (even after OEM blocks were removed), and a stupid amount of flex considering they are stock rear leaves. My custom shackles can be seen, they are 8" OC, cut out of a single piece of 2x4x.250" box.

Next was building the tube flat bed:



When I started I strongly considered just doing a full-tube truggy style rear end, but I needed this thing to have pleant of bed space, storage area for carrying gear on longer wheeling trips.

BTW, all the tube is actually 1.5" SCH 40 structural pipe, roughly 2" OD, .166" wall.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Heres the finished tube flat bed, there will be an Aluminum chest tool box, and a full size spare bolted down:


If you look close you can see the little square gas door that I had to put in the center rear portion of the bed. I had to do this because the bed was too low to allow proper fuel flow down the filler neck. Now there is just a bung welded to the top of the tank with an OEM gas cap right under the gas door.

Now, skip ahead a few weeks...







So yeah, its nothing too extreme, but it was designed that way. A '4x4 sleeper' is what I'm eventually going for, not to mention just a fun little truck to take on the local trails. BTW, those are 34x10.50-15 LTB's, and the truck is on roughly 4" of lift.

Measuring for shocks:





I was a little disapointed on the amount of front flex, but I think it will get better after the Skyjacker 4" coils break in a little. The radius arms shouldn't be limiting it, since I custom built them about 12" longer than stock. I guess time will tell.

Next time I'm home I'll get some pics of some of the more detailed stuff such as the extended rad. arms, custom x-member, gas door setup, amongst other things.

This thing is far from done, but at least its wheelable now. The rest of the mods in my sig are being done as we speak, throught the next year.
 

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pretty cool man. i'm getting ready to do a similar "cheap truck" build on a 79 bronco. with 4 inches i'm hoping to clear 38.5's or 39.5's. you can always trim:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks, yeah I'm going to keep the same amount of lift, but hack the fenders when I step up the tire size on this rig. Low lift, low COG, is the name of the game around here.
 

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how much lighter is that bed than stock? I know when i put the flatbed on my 88, it was quite a bit lighter, and i couldnt romp on it as much as it would braek my tires loose so easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think its only slightly lighter than stock. The bed is roughly 400lbs, but the rear frame is fairly heavy. When I had stock tires on it, it felt about like stock as far as the weight of the rear end. If I can keep this truck under 4700lbs I will be very happy.
 

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i almost did my rear like that with the leafs but decided to make my own rear lift with some hangers made for the front of the leaf and it gave me about 8" of lift for $0.00 all held together with 1/2" diamiter grade 8 bolts holding the brackets to the frame, also put in some sch40 1 1/4" to stop frame flex, check out the 78 f150 buildup thread in a bit, ill be putting up pics rather soon of the setup.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
PCkrawler said:
how much did it cost to build the flatbed?
Well, including the main tube of the roll cage (which is an integral part of the bed) there was a little over 2 sticks of 1.5" sch40 pipe, 1 stick of 2"x.125 channel iron, and about a 4x10' sheet of .120 hot-plate. I don't recall exactly how much it cost for just the bed, but I think it was around $375 or so. I can look at the receipt next time I'm home if you'd like an exact price for the metal.
 

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Man that is cool, especially since you make it sound like you don't have many good tools for it. I like it. Now you just need to finish off the cab and make that look nice.
 

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Sweet ride

No good tools? Guess that boy has never been around any working farms.:shaking: Looks like a good shop to me. I like the truck very much too !!.:cool2:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks for the compliments. While I don't have many super bling fabrication tools, I pride myself with building things true old school style; heck, for sheet metal I still oxy-ac weld it, lol, AC arc welding on everything else. I do have a notcher and a hyd. operated bender, but only because those are absolutely necessary for this type of work, I'd rather spend money on the rig than tools if I can help it.

LOL, I can't believe that I'm admitting this, but all the paint was done with a brush. I worked as an aircraft mechanic restoring P-51 Mustangs for a few years, during which I also did most of the paint work. Painting a $1.6M aircraft is stressful at best, everything must be 100% perfect, super high dollar paint, top of the line HVLP setup, down-draft booth, etc. With that being said, there was a huge grin on my face when I broke out my $0.99 paint brushes and a gallon of Rustoleum. For once it really didn't matter how the paint turned out, so long as it holds up well and prevents rust. Furthermore, while I do have all the equipment to paint properly, it was during the dead of winter and my shop isn't setup to paint inside.

As for the cab, its shot. The floor pan is completely rusted out, and I hate to even look at the abortion of a patch job that the P/O did. Luckily I have a virtually rust free '78 F-150 cab waiting to go on this summer. Once that happens I'll go ahead and finish the interior cage. So, you guessed it, the plan for now is to wheel the piss outta it, all the current cab will be good for after I'm done is scrap metal...."hmmm, you say a full-size will never fit down that trail?":evil:
 

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I say take off the grill and save it for sure...then narrow the front, that would look awesome, plus it would be practice for the good cab
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I'm not sure if I'll leave the grill on or not. I also have a factory grill for it, either of which would get equally destroyed. The one reason why I might want to swap back to the OEM grill is that this one is hard as heck to get your fingers between to operate the hood latch. On a side note, this truck came with all the late '70's bling possible. Between the grille, the hurst T-handle shifter(on a 4spd, lol), polished aluminum Mickey Thompson Valve covers (those are going on the wall of my shop when I swap motors), and it apears as though it used to have a bed mounted roll-bar with KC lights, lol.

I plan on leaving it full-width since I like the challenge of wheeling a full-size places that it really shouldn't go, so no narrowing. Thanks for all the replies.
 

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Sweet ride. Your bed looks like it rubs your rear tires a little. I built a similar bed for my 78 but with a little more clearance for the rear tires, being that I don't plan on lifting it.




 

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wow thats one nasty paint job with the white dots.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Coors, yes the bed rubs the tires at full stuff, but I designed it that way. I wanted the lowest C.O.G. possible on this thing, so I made the bed as low as reasonably possible. Most of the rear travel is droop, so using the tire as a bump stop seems to be working fine. Nice rig btw, I was looking at those pics on another thread.
 

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Thanks
The paint job kind of got messed up when I got married last week and it didn't want to wash off so well. I will probably just repaint it.
 
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