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'54 International


Red Skull Member
May 21, 2020
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Bunker Hill, WV
Been working on this on and off for the last few years. My old man had been helping some but passed very suddenly and I didn't touch it for over a year.

When I bought it


Swapped it on to a Dakota frame. If I did it over I think I would have just put a mustang 2 front end on the stock frame, oh well.


I was going to run a ford 5.4/mustang t45 in this truck but in the end I couldn't get the steering/header/oil filter/upper radaitor hose to play nicely with each other. Also I lost a lot of cab room to that huge bitch.


So I yanked that all out and sold it off. Found the engine I was originally thinking about using in this truck before I ended up with the 5.4. Toyota 2JZ. Trans is a Chevy AR5 manual.

I was able to fit back almost all of the factory firewall save for a small bump out on the drivers side. Tons of room to work with now also.


Random stuff

Dodge 20's


GTO seats


And that is where I'm at now.
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Just found this and subscribed I have a 52 L-110 sitting out back, accidental ebay buy! I bought it from the grandson the last time it was driven was in 65 according the license plate. They also had a water truck of the same vintage so there are no windows, parts of the transmisson are missing, and the motor is locked up.
Thought about doing a frame swap also, read about several that had been done with Ranger frames, there was a guy on youtube who did several dodge swaps, I wasn't to impressed with his way of chopping the bed short to get it to fit the frame, the idea of the hemi motor was interesting though.
Made up some engine/trans mounts and tacked up the turbo manifold. Decided to just run with a log style manifold with a T3 sized flange instead of a spaghetti monster/tubular (plus pretty much every pre-made manifold has a T4 flange). The pictured turbo was off my Cummins.

I may redo the turbo flange to rotate it lower though. Downpipe/firewall clearance might be an issue with it this high.

I also mocked up the LS style power steering pump and a Sanden a/c compressor (the stock one would have interfered with the steering rack)

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Poor girl got buried in the garage and forgotten about. Finally took the time to clear some space out to work on her. Little bit of welding here and there really. Started ordering some parts to get the engine going.

Fuel system came in a few weeks ago.


Changed the intake manifold as I didn't like the one I had bought originally. That one had all the hardware inside which I didn't like and also couldn't actually tighten because the only access was by shoving my arm in the throttle body opening, which only fit up to about the halfway point lol.




New, may need to alter the inner fender a bit for turbo piping clearance but I think it'll be worth it.


The reason I didn't buy this one in the first place is it is meant for the factory turbo version of this engine, which has a different head and the ports/bolt holes don't line up. The solution is port matching and just welding the lower runners to the new plenum. Of course I ran out of argon as soon as I sat down to do the welding. The place I get it from is 30 minutes the opposite way from my office and closes at 4:30, so it is not very convenient to get the tank exchanged these days.

Since I ran out of argon for the tig, pulled the mig out and worked on fixing my biggest mistake on this thing, the firewall I had hacked up for the v8.

Tack tack tack


Grind grind grind

Snagged some more go fast stuff, pistons, rods, and clutch off marketplace. I was only looking for around 400hp which is the breaking point of the stock NA rods. I was trying to find a set of factory turbo pistons and rods but folks wanted way too much for those parts used. Plenty of head room now if I want to get silly with boost.

I snagged a different turbo also, gt3582r.



Worked on the grill a bit. The bottom was bent out about an inch on the sides so heated, pulled, and hammered it back straight ish.


Front clip back on again. I welded in a patch under the pass side headlight while I was messing with it. Still need to do the drivers side which is in worse shape

Somehow having hardware inside an intake manifold doesn't seem like a good idea to me.
Sounds like you need to make friends with "Turbo Yoda" Al on Skid Factory out of Australia he probably has a set of pistons under his work bench :flipoff2:
Another year gone by without doing much work on this project. I did snag a hood today that looked to be in better shape than my current one. While it is straighter, it also has some rust. Kind of have to take what you can find on 70 year old parts though. Was hoping the guy had some other parts I may have needed but the story was he found this truck in the woods on a farm he was clearing out and it was quite far in its journey to return to the earth so he only grabbed the hood and maybe some interior bits, but he couldn't recall.


Cross member and rear edges are thin


But at least it isn't all twisted up and dented like the one that came with the truck


At some point this year I did weld the intake manifold plenum to the lower runners instead of trying to bolt it together with hardware on the inside

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Was staring at the firewall I had hacked up and tried to piece back together last weekend. It just kept pissing me off every time I looked at it so I got rid of it :laughing:


Nice and smooth now. Saves having to body work all the stupid seams I was piecing back together and also filling in a dozen holes. Plus now I have nice flat areas for the pedals/hvac/etc. It would have been way easier if that cowl scoop wasn't there but I wasn't getting rid of that.

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Small update. We moved early this year and the old girl has been sitting in the barn up until about a month ago.


Got it moved to the new shop


Got the floor and firewall patched up. The mid section was removable originally and I want to keep it that way even though it made for more work. Still need finish smoothing it out but at least I can work on other things now like steering and pedals.



On the steering side, I decided to go electric assist. I'm thinking about throwing a 1.5:1 quickener in it also. My power rack is leaking so planning on a manual rack which is 4.1 turns lock to lock. Problem is nobody has a manual rack in stock. Going to have to hunt for one (89 dodge Dakota) or try and adapt something that is actually available. Honestly if I had a do over I would not have used the dodge frame due to lack of aftermarket support for it.

Toyota epas motor assembly and a Fiero upper. Hunk of delrin to take up the mismatch.


yess, another IH build :smokin:

Please post up details on what you wind up doing for fuel, clutch/brake master, etc if you beat me to it. I'm going LS and not 2JZ, but I suspect the solutions can be fairly similar
I have the Aeromotive Phantom universal pump that has its own sump built in and a generic aluminum fuel cell.

I have 2 sets of Wilwood pedals, a forward swing and reverse swing. I thought it would be cool with the reverse swing to be all hidden under the dash, but recently saw a video on YouTube where a truck was built that way and it was a cluster fuck to service it :laughing:
fawwk, that pump looks slick but it ain't cheap. I'm planning on keeping the factory tank, so I may just go external pump and deal with the noise. That's months down the line to figure out

i was thinking Wilwood/similar pedals too. Maybe for the clutch at least - gas will be DBW for me so I may try to reuse the escalade brake pedal while I'm at it, with the hydroboost setup etc. I'll know better once I strip the escalade and see the size of everything
On the steering side, I decided to go electric assist. I'm thinking about throwing a 1.5:1 quickener in it also. My power rack is leaking so planning on a manual rack which is 4.1 turns lock to lock. Problem is nobody has a manual rack in stock. Going to have to hunt for one (89 dodge Dakota) or try and adapt something that is actually available.

Did some measuring and other than the mounting points being wider, the typical mustang II steering rack used for most hot rod suspension kits is pretty much the same dimensions where it matters. Different input splines and thread pitch on the tie rod ends but thats minor shit.

Bought the cheapest manual rack I could find to test it out, $50 :laughing: The reman Dakota rack was almost $400 plus whatever the core charge was.
Mustang rack swap


Stock frame mounts are 10" wide, mustang rack is 16"




Waiting on a u joint for the pinion. Might have to clearance the cross member a little for it depending on how bulky it ends up being.

Decided on no steering quickener for now. Being set up for an off the shelf mustang rack I can get a quick ratio rack in the future if I want.
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