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1973 - 1979 F-100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Dentsides Ford Truck

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  #1  
Old 05-31-2011, 07:36 PM
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Rogue_Wulff Rogue_Wulff is offline
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Reviving dad's 74 F100 (one owner truck)

My father bought a 1974 F100 new, and daily drove it for 34 years. He finally got to the point that he was just not able to safely drive, so we had to take the truck away from him in 2008. My sister took it to her house for "safe keeping". This basically entailed parking in the street, and not touching it. The last time she tried to start it, the fuel hose at the carb was leaking fuel, and there was a small fire. It sat untouched for the next 2 years, until the city tagged it for removal, as the tag was not even kept updated and expired in Dec 08.
I brought it to my house friday night on a trailer. Saturday morning, I popped the hood for the first time in over 2 years. Replaced the fuel hose, cut off the nearly non-existant factory positive battery terminal and replaced with a cheap replacement (temporary fix). Unhooked the cable for the driver side battery (dual battery boxes) from the starter solenoid, and put a battery in it. Turned the key, and she cranked over. Throttle pedal didn't want to move. Throttle shaft in the carb was seized.
Soaked the ends of the shaft with fluid film, and let it soak for about 10 minutes (smoke break). After a few cycles of tapping around the shaft on the baseplate and wiggling the throttle linkage, it broke loose and some working it back/forth got it moving freely.
Splashed a little gas in the carb, and it fired right up, stumbled, died. Another splash, same result. 3rd splash, almost the same, but after stumbling, it picked back up and stayed running. Lot's of black smoke out the tailpipes, so I shut it off. Inspected everything under the hood, and no signs of any fuel leakage. Tapped on the top of the carb, and lit it back up. Black smoke faded to nothing. I only let it run for a couple minutes, and shut it back off for another under hood check. All fine.
I took the truck to a freinds house a couple blocks away, and drove it off the trailer, and into the driveway, praking it by his garage. It's first time moving under it's own power in almost 3 years.
More pics will come, and I will keep updating this thread as I go. My plan is to make the truck look/drive/run as good as it did just a few years back, and take dad for a ride in it by his birthday in mid September. If the weather is agreeable, or the A/C still works (it did 3 years ago) I hope to be able to take him to the county fairgrounds, and let him take it around their parking area (1/2 sq mile) for a while.
This truck is truly priceless to me. I was 9 when he bought it, and I thought it was the most beautiful truck ever made. My opinion hasn't changed in almost 40 years. Neither has his.
All original paperwork, owners manual, warrenty card, and window sticker are still in the glovebox, inside the original plastic bag.
I only have one pic resized small enough to post, and it was taken right after I closed the hood from getting it running. Will get more resized and posted as I can.
Click the image to open in full size.
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1980 F-150 300 I6, C6 & 9" rearend. Cummins 5.9L/ NV4500 5 speed swap in the works
1974 F100 Ranger XLT 390, C6 3.25 axle. Dad bought it new.
1983 Mazda RX7 1.1L Rotary.
1984 CRX 35 MPG go kart
1995 Mazda B2300 (undercover Ford)
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:38 PM
montana_highboy montana_highboy is offline
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Nice story, and beautiful looking truck.
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:49 PM
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Rogue_Wulff Rogue_Wulff is offline
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Originally Posted by montana_highboy View Post
Nice story, and beautiful looking truck.
Thanks.
I could tell plenty more stories about this truck. The chrome wheels, my gift to him for his birthday in 1989. I learned to drive in this truck, when I was 12. This truck was used to hual the 8' overhead camper and 23' CristCraft cabin cruiser to the lake for family weekends, or leave the boat at home and go on a week long vaction to Branson, back when it was still possible to drive across town rather than spend all afternoon/evening in a traffic jam.....

I went and visited dad yesterday. We talked for over 8 hours. I believe that was his best day in many years. I know it was for me.......
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1980 F-150 300 I6, C6 & 9" rearend. Cummins 5.9L/ NV4500 5 speed swap in the works
1974 F100 Ranger XLT 390, C6 3.25 axle. Dad bought it new.
1983 Mazda RX7 1.1L Rotary.
1984 CRX 35 MPG go kart
1995 Mazda B2300 (undercover Ford)
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Old 05-31-2011, 07:58 PM
montana_highboy montana_highboy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogue_Wulff View Post
This truck was used to hual the 8' overhead camper and 23' CristCraft cabin cruiser to the lake for family weekends.

