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Invasion of the Body Snatchers

1984 Ford F-150 before I did anything to it.
Two months ago, I wrote about how I brought the '59 body home from it's temporary resting place.  It seems like yesterday, but doesn't everything?  Either way, I've started the project of reviving the '59 Ford by putting its body (the only thing I have left of it) on the frame of the '84.

It's been going pretty well so far.  I have the entire '84 body off and listed for sale on Craigslist.  I have had several people interested in it, but no trigger-pullers yet.  It's a really decent body, actually.  I never cared much for the seventh generation (80-86) F-series Ford trucks.  Of all the different models, it was my least favorite.  But, owning this one has changed my mind a bit.  Fourth generation F-series has taken it's place as least liked.  That's as far as I will go.  In my opinion, it's far too modern in styling to be a classic, yet it is also too dated to be considered modern.  It's in that no-man's land in-between nice and neat.

Removing the bed.
Back to the project, I rather easily got everything off but then felt the brakes get hit when I started on the cab.  Taking on a project like this takes a certain level of craziness.  Stupidity may certainly substitute, as well, but all along the way, one just has to hope that it's the former and not the latter.  Once to the cab, I started to get a bit overwhelmed when trying to figure out all the wiring.  The only solution was to completely dismantle the dash.  There was no way I was going to make sense out of any of it without seeing the big picture.  So, that's what I did.

Everything removed.  Cab resting on back of frame.
Here's the cab precariously hanging from my makeshift lift system comprised of pallet racking, several well-used and fraying ratchet straps, and a come-along.  It's partially sitting on the back of the frame for peace of mind.  I left it like this overnight because I understood that someone was coming the next day to buy it from me.  But, since that deal fell through, I rolled out the frame and lowered it back to earth. I half-suspected that I would find it on the ground the next morning full of broken glass but, much to my relief, that wasn't the case.

With the entire '84 body removed, I have dropped both fuel tanks and started the tedious task of cleaning the frame and preparing it for paint.  This will take some time, but I've got a pretty good little jump on it, so I suspect that if I keep up the pace, I may have the whole thing painted in the next couple weeks.  Then, I'll get to start the task of placing the '59 cab on it.  That's super exciting but equally as intimidating.  There will be a ton of measuring involved and some customization to make the body mounts work.

Rear of the frame with rear gas tank.  So much cleaning to do!
Once the frame is all painted, my plan is as follows:
  1.  Jack up the frame to get it all level and resting on blocks.
  2.  Set the cab on the frame where I think it should go.
  3.  Attach the front clip to the cab.
  4.  Line everything up where it should go using shims.
  5.  Measure all the gaps at the connection points so I know what thickness of bushings to get.
  6.  See where the current mounts are located versus where the cab will require them to be.
Hopefully, with some Ozark ingenuity, I can make the current cab mounts work for the '59.  If they won't, then I'll just have to add some new mounts where I need them.  Only time will tell. Until my next update!


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