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1979 Ford F150 - First Time Ford

Posted in Features on February 1, 2001 Comment (0)
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Photographers: Ken Brubaker

Josh Fenoff of Waterford, Vermont, has grown up around big trucks. From as early as he can remember, he has always wanted to have a customized four-wheel drive of his very own. At the early age of 15, Josh's dad embarked on a mission to build the young lad his very own truck. This father and son duo started their buildup with a '79 Ford F-150. Some 3-1/2 years later, they completed the truck. Now, at age 18, Josh's dream has come true.

Since this would be the first of many custom 4x4s that Josh would build, it was decided that he would take a rather conservative approach on this truck, which means that the straight-axle conversions and 44-inch tires will have to wait a couple of years. Josh and his dad decided that the perfect tire for the truck would be a set of 35x14.5x15 Super Swamper Thornbird TSLs mounted on 15x10 Weld Racing Typhoon wheels. To make this happen, the tired factory front coils were replaced with 3-inch Heckethorn coils, while the rear leaf springs were replaced with new seven-leaf, 4-inch springs, also from Heckethorn. To smooth out the ride, Heckethorn shocks were situated at each wheel. The 31-spline 9-inch Ford rearend with 3:55 ratio was strengthened by a custom-fabricated axle truss. As with all projects, a little of everything was touched by Josh. The original 400ci big-block V-8 was given a once-over by Jerry's Auto Repair in nearby St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The engine was disassembled, the block was bored and deburred, and the heads were replaced so that the current displacement is 408ci with a displacement of 9:5:1.

Many internal components were also replaced. Crane Cams pushrods and lifters now reside in the new block as well as Clevite bearings and a Pete Jackson geardrive. To ensure proper lubrication of these new components, a high-volume Milodon oil pump was installed just as a precaution. A Weiand water pump was also called for to replace the factory pump. To increase the breathability of the engine, a K&N Filtercharger was used. Rounding out the appearance of the engine compartment, the block and all other components were repainted. And for the finishing touch, a pair of Ford Motorsports billet valve covers was installed.

Continuing forward in the buildup, the father and son team decided to tackle the paint and bodywork. Once the flame paint scheme was chosen, the two began to prep the Ford for the Purple, White, and Blue PPG paintjob. With this accomplished, it was time to move on.

Josh selected All Seams Fine of Waterford to reupholster the interior in a blue tweed material that complements the exterior. While the interior fabric was being cut and sewn, Josh custom-fabricated a new dashboard, which houses the Auto Meter gauges and the Alpine head unit that controls the 800-watt sound system. Keeping safety in mind, a 3-inch Smittybilt rollcage was installed.

Upon completion of Josh's new truck, father and son seem to be very pleased with the end result. It's not every day that a father and son choose to tackle a project such as this one and actually follow through with every aspect of the rebuild. We wish Josh a lot of luck with his new creation and welcome him into the wonderful world of truck customizing.

For More Editorial & Product Information - Go To Gr8ride.com

SPECIFICATIONS
Vehicle : '79 Ford {{{F-150}}}
Owner/hometown : Josh Fenoff/Waterford, Vermont
Engine : 408ci Ford V-8
Transmission : C6
Axles/differentials : Ford 9-inch 31-spline (rear); Dana 44 (front)
Suspension : 3-inch Heckethorn coils (front); 4-inch
Heckethorn springs (rear)
Wheels : 15x10 Weld Racing Typhoon
Tires : 35x14.50x15 TSL Thornbird
Other : Auto Meter gauges; custom dashboard;
Alpine sound system; Smittybilt rollcage

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