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Thread: 1955 Ford COE Harley Davidson Edition crew cab Powerstroke Diesel powered truck build.

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    Not just tired..... RETIRED!!! pmmjarrett's Avatar
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    1955 Ford COE Harley Davidson Edition crew cab Powerstroke Diesel powered truck build.

    That's right, a 1955 Ford COE crew cab.

    I'm going to take a 1955 Ford C series cabover, a 1956 Ford F100, a nice 2000 Ford E-450 ambulance cut cab & chassis with a 7.3 Powerstroke diesel and a Ford crew cab pickup Harley Davidson interior and mash them together into one cool truck that can be driven daily and used for work or play, not a be trailer queen. Something you wouldn't be afraid to drive across the country and back. Something you can get parts and service from a Ford dealer if needed or get parts at a local auto parts store. It's going to combine almost all of my skills and experience to build this truck.

    I'm picking up the trucks in a few days and dragging it all home to hopefully get started within the next 2 weeks. Dang, my business is started and has a project but I don't have a name for the shop yet.

    For those that don't know me, here's a short resume. I'm medically retired US Army 82nd Airborne Division paratrooper. I was a petroleum laboratory tech in the Army. I have also served in the US Navy and US Navy reserve as a Hull maintenance tech, primarily working in shipfitting shops, and sheet metal fabrication shops. I have been in combat in desert storm, enduring freedom and Iraqi freedom and was awarded the bronze star medal in OEF.

    As a civilian I have worked autobody and custom paint and airbrush work, auto mechanic, heavy truck mechanic and body work, welding and machine shops, sign shops, over the road tractor trailer driving and RV transporting. I have been a shop supervisor in sign shops, welding shops and heavy truck repair shops.


    Anywho, enough about me. Here's a few pics to wet the appetite. Will get better pics when I get everything here by next weekend.










    My goal is something like these. I havn't decided on what bed style to build yet.






    Last edited by pmmjarrett; 03-14-2011 at 08:13 PM.
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    Moderator jimtoo's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Ford COE Harley Davidson Edition crew cab Powerstroke Diesel powered truck build.

    Mike will do a great job converting and combining these units into one really neat unit.... just wait for the play by play postings that Mike will make. I would really like to have one like the fourth picture in his post. Actually I would take any of them....Talk about a conversation piece.

    (Could you built it with a Duramax/Allison?)

    Jim M
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    Heartland: Director of Owners Interests jbeletti's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Ford COE Harley Davidson Edition crew cab Powerstroke Diesel powered truck build.

    Mike,

    You've got the resume to get this job done and we'll all be looking forward to the project as it progresses. Thank you for sharing it with is. I love the yellow truck in the pics you've shared. That would be an awesome looking toter.

    I hope to get by your place sometime this year as I will be in NC a few times. Love to see the build in person and meet the better half

    Jim

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    Senior Member Riverman's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Ford COE Harley Davidson Edition crew cab Powerstroke Diesel powered truck build.

    Wow thats quite an ambitious little project you have planned!
    Can't wait for the in-progress pictures.
    Gary & Colleen
    2007 Dodge Laramie DRW
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    Not just tired..... RETIRED!!! pmmjarrett's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Ford COE Harley Davidson Edition crew cab Powerstroke Diesel powered truck build.

    Hi Jim & Jim

    Jimtoo,

    It could be done with Cheby guts.... Or Dodge guts... Or anything else you want to stuff in it. One thing I personally don't like to see is chevy guts stuffed in an old Ford or Dodge.

    If I build a Chevy COE in the future it will have Duramax Allison guts. The old Chevy COE trucks look great converted too. Just a lot harder to find a GM doner van with a diesel and the vans lend themselves much better to the cabover conversions. I'd want to find one with the LBZ too. I am also alot more familiar with Ford trucks and 7.3 Powerstroke engines than I am with anything else in this class of truck which is why I chose a Ford platform for the first truck.


    Jim B,

    If you get anywhere near here, make sure to stop by. There's some good groceries around here too if that helps.

    I think you need one painted to match the full body paint Landmarks. That would look good. Be a heck of a promotional tool too, nobody could resist the urge to walk up and look at it.

    I like the yellow one with the custom toter body too. I'm leaning toward that one. It would be a very flexible truck for someone that needed to pull bumper pull, gooseneck or fifth wheel trailers or just cruise around and show it off if I used a B&W companion hitch setup. It wouldn't cost much more to build a nice toter bed than to restore/rebuild an original bed, just a little more fab work. I'd do something nicer than just slapping a cheap tool chest in the bed too. Nice bed and love the wood but IMHO, the bolt in aluminum tool box just ruins it.
    Heartland Owner by Proxy.

    U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Paratrooper - Retired

    I don't care how many sky dives you've got....... Until you've stepped into complete darkness at 800' wearing 95 lbs of equipment and 68 lbs of parachute, you just havn't lived.


