My '63 Unibody (Integral Cab)

BobbyFord

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I bought this truck in 1984 for a $50 bill. Up until 2008, it was my daily driver.
Ford offered the Integral Cab trucks as an option for three years only; 1961-1963. The Integral Cab trucks were designed with the cab and bed as one piece. Similar to an El Camino design or Ranchero. 1963 was the last year and the year with the least production models, only 40,000.
I recently put an ad on Ebay and Craigslist (again) to sell this truck. They blew up my email.
I immediately realized that I can't sell this truck.
They were available with 223 or 262 I6 or 292 V8. Mine has been converted to 390/C6 combo. My truck is hideous. One white front fender, one primer front fender, one bed side black, one bed side primer, primer rear panel, black and patina hood, munched black grille, no front bumper, black primer doors, no rear bumper, bed stake holes only on one side. Painted interior with two tone turquoise and white.
Drove out to Ventura today to buy a disc brake conversion, 100 mile round trip at 80mph both ways.
This truck gets hot in traffic because the 390 fan blade only comes up halfway on the radiator. I have planned out a 4 row aluminum radiator, 17" electric fan and Mr. Cool solid state fan controller (the truck has already been upgraded from generator to 3-wire GM 100 amp alternator.) I'm going to throw that disc conversion on with a power brake booster and upgraded pedal assembly. These trucks originally came with a one line master cylinder (extremely dangerous.)
I have parts ordered and I'll post pics for anyone interested.
I also have a 429 in the garage that may wind up in the engine bay....
 

Bobw

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Strange looking trucks without the gap between cab and bed. Fellow in town had one, tu-tone baby blue and white. Small block Chevy conversion.
 

StandOnIt

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Owner always sees all the flaws, looks pretty straight to me. I guess the fan is too low to put a shroud around it. I know it worked wonders for my Dodge pile and I run an A/C
 

BobbyFord

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Ford also offered trucks with non-attached beds during 61-63 but they used the earlier 57-60 beds and the body lines didn’t match up at all. We refer to them as “wrong bed” trucks. In ‘64 they came out with a new non-attached bed design that matched the cab body lines. ‘64 was the last year of the straight axle, ‘65 saw the introduction of the twin I beam front suspension. Disc brakes weren’t available on 1/2 ton Ford trucks until 1973.
The Unibody trucks had unique doors. The body line just below the window is straight whereas the non-attached bed truck doors had a scallop near the front of the door. I have a very cherry set of doors that I bought in Nevada. The current doors have speaker holes rudely hacked into them.
I moved all my truck parts from the garage to the shed today, found a lot of stuff I forgot about.
Rechromed rear sport bumper (very rare.) Rechromed front bumper, new NOS chrome mirrors, door and window weatherstrip kits, NOS door handles, perfectly straight painted 1962 grille, rechromed head light bezels, NOS grill lettering, NOS taillight lenses, Custom Cab dash trim, Custom Cab floor trim, two-speed wiper motor, NOS turn signal switch, restored factory AM radio...
 
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BobbyFord

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BobbyFord

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Well I'm into it a little deeper than I anticipated.


The radiator isn't here yet but I know the dimensions. The clearance between the water pump pulley and where the new electric fan will be is about 1/2" too tight. The core support is bent. Luckily, I have a couple of straight ones in my shed. :D
 

BobbyFord

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Been on that damn truck all day. I’m making spaced brackets to bolt the radiator in.
You can’t get an aftermarket radiator for early trucks. You either buy something from the next available year or you buy a universal. I’m using a radiator that would fit in basically a 67-77 truck.
I got rid of my exterior trans cooler because this radiator has a built-in cooler. Most of the 61-64 F Series trucks were manual transmission so I had to use an exterior cooler with my 390/C6 transplant. I’ll have to buy some hard line and bend new cooler lines that will mate to the new radiator.
The new core support is in and everything lines up nice. I’ll have to realign the fenders and hood. The upper header panel, grille and rock guard were mashed on this truck but I have straight parts in the shed.
 

BobbyFord

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The radiator is in.

I made the black bracket that the radiator is bolted to. It relocates the radiator one inch farther away from the motor.

My truck of many colors. None of this front sheet metal is bolted on, just stuffed in place. Everything below the hood was mashed. I had all of this stuff in my shed. I'll send these parts to the sandblaster next week and get everything in primer.
 

