Re: 1954 F100 help
First thing is first, what are you looking for in this truck?
Are you looking for a collectors piece restoration project?
Check to see if you can get the original engine (I don't know but I am pretty sure they didn't use 302 as a stock block for those vehicles) You will also want to check to see if the 3 speed is original, or even if the truck was equipped with a 3 speed factory. It could very well have been an automatic and someone wanted to stick in a 3 speed because they liked them. check to see what other stuff is original as well (radio, gauges, seats, body parts), and don't forget to ask about accidents. If your going collector route then also see what kind of original information the seller has, original paperwork/form form when the truck was bought is a great way to really increase its collectability and price in the long run. any information the seller has on the vehicle is always nice to have, he may have some neat stories, or it may have been his fathers or something. you never know and everyone loves to own a vehicle that has stories, just more to talk about when people ask about the truck.
Or maybe you are going for a weekend cruiser/summer car
This will means that everything all original isn't as important (not to say that is is unimportant, but less than that if your going for a pure collector route). Try and get as much information as you can. ask about the engine, transmission. some questions I usually ask (or figure out on my own) when looking at potential purchases are:
~ How many km/miles are on the engine?
~ Was the vehicle to the sellers knowledge in an accident
~ How long has the seller had it
~ If he is not the original owner, ask when he/she purchased the vehicle
~ When was the vehicle last registered/ Does the seller have current registration or at least the paper work form last owner or owner before that.
~ Was the drive train like that when he purchased the vehicle, or did the seller put in the drive train
~ When was the last time the vehicle was running or on the road (If ever by that owner. sometimes people buy projects, but just can't finish them for financial reasons, past their skill level, ect..)
~ When was the vehicle last moved
~ Where has the vehicle been stored if not moved for a long period of time (over 6 months)
After I get as many of these answered I then give the vehicle the look over.
~ Look over the rust well, and try to see if you can find any types of holes that go right through.
~ Bring some dirty/work clothes (eg. coveralls or and old pair of jeans and a ripped t-shirt) and look underneath of the vehicle.
~ Inspect the frame well, this most of the time will show if the vehicle has been in any major collisions as the frame may still have damage done to it, or you can see some type of repair has been done. this could be one part of the frame appears to be out of place than the rest. this could be different weld patterns, different rust patterns ect.
~ Inspect the frame for extreme rust/ rot. This could be found by pushing on parts of the frame you think may be weak. All the frames I've seen/ inspected didn't have any metal that would start to bend or move just form hand pressure.
~ Depending on where the vehicle is located bring a jack and ask if you can jack of the front end or rear to inspect the underside of the vehicle. (if its on really soft ground try and bring some wood or particle board piece, then you can support your jack on that with out it sinking in the ground). This is also a good way to check part of the frame. If the seller is hesitant to let you jack it up, or have himself even jack it up, I would start to wonder if there was a problem with the frame or floors.
~ while you are under the vehicle you may as well check the floors, bed floor, cross members, exhaust system, inner wheel wells, inner rockers, brake lines, and fuel lines, and gas tank. if there is rust on some parts the rust usually likes to bring its buddies with it.
~ finally see if you can get the seller to start the engine, if he does listen closely to the running of the engine. rev it up a bit if he/she lets you. when the engines runs you can sometimes get a hear if there is any problems in the engine and it needs a rebuild/replace.
~ If the seller lets you do a compression test on the engine if he/she wants $5,000 they should let you at least check the strength of the engine. you may also want to do a vacuum check. these are also good indications of the engine condition. the compression pressures should all be very close between all cylinders.
~ If the engine doesn't run ask if you can turn it over, either by just a quick crank with the starter or by hand (if you can fit a big wrench in there)
this will give you an indication if the motor is seized or not. although there are times when a motor is seized but it can still be salvaged, however, sometimes it is not possible/ feasible.
I know this is a ton of writing, and is a very large sum of information to absorb. But this is stuff you may want to know, and it will help you determine if it is a good deal..
I hope in some way this helps,