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  #1  
Old 09-20-2013, 10:09 PM
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liftnw8z Bill_SoonerFan
"Project Workhorse" - Function with Form

So, yeah, I guess it's time to introduce this subject.

First and for the record, the Bull isn't going anywhere and remains "the star of the show" in terms of build priorities. This is intended to be a supplement to what's going on with the Bull. The truck has it's own list of priorities for this winter to get ready for next "show season" (albeit a pretty small list, really, and one job is being sublet out) and we'll keep that thread going as it warrants.

A little back story first on this newest project. Gonna hold this up as my example: the Bloomsburg Jamboree is a great event. Loved being there the past two years and plan on going back in 2014. But there's one small problem. I drive in to town on Thursday, park the truck, and don't move it til Sunday. Fortunately, we've made some friends there and they're more than happy to shuttle us back and forth to the hotel - but let's face it, there's a certain convenience in jumping in your own vehicle on your own schedule to get where you need or want to be.

I've been back and forth on the idea of buying something exclusively for towing - preferably a diesel (love me some old school 7.3L, trust). But here's the thing - I would be towing once, maybe twice, in a year. Otherwise, the diesel would be a daily commuter to work (maybe 5-6 miles one way, 15 minutes tops) and grocery getter when the Bull is not being driven. Add in that maintenance requirements/expenses are a bit more demanding, plus the price of fuel being higher, and I just couldn't justify that purchase at present.

So all this is going through my mind on one of my recent long-haul road trips. And then it hits me what I could do. Enter something already in my possession: the 1998 Expedition.

This is a vehicle that has pulled a camper, and is already fitted with a Class 3 hitch and wired with a trailer brake and the like. "Surely, with some attention to detail and some cleaning up around the edges, we can get to the end goal with this?" was my thought. Save the capital purchase money and invest it instead into doing the work required to bring the Expy up to par.

So, that's the direction this is all heading in. Also, it's worth pointing out that when I had my 1998 Explorer (I've apparently got a thing for the 1998 model year....lol), I was going to do an SUV project, but ended up selling it instead after I bought the F150. So in a long, roundabout way, I'm also getting to do my SUV project also by doing this.

This is an "as time and budget allows" project. Obviously, having been through the summer I've been through, I want to be aware of my surroundings and situation at all times and be sure I don't skewer myself. I love my trucks, but sleeping in them is not an option!

Next post - the present layout of the project. Stay tuned.
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'98 F150 4x4 "Brahma Bull Edition" 5.4L, Auto, 6" lift w/glide-ride, custom stereo, more - '96 F350 XLT CCLB 4x4 "The tOwBS", 7.3L PSD, Riffraff 6637, 3" dp to 4" exh., and evil intentions - '98 Expy EB

R.I.P "SteveBricks", a friend and a brother, you'll be missed.
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  #2  
Old 09-20-2013, 11:09 PM
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liftnw8z Bill_SoonerFan
This is where we're starting:

Click the image to open in full size.

...and we hope to end up somewhere about here, or at least my own twist on it because I'm unique like that.

Click the image to open in full size.

The scope of the mission words itself fairly simply in "Function with Form" but it ends up being more complex in the bigger picture. It breaks down like this:

First and foremost are the mechanicals. This is a 15 yr old rig with 168k miles on it. It has served two owners at least, if not three, very well. It has a couple needs at the moment - I'm fighting a rough idle condition for some reason, and there are a couple other minor, but not emergent, needs. So a good thorough going-over mechanically is first in line to get all of that in order.

Second: Yes, I plan on getting up a little bit with this. Not a lot, because we lose the function of towing for my comfort, but enough to give it some stance. The game plan is around 3" - there is a company that makes a kit that is intended to give around 3" of lift (essentially a leveling kit) with re-indexed torsion keys and coil spacers. Safe, fairly inexpensive lift modification. There's some other work that goes along with that, but we'll explain it in more detail in another post. The MO is to be able to run a 33x11.5 tire on the 17x8 wheels I have. I really don't want to go buy another set of rims - that's expense I'd like to pass on to not defeat the "on a budget" theme.

