1973 - 1979 F-100 & Larger F-Series TrucksDiscuss the Dentsides Ford Truck
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6-8 years ago, my beloved Black Cadillac STS was totaled, at my work, while I was not driving, in a parking spot minding its own business. Still pisses me off to this day when I think about it.
The good news is, after arm wrestling with the driver at faults insurance agency for a month and a half about totaling the Cadillac versus repairing, common sense soon took place and I was left with a large check via the insurance company versus a repaired and questionably repaired Cadillac.
So I got to go shopping. What do I replace my beloved car with? I looked at BMW's, Cadillac's, and other cars I really didn't like. I wanted something different, something reliable, and something that if got hit by another teenager skipping class to get high, maybe wouldn't break as easily as the Cadillac did.
A quick look in the Michigan Auto and RV revealed to me my next "Cadillac", a Cowboy Cadillac to be exact. A 1978 F250 Crew Cab. A guy in the Door, MI area had a son who was a moto cross up start, and they had just bought a new bike for him, then lost a sponsor, so they were stuck with the bike bill.
So I bought their beloved hauler, complete with a 460CID, auto trans, 39.5 inch super swampers, and sexy faded red paint.
Within a few months, I blew the motor (no fault of my own). We rebuilt the 460 to the tune of 485hp, with 535 foot pounds of torque. The thing was kick ***, and I was thankful it had two gas tanks.
So fast forward a few years, my career is taking off and along comes the promotion. The promotion came with a hitch, I had to move. Whats a boy to do? I did what most dudes would do; I took the job, ditched the girl, and moved to NYC to begin the next leg of my career. One hitch, they wont ship my truck. They shipped everything else, but they wouldn't ship the truck. After all considerations, the best thing to do is sell it. And sell it I did.
Worst mistake ever. I have owned many, many vehicles, but this one was the only one that I ever regretted selling. Thusly, my desire for the this truck, this style, has earned it the moniker "Eleanor".
Life has come full circle. I left NYC, I moved back to Michigan, and began my life again.
My love for big vehicles, trails, and copious amounts of mud left me with a small yearning for fun.
So I bought a suburban, then I bought a Jeep, and finally I bought a Full Size Bronco. Still not the same.
"Eleanor" kept calling. So became my maniacal search to replace the red beast.
I knew what I wanted:
* crew cab
* 1978- 1979
* as rust free as possible
* short box
* a project, not a finished good, cause I had a "vision"
* low price. I know they are rare, but I am not paying top dollar for a POS.
After about six months of searching, I found one. The perfect one in my opinion. Only one problem: It was in Washington (the State).
The seller thought I was insane. My girlfriend (ex now) thought so too. As did my son. After convincing the seller I was not insane, nor a craigslist killer, and that I could be there in a few days, he finally agreed to hold it for me.
So my oldest son and I loaded up the trailer (i wasn't sure if the crew cab would fit on my tow truck/hauler; ((more on that later))) and hitched up my truck to take a long Sunday drive.
My son and I slept and drove in 4 hour shifts. All the way from Zeeland, MI to Forks, WA. Looked over the potential "Eleanor", called it good, paid the guy $1000 for the drive-train-less truck, and continued to drive back cross country to Zeeland, MI. We did it in 3 1/2 days!
Random things I learned on the trip:
* Forks, WA is where the Twilight Series Books are based.
* Forks, WA does not have vampires that "sparkle" in the light, but they do have Meth Heads that glow in the dark.
* If you sit for extended periods of time like this, your feet swell. Not like stubbed my feet swell, think more like Lord of The Rings Hobbit's feet swollen.
* When on road trips this long, always choose the food you eat carefully. And ALWAYS check for toilet paper before sitting down...
* More importantly, choose your bathroom breaks wisely as well.
* Take lots of pictures
* diesel motor
* off road capable
* DD capable
* comfortable for my little guy on long road trips
Essentially the intent is to keep the classic lines, yet running as modern a diesel drive-train as possible.
Based on what I have found online, the following will take place:
* the frame will be boxed/reinforced
* the box will stay on until I can find the drive-train I want, then we will need to mock up motor mounts
* need a complete donor truck for electronics and anything else I cant think of
What I got with the Crew Cab:
* no motor, no trans, no transfer case
* solid interior, headliner as well
* an education on "Krummy's" (apparently the west coasters referenced these trucks as Krummy)
* 4 inch body lift (which made the PS 7.3 install that much easier
* 4 inch suspension lift
* 10.5 sturling axle rear
turbo gauge (they didn't come with one in '78)
Trans Temp Gauge
upgraded air intake
chipped (thinking BullyDog 3 positions)
6.0 intercooler (all the diesel sites have stated and proved this intercooler is much larger and better for the 7.3)
air locker front and rear (already running 4.10's, with a sterhling axle in the rear)
disc brakes (upgraded as much as possible)
power rear slider
2% limo tint
I was told Dakota Digital makes dash set ups for this year truck, may just do that too
TVs in headrest (for my little guy) ala King Ranch Interior
PS3 (plays DVD and Blue Ray, plus, I got the PS4 in the house, so what else would I do with my PS3)
auxiliary power set up
fridge in truck? (lol, my little guy suggested this because of our long road trips. we shall see)
Thinking of running 37" tires (truck has an 8" lift already)
hideaway/swing away (electronic) step ups to enter cab (don't they make these that double as underbody armor against rocks?
light bar off of the bronco (not sure yet on this one)
Cowl Hood (thank you LMC)
Grab bars on the exterior (maybe, its a style choice and not sure I like it or not)
third brake light under tailgate (the long LED strips)
On board air set up
drive shaft loops
keeping manual hubs
bed tool box with extra tank built in
custom gas tanks to be
a. diesel compatible
b. largest capacity possible
Custom soft bed cover or just bedliner it (up in the air on this currently)
Large recovery winch bumper off of my bronco either
a. matte black
b. body color black
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