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PostPosted: December 12, 2017, 8:28 am 
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This topic is about replacing the chassis on a 1965 Ford F100 and swapping it with a 1996 Buick Roadmaster, this is a complete chassis swap including drive train and electrical, basically a body swap, keywords...... Ford F-100, Roadmaster, Chassis, Swap, Crown Vic, I'm adding this text to help with SEO (search engine optimization) so the thread - topic is more easily found from a google search.

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Tear down (part 4)

The end of the Roadmaster....

Saturday was one of those A&E days, both of us wanted the RM down to a bare chassis by the end of the day so at 8am I started back in on tearing the dash out in a hour or so it looked like this...

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And in a few more hours it looked like this....

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While I was pulling the dash, steering column, HVAC out, my wife was removing the trailer hitch and all the body bolts, by lunch it was down to the basic shell just sitting on the frame so we tossed around where and how we would cut the body up to get it off the frame. The problem was that the RM body rapped around (kinda') the frame rails on both sides at the rockers and while it could be cut with a sawsall I was not to sure about using the plasma cutter in those areas because the body (rockers) were really close to the frame and I didn't want to take the chance of damaging them.

After about a half hour of looking and planning we decided to ask our friend Ryan for another favor....lol

It was a better plan to lift the body off in one piece and in the end it was a 10 minuet job of plucking it off the chassis.

We rolled it outside and in a few minuets Ryan showed up with one of his loaders and a couple chains....plucked the body off and set it out of the way.

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This probably saved us several hours of work and the hassle of trying to get the pieces out of the shop and in a location that wasn't blocking the doorway. we did that with the CV and once out on the rock driveway it was almost impossible to move the pieces of the body on the rocks, I can't thank Ryan enough for taking the time to help.....I owe him a few beers.lol

So by 2pm this is what we had....

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Here's a few pics of the chassis without the body in-case anyone is interested...

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So Sunday we started on the mock up, and tomorrow I'll start that post......

Jon


Last edited by Blanger on December 26, 2017, 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 12, 2017, 9:59 am 
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Jon, that is sweet! That frame looks perfect for an F-100 body. That will be a great setup when you finish it. Your wife is going to love it.

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PostPosted: December 12, 2017, 12:59 pm 
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SteveCanup wrote:
Jon, that is sweet! That frame looks perfect for an F-100 body. That will be a great setup when you finish it. Your wife is going to love it.


Thanks Steve,

I'm sure the wife will love it, but it has a long way to go and a few hurdles to jump as you'll see tomorrow.....

The frame is a lot like the CV frame, but I'm a little concern with the rear frame rails behind the axle, they are higher than the CV's were at this point so I'm going to mock up the bed and cab together before I start making mounts. we'll see how it goes.

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Man I'm glad we didn't get that snow you got, it's cold (30's) but no snow so far.

Jon


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PostPosted: December 13, 2017, 7:26 am 
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Mock up (part 1)

(this is going to be a long post....hope you all like to read, I need to lay a base line because of the different facets I'll be talking about going forward in future posts ..lol)

In the chassis swap this is the point where you have really reached a valley or the very bottom of the hill your climbing and while it's all up hill from here there are lots of plateaus to stop, look around, then continue on up the hill your climbing and it's really a great idea to do that from time to time, stepping back and looking around periodically keeps you on the correct path because there are so many paths to take as you climb the hill in front of you.

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Sunday morning I picked the cab up with the cherry picker and sat it on the RM frame, I couldn't set it all the way down until I cut the back of the cab corners to fit over the frame, but I could get it close enough to measure and make my cuts, then sat it down on the frame. The cab is light enough stripped to move around on the frame, it takes some effort but will slide around.

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Right off the bat I can see differences between the '62 cab and the '65 cab and how it sits on the new frame, the '62 having the cab steps and risers sits lower on the frame while the '65 sits higher because of the lack of interior steps...not a real big deal but it does limit your choices in setting a low stance with moving the body/cab up and down. Once it's flat on the frame that of course is the lowest point you can get and in fact will at the minimum have to be raised the height of the rubber body mount.

So if you're looking for a real low stance and your using a '64-'66 your going to be limited trying to get that aspect from mounting the body without doing a lot of cutting of the floor which we won't be doing, we'll have to see what it looks like once it is all mocked up and sitting on the ground to decide which direction we will want to go. On that topic just briefly there are several ways to lower the vehicle from cutting the coil springs, replacing the springs with lowering springs or replacing the spindles with drop spindles, it's not a decision you want to make lightly or quickly in fact it's not a decision you need to make until the truck is drivable and totally put back together so all the weight that is going to be there is on the suspension.

