Heavy Meddle 1956 Ford F100 Australia

Yes, folks, I'm back again with another F100 project! Can't wait to get stuck in! Hope you follow along if only for the laughs! Yes, that's right! We've got ourselves another truck to work on. It's a 1956 F100 and I can tell you it is gonna take a TON of work to get her up and running. So, as I used to say (and still do) stick around...things could get ugly!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Modifications to Tuff Mounts design to suit 351 Cleveland into 1956 F100

 Blake, from BW Fabrication, fabbed up some nice 6mm plates to allow the Clevo to be welded to the chassis of the f100. The universal kit that Tuff Mounts supply doesn't go anywhere near being long enough to allow the engine and the mounts to harmonise together. But thanks to Blake, this is all about to change.

A pity that he didn't quite make it in time to weld the whole deal together before the engine went off to get rebuilt, but that just means the boys at the workshop might be able to weld them in while they are fitting the engine back into the bay. If not, I'll get Blake to come back and weld them in. Trust me, one look at my welding and you'll understand why I won't be doing it.

The plates follow the same contours of the original plates, but have been extended quite a long way. They are definitely going to get trimmed by at least a good few inches. You will notice there is a tacked piece of plate top and bottom of the side plates and both Blake and I thought that would be necessary as a reinforcement of the unit due to its significant length.

Gotta say, I think they look great! Can't wait to get them fitted up, but by that time, the engine should be running!

So, is an air compressor totally worthwhile nowadays?

 Some time ago, about a year ago to be fairly precise, I was advised by a guy who was gonna do some spray painting for me, that I needed to invest in an air compressor for him to use.  If you scroll back through some earlier posts you will notice I bought this unit:

It was on special on eBay for $399 and I saved a whopping 45 percent on the unit. 

And so far it has proven to be totally excellent. I have used it plenty of times when bead blasting and spray paining panels (with very poor results- but I blame the cheap guns from Supercheap Auto on that one) 

The retired guy did use it a few times on some panels with good results using his own guns, and then I fired him on account of him taking two days to cut and shape one single piece of steel plate. And at $300 a day, that wasn't adding up so well.

But, back to the compressor. Apart from the fact that it is a nice thing to have, because it aesthetically looks nice in the garage, and (used to) serve a purpose, it IS a bit of a big thing in my small space and it IS noisy AF and the guy next door is a shift worker, and so on. PLUS, when I look around at other spray painting options, I see a lot of people using electric machines and cordless machines doing a reasonable job of things. And I don't mean only painting. 

I mean, you can buy a decent electric spray gun setup for under $100 and it will probably work better than my setup. Plus, it's portable and heaps quieter. 

And what about air tools? With the progress these cordless power packs are progressing, there seems barely a need for a compressor any more. I don't need to pump tyres up, and if I do, I just go down to the service station. I'm more or less done with spray painting as I have primered everything and I will NOT be painting the truck. I never used it for grinding, cutting and only used it a few times for bead blasting but I found it very dangerous and stopped using it (the glass beads positively got in everywhere, even under sealed eye goggles and that scared the shit out of me). 

I use an angle grinder ( a cheap corded Ozito brand thing that works well), cordless Dremel and an assortment of corded and cordless drills, and really not a lot else. I really don't see the point in having one?

I guess it will soon be on Facebook marketplace...

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

I've just seen one of the meanest looking engines on the planet living in one of the ugliest cars

 Well, I just saw this trawling through that perennial time wasting app: Facebook...

From what little research I have conducted so far, it appears to be an 11.5 litre, quad turbo, 2400hp road legal Granada. (Ford Granada, I am guessing, although I have never heard of one. ) 

Here is it below.

Reminds me of a cross between a mkII mustang and a Ford Cortina circa 1980. 
But just forget about the car and gaze at that extraordinary engine.
Legend has it, a Norwegian guy imported a racing Ford engine and bunged twin Scania turbo's from a truck and just for the hell of it, whacked some nitrous in the mix as well. And, you know, why not?

Is that engine porn? Most probably. Pity the heat shielding wrap reminds me of the extra snags I put in the fridge after yesterday's barbecue. 

