1954 F100 short bed body onto a 1999 Ranger short bed Chassis | Page 2 | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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1954 F100 short bed body onto a 1999 Ranger short bed Chassis

@Josh P. I'm sure that Dakota Digital has some nice products but I believe what I have figured out will work. I have been wrong before.
@donalds The R code color even though the code for it may have changed was used off and on for two maybe 3 decades. D seems to be the color I pic more than the others. H was what was on the truck originally. I would like to see D in person. In the early fall I will need some paint to paint the bottom of the floor. I could still change my mind. However the bottom may end up being a different color than the rest of the truck. R makes me think of race.

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I would paint it either yellow or green from the color chart.

Here are a few pictures of F100s from around the internet. I couldn't find one of every color on the chip chart.

This was originally on Craigslist in Nashville, TN area. $22,000 wasn't actually a bad price for what it is. It's a
'56 put onto a Gen II AWD 4dr Chassis. Looks good and I bet it drives well.


I'm kinda stuck on the blue with black fenders. It looks so '50s to me. @Mike65 I saw one yellow
with black fenders and it reminded me of a bumble bee. Plain yellow looks good. If I find the yellow over black one again
I will add it. Not all of the trucks pictured here are 1954s. Twin Cities Assembly Plant would have been in the Highland Park
neighborhood of St Paul Minnesota on the very long Mississippi river. IIRC Rangers were built there.

I like that 2nd one and the last one. If there was a very dark green that would be a great color, which was an OEM choice in the 1998-01 range.

As I have been cutting away the damaged body of the Ranger truck I've been careful not to get ahead of myself. In the end most of the Ranger body will be cut away. I have kept the firewall intact for now to hold all of the systems intact. The AC, the intricate wiring and the Ranger seating area which included the pedals and steering column. I want to copy the geometry of this area. I don't want it to feel like your driving and old truck or a car. The Explorer/Ranger fit is kind of "Cruck" to me. It is quite different than the '54 F100. Sitting/using the old truck is like driving an old truck. The clutch/brake pedals go through the floor much like an old tractor. If you've ever driven a 1947 Farmall M you know what I mean. Also the old F100 steering column sticks up a lot straighter than the Rangers and Explorers. I've used the term ex/ran before and I may again. I you own a 1998-2011? Ranger and a 1995 to 2001 Explorer you understand where I am coming from. I want to make the '54 feel like you are driving an ex/ran. Also I've said before I will not be using the Ranger steering column or brake pedal brace. I'll have to modify an original 1954 column and build a custom brake pedal brace/support. I found this piece online to get design ideas from. As I Fab it up I'll start with the help of CAD. "Cardboard Aided Design". Then transfer that to 3-16" scrap paneling then transfer the patterns to 3/16" plate steel. picture below is of an aftermarket piece a Company sells to install in the old truck cab.
1953-56 brakepedalbrace.jpg

Here are 3 pictures from today 7-25-21. This is the current condition of the Ranger half of the project.


That is a pair of Eddie Bauer seats and I thought that they were going to bolt right in. Nope! the Ranger cab floor and an Explorer front floor board area are different. By the time I modified part of the Explorer seat tracks to fit, the rear of the seat up/down feature was lost. I will be using some kind of bench seat. Originals a very hard to come by.

I have been over estimating the mileage by about 30K. This truck is barely broken in. In 2009 it was a clean $4000 short bed Ranger. Mid day I took it for a 1/2 mile ride to warm up the engine, cool down the AC, scrub the light rust of off the rotors and lube the wheel bearings. I add 2 gallons of fresh fuel every two weeks or so.
ADDED-Later today I was unable to do anymore "carving" on the Ranger as I was hoping. I had to take a 36 mile round trip to go get a $1.82 bolts to fix the rider (mower). before I left though I pulled the '99 back in to the container, shut it down and was unable to remove the key. I guess the parking lock feature malfunctioned. This summer I have been removing the key because I don't want the devious neighborhood kids to get in and start and hurt themselves or someone else. That is my only PATS key. tonight I'll disconnect the battery to keep it from being started. Hopefully 8 YOs wont be able to figure out that much. I'm paranoid ever since the kids broke out half of the windows in a mobile home on my property.
ADDED-Tues 7-27. It was already in park. I was able to pull real hard on the column shifter towards the left. Then was able to remove my only PATS key.
I hope to be able to work on the cab soon but at work we have 4 1965/66 coupes to build. Two to refurbish and two more on the restoration end of the spectrum. Check back from time to time and will show more parts acquired and some smaller pieces getting worked on.
7-28. In light of the minor column/tumbler issue I'm going to go ahead and remove the PCM and send it to Ocala Florida to have the PATS disabled. After it's reinstalled and working I will get a plain key cut for it to have as a spare.

