Hey guys! Just signed up to these forums as I am "inheriting" an old Ford truck this week. I am new to Fords, so please be patient with me!
Anyway, it's an '84 F-150 4x4, 5.8l, long bed. It was my wife's step-father's truck used primarily as a beat-around/hunting truck. He passed away a couple of years ago and my MIL is giving it to me now, as she is about to re-marry. Anyway, it has been a pretty good truck, but has been parked for many months now. I have driven it a lot before, but not for well over a year.
All in all, it still runs very well. It is difficult to start when not cranked in a while, so a can of starter fluid stays in it all the time. The defroster stays on all the time, so I figure it has something broken that I need to fix. Since it blows hot air and does not have air conditioning, it is more of a nuisance than a serious problem, particularly in the summer. The tailgate also has latch issues. One of the rods connecting the handle to the latch is off and the other falls off regularly, making closing nearly impossible.
So, my questions are thus: What is the best course of action on the starting issues? I plan on driving it at least once a week, but the 2 barrel carb MAY need replacing, or at least cleaning out. How difficult is this to rebuild or should I just look at a new one at some point? Also, should I look at a manual choke for it or is there one even available?
As for the defroster issue, is there a simple way to fix such issues or an I looking at replacing the entire dash? I figured a seach of junk yards would be my first choice here unless there is a cheap aftermarket solution. Since this is a beat-around vehicle, if I can switch it off altogether, that is fine. I would like to be able to get it to blow heat, but it won't be the end of the world if it doesn't.
I am not too worried about the tailgate, as it stays down most of the time anyway. Thanks in advance for the help.
You can usually get a carb kit for $20, and the 2bbl carbs are pretty easy to rebuild. They come with a blown up illustration in case you forget where something goes. Not sure about your heater, it is supposed to fail with the defrost on since it's the most critical operation it performs. It might be a broken vacumn connection, or you flapper door could have broken. The tailgate is an easy fix, it's most likely the little plastic clips have broken. You can use door lock rod clips as well, and they are only a few bucks at an auto parts store.
Thanks! That was what I was hoping for on the carb. Didn't realize those kits were so cheap. I assume they can be bought at most auto parts stores?
I will deal with the defroster issue at some point, but it isn't critical. Like I said, it just blows hot air constantly and won't switch to anything but the defrost. If I could switch it to blow out the bottom, that would be fine. I figured a broken flapper or something was the problem.
Tailgate is not an issue. I keep it down most of the time anyway, but I would like it fixed.
I can assure you I will! Frankly, I have always liked this truck. It isn't much to look at, but runs very well and does exactly what I want it for. I need something to haul my little 2 man boat in (that was also the FIL's and he kept it in the back of this truck from March until October for fishing), haul stuff to the landfill and give me something to use during hunting season. I have two boys and they love it as well. I see it as something I can make into a project as the oldest gets close to driving age.
I have never owned a Ford, but my dad was a Ford man. My grandfather had a 1950 Ford Panel truck with a flat head in it that he used for his radio repair business. When I was in HS, some friends and I got it running after many years of sitting. So, it isn't like I am completely foreign to Fords, but I drive an Isuzu Trooper every day and it just topped 364,000 miles yesterday. I appreciate quality and want something I can work on myself.
This truck gives me all of that and more. I cannot wait to get it home this weekend!
The defroster stays on all the time, so I figure it has something broken that I need to fix.
I beleive the controls are all mechanical, ie. no vacuum connections on the '84(someone else will correct me if I'm wrong). If the defrost/heat selector slider moves very easily, broken connection somewhere. If the slider is hard to move, probably obstruction at flapper door, ie. leaves, pen, bolt,...You shouldn't even come close to having to replace the entire dash, hopefully some cleaning or a little fixing.
It is difficult to start when not cranked in a while
What is the best course of action on the starting issues?
Is it only difficult to start after its been sitting, float bowl runs dry? Hows it start after you have used it for a while, both cold and hot. Need alot more info here. Is it cranking slow or starved for fuel? Have you changed fuel filter...etc?
How difficult is this to rebuild or should I just look at a new one at some point?
