1973 - 1979 F-100 & Larger F-Series TrucksDiscuss the Dentsides Ford Truck
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I wanted to start a thread as I make fixes/updates to my í78 F250 Custom. I've owned the truck for the past three years and have slowly made some incremental improvements. When I bought the truck, it already had a 1984 351W engine it (all stock except for headers) that replaced the 300, and a 4-spd (NP-435). Truck is a 4X4 with 3.54 gears. Since purchasing the truck, Iíve made the following changes (in this order):
Edelbrock 1406 carburetor
Ford Racing valve covers
New timing chain
New water pump
Aftermarket 38-gal. fuel tank
New door seals
Aftermarket radio (fits in stock location)
New tires (stock size)
Comp cams 35-234-3 camshaft
Rebuilt 3-bar GT40 heads
Alternator (not 3G upgrade yet)
Truck runs good, but I never liked the homemade bends in the brake lines and last time it was on a lift, I saw that there was a lot of rust around one of the crossmembers. Last week, after reading through a lot of posts on this board, my girlfriend and I removed the bed so I could address some of the issues underneath. My current plans are as follows, and Iíve sort of broken it down into main sections:
Replace rusty crossmember(s)
Replace brake line bracket (itís completely rusted off the frame)
Wire brush/wheel exposed frame and repaint (POR-15?)
Replace all brake lines with stainless
Replace all fuel lines with stainless
Replace missing bump stops (does anyone know where I can find originals?)
Remove transmission/transfer case Ė should I have these rebuilt? There doesnít seem to be any trouble with shifting but figured if it is out, maybe I should have a trans shop go through them.
Replace clutch/throwout bearing
Replace dual exhaust
Replace oil pan gasket (figured Iíd do this once everything is out of the way)
Replace engine mounts (just as a precaution since I have no idea how old they are)
Rebuild front end (shocks, bushings, steering stabilizer)
RedHead steering box (the steering is very sloppy)
Replace disc brake shields (mine are almost completely rotted) Ė are these avialble? Necessary?
Install vintage Hurricane Turbine wheels
As I get to each of the different steps, I am sure I am going to have a lot of questions. Iíve been inspired by the work done by so many on this board and while I certainly donít have the skills of most of you, I think I can tackle a lot of this on my own, with a little help from my FTE friends.
Thanks guys! I'm going to stop at Lowes tonight to look for an angle grinder. My plan is to start working on those rivets straight away. I'm also going to give the guys at Inline Tube a call for brake/fuel lines.
Just out of curiousity, if I can't find good crossmembers to replace these with, can I just replace the short 'support beams'? Not sure what they are actualy called, but it's really just those pieces that attach to the lower part of the frame that are really rotted. The top part of the crossmember is actually in really good shape.
And what's the best method to get the paint off the frame? I think I read guys will use a wire brush. I don't have a sandblaster, but am willing to buy one if that's really the best way to go.
Good looking truck. I thought I was the only one that used an engine lift to take the bed off a truck. Good to see I'm not alone
I got the idea of using the engine hoist from this forum! The only 'issue' is that the arm does not reach to the very center of the bed, so it sort of pulls the front up first and the tail of the bed gets pushed up against the 'piston' of the engine hoist. Other than that, it was really easy.
I wonder if it's possible to do something similar with the cab...I wasn't planning on removing that, but if it can be done without a front loader, I might consider it.
I've got a lead on a set of Hurricane turbine wheels, however, the seller tells me thay are 14.5" wide and have a set of 35/14.5-16.5 Swamper tires. The tires are shot, and I'm not really intersetd in the tires, but are these wheels too wide for a 'stock-type' tire? Even If i just wanted to put these on 'as-is', I'm assuming I would need to lift the truck.
Lifting a cab with your hoist .. On your truck you can use the seat belt tabs and hook to the cab mounts through the front window if it's out otherwise 2 forward points in the cab ..
Yup, that's how I pulled my cab. Did the same with the bed and I had the same problem with centering. I extended the arm out and drilled new holes. It made the hoist "end heavy" so I added some weight to the back of the hoist and made all my movements very carefully. It was on concrete.
On the 16.5" x 14.5" wide wheels I'd pass just because tire choices are limited .. For all around a narrower tire will serve you better and will be less wear and tear on your front axle and steering .. BTW a 35" tire and your pretty much at the limits of what the stock Dana 44 HP front axle will handle unless you beef it up substantially ..
Thanks for the update on the cab lift as well as the wheel choice. I'll keep looking for a narrower set of the Hurricanes, or maybe go with the aluminum Alcoa-like wheel.
I am going to look into that cross-steering info as well. If at some point I wanted to upgrade to a Dana 60 front-end, would that impact the steering change? These are all long-term 'nice-to-have' ideas, but am just curious. This truck is never going off-road and I certainly don't 'need' a Dana 60 front-end, i'm just intrigued at the thought of doing the swap just to say I did it.
The Dana 60 conversion will add quite a bit of value to the vehicle if you should decide to do it .. The value of your current high pinion 8 lug Dana 44 also has value especially if the passenger side flat top knuckle has been machined and set up for cross over steering .. The Dana 60 axle that is sought after was only made a few years so as a result they are becoming more and more scarce and more and more costly .. This has in turn had an effect on the value of the high pinion Dana 44 as a result because those driven away by the high cost of the Dana 60 are now seeking out the next best thing the HP Dana 44 .. For the guy that's not going to run anything bigger than a 35" tire and does only modest off-road stuff the HP Dana 44 is still a very good choice .. For someone who wants bigger than 35" tires and is wanting to go deep into off-roading the kingpin Dana 60 is a necessity .. It is even a must for those that use their truck for real work ..
If at some point I wanted to upgrade to a Dana 60 front-end, would that impact the steering change?
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