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DARKSIDER In the world of automotive hobbyists a Darksider is one who modifies and or customizes any and all sorts of vehicles. The Darksiders are in a class of their own simply because they endeavor to be different and do things that others would not attempt for a number of reasons mostly being related to a lack of ability and fear of non conformity.

This is a forum for people who think outside the box in everything they do. It doesn’t matter if you are modifying or building from scratch. It doesn’t matter what brand or brands of vehicles or components you are using. It doesn’t matter if you are working on a mini car or a bus.

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Darksider's Realm

A message board & forum for automotive builders, fabricators and customizers who think outside the box.


    First '53 Build Thread

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    Darkside Dave
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:54 pm


    Here is a picture of the set of headers I found for the super charged Super Coupe engine. I found them on Craig's List for $25.00 and cleanded them up with the sandblaster and bead blasting cabinet followed by a coating of special header paint.



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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:06 pm



    I finally got the other side lower cowl panel done...















    These two panels don't look like much but they were probably some of the hardest stuff I have to do to this cab.

    Later Folks...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  FRANKENTRUCK on Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:57 pm

    Hey it's starting to look like a truck....


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    charger

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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  charger on Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:57 pm

    looking good Dave!!!, when i did my front and rear cab corners i had allignment issues with the door, the bulge in the new panel did not match the bulge at the bottom of the door, after tweaking the panel i did get it to fit properly, worst part of this is i only noticed this after installing the door!
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:30 pm

    charger wrote:looking good Dave!!!, when i did my front and rear cab corners i had allignment issues with the door, the bulge in the new panel did not match the bulge at the bottom of the door, after tweaking the panel i did get it to fit properly, worst part of this is i only noticed this after installing the door!

    Yeah I know what you are saying. I just happened to think to do a test fit by temp fastening the door in place by hanging it from the drip rail with a pair of those big wrap around kind of vice grip welding clamps to check the fit, and as you say, I tweaked it until it was as close as I could get it. Of course the real test will be when I get it all together. I'm sure I'll have some sort of problems.

    Later Man...


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    Not much to show...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Fri Jun 18, 2010 4:04 pm


    Hi Folks,

    I don't have much to show for the last two days. I have been fitting the cab down on the floor and fire wall section making measurements and little cuts here and there. Tomorrow I will lift the cab back up and weld some pieces in the side sections of the fire wall to be used to later weld the cab section to it. Then the fun really begins because everything has to be just right or it will look like hell. Ive been making marks and countless measurements. This is probably going to be the most critical part of the project yet it will be the most ignored and not noticed part. Of course if I do a good job that is the way it should be. Seeing the Explorer dash in this thing will probably raise a lot of questions but they won't figure it out unless I tell them or do a lousy job.

    Hopefully I will accomplish a lot tomorrow. Sunday I will be spending part of the day at a local car show so I doubt I'll get a lot done then. Anyway, below is a little picture I took before I dropped the cab on the floor and fire wall. It shows how bad things were.




    Later Folks...


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    carnut122

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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  carnut122 on Sat Jun 19, 2010 12:25 am

    You're getting there. Sorry I haven't posted lately, but I've added a porch onto my house for the past 7 months and I'm just now putting my engine together. Hopefully I'll update my build page soon as I have more to show.
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:11 am

    carnut122 wrote:You're getting there. Sorry I haven't posted lately, but I've added a porch onto my house for the past 7 months and I'm just now putting my engine together. Hopefully I'll update my build page soon as I have more to show.


    Hey carnut !!!

    I wondered what happened to you. Man, that must be one hell of a porch you built. Glad to see you back in action Man. Get some pictures up on that engine build.

    Later Man...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sat Jun 19, 2010 9:32 am


    It's off to the shop for me now...

    Hopefully I'll make some major progress.

    Later Folks...


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    bACK AGAIN BOYS !!!!

