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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

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Old 12-30-2011, 12:00 AM
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Talking Introduction / F-150 300 straight 6, 3-speed

Howdy folks. Lee here. Nice to meet y'all. I grew up on a dairy farm in Fort Seybert, WV (that's Pendleton county, in case you're wondering), and currently live down the road in Brandywine and run a little small-town computer repair shop + part-time-ish IT work at a "real" job in town.

I recently became the proud owner of a rather dubious '84 F-150, 300ci I6, 2wd, with a 3-speed manual jam-up widget on the column. It runs pretty good other than spewing oil out the leaky head gasket at a rate of about 1/4 qt per day, and I don't think the spark advance is working (not much power at all up high). Looks like it uses some kind of vacuum advance gadget, but I don't wanna rip into it until I order some shop manuals.

Speaking of: Which is better, the Chilton or the Haynes? I flipped through the Haynes, but it didn't seem to have an exploded drawing of that 3-speed jam-up unit, which was disappointing.

The body is pretty rusty, but I'm planning to weld in some rust repair panels and scrap metal and repaint the whole thing with tractor paint and a roller... I got it to pass inspection by stuffing bondo into the wheel arches, but I want to fix it all proper-like. Bondo-jobs are scary to me....

I ended up paying a total of $300 plus a rather complicated 3rd-party trade that involved me giving away some vacuum tubes for a vintage guitar amplifier that I no longer own.

The truck is replacing a 2000 ZX2 that recently hit one deer too many and ain't worth fixing this time (at least not with my shade-tree skills, or lack thereof). I been driving the truck to work every day since Christmas, and it seems to do ok as long as I keep feeding it oil. I figger if I weld up a bull bar, this thing will just plow through the deer instead of vice-versa.

I had an '88 5-speed 300 6-banger long ago, but the engine finally suffered catastrophic bottom-end failure and went to the great junkyard in the sky. It was a little too fancified with that XLT package, anyway. This thing is just nice, sensible, bare, power-nothing, with a rubber floor and flat vinyl bench seat.

I'm looking forward to turning this hunk of rust and dirt into something semi-respectable (or at least what passes for respectable in my book). I've never done much body work before, so this will likely prove to be an interesting experience. Hopefully with yourall's advice and a healthy dose of Pisser's bodywork channel on youtube, I can get this done.

Speaking o' which: Do you reckon I won't overheat them rust repair panels too bad with the ol' stick welder if I go slow and do spot welds, or do I need to find someone with a mig welder and learn to get the cussed thing to feed right? (Mig welding and I have a hate/hate relationship...)

If anyone is interested, I'll post up some pictures of this $300 Wonder Truck sometime when there's light outside. Ain't nothing to write home about, though. Although some photos of my attempts at body work later on may prove to be entertaining, at least.

My other vehicles are a gaggle of elderly motorcycles, but it didn't seem proper to put 'em up in the garage here. ;P
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Old 12-30-2011, 12:11 PM
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Leaf - Welcome! Glad to have another Bull Nose owner providing advice, as you've already done, as well as seeking advice.

Speaking of which, I've been told stick welding and body panels don't go hand-in-hand. However, if you are really good maybe it would work, although as you point out you are going to have to do LOTS of spot welds far, far apart to keep the heat down. As for me, I'd use MIG.

As for pictures, the more the merrier. We do love pictures.
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Old 12-30-2011, 07:39 PM
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Edit: I highlighted the questions amongst my ramblings... Seemed awful hard to see in my wall o' text. :P

Thanks, Gary. I 'preciate the kindness!

Once again, I find myself home from work after dark, so still no pictures. :/

I popped in a new dimmer switch before leaving work, though, and crimped a spade lug onto the back-up light wire that was missing one and plugged all that up. Seems to be working.

I noticed while I was under there that there seemed to be a little more slop than I'd like in the gearbox shaft (the one that goes to the drive shaft via the u-joint), and the seal around it was weeping some fluid (the seal that looks kinda like a dust seal cover on a motorcycle fork). There was also some clean area at the base of the shaft nearest the gearbox, like it had been moving in and out a little. Maybe a half inch.

How much slop is acceptable in that shaft? It's the 3-speed manual transmission. I presume it has around 190k on it (or maybe 290k if the seller was fibbing... Or 390k... Or 490k........ lol).

