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  1. #1
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    Default '95 F-150 track ready street beast

    It's finally time to kick off my own build thread. It would be a gross understatement to say that I'm excited. Admittedly, I've been a long time lurker here, but only just created an account as I didn't feel I could add any value until now. I want to say that I look forward to seeing all your suggestions and comments as I go. I love creative criticism and feedback.

    I am starting with a bone stock 1995 F-150. One owner with only 97,000 miles. But the desert hasn't been kind to the wiring, plastic, or rubber parts. It was passed on the me by an incredible old man that left us in January this year. The truck sat in my driveway further wasting away and no solid offers came so it never sold. As these things do, a wild, alcohol induced conversation started about what could be done. Naturally, all my years lurking here and growing up at the racetrack led me to plan a pretty ambitious build. Somehow my family said "DO IT" and so here we are. Unfortunately this chassis gets exactly ZERO love from anyone outside of the off-road community so I'm on my own.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    There it is not long after it was purchased new. This is the dirt mountain road heading up to Crown King, AZ where our family cabin is. This
    is how I got the truck, aside from the terrible clear coat (AZ is mean as hell to paint) .

    After seeing the Targa Truck, C10R, and HellBoy, I knew it was time to return to the road course and autocross world and this little Truck would take me there. This was further solidified after a chance encounter with Mark Allen while at a local show creeping on others' builds. He's an awesome guy and I hope to meet many more of you!

    So here is the deal: I'm 27 and I was literally born into racing. I've worked at Vorshlag, Stett Performance, and Eurosport(gotta start somewhere) along with doing a few builds for friends. I've never done a build just for me and this is going to challenge everything I think I know. I'm looking to you all to help me along and we can make this thing awesome! For the record I learned about trucks by rebuilding a '69 F100 as a little kid so getting to build a Ford F-series is kinda cool in that sense.

    The plan

    Engine: Duffee Motorsports is building out the original block. 408 forged stroker kit, big solid roller cam, high flowing heads, Holley 351w Hi-Ram, etc

    Chassis: Full independent suspension. Crown Vic IFS and Mark VIII IRS. I'm setting it all up myself. No kit here.

    Transmission: Modern Driveline built TKO 600. Mid mounted shifter. Puts power through a mustang clutch and flywheel.

    Body: I want to learn composites really bad. These body panels and large and mostly flat, but HEAVY! Things will get cut off and changed regardless.

    Suspension: Looks like ridetech is my only good option now, but I'd like to work with a couple companies I've used for customer builds. Adjustable coil overs are the desire here.

    Interior: NRG quick release wheel, Sparco Evo II US seats, G Force cam-loc 6pt harnesses, full custom dash, and full roll cage. I plan to get rowdy and live to embellish the tale.

    Electronics: Being young I love technology and I want it all. I threw the Holley catalog at this thing. Full Dominator system (ouch!) including their digital dash. This also converts me over to many GM sensors (GASP! on a Ford?) including a 92mm LS throttle body. But tuning and replacement parts just got WAY more accessible.

    Areo: Vented hood, low wing or Nascar style spoiler, deleted bumpers for at least a splitter if not a diffuser too.

    I think that about covers it for now. I'll get everything together for an upload to bring you all up to speed. This post is about 2 months behind me. I'll start to point out areas of concern and stuff I can't decide on. Just for a teaser here is what is coming up next...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    -Sean


  2. #2
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    Well written! I’m excited to follow along, gotta love the Fords!

  3. #3
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    Looking forward to seeing this!
    Matt Kenner

    68 C10 stepside

    If you can leave two black stripes from the exit of one corner to the braking zone of the next, you have enough horsepower. - Mark Donohue

  4. #4
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    Great intro!
    Never been much of a Ford guy but I can definitely appreciate the "dare to be different" aspect and the fact that the truck sub-forum can always use more action.
    Other than the occasional modded, drag race Lightning, I've never seen anyone go all out on this platform.
    Looking forward to seeing it come together for you.

  5. #5
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    I like the way you think! Let me know if I can help out at all!


    Ridetech Suspsension
    Tech Specialist
    Phone: 812.481.4734

    Project Fox
    1979 Trans Am

  6. #6
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    Thanks guys! I'm glad you all like where this is going too.

    SonomaZ, you see the same thing I do. Either drag truck or stock. So far many of the major suspension points on the frame measure out very closely to late model F100 specs. I suppose it's just not quite old enough to meet that "filthy cheap" mark most of us like to start our builds with. BTW...I like your build as well. Kinda makes me wish I was making my own frame, but I'm not ready for all that.

    Josh, thanks for reaching out. You'll be my first point of contact once all the subframes and arms are mounted and I can get some hard measurements.