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sat Jun 26, 2010 9:57 pm


    Hi Folks,

    Been busy with a lot of other stuff including getting ready for a car show my car club is putting on. I have to work the show and I won't be taking a car there. I have been able to get a little time in on the truck cab. Since I have the front lower cowl panels all done I have moved to the rear to do the corners and I have also put it the special rocker panels we made that extend over a lot farther than the stock ones you buy so I can weld them to the Explorer floor pan Below are some pictures of the work going on starting with getting rid of all the rusty stuff, sandblasting and welding in new steel. The cab is turned up on it's backside so everything is 90 degrees off.




















    All of it doesn't look like much yet but it is coming along. Monday I think I can get the cab to floor pan and fire wall welding started. After that I will put the new rear cab corners on. If I'm lucky, by Friday I might get it all set on the rolling chassis. Then I will figure out if I have to set the cab mounts back. I think I have to move the cab back two inches to make the front wheel center up in the fenders It just never seems to end.

    Later Folks...


    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Sun Jun 27, 2010 10:15 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  carnut122 on Sun Jun 27, 2010 11:18 am

    Looking good! Is it possible to move the cab and not have to make adjustments throughout the body(fenders, bed running boards, etc)? Wouldn't be easier to move the axle? Just asking???
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sun Jun 27, 2010 4:56 pm

    carnut122 wrote:Looking good! Is it possible to move the cab and not have to make adjustments throughout the body(fenders, bed running boards, etc)? Wouldn't be easier to move the axle? Just asking???


    Probably so if you were using the stock frame and suspension. But I am using a '99 Explorer rolling 4WD chassis and the cab is being mated with the fire wall and floor pan of the same Explorer. That makes it so it has to be mounted on the Explorer body mounts. It is a lot easier to move them back 2" as opposed to trying to move all the front 4WD stuff and the rack and pinion steering. The cab is not on the frame yet and if you look back through the thread you can see how the mounts are attached. It's very easy to move them. Maintaining correct wheelbase is no problem because I am using a double wishbone IRS from the same T-bird Super Coupe I am getting the engine from. I have plenty of adjustment room to put it any place I want give or take six inches. The Explorer wheel base and tracking width is the same as the old '53 truck.


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  carnut122 on Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:19 am

    Dave,
    Somehow, I knew when I typed my previous "advice" that you had it covered and I wasn't "up to speed" on your build!
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  carnut122 on Mon Jun 28, 2010 12:29 am

    OK, I went back and looked at the pictures(it's too late to be reading Smile ). And here I thought my truck needed a lot of metal work! Keep after it! I'm hoping to get some paint on my truck next week. This week, I'm painting my Fiero (it's the guinea pig). The truck's motor is almost put back together, but having never had it in this configuration before has slowed me down a bit.
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon Jun 28, 2010 9:06 am


    Hey Carnut,

    Glad to hear you are back at it and also doing some posting. Hopefully you will have some pictures to post. Don't sweat the misunderstanding on my project. I'm a true Darksider and I tend to do what others don't even consider. I know of one other truck that was on the FTE that was put on an Explorer chassis and it was a two wheel drive in which he did not go the way I'm going with the Explorer dash and interior not to mention the rear suspension and a completely different engine. However, his project was the inspiration I needed to forge on with this project. Up until I saw his project I was only considering the project plan I am working on.

    The metal work is pretty extensive but the bulk of it was in in the cab corners, lower hinge pockets and of course the floor which is always gone in the majority of these things.. I got the cab for $75.00 which is less than some of the repair sections you can buy. Fixing up and making use of stuff others would not consider is my thing. I love bringing back something from the brink of extinction as well as modifying stuff and truly making it something only I would think of. I doubt you will find many '53 F-100s with 4WD and a V-6 supercharged engine with independent rear suspension. The best part is that this was not just a truck I found to fix up. It is literally being built from bits and pieces of five different vehicles, all of which were completely different. The title, windshield and serial number plate are from one truck, the cab from another, the doors from another, the back window from a dump truck. the hood from another and the fenders from two others. That's just the stuff from old F series trucks. Then there are major parts like the engine and rear suspension and the moon roof from a '90 T-Bird Super Coupe, Rolling chassis, floor pan and fire wall from a '99 Explorer, complete dash and instrumentation from a '97 Explorer including steering column and wheel, transmission and transfer case from a '92 F-150, clutch and brake pedal assembly from a '94 Ranger and misc. bits and pieces from a '90 Lincoln Mark VII. The list of donor vehicles is most likely to increase as the project continues. The best part is that I will only have about three grand total monetary investment in it but of course that does not include labor. I get that free since I do everything myself. I'm sure I will enjoy this vehicle and take it to our shows but by far the most fun for me is building it.