Need more info here also. If it is a factory original setup then you could have...351w, 2bbl, Motorcraft 2150 feedback, one of the easiest to rebuild for beginners. Or, 351w H.O., 4bbl, Holley 4180, I've never rebuilt one, so someone else will chime in here. You've probably got the Ford EEC-IV emmissions w/ TFI ignition, look on emissions sticker in engine compartment. If you have the EEC and all is functioning, then you can also "pull codes" to help you get it running better. So, basically we need more info on your carb setup. Start with a good carb cleaner and get the varnish off your choke mech, plates, and inside and quit using starter fluid. Good luck and we will all be here to help you get it running like it should!!!
I plan on changing the oil immediately when I get there on Friday. Tranny fluid and filter change probably will not happen until I get her home. I know I am taking a chance with a 2 hour drive, but there is no where to get it done and no where for me to do it myself. I will be pushing it to change the oil. All other fluids will be changed when I get her home.
Slider moves back & forth, so it is likely something broken or dislodged. Not familiar with these, so I will assume broken.
It's a 2 barrel, factory original truck from bumper to bumper. Long bed with dual gas tanks, though one is not used due to some jerk pouring tar into it. (Another "project" for another day) Once cranked, there are no problems getting her cranked again. Go more than a week without cranking & it is like she's starved for gas, but will flood out. Turns over but doesn't fire. A shot or two of starter fluid (yes, I hate the stuff, too) will fire it right up and she runs and will crank fine from that point on. There is NO TELLING when the fuel filter was last changed. Already on my "to do" list when she gets home.
Almost positive it's the 351w, 2bbl setup you mentioned. I don't have access to it, but will check the emissions sticker when I get it.
The MIL and future FIL cranked it up and ran it last night. He said it sounded real good and drove it for a few miles and said all was fine with it. I expect some seals and/or hoses, belts, etc. will need replacing real soon with it sitting so long. I don't plan on letting it sit more than 3-4 days at a time without cranking and driving around town. It will likely be the vehicle of choice on weekends, especially in the summer and fall.
I know I need to get the info off of the stickers to give more information to you guys, I was just looking mainly for some general direction hints. I really appreciate the help thus far and I look forward to picking your brains some more!
My truck does the hard to start thing when I let it sit for over a week. It's definitely the fuel leaving the carb. It's something I haven't worried about too much, but after doing some thinking, I can only find 3 places the fuel could be going;
1. Back down to the fuel pump. I have sort of dismissed this idea, since I don't think the fuel could siphon up through the needle in the bowel.
2. Leaking down in the engine. I am doubting this theory too for now. I haven't noticed any fuel in the oil, and the plugs seem fine.
3. Evaporating out of the carb. This is the one I am going to concentrate on first. Some of my emissions stuff is gone, and the bowel vent on top of the carb has a short hose going out to the atmosphere. It's supposed to go to the charcoal canister. I may try to plug it, but I am afraid to do this since I did this on another vehicle I had, and it made it hard to start in the summer.
Well, I am logging on from the MIL's house and the truck had a few more issues than I thought. First, the thing caught on fire from a backfire when my BIL was using starter fluid to get it cranked. It had been sitting for a long time and he oversprayed and it flamed up. Nothing major, but he had to douse it with a fire extinguisher. When the future FIL went get it ready for me to pick up, he said the carb was rusty in places, but he used some WD-40 and got everything working again. It seems to run pretty good, so I don't think the carb is in abd shape.
All other fluids look good. I topped everything off, as I have nowhere to change anything. I am not happy about this at all, but I have little choice but to drive it home (2 hours) with what it had in it. Right now, the only concern I have is with the tranny. It is shifting hard and seems to not want to shift into OD at high speeds until I back off the throttle a bit. Other than that, it seems to run fine. I don't notice any slipping or anything, but a change of fluids and filter is first on my list when I get home. I don't have a manual for this truck (not even Haynes or Chilton's), so I don't know if this is something I want to tackle or not. Any hints?
Also, I noticed a collant smell when I took it out on the road this morning. Seems there is a very small leak in the cab right above the heater coil. I saw a few drops of coolant on the floorboard, but nothing where the lines come in under the hood. I don't see this as a major issue at all, as it is so small you can barely notice it.
Biggest issue (aside from the tranny) seems to be the front hub on the driver's side. The manual dial for locking the hubs is missing and there's a hole where it should be. I remember it being like this for quite some time, so there is no telling what is in there. Since this thing has been parked for over a year, I KNOW it has had plenty of moisture in there. I plan on changing them both out ASAP, but wanted to know if you guys thought I may have to change the entire axle out on side? I don;t know if there is a secondary seal that would prevent moisture and dirt from getting beyond the hub or if this thing is likely shot all the way. ANy help would be appreciated.
