Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

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SMH1970
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Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:53 pm

Hi everyone,

Fairly new member here, but I've been reading through the forums for several months now. Figured I better start a log and post some updates, since I think I'm going to have lots of questions over the upcoming months. I've been working on my project for a while, so have a bit of catching up to do. I'll try to bring things up to date over the first few posts.

Back in September I bought a Boxwood green / Wimbledon white 1970 Sport Custom LWB, with a 360 and 3 on the tree transmission. It did not have power steering or power brakes, but was a pretty solid truck with minimal rust, and it ran well. Here is a photo of it when I brought it home.
IMG_2118.JPG


Here is a photo showing the worst of the rust
IMG_2144.JPG


My plan is to upgrade to power steering and power disc brakes, and to tear it down and rebuild it (including the 360), cleaning, painting and replacing parts as needed. I'm not planning to make a show truck, but I do plan to have something that's safe, reliable and can be used on a daily basis (at least in good conditions). I have other vehicles for winter driving, etc.

Luckily, I was given a 'spare' 360 (in running condition) with auto transmission with the truck, so I had a start on my 'spare parts' inventory. My first action was to search around for suitable parts trucks, which I found to be quite a task. I'm located out on the east coast, and we have lots of humidity and ocean air to contend with - as a result anything over 10 years old has been exposed to lots of rusting conditions. I did find a few rigs from the '70's behind some barns (a couple of bumpsides and dentsides) and have managed to salvage some stuff, including a 1979 F150 front end donor for PS and discs, but even this was in fairly rough condition.
IMG_2225.JPG


Otherwise, none of the real salvage yards have anything older than mid-'80's.

more to come...
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Last edited by SMH1970 on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Thu Jan 11, 2018 3:06 pm

I started pulling things apart to get a handle on the overall condition of the truck. My thoughts were to expose as much of the frame as possible so I could clean it up and paint it before winter, then I could work on other things in the shop over the cold months.

first step was to remove the box and clip to get a good look around:
IMG_2146 (1).JPG

IMG_2175.JPG

so far, so good
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- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

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popeyes71
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby popeyes71 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:48 am

:wel: Nice solid looking truck! The small amount of rust on the fender is an easy repair. And the upgrades that you are planning sound like a good direction to making your truck just a little easier to drive around. Looking forward to seeing progress on your project!
-Popeye-
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1966 Chevy Nova, 8 second 10.5 car

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:44 pm

popeyes71 wrote:And the upgrades that you are planning sound like a good direction to making your truck just a little easier to drive around.

my thoughts exactly! I had only driven the truck a few times between buying it and starting to strip iot down, but it was obvious it would be much more fun to drive with better steering and brakes.
- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:49 pm

Next step was to remove the engine, clean up the frame and get it covered. I pressure washed it numerous times with degreaser, then wire brushed the whole frame.
IMG_2206.JPG

Then I applied gloss black Tremclad / Rustoleum. I'm happy with the results - hopefully it lasts for a while.
IMG_2182.JPG
IMG_2292.jpg
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Last edited by SMH1970 on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:00 pm

With the motor out, I started to strip it down to get familiar with it (first FE I've torn apart) and to see what could/should be replaced.
IMG_2204.JPG

Generally, it was pretty clean inside. Almost all of the (plastic) valve seals were busted up and I found pieces almost everywhere they could go. Otherwise, things looked pretty good (to my untrained eye, at least).
IMG_2268.jpg


At the end of the day, the exhaust valves were badly sunk (explaining the low compression I had measured in some cylinders), so I swapped both heads with those from my 'spare' 360. Other parts replaced will include timing set, thermostat, oil pump, oil sending unit and all gaskets. This work is still underway.

when I split the engine and tranny apart, I also noticed that the clutch and flywheel were badly worn, so those will be replaced before putting things back together.
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Last edited by SMH1970 on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

Bullitt74
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby Bullitt74 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:25 pm

Nice solid truck to start with! :thup:
Steve F.
Red Deer, Alberta, Canada
'72 Ranger XLT, 4x2, 390-2V, C6, Wind blue & Wimbledon White
8)
Follow my build thread for 'Smokey': http://fordification.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=22&t=85070

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:34 pm

Bullitt74 wrote:Nice solid truck to start with! :thup:


Thanks. I was very happy to find it. The PO tells me it originally came from someplace out your way. That might help explain the lack of rust. Wouldn't find a daily driver out here in such good shape.
- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:12 am

Once I got the engine out and frame painted, I started to tackle the floor and underside of the bed, while it was off the frame. Took a day of persuading with blocks, pressure from the loader on my tractor and a BFH to get the bed floor somewhat straightened out (it had definitely been a work truck in its former life).

Generally, the underside was in pretty good shape - had to cut out and replace one piece of a crossmember, but otherwise solid. It got completely wire-wheeled and painted with gloss black - even up inside the upper fenders (that wasn't fun).
IMG_2272.jpg
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Last edited by SMH1970 on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:32 am

Next episode - front end swap.

