Help with Flathead Ford F-4 Truck

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Walker434, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. Walker434

    Walker434 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    294
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Local Time:
    2:58 PM
    Hello,

    My wife's boss is opening a bar/restaurant on Broadway in downtown Nashville. The bar is called ACME Feed and Seed becuase that was the name of the feed store back in the 40s and 50s. Her boss asked me if I could find him an old 40s - 50s era truck with a flatbed they could use for advertisement and put a band on the back for the big events.

    This is the truck I found. 1949 Ford F-4 with a flathead 6 and a 4 speed. It came out of North Dakota and I just got my hands on it yesterday. I am still in my 20s so I might need a little help from some of the older FABO members that have experience working with 6 volt systems. Thanks in advance for anyone that gives me advice I really appreiciate it.

    First question, do 6 volt batteries come charged? I bought a 6 volt battery from NAPA yesterday it doesn't seem to be charged. Do you have to charge before install?

    The truck doens't have a starter switch so I guess I'll have to wire one up myself. I'm just trying to get this thing running and driving. The furthest it will ever have to drive is 4 blocks in town so it won't have to be highway worthy.

    It's got one completely wrotten tire on the passenger side front that will have to be replaced. It's a 7.00-18 which is not common anymore. I found an old man yesterday that had two in stock brand new for $100 a piece! He is going to install them on the front as soon as I get it running. Turns out these wheels are 3 piece and you have to know your stuff to change a tire. I'll try to keep you guys up to date with my progress. Here are some pics. Thanks FABO!
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Rick@Laysons

    Rick@Laysons FABO Vendor FABO Vendor

    Messages:
    1,464
    Likes Received:
    193
    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2005
    Location:
    Lakewood, WA
    Local Time:
    12:58 PM
    Some of those old trucks didn't have a "starter switch", there was a little small foot pedal to start them up with. :D

    And see if you can find an 8 volt battery. That'll give the starter a little extra cranking power without having to make major upgrades to the wiring.
     
  3. Oklacarcollecto

    Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

    Messages:
    18,251
    Likes Received:
    284
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    North Central Oklahoma
    Local Time:
    2:58 PM

    Xs2
     
  4. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod Just another dumbass. Technical Editor

    Messages:
    46,193
    Likes Received:
    10559
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    How light is the battery? Sometimes they come empty and you have to buy the electrolyte and put it in yourself. X2 on the starter foot button. Probably down about where the firewall meets the floor over to the right of the gas pedal. My 49 Dodge still has one. Don't get real carried away with cutting and hackin on the wiring harness just yet. Most of that older stuff had REAL good copper for wires and unless somebody's done something stupid, it's probably all there and intact. I agree about the 8 volt battery. That's a good idea.

    Kick ass truck. I want one of those COEs in the background. lol
     
  5. Oklacarcollecto

    Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

    Messages:
    18,251
    Likes Received:
    284
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    North Central Oklahoma
    Local Time:
    2:58 PM
    BTW, your foot replaces the starter solenoid when you mash the starter pedal.
     
  6. chryslerfat

    chryslerfat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,621
    Likes Received:
    2216
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Monroe,Michigan
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    All of the 6 volt batteries I have bought were charged and ready. It is possible like said the one you bought didnot have the electrolyte in it. If I recall the Ford era you have there is a button on the dash for energizing the starter. Being you have the battery already I would not worry about going with an 8 volt. The systemis simple to work on and you should be ok. Study up on a point ignition they are very simple. Any other questions just ask.
     
  7. Oklacarcollecto

    Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

    Messages:
    18,251
    Likes Received:
    284
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    North Central Oklahoma
    Local Time:
    2:58 PM
    Is the 49 Ford positive ground? That might account for your battery problems if it is hooked up with a negative ground.
     
  8. chryslerfat

    chryslerfat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,621
    Likes Received:
    2216
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Monroe,Michigan
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    I believe it is positive ground, didnt think of telling him that.
     
