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PostPosted: November 23, 2016, 8:06 pm 
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Location: Ankeny, IA
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So I've been thinking about my '61 Uni short bed. The 351W that came with the truck is out of a '79 LTD and heavily smogged, it turns over but no idea on the miles, or if it even runs, compression check and leak down came back so-so, I'd want a C6 to bolt to it but finding a core and getting it rebuilt would be about $1k-ish. The springs, bushings, etc. are tired and need replaced, pretty much the only thing this truck has going for it is a great clean, rust free body (except for the bed).

Then comes the idea of a Panther fame swap (most likely P71) we all know the benefits of going this route, and I don't mind the wide stance. Plenty of wheel options from Mustangs. The only real downside to me is the bump in the bed (my bed is already cut out due to chasing rust). But it wouldn't bother me enough to go the route of using the explorer rear on my frame. I don't plan to tow much with the truck, maybe a small camper (sub 2,500lbs) I've been doing hours upon hours of research on this, also had some back a fourth with Nathan from Nathan's Garage on youtube on the subject and it seems to me the wiring would be the real bug-a-boo. I'd want the dash all to be stock, basically strip the Vic loom down to run wires, ABS, and Fuel delivery system, then bring the truck wires into the Vic fuse box. Nathan helped me a little but he said he's got a friend doing most all his wiring on his tuck and didn't have a lot of info on how he went about it.

I do plan to drive the truck a lot, some road trips here and there, and the idea of the reliability of the Panther frame and running gear along with the fuel mileage is very tempting. Also it seems this is a relatively cost effective way to get a great running and driving truck. The smaller 4.6L already comes with higher HP and torque ratings than my smogged '79 351W was new.

So like I said, the wiring is what has me a little gun shy. The wheelbase is almost bang on for the uni short beds. I've searched here on the subject and found FoodStick's LTD frame swap, (What a build BTW ...wow, great looking truck) but he used a old 300ci so the wiring was much less of an issue for him.

Just curious if any of you have tried or completed the wiring side of this kind of project. Any info would be very much appreciated! (Sorry for the long winded post, just wanted to give as much info as possible and give you an idea of where I am at)

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PostPosted: November 24, 2016, 11:46 am 
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There are a few frame swap projects on the go here that use the newer-style CV, but here's a couple that come to mind in case you hadn't seen them.

390fastback did a nice job incorporating the CV cluster into the original dash:
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=28780

As for the bump in the bed, I like what 61f100uni did with his (photo on last page):
viewtopic.php?f=32&t=29949

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PostPosted: November 24, 2016, 11:59 am 
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I'm not a fan of the CV swap, looked at it real hard but decided it wasn't for me.

That being said, one of the things I considered when I was looking at it was just raising the entire bed floor up above the hump of the rear frame and having a shallow box. Didn't really plan to haul much anyway and was planning a cover for the bed from day 1 anyway so you really wouldn't see it being shallow.

I think I would do the front cross member swap and keep the rear truck suspension with a drop to match and avoid that whole problem in the first place. Nothing wrong at all with a 9" and it can all be upgraded fairly cheap.

Talk to Kevin Stone about the electrical part of it.

SPark

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1978/80 Ford Fairmont Futura Pro Street. Alston chassis, Art Morrison suspension
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PostPosted: November 26, 2016, 3:41 pm 
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Lots of great info here, thanks for the replies. I had seen the black uni build thread but not 390fastback's thank you for that, tons of great info there. After more research I'm now kind of leaning more toward a Dakota or Jag front end, then c-notch and keep the 9" out back. From there finding a 4.6 or 5.0 with trans and ecu. Might be a little more work, a little more costly, but I think it would pay off in the end, and I get to keep my bed stock. We'll see, lots of options. Thanks for the input!

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PostPosted: November 26, 2016, 8:15 pm 
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Foostick's LTD started out a 351 but he swapped in an old UPS van 300 he thought to be in way better condtion. I doubt the electrics were much more complicated than your truck would demand. I have driven Foodstick's and I tell you it drives like an absolute dream, I would recommend that swap to anyone. I've also seen an extended cab uni on a crown Vic, where he also utilized the firewall, floor and dash out of the Vic. That was an interesting swap taken to the max I would say. He even had the cop car seat in the truck.. The guy is just tickled pink with how well that truck handles. It has the 351 it came with.

But everyone has different demands on the use of their vehicle.. you have to decide for yourself. Kid, Foodsticks main helper on the original LTD uni, unswapped his truck from a crown vic back to a stock frame!! To each their own!

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PostPosted: November 26, 2016, 8:42 pm 
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You can also get 2" drop control arms for the Dakota setup if "stock" isn't low enough. Here is "stock" with the Industrial Chassis kit. The newer kits can use coilovers for even more adjustment.

Image

Image

Image

Kevin could also answer your Jag questions! He just put one in his son's truck.

SPark

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1932 Ford 5 window coupe. 302/C4
1962 8V-390/C6 Unibody Short Bed Soon to be Big Window - The Lincoln that never was
1978/80 Ford Fairmont Futura Pro Street. Alston chassis, Art Morrison suspension
Mid 60's Vintage Micro Midget
2013 F150 Super Crew Eco Boost 4x4
2015 Ford Edge for the little lady, because she said so!

More toys, I need more toys!!!


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PostPosted: November 26, 2016, 9:53 pm 
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Oh I'd say "stock" is plenty low enough! That thing looks perfect to me.

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PostPosted: November 27, 2016, 12:10 am 
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Johnny Canuck wrote:
Foostick's LTD started out a 351 but he swapped in an old UPS van 300 he thought to be in way better condtion. I doubt the electrics were much more complicated than your truck would demand. I have driven Foodstick's and I tell you it drives like an absolute dream, I would recommend that swap to anyone. I've also seen an extended cab uni on a crown Vic, where he also utilized the firewall, floor and dash out of the Vic. That was an interesting swap taken to the max I would say. He even had the cop car seat in the truck.. The guy is just tickled pink with how well that truck handles. It has the 351 it came with.

But everyone has different demands on the use of their vehicle.. you have to decide for yourself. Kid, Foodsticks main helper on the original LTD uni, unswapped his truck from a crown vic back to a stock frame!! To each their own!


Thanks for the input. FoodStick lives about 5min from my house (no joke). Still haven't met the guy, yet we've talked on here. Maybe I should just go bang on his door and pick his brain :)

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'62 F100 Unibody SWB (project)
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PostPosted: November 27, 2016, 11:10 am 
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I already have the uni , buried in my Moms garage out of town .... But the one thing to keep in mind is I used a 86 LTD/ crown vic. So my chassis is a bit different than the newer ones. Mine doesn't use the bolt on front composite beam, and I think the front end is wider ... I had to cut like 2-3 feet off the front and back of my chassis.. the car was actually longer than a short box.

The guys that kept the LTD firewall and floor, and welded their cab to it have a deeper floor than my setup,My floor goes across the frame, theirs goes down inside the frame. However since my tank is still between the rear wheels with the suspension, I slid my seat back ..and tilited it.. So I have TONS of extra room between the seat and steering wheel. My buddy that went to the last Slickstock has BAD knees and he sit the sitting position/leg position never bothered him at all.
Add to that the Ltd column and steering wheel.. Its far enough out that the tilt is almost of no use other than something to play with when you are bored. I did have to shorten the column under the hood.. to make it work out...


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