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It's Back to the Future for a Ford F-1

The Stone Custom Fab F1 includes a Wagner Tuning intercooler and AIRAID air intake system.

Stone Custom Fabrication's Ford F1 pickup truck with 3.5 liter Ecoboost and AIRAID intake

The Ford F-150 pickup truck has been the best-selling vehicle in the United States since 1981, best selling pickup since 1977 and the best selling vehicle in Canada. The truck is equipped with a Ford 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost engine and a 2.7-liter version is now also available.

The F-150 is part of the F-Series of pickup trucks that started with the F-1 in 1948.

Serendipitously, Henry Bueno, General Manager of Wagner Tuning North America in Fresno, California, discovered an old F-1 parked in the lot of a Falken Tire shop next door. Wagner Tuning, which is headquartered in Germany, manufactures engine and performance products including intercoolers. The intercoolers have been used to improve the performance of EcoBoost engines.

Stone custom fab and Wagner Tuning 1951 F-1

The 1951 F1 debuted at the 2016 SEMA show

“The intercoolers we make are designed to replace the stock intercooler of the EcoBoost engine. Ours is a larger intercooler than the factory one and allows more air to go through for cooling purposes resulting in more power coming out of the turbo, “ explained Bueno.

The intercooler has been used to improve the performance of EcoBoost engines in the Ford F-150 and Expedition. The modified engine delivers 375-385 horsepower. That is an improvement of 20 to 30 horsepower over the stock EcoBoost engine.

“We wanted to perform an engine swap that would be one of the first to include an automatic transmission,” continued Bueno. “We wanted to change the game.”

1951 Ford F-1 engine bay with 3.5L Ecoboost and AIRAID intake

You can see how Stone Fab basically had to shoehorn that engine into this truck

So when Bueno discovered the F1 truck, he notified Wagner Tuning in Germany. He sold the executives the idea of using the F1 as the platform that would showcase a Wagner enhanced 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost integrated with an automatic transmission. Once Wagner approved the project, Bueno asked Jacob Stone, owner of Stone Custom Fabrication in Fresno, to construct a chassis for the vehicle and perform the build.

“The goal was to have a 1951 F-1 built around the EcoBoost platform,” explained Stone. “Wagner found the products they wanted in the build and I called the companies to confirm that they wanted to participate and to arrange for the products to be sent to me.”

Besides a stock 3.5-liter V6 EcoBoost engine, the products Stone collected included an intercooler from Wagner and a 400-338 air intake system from AIRAID that they had to modify to make it work with the engine swap.

1951 Ford F-1 at the 2016 SEMA show

Thanks to a ton of frame, suspension, and body work, the old F-1 sits hard on the Las Vegas tarmac

Stone and his crew began the project performing modifications on the F-1. They fabricated mounts for the engine and constructed a fuel cell with pump from scratch. The bed and fenders were modified, the rear was sectioned and raised about 3-inches and an inch was chopped from the bottom of the truck.

When inspecting the engine compartment of the F-1, Stone concluded that fitting everything in would be a difficult undertaking and he discovered that there wasn’t much room between the firewall and the dashboard.

Stone had to commission another shop in Fresno, Painless Wiring, to make a wiring harness to accommodate the 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine and to make certain that it worked properly with the transmission.

The AIRAID 400-338 air intake system.

The AIRAID 400-338 air intake system offers an estimated boost of 33-horsepower.

Despite the limited space, the crew was able to fit in the modified engine, the Ford automatic transmission, and custom hoses for the transmission and radiator into the engine compartment. They removed the stock firewall and items under the dash and constructed and placed a custom firewall.

With the area under the dash now vacant, many of the vehicle’s components were placed there including the brake and steering system, the front controls, the vehicle computer and fuse box. The crew also constructed a full chassis, control arms and suspension in-house.

Eduardo’s Upholstery in Fresno wrapped the entire interior including the doors in leather, Kool Hand Luke performed the exterior paintwork while Homie Paint Shop did the task in the engine compartment and interior.

Although Stone Custom Fabrication had the truck for about one year, the project took about four months. The vehicle debuted as a Wagner Tuning feature vehicle at the 2016 SEMA show.

Other products that are in the build include:

• Wagner Tuning Intercooler

• Dakota Digital Gauges

• AIRAID Cold Air Intake

• K&N Oil Filter

• Painless Wiring Wiring Harness

• Currie 9” Rear End

• UPR Oil Turbo Catch Can

• Turbosmart Blow Off Valve

• Specialties Suspensions Seamless Air Tanks

• Fearless Gear Axles

• Ididit Steering Assembly

• Rotiform Wheels

• Falken Tires

• Be Cool Radiator

• Magnaflow Exhaust

• Airlift Air Suspension Components

• Viair Compressors

• Baer Brakes 16” 6 Piston Calipers in front and 14” 4 Piston Calipers in rear

• Billet Specialties Steering Wheel

• Clovis Powder Coat Frame Coating

• Nex Gen Lithium Battery

• Meclec Metal Finishing

• CPP-Spindles and Suspension Components


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