  9. Oklacarcollecto

    Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

    Messages:
    18,251
    Likes Received:
    284
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    North Central Oklahoma
    Local Time:
    2:58 PM
    Google results are showing positive ground for it. Assuming all the people that posted about it, it would to appear accurate.
     
  10. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod Just another dumbass. Technical Editor

    Messages:
    46,193
    Likes Received:
    10559
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    It could be either so make SURE you figure that out BEFORE you attach a battery.
     
  11. Oklacarcollecto

    Oklacarcollecto Life is an experiment

    Messages:
    18,251
    Likes Received:
    284
    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2009
    Location:
    North Central Oklahoma
    Local Time:
    2:58 PM
    Many of us have expierence with them but we aren't young pups anymore and some things are just hard to remember. Buying an OEM repair manual for the F series trucks would be a huge asset for working on the truck.

    [ame="http://www.ebay.com/itm/FORD-1949-1950-1951-1952-F-Series-Pick-Up-Heavy-Duty-Truck-Shop-Manual-/290639613632?pt=Motors_Manuals_Literature&hash=item43ab788ec0&vxp=mtr"]Ford 1949 1950 1951 1952 F Series Pick Up Heavy Duty Truck Shop Manual | eBay[/ame]
     
  12. Walker434

    Walker434 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    735
    Likes Received:
    294
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2012
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Local Time:
    2:58 PM
    Thanks for all the replies. I have been doing some research and it appears this was originally a positive ground truck. The battery feels the same weight as most so I assume it is ready to go. It did already have water in it. Last night I put a volt meter on it and couldn't get anything. It has been on the trickle charger since last night so I will try again this evening.

    Rusty, the pics I posted were taken at the seller's place. He has TONS of cool stuff. You can look him up at Mike and Dick's Hot Rod Garage. Just google it. There is a 39 Dodge truck I would have loved but it wasn't as close to running and driving condition.

    I will tinker with the truck tonight and let you know what I figure out. Thanks again for the help.

    Here is a pic of the interier, see all the wires hanging around?
     

    Attached Files:

  13. 74Dusted

    74Dusted Stock Piler of 340's

    Messages:
    1,519
    Likes Received:
    122
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2011
    Location:
    Lewistown, PA
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    Foot Starter, uses a mechanical linkage to throw the bendix and bridge power to the starter. Many Foot Starter Levers have extra linkage that opens the throttle slightly at the same time, to make it easier to start. (My '48 Dodge has the additional linkage to open the throttle)

    It'll be Positive Ground. Converting to Negative Ground is simple. The Amp Gauge wires have to be swapped (reversed), that's pretty much it.

    Converting to 12 Volt is simple to. Swap out the light bulbs for 12 volt versions, replace the voltage regulator with a 12 Volt version (now would be a good time to upgrade to a Alternator instead of the ancient Generator)

    Install a Resistor to drop the voltage to 6v if you plan to power any original accessories (if 12 Volt replacements aren't available. But for Fords and a Chevy's, those parts are available everywhere).

    The wiring is twice as heavy as newer 12 Volt vehicles, and if it's in good condition, can work perfectly for the 12 Volt conversion (twice the volts, half the amperage). The starter requires no modifications to work with 12 Volt. Now would be a good time to add some fuses to the electrical system, you'll find it has no fuses (factory) unless it has had aftermarket turn signals added (in which case there will be 2 fuses and 2 turn signal/hazard flashers)


    Took me about an hour to convert my '48 Dodge Truck over to Negative Ground and 12 Volt (including the installation of a "modern 70's Chrysler Alternator & Regulator), using just parts I had on hand/laying around the shop. Reused most of the original wiring, added some additional wiring to power an aftermarket radio/cd player.

    Total cost? Free to convert to 12 Volt and Negative Ground, because I had an alternator, battery, regulator, fuse box, wire and a "Volt-A-Drop" Resistor to power my 6V (original) Radio, Heater and optional 2-Speed Wipers
     
  14. ntsqd

    ntsqd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Location:
    earth
    Local Time:
    12:58 PM
    Uh, the generator will need to have some work done to convert to negative ground. Otherwise it will charge the battery dead assuming nothing goes up in smoke.

