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1966 F100 Short Bed Styleside Metal/Body/Paint Work


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  • 1 month later...
On 5/1/2021 at 12:31 PM, Luv2Wrench said:

Amazing work!

 

On 5/4/2021 at 11:15 PM, ChuckMcChuckles said:

Your attention to the details makes all the difference.

 

On 5/5/2021 at 8:48 PM, John S. said:

Amazing work. This is one outstanding Ford truck. Stunning job. John

 

I appreciate the comments!  

 

 

I started blasting the cab and the passenger floor had pretty deep pits.  I remembered the other F100 having rust in the seams between the floors and cab mounts so I decided to go ahead and cut both floor pans out to avoid future problems.  


Driver side- 

 

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Passenger side-

 

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Body mounts blasted. 

 

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Two coats of epoxy. 

 

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Fabbed a new passenger side patch.  This has a bit of a reverse curve in it so I used the linear stretch die in the planishing hammer to create the drop off while keeping the upper half completely flat. 

 

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More of the driver side was pitted so I bought a new pan for that side.  It fit pretty well after a little trimming. 

 

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The owner had cut the top of the tunnel out to fit the T56, so I made a new taller tunnel.   I used the Pullmax to add an original style bead around the top perimeter, bent the edges over, then used the linear stretch die to curve the front up.  I made a template with the shrinker as a guide for shaping the curve.  

 

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The original hand brake was deleted since it would be in the way of the clutch master cylinder for the T56.  The owner decided on a tunnel mounted e-brake instead.  I made a backing plate out of 16g on the Pullmax to add some strength to the top of the tunnel since the mounting area will see some strain when the brakes are applied. 

 

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Mounting the handle as intended left very little room for your hand to get between the floor and handle- even less once padding and carpet is added.  

 

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Part of that problem was a gap between the last tooth of the ratchet section and the base where the release lever rests, so the handle could droop with a bit of free play between the base and the first notch.

 

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I welded up the base to take up the free space so the lever can't tilt down past the first tooth. 

 

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I also flipped the front mounting pads to the top of the panel to angle the handle up slightly more. 

 

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With the mounting pads flipped the bolt heads were sticking up too far to be covered over with carpet padding, so I welded the bolts into the brackets upside down to work as studs, then cut the bolt heads off. I also shaved down the rear bolt heads so they'd have a lower profile.  Compare the gap between the boot bezel and the floor in the last pic to the one I posted above.  

 

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Reinforcement plate and tunnel prepped for welding. 

 

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I needed to make a hole in the tunnel for the shifter, but the shifter was too close to the seat as it was.  

 

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Shifter assembly flipped around for more seat clearance, e-brake mounted to the tunnel, and shifter hole punched in the tunnel for a test fit.  I positioned the e-brake lever so that the both boot bezels will line up evenly at the front.  With the trans in first gear there will be room between the shifter and seat to easily reach the e-brake handle.   

 

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The gas pedal is drive by wire and needed to be mounted.  The spring tension is fairly high so I made a 16g plate to spread out the load on the firewall.  This will also let me clamp the pedal in a few different locations and pick the one that feels the best before permanently mounting it.  I'll measure the brake pedal location in the donor truck and mount the gas pedal in a spot that makes heel/toe downshifting possible.  

 

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While the weather was too wet for blasting, I started planning for the upholstery.  The tank is under the bed now so the back of the cab will have an upholstered panel.  I made a 16g flange for the lower edge of the panel to clip into, then roughed out paper patterns of the panels and clip locations. These are things that are better to do before paint. 

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The headliner will be fabricated from aluminum panels so I patterned b-pillar covers as well.  We have the donor roof's inner structure to make the headliner pattern from.  

 

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Edges defined with fine line tape and sharpie marks. 

 

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Clip holes punched so the locations can be easily transferred to the final panels. 

 

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Firewall and kick panels were also patterned.  

