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1976 F100 Daily Driver Build

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Old 02-21-2015, 04:53 PM
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1976 F100 Daily Driver Build

For the past 10 years or so, I've had quite a few projects and have used a lot of forums for the free information but I've started very few threads (its amazing what the search function will turn up). So, maybe something I've done to my junk will help someone out.



I bought this last year after I returned from a two and a half month job. It came with a knocking 302, manual 3 speed, and I found out later, no fluid in the rear. My goal was to begin with making it a dependable daily driver. This meant a strong engine, decent mileage, and a comfortable ride. After it was one the road, I wouldn't make any mods that would have it down for more than a week. The last condition has been both fun and difficult at times.

To put it on the road I installed a used 5.0 from a 1999 Explorer. I stripped off the fuel injection stuff and replaced it with the carb stuff from the bad 302. Sorry, no pics from that but I will go into that swap in detail later. The brakes were fixed with rebuilt calipers, master, rotors, drums, and flex lines. The fuel tank was rusted so that was replaced with a new sender. I only resealed the rear end because I wasn't ready to regear it at that time. I needed an exhaust so I bought a set of cheap chambered mufflers from Summit and welded up a short duel that ends before the axle. The truck was ready for the road at this point.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:21 PM
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Nine months after it was put back in service, here is how it sits today.



Part of my plan was to install an overdrive transmission. I like to shift gears so it also had to be manual. Unfortunantly, unless you want a 3/4 or 1 ton transmission, Ford doesn't have much besides the m5od or t5. The m5od has a ridiculous first gear so that was out. You will get two opinions on the t5 depending on who you ask. It doesn't last even in the Mustangs it was installed in or it'll last as long as you take it easy. I believe as long as it is shifted properly, (don't miss that gear), it is strong enough for my truck.

This one came out of a 1998 mustang. But, that didn't come with a 5.0 you say!!! True, but the 3.8 v6 has the same bell housing pattern as the small block Windsor. I went with a 1998 because it came with a mechanical speedometer output. Later ones came with electric outputs. It uses an 164 tooth flywheel and an 11 inch clutch. I used a starter from a 1995 F150, 5.0 with a 5 speed. The cross member was moved back 5/8 inch because the bellhouse is that much deeper than a standard fox body bellhouse. I reinstalled the stock driveshaft after I rebuilt the rear.



I did have to wait until I could swap in the bucket seats from a 2001 Camry because the shifter sits farther back. Even though its hardly a long term test, I'm not easy with the go pedal. It'll smoke the rears very well. I'm not pushing major power through it but the transmission is working out great.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:53 PM
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Here is what I did to install a gt-40p 5.0 into my truck. I don't have pictures of the swap but I'll go over everything and the parts I used.







To begin with, I stripped the intake, exhaust manifolds, harmonic balancer, flexplate, and timing cover from the engine. There are two major things to address when converting this to a carburetor. One is the balance. This engine uses a 50 oz balance on the flywheel and balancer. I bought flywheel from a mid 90's f150 with a manual since I needed one with 164 teeth. The balancer came from a mid 80's mustang. The other thing to watch is the gear on the distributor. The explorer motor has a roller cam so it needs a steel gear or else it will wear out prematurely. I tried buying a steel gear for the old distributor but the inside diameter is different than the cast gear. I ended up buying a rebuilt distributor from a 1985 mustang with a 4 barrel and five speed. This was the only year for the roller cam and duraspark ignition.



There are other issues to solve. The explorer timing cover does not have a place for the mechanical fuel pump. I simply installed the fuel pump arm eccentric from the old engine onto the explorer engine and reused the old timing cover. The sensors from the old engine were then swapped along with the oil filter adapter.



One of the grips of the gt-40 heads is the spark plug locations. The location makes it difficult to locate headers that allow the plugs and wires to fit. In my case, I also needed headers that fit with the clutch linkage (this was before the transmission swap). I used a set of summit long tube headers. They cleared the linkage and allow most of the plugs to fit (number five is difficult to remove).



Everything else is easy. I used a budget Jegs aluminum intake, a summit racing carburetor, the explorer oil pan, and initially the duraspark ignition. It was later swapped to a MSD. The engine sounds great even with a stock cam, pulls great, and I get 15mpg with the t5 and 4.11 gears.
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:39 PM
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Nice truck. Why the swap to the later-model front end? Just like the look better?
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkaul View Post
Nice truck. Why the swap to the later-model front end? Just like the look better?
Couple reasons. The truck was wrecked and badly repaired before I bought it. The fenders had filler over their entire length. The lower core support was shifted to the passenger side by 3/4 inch. Also the hood had rust issues along the seams. Except for the hood, the black metal is in great condition.

