Project '67

Rebuilding the Chassis

The frame and chassis parts were sent out to be sandblasted. They came back in GREAT condition. This chassis should look better than new when done. Because it's an Arizona truck, the metal has no pits at all.

I'm going to number the steps we take but things can certainly be done differently. Also, I'm making a list of chassis parts and part numbers I use Here.

1. Ready the chassis parts for paint.
After sandblasting, we wnt through all the parts and masked areas we don't want painted. Repairs were made to a couple parts. The most intensive repair was the left rear backing plate which obviously had slid down the road without a wheel at some time. I also installed the shackle and axle bushings. I used two socket and a vise to remove and install them. Heat was needed so this should be done before painting.

2. Paint the frame and chassis parts.
All frame, suspension, and steering parts are sprayed. I'm being very wary of future rust problems as this will be my personal truck and will be used year round. The parts recieved a coat of 'Chassis Saver' paint as the base and primer. This paint is similar to POR products but less expensive. Because the Chassis Saver is effected by UV exposure, I topcoated the parts using Tecstar industrial enamel semi-gloss black and dark silver on smaller parts for accent. This should give great rust defense and look good as well. One of the new ideas I'm trying this time is to soak fasteners in Chassis Saver. Then I will install them while still totally wet. This should assure a complete coverage of fasteners without removing paint from threads while installing.

3. Reinstall the rear end.
I didn't do anything to the rear end other than clean it up and install a new pinion seal. It was painted along with the frame. U-bolts were dipped in Chassis Saver before installation.

4. Install new rear brakes.
I installled new brake cylinders and shoes. I opted to use the used hardware and drums as they appeared to have been replaced very recently. I just cleaned and painted the parts. The installation went smoothly.

5. Install rear wheels and tires.
The rims I decided to use are late model Dodge wheels. I've never seen a set go bad and they have the same pattern (5 on 5.5) as Ford. Plus I like them and got them cheap. Of course the original center caps have a big Ram on them and even I think that looks kinda stupid on a Ford. So I picked up a set of early 90's Ford center caps. They fit perfectly. However, the Dodge cap is held on by the lug nuts and the Ford cap used three screws. So I had to drill and tap three holes in each rim to hold on the new caps. I think they look really good!

6. Install front suspension.
The front axles were bolted on and fitted to the radius arms. Springs were bolted on at this time. I only had one difficulty in that I lost a small metal plate that levels one of the springs. Luckily I was able to fashion one from 3/16" flat stock.

7. Install new spindles and disc brake upgrade.
The donor spindles from the mid 1970's were fitted with new king pins. I sent the spindles out to a machine shop so the pins could be fitted. They fit great with absolutely no slop. The rotors, calipers, and brakes went on equally well. All the parts were brand new but I opted to paint most of them anyway, hopefully they will last longer. They look and fit great.

8. Install the steering system.
Next we installed the basic steering stuff. The new power steering box was mounted first. The box is from a mid 1970's Ford truck. I opted to use all new parts that are correct for the mid 1970's truck. Then all the steering parts should work together with no unforseen problems. The drag link and tie rods were added. Everything was greased so I won't forget it later.

9. Install new motor mounts.
Since I'm putting in a 351 Cleveland, I have to change the motor mounts to the small block configuration. I found a set in a salvage yard and mounted them in place. Being a 67 model the frame was not drilled for small block mounts (they weren't available in 67). Still, three of the four holes line up on each mount. So only two holes needed drilling. An interesting observation is that the large cross member under the engine on the 67 is a couple inches wider than the 70 model I retrieved the mounts from.

10. Install the emergency brake stuff.
I just painted and reinstalled the emergency brake hardware and cables. Simple to do but I wanted to put it back together before I forget how it came apart.

11. Paint and assemble the transmission and engine.
At this point we painted the engine and transmission. The engine is a 351C from an early 1970's Mustang. It has a couple thousand miles on it as it was removed from the Mustang to make room for a 428. The transmission is an AOD that is completely rebuilt. I purchased it from Phoenix Hard Parts and it came with the torque converter. After painting we put the assembly together. The block plate that goes between the engine and tranny fits on the engine first. I believe this plate must be for an AOD only. I tried to use an older 302 plate but the starter holes won't line up. A trip to the salvage yard yielded the correct plate. Next, the flexplate is mounted to the engine. The flexplate also must be AOD specific. Mine actually had "AOD" stamped right on it. Other flexplates will mount up but are not deep enough to fit in the pump properly. I've also heard that it is important to use AOD flexplate bolts as they supposedly have a shorter head. I could not find any with shorter heads so I ground down the original bolt heads so they were about half as thick. After placing the converter in the tranny, the engine and tranny were brought together. The converter nuts and bellhousing bolts were installed.

12. Install engine and transmission in chassis.
Using an engine lift, I placed the engine and tranny into the frame. The engine mounts dropped straight in (after I bolted the rubber mounts on the engine of course). The rear crossmember did not line up though. I expected this as the AOD is much deeper than the FMX that was originally in the truck. Luckily, the mount was only about 1 1/2 inches farther back than original. I was able to simply slide the crossmember back, drill two new holes and bolt it together. I was not as lucky with the tailshaft as it is a few inches longer than original. So I will have to have the driveshaft shortened some. I also refitted the gas tank just to be sure there will be no drivetrain interference. It's close but it appears that it will work just fine.

13. Mount the gas tank and shield.
The tank was installed as seen here.
The front to rear brake line was mounted first as it would be hard to install afterwards.

14. Install the brake lines.
I just used straight lengths of pre-flared brake line available at any auto supply for the hard lines. These are easy to bend by hand. The brake hose in the back is stock 67 while the front ones are from a 1980 model. The new disc brake conversion I purchased did not include the banjo bolts. I ordered new ones from Ford but it will take a week to get them. The proportioning valve is from a mid 1970's Ford truck with disc brakes up front. I just bent and drilled the original splitter bracket to accomodate the prop valve. Other than the banjo bolts, this is as far as I can go with the brake system until the cab is set in place.

15. Small item install.
The banjo bolts came in so the front brake lines were attached. The driveshaft was shortened and balanced by Machined Service in Green Bay Wisconsin. They did a great job and fast too. The driveshat was installed. The only hang up was I needed a special U-joint for the tranny yoke with different sized attachments. The shocks were also installed.