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With the cab roughly in position the first item for me was to (rough) cut the inner fenders so they would fit around the RM frame and upper control arms, since the inner fenders are in really good shape I cut more material then was needed but will add metal to the inner fenders down the road, what I was trying to do was make them fit by removing some of the metal angle of the inner fender, then I'll go back and weld metal to the inner fender at a different angle so it conforms more to the contour I need. This saves a lot of trial and error fitting the inner fenders when I really don't know at this point where they will end up until the cab is in its final position.

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The whole point of this phase of the mock up is to find the proper location of the cab and the radiator support so I can make mounts, I want to have the bed also on the frame for this phase of the mock up so I can move the body parts around on the frame to get my wheel openings, bed-cab spacing and see where it all is going to fit, then I can cut the ends of the frame if I have to. On the '62 I cut the front of the frame rails off right behind the radiator support, and it worked out fine but this time I want to do it differently and have the frame rail protrude through the radiator support so it'll be easier mounting the front bumper....but again I'll have to see how it all falls during this phase of the mock up to see if it is a option or not.

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Like I said before the '65s radiator support has some rot mostly at the bottom outward from the mounting bracket, luckily it fell in the same area that had to be cut to fit around the RM frame, but I cut most of the bad area out and like the inner fenders I'll go back and add metal to the openings that are too large.

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Some observations, surprises, and plans based on first impressions of using this chassis.

Like I said in other posts you really don't know what you're going to be dealing with until it's all blown apart and you can look at everything formulating a plan, one of the first things I noticed is that the fuel tank from the RM wasn't mounted to the frame like I originally thought but instead was mounted to the underside of the body/trunk floor, this is a two edged sword because it gives me a few options. One of them is to just mount the fuel tank to the bottom of the bed floor which makes the most sense and closely mimics how GM originally mounted the tank. The other obvious option is to just build a frame and tie it to the RM frame rails which would be a harder option since it would need some sort of top for the tank to rest against...not a big deal either way and I guess it comes down to if you want to drive it without the bed on the truck....right now the bed floor is the way I plan to go but that is subject to change.

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Either way it wouldn't make any difference if you had to replace the fuel pump the tank will have to be removed to do so and the way it's mounted won't really make any difference, but the fuel filler going out the back opens up several options, you could do a fuel fill behind the license place, or in the bed floor, or out either side of the bed if you wanted which might happen.

The steering column is another item that has lots of options, it could be reused easily, it's mostly all metal and should be easy to fab up mounts to fit it to the slick dash, we probably won't be using it since my wife wants a similar setup to the '62 using the slicks controls but there is no reason that it couldn't be painted ,a new steering wheel fitted, and the column reused which would make reusing the RM electrical harness a no brainer.

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The brake master cylinder and pedal is very similar to the CV, brake pedal was bolted into the RM used the booster mounting studs and one location under the dash (5 bolts total) and came out easily, basically the same for the gas pedal 3 screws held the entire pedal assembly to the toe board.

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The E-brake assembly is smaller and flatter than the CV unit was, so it may be reusable in the '65 I just need to look at the air vent doors to see if there is enough room (probably not but we'll look), the e-brake cable should be pretty easy to adapt to another style of activation but like the '62 it's way down on my list of things to figure out.

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Under the hood.....

I'm really happy with how the '62 turned out under the hood, the RM has the potential to be just as neat or better, because of how the '65's inner fenders are shaped they are more like the RM original steel inner fenders so mounting items should be just as easy and right now it looks like everything will go back into basically the same location or very close with only a very limited amount of modification to the inner fenders or the items themselves. (this is great news that will save a lot of fabrication)

It also looks like I can mount the RM radiator/fan assembly basically the same way I did the '62 with using the lower half of the RM support that holds the radiator and cutting it up-welding it to the engine side of the slicks radiator support, I'll just have to come up with a way to mount the top of the radiator like I did on the '62....shouldn't be any problem at all. It also looks like there is plenty of room to move the slicks radiator support forward or backwards a few inches without the clearance between the radiator fans and the front of the engine being a issue.

Continued in next post....


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PostPosted: December 13, 2017, 7:44 am 
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Continued from post above....

