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View Poll Results: Should I put a Diesel in OL BIG RED, or rebuild 400??
Go Diesel or GO Home!! 4 50.00%
Rebuild the 400 and call it a day! 3 37.50%
Other idea? Please share..... 1 12.50%
Voters: 8. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07-04-2013, 12:54 AM
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BORDERBUM BORDERBUM is offline
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Help with decisions with OL Big Red

Ive been wanting a diesel for a while now, and Alan and I have talked about putting a diesel in Ol Big Red. Big Red's 400 right now needs work, he smokes, needing new rings, and just all out rebuild to be safe.

The 400 Motor in Ol Red came from a Old family friend that drove the truck into his barn never to drive again, and My Grandpa and Uncle took parts off the motor and truck for thier dents. 20 years later or so, I buy the motor out of it to put back in one of Grandpa's past trucks I found on Craigslist (OL BIG RED) By then of course the truck was jacked up in the air etc.....which I like...lol Anyway, Alan, got the truck running within 15 min after being down for 20 plus years!!

Regardless of what motor I decide to use, the 400 will be kept and if I find my Grandpa's favorite truck (78 f250 explorer longbed) I will use it for that truck (My uncle blew the original motor before he sold it)

Now to my questions......

Do I need a diesel?

NEGITIVES>>>>I dont drive the truck all the time, but I will use it to tow my 2500lbs diamond plate car trailer with whatever vehicle is broke down at the time so say 4000 lbs plus trailer 6500 lbs.... I down tow weekly or monthly, most likely 2-3 times a year. Im not looking for a powerhouse diesel to pull mountains down....

I can tow with a rebuilt 400 which will cost me less to rebuild than buying a diesel and then putting it in etc....Not finialized the price list on this, so this might be a little off....

I can at least figure stuff out on a gas motor, never messed with any diesels.

I am worried about the cost to replace diesel parts which cost more...ive got a good mechanic though


Positives>>>

400 needs rebuilt anyways....

Fuel mileage has to beat 8 mpg....7.3 non turbo has got guys 20 plus mpg...with reds size maybe 15?

I want to blow smoke in a classic that I love

I dont plan on speeding in a big **** truck anyway, so diesel helps with fuel MPG, pulling , blowin smoke and the coolness factor of having a diesel in a truck that did not have one......

Might look to buy a boat later and hauling it to Tablerock would be nicer on the wallet....


Ok, my reasons for it, or against it may be crap, may not be, let me know what you think. Do I want it for the Wow factor only and might not drive it enough to offset the costs of parts, fuel, etc?.....please let your thinking be more along the lines of how much I am going to use it for a truck vs the wow factor....ok the wow factor gets 10% positive vote just for being so cool? lol

Your question to me will most likely be which diesel? I dont want a turbo, I am looking along the lines of 7.3 pre turbo, so 93.5 and older.... I can get a old F250 etc Ford Diesel pre turbo truck for between $1200-$2000. This would provide the motor, etc and maybe gears?? I need front gears in Red anyway... These motors usually have between 180k and 220k on them.

Ol Red is not my daily driver, He is my only full size truck right now though...my little s10 4x4 does not hold much in the bed...not much at all....red is my 3rd vehicle in line as far as daily drivers....