Third: Appearance is important for me. It's my hope to have the rig that pulls the Bull into a show look "on par" with the rig on the trailer. It's going to see all weather and all conditions, so the philosophy is "works hard, cleans up well". That will start with a thorough detailing on the exterior (I figure spending a day like I do on the truck will end up being in order) to identify any issues and concerns with paint. Of course, there might be one cosmetic change...or two...

Click the image to open in full size.

Also, the undercarriage will get a thorough painting for both protective purposes and appearance's sake.

So that's the general lay of the land right now. I see me having til July - around Bloomsburg time - to make progress. We'll see how it goes. In the meantime, I'm having fun and that's the most important thing.
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'98 F150 4x4 "Brahma Bull Edition" 5.4L, Auto, 6" lift w/glide-ride, custom stereo, more - '96 F350 XLT CCLB 4x4 "The tOwBS", 7.3L PSD, Riffraff 6637, 3" dp to 4" exh., and evil intentions - '98 Expy EB

R.I.P "SteveBricks", a friend and a brother, you'll be missed.
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  #3  
Old 09-21-2013, 07:04 AM
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You definitely have a good base to start with, so now you can lay out a plan to make it a better tow unit. It will tow with out much issue as it has done in the past (oh, and don't go buy a set of tow mirrors. I have a pair here for that, no charge). If you don't want to raise it, I would put the air suspension back on. That makes it a nice ride when pulling a trailer plus it doesn't have the rear end drag look. If you do want to lift it, then another options can be done to ensure safe towing.

Sounds great & good luck!
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06 F250 SUPER DUTY XLT Crew Cab, 6.8L., 4" Rancho Lift, Eagle Alloy 186 rims, 315/17 tires, K&N CAI!

SteveBricks - Damn good man, friend, brother taken too damn soon.
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  #4  
Old 09-21-2013, 09:17 AM
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liftnw8z Bill_SoonerFan
I forgot you had tow mirrors for this...I'll get them from you at some point.

As for the suspension thing - I'm pretty set on the lift/level situation. I saw that stance (the green one above) and just knew that's pretty close to what I see in my head, just not going with the 35's. So that's something we'll sort through. I'm aware of the "sag" situation without air ride but I'm sure that can be cured, or something.

But first up is getting the mechanicals all in order. No matter what happens, gotta be sure that's all up to speed with s**w coming soon and the Bull getting parked when that comes.
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Bill - PA Chapter Member
'98 F150 4x4 "Brahma Bull Edition" 5.4L, Auto, 6" lift w/glide-ride, custom stereo, more - '96 F350 XLT CCLB 4x4 "The tOwBS", 7.3L PSD, Riffraff 6637, 3" dp to 4" exh., and evil intentions - '98 Expy EB

R.I.P "SteveBricks", a friend and a brother, you'll be missed.
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  #5  
Old 09-21-2013, 09:35 AM
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I understand the vision, I'm just throwing options to think about. Yep, we'll get together sometime soon in regards to the mirrors.
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SCOTT

06 F250 SUPER DUTY XLT Crew Cab, 6.8L., 4" Rancho Lift, Eagle Alloy 186 rims, 315/17 tires, K&N CAI!

SteveBricks - Damn good man, friend, brother taken too damn soon.
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  #6  
Old 09-21-2013, 09:46 AM
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Options are good...

I found a shop that can do my broken exhaust manifold bolts, I think. Gotta talk to the guy sometime in the next week or so. If he's reasonable, he'll get that job.
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'98 F150 4x4 "Brahma Bull Edition" 5.4L, Auto, 6" lift w/glide-ride, custom stereo, more - '96 F350 XLT CCLB 4x4 "The tOwBS", 7.3L PSD, Riffraff 6637, 3" dp to 4" exh., and evil intentions - '98 Expy EB

R.I.P "SteveBricks", a friend and a brother, you'll be missed.
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  #7  
Old 09-21-2013, 10:22 AM
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Always a good thing on the reasonable shop. Last ditch effort, we can go back to the very first option we discussed, but that's gonna cost ya...

Click the image to open in full size.
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06 F250 SUPER DUTY XLT Crew Cab, 6.8L., 4" Rancho Lift, Eagle Alloy 186 rims, 315/17 tires, K&N CAI!