    Combat Veteran
    • Desert Storm
    • Operation Enduring Freedom - Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal
    • Operation Iraqi Freedom - Army Commendation Medal

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    Moderator jimtoo's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Ford COE Harley Davidson Edition crew cab Powerstroke Diesel powered truck build.

    Quote Originally Posted by pmmjarrett View Post
    Hi Jim & Jim

    Jimtoo,

    It could be done with Cheby guts.... Or Dodge guts... Or anything else you want to stuff in it. One thing I personally don't like to see is chevy guts stuffed in an old Ford or Dodge.

    If I build a Chevy COE in the future it will have Duramax Allison guts. The old Chevy COE trucks look great converted too. Just a lot harder to find a GM doner van with a diesel and the vans lend themselves much better to the cabover conversions. I'd want to find one with the LBZ too. I am also alot more familiar with Ford trucks and 7.3 Powerstroke engines than I am with anything else in this class of truck which is why I chose a Ford platform for the first truck.


    Jim B,

    If you get anywhere near here, make sure to stop by. There's some good groceries around here too if that helps.

    I think you need one painted to match the full body paint Landmarks. That would look good. Be a heck of a promotional tool too, nobody could resist the urge to walk up and look at it.

    I like the yellow one with the custom toter body too. I'm leaning toward that one. It would be a very flexible truck for someone that needed to pull bumper pull, gooseneck or fifth wheel trailers or just cruise around and show it off if I used a B&W companion hitch setup. It wouldn't cost much more to build a nice toter bed than to restore/rebuild an original bed, just a little more fab work. I'd do something nicer than just slapping a cheap tool chest in the bed too. Nice bed and love the wood but IMHO, the bolt in aluminum tool box just ruins it.
    Well,,, You just got a guarantee of a visit from Jim B when you mentioned groceries.

    The more I look,, the better I like the yellow one also and it would be a conversation starter.

    Have fun, but take care of your body and health.

    Jim M
    Jim and Bette
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  7. Print this Post   #7
    Committed Member truknutt's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Ford COE Harley Davidson Edition crew cab Powerstroke Diesel powered truck build.

    Man, I tell you that yellow one would look great pulling the Cyclone!!!
    TrukNutt & Co.
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    Texas-South Chapter Leaders 2psnapod2's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Ford COE Harley Davidson Edition crew cab Powerstroke Diesel powered truck build.

    If you could build the bed long enough to carry a small smart car and a hitch that would be something all of us could use. Have some kind of ramp on the back.
    Michael and (Kelly) Barnett
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    Not just tired..... RETIRED!!! pmmjarrett's Avatar
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    Re: 1955 Ford COE Harley Davidson Edition crew cab Powerstroke Diesel powered truck build.

    I was giving my best effort to get JimB here.


    I like the hauler body too and that's what I am going with. Hauler body with a B&W turnover ball gooseneck hitch for the flat bed bodies that works with their companion fifth wheels.

    Started combing through the 2003 Ford Body Builders guide for the E series vans and othe bulletins that apply to them. Grabbing some basic hitch and bed dimensions off my 2004 Dodge dually with 8' bed and my 2007 Fleetwood fifth wheel and started drawing up some rough plans on AutoCad 2008 today to get the rough dimensions I need with the stock 158" E450 wheelbase and allow a 102" wide trailer like a Cyclone to be able to be jackknifed with the truck at a minimum of a 90 degree angle and allow for a headache rack, get the hitch heights right for gooseneck and fifth wheel and not have too much tail on the bed so it doesn't even come close to hitting the trailer turning or hooking up.

    I will need to chop 18" off the rear of the frame and probably relocate the 55 gallon fuel tank. I need to get the '55 and '56 cabs here so I can get measurements off them to see where I need to adjust. I want rear seat passengers to be as comfortable as the 2 up front.

    Stretching the frame for a Smart Car or golf cart ain't happening on this build. I want to keep this truck right at 20' long overall length, about the same length as a crew cab long bed pickup. Stretching the frame, new driveshaft sections, adding more bed and ramps will easily add up to another roughly $10k into the build. I don't want any frame modifications other than chopping a few inches off the rear. An E450 really doesn't have the weight capacity to add that much more to the front axle at 4400/4600 lbs, especially when loaded up, fueled up and towing a fifth wheel or gooseneck trailer. A 550 is much better suited to that with a rating of 6000 lbs on the steer axle.
    Last edited by pmmjarrett; 03-14-2011 at 08:15 PM.
    Heartland Owner by Proxy.

    U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Paratrooper - Retired

    I don't care how many sky dives you've got....... Until you've stepped into complete darkness at 800' wearing 95 lbs of equipment and 68 lbs of parachute, you just havn't lived.


    Combat Veteran
    • Desert Storm
    • Operation Enduring Freedom - Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal
    • Operation Iraqi Freedom - Army Commendation Medal

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