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Old 05-30-2012, 09:14 PM   #1
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'48 Ford COE Conversation

My New Project!! Have a '48 F-6, 3/4 ton Ford COE, 3600 lbs. Making a 5th wheel set that includes a '26, 5/6000 lb. Prowler 5 ver, no slide..yet., painted to match, Color not decided. Mgmt comitee still selecting colors.
Installing a '84 350, 4 bolt main with Manual 4 speed Tranny.
Question, prefer not to have dually rear end, what gear ratio for good pulls for highway travel with limited elevated 8000 ft pulls, or should I go Dually? currently has 26 in wheels with break down rims. would like to go to 20 in. F-250/350 Radial tire. Any suggestions on front end? Objective is to keep as original looking as possible.
Ken
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Old 05-30-2012, 09:40 PM   #2
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Most certainly need pictures.

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Old 05-31-2012, 06:04 AM   #3
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Where's the photos.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Bruce C View Post
Where's the photos.
agreed
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Old 05-31-2012, 01:40 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Orchardhill View Post
My New Project!! Have a '48 F-6, 3/4 ton Ford COE, 3600 lbs. Making a 5th wheel set that includes a '26, 5/6000 lb. Prowler 5 ver, no slide..yet., painted to match, Color not decided. Mgmt comitee still selecting colors.
Installing a '84 350, 4 bolt main with Manual 4 speed Tranny.
Question, prefer not to have dually rear end, what gear ratio for good pulls for highway travel with limited elevated 8000 ft pulls, or should I go Dually? currently has 26 in wheels with break down rims. would like to go to 20 in. F-250/350 Radial tire. Any suggestions on front end? Objective is to keep as original looking as possible.
Ken
Ken. I sometimes come across as critical or mean when talking about project ideas. Please don't take my discussion as such. I get excited with vehicle modification and bench racin' shop talk. So please take this as friendly bench racin' shop talk. And I've done this sort of thing many years ago and over the years.

1. Consider:
64 year old chassis. It has seen a lot of stress and flex. May have many hidden stress cracks and/or some about to show up.
Back then a lot of cold rolled steel and rivets.
This chassis was built to 'work'. And at about 45 to 50 mph max.
Suspension springs of that era would break rather than bend or rebound when over loaded or shocked. Spring technology has come a long way since this work horse was built.
2. 4 bolt 350 would go nice in a shoe box hot rod (55-57 Chevy). Yes, it will hold up to 'some' abuse. But. 10k pounds up a 7% grade will have the 350 running some high rpm and low ground speed. Big block might be a better choice for longevity and fuel milage.
3. 4 speed manual trans. If it is a Saginaw, Muncie or Borg-Warner car type tranny you may want to practice changing broken transmissions. These are great for 350 powered shoe boxes. If it is the Granny/truck 4 speed you really have 3 gears and a creeper. Not much of a range for all around pulling of 10k pounds. Especially starting out up hill. 4 speed automatic may be a good idea.
With the 350/4 speed, 4.11:1 gears would be your working gear. 3.70:1 might be a little tall for 'pulling out' or starting up hill.

If I may suggest from mine and others past experience. My opinion is you would be money, time and finished product ahead by finding a later model 3/4 or 1 ton complete truck chassis and mounting the modified COE body and bed on it. This has been done many times with great success.

You would have advanced technology engine/trans., drive line, suspension, electrical system, Brakes, cab interior, etc..

I envy you having a COE to work with. In the 70's and 80's they were hot rod fad material and began disappearing from back yards and farm yards into hot rod shops and project garages. Hard to find now.

You might do a google search for Ford COE and see what you come up with for info or may find one already set up.

This does sound like a fun project. Kinda wish I could still do that kinda project.
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Old 05-31-2012, 11:02 PM   #6
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That sounds like a nice project! I wish I still had my shop and the funds to do a project like that. I seen an old Chev, cabover done on a Duromax chassis. It was really nice. I would like to do one on a Dodge cummins chassis. Good luck with your project, and keep us posted.
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:46 AM   #7
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[QUOTE=Orchardhill;1194775]My New Project!! Have a '48 F-6, 3/4 ton Ford COE, 3600 lbs. Making a 5th wheel set that includes a '26, 5/6000 lb. Prowler 5 ver, no slide..yet., painted to match, Color not decided. Mgmt comitee still selecting colors.
Installing a '84 350, 4 bolt main with Manual 4 speed Tranny.
Question, prefer not to have dually rear end, what gear ratio for good pulls for highway travel with limited elevated 8000 ft pulls, or should I go Dually? currently has 26 in wheels with break down rims. would like to go to 20 in. F-250/350 Radial tire. Any suggestions on front end? Objective is to keep as original looking as possible.
Ken[/QUOTe

Hi Orchard Hill, I do not mean to be critical, but I have been around a little. I am 74 years old and a retired cross country trucker.

Either the cab or the emblems have been changed. My dad bought a new 48 Ford F-6, it is a 2 ton truck with dual wheels. A F-1 is a 1/2 ton, F-2 3/4 ton etc. I have never seen 26 inch wheels. a 3/4 ton came with16 inch wheels, a F-6 with 20 inch wheels. You call this truck a "coe" that is Cab over engine. Ford made this in an F-6, but not in a 3/4 ton model.

Another Gentlemen gave you some excellent advise in reference to chassis, frame, springs etc. I would agree with using a late model roll over chassis and mount your older cab.Then you would have enough truck to do the job and some updated amenities. If I did not do this, I would save that old truck and keep it original as a toy or show truck, but I would not load my family in it to pull a 5th wheel. There may be room for you and mama and a minature puppy. good wishes, old trucker
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Old 06-02-2012, 05:57 PM   #8
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Wow. Good catch on the F models and the wheel sizes Trucker. Good catch.
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Old 06-04-2012, 10:14 AM   #9
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COE (Cab Over Engine) Group just set up... - THE H.A.M.B.
join this group . get lots a ideas
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u may like this too
can we start a COE picture thread? - THE H.A.M.B.
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Old 06-04-2012, 01:29 PM   #10
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The very first vehicle I ever drove was a 48 Ford cabover truck. Raised on a farm in Kansas, we had this old truck which had NO brakes... none whatsoever. It was only used off-highway, so it worked out OK. The bad part was pulling it into the roundtop and getting it stopped before it hit something. The only way I could do it was to be in compound and kill the engine at just the right time!

Can you imagine a 9-10 year old kid bearing down on you in this tall truck with no brakes? I have no idea why my dad let me drive that thing at all, let alone learn how to drive with it. I guess he figured if I could drive this rig without bending it up, I could drive anything. Must have worked since that was nearly 60 years ago and I've never had an accident (knock on wood).
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Old 06-05-2012, 03:20 PM   #11
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Ken; A couple years ago, we were in Indianapolis, This 1941 COE was on the next site. Towing a trailer with a Harley on the bed behind the cab. Beautiful restoration. Our Pug "Lily" liked the license plate...



Enjoy:
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:02 PM   #12
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That rig has certainly had some beautiful work done on it.... I'll bet it even has brakes !!
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Old 06-06-2012, 05:40 AM   #13
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Have you considered an older motor home chassis ? they are set up for a cab forward and have straight frame rails making mounting a bed easier.
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Old 06-06-2012, 06:15 AM   #14
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I agree, old cab on newer chassis would be safer and better in the long run.
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