Right from the beginning, the premise behind our ongoing '53 F-100 project has been how to get the most bang for our buck without compromising the old Ford's functionality, and squeeze every extra mile out of the parts we have been dealt. Uncompromised functionality is a fancy expression for making sure all of the Mickey Mouse work we have discovered on the '53 has been fixed, and of course we'll reuse any parts that will save us money. In recent issues we corrected the single brake master cylinder a previous builder (some yo-yo) left in place to operate four-wheel disc brakes. Next in line was to install a pair of Fatman Fabrications' Volare 2-inch drop spindles to correct an improperly lowered torsion bar (same yo-yo?).
In our third segment the problems addressed on the '53 are not attributable to poor workmanship or ignorance, but the effects of time. Rust is the number one enemy of any classic vehicle and our old F-100 is no exception. Because the '56 F-100 chassis we are preparing to roll under the '53 looks like it was built 20 years ago and then parked, the suspension components don't show any real wear. Unfortunately, the paint on the chassis hasn't fared as well, and there is surface rust appearing where the old paint has flaked off. Left unchecked there are areas of a '53-56 F-100 chassis that will rust out completely. Rustproofing is all about the preparation. The better the surface is prepared, the better the end results will be. That said, our first step was to blast off as much flaking old paint and undercoating with a high-pressure washer, and follow with KBS Coatings' Aqua Klean. Next, we used an air nozzle with 90 psi of air behind it to blow-dry the water out of crevices and take a second whack at removing any remaining old paint. After hand sanding and wire-wheeling the last stubborn areas, the final step before painting the chassis was to use KBS Coatings' Rust Blast. Once the Rust Blast dried and left a zinc phosphate residue, it was time to spray the entire rolling chassis with KBS Coatings' Satin Black Rust Seal.