Gotta admire guys that just take stuff to the nth degree and then some more. Not a fan of the car, and you couldn't actually call it a sleeper with that massive snorkel thing hanging off the bonnet, and it's not so beautiful that it makes people go wee wee's in their Levi's. That is, until they look under that bonnet. 

Think of how nice that engine would look sitting in an F-truck. 

Monday, April 15, 2024

Not the dark side of the moon

 Not the dark side of the moon. Just a neat patch panel that took me flippin hours to shape into place. Was worth it in the end as it welded up fine. It did dip a smidge during the welding as I probably went too quickly welding it, but should be fine with a thin smear of filler. 

Other thing I did was spend some time on the seatbelt mounts, but they're not coming together so well. Might have to scrap and start again. 

Squirted a bit of Ford blue on the tranny. Came up nice enough for me. 

Hot off the press and almost ready are these righteous engine mounts that Blake has fabricated for me. They look super solid and are ten times better than the flimsy kiddy mounts that came with the Tuff Mount kit I bought recently. Just to refresh your memory Tuff Mounts make a universal mount to suit the Cleveland into just about anything...except for a 56 F100. 

When I pick them up off Blake tomorrow, I will give you a better look at them. The plate at the top is for extra reinforcement. Gotta be happy with that! I suppose my only concern is whether the headers are gonna hit these mounts. 

If you are thinking they are way too long, you are right. Blake made them longer than needed but trimming them wouldn't be too complicated. Seems a shame to cut these plasma cut beauties! 

Sunday, April 14, 2024

This must be love! Wife let's me put truck parts inside the house!


So, hands up who else's wife would let them store their panels and parts in the house away from the dust and spiders? I must be so lucky LoL! But every silver lining has a cloud, or something like that, and I do get the third degree from time to time, mostly relating to how long are these parts gonna be there? I point out to her that some projects can take years to complete. 

And that doesn't go down well. 

I am really trying hard to get this truck on the road this year, but we're already a third of the way through the year. 

Anyway, good news! The 351 is off to get reco'd tomorrow and I have finished spraying primer on the panels. 

More news soon! Stick around guys!

Friday, April 12, 2024

Gotta hand it to Engine Master Australia ! Sent the wrong air conditioning unit AND omitted sending the Compressor AND have ignored every follow up message!

 Well, in a nutshell I ordered this kit:


It was a good price and I knew the kit well, as I have installed one before in my 1954 F100. 

What they sent me instead was the Gen 5 kit.


Now, if it had turned up with everything as listed, I would not have minded. After all, it seems a more modern kit, and superior to the Gen II.  It also appears more compact and robust, and that is not a bad thing.

What IS bad is this:

They sent the kit without Compressor, drier or hose kit.  ** I have since located the drier, but the compressor and hose kit are missing.

I have tried emailing them and on Monday will try to phone to get this mess sorted.  Of course, they have a big disclaimer by saying something like "what is pictured might not necessarily be that accurate"

or, in their exact words:

Photo is generally representative of kit contents but contents may differ depending on application.

Seriously? Isn't this false advertising? No wonder it was a great deal! They excluded a $600 sanden compressor. (I would be expecting a Sanden SD 709 with this kit)

Friday, April 5, 2024

Not feeling the love at the moment...


Ever have those moments where you just take a step back and assess where everything is going? Like, where your life is going, and also where your priorities in life are leading you? 

Yeah, I'm having one of those moments. A moment that has been lasting quite a while now. And it's mostly about the truck, and where it is going, or not going.

Life just gets too overwhelming sometimes and you just have to take that big step back from things. I am the first to admit that I have thrown the towel in too many times with vehicles, and some of them I really should have kept and persisted with. But I don't think this truck is really worth the effort. 

I know I have come a long way, but there is still a hell of a long way to go. My deadline was to get the truck on the road for the 2025 Hot Rod Nationals in Bendigo. I have less than twelve months to get there. And as I stand back and survey the old girl, I am thinking...nah, not a chance. 