    You mentioned a Fiero... We had an '88 GT with all the options on it. We bought it new but we only had it for about six years. Now I wish we would have kept it. Of course hind sight is 20/20, I could recite a list of about twenty vehicles I have had I can say that about. Good Luck with your paint work.

    Later Man...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Jun 30, 2010 5:56 pm


    Hi Folks,

    I'm back at it again... I finally committed myself and started welding the cab to the floor pan and fire wall section. There's no going back now. If it ain't right I will have to work around it some how. I had to make a decision to get moving and stop spending days measuring and tweaking. Hopefully I have it right or at least good enough to work with.

    Today I put in the left rear cab corner. Unfortunately I seem to be missing the picture of the pace under the cab corner I totally rebuilt. I only have the before picture. I guess you will have to look at the one shot that shows both sides and use your imagination.




    Unfortunately, Like I said I can't find an after picture for this part. I cut out all this stuff for the fuel tank filler and made it look like the other side which you can see below. in the wide shot showing both sides.



    I roughed in the corner by stitching it in then I kept going back and welding in between the welds.



    After welding I did the grinding and then put on a base coat of All Metal filler and the I sanded it down and put a coat of primer on to keep the rust goblins away.




    I hope I can get the other corner on tomorrow. I have it all cut out and ready to start fitting it in.

    Later Folks...


    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Thu May 03, 2012 10:15 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  carnut122 on Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:18 pm

    Dave, you're getting there! Do you have the doors installed as you fit the corners? I sure wish I had. Your corners seem to be better made than mine(or maybe it was just me). I'm not real happy with mine, but for a first timer, they came out ok. I'd do several things differently if I was to do it again(which I hope never happens!). Anyway, the Fiero is apart (yes, it's an 88 with a 3.4 Camaro v-6 swap and a 5-speed). Everything is sanded and I hope to shoot epoxy primer on it tomorrow and then single stage black on it the next day-we'll see. I painted my son's S-10 about a month ago and had a lot of orange peel in it, so I had a lot of color sanding to do on it. Since then, I've extended my copper air line in hopes of reducing the moisture content of my air and I'll be shooting it with fish-eye preventer in hopes that it will flow a bit better. if it works out, the F-100 should see some red soon.
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:57 pm

    carnut122 wrote:Dave, you're getting there! Do you have the doors installed as you fit the corners? I sure wish I had. Your corners seem to be better made than mine(or maybe it was just me). I'm not real happy with mine, but for a first timer, they came out ok.

    I have the doors and I made some special hangers so I can hang them in the frame for periodic fit checks. The reason those corners look so good is because they came from Dennis Carpenter who makes the stuff here in the USA with the blessing and approval of Ford. They are so superior to the Asian stuff the other places are peddling. They are also thicker metal. They are more expensive but they don't screw you on the shipping. It was $100.00 for the pair and $50. for one front lower cowl panels. The shipping for everything was $13.00. That's not bad considering it cost about ten bucks to ship anything UPS and they were also fast. I got it on the third day with UPS ground.

    Don't be too hard on yourself... I have noticed these old trucks were not all that well aligned during assembly. They do have some tenacious spot welds though. I've seen more that one pro job with obvious flaws. I'm not sure what specific issue you were dealing with but I have been know to trim or add to the edges of the door skin panel to match the opening. and no one ever noticed.

    Later Man...



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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  carnut122 on Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:13 am

    Mine were Mid-Fifties corners and they were pretty poor. I guess I should have gone with DC's.
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:08 am

    carnut122 wrote:Mine were Mid-Fifties corners and they were pretty poor. I guess I should have gone with DC's.