Wiring harness

In a lot of ways the RM electrical harness is easier than the CV was, I can't say there is less wire to deal with and I'll thin the interior harness before putting it in the slick, but in some ways it is was better thought out. It is basically in 3 main harnesses that unplug from each other, the taillights, fuel pump, trunk stuff was a harness that unplugged from the interior harness. The interior harness had one driver side connector that went through the firewall and connected out at the radiator support to pick up the horn, air bag sensor (collision sensor),and exterior lighting which unplugged and made the 2nd harness.

The remainder of the interior uses a rectangle connector on the passenger side of the firewall, this connector has all the ECM, HVAC, and control circuits in it, once it was disconnected the entire dash wiring could be removed. Of course I kept the engine harness intact and I've only disconnected wiring under the hood to move components around or to gain access to areas I needed. It's pretty early to say but I think the RM wiring will be easier to deal with than the CV was but that remains to be seen.

One thing for sure is that it doesn't have a lighting module or the extra circuits that the CV P71 had but on the flip side it does have VATS...lol So while I was taking the dash apart I'm keeping a eye out for where GM hid the VATS module and the starter enable relay, buried above the steering column behind the instrument cluster tucked up in a small space and blocked in by the air bag module I see it. I pity the tech that has to remove it to replace either the module or the relay because it'll be a major PIA to get to.

The wife did buy one of the Painless VATS delete boxes which I haven't opened, I know I can defeat it and now that I will have access to the module and relay I may just do that and send the Painless box back we'll see, this also opens up a few possibilities for a homebrew anti-thief system since I have access to that enable relay now....we'll see down the road but it would be very easy to configure a system to keep it from starting just using the existing wiring and key fob.

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The instrument cluster like the CV is all electric and gets its signals from the CAN Buss (OBD2), it's two connectors like the CV cluster.

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General Info

The RM has rear drum brakes with antilock brakes, it has wheel speed sensors on the front wheels (disk brakes) and a ring gear sensor for the rear antilock (no individual rear speed sensors), is suppose to have a limited slip differential with 2.90 gears (trailer towing pkg), transmission is a 4L60E with a lock up converter (E stands for electronic), the Chevy 5.7L is a LT1 that is suppose to make 260hp in this configuration, with a cam, exhaust, and tune could make 330hp+ but that 2.90 gear is going to be a big problem if you were interested in making more power...not something we are that interested in at this point. (I've been told that a tune alone could get it closer to 300hp if I wanted to buy a programmer and a tune to flash the ECM)

Engine is a SFI type of EFI which is Sequential Fuel Injection here's a link if anyone is interested in how it works.

https://www.carsdirect.com/used-car-buy ... s-and-cons

The LT1 was a transition engine for GM moving away from the traditional small block design that it had used since the early 50's, it's different because of a couple items, one being the movement of the distributor out of the back of the engine running off the rear of the cam shaft (vertically) moving it to the front of the engine behind the water pump (horizontally) and driving it off the front of the camshaft, the same drive also drives the water pump and dist rotor. This makes for a cleaner looking engine package, the plug wires run under the exhaust manifolds to the plugs and is basically hidden from view.

It does have a EGR and does use the AIR system to meet its EPA certification, we will be keeping the EGR but deleting the AIR pump and plumbing. It also has a EVAP system which we will try to keep, currently the canister is mounted at the very front of the passenger frame rail, it will get moved either close to the same location or under the bed behind the cab...it's low priority but something I'd like to keep on the vehicle so the fuel tank is vented correctly.

As you can see from the pictures yesterday the frame is what is called a perimeter type, the rear suspension is coil over - control arm (no fancy WATTS link like the CV) with standard shocks, front is a-arm, coil spring, shock, does have a front sway bar. It came from the factory with 15" wheels which we will be replacing with either 16 or 17" wheels....style is still to be decided. It came with a 21 gallon fuel tank and is suppose to get 17/26 MPG (fuel economy was probably based on that 2.90 gear lol)

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A few random pictures......

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I guess I'm about done....lol

Just wanted to give you folks some background info on the RM and my first impressions from what I'm seeing.

Jon


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PostPosted: December 13, 2017, 8:35 am 
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Great write-up! Thanks Jon.

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PostPosted: December 13, 2017, 3:57 pm 
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Thanks Steve...

I forgot the pics of the RM firewall I cut out....