    OK, let's pick back up where I left off...

    So I don't have a garage large enough to accommodate this in depth of a project, but I do have a large covered area on the side of my house. Open air projects aren't really my favorite, but I'm also not too proud to put the entire thing off. Plus we are heading into "winter" here in the desert so I don't really have room to complain.

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    By the time I had an area cleaned up and the truck in position this had basically become a daily occurance. I'm not sure why, but I can't think of anything in this world I love more than coming home to boxes. These are the best kind of boxes!

    I knew from the get go that foxbody related drive line parts would probably be the safest bet. I called Modern Drive Line and they were awesome to deal with. Made great recommendations and seemed to appreciate what I'm trying to do even if I'm a little nuts. They opened up the TKO 600 to add carbon fiber something. I believe he said it was to do with the synchros. I think I should be plenty safe with this since I have no desire for boost or nitrous.

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    That's the only photo I grabbed before it all went on a shelf. Oh yeah...that shift arm likely won't work, but it was included. I'm mostly happy I got a white shift ball. As stupid as it may seem, I've wanted a white Hurst shift ball FOREVER. Some dreams are meant to come true! I got a QuickTime bell housing. We all know them and there isn't really another good option. Plus it made adapting to a 351w stupid easy. All ARP hardware with the reverse harness and throwout bearing. They suggested a Tilton 6000 series TOB. I'd never heard of this version before, but I'll say I'm super happy I got it. VERY nice piece.

    I had also pretty well firmed up the engine build with Duffee so I was falling behind my desired pace. I ripped the thing apart as fast as I could making notes along the way of things I want to omit or modify for body mounting or positions.

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    Hard to remember to take pics when you're working alone and getting your ass kicked by big heavy stuff. Bear in mind that this all happens after a full work day. Thankfully I have a desk job. I'll sleep when I'm dead.

    As things went on I did notice one really sweet nugget...

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    That is looking over the front suspension at the passenger exhaust manifold. For the record these are heavy and TERRIBLE. What's important is the right of the picture is the front of the truck and that hole in the shock/spring tower is the "axle" centerline. Yes, Ford produced this truck with the entire engine behind the front axle. WIN!!! Still not using the factory mounts, but I shouldn't need to modify the firewall like I see all the C10s do.

    At this point it hit me that my cheap ass engine hoist wasn't up to taking the engine and trans out together so I had to stop and divorce the two. Easier said than done. That auto trans is YUUUGE. I don't have any good photos yet.

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    As you can see it's still under the truck since I can't get it past the frame rails even with the jack stands at full extension. Might have to wait until all the suspension is out and slide it between the frame rails.

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    But I won. And it's a very good thing that I'm just redoing all the wiring and killing all the vacuum actuated crap since it was all half broken anyway. Most of the smog related systems literally just fell apart when I would touch them.

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    This is how I delivered the engine. Looks like the only part going back in is the block itself. Everything else will be new and much improved. This was where the budget started it's rapid descent into chaos (I'm learning). My original idea was to bolt on some fresh parts to the top end and hope to get close to 350hp. Well after I annoyed the **** out of Duffee for a couple weeks we decided that I needed forged everything and a solid roller cam with all the supporting parts. Only rule was that it had to be able to run on 91. It will be about 8-10 weeks before I see the results. I told him no rush if he has SEMA stuff to wrap up first. I'm jealous I can't go. I'll be in Vegas that week for my mom's birthday with time to kill. Guess I'll just stand in front of the convention center crying in despair and envy.

    Next was the interior. I debated hard on how original to keep it and after seeing the PCHrods C10, as well as a few well-prepped cars, I couldn't avoid my lust for a good clean dash integrated into the cage. I will look at carbon panels, but aluminum is more likely for now.

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    More stuff showed up and I couldn't not do a quick test fit just to gauge seat height and how the quick release wheel would fit. I like it. I would totally daily this setup.

    But it still had to come out. All of it. Just haven't been motivated enough to get after the dash and the mess of wiring I know it hides.

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    This is pretty much how it still sits. I've been busy the last couple days with house crap. Hoping to get more teardown done. It's like it never ends. I always find more to remove.

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    This was a painfully expensive photo to take. I'm soooo excited to try this Holley Dominator system with their intake. Kinda funny to me how I wanted to avoid taking the easy way out and doing an LS swap only to use LS sensors and throttle body. But hey, if it works don't fight it. Nobody makes a decent intake for these motors. This was my one and only good option.

    Engine builder has the lower section of the Hi-Ram intake so he can port match it to the heads and open them up a bit. They have a pretty extreme taper as cast.

    Now, I'm at the first snags in 2 areas and I need your help.