This week Blake is coming over to weld in the engine mount plates. That might just be enough to inspire me to continue. I'm very nervous about the fitment as I want to get the engine and transmission up under the cabin without surgery to the cabin floor, and I won't really rest until we do. He was wanting to come over this Friday, but I had to work. Judging by the threatening weather event  I probably should have stayed off the road instead of my usual 100 minutes each way drive. 

Once we get the engine in place, I will be booking it in for a rebuild. 

A lot of this stuff takes time, but it seems the last three months everything has more or less hit a brick wall. I know it isn't true; it just feels that way. Sometimes I look back at old videos I have taken of the truck and it makes me realise I have come a long way in a fairly short time. Here is an example:

My wife is probably right. She said I will feel happier once the engine has been built and fitted up and running in the truck. Everything else after that will probably fall into place...
Only time will tell.
The main thing I need to do now is just get home safely...

Monday, March 25, 2024

Day three of paint stripping. Boy, am I getting tired!

 Three solid days worth of stripping and sanding and what not else has finally produced this result

They're looking pretty reasonable so far. Still have the inside of one fender to finish and that is everything except for the rear guards which I won't be stripping as they are fibreglass. So, I am guessing a fairly gentle paper on those. I also have the tub to strip as well. It has some kind of excellent zinc coating on it, and I am wondering whether it needs to completely come off? 


Well, I was just reading this article from the manufacturer's website and they provide specific and clear instructions as to how to tackle the tub. Basically you rub with solvent, wash with detergent, rub down again (don't these guys know we have actual lives to get on with?) and then hit with fine sandpaper up to 240 grit. What could be easier? 

Friday, March 22, 2024

Stripping off for a good cause!

My wife has given me the orders to get cracking on the project or else!
So, for the past few days I have been hitting the panels hard, hoping to get them all completely stripped over the next week, and then hit them with 2k Primer. The plan is to get everything done including the tub and then just do some sort of marathon spray painting session. Not sure how that will work as I think I am going to run out of room. But at least all the stripping will be done.

Other things:
Pretty disappointed that I missed out on securing a good running 351 Cleveland locally. Guy had it listed two hours before I saw it and it was already sold by the time I saw it. He wanted 4 grand for it, but at least you could see it and hear it running, and it was just down the road. Bummer. 
Phil, the mystery mechanic I was gonna get to rebuild my own engine has disappeared, so, have decided to take the engine to IAS for its rebuild. 

Have ordered rear and window glass and the seat rails have arrived.
Bought my third tin of KBS rust seal for the floor, and after that is done, should be ready to fit up the seat rails and lay the sound deadening stuff. 

I've had a good go at the rear cab corner and still more to do there. Decided to go ahead and buy the opposite side one.
Got a guy fabbing up some engine mounts with his plasma cutter and he plans to fit the engine up after the Easter break. By then the panels will be painted up and we should be well on the way toward getting the engine booked in for its rebuild.

Friday, March 15, 2024

More information on Pro Comp heads for the Clevo

 So, I was enjoying a chat with a guy in the USA this morning about Procomp heads for the Cleveland. I was tending to portray them in a fairly negative light; something that was very hit and miss, but generally something to avoid. Not through any personal experience, mind you, just on hearing all the whispers about how crap those heads really are.

However, my friend was telling me he bought the 3v Procomp heads and mated them to a genuine CHI 3v manifold. He CNC'd  and ported the heads to flow at intake around 390cfm and around 290cfm exhaust. He is also running big stainless steel valves. My cams total lift is up around 764 with a 1.750 steel rocker kit from T&D Rocker. (Ouch! Pricey buggers!) These are very good numbers! 

Now, I always sucked at maths, but it doesn't take much adding up to discover these Procomp heads are not really that much cheaper than the real deal.

Get this:

225CC 3V CHI manifold $1330.00

CHI bare heads 3v $3333.00

add your T&D roller stud kit $3800

add other bits like pushrods, guide plates, head gasket, heads bolts and so forth and you are looking at an easy $10,000.

if we went Procomp heads, we are looking at a bit under $2,000 for bare 3v heads before significant porting costs which would probably bring them in line with the CHI heads anyway. So where would the benefit be? 

