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Old 07-26-2007, 09:56 PM
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Opinions needed: chevy vs. ford......

I have been lurking for a while. I am close to being able to start a hotrod...likely ratrod project. I like the early Chevy 49-59 and Ford 50-58 models. I have no distinct preference one way or the other. I have some basic mechanical knowledge but want to learn to do most of the work including learning how to weld (although I don't want to do a ton of this).

My rod is going to be my daily driver. It needs to handle reasonable well and stop well. The engine is less of a concern since I have seen many writeups on swaps and performance options in both styles. My biggest question relates to the ease and cost of switching to disc brakes up front and dropping the suspension for a lower stance. I won't have big bucks but I also don't have to scavenge everything as my name implies.

So.....Ford vs. Chevy in the ease of suspension/brake mods..........

Another question.
1/2 ton (shortbed) vs 3/4 ton (long bed). Are there any huge differences in terms of the front end brake/suspension work that I need to be aware of. I prefer the shortbed but I have seen a few more of the 3/4 ton in the papers lately so I may start with one.

Last edited by woodscavenger; 07-26-2007 at 10:03 PM.
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Old 07-26-2007, 10:31 PM
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i'm not sure on those years specifically but 1/2 ton would probably be better for a start, unless you're planning a complete suspension swap and not just improving what is already there. also, 3/4 tend to be heavier from the get-go.

are you planning on making it your daily driver after it's built and everything is sorted? I ask because my rod is my "daily" but really my wife takes me to work half the time because i'm in the middle of swapping something out and can never finish as quickly as i thought i would.
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:01 AM
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I do have another vehicle to drive. This has been a big part of why I have never done a hot rod in the past. We have never had the extra money to have the extra vehicle laying around so I can do a larger tear down project. I taken meal while I am finally going to be able to start this project.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:08 AM
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Ford versus Chevrolet in the early Pickups is a toss up ... and comes down to what you really like. Both are decent. Especially after 1955. The early Chevrolet trucks had a enclosed drive shaft ( which works OK stock ) but makes swaps a lot more difficult and involved. I think that the 1956 Ford F-100 is the most beautiful truck ever made.



The 56 is a one year cab. The wrap around windshield started in 1956 for the Fords.



Some even have the wrap around rear window ( Canadian F-100 shown ... Mercury same as the Ford but the badges )



I have owned a few 56 F-100's with the " Big Back window ".

The 55 up Chevrolets are good also ... and some of them also can have the big rear glass ( a lot more common in the Chevrolet pickups )

I have owned both the 55 Chevrolet pickups and 56 Ford F-100's and I prefer the Ford. I had installed small block Chevrolet engines in both ... so it was not a engine thing. The Fords have a 5 lug wheel pattern and the Chevrolets have the 6 lug pattern.

Parts are available in good supply for both ... the Ford and the Chevrolet ...

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Old 07-27-2007, 09:12 AM
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Myself I would look for the best truck either ford or chev in the years you are interested in..That is the condition of the truck..Either one can do you well..

On the 1/2 3/4 choice when someone says that I think of the 3/4 being the one with 8lug wheels and heavy duty for hauling..those can be nice as well..

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Old 07-27-2007, 09:14 AM
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The Chevy Bulldog front-end is hard to beat in the looks dept.
I always wanted one with a 4 speed hydro behind a early Pontiac 389.

However, to me, nothing sounds as good as the Ford flathead and there's just something so attractive about a early Ford.
A bodyshop buddy of my dads had a sixties Ford pickup with the cab and bed as one unit, no seam between them. It was a fantastic looking truck!
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:49 PM
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As far as which truck to go with Ford or Chevy, that's a matter of personal opinion. All I ask is that whichever you choose, PLEASE DON'T DO THE 350/350 CHEVY COMBO !!! Put a Ford in a Ford, or a Hemi in a Chevy, but just don't put another cookie cutter SBC in anything. Unless of course you want to be just like everyone else.

The preceding was a paid political announcement.
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Old 07-27-2007, 03:54 PM
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350/350 combo is cheap and easy though.....
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:04 PM
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well thats a loaded question asking wich to choose. ford guys will always choose theirs and chevy guys will pick theirs hands down.....

i have worked on all kinds as a tech and i still come back to chevy. the parts are easy to come by and interchangeable over several years and styles. it is easy to make performance cheap with a chevy because the aftermarket is full of go fast goodies and they want you to have them.

good luck on your quest. mid 40s to late 50s ford or chevy make a fine rod so get your money out and flip a coin.

ps you can put a chevy motor/trans in any truck...............