BobbyFord

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Dang, tried to buy some 1” aluminum square bar online tonight from 2 different suppliers, actually 3. Two websites were down and the other guy want an unreasonable amount of money for shipping. I guess I’ll drive to IMS tomorrow and see if they can cut me some aluminum bar. I need it for a spacer for the electric fan mounting brackets. :(
 

BobbyFord

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The pitman arm shaft is loose on my truck. My bro picked me up a good used box in Henderson NV today.
I could rebuild mine if it was just a bushing but the shaft is worn.
 

BobbyFord

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Made the hard lines for the transmission today after work. I have a really awesome tool for doing double flares and AN flares. The flares come out absolutely perfect.
These are nice tools to have.

Perfect double flares...

This isn't my best tube bending work. You can tell I'm a little rusty.

Waiting on some 1" square 6061 bar to make spacers for the electric fan.
 

Johali

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Made the hard lines for the transmission today after work. I have a really awesome tool for doing double flares and AN flares. The flares come out absolutely perfect.
These are nice tools to have.

Perfect double flares...

This isn't my best tube bending work. You can tell I'm a little rusty.

Waiting on some 1" square 6061 bar to make spacers for the electric fan.
Looking good bud.
 

Zerkfitting

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That's an interesting truck. I don't remember ever seeing a pickup with an integrated box other than the Camino and Ranchero (which aren't trucks IMO). My dad sold Internationals, we had Travelalls.
 

BobbyFord

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That's an interesting truck. I don't remember ever seeing a pickup with an integrated box other than the Camino and Ranchero (which aren't trucks IMO). My dad sold Internationals, we had Travelalls.
There are stories of people loading these trucks so heavy that the doors popped open. I had this truck loaded pretty heavy over the years and never had a door pop open.
 

Zerkfitting

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Johali

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Got the fan controller wired this morning. I’m pretty jazzed. This is by far the coolest this truck has run in 34 years. It would always creep up past 190 sitting still. It’s stays at 180 now.
That was a damn fine off the cuff fabrication. :booya:
 

BobbyFord

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I'm holding off on getting the body sheet metal cleaned up.
I'm going to focus on the mechanical right now. I bought a straight axle and steering box online in Nevada and had my bro grab them for me. He was in San Clemente for Thanksgiving and brought the parts so I drove down and picked them up.
My current axle has an elongated king pin bore on the left side resulting in negative camber. Great for turning right but wears out the inside of the tire.
I cleaned the new axle a bit. This is the axle I'll use for the disc brake conversion. Brake master, booster and prop valve should be here Tuesday.


I took the used steering box apart for inspection. Mine has a worn sector shaft bushing that creates a lot of play in the steering wheel. The used steering gear was in remarkable condition for being 56 years old. The shafts had very limited wear and the bushings were tight. I just cleaned it up and resealed it. You can buy worm gear, sector shafts (although really expensive) and bushings but nobody lists seals or gaskets. I measured the housing bore and shaft sized and bought a National seal based on dimensions and just made a gasket out of a Blue Moon box ( I had to drink all of the beer to empty the box) :D
I'll order bushings for my existing steering gear and rebuild it for a spare.


 

TexasRaceLady

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I really enjoy doing this stuff. It's therapeutic.
I enjoyed it, also. Back when we were racing, I really learned a lot and had fun doing it. My part of the engine building
was the fine stuff. Gapping the points, plugs, etc. The guys said my small hands did a better job. I don't know, tho, they
could have just been teasing me. LOL
 

BobbyFord

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I have to remember that I'm doing these upgrades so that this is a more user friendly work truck. I really do like this truck. It's had five different engines. I've put hundreds of thousands of miles on this truck.
 

BobbyFord

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Absolutely unable to find 00 grade steering gear grease in California. Not even available from Summit Racing. Ordered some from the east coast.
 

Magnethead

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Absolutely unable to find 00 grade steering gear grease in California. Not even available from Summit Racing. Ordered some from the east coast.
My friend/racing buddy/former boss, Josh Bertschy, owns Steerco Performance here in Fort Worth. He might not be as knowledgable about boxes that old, but he is pretty sharp on alot of the details and where to get things.
 
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