1964 F-100 - New Truckers, Craig Grisolia Story Part 2

6/30/2024
Bob “Video Bob” and Jeannine Huff
When the stock F-100 longbed rolled off the assembly line in 1964 it had a 129" wheelbase. In order to keep the truck a longbed Craig had to add 14.25” of length to the police car chassis. Before he even began building the truck his intentions were to NOT modify any of the factory exterior sheet metal. He wanted the truck to be a sleeper of sorts, to where anyone looking at it would never guess that it was a custom-built "diesel-powered" vehicle.
 
With the dream of someday finding an old slab-sided Ford truck, in his spare time he built a balanced and blueprinted 1997 Ford F-250, 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel engine with a turbo with stage 2 injectors to be installed in the truck once he found it.
 
 
As he was soon to find out, trying to combine 3 different Ford components (engine, frame, and body) to where they looked like they were a single built factory unit would prove to be a difficult task, but he could envision the end result and was determined to forge on until he got it accomplished.
 
After getting the new chassis lengthened and the diesel engine installed, he noticed that the bottom of the oil pan was 2" below the front crossmember. To eliminate any chance of it being punctured while cruising down the road he pulled the pan, sectioned it two inches and welded some cooling fins to the sides to allow for adequate airflow.
 
After installing the large 75mm Hypermax turbo on the engine Craig slowly lowered the cab cutting the firewall at the same time to make room for the 7.3 motor to sit in the original F-100 engine location. After four tries this part of the cab mounting attempt was accomplished. With the ZF5 diesel transmission out-sizing the original Ford 3-speed, Craig discovered that the transmission hump inside the cab also had to be modified for additional clearance. These last two cab mods proved to be a game of cut and fit which took several days before he got it to where he was happy with it.
 
With the F-100 cab now securely mounted to the updated chassis Craig turned his sights toward mounting the long bed. The most daunting task here was to get the body lines to flow like they would on a factory-built unit. This was accomplished with numerous shims and adjustments.
 
With the engine, cab, and bed now secured to the 2000 Ford Victoria chassis Craig readied himself to take on the final phase of his F-100 rebuild, installing the front clip and hood. With a little fabricating and tig welding he was able to accomplish this over a period of several days
 
With spring just around the corner and Pigeon Forge’s Grand National F-100 Show on the horizon Craig had approximately 60 days to test drive his "New Effie" to "fine tune" his build before heading south towards Tennessee. What Craig is most proud of on his F-100 long bed is the fact that all the work from bumper to bumper was done by himself including the wiring (which is all hidden).
 
As for the exterior of his master-piece, he decided that since the truck would be his daily driver and an advertising piece for his newly formed business "No Spark Innovations," he would forgo the "glitzy" paint and chrome and save it for his latest project that he's presently working on, a 1966 F-100 all out "show truck."
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