I just can't see any.

Friday, March 8, 2024

I can't go back to square one if I am going around in circles, can I?

 Feels like things have hit a bit of brick wall here. But in reality, they haven't. The cogs are still turning and the truck is lurching toward completion at a slowish pace. With a little injection of funds, I was able to finish up buying a couple of expensive items that were on my wish list.

I was lucky to secure a complete brand new Vintage air Gen II system for the truck for well under $3k delivered.  That was cheaper than ten years ago when I bought one for Dorothy my 1954 F100!

Even the sales guy at the shop told me I had bought a real bargain. Don't I know it!

Other things happening are:

met a guy called Blake who is happy to make me up some new plates for the Tuff mounts and weld them to the chassis in our home. That is streets better than taking them to Brendan (who cannot do them for the time being as he is flat chat doing other stuff) So, that worked out really well. Blake hopes to get them done in the next couple of weeks.

Phil, the mechanic has gone underground for some reason and I have lost contact with him. The positive thing is, even though it will cost me double, I am taking it to Illawarra Automotive Specialists for Peter to work his magic.

Which brings me back to the heads. Oh, no. Here we go again! 

I can't remember where I was at with the head saga on the previous post without re reading it (and spare me the indignity of reading my own drivel) but I think I was settling down to buy a set of used Closed Chamber heads. from a guy in Queanbeyan when it kind of dawned on me that 

a) they could be warped

b) they could be cracked

and I would have blown a few hundred bucks and another hundred in fuel and a day getting there and back. Although, it was still probably gonna be worth it. I found another guy who had a set for a grand and they had had some work done on them. But, I am not a mechanic and I don't really know what I am looking for when it comes to examining heads. I mean apart from the old ruler along the edge etc, there isn't much else I know. So, what I am saying for a grand these could be just normal heads cleaned up.

So, I started looking at alloy heads again, and got excited about the AFR Enforcer head; a budget head that was reasonably priced at around $1200 per head. After getting excited and almost placing an order, I contacted Outlaw Speed shop on eBay and spoke to someone there who advised AFR do NOT make a Cleveland head.


No, it's apparently true. They don't make them. Never have AFAIK. Well, wouldn't you know it? 

These are for Windsor engines. 

So, there is one horse less in the race. CHI are out, as they are way too expensive.  Procomp are out because they are way too unpredictable as far as quality goes. Edelbrock are out because they are not cheap and I have heard they are nowhere near as good as CHI. AFD are a lost cause because nobody answers the phone and when they do, they put you onto some guy who never rings you back. So, scrap them.

Suddenly we are left with...um...factory heads. 

How did we get back there again?

The next day...

I ended up buying a set of closed chamber 2v 302 Ford heads from a guy in Queanbeyan for a couple hundred bucks. They look like they will reco up pretty well. 

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Reco Heads are on their way!

 For a long while now I had been tossing up which heads to buy for the 351 Clevo. I read in the 351 bible somewhere that Open Chamber heads suck, and Closed Chamber were the one's to buy. That narrowed it down a little, but then there was the option of buying factory untouched 2v heads (And we are talking off a 302 Cleveland here in Australia) or buying something that had been worked over.

Pavtek make a beautiful 2v cast iron head from the original casting. Their quality is world famous, and the price is reasonable when you consider the work that has gone into upgrading these heads. At around $3500, they were a little pricey, especially when I initially did my search for alloy heads.

Whoa! What did I discover? Heaps! I learnt this: CHI are the reigning Clevo kings when it comes to heads. I learnt that if you want the best, you have to pay for it. I put in a request for a quote for their lowest spec stage one setup and after handing over ten grand, I'd have enough to buy some fish and chips and a half dozen scallops with lemon and two bottles of Pepsi. I'm not kidding.

