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57 ford pu project

2611 Views 27 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  strummin67
I'm getting ready to start seriously working on a 1957 Ford f100 stepside that i got awhile ago. I've done a lot of sheetmetal work on the body but i figure that for this project to be any good i would help to start on the ground floor so to speak. With respect to the frame i believe everything is stock so my question would be what sort of stuff, besides the typical cleaning up and what not, should i think about doing. I don't know how extreme the project will end up being but chances are that i'm not talking about anything too radical. I've already disassembled the truck basically down to the frame once before so getting a bare frame isn't really a problem. Any tips on modifications or things to be sure to address would be helpful. I'm fairly sure that i want to keep the stock suspension, i like the solid axle look, but as far as all that goes i'm open to suggestions. I need to figure out gas tank placement and the likes so anything that the vets here can recommend would be terrific. Thanks for your time and if there's anything that i should have included let me know please. thanks again.

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are you going to run a 6 or 8? find you a good running donor car or truck for motor and trans, wiring, tilt column... your truck already has a 9" ford in it stock so put some disc brakes off a mid 70's ford truck on your stock axle. toyota 4x4 ( pre 86' solid axle) power steering boxes are a easy swap. keep asking questions as these era trucks are rapidly gaining popularity(57-60) nothing wrong with stock running gear either.the sky is the limit! :cool:
For everything you ever wanted to know (and some you might not) visit this link. It is the FTE 48-60 area. They have how to articles for anything you want to do.

I have a 56 myself, but the 57 is my next favorite. :D

Mine is the stock suspension, 272 Y-block V8, 3 speed on the column, and stock rear axle. Anything that is still running after 50 years can't be all bad. :thumbup:
I like to use epoxy primers on a frame like that as since you do not know exactly what you may have to do the epoxy can be ground off and mods made to the frame..epoxy primers are easy to touch up and patch if you need to say clean off an area and weld something on..

Just give the frame a good cleaning and priming and you should be fine..On a 50 year old anything expect to need to replace quite a bit of stuff as you go on with your build..

There are some of those trucks around here that have been well done that are well liked and they are basically stock trucks that have been lovingly restored..

thanks for all your quick responses. To answer a few questions i do plan on running a V8, and it has a 6 in it now. transmission is up in the air for now but i'm defiantly leaning towards manual, there's just something about a truck that screams stick shift. It's a column shift right now but i've never been a fan of the grind and finds, plus 1st gear isn't synchronized. The comment about disk breaks was interesting, what all would that take? It sounded like it was just a clean swap, which would be great. Thanks for all the advice regarding the steering box and what not, that's the sort of stuff i'm looking for.

Back to the V8, i'm not trying to make some sort of 600+ horsepower monster but I would like to have something that goes pretty well. that said is the stock frame going to be strong enough to hold a decent amount of horsepower? From what i've seen so far it seems fairly strong, but is it really? I just want to make sure that everything's set so i don't have to worry about twisting my chassis anytime soon.

thanks again for the responses, keep them coming.

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oh yeah, one more thing, the steering box thing, would that only work if i used a Toyota column as well? I'm just trying to make sure i cover all the bases before i start anything.

Hello. What have got planned for this truck? Are you driving it on the street, racing or something in between?

this is the 53 ford p/u that was completely built in a local 2 car garage. it was a 2 1/2yr project with a/c, power windows, door wing windows removed, shaved door handles, 302 with a C4 tranny. I think this was a $20k project. this is driven not trailered everywhere. he put 3,000mi on it the 1st yr. if pics don't show try later seems to work part time.

this is a trird brake light that was cut into the back of the cab and they shot clear over it so you cansee it but not feel it.

front and rear fenders have gohst flames on em

I know the 57 body style is different, but heres what can happen in a 2 car garage in a few yrs.

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the use of this truck is still a little up in the air. definatly not a trailer queen, i plan of driving it a lot but i wouldn't take some racing out of the question. I guess i'm tyring to restore it but add some special touches as i go along, if that means anything. I'll show it some but more than anything i want to make sure it's still a usable truck. hope that answered it.
Mustangsaly, I tired those links and the webpage you gave me but they don't seem to work. the website opens up a generic page about web hosting. let me know if there's something that i need to do.
can anyone else see the pics ?

just click on links, they should work.

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Links worked for me..Nice truck..what I would have in mind..

yeah, the links work for me now too, must have just been a glitch

real nice looking truck, about what i would go for too. I've alreday deleted the front bumper and fabed up a rollpan for up front, plans are to do the same in the back. do you know how much of that 20K was for the paint? I'm trying to see what sort of a budget i should be expecting before paint.

it sounds like as far as the chassis is concerned i should be good, no one has voiced any real concerns yet.

do you know if those vent deletions were done with a kit or from scratch? I like the smooth look but i'm pretty sure i will have trouble finding a kit for my year.

one more for now, gas tank. I definatly need more capacity than the little tank it came with has and i hate the thought of it being right behind me. any hints on what typically works well for these?
on your question about the toyota box the ragjoint on the chevy columns are almost identical to the toyota but you can run just about anything. if the 223 you have in your truck is in good shape and you want to stay with a manual pull the three speed and put in a T5 5 speed. it will give you o.d. to keep the rpm's down at freeway speeds. check out for the conversion info. i have a 60' panel that is a couple of project away from getting done.i have been researching for awhile now. :D
he told me in conversation that he had more than $15K in it. I was kinda guessing at the 20k. he bought a lot of new parts most I mentioned. if your wondering about anything just ask.

