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  #11  
Old 08-04-2016, 05:42 PM
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This is going to make me want to work on my 78. Can't wait to see more progress.
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  #12  
Old 08-15-2016, 04:59 AM
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Here's a couple pictures of the track bar bracket I built as part of the 05+ suspension swap. It's modeled after the Ford OEM bracket, bolts to the frame and ties back to the engine cross member and bolts to it as well. It's all 3/8" and 5/16" plate. I made a jig for it too so I can reproduce it if needed.
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  #13  
Old 08-15-2016, 05:23 AM
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Here's some details on swapping the 78 cab onto the 96 fame:

1. Remove the rivets from the rear cab cross member and slide the cross member forward on its top holes. Use the top 2 forward holes in the frame and top rear holes of the cross member to bolt it firmly in place. Drill the other 6 holes needed to re-secure the cross member. This places the cab in the perfect foward/aft position for the bed to line up on several holes in the frame and has the fender opening correctly over the tires.

2. Drill new holes in the bottom of the cab just a little outward of the original holes to line up with the 96 cross member; the 96 mounts points are a little wider than the 78.

3. Remove front cab mount brackets from both frames. Cut the centers out of the 96 brackets and weld to the 78 brackets. The 78 body cab mounts are narrower and the holes on the brackets need to "come in" to line up properly. Aside from this one mod, the 78 brackets bolt up nicely to the 96 frame and have the proper "level" for the body mounts to rest on. This was the easiest way I could think of for getting the large, perfectly round hole needed for the body mount.

I'm working on the radiator supports now along with the radiator mounting brackets. I'll post those mods soon.
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  #14  
Old 08-20-2016, 04:47 PM
markfuga markfuga is offline
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All the mods to the radiator support are done. I had to make new radiator support to frame mount brackets because the 78 frame is narrower at the front. The 78 mount brackets were "in board" of the inner fenders and the new brackets are now "out board" to line up with the 96 frame brackets. The old "in board" brackets had to be cut back to allow space for the 96 radiator lower support. I cut them plumb to the support and boxed them so I could drill a hole for a bolt to hold the 96 lower radiator support. They are boxed to the width of the 96 lower radiator support.

The lower radiator support is the bottom section from the 96 and was cut where it starts to widen out. The lower sections fits well between the 78 inner fenders but I did need to trim 1/2 inch off each inner fender to give the width needed for the lower radiator support. Six bolts hold the 96 lower radiator support bracket to the 78 radiator support. One last mod was narrowing both rear facing sides of the 96 lower section to allow clearance at the sway bar brackets.

The upper radiator brackets are from the 96 support. I cut them off and welded them to the 78 support.

The AC condenser fits perfectly in front of the radiator. I had to "massage" all 4 mounting brackets to get it snug into the 78 radiator support. The brackets were all flattened out so it would tuck into the big opening in the support. The bottom two bracket had to be removed and lowered on the condenser for best fit.
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  #15  
Old 08-20-2016, 04:49 PM
markfuga markfuga is offline
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couple more pics...
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  #16  
Old 08-28-2016, 04:30 AM
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The firewall turned out to be more work than I was hoping for. I first tried some gentle massaging with the 4 pound hammer but it quickly became obvious that cutting out the firewall was necessary. I had to cut into the heater/AC box area as well to allow space for the down pipe. So 13 pieces of sheet metal later and a whole lot of welding, plus some trimming on the heater/AC box here's what I have.
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  #17  
Old 08-28-2016, 04:36 AM
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Here's a couple more pics. Notice I used this "re-sheet metal-ing" as an opportunity to fit the accelerator pedal. Although the pedal isn't in the pictures, you can see the three bolt holes for it. I also carefully spaced the sheet metal work around the engine so I can re-use the heat shield and still have a reasonable air gap between the shield and the engine. The shield is easily re-molded with a rubber mallet.
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File Type: jpg pic42.jpg (1.03 MB, 89 views)
  #18  
Old 08-28-2016, 06:41 AM
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That's unfortunate it required all that sheet metal work. Would a 1-2" body lift have helped?.....but I hate body lifts though.
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  #19  
Old 08-28-2016, 07:50 AM
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No, it's not a matter of up/down but rather forward/aft. Some "up" would help but I'm really pleased with where the body sits over the tires now so definitely didn't want to lift the body.

I "think" the engines are set back further in the mid 90's frames versus the late 70's frame. The reason I say this: there's too much extra space between the fan and the radiator. The fan shroud doesn't quite cover the fan so I'm going to need to make an extension on the front of the shroud to cover the fan (probably 1 inch). I've long since scrapped the 78 frame so I can't measure it, but I do think the engines are a bit more forward in the 70's trucks.

Another possible option for avoiding the firewall work would be to move the engine forward in the mid 90's frame. Not sure if this is possible though without looking further (oil pan clearance?). One draw back to doing this might be knocking the center of gravity out of whack that I'm sure the Ford engineers so carefully balanced these trucks around which allows them to handle like a fine Italian sports car
  #20  
Old 08-28-2016, 02:58 PM
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Yea, I thought about mentioning bringing the motor forward, but throwing sheet metal together is probably easier then rearranging everything but the axles. Lol.
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