Steering column. If you go back to post #13 you will see where I edited the info about the auto steering column. I thought that I had purchased a rare Automatic Transmission steering column tube but I did not. Below are pictures of the kind of 1953-1956 steering column cover that i need for my project. If any of you are in to these old mid fifties F100s or know someone that is keep an eye out for one of these. Back in the day I would think that not very many of these old trucks would've come with an automatic transmission.


Project update. Some of you know that I had sent the Ranger PCM of to Ocala FL for PATS delete. I don't understand all of the details and what all is involved but it is done now and the PCM reinstalled an it is confirmed that it is in fact bypassed and I know this to be true because the PATS box was unplugged when I started it It would not turn over until I grounded the dark blue wire with the orange stripe.

A few more parts have been purchased. Mostly small stuff. A new hood emblem. Tail gate chains. 1 left inner apron. Also I bought a used original front bumper from a guy in Ohio. Oh yeah. On Ebay I bought a pair of new rear tail light brackets. Lately I have spent countless hours figuring out what all is going to be involved using the 1954 F100 steering column. That is one of the reasons I deleted PATS. The other is I'm messing around with a lot of the wiring and didn't want to have a PATS issue keep me from starting the vehicle. More later.


Sunday and Monday I got a little time in working on the Ranger chassis part of my project. On Sunday I removed the front shocks to use on my blue '97 that I am going to sell while there is a used car shortage. The chip shortage for new cars is having a trickle down affect and even the 20+ years old vehicles are bringing decent money. On the Ranger I want to replace the front and rear shocks with a good quality affordably priced shock absorber for highway use. The old ones were original and still functioning properly with no leaks.
Monday I worked on the wiring for several minutes. It's nice to be able to sit in the seat with the cold AC blowing in my face. Previously I carefully cut away the dash pad from the rest of the dash assembly. This is not the normal way to remove a dash assy from a Ranger or Explorer. I've kept the AC ductwork in place and the wiring too. Now with PATS deleted I'm not too worried that in my thinning of the harness that I will do something that will disabled the vehicle. A few years back I removed the air bag module before removing the air bags. Today I removed the GEM module and the rear antilock brake module and brought inside here to the laptop and internet and identified both boxes using the FoMoCo part numbers. I knew about the GEM box but It didn't dawn on me until I identified the rear antilock brake module that that's what it was. I plugged it back in and I'm not removing it for now. The GEM as many of you know has things to do with supplying power to the power windows when the key is turned off before opening the doors, which this truck doesn't have power windows and it has to do with several other things. I read through the list briefly. I wont be needing it and between the PATS module and GEM module there will be quite a few wires that I will be able to delete. I've been unplugging these boxes while the engine is running and the AC on because I don't want to take out anything that has to do with the AC or heating system. So far so good.
Not too long ago my tail lamp harness surfaced. I knew that when I was dealing with the bed and bumper that I had saved it. I will have the 5 wire style of tail lamps functioning compared to the old '54 it had the 4 wire style. More on that later.

I haven't been able to work on my project any during the week but I did buy a pair of new tail lights. Any of the work that I'm do to it right now is to make it drive and be legal as far as lighting and other safety equipment. So in my state once the cab is on and everything is functioning and seat belts and bumpers installed with a license plate and insurance I can drive it. This is good because at my Shop I don't have storage space for any vehicles not being worked on but I do at home have a storage spot in the dry for it. From home to work is 4.75 miles.


It's been a couple of months since I have been able to start the Ranger. It seems that my budget two year warranty Wal-mart battery finally bit the dust. I guess that 5 years out of a cheap one is pretty good. I did go purchase a new one.
I haven't had time to work on the truck project. Finished a 1970 Mustang resto in the fall, started a 1965 Mustang coupe restoration, finished some other projects and getting out other collectable autos from behind the old Shop and selling them has taken up all of the time lately. I have been collecting parts for the '54.
Here is a picture of the front grille that me and my wife drove up to Nashville to purchase today.
nashvillee 54 grille.png

The drivers side has had a little work as you can tell by the shiny paint from the last Century. I looked at the back and not much filler. The right side is 1954 original (67 years ago).
Edited 2-17-22 After closer inspection the right side off the grille appears to have either been in a fire or more likely someone has used a propane torch to heat up the paint and scrape it off.
Hopefully I will be able to get a lot of time in on the project this summer. I still need a spot in our body shop building at work.