lot of info all mixed up, so Im sorry, if you can decipher and give me your thoughts, I would apprieciate it!! Red is my 77 F150 Ranger 4x4 single cab longbed.
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http://www.foks.com/forums/album.php?albumid=23173&pictureid=129197Jeff.
1977 Ford F150 Ranger 4x4(Ol Big Red)
6" suspension 3"bl 400 4sp
38" Super Swamper TSLs
1979 F250 Ranger 4x4 (BANDIT)
IH 7.3 idi Diesel Yes, The Diesel
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:30 PM
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OK, I'll grant you that it isn't as "cool", but I vote rebuild the 400 and stick with something you know.
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Old 07-04-2013, 05:19 PM
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The diesel is a cool idea and would make it a very strong tow rig. What would have to be modified to support the extra weight and manual transmission? Corner The Mad Fabricator for his ideas. Make your own biodiesel and you're green.
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Old 07-05-2013, 01:19 PM
garrett_8 garrett_8 is offline
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as cool as the diesel swap would be, it is gonna cost major $$$ to do it
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Old 07-05-2013, 07:39 PM
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The best answer I can give you is start pricing things out as if you're going to buy right now. If the diesel is ridiculous, the answer will be clear. The truck is already set up for the 400. BUT, ....I know a guy that fabricate whatever you need to fit the diesel. His prices are pretty reasonable, too.
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'75 F-250 468, C6 Monster Truck (Earthquake III)
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Old 07-08-2013, 01:13 PM
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i guess alot will depend on cost of the doner vehicle for parts... i myself am partial to diesels, but i know a little about them and am able (some days that is) to work on them.. but if the main concern would be initial cost..the 400 is better.. operating cost is hard to figure..per mile costs will have alot to do with gear and tire choices, cost of fuel vs gas, miles driven, and normal maintenance costs.. so it all comes down to what do you want.. then go that way..ha ha ha
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Old 07-08-2013, 03:57 PM
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You answered you question with all the first half of your thread statements (I will not really need a diesel to tow).

Those 1/2 ton axles and all that diesel torque might not mix well.
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Old 07-09-2013, 07:27 PM
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I'm still on the fence, and now that i didn't find my Grandpa's 78, I'm debating.......

How much would it cost to rebuild a 7.3 non turbo?

Is a Cummins possible? I saw a ford box truck with a Cummins straight 6 in it and i could store stuff in it!Lol
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http://www.foks.com/forums/album.php?albumid=23173&pictureid=129197Jeff.
1977 Ford F150 Ranger 4x4(Ol Big Red)
6" suspension 3"bl 400 4sp
38" Super Swamper TSLs
1979 F250 Ranger 4x4 (BANDIT)
IH 7.3 idi Diesel Yes, The Diesel
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Old 07-15-2013, 02:23 AM
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Anyone else have any input? Im pretty excited to get started on OL RED!
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http://www.foks.com/forums/album.php?albumid=23173&pictureid=129197Jeff.
1977 Ford F150 Ranger 4x4(Ol Big Red)
6" suspension 3"bl 400 4sp
38" Super Swamper TSLs
1979 F250 Ranger 4x4 (BANDIT)
IH 7.3 idi Diesel Yes, The Diesel
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Old 07-15-2013, 06:21 AM
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The 6BT Cummins is a monster for a pick up truck. I'm not sure what I'd have to do with the coil springs in the front to hold that thing up. If it's the old 12V engine, the swap itself is pretty easy. It still has the mechanical pump on there so you only need to run a 12 volt wire to the shutdown solenoid. Rebuilding a 7.3L isn't much more than the 400 would be. There's only two valves per head, one cam, etc. The same configuration as the 400, just bigger parts. The kit itself will probably cost a few extra dollars, though.

Another option would be a Cummins 4BT engine. (four cylinder) Weight is closer to that 400 and it still has plenty of torque to get that monster rolling. It wouldn't be as hard on the running gear, either.
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'73 F-100 360, 3 on the tree 2WD (Uncle Jessie's truck)
'75 F-250 468, C6 Monster Truck (Earthquake III)
'79 F-200 300-6, 4 spd. 4x4 (Alice)
'79 F-150 400, C6 4x4 (Ka'Bluey)
'94 Dodge 2500 V10, Automatic
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:02 PM
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if you can find a cummins either a 6or4bt i would go that way for sure.. but it can get expensive.. finding a complete wrecked bread truck or something would be great.. adapters are out there for the swaps.. but can get costly.. do your homework before any purchase
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Old 07-15-2013, 12:02 PM
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