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Tuesday, May 1, 2012

1948 Ford F1 Pickup 6-12 Volt Rewire

The Ford F1 Pickup has an iconic look- the fenders kinda hug the headlamps and give it a friendly face. You've seen them in TV shows and movies, and probably on the street as well.

 Like many post-war vehicles, the Ford F1 is a sturdy, utilitarian vehicle, and it's really not surprising to see the mechanical bits working well over 60 years later. But time will take it's toll on the electrics, and that's where we come in-

This truck belongs to a friend and experienced Ford Guy here in Dutchess County. I can only say that he was very fortunate to "pickup" this barn find at a great price- all original and un-restored. After a few mechanical updates for safety reasons, the owner asked about a 12 volt conversion. Most of the original cloth covered wiring was very brittle and frayed, and a 12 volt system makes for easier servicing and driveabilty.

Really nice original quality harnesses are still available from some fine vendors, but practicality prevailed on this one. A simple new harness from Ron Francis was brought in with a 12 to 6 volt converter for the gauges, along with an alternator kit  from Mac's to improve reliability. It was kind of sad to remove the remnants of the lovely original harness, but most of it literally crumbled on the way out. This little bit was all that looked OK.

 This truck had the original Motorola radio and a heater as well, so the only thing to be added was the second tail lamp for safety and DMV regs. There was even a nice old-school Signal Stat 900 turn signal switch in there that was save-able.The complete installation took about 16 hours with all soldered connections and wire loom where applicable. The owner did the alternator and even converted the front markers to allow a two filament bulb for signals as well.

The plan was to keep as much of an original look as possible, so I used a bit of friction tape in places-

we'll just have to wait for some dirt to accumulate to get the right patina.

Under the dash, I left things exposed so that anyone could troubleshoot or add accessories as needed. A quick and easy update to an American Classic- the first of the F Series trucks.

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