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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.

We will not be asking you for donations or any kind of monetary payments. We will be asking for help in terms moderators and encouraging you to spread the word and add to our membership.

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 Thu Jul 22, 2010 12:14 pm

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


    Hi Charger,
    Yeah that sounds like what I need. Is that stuff expensive and which is best for what I'm doing? I want to go this route to avoid continuous welding of the long seems of overlapped sheet metal I have with boxing in the rockers and mating the fire wall section to the lower cowl sections. The existing sealer on the Explorer floor pan and fire wall seems to be fairly tenacious stuff. I hope the stuff you mentioned is something like that. We have a fairly extensive inventory at our local paint and body supply place and they do carry 3M products. I am curious about one thing, do they recommend application to bare metal or should it be coated with some kind of paint or primer???

    I'm starting to get a little burned out on this part of the project simply because it seems to have dragged on forever. Of course that is in part due to the fact that I have spent much of the time just sitting and looking at the thing trying to plan my next move. I know that once I get past this cab thing the rest will progress a lot faster. Even with that factor in place this thing is going to take a long time to complete. That is at least for the major part due to my extensive and detailed plans. I do know how to create a monster.

    Later Man...



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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  charger on Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:54 am

    put a good layer of primer, let it dry, then install the sealer, now check with your local body shop supply store because some of these sealers are to be used an hour before final paint.
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sat Jul 24, 2010 9:39 am

    charger wrote:put a good layer of primer, let it dry, then install the sealer, now check with your local body shop supply store because some of these sealers are to be used an hour before final paint.

    Good point ! I could never work that way unless a primer coat would count. I'll do some research.

    Thanks Man...


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    The SC's last burn out...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Sat Jul 31, 2010 10:42 pm


    Hi Folks,

    Well the day finally came to get the SC out of the enclosed trailer and get it ready to strip down so I can harvest the drive train. The cab is finally done on the underside where I built in special boxed rockers to tie it into the Explorer floor pan. It came out better that expected. It almost looks factory. My neighbor koth decided that we needed a video of the SC's last burn out before it is dissected, so here it is:






    I also pressure washed two years of impound lot crap off the engine and here is a video of it running. You will see why the car is being used as a donor.






    For something that has two year old gas in it and has been sitting for two years, this thing is pretty awesome. The first burn out was over 100 feet with both rear wheels digging in. Apparently the limited slip is working fine. I think it is going to work out really good in the Radio Flyer. Not a bad deal for $450.00.

    Oh yeah, the M5R2 truck tranny with transfer case will be delivered tomorrow. The best yet is that I am trading the 351W for a 5.0L High Output from a Mustang with GT40 stuff on it. I have no idea what I'll do with that thing other than inflict serious injury on myself. the guy who has it says it is flat scary.

    Later Folks...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon Aug 02, 2010 11:31 pm


    I finally got some pics I took the other day loaded up on the computer. These were taken right before I wrapped up the work on the floor and fire wall of the cab. Believe it or not, this is a '99 Explorer floor pan and fire wall in a '53 F-100 cab. It came out better than I thought it would.












    I still have to put sealer in the seams and then paint but it is one of the parts of thios project I was most woried about looking like crap. It almost looks factory made.


    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:09 pm; edited 2 times in total


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  charger on Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:09 am

    looks awesome! almost looks factory built!!
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Tue Aug 03, 2010 11:48 am

    charger wrote:looks awesome! almost looks factory built!!


    Thanks charger, That means something to me coming from a guy that is doing the stuff you are to your project. Did you look at the video of the T-Bird SC burn out? I had to get that thing in the shop and start breaking it down before I ended up in jail. For a V6 in a 4,000 pound car that thing is down right scary.

    Later Man...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  58 ford on Tue Aug 03, 2010 1:17 pm

    Hey Dave
    Lookin good someones going too have a hard time tellin what is factory and what is not. Keep up the good work!!! I have to get some more pics of the 65 up the body is now off and i am way behind on pics Rolling Eyes .
    Later Andrew


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  charger on Tue Aug 03, 2010 3:58 pm

    just watched the video, can`t wait to see what it in your truck!!
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Tue Aug 03, 2010 6:19 pm


    Yeah me too... The Bird is right at 4,000# and running 2.73 gears. the truck should be lighter and it will have 3.73 gears with headers and flow masters and hopefully a Mega-Squirt system.