    I never have dealt with Mid Fifties so I don't know the quality level of what they sell. I have heard from others that just about all the Asian stuff is not as good as the American made stuff. It was kind of a hard thing for me to go with the more expensive stuff simply because one of my main goals is to do this project on a $3,000.00 budget. Of course that doesn't count labor. If it did it would probably be a $30,000.00 job. I have a long way to go and already I am sure I have four or five hundred hours in this thing. That also includes my time spent taking donor vehicles apart. A lot of that time was also spent on the rolling chassis I harvested from the '99 Explorer It was still in decent shape but it sure had a lot of surface rust on it as well as a lot of crud. I think it's safe to say that the owner never tried to pressure wash the underside. Even tough it now looks as if it is done and ready, it's not. I still have to move back the cab mounts two inches and put the T-Bird SC IRS under it. Also there is the issue of harvesting all the stuff I need from the T-Bird. It is still intact and sitting in my enclosed trailer. I can see another week in the shop just getting that thing apart and hauling away the stuff I don't want. One thing that helps me with my budget goals is the fact that I buy donor vehicles for the same or less than I would pay for the parts in it I want. I can sell off the rest of it and scrap the remains to recoup what I paid for the vehicle. the only loss is time and labor. Being retired I have plenty of both.

    Later Man...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:44 pm


    Hi Folks,

    Got the other cab corner on today and got it ruffed in with All Metal filler. Next I roll it over on it's back and weld in all under cab stuff that seals up the Explorer to F-100 cab fitting. I still have one little place in the back to fix but I have to make a piece for it because it's not something they sell.


    Later Folks...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  charger on Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:47 pm


    `` QUOTE`` Don't be too hard on yourself... I have noticed these old trucks were not all that well aligned during assembly. They do have some tenacious spot welds though. I've seen more that one pro job with obvious flaws. I'm not sure what specific issue you were dealing with but I have been know to trim or add to the edges of the door skin panel to match the opening. and no one ever noticed.


    it seems like it varies from truck to truck, you`ll have one with decent door gaps, panel allignment and then you`ll have one like mine that seems like every panel has to be reworked to fit correctly,its all fun Very Happy my cab corner and front drivers corner came from lmc, they fit perfectly and they were made of heavy guage material.
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:16 pm


    Hi Charger,

    Yeah, LMC would probably be a lot closer to you than Dennis Carpenter and it would make sense for better shipping costs. Dennis Carpenter is only about 350 miles from here. After dealing with one Asian piece of shit I decided I wanted American made stuff. I don't know who does and does not carry the American made stuff other than Dennis Carpenter because they make their own stuff. Others may also have it but they don't say in their catalogs or online. I think they should be required to say where the stuff is made. To be fair, I have to admit I have had to rework the best of stuff to make it fit some times.

    I know what you mean by varying from truck to truck. Out of three cabs here I have been measuring it seems that no two are alike, Some times I just end up guessing or take what I think is the best of the three. But I have to agree that it is just part of the fun. If there was no challenge it would be boring. It's not the destination, it's the journey. For that reason my truck will probably never be finished. Even after I get it to the point where it is drivable and ready for the car shows I will still be doing stuff to it. Of course I have another one to start on but that can be done at the same time.

    Later Man...





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    Back at it again...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Jul 21, 2010 5:10 pm


    Hi Folks,

    I'm back on the cab again for at least a few days. I started welding in the pieces that box in the rockers to the Explorer floor pan. I now have one in and I will try to get the other one in on Friday. I have to fab up a bunch of small pieces to fully box this thing in and seal up the front between the lower cowl panel and the Explorer fire wall. The last picture shows one side boxed in and the other side with just the rocker in.












    I still have lots of welding to do on the underside as well as a strip across the floor behind the line of the seats. I need to find some kind of paintable sealer or caulking like they put in these things at the factory. I imagine it might be available at my local auto body repair and paint supply place. I'd like to find something that fits in a caulking gun.

    Later Folks...


    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:10 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  charger on Thu Jul 22, 2010 11:50 am

    i`ve used seam sealer or 3 m windshield urethane also does the trick and is paintable.both come in caulking gun tubes.

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