Thought I would start a thread for the truck that got me hooked on Bumpsides and Ford trucks in general. This truck has been in my family since new when my grandparents bought it to tow their retirement 5th wheel. Through the 70's and 80's, my grandparents drove it from Idaho to Baja every winter - racking up thousands of miles of heavy towing in pretty rough conditions. My immediate family and I borrowed the truck for several trips of our own including the obligatory Yellowstone adventure in 1985 and a trip to central Mexico in 1986.
With my dad driving, we would pack my sister, mother and I all in the front seat for these trips. Towing a 24' 5th wheel (tiny by today's standards) we had some amazing adventures including getting lost in the back alleys of Juarez, Mexico (almost certain death now) and heading down a dead-end muddy road at Beaver Dick State Park in Oregon that required backing about a 1/4 mile through the mud to get out.
We have rebuilt the engine at least twice that I can remember and rebuilt the transmission and rear end at least once. It is a 360 2v with power steering and power drum brakes all around. The AC was a dealer installed version that worked well through the 90's, but has not been operational for over a decade.
I recently visted my parents and got to drive it again for the first time in a while. My dad has kept it in amazing condition with recent rebuilds of the entire steering system, a top-end rebuild, new radiator, new transmission and fly wheel, new exhaust and new ignition. I was amazed at how nicely it drives right now - better than I ever remember and much better than my 1969 F-250 Ranger Camper Special. I can tell you that a well serviced front suspension and steering in these trucks does in fact drive like a new truck. None of the familiar darting around, mushy steering, that I have been so acustomed to. And it also convinced me I really have to fix the exhaust leak in my '69 F-250. Dad's truck sounded sweet with a good, leak-free, stock exhaust.
It's not a super pretty truck. She's got a few bruises in the bed and a fair number of scratches from all the use, but she still works like a truck is supposed to work. My dad uses this truck all the time around their property to haul hay and carry loads of bee hives around the area.
So, just thought I would share it with all of you to say how happy I am we have kept this one in our family.
Nice truck! Great story on it. Wish more people would just repair vehicles and do engine rebuilds when they get old instead of sending them off to the crusher.
12.3 MPG isn't too bad on the highway with it. The best I've seen out of my '73 460 ('88 truck in sig) on the highway is about 11 MPG. I know someone that said they got a fuel injection kit (primitive fuel injection) for their 360 and gets 16.5 MPG highway and it makes more power. He said it cost him $650 at the time (sometime in the 90's).
Nice Truck!! I have the same year and model. I just bought the truck and it seems to be running great. I am only averaging around 6.5 MPG. I would really like to increase this. Any suggestion??
Assuming your truck has good compression and no other internal problems, I'd focus on making sure it doesn't have any vacuum leaks or exhaust leaks and just complete a good tune up. New plugs, wires, rotar, cap and points. And make sure your carb is in good shape. Also, these trucks tend to develop exhaust leaks that can really rob you of power and mileage. If the manifolds are leaking, fixing that can really help. I just replaced the driver's side exhaust manifold on my 1969 F250 360 2 barrel, and it is running much, much better. Feels like a new truck and sounds sweet.
I was loving this story till you got here. You had to drive about 40 mph to get that.
No, we did not. My dad drove it to Petaluma and back and hand calculated the mileage. Assuming you are claiming he is a liar, why? 12.3 on the freeway without towing seems pretty consistent with our experience with this truck (which usually got between 6 and 8 towing our fifth wheel). He's a pretty conservative driver, but probably was doing around 60-65 on the freeway and then had a few miles driving in town at both ends.
Here's a decent old photo of our family truck and the fifth wheel on the return trip from Mexico in 1986. I'm pretty sure this is at a RV park near Mission Bay in San Diego. We stopped there on the way back for a family friend's wedding - serious National Lampoon Vacation scene with us rolling in from the RV park. This may have been the only time we ever bothered to roll out that awning on the fifth wheel.
Found this pic from last year on a cell phone I'm about to replace. Thought I'd just post it here to keep it. Funny to compare the photo from the 1980's with this. I forgot we replaced the mirrors at some point and looks like we lost the chrome trim that goes around the windshield at some point.
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