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PostPosted: December 19, 2017, 7:39 am 
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Mock up (part 2)

Saturday the first order of business was to get the bed on the Roadmaster chassis, we started by measuring the area that had to be cut out of the bed floor so the rear suspension from the RM had a place to go, we transferred the chassis measurements to the bed floor then cut the floor out using the plasma cutter and a straight edge so the cuts weren't all jaggy and semi straight.

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It took two tries to get enough material removed so the bed would fit and be able to be moved forward and backward around the RM suspension.

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The rear frame rails (behind the suspension) are higher and additional material had to be removed so the bed would sit low enough, when the mounts for the bed are fabricated the bed will be raised up to match the cab body lines but for this phase we needed the bed to sit as low as it could. like the cab we needed to find the lowest point. Once it was in position we could raise the bed and move it around using wood blocks between the bottom of the bed and the RM frame to get it level....then we could get a look at where the bed and cab had to be positioned to get the rear wheel openings and the cab to bed spacing and how much room we had to deal with.

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The Roadmaster wheelbase is about a inch and a half longer than the '65 and that distance has to be made up somewhere so the wheel openings, and wheel placement looks as good as possible, which is why everything has to be mocked up together that way the cab, radiator support, front renders, and the bed can be moved around to get the right placement.

The bed sits lower than we will want it but that is a good thing as it can be raised when the mounts are fabricated, we have already came to the conclusion that to get the stance we want that it can't be achieved by placing the body on the chassis like the '62 on the CV, we will have to do some suspension mods to get the stance.

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So with everything in it's place the next item is to mount the cab, we pulled the bed back off and started to figure out how and where we would mount the cab which I'll cover tomorrow.

Jon


Last edited by Blanger on December 19, 2017, 10:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 19, 2017, 9:48 am 
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Hey Steve.... Or anyone else who is interested....

While doing a search over the weekend I came across this post from another forum and while I'm not to keen on linking to other forums in this case it's a post that is pertinent to this build, I think Steve will recognize the truck....lol

https://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/thr ... dy.976335/

Jon


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PostPosted: December 19, 2017, 10:20 am 
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Jon, That is the truck that was on the cover of Classic Trucks! I guess some people build them....lose interest and sell them. Oh, well. Yours is progressing well and I check on here everyday for updates. I was curious about the blue and yellow paint on the bedside...was that already there? Or are you experimenting with what color you want to paint the truck?

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PostPosted: December 19, 2017, 10:44 am 
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SteveCanup wrote:
That is the truck that was on the cover of Classic Trucks! I guess some people build them....lose interest and sell them.


Don't know if you noticed a couple things....one being that that post was from 2015, the other being the asking price of $37.500, I'm sure he has a ton of money invested if he had to pay to have everything done I'd guess over $10k just in the interior....

The interesting thing to me is that they used the RM floor, the '62 cab and bed I have sitting outside our shop will probably need a entire cab floor if I was to build it, this might open up a avenue to build that truck cheaply because I wouldn't invest the $$$ in a replacement '62 floor it's just too much money.

SteveCanup wrote:
I was curious about the blue and yellow paint on the bedside...was that already there? Or are you experimenting with what color you want to paint the truck?


Test colors, my wife is trying to decide on a color combo if we two toned it, we both like the cream color for the top of the truck but we really want a orange for the bottom, problem is that most orange colors we like have metallic in them which won't work (not really period correct in any stretch of the imagination), since we want to try to make a fake patina the primer color along with the top coats will make a difference in what you end up seeing.

If you asked her right now the truck would probably just be that blue color all over, but both of us go back n' forth I really want to two tone it and she does to, it's just finding the right color combination that we can sand off as dumb as that sounds...lol

Jon


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PostPosted: December 20, 2017, 7:32 am 
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Cab mounts

Most of you folks that have been following this thread will know that I installed floor pans and a drivers cab mount in the '65 as part of the cab rehab, so with that in mind to mount the cab front I really needed to use those front mounting areas. The problem is they don't line up or fall even close to the original Roadmaster mounting areas, the RM had two locations in the front to mount the body about 8 inches apart and of course the '65 cab mounts fall right in-between them...lol

On the driver's side there actually was a hole in the frame in the right location that I had to enlarge but on the passenger side I had to make a hole and a access hole in the bottom of the frame, in the end it worked out fine and the front of the cab was mounted using a couple of the RM rubber mounts from the rear that were still in good shape, I did cut the length of the metal insert and reused them also, this insert provides one of the surfaces the rubber sits on and a tube the bolt runs through. I have a ton of these body mount bushings left over from the RM and the CV swaps since both cars had way more mounting points between the body and chassis then the truck will use/have.