Next job was to tackle the front end. I wanted to replace everything off my '70 (I-beams, spindles, radius arms, tie rods, etc), but started running into challenges. The radius arms off the '79 were in very bad shape, so I had to have the threaded ends removed and replaced.
IMG_2293.jpg

This turned out good, but then I realized that the strut brackets on the radius arms were also shot, and I could not (quickly) find replacements. At this point, rather than waste a lot of time searching, I decided to use the 1970 radius arms for now. (My plan is to eventually find strut brackets and install the 1979 radius arms, since they have the ends that can accept the sway bar brackets, which I also want to add).

Next issue was the radius arm bushings - everywhere I looked it was telling me to get the set with multiple pieces, but my truck has very thick frame mounts for the radius arms (which doesn't seem to appear in any diagrams), which meant that the proper bushings were the 2 piece rubber bushing - Moog part K8101 (I may be wrong, but I couldn't figure out another solution).
IMG_2284.jpg


These K8101 bushings (similar to the ones in the photo above) fit very well. Also had the I-beams and spindles blasted, had new I-beam bushings pressed in, and new kingpin set installed (with brass bushings), then everything got cleaned up and painted. Here is a shot of the finished product.
IMG_2291 (1).jpg


New rotors & hubs, calipers, pads and hoses are sitting on the bench in the shop, ready for installation.

I'm pretty happy with things for now, but will continue to look for the strut brackets and sway bar, so I can install the '79 radius arms and finish the front suspension.
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Last edited by SMH1970 on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:44 am

I'm almost caught up on the last few months of activity.

I managed to find a booster (with brackets) and MC off the '79 F150, but both have seen better days.

Thanks to all of the posts concerning the swap over to power disc brakes, I 'think' I know what I need to do - right now I'm trying to source the best (new) booster and MC. I'll definitely be back with questions once I get into the details of the brake system upgrade.

I found a Ford steering box to swap out my old manual box (I actually found 2 Ford boxes, but one is seized up - I'll work on it at some point to have ready as a spare). The 'working' box was cleaned up, painted and installed.
IMG_2315.jpg

The 'spare' 360 I received when I purchased the truck, was out of a F100 with PS, so I already have a working PS pump as well as the proper mounting brackets.

New tie rods are on order and should be delivered soon. I think I'll have things on track to finish up the front end (brakes, steering and suspension), fairly soon.
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Last edited by SMH1970 on Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

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Manny
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby Manny » Sat Jan 13, 2018 9:07 pm

DANG!!! Clean truck to start with and she looks fantastic with the frame paint all done up. Like it simple and clean can't wait to see more. :thup:
Just another Ford fool named Dan.
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woods wrote: The rust holes in my truck were a factory install (very rare).

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:28 am

Manny wrote:DANG!!! Clean truck to start with and she looks fantastic with the frame paint all done up. Like it simple and clean can't wait to see more. :thup:

Thanks Manny. Lucky for me it's in decent shape - not sure if I would be capable of much more. I'd like to be able to take the rebuild up a level (complete frame off,etc) but I'm limited by skills and $. I also want this to be a daily driver (at least in summer months), and want it back on the road by spring. Lots left to do.
I've been watching your project as well - you've made some tremendous progress (I especially like the toolbox install).
- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:37 am

Think I've pretty well caught up the project log so can start posting in 'real time' now. Lots of progress yesterday!

Started by installing the new hubs/rotors (+ bearings and seals). Went very smoothly.
IMG_2325.jpg

IMG_2326.jpg

You'll notice that I don't have dust shields :cry: My '79 donor was in rough shape and all that was left of them was a little scrap of metal on each side. I know I can order some from LMC or a Bronco parts place. How important are these - is it something I should install, or do they make any difference? I've read both positive and negative things about them.

Now on to the calipers and plumbing. The brake hose brackets off my donor were also shot. Since donors are few and far between in my area, I'm going to try to fab something on my own. :hmm:
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- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.

SMH1970
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Re: Freshening up my 1970 Sport Custom

Postby SMH1970 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:12 am

Managed to also get a lot of the engine put back together yesterday (timing cover, heads, lifters, intake and oil pan). It got a new timing set, but I used the old lifters. Heads were off a spare 360, since the original heads had badly sunken exhaust valves. I didn't put a lot of excess time into paint prep, but did I use a wire brush a lot and degreased a few times with various degreasers. I wanted to be sure the paint stayed on for a while, at least. Cleaned out all the thread holes and bolt threads before assembling and also took the time to clean/degrease bolts and paint the heads.

This is my first engine rebuild, so I was pretty careful (anxious) with cleanliness of gasket surfaces before putting things together, so it probably took longer that it could have. That said, I was not in any rush, and may as well do it right the first time (or at least as 'right' as I can). I had some confusion over which gasket sealers (non-hardening, RTV, etc, etc.) to use in which situation but hope I got close enough (Permatex #2 Blue on both sides of timing cover gasket, Permatex high-temp RTV Red around water passages both sides of intake gaskets, Permatex Ultra RTV Black on oil pan and intake end gaskets). Let me know if I messed up anywhere...
IMG_2334.jpg


IMG_2335.jpg

For comparison purposes, here is what it looked like when it first came out of the truck.
engine before.jpg
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- Steve
1970 F100 Sport Custom, 360 with 3 on-the-tree, No PS, no PB, no AC. Boxwood green / Wimbledon white.
Plans: power steering, power front disc brakes, clean and freshen from ground up.


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