Imported the Truck about 6 months back from the States.
Really pleased with what come over as I bought it via email pictures.
Very solid truck that had started to have some work done.
The motor that was fitted in the truck was an 80's 302ci 5 litre with a spine tingling 130 Hp.
I was fortunate enough to have a running 351 Cleveland with FMX Transmission out of a 70 Cougar that I had.
Turns out the Truck is a bit of a rare beast that had the big back window option.
First job my son and I set about doing was get that 302 motor out and and remove the front fenders simple job just half a dozen bolts and the complete front end was removed in one piece
I decided that I was going to instal the Crown Victoria IFS so I sourced a yard in the States and come up trumps with a very helpfull guy who sorted me out a superb complete unit.
The Crown Victoria IFS is a really good swap for and early F100 Ford.
It comes with a Ally crossmember Big 12 inch power disc brakes, power Rack and pinion Steering.
Once fitted the truck will drop almost 5 inches and have the ride height and handling that I am after.
Once we finished with the grinder and removed all the original front Axle steering and suspension ( that is for sale on Stuff for Sale ) We could set about getting the Crown Vic IFS rolling
A set of Black Crown Victoria steel 17 inch rims was bought and fitted with 235/55/R17 tyres
We then had the Crown Vic IFS ready and rolling for it's first fit into the frame rails.
Rolled it under the Truck and started what seemed like endless measurements to get the frame straight and centred
We then re fitted the front end of the truck back on.
When you fit a Crown Vic in an early Ford truck you need to make sure that you get the wheels correct in the wheel arches, due to the drop of the body the wheels get pushed back in the arch and it just does not look correct.
Once happy with the look and a re check of all the measurements the frame was marked up the front end removed and the Crown Vic slid back off the frame.
Drilling of the location studs and the Bolt tubes that go through the top section of the frame and on sit on the top section of the lower part of the frame.
We then got the frame drilled out the tubes installed the Crown vic IFS re installed to make any fine adjustments that was required, a little time after some work with a round file we had it where we wanted it, only then is when the welder came out to tack things into place.
Once the tacks was done it all came off again and the tubes welded into the frame.
Some brackets had to be fabricated to bolt the control arms of the Crown Vic IFS to the Frame these brackets was then welded onto the frame.
The next stage of our build was to remove the rest of the Unibody from the Chassis.
Several coach bolts later and a few wire disconnected the body was lifted off using a home made rotisserie.
The next stage was to get the Block and transmission mocked up into place I fabricated some pedistal motor mounts that would fit to the origonal Cleveland mounts to the Crown Vic Crossmember.
The Engine and Transmission was then fitted.
Tons more measuring was required to get the motor sitting square and paralell in the frame and with the rear Axle. the Motor like most motors are off set from the centre to allow for the roonm required for steering boxes etc etc, so it hard to get your head round it at times but we eventually got there.
A Transmission mount is now going to be fabricated allowing for the 3 degrees fall that the drivetrain will have matching the pinion angle of the Axle.
The rear end of the Truck is also going we are going the full hogg and fitting a complete IRS unit from a 1997 Ford Thunderbird.
For the IRS you have a few options you can take the complete unit from a Ford Thunderbord or a Mercury Cougar they come with drum brakes or disc brakes 8.8 Cast iron diff centre section you also have the Lincoln MK VIII that can donate you it's IRS they all had Disc brakes fitted and a really nice Ally centre section the Lincoln was fitted with Air springs instead of the Thunderbird/Cougar Coil springs so the Lower control arms have not got the conical piece that helps locate the Coil spring so a chat to my mate at his yard and a little bit of work later I have a cracking Ford Thunderbird Subframe with Disc brakes and Lower control arms ready for Coil spring but sitting in the Centre is the Ally Diff unit from the Mk VIII Lincoln.
A instalation kit was also bought that would weld to the Frame so that the IRS Subframe would bolt straight into place.
Once that arrives in the next several weeks we will be fitting that onto the Truck Frame.
Once fitted the ride hight will match the height that we have acheived with the Crown Vic IFS we will have to adjust the coil Springs with a coil being removed or by installing the Lowering springs that you can get for the Thunderbird.
The Build took a big turn today I have sold the 351 Cleveland motor and have bought Two Big block 460 EFI Ford motors Yes TWO motors.
I collected the first 460 from Somerset Cheers Dave.
Then with the help of my 16 year old boy we got this huge lump out of the van and into the garage.
This Engine is going straight into the Truck bolted to a Ford C6 Transmission with a full Reverse Manual valve Body so should be fun to drive with loads of shifting, the motor is going to be kept stock ish due to the complicated electronics of the EFI motor it's going to have a quick simple Carb and Distributor change so I can just get things running the second of the two 460 motors is currently on route from the States along with my complete IRS unit the Hydroboost brake system and another little project I could not resist a 1947 Plymouth Special Deluxe 2 door Coupe.
New motor mounts and a Transmission mount has had to fabricated, to get the motor and Transmission sitting in the frame.
With the size of this motor and gearbox a Transmission tunnel is going to have to be cut out and fabricated but thats for another day
The second Motor will be getting the full treatment over time with a stroker build with all the trimmings.
The Thunderbird IRS is now fitted I ordered and fitted the kit that allows me to bolt the IRS Subframe into place spent several hours just checking and re checking the measurements of where the IRS was to be fitted finally got it all where I wanted it.
Really happy with the results now it was time to get the body back on so we can get some weight on the suspension for the next task to lower the rear end to match the front end.
while I was in the process of sorting the truck height out I removed the rear drum brakes that was fitted ti the IRS and have swapped out the rear knuckles and fitted rear Disk brakes I have also ordered new Mustang Cobra rear hubs to change the bolt pattern from the 4.25'' of the Thunderbird to the 4.50'' stud pattern of the Mustang with the new hubs I can also just add a caliper relocation bracket and fit the 11.65 Mustang Rotors.
The Rear IRS is going to be fully rebuilt with new Poly bushes new uprated CV axles a Locker diff ready to take the power from the yet to be built stroked 460 that I am going to fit.
after several hours playing with the rear suspension I got the truck to its finished ride height and a drop of 6 inches.
My biggest dissapointment was how lost the 235/55R17 tyres look lost under the rear end so I have bit the bullet and ordered a pair of 315/35/R17 M/T tyres so will now get a full arch and 12 inches of rubber under the rear.
I have also managed to complete all the steering mods I wanted to keep the old steering wheel and column in the truck to keep its look so I stripped the steering column down a fitted a new shaft and a bottom bearing, fabricated a plate for the floor that the steering colum now goes through into the Engine bay fitted the new steering U jays and connected it all up to the Crown Victoria Rack.
with the body all back on also cut out the transmission tunnel that was required to fit the C6 gearbox.
The project is really taking shape now I am now going through all the jobs that I need to do before I rip it all apart to clean rebuild paint for the final build.