Before replacing the dimmer switch, I had the headlights jumpered to low-beam only on the switch connector with a piece of wire. I'd been driving it like that for a week now and hadn't had any trouble. However, on the way home tonight, my high-beams totally cut out for a second. I stomped the switch and the lows came on fine, and the highs worked ok the rest of the way home.

What would cause that? O_o A faulty switch I'd think. But it's brand spanking new.... Maybe a bad ground on the high-beam side? But I figure they probably share a ground with the low-beams. Surely there's not something worn through on the + side of the high-beams. It would've blown a fuse in that case (which was my gut fear the moment it happened)....
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:09 PM
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I would start with a bad ground first. You also ,ight have some rust under the switch, causing it to not work. BTW, Weclome to FTE.
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Old 12-30-2011, 08:18 PM
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Thanks!

By the way, does anyone know what the model number of the 1984 F-150 3-speed manual transmission is? Google ain't being much help......

I am starting to think it's going to be impossible to find parts for if I have to rebuild it...
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
Before replacing the dimmer switch, I had the headlights jumpered to low-beam only on the switch connector with a piece of wire. I'd been driving it like that for a week now and hadn't had any trouble. However, on the way home tonight, my high-beams totally cut out for a second. I stomped the switch and the lows came on fine, and the highs worked ok the rest of the way home.
.
I know I'm no help at all, but years ago I had a '72 F100 that would cut out on low beams every once in a while. They usually worked and I just drove it that way. It was really scary the first time it happened as I was driving down a deserted highway when it was very dark.
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:54 PM
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Yea, it was a little worrisome. I was heading up a fairly steep mountain (right about here) and coming up on one of the sharp curves.... D:=
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:00 PM
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Leaf - The drive shaft does work in and out of the rear of the tranny as the load changes on the rear axle. That's normal. As for how much slop is acceptable, I don't know. But, I do know that lots of Fords have quite a bit of slop and keep on going.

The headlights aren't on fuses. They are on thermal circuit breakers that trip and then reset when they cool. The high beams on the truck I sold did what you described and I never did find the problem. Always thought it was a short somewhere, but could not find it. So, I'm wondering if the breakers get old and no longer carry enough current for the lights.
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Old 12-30-2011, 10:22 PM
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Leaf,

Yes, welcome to FTE.

Nobody has asked you yet so I will - please GO HERE and finish filling out your profile so we can see where you're at on each of your posts.


Concerning identifying your transmission, post a picture of your Certification Label on your driver's side door jamb.

Here is mine for reference:
Click the image to open in full size.



Concerning your headlights, probably best to create a separate thread (so the guys who are good with this problem can recognize it via your descriptive & helpful title ).

The headlight switches have circuit breakers in them, yours may be doing its job, because....

There is a tan wire that is famous for melting right around the switch connector, I believe this is the primary feed for the headlight switch but don't remember for certain (hence, create a new thread with a decent title so the people who know it by heart can answer).

Besides, I'm confused.... you talk about jumpering the switch connector for the low beams but then talk about the high beams flickering.

As I remember it, all that stuff is controlled at the dimmer switch in the floor; have you done any other backyard engineering of the wiring?



How much plat is acceptable in what sounds like a manual transmission? No idea.

Chilton & Haynes both suck in comparison to the factory shop manuals which can be gotten on ebay or from any pf a number of resellers of used automotive literature.

I bought some from THIS PLACE - I'm not advertising them, just stating that I'm a happy customer of theirs.

You can add your motorcycles to your garage here if you want.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctubutis View Post
Nobody has asked you yet so I will - please GO HERE and finish filling out your profile so we can see where you're at on each of your posts.
Done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ctubutis View Post
Besides, I'm confused.... you talk about jumpering the switch connector for the low beams but then talk about the high beams flickering.
Ah, sorry, I was unclear. :3 I picked up a new dimmer switch (on the floor, yea) on the way to work this morning and installed it in place of the backyard-engineered low-beam-only jumper wire that I had been using. I didn't have any flickering with the wire, before installing the new switch. Maybe the high-beams draw enough juice to kick that thermal breaker y'all were talking about....