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With the front mounted I moved to the rear of the cab, I wanted to use the original mounting locations in the rear of the cab that Ford used, the cab floor is reinforced there and half the work is already done. I borrowed the idea for the same type of mount that I made for the '62 unibody that replaced the torque box on that build, with the cab blocked up to the right position I cut a length of square tubing to span the area across the bottom where the rubber mounts will reside. I held it in place while my wife marked the bolt hole locations then used the drill press to punch the bolt holes.

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I then bolted the tube in place with the rubber mounts, I could at this point measure the length of the legs or uprights that will be welded to the RM frame rails. I cut two pieces of square tube that were too long this gave me more than enough material to get the proper angles of the cuts I needed to make, doing one side at a time I made the legs test fitting them and removing material till I had a snug fit between the mount and frame, then I tacked them in place, removed the whole thing and welded the legs to the mount.

I ground off the area on the frame where the legs would be welded and slid the complete mount under the cab bolting it back up to the bottom then squaring it up with the frame, I got one side welded in before running out of Argon but got the other side tacked enough that I can finish welding it when the cab comes back off to do the firewall mods.

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While the bed was off and the rear tires we also took the time to check the rear brakes, wheel cylinders, and axle seals...all looked good and the rear brake shoes still have about half of their life left in them...good.

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I think I mentioned in other posts that the CV frame with the body off was flexible not the front so much but the rear frame rails, the Roadmaster is even worse, both of these frames rely on the body to make them rigid, the CV had mounting point every couple feet while the RM was spread wider apart. It's not that you have to be careful once the body is off but handling it with that in mind couldn't help to be a good idea especially in the rear frame rail area.

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Next post we will begin the frontend mock up as far as the front fenders and grill area of the truck, then we will start on the control aspect that being pedals and steering column, after that we'll blow it all apart again so the firewall can be modified filling old unused holes, then we can mount the cab and front sheet metal back in place hopefully for the last time and start on the wiring....lol

Jon


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PostPosted: December 20, 2017, 7:49 am 
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Mock Up (part 3)

Since I'm out of Argon and can't weld till I get a refill later in the week I thought I'd move around and work on the front of the truck, since the cab is securely mounted now I can focus on the radiator support and the grill headlight section.

With the inner fenders bolted to the cab it's pretty easy to get a guess-ta-mation of where the radiator support needs to live, I did mock up the radiator out of the RM and cut the lower portion of the RM radiator support that holds the bottom of the radiator and tacked it to the slicks support, for this I used a floor jack and a 4x4 piece of wood to find the right height with the radiator sitting on the portion I cut from the RM.

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I then marked its location on the slicks rad support and disassembled, tack welded it in place, then reassembled to test looks fine, might be a little low but since the RM uses a surge tank on the passenger fender well that has the pressure cap on it it won't matter since no air can be trapped in the radiator, the thermostat housing which is lower than the top of the radiator has a air bleed in it so we should be good.

So with both fenders hanging off the inner fenders I raise the radiator support using the same floor jack and 2x4 till I get the tops of the fenders flat and start measuring, I can't make the radiator supports to mount it to the RM frame rails since I have no Argon, but I can fit the grill and valances to see where they will be in relation to the RM frame rails.

I get that all measured and use the plasma cutter to notch the front of the RM frame trying to leave as much material as I can to use as a basis to mount the front bumper off of. In the end I had to remove about 3/4s of the height of the frame to get the lower valance to slide back far enough to hit it's mounting points on the radiator support. Looking at it from under the truck it looks doable as far as using the remainder to build off of for the front bumper...

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I have to kinda' admit that this build is not only going quicker (because I have experience now) but since I think I know what I'm doing based on building the '62, I do know what I have tried on the '62 that was a waste of time so I'm avoiding wasting time on those diversions which helps staying on the correct path.

The thing is that doing this swap is no big deal and it's not really all because I did the '62 on the CV which was in my opinion easy, it's just when the amount of fabrication you have to do is so low and things just kind of all fit together like Legos the progress a person or two can make on a project like this is really mind blowing. On the '62 from start to finish it was/is about 6 months of work for me which translates into between 500-600 hours or about 72 8 hr days, the '65 will be completed in less time and if I had to guess sometime in February or before it should be able to move around under its own power once again.... I'm guess'in at least 400 hrs but it should be way less than 600 hrs.