    Later Man...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  55f350 on Thu Aug 05, 2010 4:15 am

    2.73's ??? i thought that all the sc's had 3.08's and a 3.27 was optional . ought to have one heck of a top end charge if you take the limiter off the chip . just beware the junk 2 peice driveshaft in 'em when you do !!!!! had my 95 over 120 the iother day in a fit of stupidity when a freind who's an officer said his pos 3.8 impala squad could whoop me .......... well he didn't and the dain nasty vibration from the driveshaft finally brought me back to my senses . look it appears to be a 1 peice but one end is slipped in the other , crimped and "glued together" with freaking rtv !!!!!!!!!!!! ken just broke , earlier this year into the low 11's with one of his slightly tweaked sc's here , so it ought to make yer lil 53 roll right on down the road . look up boc { blue oval chips } and have lonnie burn you a custom chip for it and yer combo , you might be suprised at the power to be had in just a good tune !!!!!!!!!!
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Aug 05, 2010 9:56 am

    55f350 wrote:2.73's ??? i thought that all the sc's had 3.08's and a 3.27 was optional . ought to have one heck of a top end charge if you take the limiter off the chip . just beware the junk 2 peice driveshaft in 'em when you do !!!!! had my 95 over 120 the iother day in a fit of stupidity when a freind who's an officer said his pos 3.8 impala squad could whoop me .......... well he didn't and the dain nasty vibration from the driveshaft finally brought me back to my senses . look it appears to be a 1 peice but one end is slipped in the other , crimped and "glued together" with freaking rtv !!!!!!!!!!!! ken just broke , earlier this year into the low 11's with one of his slightly tweaked sc's here , so it ought to make yer lil 53 roll right on down the road . look up boc { blue oval chips } and have lonnie burn you a custom chip for it and yer combo , you might be suprised at the power to be had in just a good tune !!!!!!!!!!


    Hi Kevin,
    To be honest, I was going by what I have read and what I was told on the ratio. It could be you are right. I'll have to check it out. Maybe there is a tag on the punkin. I do know the limited slip is working really well because it left two black marks for about 200' This is a '90 SC. The rear bumper cover could be saved with a little cosmetic work. I have the rocker panel covers and the front fenders are rust free. I am taking the drive train and the complete IRS. The body with exception of the front damage is in pretty good condition but I doubt I could find anyone who wanted it. I do have the title and I could sell whats left the title. Most likely the remains will go to the crusher filled with a ton of other scrap I have accumulated. I haven't gotten to the drive shaft yet so I haven't seen how it's made. It really doesn't matter because I have to make a drive shaft. If you recall, I am using a four wheel drive set up. What you say about the chip is interesting. I was thinking of going with a Mega Squirt system but it is $500.00. I do have a set of headers for the SC engine and I am told that also helps. I will probably never push it to it's limit but I do want to use it to scare the crap out of those snot nosed little tuners and rice burners at a few traffic light. I have done that with my '03 F-350 dually diesel on a few occasions and that really ruins their day. How do they explain it to their buds that an 8,500.00 truck kicked their ass. They always get me off the line,but after the first twenty feet they loose the race. Hopefully a cleverly disguised sleeper like the SC powered Explorer in '53 clothing will have the same effect. The best part is when they ask I'll just say it's a little factory 3.8 with 177,000 miles on the clock. Why just make 'em feel bad when you can make 'em feel really bad??? OK, gotta go...

    Later Man...


