My Ford Truck Project

joesregalproject

joesregalproject

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 4, 2012
3,424
113
Shittsburgh, PA
Damn, that truck is really looking good now! Much better stance.
Thanks, I can still fit some spring spacers in the front if I really want to. Usually the big issue on these trucks is alignment with the TTB, but mine isn't that far off with the 844 springs. With adjustable camber bushings, I should easily be able to get a good alignment even if I decide to add some spacers.

Also I can definitely clear 33" tires now.
 
joesregalproject

joesregalproject

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 4, 2012
3,424
113
Shittsburgh, PA
I washed the truck today (aka hosed it off at the coin op), filled up the rear tank and tossed in a bottle of Seafoam. I really like how it is sitting with the new coils.

IMG_20190811_171122384_HDR-2672x2004.jpg
 
DRIVEN

DRIVEN

Geezer
Apr 25, 2009
5,925
113
Owyhee County
Looks great! The alignment guy I used to share a building with had a huge bin full of various bushings for those that he'd mix and match from. Seems no other alignment shop around would change them, just twist them to "close enough". If I was doing ball joints on a Ford I'd ask him before I started. He'd give it a wiggle, throw a bubble gauge on it, hand me one of his bushings and tell me how to clock it. It was amazing how many came out dead nuts perfect. Skill like that only comes from 40 years of experience.
 
joesregalproject

joesregalproject

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 4, 2012
3,424
113
Shittsburgh, PA
Looks great! The alignment guy I used to share a building with had a huge bin full of various bushings for those that he'd mix and match from. Seems no other alignment shop around would change them, just twist them to "close enough". If I was doing ball joints on a Ford I'd ask him before I started. He'd give it a wiggle, throw a bubble gauge on it, hand me one of his bushings and tell me how to clock it. It was amazing how many came out dead nuts perfect. Skill like that only comes from 40 years of experience.
That is some serious skill. These twin traction beam and twin I beam front suspensions can be a pain in the *ss to align and they aren't very good at holding an alignment either. If you look on some of the Ford truck websites, a lot of guys have just come to accept bad alignment as part of owning one of these. Between that and the fact that good alignment shops are so few and far between, its super common to see these trucks with all kinds of strange front tire wear. These bushings make them a lot easier to align though-

 
joesregalproject

joesregalproject

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 4, 2012
3,424
113
Shittsburgh, PA
I need to stay off of Craigslist because this kind of stuff gives me ideas-

 
  • Love
Reactions: fleming442
joesregalproject

joesregalproject

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 4, 2012
3,424
113
Shittsburgh, PA
Those fetch a premium where I live.
They usually have high price tags around here, but the past few months there has been a lot of them listed for $5k or less.


Longer explanatory post pending, too tired to type it all out right now.
 
olds307 and 403

olds307 and 403

Comic Book Super Hero
Oct 14, 2008
4,932
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
The 7.3 were a real nice motor, especially the later ones. Then Navistar built the the 6L. Let's copy GM's 5.7 that failed miserably and let's boost it too. Can we make so the cab has to be pulled to fix the many failed head gaskets. We sure can!
 
joesregalproject

joesregalproject

Comic Book Super Hero
Nov 4, 2012
3,424
113
Shittsburgh, PA
The 7.3 were a real nice motor, especially the later ones. Then Navistar built the the 6L. Let's copy GM's 5.7 that failed miserably and let's boost it too. Can we make so the cab has to be pulled to fix the many failed head gaskets. We sure can!
Oh I'm well aware of the legendary status of the 7.3 Powerstroke and the woes of the 6.0 and the (IMO even worse) 6.4L (I work for a Ford dealer.) With a two post lift, removing the cabs is pretty easy but probably not a diy job outside of a shop.

As promised, long explanatory post-

If you haven't already guessed, I have a body swap in mind. I've had the idea floating around almost since I've had the truck, but it was cost prohibitive until recently because as Driven stated, all the potential donors usually fetch a premium. However there have been more and more reasonably priced OBS (in case you aren't aware, OBS= Old Body Style, slang for '92-96/97 Ford trucks) Ford diesels for sale lately thus making this idea attainable. I also did briefly consider a 4BT swap, but those have become extremely expensive with most people averaging $4-6k before they are done.

My justification for wanting to swap the body is slightly more complicated than simply "because I can". Maybe not much more complicated, but I do have some actual reasoning behind it. For one, diesels are emissions exempt in PA. To not have to deal with emissions make life just that much easier, especially when dealing with a 25 year old truck. The truck has been mileage exempt from emissions since I've owned it because I have yet to put more than 5k miles on it in a single year, but that may not always be the case. Additionally, as the truck sits, it's not a good tow rig. The 5.0L is considered by a lot of Ford truck guys to be the worst engine Ford offered in these trucks, not because of reliability, but because it has absolutely no low end torque. Coupled with the tall-geared M5OD transmission (which was the weakest transmission Ford put in these trucks) you have to rev the snot out of it to avoid lugging the engine off the line anytime it's loaded, even with 3.55 gears. It'll tow a 6x10 utility trailer all day but I wouldn't really try to pull anything bigger. Also the frame has been repaired. It has a quality repair job that passes inspection, and I feel perfectly safe riding in it, but it is still a repaired frame, and despite the repairs, it had a ton of scale on it and those areas aren't as heavy as they once were.

