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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

Big Blue

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Old 01-13-2017, 02:35 PM
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Big Blue

Many of you know I've been calling my 2015 F150 "Big Blue". In fact, that is what my signature used to say. But, having acquired a blue 1985 F250HD 4x4 that is bigger and heavier than the 2015 truck, it doesn't seem appropriate to call the little one Big - in spite of the fact that the little one pulled the bigger one 1000 miles at 75 MPH back from Florida with nary a grumble other than the frequent "feed me". So, I've changed the sig to represent the new addition to the stable as "Big Blue".

Let me introduce the truck. It was Vernon/nonrev321's and he was in the process of restoring it. In fact, he'd had quite a bit of work done on it as well as acquired a mountain of new parts, much of it NOS, for the restoration. But, he was no longer able to continue with the restoration so he handed the baton off to me. However, Vernon has done a very good job to this point so I am going to use it pretty much as is for a while before I start restoring it since I'm in the midst of restoring Dad's truck.

So, here's a little bit about Big Blue:
  • 1985 F250HD XLT Lariat Explorer C: I'm not yet sure what the "C" package included, but when the new brochure comes in next week I'll know. It is an "over 8600 GVWR" so it didn't come with much in the way of emissions, but it is loaded with stuff. In fact, it is easier to say what it didn't come with - power windows and locks.
  • 460 that has been recently rebuilt, including an Edelbrock cam, intake, and carb, plus L&L headers. However, there's a problem with it as it won't start and makes an ugly noise when trying. More on that later.....
  • Drivetrain:
    • T-19 tranny
    • BW1345 transfer case
    • Dana 44 w/new 3.54 ring and pinion up front plus an Eaton True Trac Differential and Warn Premium hubs
    • Sterling 10.25 full floater out back with new 3.55 ring and pinion gears, long-spline modification, Timken bearings, and Eaton Detroit True Trac differential
  • Rolling stock:
    • Wheels: 5 new 16x8's
    • Tires: 5 pretty new Cooper Discoverer S/TMaxx – LT285/75R16
  • Suspension:
    • New springs front and rear
    • Bilstein shocks front and rear
    • All new poly urethane bushings, including on the sway bars
    • New ball joints, tie rod ends, steering box, & alignment cam, and it has been recently aligned
  • Documentation - just some of it:
    • 3 owner's manuals
    • Original warranty card and other glove box stuff the dealer gave
    • Build sheet
    • Window sticker
    • Original keys with the attached tag showing the key codes
And the list goes on and on and on. But, suffice to say that this truck has been both well taken care of since new and lovingly upgraded since Vernon bought it. So, it deserves to be cared for, and that's what I'll be doing. Here's a pick of it when I picked it up from Vernon:


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Old 01-13-2017, 04:40 PM
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You are one lucky old man, Gary!

Thanks for saving yet ANOTHER Bullnose truck!
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Old 01-13-2017, 04:55 PM
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Wow it looks like Vernon was going to do the restore right and spared nothing in doing so.


Now I wonder what the noise is when cranking?
I am tuned in.
Dave ----
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:05 PM
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Gary, I am so delighted that you are the new owner of this truck. It couldn't be in better hands. I look forward to the updates! Being a 1985 and 8600GVWR shouldn't the front axle be a D50 TTB? I thought the 8 lug D44 only came on 6800GVWR trucks and were paired with semi-float 8 lug rear axles...
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Old 01-13-2017, 05:47 PM
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Rick - You aren't kidding, one little bit. I still can't believe it. I look at the truck, open up the documentation, look at all the receipts, look through the parts, and just shake my head.

Dave - Vernon is the real deal. He had big plans and his work shows he was following through. He spent a lot of time looking for this truck, and spared no expense in upgrading it after he got it.

As for the engine, when it warms up I'll do some more looking. (Yesterday, I looked in the radiator and found no coolant up to the neck I texted Vernon and asked about anti-freeze. He didn't think it had any, but after I drained some out I found it had some, although not as much as I wanted in it. So I drained it as best I could, and then filled the engine via the top heater hose with straight anti-freeze until it came out of the radiator's neck.) I did try to start it yesterday and I didn't like the noise it made. So, I pulled the starter expecting the teeth to be bad. However, they are good and the teeth on the flywheel are good, so I'll turn it over by hand when it is warm and see what happens.

Jonathan - That's an interesting point. I've decoded the certification label and it does have the 8600 lb GVWR. And Vernon's receipts and documentation show he bought Dana 44 parts for the front diff. I'll look and see if the tag is still on the diff in order to answer the question.
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Old 01-13-2017, 06:30 PM
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D50's only came on the Super Cab trucks unless you specifically ordered it that way.
The D44 HD is fine beneath a 460 (mine can attest)

That is a good looking truck!
You're both smiling, so I'm glad to see this deal happened.

Gary, have a close look at the outboard bushing in the starter snout.
That was the first thing to show​​​​​​​ signs when I had all my starter issues.
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Old 01-13-2017, 06:41 PM
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Thanks, Jim!

But, there's no outboard bushing on the starter as it is one of these. Vernon did nothing by halves.


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Old 01-13-2017, 06:52 PM
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Ah!
I'm familiar with Tilton starters but have no experience with Powermaster.

If it is securely located in the engine plate and the lower mounting bolt threads in the bellhousing are tight I imagine you need to look elsewhere.

​​​​​​​
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Old 01-13-2017, 06:56 PM
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Yeah, it was securely mounted now. But, when this first happened Vernon says it wasn't tight and he tightened it up. So, maybe it or the flywheel have been damaged. I'm gonna look at the flywheel.

And since, if I remember correctly, the M-blocks use the same starter as the 460, I have a spare.
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:15 PM
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Looking at the applications it seems to fit both manual and automatic transmissions.
​​​​​​​
I am reminded that that is not the case with the '92--> Ford PMGR starters (so i thought to check)
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Old 01-13-2017, 07:59 PM
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Congrats on that fine looking vehicle! You're both lucky! You on the find and Vernon for having you to pass it on to!
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford F834 View Post
Gary, I am so delighted that you are the new owner of this truck. It couldn't be in better hands. I look forward to the updates! Being a 1985 and 8600GVWR shouldn't the front axle be a D50 TTB? I thought the 8 lug D44 only came on 6800GVWR trucks and were paired with semi-float 8 lug rear axles...
ArdWrknTrk already addressed this, but I can attest that my '85 F-250HD regular cab came with a Dana 44HD front axle.
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Old 01-13-2017, 10:27 PM
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Jim - Thanks for checking. Not sure my M starter will fit with the headers, but it is worth a try.

Cienega32 - Thanks. I was extremely lucky. Vernon/nonrev321 is a really nice guy and likes the truck a bunch. I sent him a link to this thread as I plan to update it as things progress and I know he'll want to know as he's already asked me to keep him apprised.

Bob - Good to know. And, by the way, Vernon had an upgrade done to the D44 regarding the retaining clip for the stub axle.
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:01 AM
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Did he do the upgrade where they add a spring to the stub axle to keep it engaged? A lot of offroad guys do this so the pumpkin doesn't have to be opened up and a fix can be done more easily in the field should the passenger side axle shaft have an issue. I believe they also use a stub from a D50 to do this.
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Old 01-14-2017, 09:10 AM
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Yes, he did. I don't know how it was done, but he said it was done. But, in some ways it is a retrograde since the early D44's didn't have the C-clip and had an external retainer - as you and I discussed.
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