I also like the 78/79 grille better.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:11 PM
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Ah, couldn't tell from the first pic that there was underlying damage with the original metal. That makes sense. Looking forward to seeing what else you have done/will do.
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Old 02-22-2015, 01:59 PM
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Theres a lot more I have planned. My condition of not having it down for repairs for too long means that anything i plan has to be well thought out in advance. For example, when I did the transmission I had to decide how to adapt the clutch cable to the truck, what flywheel and clutch would work, if the stock driveshaft would work, what starter to use, etc. Fortunantly, I enjoy doing the research. I was able to swap out the transmission in less than a day.
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Old 02-22-2015, 02:26 PM
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Here is where I'm at right now. I'm going to install an electric fan using the Volvo relay and BMW temp switch. Since the BMW temp switch uses metric threads and there are no extra ports on my intake, this is what I'm doing to make it fit.



I bought a thermostat housing for a 1999 Explorer 5.0. This one has a 90 degree neck. I applied lock tite and tightened the pipe plug then drilled it out. As soon as I find a 14x1.5mm tap, I'll tap the treads to accept the temp switch.



The fan is from a 2006 Town Car. After testing the Volvo relay, I found out it only powers the low speed OR the high speed side at a time. So if hooked up to a duel fan it will only power one fan at a time, not both. So it should be hooked up to a duel speed fan. This is a deep fan so I had to trim it. Even after trimming, it is still 6 inches deep at the motor but I should still have plenty of clearance.

As soon as I can find a 14x1.5mm tap, I should be ready to install everything. Worst case is I'll have to order one and it'll be a week before I get to it.
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:05 PM
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I finished the fan install last week but the I've been busy with paying work since then. I was mistaken when I said the fan was from a 2006, it came from a 2002 Town car. I don't believe it moves as much air as some of the other options but it moves a lot and it covers the entire radiator.





After installing it, I unplugged the switch and let the truck idle for 25 minutes. The temp gauge went to 3/4, I let the fan run and it immediately went to 1/2 where it normally sits at. I need to install a set of real gauges so I can keep an eye on the temperature before summer gets here. While I was at it, I also installed a set of alternator brackets from a mid 70s Ranchero because the old ones weren't what most people would call alternator brackets.

I do want to find a small fuse block I can install under the hood so I can clean up the wiring. I have the MSD and Volvo relay hooked directly to the battery. Its starting to look like spaghetti. I'm thinking about going to the pick a part next week and see what I can find.
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:16 PM
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It's been a while since I've needed to do anything to my truck. I bought a 1976 cb750 a few months ago and that's been taking up most of my time. Lately, I've decided to focus on the truck again. I scout Craig's list a few times a day and came across these.



18x9 factory wheels in near mint condition with almost new 275/40/18 tires.
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Old 07-25-2015, 02:26 PM
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And to get them on the truck,




Another Craig's list find. I gotta buy ball joints and tie rod ends but the vehicle was a very low mileage car. It has the steel control arms but I got it cheap enough that I can buy aluminum arms and still come in under budget.

I'm still sticking to my plan of not having my truck down for over a week so I have a lot of parts to purchase and even though the suspension swap is very well documented, I still have a ton of planning to do. My goal is to do the complete swap by the end of August.
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Old 07-26-2015, 02:37 PM
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Nice truck! Sweet CL score. I'm interested in watching you do a quick swap with the cv clip. I want to do mine, but it can't be down more than a long weekend.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:38 PM
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Nice truck. The V6 T5 swap looks familiar. Same for the P-heads with the summit headers, as I ran the same thing for awhile lol. Looking forward to your upcoming suspension swap. I wasn't able to re-use my factory driveshaft however.
What do you have planned for the rear suspension? Axle swap out back too?
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:11 PM
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My driveshaft was just short enough when I put the T5 in. I don't know exactly how far the rear will have to come down until I do the front but I will have to shorten the driveshaft when I get there.

I'll run the 9 inch with a set of adapters. I just did a complete rebuild with new gears and axles. I'm planning on a larger engine in the future so I built it with that in mind. I'm doing a spring under on the rear but I'll have to wait until the front is lowered until I know how far it needs to drop. All the measurements for dropped trucks I've found have been to the wheel house opening but the flareside opening has a different height so I have no idea where mine sits. It'll probably need to be notched since it only has about 3 inches of travel right now.

I tore the front end down today. I'm going to the pick a part tomorrow to get some aluminum control arms and maybe a power steering pump and lines. I also started on a parts list. I know no matter what, I'll still have to run around town during the swap to find something I forgot, but at least this gives me a plan.



And the list is on going if anyone notices something I've missed let me know.
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:49 PM
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I can get you measurements of mine from ground to frame.

13 3/4" from ground to frame centered under the front leaf spring eye.
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