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 Chassis Swap 
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Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:20 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Findlay, OH
Hello all,

Only been a member now for a short time and visited only a short time prior. I'm the proud owner of a 1961 Window Van as well as a 1964 delivery (doors on both sides).

Just a bit of history: Was trying to restore my second 49 ford F1 while attending college on semester breaks when a friend of mine who knew I had an appreciation for classics visited me with his latest purchase, the 61 van. The body was perfect except for what appeared to be 10 years worth of dirt and grime from sitting idle. We took it for a drive and I treated to a car wash to make it look a little better. A few months later, he told me the story of driving it out of state and losing the rear-end. He had taken the rear out of the 64 and swapped. I offered him $20 for the bad rear and took it home in the front seat of my grand prix. It was a 9"! About a year later he came to me and asked if I wanted to buy the van from him, he said it had a blown rear main seal and he needed the money. After exchanging $400, I was the new owner of the 61, as well as the 64 and trailered them both home. They've both sat at my folks place now for about 7 years with no action. Originally, I bought with the intention of robbing the 302 and automatic tranny along with the other 9" rear for my 49 project, but a friend pointed out how nice the body was and said I should restore it. Well, that is what I'm about to embark upon.

The 61 has a cracked frame at the from spring mounting point on the passenger side. Probably from the 302 weight and torque. The 64, I think, is a heavy duty. I'm assuming this means stiffer springs and shocks, but maybe there's more to it than that. My question to the group is this:

Will the 61 body fit perfectly on the 64 chassis? I want to rebuild the 6 cylinder that is on the 64 and put the 61 body over on the 64 chassis and running gears. Will it work? To that note, anyone want a 64 panel body with doors that open on both sides? I think that was the first year for that option.

Well, I know this will be a slow project, but will keep everyone posted and share the photos as soon as I get started. Any help on the chassis question will be a big help in getting me started.



Sat Sep 23, 2006 7:02 pm

Joined: Sun Jul 09, 2006 6:48 pm
Posts: 43
Location: Ky
David, you cant do a chassis swap since theres no chassis to swap. These are unibody trucks and the body doesnt unbolt from the frame. The 2 frame rails are welded to the body floor. Your best bet is to repair the 61 frame if the body is in much better condition than the 64. Your 64 8 door body however is a real classic and if possible that would be what I would restore. Is the 64 a factory automatic?
I live down by Cincinnati and have lots of parts if you need anything.

Tim in Ky
Your 61-67 Econoline used parts source

Sun Sep 24, 2006 7:21 pm

Joined: Wed Sep 20, 2006 6:20 pm
Posts: 2
Location: Findlay, OH

I guess we all know now how much time I've spent underneath of my Econolines. Only thing I ever looked at was the exposed "frame" past the front passenger tire to see the damage at the front spring mount. I guess I just assumed that it went all the way back. Hopefully the diehards on here will excuse the ignorance of a beginner just this once. :)

That changes things a bit as to some decision making. Now I'm leaning more towards finishing the 49 pickup project that I started 11-12 years ago. The body of the 61 is near perfect with no holes and very little rust starting to show up at some of the crevases, not to mention the 302 power plant with automatic transmission. You mention that the 64 is the rare one, but it does have some holes and body issues in some spots. Nothing that the repair panels from Carpenter and two doors from a junked donor wouldn't fix. Also, the 64 is said to have been shut off with the key the last time it ran! I'll have to get home and take some pictures to post for everyone to see what I'm talking about. Being familiar with the old fat-fendered fords, I assumed the chassis would be similar. Now I have to think a little harder about what I want to do with it.

Thanks for the info.

Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:34 pm
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