 

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I was hoping to have all of the cab blasted by now, but the weather has been wet on and off for the last week. But, contrary to the usual "blast with one hand, prime with the other" mindset, I like letting it sit in bare metal for awhile after blasting. This shows all of the places that weren't blasted well enough- humidity causes any rust that's deep in a pitted spot that wasn't cleaned out 100% to start growing again.  These are areas that were pitted, and rust deep in the pits wasn't fully blasted to clean gray metal.  It's not hard to overlook extremely tiny specs like this while you're blasting between the amount of area you're trying to cover and the lens of the blasting hood getting dusty.  Letting it sit until missed areas pop back out then going back with the blaster to target those areas is a good way to make sure every square inch and every tiny rust pit is 100% rust free before the epoxy goes on.  These spots were invisible immediately after blasting and only showed up days later. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

There was a indention stamped into the passenger side of the original tunnel that needed to be flattened before I could start fitting the new tunnel. 

 

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After using a hammer and dolly to flatten the indention.  The flange needed shrinking since stamping the indentation stretched the metal. 

 

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Using a tuck tool to form a tuck, then hammering the tuck flat to shrink the high area. 

 

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The top of the tuck is hammered in first to lock in the tuck, then the rest is hammered flat which shrinks the area.  This is after one tuck.  

 

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A second tuck got the flange straightened out. This view also shows the rear rounded corners of the tunnel that were later cut out and reshaped to fit the raised tunnel. 

 

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A few vids on tuck shrinking. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkaCJ5gC3jI

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MUQghpUVohU

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI-7lyaoiz4

 


With the flange straight I trimmed both the cab floor and new tunnel so the tunnel slightly overlapped the floor, then used a scribe to mark the trim line.  The shape of the new tunnel and the floor was still slightly different, I'm guessing from stress in the original floor from the stamping process.  I tacked the places that did fit up, then marked out a grid inside and out so dad could hold the dolly on one side while I hammered the other side to bring the panels into better alignment.  I had to do a bit of heat shrinking to bring a couple of areas back into shape.  

I forgot to take pics, but the back rounded corners were cut out, reshaped with the shrinker/stretcher and a section of round tube in the vise as a dolly, then tacked back in with the front edge about 1.25" higher than the factory position, so I had to make a triangle shaped filler strip under the rear corners.  

 

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Before pics of the stock tunnel. The new tunnel retains the same basic shape, bead detail, and offset at the front driver side for more throttle pedal clearance. 

 

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The fuel line hole isn't needed anymore, so I cut a plug and welded it closed. The owner will be bringing the clutch pedal setup soon for me to mock up.  I'll work on blasting the cab and get started bodyworking the roof and rear of the cab until then.  

 

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Boring stuff first- I mounted the cab on the rotisserie so I could scrape off the undercoating and grind the tunnel welds to prep for blasting.  I planished the worst spots along the weld seams to roughly even out the shape, at least the ones I could reach through the shifter opening.  

 

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Never ending stream of dust and dirt. 

 

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There were quite a few really sharp spot weld blow-outs that I smoothed out with the 2" grinder.  

 

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Ready for blasting. 

 

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I noticed a few small pin holes in the bottom edges of the cowl sides so I cut both out so I could clean up the inner panel with the blaster.  These are reproduced now so I'll get a set ordered in the morning. 

 

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Random small holes welded and smoothed. The factory punched drain holes in some of the beads so I welded those up too. 

 

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And the fun stuff...  the owner brought the hydraulic clutch master cylinder setup from Modern Driveline and the pedal assembly to the shop today.  The pics in the instructions didn't look anything like the '66 firewall and the box was marked 61-66 so I looked up pics of '61-'64 firewalls, knowing that they were different.  Seems like the kit was designed for the different 61-64 firewall and pedal assembly.  

 

Instruction pic-

 

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Wider 61-64 pedal mount with straight pedals.  65/66 have curved pedals and a narrower pedal assembly mounting pad. 