Here's my certification label. It looks a bit odd because I had to enhance it a little in GIMP to be able to read the very faded text. As far as I can figure out "C" means the 3-speed 3.03 top-loader. Axle 17 is a mystery to me, unless that really is the Tape code and there is no axle code...

Canada, eh? No wonder it's so rusty. :P

Click the image to open in full size.

And here's my sad & weepy transmission. It looks pretty dire to me, but maybe I am overreacting....

Click the image to open in full size.

Sorry if the pictures aren't the greatest. It's pretty dark out.
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:41 AM
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On the bright side, maybe all that gear oil slinging out has kept the bed from rusting out. XD

I haven't had the courage to pull the bedliner off yet........
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Old 12-31-2011, 12:49 AM
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That's really not that much lube. But, the rear seal is easily replaced. Remove the drive shaft, pry the old seal out, and drive the new one in.

I understand what you mean about the bed liner though. Fortunately the bed on Dad's truck is crushed so even if it is rusty under the liner it doesn't matter.
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Old 12-31-2011, 09:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
Here's my certification label. It looks a bit odd because I had to enhance it a little in GIMP to be able to read the very faded text. As far as I can figure out "C" means the 3-speed 3.03 top-loader. Axle 17 is a mystery to me, unless that really is the Tape code and there is no axle code...

Canada, eh? No wonder it's so rusty. :P

Click the image to open in full size.
VIN: 2FTCF15Y8ECA87730

2FT = Manufactured by Ford Motor of Canada, Ltd. as a Complete Vehicle
C = Class C - 4,001 - 5,000 lb.
F15 = 1980/ Pickup - F150 2WD
Y = 300 cid/4.9L gasoline-powered, EFI (feedback carb)
8 = Check Digit, ignore
E = Model Year 1984
C = Assembly Plant = Ontario Truck
A87730 = Numerical sequence of assembly




Certification Label

Exterior Paint Color 9D = White Acrylic Lacquer (1984/1986) Part # AL81-5418-B
Wheelbase = 133"
Type-GVW F152 = (in 1984/1988) Pickup, 133" WB, 4,900 lb. GVW rating, F150 2WD
Body AH4 = Regular cab w/Styleside pickup box, tan interior, all-vinyl full-width seat
Trans C (1980/1986) = 3-speed manual Ford transmission
Axle 17 (1981/1986) = 2.47 (yikes!) 3,750 lb. capacity Ford non-locking
Springs B & H are a PITA to look up and all I can really find are part numbers for replacements... B are the front, H are the rear.
DSO 17 = Originally sold in the Washington district


Source: FoMoCo 1980/89 Light Truck Parts Catalog (Final Issue, 1994) (available on CD from www.hipoparts.com)


So, you have the 6-banger with the 2.47:1 rear end and a 3-speed stick, this was built for high mileage (I'm surprised you don't have an OD transmission) and not towing.
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Old 12-31-2011, 10:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ctubutis View Post
Trans C (1980/1986) = 3-speed manual Ford transmission
Axle 17 (1981/1986) = 2.47 (yikes!) 3,750 lb. capacity Ford non-locking

So, you have the 6-banger with the 2.47:1 rear end and a 3-speed stick, this was built for high mileage (I'm surprised you don't have an OD transmission) and not towing.
Thanks for looking all that up!

2.47 differential, huh? Lol. I figured it was at least a 3:1. This explains why 1st gear is so tall (I wasn't sure if it was a low ratio rear end or just the way those Ford 3-speeds are) and why I can't climb hills. XD

Honestly, that 2.47 suits me just fine. I was worried when I got this thing that I'd be getting something around 10 mpg with the carb and horrid aerodynamics.... If I need to tow or haul something heavier than a motorcycle, I can always just go down to the farm and grab the 3500 Chevy dually and the low-boy...
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Old 12-31-2011, 11:01 PM
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So, on the subject of this thing.........

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaf View Post
Click the image to open in full size.
Do y'all reckon I ought to be pumping some gear oil into that thing? You just fill it on the side until it starts running out and slap the plug back in, right?

I guess mebbe it ain't too bad, but it still skeers the bjesus out of me. I wasn't joking about it having slung gear oil all over the bottom of the bed...
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