Can't fit behind the wheel of a 1970 F350? - Hot Rod Forum : Hotrodders Bulletin Board
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Old 10-28-2013, 10:42 PM
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Can't fit behind the wheel of a 1970 F350?

My brother and I looked at a 1970 F350 that we wanted to get my dad for a retirement gift. Something interesting he can use for all the house projects that will start the instant he retires after 40 years on the rail road.

The truck was exactly what we wanted until my brother noticed something. When he was sitting in the drivers seat the steering wheel was almost touching the tops of his legs. At 5'11" and 155 lbs there is no fat on him. He said our dad couldn't drive it, he won't fit behind the wheel, and from what I saw he was right. My old man is 6' 240 lbs. I told my brother to hop out, I thought there has to be something we're missing. I started messing with seat and looking for an adjustment on the steering column. The seat was back all the way up against the gas tank already and I don't think the steering wheel can be collapsed in. To make things worse the movement for your leg to work the clutch pedal seems ridiculous. You have to lift your leg up high and at an angle to miss the steering wheel to get on top of the pedal.

I thought maybe someone swapped the seat and it moved you too close, but the interior looked like it was original and the owner who bought it in the mid 70's said he thinks that is just how they were made. I feel like I'm missing something. I can't see a company like Ford making a full size truck so stupidly. I know my Dad isn't an average size guy but this truck seemed like it was designed for someone very small. Did I miss some kind of adjustment? The steering wheel is the primary problem, it comes almost to the edge of the seat and it's so low it leaves no leg room. I hate to pass up the truck because it is a screamin deal and runs great.

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Old 10-29-2013, 12:20 AM
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Should look like this:

http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/atta...1&d=1383027589

Jester
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:43 AM
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I would say that looks like the same.
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Old 10-29-2013, 04:32 AM
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It amazes me when you find a vehicle like that where you cant fit in it, actually Ford made quite a few trucks like that (it appears they were built for 5.0 tall 120 lb people). In your case they make gas tank relocate kits and you can change the seats but the biggest help is simply put a smaller steering wheel on it.

I'm 5.6 / 5.7 and weigh @ 200lbs (ya I'm short & fat) and I couldnt fit in either one of my Pro Street Rangers. With my current one I physically couldnt drive the vehicle when I bought it so I changed to a plastic race seat and had to cut the back of it to get it even further back. The steering wheel was also pressing my gut BIG TIME when I got it so I switched to a smaller steering wheel (and put a Quick Disconnect Kit on it because it has a roll bar)

Steering wheels are cheap and easy to change so keep that in mind and you can swap or lower the seat also
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:16 AM
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strange. i've owned many and i'm 6'6 240 . there is a tilt wheel in those years. the turn signal works the tilt. push it forward.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shine View Post
strange. i've owned many and i'm 6'6 240 . there is a tilt wheel in those years. the turn signal works the tilt. push it forward.
If it has tilt. Some don't. My buddys 76 f150 is that way, I can barely squeeze in the driver side with the stock size wheel. I'm 6'1" 280 lbs. My 78 f150 came with the sport wheel which is 14" instead of 17" diameter, its the same size as most aftermarket wheels. As long as you have power steering it would be fine, manual steering may be tougher with the small wheel.

As far as the clutch if the truck has an original "three finger" or Borg and Beck clutch the pedal sits high and has long travel. Although there is supposed to be a rubber stop at the top under the dash, if its gone the clutch pedal will be a couple of inches higher. If you replace the clutch and use a diaphragm style like modern vehicles the pedal will only be an inch higher than the brake pedal. That's how my truck worked anyway.

Auto guide sucks
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:44 AM
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it most likely has a newer seat in it..
the chevy guys have the same issue, we get to use the van column to get some room back. others cut the column..
I'll bet the seat is out of a newer truck or when redone, more fill was used. as the 70's seats in both ford and chevy sucked, but back then a truck was a truck.. not like the living rooms on wheels now
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:31 AM
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tilt columns are easy to come by for those trucks and easy to change.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:53 AM
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The seat was probably redone at some point, it had alot more cushion than I expected. Does anyone know offhand what year range of Fords can you swap a tilt column out of? Did they have tilt columns in trucks with no power steering?

Last edited by Ghetto Jet; 10-29-2013 at 10:00 AM.
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Old 10-29-2013, 09:56 AM
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up til around 79 . not many trucks built without power steering .
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Old 10-30-2013, 09:17 AM
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I just recovered a pair of those seats for a 78 4-door. I noticed they are "overstuffed" and while both seat frames were the same for front and back, the bottom foam cushions were different. The front was about 2" taller than the rear. If the 70 is anything like the the 78, their should be no problem making a new cushion for the bottom, gaining a couple inches. I installed new zig-zag springs and used new foam, shortened the cushion 2", worked out good.
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