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Old 07-27-2007, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igotachevyor2
.......you can put a chevy motor/trans in any truck...............
True statement, but you can also put a hemi in just about anything and a small block Ford or Mopar in just about anything. Maybe not quite as easily as the SBC but being an individual is sometimes worth the little bit of extra work it takes. Nothing against those who choose a SBC its just that there are way too many of them in street rods and its simply because it's easy and people have a tendency to take the easy way out. Of course when they do that and then take their rod to a show most people yawn when they see the engine compartment. It's just that when you've seen one SBC, you've seen them all.
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Old 07-27-2007, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Centerline
True statement, but you can also put a hemi in just about anything and a small block Ford or Mopar in just about anything. Maybe not quite as easily as the SBC but being an individual is sometimes worth the little bit of extra work it takes. Nothing against those who choose a SBC its just that there are way too many of them in street rods and its simply because it's easy and people have a tendency to take the easy way out. Of course when they do that and then take their rod to a show most people yawn when they see the engine compartment. It's just that when you've seen one SBC, you've seen them all.
but how many 302s or clevlands are running around? i agree that sbc is popular but thats also why its cheaper to build. im pooooooor and building on a budget ill leave the unusual engines to the people who can afford them....
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Old 07-27-2007, 06:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igotachevyor2
but how many 302s or clevlands are running around? i agree that sbc is popular but thats also why its cheaper to build. im pooooooor and building on a budget ill leave the unusual engines to the people who can afford them....
Plus ... it is better to have a SBC in your ride and be riding ... than have some other engine that you cannot afford to get running or cannot find the parts. The SBC thing has been done a lot ... because it is easy ... and works out so well.

If I was doing a Ford ... NOW ... I would most likely use a Ford engine. But theres no denying the universal fit of the SBC.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:04 PM
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Ford or Chevy? That is the age old question.

Everyone has their personal favorite. I fell in love with a 56 F-100 when I was 14. It took me to age 38 to finally get to where I could buy one.


What you are wanting to do with the truck and your skills are a huge part of it. Most of us can turn a wrench fairly well and look for a solid body. If your more the body and paint type, you should look for a runner.

I wanted a hotrod and was only lookling for a solid straight body. That is not what I ended up with. I found a really straight original truck.

It has the original 272 Y-block V8, 3 speed, and everything else. I have done some mechanical work, but that is all. It is a blast to drive.

I do not have the "big back window" option. Those are available now for $500 in kit form. That means the "big back windows" are not worth as much as they used to be.

Here is my driver...







Somone mentioned parts. I can get just about anything I want for the Y-block. Headers, intakes, carbs, cams, pistons, crank, you name it it is available. Mine is stock and runs great, so hopefully I won't need any of that, but I can get it if needed.
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Old 07-27-2007, 07:17 PM
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Also think about resale value. A Chevy in anything can be sold and you could probably get your money back. Put a Ford or anything else in a Chevy and it won't sell. Look around and do your home work. I hate to see someone spend $15,000 to fix a nice ride and it so different that they could not give it away when they become tired of it. It is your money spend it how ya want just try to think way down the road.
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Old 07-27-2007, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igotachevyor2
but how many 302s or clevlands are running around? i agree that sbc is popular but thats also why its cheaper to build. im pooooooor and building on a budget ill leave the unusual engines to the people who can afford them....
Don't tell the Ford guys that a 302 is an unusual engine. Or the Mopar guys that a 318 is unusual either. There are millions of them out there just waiting for a home. Now a Hemi, Caddy, Nailhead, or early Olds V8.... those are more in the unusual category. Even the flathead would qualify.

No argument that the SBC is plentiful and cheap though and for a lot of guys it makes sense. It's the mega $$$ street rods with the 350/350 combo that get my goat. If you're going to spend that much money on a car at least have some imagination when it comes to the power plant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RPM
Also think about resale value. A Chevy in anything can be sold and you could probably get your money back. Put a Ford or anything else in a Chevy and it won't sell.........
Hmmmmm..... I don't know about that. I put a hemi in my Chevy and I've already turned down two good offers.... and it's not totally finished yet. You are right that some combinations aren't really good for resale but a Ford in a Ford will always sell, and a hemi in anything will sell anytime anywhere. The problem is that a SBC in a street rod is just another car. In other words its nothing special. Why own a street rod if it's just like everyone else's?

Last edited by Centerline; 07-27-2007 at 09:24 PM.
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