I like that era of truck. The 50s cabover fords are sexy.

I bought a new battery for the Mountaineer and used it in the Ranger today. The old one finally bit the dust. I hope that it fits the Mountaineer better than the Ranger. It was too long for the tray and too tall. When I went in Wal-mart Auto Center, I had to come in the the front. The battery section was depleted. I had to settle for a Marine battery.
Today when I sat down in it to start it, nothing. Then I remembered that I had to turn on the hidden toggle under the **** down under the **** ***. I installed the switch to the blue wire with the orange stripe and to a body ground wire. I turned it on and it started right up. I warmed up the engine until heat was blowing out of the vent. I'm glad that the blend door is still functioning.
Below is a pic of the reverse tilt hood kit that I recently purchased

Well it has been a few months since I have been able to work on the '54/99 Ranger project or the MM with the 5.0 in it. Seems like work gets in the way. A big Galaxie took up some of my time this early spring but it is the '92 that got interjected at work that is taking up some recent time lately.
Today at home I was able to get in a good hour on the Ranger part of the project. I was working on the wiring. I had 6 dangling connectors no longer hooked up to anything. 2 of them were for the stereo and whatever system that gets installed will be stand alone. I would trace the excess wires back as far as I was able to get to without taking out the fiberglass duct work for the AC and the steering column is attached to the ductwork. I'm still keeping the platform running/driving at the moment but I do know that when more disassembly occurs in order to install the '54 cab shell I will be able to see the other ends of the wires and either take them out of the connector that they are in or clip and heat shrink a little piece of shrink on the end of those wires. I'm sure there are a number of you guys that can tell me what the 1999 Ranger GEM module does and if I can eliminate it and its wiring too. The Ranger had manual windows and no electric door locks. It was a pretty stripped down model. Last year I sent the PCM to Ocala FL and had the PATS delete done to it so I was able to clip those excess wires back too. If I wasn't exactly sure that the wires did or didn't do something, I would start up the engine and watch the gauges to see if any change. Here are two pictures. I hope that you can see them ok. I used my flip phone camera.

Forgive me for not cropping. Something else that I need to learn how to do.

Back in August/September 2021 I had the PATS disabled from the PCM. I had also removed two more modules. Soon thereafter I put one of them back in that I thought was the GEM module. Apparently it wasn't. I just got this off my shelf of extra parts and looked up this Ford part numbered box and it is apparently the GEM module which I removed back in the Aug/Sept time frame and yesterday chopped the connectors out.

I will keep it and the connectors for now. I don't think that I'm going to need it though. My speedo/odometer is a cable driven piece that I will use a 1993 Mustang speedometer cable that also has an electronic output on it for cruise control. There are several things that will come up as I build this vehicle that will have to be addressed at that time.

Mechanical cable and electronic output from this 1993 Mustang cable assembly
Yes, I did talk about this last year in post #10

At work we almost have our sandblast department entirely reworked. It takes a lot of air CFM to run sandblasters. Also having a good supply of dry, sifted sand is necessary. We have had a problem keeping a steady sand supplier. Hopefully we will have this worked out about the time that we have the 3rd compressor back online. The 3/4" supply line straight off of the compressors was the biggest improvement. during a test run the regulator at the blasting machine had to be brought down to 60 PSI. It was pelting me through my clothes. The PPE is nearly squared away with the last part of adding an air chiller to the fresh air supply. I see why companies that sand/media blast were charging $125- an hour (2 years ago). That price could be up to $150- an hour (run time) now. The math is 20 minutes is $50-. I'm sharing this because this will be the next phase and when it gets more interesting. Sandblasting the 1954 F100 cab and Epoxy priming it before it gets mated to the Ranger floor/firewall. Stay tuned....

What does this box (module) do?

What ABS module did that come out of?

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Yep! I guess y'all looked it up before I did. That's currently in the '99 Ranger, I'm glad that I didn't cut that out of the truck. It has the 2 wheel RABS.
I lost the speedometer function when I cut out the GEM. I'm not going to need it I don't think unless it affects the transmission function. I didn't intend to cut out the GEM. I got ahead of myself a bit. I Should have checked part numbers first.
Question: Does the GEM talk back and forth to the PCM as it has to do with shift points etc? At least I have the wire and the GEM if it needs hooked back up.