1977 Ford 4x4 pickup

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Back in our suburb of Boston in the '70s, (that really sets the mood, doesn't it?) my cousin and I used to take the left over parts from our kits and build "junk models" with them. Some were pretty wild, all were horrible, and all were fun to do. I've had this box of glue burned junk Ford truck stuff for who knows how long, and I decided to combine some of it into a truck that I've always wanted, a late '70s Ford short wide 4x4, two tone with the race track trim. With other stuff out of the way, I'll get to work on this from time to time.

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Most of this stuff is real junk, so I'm feeling pretty frisky with the razor saw. First order of business is that goofy Camper Special bed. Nobody, to this day, knows why AMT decided to do this bed instead of the conventional long or short bed, the best explanation I've heard is that Ford sent them the wrong blue prints by mistake and AMT never checked. May be baloney, but why else? If you look at '73-'79 Ford beds, you'll see that both the long and short beds have the same rear overhang, which is longer than the CS bed.

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Cut here:

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and move the wheel well forward by 5mm. But, the other mod that most miss is that not only was the CS wheel well moved back, it was also moved up. So when you move it forward, move it down by 2.5mm.

Approximate placement:

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Edited by Maindrian Pace

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Posted · Report post

Attached with the panel cut from forward of the wheel well:

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And filler panels added.

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Shorten the front of the bed by 25mm.

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After the front cap is glued in place.

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Now I just have to do the other side.

-MJS

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Posted · Report post

Cool!

Keep it going! B)

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Posted · Report post

Great start! I'll keep an eye on this one!

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Posted · Report post

Great start. Thanks for the dimensions and info on how to properly "fix" the bed.

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Posted · Report post

Cast it!

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Posted · Report post

Probably not this one. It's going to have the race track trim like the yellow one in the pics, and the lower ribbed trim has been shaved off, so it won't match any cab. But Repstock has converted a few long beds, perhaps he can be convinced to shorten one for casting.

-MJS

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Posted · Report post

Please show is how you do the racetrack trim.

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Please show is how you do the racetrack trim.

You know I will.

I got the other side roughed in. I tried a different method, cutting the bottoms off of the wheel well, and gluing them to the bed so I didn't have to add the little filler panels in to re-contour the lower character lines. That turned out to be a mistake, because I then had to add filler pieces at the front and rear of the wheel wells and shape them. On this truck, I'm going to use fender flares, so it will all be covered anyway, but for stock fender lips, use the first method - drop the whole wheel well intact, then trim the bottom flush with the bed sides. You get a perfect shape that way with less work.

P8210074_zpsd13b509c.jpg

-MJS

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Posted · Report post

Awesome fab work..

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Looking good so far. I so want to do this with a couple of the Model King and recent re-issued kits but have been holding off, now that you have shown us how/where to cut, it might be razor saw time!

Of course I can always hope someone does cast a resin bed..................................

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Posted · Report post

Nice work Mike! I've been planning on doing this conversion forever. But, never have got around to it. It doesn't help that I sold my old '78 F-100 either. I meant to take measurements on the bed. But, it sold quicker than I anticipated,like the next day. :( I was thinking the fenderwells needed to be moved forward seven scale inches. But, it's been a while. One thing that will save you a lot of extra work is to use the bed floor and sides from an AMT '92-'96 short bed. That was my plan anyway. At one time I had a '78 and a '95 and they looked almost identical inside the bed. I was also planning on using the '92-'96 chassis and swap in the I beams from the '77 and a nine inch rearend from a Fairlane or Starliner. Here's a photo. It looks better in the photos than it actually was.

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The guy that bought it drove it less than a quarter of a mile down the road, turned around, came back, put $1700 in my hand, loaded it up and drove off. I still regret selling it!

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Cast it!

There's already a guy working on quite a few beds (and other items) for these kits. So there's hope if anybody wants a standard Styleside bed for one of these. B)

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Nice work Mike! I've been planning on doing this conversion forever. But, never have got around to it. It doesn't help that I sold my old '78 F-100 either.

Great looking '78, Roger. The yellow '79 is one of my reference trucks, owned by a local guy who is a major dent side fan.

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It's an original rust free AZ truck, that's the original paint, it's loaded, and has this -

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A '93 Mustang 5.0 with an Explorer cam for torque, '95 F-150 AOD and transfer case, and air lockers front and rear. It's his daily, and gets 18mpg on the freeway. Way cool truck.

-MJS

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Thanx Mike! I had big plans for mine. But, a back injury and surgery killed them. I was going to buy a Crown Vic and use the front suspension and engine/transmission from it. It already had a good nine inch in the rear. It was restored by an older gentleman many years ago as you can tell by all of the doo dads added to it. He gave it to his grandson who lived about a mile from me and I bought it from him for $700. The old guy literally had a Ford pickup farm. The only trucks he was interested in were the '73-'79s. He had other years from '60-'72. He had well over a hundred of them setting around and a few nice ones in his barns. When he passed, his sons kept the restored trucks and sold the rest for scrap. :(

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I like where this project is going. Always been a big fan of the 70's Fors P-Ups!

Gotta admit I do like that 79, w/ the EFI 5.0 and AOD. That is a sweet daily driver!

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Flares! As a custom 4x4 junk model, I can sort of make this up as I go along. I have a loose idea of what it's going to look like when done, but anything can change. The flares are from the Bigfoot issue, but narrowed, lowered on the wheel wells, trimmed, and molded in. I may narrow them a bit further, depending on how the Satco tires fit.

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I corrected the windshield opening, removed the lower rocker trim, smoothed the fire wall, and added the missing rain gutters to the cab.

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-MJS

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Posted · Report post

If I saw a truck like that in Maine for $1700, I would turn right around and buy it too!
Lookin' great so far!

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Race track trim: Or the beginnings of it anyway.

The '74-'75 version has different, narrower upper side trim than the later versions, so I narrowed the existing trim strip, and glued .030 rod to each side. I then contoured it to nearly the correct angle. Not done yet but close. The rest of the trim will come next.

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I also cut out the gas cap door on the other side.

-MJS

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Posted · Report post

Any updates Mike!

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Pretty soon, José. It's always a good idea to let filler cure for several days to minimize/avoid the shrinking problem that it has.

-MJS

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Posted · Report post

nice looking truck cant wait to see it finished.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Race track trim, part two. .030" Evergreen.

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The bed floor was shortened, trimmed, and the wheel well areas reshaped with Evergreen:

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I used two left side inner walls to get the regular wheel tubs, which, thankfully, are symmetrical. They were modified for the short bed configuration.

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Then the patchwork quilt of a bed was assembled. It turned out to be nearly 50 parts, so squaring it up was done with trial and error, luck, measuring, and lip biting. A third hand would have been useful there too.

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-MJS

Edited by Maindrian Pace

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Posted · Report post

Nice work so far! B)

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I've really enjoying the work done here!

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