Yes I know the '62 isn't totally finished, but the amount of work or hours I still have left to do I'm taking into account and to be honest in a weekend it could be 100% finished. If I had to guess I think the wife and I could build 3 of these trucks in a year's time.....I guess we'll see if I wind up building that other '62 that is sitting outside our shop.....but that will be another thread if it happens and will be a somewhat different type of build I think, time will tell.

Jon


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PostPosted: December 20, 2017, 9:22 am 
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Moving along quickly....

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PostPosted: December 20, 2017, 10:06 am 
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SteveCanup wrote:
Moving along quickly....


Steve, you know what they say about "idle hands"...lol

This being Christmas weekend I'm sure we'll have other obligations for at least part of the weekend, so the time we do have will be less, actually I like my work schedule the way it's been going I've been on this 4-10hr day setup for about 9 months now and it has been great. I don't have a lot of stress to get things done at home 'cause I know I have 3 days to do things, and it gives me the rest of the week to plot and plan what and how to do the next phase of the '65. I've been doing my day job since 1976 (family business) and I took over running the business in the '80's after my dad died, so I've been doing it all my life and it really doesn't require a lot of thought...just do the work which gives me lots of free time to think or problem solve.

I spend a lot of my day sitting at a desk (most days) keeping everything and everybody moving, talking to customers, ordering parts, scheduling work, and answering the phones, I do have to go out to the shop sometimes to help the guys diagnose problems and there are certain jobs that only I do because I either never trained someone to do it or it's just something I really enjoy doing. Sitting at my desk also allows me to write my posts for this thread in MS Word and then when I'm ready just cut 'n paste the text and add the pics in the correct location, it gives me more time to think about what I write, like right now I have the text for the next two posts basically ready to go but between now and the time I make those posts I might think of things to add or change, I still screw up sometimes but at least Word keeps my spelling errors down to a minimum since I'm a victim of the public school system from the '60s and 70's...lol

Hope you and your family has a very Merry Christmas!

Jon


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PostPosted: December 20, 2017, 5:30 pm 
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Jon,
That is a great set-up that you have "work wise." I am usually keeping up with 2-3 build threads on here and your 2 are certainly at the top of my list. I enjoy and learn from reading what other guys have done. When I first found this site (besides being ecstatic) I was on here too much...reading all of the great threads and the "Hints and Tips" section was fantastic. It gave me so many ideas....anyway, keep the posts and pics coming....And, Happy Holidays (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year) to you and yours...too.

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PostPosted: December 21, 2017, 7:23 am 
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Mock Up (part 3.5)

Steering column

With the front end roughly mocked up it is time to turn our attention towards the under hood stuff and controls, like I've said before the under hood components look like they will all mostly go back into roughly the same position they were on the RM. I will of course have to modify the firewall for the brake booster, wiring connectors that pass through the firewall, the steering column and the gas pedal.

For the sake of simplicity and saving some money we decided to reuse the RM steering column and forgo having anything control-wise in the dash except the heater controls and the headlight switch, this is going to leave several holes in the dash that knobs were attached that we will need to find plugs to seal them up and hide them. (any suggestions are welcome)

So I started removing the air bag from the column, two torx screws hold the bag to the steering wheel, once removed you have horn buttons and the air bag connector to remove and the bag is free, then I removed the horn button wiring and used a steering wheel puller to remove the wheel. With the wheel off you have what we call the air bag "clock spring" that has to be removed, it was held in place with a snap ring which once removed the clock spring can be slid off the steering shaft, I cut the wires and pulled the plug out of the bottom of the column....no more air bag.

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Once all of that is removed you basically have a ready to use '96 GM column that should accept any style steering wheel hub and wheel you choose. If you look at the column you have the neutral safety switch/backup lights at the very bottom of the interior side of the column, a solenoid that locks the shifter unless you press the brake pedal, the ignition switch/dimmer switch, and all of the wiring connections for the VATS key (orange wires), multi-function switch, turn signals, wipers, and of course horn and cruise control....a nice neat package that will make wiring the interior very easy for me.

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At the bottom of the column is a plate that is welded to the steering column tube that I will have to cut so it can either be removed or slid up the column closer to the neutral switch, the mount for under the dash is also welded to the tube and while I'm sure it could be cut off and repositioned I think it would be better to try and use it as is, this column is plenty long enough to put the steering wheel in a comfortable location and that distance from the mounting bracket to the wheel has already been set, at this point I see no need to reinvent the wheel so to speak...lol

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The end of the steering shaft that goes through the firewall connects with a bolt to a telescopic shaft that slides in and out several inches which should give you more than enough wiggle room mounting the column to the dash.