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  55f350 on Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:55 pm

    damn that's funny !!!!!!! in the case of lonnie / blue oval chips it's best to have everything the way you want it , and he needs all the pertinent info on the vehicle right down to the gas you run , etc. and he sets up the chip with those parameters . any changes after that have to be reprogrammed . get another pulley to push yer boost up , and you'll gain some there too . boc runs about 350 for a completley new 4 bank chip too replace the oe one , and it's not uncommon to get 15-25 horse out of a stocker like mine with no other changes than what i have ,on a 93 octane program . yep i remember yer 4 wheel drive arrangement . should be quite a lot of fun to turn a few corners in with that and the sc 3.8 under the hood !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! nos is cheap till you burn a piston or pop the motor , and you have too figure in the darn refills . and you can usually only push 150 shot on a stock motor and fuelsystem before you gotta get a chip and such anyway.gotta run and go make some green stuff for my habits as all three of them are beginning to eat as much or more than the family !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bounce
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Aug 05, 2010 5:11 pm

    55f350 wrote:d nos is cheap till you burn a piston or pop the motor , and you have too figure in the darn refills . and you can usually only push 150 shot on a stock motor and fuelsystem before you gotta get a chip and such anyway.gotta run and go make some green stuff for my habits as all three of them are beginning to eat as much or more than the family !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! bounce


    Mega Squirt is not a NOS system. It's a complete replacement for the computer that can be adjusted and reprogrammed anytime with a laptop. It also features complete real time monitoring of systems and functions by way of a laptop while in motion. I don't plan on pushing this thing very hard as I am not going to do a rebuild and it might not take the strain. Check out http://www.diyautotune.com/ for more info.

    Later Man...


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    Blog or Build Thread???

    Post  Darkside Dave on Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:30 pm


    Hi Folks,

    It recently occurred to me this is as much a build thread as a build blog. Which I think is OK here and I wish more folks would be inclined to do the same. I like to relate to what is going on with the project as well as get ideas and comments on it. There have been more than a few ideas and suggestions from others that I have not only considered but also incorporated in the master plan. Of course, as with all my projects, they evolve as they progress. The end result is never what it originally started out to be. Some say I'm wishy washy. Not true, sometimes I'm wishy, sometimes I'm washy.

    As for the project progress to date, I am now stripping the T-Bird for the stuff I want from it. Although I am saddened by it I will eventually be taking what is left to the car crusher. I'm sure I will offset what was removed by stuffing it full of as bunch of scrap body parts as well as other components removed from other donors I have acquired. The wife gets upset whenever she hears there is another vehicle coming here so I have to keep her appeased by getting rid of stuff to allow for more to come.

    This T-Bird is one tough car to take apart. I'm sure I could go a lot faster if I just whacked and hacked everything but I tend to try to harvest as much as possible because if I don't I end up buying the stuff I trashed. I now have the radiator and intercooler removed from the front and all the connections to the engine undone and the wiring is all piled on top of the engine. it is now up on jack stands and I an starting to disconnect all the stuff connected to the transmission as well as the exhaust system and undoing all the mounts and cross members. We have owned two of this design of Bird but I never realized how much stuff is in this thing. I helped koth take apart his '90 Mark VII and I think it was far easier to break down. We did the same with it as I am doing trying to preserve everything we needed.

    OK, that's about all for now. Hopefully I'll get some more pictures posted as I get this thing taken apart. I'd like to get it done by the end of next week so I can get rid of it.

    Later Folks...


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    Strippin' the Bird...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Thu Aug 12, 2010 10:10 pm


    Hi Folks,

    It's been a while and it's time for an update. I'm gettin' the Super Coupe stripped and trying to salvage anything I can use as well as getting the engine and drive train out of it. I can't recall just how many cars I have done this with over the years but this has been the most difficult one so far. I can't believe how much stuff they packed into this thing. This thing has more stuff in it than the space shuttle.

    I'm getting closer to having that supercharged engine and T-Bird IRS for my '53. I already have some of the unwanted parts sold so my total investment for the stuff I needed is going down. Once again I am getting closer to my goal of doing this project for my target investment or maybe even less. Below are a few pictures of the strip in progress.



















    My next post will be of the engine and IRS removed from the Bird. The remains of the car will be stuffed with other scrap and hauled off to the crusher which should bring about $200.00 That should bring my total investment down to $160.00. Not bad for a supercharged engine and a really nice IRS.

    Later Folks...



    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:01 pm; edited 3 times in total


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    Bye, Bye, Birdie...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:06 pm


    Hi Folks,

    The time has come to say good bye to the T-Bird SC, or should I say what was left of it... Yesterday I loaded the stripped body hulk on the trailer and stuffed it full of scrap and body parts I no longer needed. Today I took the load to the crusher. Just in case I took the title with me and it was a good thing I did because I was now informed that everything that goes to a crusher in Ohio must have a title. It used to be everything less than ten years old. This car was twenty years old. I guess if I don't have a title for something I'll have to cut it up in pieces so they won't see the stuff as a vehicle. Life used to be so much simpler for us.