    1, fuel system. I'm thinking about using the original rear tank which is just over 18 gallons. Fuel cells are feeling a little too spendy at the moment. I looked at the Holley drop in 340lph E85 pump setup, but I'm not sure. Need suggestions. And remember that I will drive this in the summer where it can easily be 110 and over 100 at night. Some pumps say they can't be run constantly over 90 degrees (where do they think people live?!). I also need to pick a fuel pressure regulator so I was thinking I'd get the Earl's billet EFI version. Weighing cost vs benefit. Seems spending much more doesn't really do much for me here. Then all AN PTFE lines for feed and return. Will be a full return system. In one rail, crossover, and out the other. Stop me if I'm wrong.

    2, accessories and a/c. Air conditioning is not debatable or optional. It's mandatory. I keep coming back to Restomod air since nobody has a kit for this chassis. Theirs seems to be geared toward custom. My hang-up is that it's about $1800 for all I need. I don't know my options beyond this, but the stock unit is all vacuum operated and old. I can't see it working at all now. Along with new A/C I'm finding that a new accessory drive setup would reposition the compressor and alternator in a much better spot on the engine while deleting any smog brackets. Plus it gets me a new compressor and power steering pump. Both of which I want to replace. My question here is, should I spend the extra money on an auto tensioning serpentine kit or just save and get a manual tensioning setup? CVF has both in black at a fair price. But there is about a $600 difference.

    Thanks in advance! I'm aiming my sights at the suspension next. It might be a couple weeks until I can update on that since my outlet for my welders is on the other side of the house. I don't mess with household electrical. I got zapped a few years back so I'm wussing out on this. Gonna wait for the handyman. But I have to weld in a brace or two on the frame before I cut out anything so I don't lose alignment.

    -Sean

  7. #7
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    Well I see now that we have a couple sideways photos. I can't figure out how to fix it right now so just do the right thing and turn your head. You'll get the picture (pun intended).

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sbeck09 View Post

    As things went on I did notice one really sweet nugget...

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    That is looking over the front suspension at the passenger exhaust manifold. For the record these are heavy and TERRIBLE. What's important is the right of the picture is the front of the truck and that hole in the shock/spring tower is the "axle" centerline. Yes, Ford produced this truck with the entire engine behind the front axle. WIN!!! Still not using the factory mounts, but I shouldn't need to modify the firewall like I see all the C10s do.

    -Sean
    I cannot begin to tell you how jealous I am of this right here. You're not kidding, major WIN!!!
    Just thinking of all that needs to be done to mine to accommodate the engine setback makes me twitch.
    Really love how quickly you're getting after it. Rock on.

  9. #9
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    Yeah I noticed you've got a ton to do. But I like how its progressing. I was dreading making an entire new tunnel. I'm hoping my header concerns are eased just like you seemed to have more room after setback. I think I'm going to try Foxbody long tubes since there is nothing larger than an 1-5/8" primary specific to this truck.

    If it ain't one thing, it's another.

  10. #10
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    Subscribed... Nice work so far...
    Lance
    1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car

  11. #11
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    Went out to try and keep momentum on disassembly and noticed something for the first time. Let's play a little game of racetruck trivia.

    What do you see odd or not normal about this photo?

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    Hint: it's more obvious when you look at the whole picture. You dont have to look to hard to see it.

    Go!

  12. #12
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    Apparently nobody likes racetruck trivia. Noted.

    So what you should see in the previous photo is the MASSIVE offset of the engine and transmission to the passenger (right) side of the truck. I verified that everything else (body, chassis, axle) is centered.

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    Left side-door jam to tunnel

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    Right side-door jam to tunnel

    I've built a number of cars over the years that would have roughly 1 inch of offset to the passenger side. This was usually to allow a larger engine to clear things like the brake booster and steering shaft. But I can't see how this 3.5-4 inches is going to help the balance for me.

    What would you guys do? I'm thinking I'll try to set everything about 1 inch off-center to the right. Or maybe just center it all up?

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    Looks like the tunnel has more than enough room.

    Further progress towards eliminating the entire original fuel system and remaining wiring was made.

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    Front tank

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    Rear tank

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    Pile grows

    Combined this truck holds north of 30 gallons. I don't need all that and the font tank is in the way of my rear suspension plans. It's dead to me.

    My hope was that I could use the rear tank as it is just over 18 gallons. Wrong. So much for saving money somewhere....and since no one had any bright suggestions when I asked a couple posts ago, I'm gonna make my best guess at a solution.

