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Need your honest advice gentlemen

Guest jyakel

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Gentlemen, I just purchased a 1949 Ford F-3 pickup. It has a flat bed or 'farm truck' back end. It has a flathead V8 with a 4 speed non-synchromesh transmission. It is an all original truck-as far as I can tell. Here are the strengths of the truck:

-Sold body with some surface rust, no rust through holes

-No missing body panels. It cleaned up very nicely.

-Engine starts easily and runs smoothly; no smoke or oil burn

-Clutch engages smoothly, no chattering. However, trying to shift smoothly the non-synchro transmission is a feat in itself.

-6 volt system still intact

-All guages work (except gas gauge)

-Lights, wiper, heater all work

Here are the weaknesses of the truck:

-It has the dreaded split rim wheels. Stu (truckdog) has been very helpful in educating me about the dreaded split rim wheels that this truck has. I have no solution yet, but I understand the dangers associated with these wheels.

-The brakes stick

-Emergency brake handle/cable does not engage the brakes

-Driver's side door glass is broken

-The wiring harness has several bare wire ends exposed

-The horn is missing

-No signal lights

-No headliner

So, here is my question: It appears to me that the sought after pickups are the F-1's and F100s. More parts are available for these trucks. And, they seem more popular with collectors and classic hobbiests. The F-3's seem like the poor step-child of the classic truck set. Fewer parts are available it seems. Driving a non-sychromesh transmission is hard. I'm sure I'll improve with practice, but it's hard right now. My intention with this truck is to make it a safe, and fun driver. This will not be a show truck that wins awards.

So, should I cut my losses and look for an F-1 or proceed with this F-3? Any thoughts, advice, words of wisdom and experience will be greatly appreciated.



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Guest truckdog62563

John - If your heart isn't in it to deal with the issues that go with the bigger model, you're at the correct point to stop and change directions. Nothing worse than jumping in, tearing everything apart, then having to sell a stalled project. You are absolutely correct that it's easier to restore and drive a half ton. Parts vendors are much easier to find, NOS and reproduction parts plentiful. While some of us are drawn to the bigger models despite (or BECAUSE of) the challenges they present, I readily admit that's me, we're in the minority. I've carried it even further by focusing on the Marmon-Herrington all wheel drive models for which reproduction drive train parts do not exist. I guess your search begins for an F-1/100. Sounds like there'll be a '49 F-3 available to somebody in Ky. Stu

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I sincerely appreciate your help and honest opinions stated here regarding my F-3. My F-3 is really a very solid and nice truck. I can replace the broken glass and other minor repairs by myself. However, the mistake I believe I made here was this; there are two ways (at least two ways, maybe more) to enter this hobby: 1. have the skills, tools, shop, etc. needed to repair/restore an anitque vehicle into a running and safe driver. Or, 2. buy something that is already restored or repaired to the point that it is a safe and presentable driver already. With my skill level, I entered via #1 when I probably should have entered via #2. That being said, I plan to work on my F-3 and see if I can get it to the point of being a safe weekly driver. If not, then I do need to make a decision about selling it to someone who has better skills and experience than I do. Actually, I think my F-3 would look great in a truck stop shop, a 50's style restaurant, or something like an Old Navy store. Just a thought.


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