    I'd take it one step at a time. Get it running somewhat reliably, and then if use justifies it do the 12VDC/Positive ground conversion. I'd simply put a second one of the same batteries in series with the one just bought rather than buying a 12 volt battery.
     
  15. nm9stheham

    nm9stheham Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    9,029
    Likes Received:
    1727
    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    Location:
    Waynesboro, VA
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    On a flathead, NEVER leave the ignition on for ANY legnth of time with the engine not running. If you do, it will burn up the coil very quickly.

    Edit> Ooops that's for a flathead V8; I don't know if the above applies for an inline six.
     
  16. WildCat

    WildCat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,564
    Likes Received:
    82
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2007
    Location:
    Southern Indiana
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    Where are the pictures taken at of all the COE in the background

    Boy the COE is what I would want to do if it were an old truck

    Didn't ever work on too many old trucks but have drove a few and back in the day there were some strange ways to start vehicles. Drive an old fire truck about the same vintage at the Mecum auction this year and think it had the starter switch on the floor
     
  17. moe7404

    moe7404 moe7404

    Messages:
    690
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2012
    Location:
    wichita, ks
    Local Time:
    2:58 PM
    time for a diesel rat rod. and dont forget to lower it. with a BIG air horn.
     
  18. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    37,532
    Likes Received:
    5229
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    Idaho
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    12:58 PM
    I don't think Ford ever used a foot pedal. See what looks to be a yellow wire coming out of the hole in the dash? I think a push button belongs there. Many of the older Ferds used a single terminal button, which grounded the terminal on the solenoid.

    Look at the photo, far lower left..........

    [​IMG]

    and..............my memory ain't all that bad............


    [​IMG]
     
  19. SpikeWills69

    SpikeWills69 Hopeless Mopar Gearhead

    Messages:
    1,558
    Likes Received:
    97
    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Location:
    Near ZMax Dragway
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    My neighbor is a huge Ford guy, has about ten older Fords from 39 through 66 (no trucks, but grew up on the farm, so...). All are in mint condition. I am sure he knows this stuff, will ask him tomorrow, if you haven't got it figured out.
     
  20. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod Just another dumbass. Technical Editor

    Messages:
    46,193
    Likes Received:
    10559
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    If it was me and the wiring harness looks pretty good, I would leave that pup as close to stock as I could. Nothing wrong with a 6 volt system. It worked then, it'll work now. The 8 volt batree upgrade won't hurt a thing, though. If all the company wants is a cool advertising piece, the most economical way will be as few mods as possible.
     
  21. ntsqd

    ntsqd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Location:
    earth
    Local Time:
    12:58 PM
    I want to say that the '48 F1 that granddad & I converted to 12VDC had that floor mounted starter 'button'. I know that the '36 GMC hay hauler that I drove had it.
     
  22. 67Dart273

    67Dart273 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    37,532
    Likes Received:
    5229
    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2010
    Location:
    Idaho
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    12:58 PM
    'Telln' ya it's a........

    [​IMG]
     
  23. RustyRatRod

    RustyRatRod Just another dumbass. Technical Editor

    Messages:
    46,193
    Likes Received:
    10559
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    Location:
    Georgia
    View My Photos
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    Most young'uns wouldn't even know how to start it or keep it runnin when cold. lol
     
  24. chryslerfat

    chryslerfat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    13,621
    Likes Received:
    2216
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2008
    Location:
    Monroe,Michigan
    Local Time:
    3:58 PM
    I stated that near the top of the thread. I guess we are both beating our head on a wall.
     
  25. ntsqd

    ntsqd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    11
    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2014
    Location:
    earth
    Local Time:
    12:58 PM
    Body style changed in '49 as I recall, that could've changed too. It was almost 40 years ago that we worked on that truck....