So why not just buy another truck? I did consider this for a while, I was eyeing up some 99-02 7.3L Super Duties but that means another vehicle that needs registration, insurance, inspection, maintenance and takes up space in the driveway. If I got another truck, I'd probably have to get rid of this one, which is off the table. I'm too emotionally and financially invested in this truck at this point. Too much blood sweat and beers have gone into it just to dump it for another truck.

Don't get me wrong, I love the truck to death, but as I continue to rack miles on it, it's shortcomings are becoming more noticeable. The new coil springs made a huge improvement in the ride quality, but they aren't going to make it tow any better or get me out of emissions testing.

So what about all the work I've done to chassis I already have? Well if you think about it, the vast majority of work I've done to this truck has been on the body and interior. Additionally, a lot of the chassis parts I replaced can be reused. The cab mount bolts and bushings can all be reused, the bed bolts can be reused, both bumpers can be reused, gas tanks can be reused, other odds and ends as well. The engine, transmission, transfer case, axles, wheels and tires can all be sold, they all work fine and the axles are somewhat desirable being limited slip and 3.55s. Exhaust is a cheap setup and can be scrapped. The most expensive piece I have on the chassis that can't be reused is the driveshaft. Minus some wiring and plumbing, that pretty much leaves a bare frame.

So how big of a job will this be? Assuming a decent donor, I think start to finish it can be done in a few weeks. It would be fantastic if I could do it at work but there is no way in hell they would let me. With a two post lift, this would probably take a weekend, but I'll be doing it in the driveway. I'm not saying it won't be a task, but still this is far from the first time this has been done and it's a pretty straightforward operation.

What I will need in a donor is a good frame, complete engine and matching computer, core support (diesels used a different core support) and radiator, transmission (don't want to give up the stick so I'll be looking for a manual truck), transfer case, driveshaft, and axles. Gas tanks are the same but sending units are different, so even if the tanks are rusty, as long as the sending units are there it'll be fine. I'll need the underhood wiring as well as the dash wiring, everything else is more or less the same. So a truck with a solid frame and drivetrain and a rotted body (except for the core support) is what I'm after. The truck in the ad would be about perfect but I don't want to get antsy and buy the first one I see.

We are nearing fall and as much as I dread it, snow and salt will be flying soon which makes it a little too late to start this project this year. The truck will be (mostly) parked for the winter and I don't have an indoor space big enough to store it. So I'm going to continue to drive it just the way it is until salt is on the ground, then it'll be parked until spring. This gives me all winter to find a suitable donor and start collecting parts so I can get right into it come spring.

TL;DR swapping body onto a F250 Diesel chassis, idea basically has moved on from the idea phase to the planning phase.

Also unrelated to body swapping, I found some door sill trim pieces at the junkyard last week which I've been after for a while. LMC sells stainless ones but they look like *ss and no one reproduces the plastic ones. And I got a front plate holder and a dealer plate just for 69hurstolds.

IMG_20190818_165915132-2672x2004.jpg


IMG_20190818_151600228_HDR-2672x2004.jpg


Also found this S-K combo wrench sitting inside one of the trucks at the junkyard. Brought it home and threw it in my Evapo-Rust overnight.

Before-
IMG_20190816_131002121-2672x2004.jpg


IMG_20190816_131005734-2672x2004.jpg


After-
IMG_20190818_144248540_HDR-2672x2004.jpg


IMG_20190818_144257747_HDR-2672x2004.jpg
 
Last edited:
olds307 and 403

olds307 and 403

Comic Book Super Hero
Oct 14, 2008
4,932
113
Melville,Saskatchewan
Yeah, the 302 was Ok but 351 was a much better truck engine. Really the EFI 460 was also a good truck engine. I worked as an apprentice. I remember the slave cylinder recall. Plus the oil field nearby, I saw many of those trans lose 1st and reverse. And yes, the 6.4 was horrible. I remember a tech stealing an EGR valve due to demand and couldn't get off a brand new one on the lot. That and the single digit fuel economy is the reason Ford flipped the bird at International and told them to take a hike.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
wonderboy24 Non-G Projects 26
Similar threads
problems with my truck

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck ConsolesDixie Restoration DepotMike's MontesP-S-TSouthside Machine PerformanceUMI Performance

contact[email protected]for info on becoming a sponsor