SteveBricks - Damn good man, friend, brother taken too damn soon.
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  #8  
Old 09-22-2013, 03:06 PM
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liftnw8z Bill_SoonerFan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldtrucknut7077 View Post
Always a good thing on the reasonable shop. Last ditch effort, we can go back to the very first option we discussed, but that's gonna cost ya...

Click the image to open in full size.
I've gotten a lot of work done for cases of beer. I've also helped drink a lot of those "profits" too...lol
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'98 F150 4x4 "Brahma Bull Edition" 5.4L, Auto, 6" lift w/glide-ride, custom stereo, more - '96 F350 XLT CCLB 4x4 "The tOwBS", 7.3L PSD, Riffraff 6637, 3" dp to 4" exh., and evil intentions - '98 Expy EB

R.I.P "SteveBricks", a friend and a brother, you'll be missed.
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  #9  
Old 09-22-2013, 03:25 PM
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That does happen to be the accepted currency at the Compound Garage...
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  #10  
Old 09-22-2013, 03:35 PM
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I paid for the paint job on the truck's hood in beer (at least in part)...lol...
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'98 F150 4x4 "Brahma Bull Edition" 5.4L, Auto, 6" lift w/glide-ride, custom stereo, more - '96 F350 XLT CCLB 4x4 "The tOwBS", 7.3L PSD, Riffraff 6637, 3" dp to 4" exh., and evil intentions - '98 Expy EB

R.I.P "SteveBricks", a friend and a brother, you'll be missed.
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  #11  
Old 09-22-2013, 04:57 PM
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Gotta love the good ole barter system!
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06 F250 SUPER DUTY XLT Crew Cab, 6.8L., 4" Rancho Lift, Eagle Alloy 186 rims, 315/17 tires, K&N CAI!

SteveBricks - Damn good man, friend, brother taken too damn soon.
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  #12  
Old 09-22-2013, 08:51 PM
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I do. It works wonders.
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'98 F150 4x4 "Brahma Bull Edition" 5.4L, Auto, 6" lift w/glide-ride, custom stereo, more - '96 F350 XLT CCLB 4x4 "The tOwBS", 7.3L PSD, Riffraff 6637, 3" dp to 4" exh., and evil intentions - '98 Expy EB

R.I.P "SteveBricks", a friend and a brother, you'll be missed.
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  #13  
Old 09-22-2013, 09:48 PM
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Yes it does.....lol.
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R.I.P. Steve, SteveBricks, you were a friend and will be greatly missed.
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  #14  
Old 09-22-2013, 09:54 PM
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Especially when you're looking to do things on a budget. Less cash outflow that way.
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'98 F150 4x4 "Brahma Bull Edition" 5.4L, Auto, 6" lift w/glide-ride, custom stereo, more - '96 F350 XLT CCLB 4x4 "The tOwBS", 7.3L PSD, Riffraff 6637, 3" dp to 4" exh., and evil intentions - '98 Expy EB

R.I.P "SteveBricks", a friend and a brother, you'll be missed.
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  #15  
Old 09-23-2013, 06:50 PM
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liftnw8z Bill_SoonerFan
I got to thinking today a bit about suspension.

I really do want to go with the 3/2 level-lift setup. But I hear what Scott mentioned in about the air-ride rear and sag and all that. And seeing as I'm spending a lot of time with Summit Racing these days (I spend far too much time there, admittedly...I'd buy one of everything if I could for both trucks...)..I came across these:

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/mog-cc80841

Stock ride height "load control" springs. Any value to these? I'm also assuming I'll need a sway bar and other goodies back there...

Just thinking out loud.
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'98 F150 4x4 "Brahma Bull Edition" 5.4L, Auto, 6" lift w/glide-ride, custom stereo, more - '96 F350 XLT CCLB 4x4 "The tOwBS", 7.3L PSD, Riffraff 6637, 3" dp to 4" exh., and evil intentions - '98 Expy EB

R.I.P "SteveBricks", a friend and a brother, you'll be missed.
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Old 09-23-2013, 06:50 PM
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