The 1953-56 Ford F-100 pickups are nose-heavy due to an out-of-proportion front wheel opening. The front axle actually sits in the middle of the engine. This means quite a bit of the engine hangs in front of the axle. I've always felt these trucks handled heavy, and the front wheel placement is really out of proportion. The front wheel openings are very big for the smaller wheels we run on hot rods. The ideal way to help this truck handle and look better is to move the front wheels forward six inches.
I installed a Heidt's front crossmember kit six inches forward of Heidt's recommended specifications for a stock F-100 chassis. The boxing plate needs to be modified and moved slightly forward to the stock crossmember.
After the front end is installed, we're ready to fit the front wheel openings. Take two inches out of the top center of the opening to make it fit the smaller wheels better. After the opening has been modified, a seven-inch piece will fill part of the altered wheel opening.
Save the two-inch piece you cut out, as you'll need it to extend the bottom-front of the wheel opening to make the body lines come out right. After all these pieces are put together, you can stand back and really appreciate how Ford should have done these trucks originally.
When you look in the engine bay, the crossmember is now even with the front of the engine. Final results are better handling and a better ride due to a longer wheelbase. Your truck now sits 4.5 inches lower than stock and has greatly improved cornering capabilities. It also doesn't look like all the rest of the Ford pickups at the shows. Check out the photos and captions and learn how to do it yourself.
Here's what an F-100 looks like after the front wheels are moved and the fenders modified
Closely inspecting the driver-side wheel well, wheel, and tire confirms this body and chas
Before doing the work, a stock F-100 looks thus.
From a more immediate perspective, see all that empty space around the tire and wheel? The
We marked both fenders for performing the cuts. The front squiggly line area represents 5
Once you've removed the sheetmetal, as we did, it's too late to turn back....