your right everything is available for the 53 to 56 yrs. the guy that owns the welding shop here helped the owner build this, the owner is prob 48 to 50 yrs old. the man that owns the welding shop has done (I think) 5 complete builds of the 53 to 56 ford P/Us yrs from start to finnish, and hes done 36 partial P/Us builds in the 53 to 56 yr range. and of them 30 partial builds hes put Valarie front endes and motor mounts and chopped tops on some those 30 or so P/Us. some of the 30 were completed except for paint, interior, and bed floor and other things the owner wanted to do him self. I think he told me hes done that many.

they built a gas tank at the welding shop, bent it out of metal and welded it up. it sits behind the rear end between the frame rails and I think they made a fitting for the sending unit or bought one, the fill comes up in the bed floor, it's like a 16 or 18 gallon tank. most all the custom things like the rear tail lights and roll pans and most all metal work under the hood ect. they did them self. including all the body work they could like welding up & filling in the door handle holes and the old gas filler hole and they Frenched in the antenna & tail lights and they filled all the frame holes and painted the frame chassis black them selfs and he bought and installed the electric window set up and he bought all new a/c stuff and a new alum radiator electric fans and things like that. this ole P/U came out of the trees on the farm he grew up on when his folks sold the farm & moved to town. the bed floor & door arm rests and some dash trim is cedar that came off the farm also. he had it cut to width and length and he finished it. the vent windows was a vent window delete kit they bought. and he bought a kit for the shaved door handles (door poopers) and the hood tilt forward hinges were a kit. it has a flat fire wall and roll pans front and rear they built. and a over head console with the stereo in it they built. the seat is outa some late model P/U. he bought fiberglass rear fenders and running boards. he bought the ceramic coated headers & exhaust that exits in front of the rear tires through the running boards. he paid someone to do the interior. it has a Dakota digital dash, I know the wheels and tires were kinda high dollar. I'm not sure of the cost of paint, the guy that helped him build it son has a restoration shop, so I'm sure it saved him some money on paint and body but was not free. that color he found on a car at a car show and it was a house of kolors color. house of kolor wanted $950 a gallon. he said he wasn't paying that for paint. they found a 1989 Ford bronco wild cherry color (it's whats on the P/U) for $200 a gallon plus the clear and labor. and the ghost flames on all 4 fenders & hood only cost him another $250.

ask any questions you want as I was around for most everything and know about everything they did. I didn't ask any questions about money or the cost.

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mustangsaly, thanks for all your information. This seems like almost the same build as i would like to do. I'm curious about the gas tank fabrication. I've always wanted to do my own but i've never seen the inside of one. Do they have baffles or something? I've seen the foam blocks that i guess go inside to subside the "sloshing" around and make sure that the fuel gets to the engine.

Not that it's a huge deal but if the gas tank does end up going where the spare is how might i incorporate a spare? just something that came to mind though from an aesthetic standpoint i'm sure that not having one there would look better.

Also, just for the sake of simplicity and my own preference i'm planning on keeping the windows hand crank. I don't know, i've never minded rolling them up and down by hand, makes me feel nostalgic i guess. I would however like to do the shaved door handles, i've just never actually installed one. I've already deleted the antenna, i didn't like the looks of it anyway and welding up the holes for the door handles isn't a problem. I just don't want to buy a popper kit unless i've got a pretty good idea how i'm putting it to action. if anyone has some pics of this on a similar vehicle it would be a huge help.
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I will ask about baffles in the tank, as I'm not sure what they did there. I know the tank looks like it's maybe 18" or 20" one way and 24" or 28" the other way and maybe 12" to 14" deep (these measurements are from when I seen it installed & from memory) the door popper kit took some Patience to install and get to work correctly, but wasn't nothing unreal hard or from what you have said I would say if you have patiences you can do it. all the easy bolt on easy to install parts like door poopers & the tilt forward hood and them things took the most time & patiences. the door handles he bought for the inside of the door he ended up hating. they were a billet oval like 1" w x 2" long. but there was no adjustment for the cable that pulled the door latch open. crank windows are a personal preference. this guy said for the money he spent he wanted everything a new P/U has. thats why he went with hotrod A/C and a dakota digital dash & electric windows remote power locks and fiber optic lighting in the over head ceder console. I don't think he carries a spare. he spent a lot of money on goodies like the stuff I mentioned.

this is the 57 body style ?

heres a neat 48



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thank you, i appreciate you asking about the tank.

As long as it just takes some patients i think i'll be able to handle the poppers. I definitely agree about wanting everything he could get for the money, that truck sounds like it would be quite something to see up close.

I'll have to rack my brain a little about the spare. I don't want to run it on the street much without one but i also don't want to just have it clunking around in the bed either, i'll see if i can come up with anything.

those first pics, with the blue truck are the correct body style. I've got the stepside, little different backend obviously but same cab.
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