I stuck the steering column through the firewall just to get a idea about the brake pedal and booster location, the brake pedal again mounts to the booster mounting studs just like the CV did, and the brake pedal has a slight curve towards the passenger side, roughly it looks like if I place the booster over towards the driver's side from where the slicks master cylinder was using the left side set of holes in the firewall for the right side booster studs it will be pretty close to the proper location giving the column the room it needs and putting the brake pedal under the steering column where it needs to be. Once those are mounted I can figure out where the gas pedal goes.

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An observation.....

If you asked me today which chassis I prefer it would be a difficult question to answer honestly and it's a question I'll have a better answer once the '65 is on the road, both platforms have pluses and minuses', for the P71 I like the 4 wheel disk brakes and the WATTS link rear end but the fuel tank location kinda' sucks, the P71 also has a rear sway bar that I think is a great idea, the Roadmaster has that LT1 engine and the fuel tank between the frame rails, it also has a great steering column that not only will make re-using the RM wiring harness very easy and it will look good in the slick unlike the CV column would.

Both chassis under the hood require a limited amount of work to reestablish the components in their proper location, and both are very similar in that respect, the RM has less wiring that has to pass through the firewall and has a weather proof ECM that is mounted in the engine bay (I know the newer CVs are this way also) but the CV was a P71 with all the extra cop stuff so had a large wire bundle that had to be passed through the firewall on both sides. Both chassis have items under the hood like the windshield washer tank that won't remount in the slick and look correct but that is a very minor thing that both share.

Both from a power train stand point have a proven reliable engine and transmission combos the Roadmaster having a little bigger engine being a 5.7L vs the Ford with a 4.6L, both transmissions are electronic 4 speed automatics with OD and lock-up converters, both are multi-point EFI / Mass air flow type of fuel systems and both are rated at about the same fuel economy, the P71 is lower rated HP at 215 vs 260hp for the RM if that is important to you.

If you like slicks like we do and want to do a chassis swap like this a couple things might influence your chassis decision, one of course is Ford vs GM and which you like better, the other thing is cost of the donor vehicle, P71s are plentiful everywhere and if you're not in a hurry you can find a deal on a retired P71, Roadmasters, Caprices, Impala, and the RWD Cadillac Fleetwood (GM B Body) from '92 to '96 are not as plentiful having low production numbers but that doesn't mean you can't also find a deal if you are willing to wait till one comes around.

Of course I'm talking a wholesale swap here, you could change any aspect of the donor vehicle you want just like our RM we are using for the '65 we could easily find a disk brake rearend , a swaybar and replace what was on our donor, you could take either chassis and remove the power plant and use a GM LS or Ford Coyote setup, there is really no limit to what you could do once you have a good platform to build off of or the amount of money you could invest...it's all in what you want to have when it's finished.

Today if I was using a Impala SS chassis instead of the Roadmaster (same chassis except has rear sway bar and 4 wheel disks, and a LT1) I think that would be the perfect chassis for me, although a newer P71 with rack & pinion would be nice, I guess it would come down to what you were going to use the truck for, normal daily driver the RM would be my choice, something more performance oriented a P71 with rack and pinion and that WATTS link would be hard to beat.

But I'll reserve my final judgment until the '65 is on the road and a few miles on the build to really have a final opinion.

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Jon


Last edited by Blanger on December 21, 2017, 10:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: December 21, 2017, 7:50 am 
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SteveCanup wrote:
That is a great set-up that you have "work wise."


Steve,

I'm not complaining at all, but it has taken over 40 years of working 50-60 hrs a week to get to this point, my brother (partner in the business) was a city firefighter and worked at the shop on his off days for all of those years, he finally retired 3 years ago and we came to the understanding (agreement) that I would work less (have more free time), I'm 61 and he's 65 so both of us would like to pursue other things while we can health-wise. I've made several poor choices in my life that will keep me from being able to retire totally and I really don't want to retire but do enjoy the extra time I now have, it enables me to use my skills that I've developed over the years to do things like building these two trucks that I really enjoy doing.