So, off to second best. And I mean that respectfully. AFD heads have an enormous reputation for producing outstanding heads. The only problem with AFD is, I have no idea who to contact. I tried three times to leave messages. I left messages on their facebook page. I even rang their number and was told it was a wrong number and to ring some guy called Zoran from a mob called Competition Engines in Victoria. Mind you, they have a lively website and much better than the AFD facebook page which looks for all money to have been abandoned. So, I have no idea. I rang Competition Engine and I emailed them as well. Of course nobody bothered replying.  Beginning to wonder whether AFD is somewhat of a spent force these days? Correct me if I am wrong. 

There is also AFR, another company that makes excellent heads, and then there's Edelbrock, 

And then I discovered Procomp heads. And from what I learnt, discovered they were very hit and miss (mostly miss). Which led me to Speedmaster heads, Detroit Racing Product heads, and so forth. And I discovered they were one in the same.  That is, their aluminium casting came from China. 

And it all became too confusing and expensive.

So I went back to basics. 

My engine builder advised me to stick with a nice set of closed chamber heads. After all, I am only wanting a cruiser not a rocket ship. And so the search begins...

Curiously enough, they are not that easy to find. Plenty of open chamber stuff, but not many 302's around. In fact, hardly any engines.  And forget about looking in wrecking yards. This is not 1980 any more. 

Once we secure a set of heads Phil is going to commence the engine build. 

So, what else is going on? 
Well, the tailgate is almost at a stage where I can say it is at painting stage. Going to need a little more work, but it's manageable now. The MAR-K latches fit okay and all is well there. 
The handbrake cable is in and works well.
Brendan (X Piggy) is welding up my engine mounts soon and that can't happen soon enough. 
Phil, the mechanic is on board and nearly ready for the engine. 
The new wheels and tyres are on and look a treat!
Made up a funky locking piece for the battery cover out of a piece of spring steel from work. It was a bit leftover from our dead laminator. It was a piece of bar that was designed to allow the laminated page to slide off without catching. Well, I put it to a different use!

Works like a charm and just as ugly as the original. 

Another success story with the rocker covers. Finally gave up trying to clean these things. They were just too tarnished and old and after literally weeks of trying to get them shiny, gave up and hit them with some primer and some nice satin black paint. And then I just cleaned off the Holley logo for contrast. Whattaya reckon guys? 
Stay tuned! 
Things are starting to hot up around here! 

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Getting ready to ship her off for some engine mounts and tranny mounts

 X-Piggy  has agreed to weld up my new engine mounts. I decided on a set of Tuff Mounts from here

These will replace the funky custom job that is already on it. 

The engineer is happy with them and hopefully it will solve a few issues with engine placement. Currently it sits too high, so am hoping the new mounts will drop the engine a couple of inches and thus clear the cabin floor with the transmission (c4) 

Not much else going on. Handbrake setup pretty much done. Came up quite well. 

Basically now preparing the truck for a journey to get engine and transmission fitted. Also Brendan is welding in the upper seatbelt mounts that he made. 

Check out those weird engine mounts. Custom jobs directly bolted to the Jag front. They don't really work terribly well there. And anyway it is doubtful they would pass the engineering inspection. 

There is a good couple of inches we can find if we ditch these custom mounts seen in the foreground. 

Guys, don't you hate that? Why don't they make them snug so they don't do this when you pick the container up? 

Saturday, February 10, 2024

34th Goulburn Rotary Swap Meet

Put this in your diary, guys! Goulburn swap meet. These don't come around that often.

Sunday 7th April. (Saturday for sellers)

Goulburn Showground. Braidwood road there's a contact here: 0456245836 or email rotarygoulburnswapmeet@gmail.com

Thursday, February 8, 2024

My 351 Cleveland beast getting ready to be souped up!


Can't wait for the mechanic to take this old motor away and rebuild it for me. 

I am considering lowering the engine and bringing it further toward the firewall, as it currently sits on Jag ifs mounts. 

Tuff mounts have a universal mount that looks ideal for the job. It's here: https://tuffmounts.com.au/product/engine-mounts/tuff-mounts-engine-mounts-universal-ford-v8/

My engineer has advised it looks suitable for the job, so it is just a case of me aligning the engine where I think it should sit and go from there, checking clearances etc. X Piggy said they are happy to weld them in for me.

