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-   -   Skip's 39 Ford PU. How it happened (https://ratrodsrule.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36459)

Skip 07-24-2017 12:23 PM

Skip's 39 Ford PU. How it happened
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I've quit this hobby a number of times for various reasons. But like any sickness/addiction, in this case I am happy to report relapses happen. Twenty years ago, I found myself in Portland, OR. Broke, apartment dwelling, but with a great job that I loved. I was making money, and paying off a huge debt load, caused by another run through college, a short-lived marriage & divorce, and saving for a house. Life is grand.

One day I was cruising Craigslist, and found a pair of fat Micky Ts for $100, tubes and all. That is kind of when the plan hatched. Build a cheap hot rod from parts I can score on CL! I then expanded the criteria to CL and the Portland Swap Meet.

I ran into some rat rod guys at the swap meet, and I was hooked. I started a search for an appropriate vehicle. I was looking for something I could go minimalist with. Open wheeled, V8, automatic. Pretty standard basic hot rod. Nothing too outrageous, as I had never built a car from the ground up. Lots of modified cars over the years, and quite a few aborted projects. Life is like that.

Fast forward a couple years.
I finally got a house that I could barely afford. One car garage, and NO SHOP! I spent another year making the house habitable, and having a shop built in the back yard. The biggest thing Portland would let me have, without a variance, was 24x24x10@mid eves.

By this time, parts were stacking up in the garage, but no project yet. Then I saw the CL ad for a 38 Ford PU cab. $400. The guy also had an ad for a set of 38 fenders for another $400. After chatting with him, I bought it all for $500. Now I had to build a full fendered project? I also had to find a lot more 38 Ford PU parts. Is nothing simple? Not when Skip is involved. :D Other body parts trickled in from CL and the swap meets over the next couple years. Hoods, grilles, grille "chin", hood sides that looked like they had been used to get out of a mud hole.

Next came a $200 stripped out 89 S10 short bed, standard cab. Then a low mileage but badly beat up, but great running, 85 Monte Carlo for another $250 came my way. Both were delivered for less than the cost of renting a trailer.

Then another much better cab showed up on CL FOR $500. Grabbed it, too. Finally, I found a 56 Ford PU dash, and a 47 Chevy bed. All the basic parts were in hand.

soltz 07-24-2017 12:34 PM


Skip 07-24-2017 12:59 PM

5 Attachment(s)
I spent many hours photochopping this project while I was collecting parts and deciding how I wanted to run with it. As we all know, this is not the roomiest cab ever created. I thought about Chopping the top, stretching the cab, and a few other cool ideas. Besides fitting the puzzle together with almost no instructions there were other considerations. :D

DozerII 07-24-2017 01:28 PM

This going to be cool [P[P

Skip 07-24-2017 01:57 PM

Straying from the plan.
There were a couple places where I decided that I should expand my search for parts. Primarily, I went for new parts wherever safety issues were concerned.
  • E-brake cables, and other brake parts.
  • An after-marked double D rod for stretching the steering.
  • A Speedway 20 circuit wiring harness, because I was clueless about wiring when I started this.
  • AN fitting for the fuel cell I ended up using.
I also expanded my search to eBay after I got into trading there. This was likely the most expensive thing I could have done. Way too much cool stuff there. On top of that, I can't pass up a bargain. I have enough headlights, tail lights, gauges, and other cool parts to supply several projects.

Hi, my name is Skip, and I am ... :D

dutch 07-24-2017 03:29 PM

well.... beats watching netflix... :D[P

Skip 07-24-2017 03:42 PM

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This was my wall paper on my computer at work for a long time. Just to keep me kind of focused on the project.

Skip 07-24-2017 04:23 PM

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OK. We all know this isn't the first time someone put a 30s car on an S10 chassis, so I won't get too deep into that. But here are a few highlights about how I did it, and a few comments on how I would have done it differently if I had known better before it was too far down the road to change things without a lot of work for very little gain.

The general wisdom recommends using a standard cab long bed to get the closest match to the stock wheel base. I wanted a shorter bed anyway, so I hunted for a short bed chassis. After all, I figured I could put the fenders wherever they needed to be on the sides of the bed to fit the wheels.

Once I had a chassis, I put the front fenders and cab together on top of it, and figured out how much I had to cut off of the frame horns to get it all to sit straight. CAUTION: When trimming the front of the frame, be sure to leave the holes to mount the front sway bar if it doesn't already have one. You actually don't need to cut it quite that far back anyway, but that is a bit tricky to sort out at first. I cut off more than I needed to. The last pic would have been enough.

On the back end, I cut off as much of the frame as I could. Right up against the rear spring hanger mounting. That made it possible to make the bed as short as possible without cutting out the middle of the frame.

Skip 07-24-2017 05:13 PM

I am sorting through and organizing several hundred pictures of this beast, so I can post more pics and fewer words in the coming days.

Dr Crankenstein 07-24-2017 06:21 PM

Staying tuned. (I like the door stretched a couple/few inches, BTW.)


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