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This vid shows the problem with mounting the kit to 65/66 pedals and firewall. 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qeIGHAxHDiY

 


This was the starting point of the clutch pedal, it was pretty crooked and the pedal pad plate was welded on too low compared to the brake pedal pad. 

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A 24" adjustable wrench and the vise worked to easily straighten the kinks out.  I still need to relocate the pedal pad.

 

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The instructions didn't say how far away from the pedal pivot point the pushrod mount needed to be for the correct throw, so I had to measure the master cylinder travel (~2 3/16")... 

 

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Then I set the pedal up with a stack of shims at the floor to replicate padding and carpet, and I added a 1/16" shim on top of the old top stop to simulate a taller new bumper since the old one was flattened out a bit.  

 

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That set the maximum travel of the pedal.  I found the point that had 2 3/16" travel and marked it- about 6 1/8" away from the pedal pivot.  

 

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The mount area needed to be spaced over so I made a pattern and made a 3/16" thick strap to weld in place. 

 

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Smoothing out the welds with a carbide burr for the inside corners. 

 

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Firewall drilled to mount the master cylinder and linkage.  In the instructions and video it shows the m/c being mounted at an angle which looked wrong, and the linkage hanging downward so it was more visible under the dash.  I drilled the m/c holes vertical instead and installed the linkage upside down to hide it better.  The offset bolt pattern kicked the linkage closer to the pedal assembly this way for less angle on the heim linkage. 

 

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Linkage adjusted, checking linkage angles with the pedal in and out. 

 

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Enough room for a ~10" booster. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

The owner decided to do away with the stock column and column mount and use an Ididit column instead.  I cut out the original opening and welded in a smooth panel to prep it for the new mount.  

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I made a doubler panel for the clutch M/C to sandwich to stiffen the firewall and prevent flexing from the added pressure.  I just freehanded the beads so it's not the best looking but it's functional.  The Pullmax came with beading dies but they wouldn't work to make intersecting beads without flatting the first bead at the intersection point.  I carved out a new lower die to match the original, but with a relief to clear the first bead.

 

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Welded up some random holes, and smoothed/straightened the 90* edge across the firewall. 

 

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The clutch switch needed a mount, so I used 16g with slots cut for it to clip into. 

 

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16g wasn't quite thick enough for it to clip in tightly, so I dimpled the slots to tighten the fit. There are curled plastic tabs to tension the tabs against the slots. 

 

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I got the cab about 90% blasted over the weekend. The owner came by this morning to drop off the new column and swivel mount so I installed it after lunch.  I stuck the pedals back in so he could make sure the gas pedal was in the correct position for him before I weld the mounting bracket to the firewall. 


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3 hours ago, JamesR said:

WOW! Everything's looking so clean, solid and nice! That must give you a great feeling. Keep up the great work!

Thanks! Yeah, feels good to have the metalwork nearly finished so I can move on to bodywork. 

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When I was blasting a pinhole opened up on one of the cowl boxes, so I stuck my phone in the cavity to see what it looked like from the inside.  There was some scabby dark patches that indicated deeper pitting so I went ahead and cut both sides open. 

 

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Patterns made and transferred to 18g. 

 

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I used the vice, a delrin block to back it, and a rounded over chisel to form the drains. 

 

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Forming the drains shortened the flange from the steps added so it made the panel curve.  Before and after stretching to make it flat again.  I also added an extra drain to help prevent water building up in the future. 

 

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While i was working around the cowl area I made a template of the vent openings so I could make block off plates. 

 

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The owner requested that I "clean up" the transition between the bottom of the dash and the column. The lower flange was oddly shaped and had a really oversize cut out to mount the column.  The new mount on the Ididit column was taller than it needed to be so there was a large gap between the column and face of the dash. 

 

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The tabs of the mounting bracket hung down pretty far, making them visible. 