I won't have access to the Internet until I get home tomorrow night, so I will check in then. Maybe I can get some pictures up then as well.
Thanks for the help thus far and I am sure I will be back a lot as I try to get this thing in good working order.
It is shifting hard and seems to not want to shift into OD at high speeds until I back off the throttle a bit. Other than that, it seems to run fine. I don't notice any slipping or anything, but a change of fluids and filter is first on my list when I get home. I don't have a manual for this truck (not even Haynes or Chilton's), so I don't know if this is something I want to tackle or not. Any hints?.
If you have OD, the engine is not a 5.8L 351W. It is most likely a 5.0L 302W. I mention this because the timing order is different.
As far as the transmission shifting hard, if it is an automatic overdrive transmission, and the fluid level is correct, I would have a transmission shop diagnose the problem. It may only need an adjustment, but the adjustment is something I do not advise unless you have the proper tools and experience.
Originally Posted by Littlejon
Also, I noticed a collant smell when I took it out on the road this morning. Seems there is a very small leak in the cab right above the heater coil. I saw a few drops of coolant on the floorboard, but nothing where the lines come in under the hood. I don't see this as a major issue at all, as it is so small you can barely notice it..
Assuming this truck is without A/C from the factory, ensure the hose connections are secure. The coolant is likely leaking from a pinhole in the heater core. If that is the case, you can loop one hose back to the other connection on the engine to bypass the heater core. It will only get worse over time if allowed to leak and evetually rust the floorboards. This sort of thing happens when a vehicle sits over a period of time. I would flush the coolant system first chance you get with fresh coolant.
Originally Posted by Littlejon
Biggest issue (aside from the tranny) seems to be the front hub on the driver's side. The manual dial for locking the hubs is missing and there's a hole where it should be. I remember it being like this for quite some time, so there is no telling what is in there. Since this thing has been parked for over a year, I KNOW it has had plenty of moisture in there. I plan on changing them both out ASAP, but wanted to know if you guys thought I may have to change the entire axle out on side? I don;t know if there is a secondary seal that would prevent moisture and dirt from getting beyond the hub or if this thing is likely shot all the way. ANy help would be appreciated...
Yes, there is an inner seal and no, you should not need to replace the drive axle. I would not use the 4 wheel drive until you can make the time to go over the entire system, better if you have a friend handy at the time as well.
The original FORD SHOP manuals are available on eBay. I would recommend one of those before buying any aftermarket manual such as Chilton.
No overdrive. I thought it had it, but it didn't. The shifting does hesitate until I back off the gas, but not in every gear and only when running at higher speeds. I plan on having the tranny filter and fluid changes ASAP when I get home. Didn't know if that was something I could do or if I should leave it to the professionals. I would not think of adjusting ANYTHING on the tranny. Way too far over my head.
It does have factory air, but that has been bypassed. No belt going to the compressor and it looks like it has been that way for a while. I had thought of bypassing the heater core as you mentioned, so that is probably what I will do until I can get a new one.
I am very glad to hear about the axle. That worried me. I won't be using 4 wheel drive anytime soon anyway, but would never do so until that hib is fixed anyway.
You have told me a lot that I hoped to hear. Thanks you! I plan on hitting eBay as soon as I get home.
No overdrive.... it is likely a 351W. Check the vacuum hose on the tree at the firewall to ensure it is good. If it seems really rubbery it has sucked transmission fluid through the vacuum modulator suggesting that the vacuum modulator needs replaced due to a bad diaphragm. Also, any vacuum leak will cause the same scenario.
Bowl leak down is typical old Ford hard start. My 1972 Torino does the same thing after sitting for a week or more. I have boiled, cleaned and polished, plus rebuilt the carburetor and it still leaks down over time. I keep a can of starting fluid in the center console box just for that reason. I don't like starting fluid either, but it only takes one little squirt and she fires right up like it was driven a few hours ago. And yes, if I do drive it regularly, it has no problem at all.
Yes, your tranny has a vacuum modulator on the passenger side rear of the tranny. Check the vacuum hoses and lines from there, all the way up to the tree that 82F1507.5 was talking about. When you lift on the gas pedal, you are sending a vacuum spike through the system, and this is probably overcoming the vacuum leak you have.