    Plan: I need a bigger fuel pump that can handle E85. Easy. I need at least a little baffling to keep the pump working. Harder than expected. Looks like FI Tech and Aeromotive have the best 20 gallon aluminum fuel cells for the money with a 340lph pump. ATL and Fuel Safe get too expensive for what I'm trying to do here. I'm going to run a full return system with -8an PTFE lines to and from the tank. I figure I'll just weld up a fuel cell cage real quick that bolts in under the bed where the rear tank was.

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    Exhibit A

    Thoughts? Concerns?

    I also started in on the cab sheet metal to make space for the cage tubes.

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    As you can see I'm now playing the game of precious inches. Trying to buy back some of the room the harness bar will eat up.

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    Here is the setup. I couldn't resist trying it all out on the couch. Because race couch. Sexy I know.

    I'm still grinding away (see what I did there ) and I'll keep you guys in the loop. Looking for suggestions in the mean time.

  13. #13
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    Dealing with brake booster and steering is usually a challenge, so I would offset to passenger for sure. How much? I would try and get some scales to at least help with that decision. I would keep your fuel cell as far forward as you can.

  14. #14
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    I'd want the drivetrain pushed to the right just enough to compensate for the drivers weight plus steering wheel, pedals, that kind of stuff that isn't on the right side. Goal being 50/50 left to right weight balance.
    Lance
    1985 Monte Carlo SS Street Car

  15. #15
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    Dumb question - when the engine is offset like that does it point straight back - so that the driveshaft comes off the transmission at an angle, or is the whole engine/transmission not straight back and at an angle - so the driveshaft comes straight off the transmission and “points” to the diff?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSLance View Post
    I'd want the drivetrain pushed to the right just enough to compensate for the drivers weight plus steering wheel, pedals, that kind of stuff that isn't on the right side. Goal being 50/50 left to right weight balance.
    I was just in the middle of typing something like this post that SSLance posted. Great idea.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by 52Muntz View Post
    Dumb question - when the engine is offset like that does it point straight back - so that the driveshaft comes off the transmission at an angle, or is the whole engine/transmission not straight back and at an angle - so the driveshaft comes straight off the transmission and “points” to the diff?
    You want an identical angle coming from the back of the transmission as you do from the driveshaft to the rear diff.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Mc Mahon View Post
    Dealing with brake booster and steering is usually a challenge, so I would offset to passenger for sure. How much? I would try and get some scales to at least help with that decision. I would keep your fuel cell as far forward as you can.
    My thoughts exactly, but I kinda screwed myself on that. The suspension is halfway ripped apart and I'm fabbing up all new stuff based on an entirely different vehicle. That's where my guess of about 1 inch offset came from. I do wish I had access to scales still. And for mounting the cell, I'll set it as close the the irs diff that I can without making it hard to service. That's the beaty of a diff that never really moves. Prolly within ~2 inches. My BMW was so tight back there I had to make a short hex socket to get at the drain plug. I'm smarter than that.

    Quote Originally Posted by SSLance View Post
    I'd want the drivetrain pushed to the right just enough to compensate for the drivers weight plus steering wheel, pedals, that kind of stuff that isn't on the right side. Goal being 50/50 left to right weight balance.
    It doesn't take much to offset my ~200lbs with maybe another 100 ish lbs off stuff. It's an iron small block with a steel bell housing so it's a heavy drive train. But yet again, this is all going to be a giant guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by 52Muntz View Post
    Dumb question - when the engine is offset like that does it point straight back - so that the driveshaft comes off the transmission at an angle, or is the whole engine/transmission not straight back and at an angle - so the driveshaft comes straight off the transmission and “points” to the diff?
    Not dumb at all! I literally had the same question when I posted the photo. Unfortunately everything has already been removed. I never thought to measure each point before I took it out.

    I'm guessing they had the engine and trans pointed straight back so you end up with identical driveline angles. Having different angles at each end can easily cause vibration. Looks like they were giving extra room to steering components and the driver area inside. It worked. You aren't cramped at all on the left. All my components are much slimmer and leaner so I think I can bring it back on center a little more.

    You all bring up great points. THANK YOU!! I think I will shoot for 1-1.5 inches of right offset when I make the new mounts. This is me just estimating everything's weight against my own. If it's slightly off I can compensate with a good corner balance. Plus I'm mounting the battery and HVAC on the passenger side so that will help.

    BTW...any recommendations, other than my own, on fuel cells without foam? This is new territory for me. Seems a number of companies are vague about the internal design of their cells/tanks.

  18. #18
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    How offset is the stock front suspension “sump”? Maybe that is the right amount of offset

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Mc Mahon View Post
    How offset is the stock front suspension “sump”? Maybe that is the right amount of offset
    The motor mounts measure just over 3 inches to the passenger side.

    That doesn't seem like a lot to you?

  20. #20
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    The 79 f100 I am building is offset to the passenger side as well. Fwiw

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