 

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I taped steel wire to the wiring harness so I could pull it back out of the way of the bracket area, then cut the bracket off and shortened it. 

 

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Column back in place, bracket tabs no longer show. 

 

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I made a couple of filler plates to finish out the opening between the column and lower dash flange. 

 

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One side finished to show the difference. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I pulled the column to finish up the filler panels. 

 

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While the pedal assembly was out I found a spot to mount the clutch safety switch.  Had to carve out a spot for the stem to make enough clearance, so I used a 1/2" round carbide burr to make the face of the cut concave, that way  the convex face of the stem will always center itself on the pedal arm.  

 

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Forgot to take pics, but I chopped the clutch pedal pad off and raised it up to match the height of the brake pedal pad.  Also slightly tweaked the brake pedal pad to get it inline with the clutch pad.  

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I ordered cowl bottoms a few weeks ago but UPS sent an email about the address being wrong, so delivery was delayed until last week.  They're very nicely made, probably the best fitting patch panels I've used.  

 

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Trimmed, shipping primer stripped, two coats of epoxy applied, and welded on. 

 

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The cavity is accessible so I brushed on a couple of coats over the welds and soaked the seams to let epoxy wick in and seal up the spot welds.  

 

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I made a panel to mount the fuse box so there would be no fasteners through the firewall. 

 

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Also deleted the original pressed-in wiper motor mounting boss- welded up the holes and welded a nut between a couple of fender washers to make a new mounting pad for the wiper motor.  The accelerator pedal mount got welded in permanently after confirming that the location fits the owner. 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

The firewall to kick panel flange was really wavy around the spot welds so that was straightened, then I ground back the edges until the height of all the layers matched.  (I thought more of this was visible, but it's mostly hidden under the inner fenders after test fitting them.) 

 

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The flange of the cowl skin was wrinkled and uneven so I trimmed both sides before final blasting. 

 

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With those spots finished up I rolled it out and blasted the inner layers of the cowl sides that were cut open, and I lightly blasted over the floor, firewall inside and out to prep for two coats of epoxy. 

 

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I started bodyworking the firewall by skimming the upper face and flange.  

 

 

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Once both sides were filled/blocked into the correct shape and straight I masked off the inside corner and used a spreader with the corner rounded off to make an even radius from side to side. 

 

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Floor pan and tunnel welds smoothed up enough for Raptor Liner. 

 

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Starting to straighten out the stamping distortion in the firewall.  

 

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Another coat of epoxy to seal the filler and extend the 7 day recoat window.  Both mom and dad have had covid for the last 2.5 weeks so I wasn't able to get much done within the first 7 day window.  They're both doing much better now and things should be back to normal soon.  


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Edited by theastronaut (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, ChuckMcChuckles said:

I hope your parents are doing better.  I noticed you are applying filler over epoxy.  Which is better -filler applied over bare metal vs painted metal?

 

Thanks, mom is almost back to normal and dad still has a cough but the other symptoms have cleared up.   

 

I always shoot two coats first to seal the bare metal 100%.  If the paint was ever damaged to the point that the filler becomes exposed there is still epoxy under the filler to protect the metal in case the damaged filler gets wet (filler is porous and will absorb water).  Another reason to do epoxy first- epoxy sticks to bare metal really well.  Filler likes a rough surface to stick too, and I would rather not grind the metal that hard (36-40 grit is often used) to roughen it appropriately.  I use SPI epoxy and it has a seven day window to top coat it with filler or other primers and they'll chemically bond with the epoxy with no sanding needed within the seven day recoat window.  The pretty much guarantees 100% adhesion of the filler to the epoxy, or adhesion of the high build primer as long as you don't go over the epoxy too soon before it has started to cure enough- I like to wait at least 24 hours for filler or 4-5 days before high build primer.  I always seal the filler with two more coats of epoxy before moving on to high build primer.  

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