    Now the bird is gone and I guess they sent the title off to the state as junked. You can probably tell by the pictures that I harvested a lot of stuff including the complete front and rear suspension plus the engine and transmission. The engine and the independent rear suspension are going in this project. The transmission and the wheels are for sale as well as some other stuff.

    Now it's time to move on to the next step. I removed the SC's M5R2 tranny and put the M5R2 with transfer case on the SC engine. It is now stored on my trailer until I am ready to mount it on the '99 Explorer rolling chassis. But first I have to mount the SC's Independent Rear Suspension on the rolling chassis and swap the 8.8" 3.72 gears in to match the front differential of The Explorer.

    OK, That's all for now. Next we do the rear suspension. It looks as though it will be a tough job.

    Later Folks...


    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:02 pm; edited 2 times in total


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  charger on Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:04 am

    wow!! lots of good old de construction!! you sure you got all what you need out of that car Very Happy , if your going to use the car harness ,what i did is bought a complete wiring schmatic from a guy on e-bay, 10 pages back to back schmatics ,the sheets alone are 2ft x 4 ft long! don`t bother with service manuals i bought a set and they don`t give you the complete wiring,i`ve got my harness strung in myu office and i just about got all the plugs figured out, i got all the loom removed and once done, i`m going to remove all the wiring i don`t need and pluck the rest into the truck
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:54 am

    charger wrote:wow!! lots of good old de construction!! you sure you got all what you need out of that car Very Happy , if your going to use the car harness ,what i did is bought a complete wiring schmatic from a guy on e-bay, 10 pages back to back schmatics ,the sheets alone are 2ft x 4 ft long! don`t bother with service manuals i bought a set and they don`t give you the complete wiring,i`ve got my harness strung in myu office and i just about got all the plugs figured out, i got all the loom removed and once done, i`m going to remove all the wiring i don`t need and pluck the rest into the truck

    Hi Charger,

    Yep, I took everything out of it. There was only the body hulk and a lot of other scrap that went to the crusher. The complete wiring harness and the engine wiring harness were removed. The front and rear complete suspension were removed. All the interior and all the power motors and instrumentation were removed. I kept the deck lid and the front fenders. the doors were internally butchered by one of those so-called high end audio shops so they were not decent enough to sell even though they were rust free. I sold the 4WABS brake system. I also kept all the electronic modules. Believe me, there a bunch of those. I even removed all the brake lines and fuel lines. Nothing but sheet metal and glass went to the crusher.

    As for schematics, I have all the Ford factory electrical manuals for all of the vehicles I am using parts from in my project. Unfortunately, I don't have those big drawings you mentioned. I am aware of their existence because I have a set of them for my '93 E-350 LWB diesel one ton van. I bought the complete set of manuals and drawings for it when we bought two of them new in '93. My son has the other one and he also has the drawings now. They are essentially the same as what is in the manuals although I admit they would be a lot easier to follow. Unfortunately I don't have any place big enough to hang all those drawings for three different vehicles all at the same time. Keep in mind that I am combining systems from a '90 T-Bird SC, a '99 and a '97 Explorer and even a few bits an pieces from a '90 Mark VII. Fortunately the stuff from the '90 SC that I am going to use is primarily the engine and ECU which is pretty much independent of the rest of the car's systems and has it's own wiring harness. The rest of the truck is going to use the '97 Explorer instrumentation and wiring which is a bit simpler than that of the SC and the Mark VII. My main problem is one of combining the different systems. I have some of that worked out but there is probably going to be some stuff I either have to design or come up with hybrid combos of the two systems.