There's just something that screams "Americana" about that visual, a bygone era, newer trucks just don't have that nostalgia, though i suppose they might for future generations.
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Old 05-31-2011, 08:00 PM
rdweathers rdweathers is offline
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Enjoy both of them while you can. I bought a 74 F100 to duplicate the fun I had with my dads 76 F100 which is long gone. Everytime my dads see my 74 it brings up good memories. I also have my dads parents car they bought new in 68 which is a Galaxy 500, I was driving that car at 14 and now at 43 I am still driving it. They are like time machines.
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:06 AM
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thats beautiful.. i agree enjoy them while you can. i'm in the process of restoring my dad's 76. i ruined a good part of it with my bad thoughts and idea. So i'm restoring it with help of a 77 f-250 that i bought that didn't pass smog
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Old 06-01-2011, 01:28 AM
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Rogue_Wulff Rogue_Wulff is offline
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Thanks for the kind words. I hope to be able to enjoy dad and the F100 for a good long time.
I nearly lost dad in 92, when a drunk crossed the center and hit the van he was driving head-on, at 87 MPH (police were in pursuit). My son was born 3 months later. This accident had a lot to do with dad becoming too dangerous to be behind the wheel.
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1980 F-150 300 I6, C6 & 9" rearend. Cummins 5.9L/ NV4500 5 speed swap in the works
1974 F100 Ranger XLT 390, C6 3.25 axle. Dad bought it new.
1983 Mazda RX7 1.1L Rotary.
1984 CRX 35 MPG go kart
1995 Mazda B2300 (undercover Ford)
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Old 06-04-2011, 12:40 AM
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Minor update for today. Went over with a battery, and started it up to let it build a little heat for the first time in a while. As I had expected, the fuel pump is dumping fuel into the crankcase. In the morning, I'm headed to the parts store to pick up a fuel pump and some radius arm bushings. Going to have to order the upper seal kit for the PS gearbox.
Hopefully, I can get the fuel pump, oil and oil filter changed, and get it to a car wash 2 blocks away to clean up around the steering gear real good, then start dropping the gearbox.
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1980 F-150 300 I6, C6 & 9" rearend. Cummins 5.9L/ NV4500 5 speed swap in the works
1974 F100 Ranger XLT 390, C6 3.25 axle. Dad bought it new.
1983 Mazda RX7 1.1L Rotary.
1984 CRX 35 MPG go kart
1995 Mazda B2300 (undercover Ford)
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Old 06-04-2011, 05:56 PM
4601ton 4601ton is offline
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nice truck! I bet you are so proud to have your dad's old truck around still! I know I'm proud to have my great grandfather's 87 F150 around and it doesn't have near the story your truck does...
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Old 06-04-2011, 08:02 PM
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Awesome
Nice story, nice truck
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Old 06-05-2011, 08:58 AM
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Rogue_Wulff Rogue_Wulff is offline
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Yesterday, I got the fuel pump changed. Drained the oil, and nearly 2 gallons came out of the pan. Looked and smelled more like black colored gas rather than oil. I suspect the fuel pump was already gone when it was parked.
Got it down to the car wash, and was surprisingly easy to get most of the gunk off the frame and steering gear. The steering gear was shockingly easy to remove. The bolts that held it to the frame were barely snug, and the drag link was loose at the pitman arm. Cotter pin was there, but when I removed it, the nut wasn't even figer tight.
Now for the scarey part. Back in the mid 80's, a drilling rig without even a slight hint of brakes rolled across a parking lot and bumped into dad's truck, catching it right at the right front wheel, and shoved it about 6 feet sideways. Apparenttly, this caused some damage to the frame behind the steering gear. Over the years, the frame started cracking, allowing the gearbox to flex side to side when turning the wheel, or on uneven road surfaces. It wasn't 1 continuous crack thought, instead it was several smaller ones that started around some of the various holes located in the steering gear area. The lower half of the frame rail, and the inner brace for the steering gear to mount on, were torn apart, while the upper half of both were still intact.
I'm normally not a fan of welding on a frame, but I did have a freind weld this one back together. I figure it will either hold, or the cracks will start to show up again. If the latter happens, I'll just get another full frame to swap everything onto. A frame swap really would have been my more preffered route, but there's a whole lot of memories surrounding this truck, plus dad may or may not be around too much longer. I'm hoping to get this truck back into a roadworthy condition, so he can at least get to ride in it again.
I figure the frame will most likely hold, since the only way to induce the flex was cranking the wheel while sitting still. Even placing a jack on the frame rail right below the radiator support and lifting the wheel off the ground did not cause any up/down flex where the lower half of the rail was broke, and a 390 is not exactly light.
The gearbox itself feels pretty tight, so I'm going to replace the upper and lower seals, and see what happens. Before the gearbox goes back in, I'm gonna replace the freeze plugs in the block. I can see evidence of the rear one starting to seep. Dad built the engine back in the late 80's, so it's not something that really surprised me. They're cheap, might as well replace them all while I'm at it. If brass are still available, I'll go that route. Kinda surprised dad didn't put brass plugs in there.

