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Old 01-21-2012, 11:22 AM   #11
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Location: Black Hills of South Dakota
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Year: 1939
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Engine: 95hp Flathead
Re: Bullethole - 39 Ford Skoolie

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tango
she looks worth the effort...and Bondo.
Hopefully not much Bondo, I plan on relacing most of the sheet metal.

My original plan for Bullethole was to restore the running gear and add period speed equipment It had a 95hp flathead, and I was thinking of aluminum heads, Fenton cast iron headers, and a three duce carb set-up, as well as some internal mods. Finish that off with a beehive oil filter, and some chrome acorn nuts on the heads and such, and it would be a sweet looking engine.

So, to that end I started looking for a parts truck. In addition to the front sheet metal, someone had cut off the steering wheel, and all of the instruments in the dash were shot. Talking to my brother in law, I found out that his uncle might have one up on the homestead. Licjkily the homestead is only a couple of hours away, so with trailer in tow, we were off to the uncles place.

The truck was indeed a 39, but unfortunatly it was in terrible shape. It did have a steering column, and the grill had some usable ribs if I wanted to do some cutting and welding to repair mine. The carb and oil pan were off the engine, so probably not much usefull there, and the rear axle had been replaced with a Chevy axle somewhere along the way. Most of the sheet metal was rough, but one of the cab doors was good, and could be sold, and patches could be salvaged here and there, so I decided to haul the thing home.

It had been sitting in place for years, without any wheels on it, and had buried itself in the mud. After a lot og grunting, sweating, cursing, jacking, and blocking, we got it up high enough to get the trailer under the rear end. We also discovered that a skunk or skunks had been living under it. Luckily, they were gone, but unluckily thier aroma was not.

After getting the old girl home and stripping it, we were able to save a few parts for the bus, and a few to sell at the next swap meet, and we scrapped the rest. A pair of front fenders and hood, and possibly a grill were still on our shoping list.

Bullethole has been an ongoing project, covering several years. I was tinkering with it now and then, but really didn't want to dig in hot and heavy until I had a plan and most of the pieces I needed. A year of two after dragging the bus home, I found another 39 truck at an auction. It was in pretty good condition considering it's age, and very complete. It was roumored to run, and also had a 95hp flathead V8 in it. I was the successful bidder on it, and added it to my collection of parts for Bullethole.



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Old 01-22-2012, 08:01 PM   #12
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Re: Bullethole - 39 Ford Skoolie

Great find! Looks like some pretty decent metal on that truck.
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Old 01-22-2012, 10:24 PM   #13
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Re: Bullethole - 39 Ford Skoolie

nice find! booo on the shoot em up crew!
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Old 02-27-2012, 12:20 PM   #14
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Re: Bullethole - 39 Ford Skoolie

So your replacing the engine, steering column, dash and all the sheet metal? What parts of the original bus are you keeping besides the frame?

It sounds like a fun project although a long one.
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Old 02-28-2012, 11:01 AM   #15
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Re: Bullethole - 39 Ford Skoolie

It would be easier just to get an existing 1 1/2 ton chassis, and put the bus body on it, especially since it would be a good idea to remove the body during restoration especially since it is this old.
Then you would have modern steering and brakes. And if you wanted a flathead engine and tranny, they would be quite simple to install by fabbing up some mounts, etc.
That would certainly fool people when they looked at the engine compartment...
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Old 02-28-2012, 10:32 PM   #16
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Re: Bullethole - 39 Ford Skoolie

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Originally Posted by chev49
It would be easier just to get an existing 1 1/2 ton chassis, and put the bus body on it,...
I saw that and as tired as I am I read it as a Deuce and a half chassis. That actually gave me a good visual and a giggle. I actually would consider something like that if I had the ability to do that extensive of a fabrication project. That great looking bus body on a tough and reliable military chassis. It you make an impressive boon-docking rig. Now you have my mind buzzing.
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Old 02-29-2012, 08:58 AM   #17
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Re: Bullethole - 39 Ford Skoolie

I had thought of that before... That would be sweet. The ultimate offroad skoolie!
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:33 AM   #18
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Re: Bullethole - 39 Ford Skoolie

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMKing
So your replacing the engine, steering column, dash and all the sheet metal? What parts of the original bus are you keeping besides the frame? It sounds like a fun project although a long one.
Not even keeping the frame, will mount the body on the frame off the Winnebago. That will give me a more up to date and safer running gear, including power brakes, with disc brakes up front, power steering, automatic transmission, and a more powerful engine, not to mention it will make it easier to find parts and shops that are willing to work on it if it breaks down in the middle of nowhere.

I will try to keep as much of the original dash as possible, and would like to try to keep the original steering colum, if I can mate it up to the newer steering box. The gauges may pose a problem, I might have to use some aftermarket ones that fit in the original positions.

From the exterior, I would like it to look as original as possible, with the exception of the tires and wheels, which I will be upgrading to a current size, and the appropriate rims (not to easy to find decent 7.50 x 20's nowdays unless you want to go with bias ply).
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Old 03-02-2012, 10:49 AM   #19
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Re: Bullethole - 39 Ford Skoolie

Here are a couple of shots of the Dodge/Winnebago chassis that I will be using. You can easily tell what the ugly beast was from the first one. All of the nose section and floor for the drivers area were welded to the frame, but came off fairly easily with the application of a sawsall. The original floor was a sandwich of 1/4" plywood and foam sheet. There were outriggers welded to the frame to support the floor, which I cut of as I will not need them to support the bus body. I'll have to re-locate the large fuel tank on the side, as it will interfere with the entrance step. I may or may not keep the smaller fuel tank located in the rear center of the frame, depending on what it looks like inside (rusty?). Luckily the wheelbase is the same as the bus, so no problems there, just hope the radiator and all will line up with the front sheet metal without too may modifications.

While working on these pics, I adjusted the size of my previous pics I had in the earlier posts to 640x480, up from the smaller size and edited those posts, so all of the pics are appx 640.480 now.



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Old 03-02-2012, 11:16 AM   #20
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Re: Bullethole - 39 Ford Skoolie

Quote:
Originally Posted by chev49
It would be easier just to get an existing 1 1/2 ton chassis, and put the bus body on it, especially since it would be a good idea to remove the body during restoration especially since it is this old.
Then you would have modern steering and brakes. And if you wanted a flathead engine and tranny, they would be quite simple to install by fabbing up some mounts, etc.
That would certainly fool people when they looked at the engine compartment...
Great idea! I like the idea of putting the flathead back in, never really thought about that. I might have to keep it, and possibly swap it back in after I get the rest of the project done. I really wanted to keep it and dress it up with a bunch of period accessories (three duces, aluminum heads, Fenton cast iron headers, beehive oil filter, etc. My main concerns with keeping the original running gear had to do with the brakes, steering , and such, kind of like the one below (unfortunatly that one is not mine).

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