    That SC pretty much burned me out on harvesting stuff. Now I am ready to start working on modifying the rolling chassis from the '99 Explorer I am using. First up is grafting the independent rear suspension system of the '90 SC into the rear of the chassis. I spent about two hours yesterday just measuring a planning. Originally I had intended to work it into the rear of the chassis but I came to realize that it would not be practical. I need to build the whole back end of the frame to make it right. That means buying a piece of 2" X 6" X 1/8" box tube to fabricate what I need. I will go pick it up tomorrow. I ordered it yesterday and the steel supplier called me this morning to say it was in. I'll have to go for it with my van because it is 24' long and it has to be brought home on my roof rack. they offered to cut it for me but when they do that I always end up with waste because the cut never falls where I need it.

    With luck my next post will be pictures of the chassis project in progress. Unfortunately today I have to work on the %$@#*&^% ice maker in our refrigerator that is on the fritz. the wife is talking about a new refrigerator. She has lots of money so I hope she buys one and I can go back to the garage.

    Later Man...


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    Back in the game again...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:43 pm


    Hi Folks,

    OK, I'm back in the game again... Now that the T-Bird SC is gone I have drug the '99 Explorer rolling chassis back into the shop and I have taken the back section of it off so that I can start building the section that will hold the T-Bird IRS in place as well as be a solid base for the bed. First order of business was to remove the rear section of the Explorer frame that supported the rear of the Explorer body and was fastened to the leaf springs. Below are a few pics of the chassis before I started to remove the rear section and the joints where the rear section was joined to the front section. When I first decided to use this chassis I was not aware of the splice point.






    Above is the chassis before I started cutting.



    Below are pictures of the chassis and the joint on the frame.






















    A little introduction...











    Building the frame extension for the T-Bird IRS.




    Below is the Super Coupe engine and truck tranny I'm going to use.




    OK... So I'm not a TV star... What did you expect from an old shop monkey like me???

    My next post will be of the section I'm building in the next step of fabrication.


    Later Folks...



    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:05 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  stevof1 on Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:13 pm

    Looks good Dave. Nice videos!
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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:47 pm

    stevof1 wrote:Looks good Dave. Nice videos!


    Thanks Steve,
    I just wanted to show that it doesn't take much to make a decent video and that it will help explain the Build thread processes.

    Later Man...


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    Save as much as you can and use what you got...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:56 pm


    Hi Folks,

    Today I got to the point where I needed to either make. buy , fabricate or adapt something for the coil spring centering cones for the T-Bird IRS. Fortunately I hacked off these pieces when I was stripping the T-Bird SC. I almost didn't do it but I decided I might be able to do something with these pieces. The point I am trying to make here is that sometimes we throw away something that we later could have used and saved money and time in the process. Below is a comparison shot of the before and after. I cut the rough edges off with my porta band saw and then I did the finish work in my milling machine. I also included a shot of the work on the milling machine.




    I'm still fabricating on the rear section of my chassis and doing some of the design work on the fly. Hopefully I'll do enough tomorrow to get more pictures up.

    Later Folks....



    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:03 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Re: First '53 Build Thread

    Post  Darkside Dave on Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:42 am


    Hi Folks,

    Had the old milling machine fired up again. It's getting more use in the past two days than it has for the last six months. I guess it's a good thing I didn't have to invest a lot of money in it because I don't use it that much. It does come in handy at times though, Below is a video of the machine at work cutting a rectangular 2.5" square notch out of the end of some 4" pipe I used to make the chassis supports for the front of the T-Bird IRS. I also include pictures of the stages of assembly for these parts.






    Above is a shot of one support welded together and one ready to be welded



    Here is a shot of the supports tacked in and bolted to the T-Bird IRS
    This whole chassis assembly is just tack welded and it will have to be removed and all the welds finished. The T-Bird Irs is going to have to be taken apart and sand blasted as well as have the gears switched out to match the Explorer front differential.

    More to come on a daily basis...

    Later Folks...




    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:04 pm; edited 1 time in total


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    Ready to flip...

    Post  Darkside Dave on Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:50 pm


    Hi Folks,

    Today turned out to be more productive than I thought it would. After getting the Engine and tranny I sold ready to go to the new owner I jumped on the frame mod and finished tacking in the last pieces. Then I did all the top side welding and now it's ready to flip over so I can weld the bottom side. Here are a few more pictures.












    Maybe by monday I'll have it welded and spliced to the Explorer Frame.

    Later Folks...



    Last edited by Darkside Dave on Tue Dec 28, 2010 11:04 pm; edited 1 time in total


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