We were looking for a Ford 9" rear end for the truck. The rear end needed to be switched out due to us moving to an automatic transmission. The 9 inchers were looking to run $400 - 500 from the junkyards. Cole found a GM 10" for $100 on Craigslist. We decided that would work fine since I drive mostly like the old man that I am. Cole is going to weld the mounts from the original rear end to the new one so all of the rear suspension can be used. Here are photos of the new rear end before being installed.
I bought a Brothers power steering conversion kit that allows us to convert to power steering while keeping the original suspension. Most of the original steering mechanism had to be replaced unfortunately, but still, the front end still looks mostly original and I'll have power steering to boot! I'll need a new steering column, which is okay because it'll allow me to get one that has a tilt steering wheel. Cole the master hot rod builder that my wife contracted to build the truck will have to make the measurements and go to the junk yard and find one that will suit our needs. The engine needs to go in first so he knows how long the steering column should be. I've posted photos of the new steering box that essentially replaces what would be the rack and pinion on a newer front end. Pretty cool. I also posted a photo of the new 350ci engine that is going in. I bought an engine/transmission mount adapter kit that alleviates the need to fabricate mounts for the new engine and automatic transmission.
I have to say something here for anyone working on an older GM or Ford truck. LMC (Long Motor Company) Truck Parts has EVERYTHING you could think of needing. I just finished a rebuild on a '39 Plymouth and literally everything I needed for that thing I had to spend hours searching the internet to find. It was a nightmare. Simple things like headlight rings, or an ashtray knob were major undertakings trying to find replacements for. With this truck, just about anything I need I can find at LMC. It's very nice.
Okay, we've officially started the project. i know I said one month wonder, but it'll probably be more like six week wonder. But hey! Six weeks and $8,000 or less for a complete rebuild. We've got almost every single part we can think of that we need, that means we probably only have to spend about $2000 or more to buy stuff we don't know we need yet. Here are photos of the truck in the garage getting the original motor mounts and tanny mounts removed. The engine and tranny should be fitted tomorrow and then back out for install of the new mounts. Six weeks, we'll see.
One of the problems I'm having is that the metal on the truck has been allowed to rust through in places. We picked up all the new repair panels we think Cole will need in order to fix the problem, but it means a lot of cutting, welding, and then sanding and body work to cover the seams. It'll all be good when we're done. There wasn't any hesitation about replacing the front grill. I also picked up a new, chrome bumper, and a new splash pan that will get painted. New headlight bezels, and new headlights (euro lights!). Here's the old grill and the new one.
I brought the truck home from the storage site in order to start prepping the fenders and hood. I sold the bed and rear fenders in order to help pay for the new, custom built flatbed that will replace it. This is what it looks like now, without the bed.