Take care,

Jon


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PostPosted: December 22, 2017, 7:13 am 
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Misc Items

A few other things I've been working on in my spare time one of which was to get the factory air intake sorted out , if you folks remember that when we bought the Roadmaster it had a cold air intake that wasn't the correct item for this vehicle. I was able to locate one of the factory air intakes from salvage and the wife bought a cold air intake pipe, fitting, and air cleaner off eBay, I wanted to test fit all of this together to see if it will fit....it does and now has the MAF it was missing.

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At the same time I'm looking at where the ECM, cruise control, PS reservoir, power distribution box and battery will mount, like I've said before everything is going to go back in just about the same location under the hood with a very minimal amount of effort or modification.

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This might sound dumb but I was looking at the windshield washer tank from the CV and I think it will work on the '65s inner fenders, it will be at a slight angle (not straight up and down) but close enough that I'm going to try to make it work...it would be really funny if the RM tank would work on the '62 now wouldn't it?

It's interesting that even the heater hoses will work "as is" without any extension or replacement, I just need to rotate the hoses since they are molded hoses and they will go basically right where they need to go, I will add another manual shutoff in the feed hose so it can be shut off during the summer months.

The lower hose connection on the radiator is going to be a little tight with the hose installed, the RM frame turns in towards the engine on both sides and the radiator is now closer to the engine by a few inches and higher than it was in the RM, I may have to clearance the frame a little so they don't touch but may be able to just rotate the hose a little so it has enough clearance, but before I go to that extreme I'll try to cut the rubber saddle the radiator sits in so I can move the bottom of the radiator back closer to the slick support . I do have a new radiator that I will install when things start going back together in the final assembly phase.

I think I mentioned before that I have to replace the water pump and do a general tune up (cap, rotor, plugs, and wires) and change the oil, new serpentine belt, probably put a set of valve cover gaskets on it also, at that time I'll also remove the AIR pump, related plumbing, and plug the fittings in the exhaust manifolds, I'll also remove the AC compressor and install the delete pulley assembly at that time.... All of this should give us a good baseline to start regular service on the truck as we go forward driving it as a daily driver.

At some point I may or may not replace the transmission filter and pan gasket, it's not leaking and the fluid looks good (color-wise), doesn't smell bad, I have kinda' a problem doing transmission service to a tranny that I don't know the history of it, at 140k on the odometer if it's never been serviced it's really not a good idea to touch it, I have over the years seen people buy a used car and think that they are doing good by having the transmission serviced only to kill it by doing the service...

Before the bed goes back on we will check the rear end grease, we have already looked at the front brakes and it has had new pads and rotors put on it not so long ago and they are fine, we will be replacing the shocks and front sway bar links that connect the sway bar to the lower control arms, but will wait till we do whatever we do to lower the front of the truck to get the stance we want.

The stance we want is really like the '62, not on the ground but low, the '62 handles so well and stays flat going around corners, like I've said many times just a ball to drive. The '65 as odd as it seems it looks like right now we will have to lower the front suspension and raise the rear (it's sits too low), the front should improve handling and the back is really just for the type of look we prefer. Again we'll wait till the truck is drivable with the wheel and tire combo my wife chooses to make the decision on the ride height and how we will accomplish it.

I did also buy a tube of drip rail sealer it is 3M #8531 which isn't the self leveling 2 part epoxy stuff which is the #8307, the 8531 was about $15 a tube so we'll see if it works, even if I had to buy two tubes it would still be a lot cheaper than the 8307 which to use would require you to buy a caulking gun ($35) and mixing tips to use the product, I estimated it would cost around $90 to use the 8307 stuff.

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My goals this weekend are to get the radiator support lined out, I need to make the mounting for it to sit and transfer the weight it's carrying to the RM frame, once that is completed I can mark a few things on the inner fenders where items will be mounted and will need holes drilled, or material needs to be cut, then take the front end apart and start on the brake booster and wiring connections that go through the firewall on both sides, I'm going to have to install the heater box temporally to find a good location for the passenger side wiring that passes through that side of the firewall also..

Of course this being Christmas we have family obligations to fulfill but luckily that is on Saturday, it might seem weird but for the wife and I just working on her truck is going to be a good Christmas present for both of us...Ho Ho Ho...lol

Hope all of you folks have a Merry Christmas!

(sorry about no update post in the '62 thread this week, there really is nothing to report)

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Jon


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PostPosted: December 22, 2017, 2:20 pm 
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I could think of no better Christmas present...than a '65 F-100 on a Roadmaster chassis....Merry Christmas to you and yours!

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