My sister had kept the truck at her house for the last 3 years, and didn't even rinse the dust off occasionally. Dad was thrilled when he found out I finally managed to get it away from her, so it can be fixed. It's only been a little over a week since I brought it home, and it's already come a long way. Still quite a bit left to do though.

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and for the words of encouragement. This old truck has a lifetime of memories stored inside it, so anything/everything I do to it is just a labor of love.
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1980 F-150 300 I6, C6 & 9" rearend. Cummins 5.9L/ NV4500 5 speed swap in the works
1974 F100 Ranger XLT 390, C6 3.25 axle. Dad bought it new.
1983 Mazda RX7 1.1L Rotary.
1984 CRX 35 MPG go kart
1995 Mazda B2300 (undercover Ford)
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Old 06-05-2011, 09:38 AM
bigdaddys76 bigdaddys76 is offline
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I doubt that rig hitting it had anything to do with the cracks, its common for these frames to crack at the gear box location

I hope you guys drilled the ends of those cracks, a hole keeps the crack from spreading.

The truck looks good as it is and looking forward to the "bringing it back to life" pics
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:08 AM
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mikeo0o0o0 mikeo0o0o0 is offline
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Brass freeze plugs are still available, I just bought a set from rock auto and I know Napa has them, probably everyone else too.
This is a nice story, hope your dad is around for a long time to enjoy the effort you're putting in the truck.
Just a note on the steering gear, DON'T try to take the box apart! Remove the seals from outside. Pop the snap ring out and take a sharp center punch and collapse the seal and pry it out. On the steering shaft (just below the "rag joint") the first "seal" you see is actually a dust boot, the actual seal is below that.
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Old 06-05-2011, 04:46 PM
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Rogue_Wulff Rogue_Wulff is offline
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I figured brass plugs were still available. Unfortunately, the local NAPA store closed about 6 months ago. Earl prolly wouldn't even needed to look up the number for those.....
I hope dad sticks around a while too. Nearly lost him in 92 to a traffic accident. He beat the odds, and fooled the experts who had almost given up and called it.
As for disassembling the gearbox, it's been a while, but I remember how much of a pain they are.

Finding out that cracking around the gearbox isn't that uncommon makes me feel a lot better about the chances of it holding together. Dad had a bad habit of cranking the wheel while sitting still, which I'm sure is a contributing factor.

I wish I could say the frame repair and sealing the steering gear was all that's needed, but dad continued to drive this truck long after it should have been parked. Between the loosness of the steering, and his failing vision, there's some bodywork needing done. Mostly just minor stuff though. He treated this truck pretty decent until he got to where he just could no longer handle it. These days, he even has trouble avoiding running into things with his power chair, so his days behind the wheel are certainly done.

He has a glimmer of hope that I will turn it back over to him when I'm done, but he knows the truth. He knew as soon as I told him I had taken possesion of it from my sister that it would be fixed, and he would get to see the end result, but that he would never have the freedom to drive it on the road again. Maybe at the county fairgrounds, where there's over a 1/2 sq/mile of paved parking lots, but not on the public road.
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1980 F-150 300 I6, C6 & 9" rearend. Cummins 5.9L/ NV4500 5 speed swap in the works
1974 F100 Ranger XLT 390, C6 3.25 axle. Dad bought it new.
1983 Mazda RX7 1.1L Rotary.
1984 CRX 35 MPG go kart
1995 Mazda B2300 (undercover Ford)
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:20 PM
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nice truck great story.
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Old 06-05-2011, 05:20 PM
 
 
 
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