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Old 04-09-2009, 01:59 PM
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So I got this stock 34 Ford Pickup in my driveway

My dad bought a fairly complete almost rust free 34 Ford pickup last week and guess who gets to build the thing? Ya me...so here's our deal...this is our first early Ford and I'd like some basic clarification on a couple of things. Before picking an engine/trani/front suspension combo (it already has an 8.5" ford axle with parallel springs installed) I'm trying to discern if this frame is the same as a 34 car frame or an older design since the sheet metal appears to match 32/33 pickups. Also, when the heck were radious rod suspensions employed? I thought wishbones were Model A tech and 32 got the radius rods....someone just told my dad, no, the wishbones were employed up until 48. Obviously I need some schoolin before getting out the sawzall.
We'll probably go after an aftermarket IFS and pitch the straight axle. We live near lake tahoe and every road is windy. It needs good/safe handling.
As far as engine we have access to a ready to run 283 (rebuilt) out of my 57 Chevy (65 replacement block) or I also have a running 1966 318 Polyspherere with 727 that would be really different...but she's a wide block so I gotta measure some stuff. Not sure how wide I can go with the stock hood. My dad wants a 302...how boring is that? About as boring as a SBC almost. We also have a 42 Flatty that came with the car...unassembled but supposedly uncracked and only 30 over. I'm gonna push that in a corner for me to use

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Old 04-09-2009, 02:08 PM
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Pics........gotta have picks.....
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Old 04-09-2009, 04:14 PM
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Picture me jealous. As Napoleon Dynamite would say, "Luckeeeee"
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Old 04-09-2009, 06:15 PM
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A 1933/1934 frame is different than the 32 frame. It is 6 inches longer in wheelbase. Most of it is in between the rear fenders and the the rear of the cab.

A 283 fits pretty nice. It can be done without cutting up the firewall ... but a small recess in the firewall makes it a LOT easier.

Inspect all the previous welding and work done by the former owner. It may or may not be up to your safety standards.

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Old 04-09-2009, 06:38 PM
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Dad is right!

Like the old TV show "Father Knows Best" use the 302 Ford weighs almost 80 pounds less than the Chevy and has the distributor up front so no firewall clearance problem
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Old 04-09-2009, 07:44 PM
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Do your best and get all the best parts as long as Dad is buying. It may end up being your truck in the future. Lots of us would like to start with a truck looking that good.

Good Luck and keep the pictures coming during the build.

454 RATTLER
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Old 04-09-2009, 11:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 454 Rattler
Do your best and get all the best parts as long as Dad is buying. It may end up being your truck in the future. Lots of us would like to start with a truck looking that good.

Good Luck and keep the pictures coming during the build.

454 RATTLER
That's a big 10-4 on that one! I'm hoping the little truck ends up in my garage some day. I'm pushing dad....gently...but pushing for all quality parts starting with boxing the frame and hanging a quality IFS on the front end. The truck is 100% stock accept for the 8.5" diff out back. It's amazing how nice the firewall and bed/tailgate are. The thing was never used to haul your typical loads...no damage from stuff banging around back there and no extra holes in the firewall. The fenders are really nice...I can't find any patches or welding...the frame still has a lot of paint. Not shown in the pics are almost perfect grill shell and insert.
Dad is one of the cheapest guys I know...its gonna be pulling teeth each step of the way. He's already tried to talk me out of boxing the frame...I told him I wasn't going to help with this build if wasn't going to be done with safety and reliability being the most important determining factor. Weird eh? Total role reversal here....

Anyone have a suggestion for an IFS that hangs off of the stock frame rails? Dad's scared of doing a stub....I think cost is part of the resistance also.

I'll get some more pics on Easter as we'll be over there for the day. I want to measure some stuff to see if that poly 318 will fit or not.
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:37 AM
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Last year I finished a 33 pickup for a customer, we installed a 351 cleveland and an AOD, and with a perfectly flat firewall it fit fine. The hood sides and top are off in that pic after paint, but they fit fine too.The only thing I had to do was make a low mount alternator bracket for it, but I was still able to run a mechanical fan...






Using a stub column makes a big difference in how much legroom you have in one of those trucks..


Before paint.



That truck started out as a closed cab, I made the windshield posts and upper dash rail so we could run a 32 car dash..and filled the cowl, top of the cut off doors and rear of the cab, I installed a shortened 32 bed which gave us the room the lengthen the cab an additional 6" .It really needed it, Those trucks were made for midgets or double jointed people ....While we were at it I flush mounted the doors too and installed hidden hinges..


You may not want to mess with a MII front end, you will have to do sheetmetal work on the front fenders to clear the upper shock /A arm brackets on the stock type coil spring setup.. The 32-34 pickup front and rear fenders are all the same, but they sit on top of the frame like a 32 ford. (it's easy to put any kind of MII under a 33 34 passenger car, the fenders are different)...Heidts makes a superride MII kit with coilovers and tubular control arms that will clear the fenders, TCI has a similar setup. Don't even think about a clip...

The straight front axle with 4 bars is not bad as far as handling goes, the only time a IFS is better is when the roads get bumpy, and even then it's mosty the ride that is better.

If you split the wishbones, run an I beam axle, tube axles and radius rods or split wishbones are not a good mix with a tube axle..

The 33/34 pickup frames are dimensionally the same as a 33/34 passenger car, but there are a bunch of holes in the side of the passenger car frames for the splash pans and running boards......(that's how you tell the difference)

You can't fit much tire under the rear fenders, if you want 10" tires they will stick out.

Those are cool trucks.. If you are ever down here in gilroy I'll be glad to take you and your Dad for a ride...that is always inspiring.

Later, mikey
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:31 AM
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Pay very close attention to powerrodsmike's pictures. Every inch of room will be important in a truck that small.
The stub column setup is a great idea. I wish I had done that in my 29 coupe.
This is a great site to gather information before you pick up your tools.

454 RATTLER
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:57 AM
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Now that's the kind of info I'm looking for!
On the radius rods...I've always heard (or used to hear) that they would bind and were dangerous. The 4 link seems to have advantages (I installed them on the rear of my 57) but with the number of kits out there man I really don't know where to start.
Has anyone used or have an opinion on the split I beam front axle? I forget who makes it but I thought that was a great way of obtaining IFS and keeping a trad. look.
The Heidts Super Ride always looks top notch but hey they must drop about 50K each month in glossy advertising....full page color ads are expensive and the consumer ends up footing part of that cost. Are they worth the price?

A little inside info on pops motivationi...back in I think 57 (he was born in 1940 so the perfect 50's experience) a buddy of his won a car show with a 34 Ford pickup which then ended up going on American Bandstand. The owner was too shy to talk about his car...he was only 17 so my dad did the TV spot for him. All we have now is one color poloroid of the car outside the studio with my dad. He recently reconnected with the family that built that truck and they are supposed to be sending a bunch of info and pics. My dad wants to duplicate that truck externally but with modern underpinnings since all that stuff will hide under all the stock sheet metal.

Mike Gilroy is not far...we are all from the Bay up here
I'll let my dad know about your offer. Maybe we can connect by phone some time?

Dave
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