Still tossing up what sort of head I could buy for the engine. Was thinking alloy, and would not be impartial to Procomp blank heads and get a head shop to add the extras. Not being a mechanic, and a total ignoramus to boot, engine components leave me a bit out in the woods.

I have already purchased a Holley Sniper EFI unit (including distributor coil and whatever else for the engine and a Bosch electric fuel pump, so that is a start. 

I was reading from my 351 engine builder's bible and noted that the open chamber 351 heads were not the best and the author suggested they be tossed to the bottom of the sea. 302 closed chamber heads were more desirable, but I have got to understand they only work with a mild cam system and are prone to detonation. I don't know what sort of a big deal that should prove to be as I always use 98 octane anyway. 

So this opens a whole big can of possibilities. 

1. Do I look for a decent CC 302 head and get it reconditioned?

2. Do I just go for an alloy head setup? IF so, do I lash out on a very expensive head or buy Procomp  blank head and put my own valves etc in it? What is the cost compared to buying ready to install heads? 

I am starting to believe ALL alloy heads come from China and it's then up to the companies to work their magic 11 secret herbs and spices on the head. 

I could be wrong. Dead Wrong.

CHI apparently do an amazing head, but we're talking in the realm of somewhere near five grand for a complete setup. And maybe even more!

Cams? What do I get? Thinking hydraulic roller cam. Why? I dunno. A couple of guys told me so. LOL!

Sunday, February 4, 2024

Car event at Reddall Parade Lake Illawarra Feb 4th 2024

 Apparently, every couple of months these guys and girls get their cars out of the garage and drive down to Lake Illawarra to do the thing that car enthusiasts do best: talk cars! And I am just gonna let the cars do the talking while you check out a small sample of what was on display. A bit lucky we were as we had just gone down to the foreshore for our regular one hour walk by the lake, and by the time we go back to our car, the parking area was full of these things! 

My wife doesn't really get it when I say things like "this car excites me more than any show car." I think it is because it excites the imagination and tells us a little bit of a story of it's journey along the way. 

The new and the old Mustang together. I know which one I like! What about you? 

Okay, I don't mind beetles, but my wife absolutely loves them, so she insisted I take heaps of photos of this beetle. Sure, it looked authentic and all, but does it get my blood flowing?

Nup, not as much as a very nice XB Falcon coupe that looked very original. Dunno what happened to the headlights?

I think there is a ton of custom work going on here. I just can't put my finger on what sort of car it is. Anglia? 

We (my wife and I) both agreed this stunning Camaro was allowed to follow us home if it wanted to. Alas, the owner wouldn't let it. Clean paint and beautiful lines. Win/ win all day.  Couple of nice Torana's next to it which I missed snapping as I was right in the middle of the road and people were hussling through. 

What did I tell you? I said my wife loves beetles... Here's the same beetle from another angle. 

I'll bee honest and say I dunno what is going on here. A bearded four legged bee? 

I'm assuming this driver has a blue disabled sticker! The car looked very able. 

Someone else hogging the disability parking area. Great looking XP Coupe. There were a couple of them on display. 

Photogenic little buggers, those Corvettes!  Nice Monaro across the road. Just missed getting it in the photo. 

Half the car was parked in Lake Illawarra, the other half in Warilla. 

Right across the road sat a beautiful pearl Chevy and a very clean XP Ford. I was too lazy to cross the road for a closer look. 

This one was for sale. Under $40k Looked beautiful. A couple of people took photos so maybe it now has a new owner. My wife delicately pointed out the fact that I could have been driving around in a car like this instead of my mangled nightmare inside the garage. Women sure know how to kick a guy in the guts. 

An hour before there was just one car...ours, and a couple of pelicans. Couple of RX2 Rotaries came down for the drive. Keeping company with three Holdens.

Oh, god no! Another bloody beetle! Of course I had to take ten photos of it! 

Modifications to Tuff Mounts design to suit 351 Cleveland into 1956 F100

 Blake, from BW Fabrication, fabbed up some nice 6mm plates to allow the Clevo to be welded to the chassis of the f100. The universal kit th...