Latest News and Posts Forums V8 Forum V8 Speed and Resto Shop Car Builds 1969 Ford F100 / 2002 Ford Lightning “Thunder’s Truck”

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 65 total)
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  • #4918
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    This truck will not be using the Lightning wheels when completed, but it will use wheels of the same size to utilize the stock Lightning tire dimensions. This way, we will be sure that the gear ratio will match that is designed for the lighting.

    It turns out that the front cab amounts will be usable on the Lightning chassis, and the crew position and ’69 cab over these. Holes will have to be drilled for the mounts, but if it should work.

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    #4919
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The crew rolled the chassis truck outside to be able to step away and look at it.

    With the cab bolted in place at the front cab mounts, the crew felt it was safe to begin addressing the wheelbase situation. They drilled out and ground off the rivets holding the stock leaf spring mounts to the chassis, and measured the frame to see if the rear suspension could be moved forward to shorten the wheelbase. When the wheelbase seemed to be in the right place, they tack welded the brackets back on the frame to evaluate.

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    #4920
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Next, the crew needed to address the bed height situation. This was done by grinding notches in the transverse supports below the bed.

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    #4921
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Cutting the notches allowed the bed to come down approximately 2 inches, which helped, but was not quite enough. Next, the crew shim the back of the cab upwards to make up the difference in height. At this point, the wheelbase is nearly correct, the cab in bed are in alignment, and the truck has a slight rake which is exactly what the customer wanted.

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    #4922
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    We were all pleased at how quickly the major pieces came together on this project. It is far from finished or driving, but it is really coming together nicely. The rear track width fits under the bed, the front wheels fit comfortably in the front fender wells, in the truck looks natural. At this point, it looks like a ’69 truck with Lightning wheels! This one is going to surprise more than a few people!

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    #4925
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Next it was time to solidify the chassis. The crew removed the X shaped crossmember and repositioned it to work with the shortened frame.

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    #4926
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Originally, the leaf springs were riveted to the frame, but we decided to weld everything solid. Adam made some closeout panels to box up the rails to prevent the leaf spring perches from twisting the frame rails.

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    #4927
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Next, he fabricated a new upper shock mount, as the position of the mount had changed slightly, and the two shocks were not in the exact same position. The drivers Side upper shock mount was recessed into the crossmember to ensure that it would have the same travel as the shock on the passenger side.

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    #4928
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Next, a tubular rear cab mount/crossmember was fabricated to support the rear part of the cab.

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    #5150
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    Check out:
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    #5187
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The bed needed to be re-worked to sit on the new frame and match the body lines of the cab. Adam carefully cut the cross-braces from the bottom of the bed, then welded in new steel to reinforce the supports.

    This channel allowed for the bed to sit lower on the frame.

    New bed supports were attached to the Lightning frame to match the ‘69 bed mounts.

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    #5284
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    You know how these things go, you solve one challenge and another pops up. This time, the fuel tank needed to be shortened to fit the shorter wheelbase.

    We ordered a new tank so that we were not cutting and welding on a tank that once held fuel. That’s just something we don’t do in our shop, especially when a new replacement is around $200.00.

    The tank would have to be about this long to clear the axle.

    We cut the tank, and Adam TIG welded in a new side. We estimate we only lost a couple gallons of total capacity, and all the original fuel pump, sender, and line fittings connect right up.

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #5448
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The Lightning chassis has a longer nose than the ‘69 F100 Ranger, so the next task was to shorten the front frame horns and create mounts for the 1969 bumper. The Lightning frame can be seen sticking out in this initial test-fitting photo from the beginning of the project.

    After measuring, Adam removed the front of the frame horns and created a stepped mount that would attach to the bumper brackets.

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    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #5449
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The lightning frame was also slightly lower than the Ranger, so the brackets were adapted to bring the bumper height to its proper position on the Ranger.

    Once mounted and aligned, everything looks factory original and correct for 1969.

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    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

    #5675
    V8 Staff
    Keymaster

    The Ford Lightning required several coolers, including the radiator, steering cooler, transmission cooler, and a supercharger heat exchanger. Adam fabricated a series of mounts and close out panels to stack all the coolers in the nose of the ‘69. He used a Mittler Brothers bead roller, box pan brake, and punch and flare set to add contours to the panels as well flared holes for strength.

    Here, he uses an HTP Versa Spot welder to weld the pieces together.

    Check out:
    V8 Radio Podcast: https://www.v8radio.com
    V8TV YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/V8TV

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 65 total)
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