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Old 08-13-2008, 04:09 PM
quaddriver quaddriver is offline
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New project: 1981 F100 4x2

I found this truck in the parking lot behind some company 3 years ago, it had sat for 2 years. they pouring in a few gallons of gas, hooked up a jumper cable and viola, the 300-6 came to life. The body is 99% original - 2 small holes by the rear bumper so a few panels from carlisle and a paint job later and she is as she is (I have pics in my gallery)

To date I have kept her all original, save a sealed coolant recovery bottle and the CD player/speakers (in stock locations however). But apparently that has not made it 'valuable' to sell so I have started working on it to bring it up to a spec I like, but keeping the drivetrain mostly original and just adding options the truck didnt have (like it has no carpet, no headliner, no PS, no PB, no AC)

So here are my upgrades planned:

1) rear axle. It has a 9" in 2.50:1, open. Yeah, 9" might be a bit stronger than 8.8's, but they leak out of 4 places - at once. the current estimate to reseal this axle at my cost, is $200 (IF I ever find the right bearings, it seems I have something not in the catalog) However I own 2 perfectly good 8.8's in 3.55 with LS

Not only will this make it a bit more streetable in the winter, but it will give it a 40% torque boost, or put another way, instead of idling in first at 11mph, it should be more like 6. Perfect for PA whose construction season runs from Jan 2nd to Dec 30th.

The SROD tranny was useless in PA in 4th at any speed under 55mph, and any hill at all. I was in 3rd nearly all the time so I dont see my mileage hurt much.

Difficulty rating: 0 - I laugh in its face. IF you take the e-brake cables along with it, this is a bolt in fix. (both the 89 f150 donor and the f100 use the same e-brake equalizer, and flexi brake hose.)

The 8.8 has a 1" longer nose (so far my best measurment) however the donor had an aluminum driveshaft off the AOD that is 1" shorter. God loves me. And being aluminum any time you lower the rotational mass you help all 122 of those ponies.

2) rear springs. This is a real lightweight truck. It shipped at 3700lbs and has a 2800lb rear axle rating. (all 8.8s have 3800lb ratings!!!) Putting the cap on it sunk it noticably. It has the 2.5" wide 3 leaf system, rated at what? 50lbs? the 89 curiously has a 2.5 wide 4 leaf system - and thicker leafs to boot. The GVWR on the 89 was 5450 vs 4700 - this has to help. Better than the single leaf helper I added - those who saw me pull into carlisle saw how she sagged.

Difficulty rating: 2 you gotta cut these suckers off the frame. Fortunately, I have a system to drill out the rivets. Takes me about an hour per side including drill bit sharpening time. (those of you who do not have a drill doctor, need one - it saves me $100's per year)

I am going to do the springs and rear in one shot this weekend.

Therefore I need a tranny speedo gear for a 3.5 rear end (t170). Anyone got a part number?

3) rear slider. This truck has a solid window. but the cap has a slider. wouldnt it be nice if....... I had 2 sliders at carlisle, sold one, priced the other to make it worth my while to sell - it didnt so in it goes. problem is I gotta take off the cap to install it so I need a tall helper.

difficulty rating: 3. you need a phillips, 2 commons and a can of wd40 and these come out pretty slick. Once you do your first you will be an expert. You just have to remember to put the latch on the INSIDE.

4) power damn brakes. Manual brakes lick. boosters and masters differ year to year, but in reality I think its to get a matched set. My 90 F150 has a matched set. Who is to say I cannot graft the entire system from the 90 into the 81? It looks that if I take the rod from the brake pedal as well, it will never know.

difficulty rating: 5 I need to know the following: why is there a different part number for the 80-83 F100s with PB and wo PB for the calipers? will I be ok assisting the stock calipers? or buy new ones? and if I buy new ones do I also change the kingpin bushings? (80-83 F100s used a weird front end) Where do I tap the vacuum line for the booster? No reason I cant rip one off any carbed 6 cylinder?

5) Power steering. Due to an oddity of fate, the catalog says that any power steering gear for 80-96 fits any years. Well guess who has 2 of them sitting around. AND, it appears the pump is the same as well. Hoses, it looks like I am screwed on, but looking close, it seems the hoses changed to accomodate a power steering cooler, which I also magically have. I should be able to graft the entrire 1990 PS system onto the 81.

Difficulty rating: 5 I need 2 critical parts: first - the bracket that holds the PS pump to the I6 carbed motor (both brackets I have are for V8s and hold the AC and PS) and I need the carbed I6 pulley - i.e. v belt not serp. Anyone got a lead on them?

6) sway control. This truck lists in turns like a destroyer with 4 torpedoes in the side. apparently the bars are the same such that the 90's will fit (yeah, my 90 F150 was loaded) but I need shorter link ends for the rear (I suppose I could cut and weld) and need the mounting brackets for the front. LMC wants wayyyyyyyy to much for these.

difficulty rating: 7 Simply because I do not have a source for the parts and am not sure WHERE the link ends go on the front.

7) front springs. What works in the rear should work in the front. the 89 2wd donor has a nice set of springs I wonder if they will fit the front and gimme and inch of lift to boot? Anyone know offhand if they fit? I have not begun to measure.

8) next? hop up the motor? use the EFI 6 dual downlead exhaust? the isky cam? the 240 head? hey how about a fan clutch - I only got 122hp and I dont need to be giving 4-5 of them to the cooling fan....
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Old 08-17-2008, 11:12 PM
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Well the bigger springs and the 8.8 are in. I gotta bleed off some brakes, mount some tires and install the driveshaft.

Total cost thus far: $15 rear brake hose. I didnt like the looks of either one I had. Stocked grade 8 1/2in stuff holds the front hanger, stocked grade 5 7/16ths holds the rear.

Does anyone want the original springs? Still on the front hangers (good - blast em and remount) I wont mail em, but if anyone is near and makes the drive - for the taking, else they go into the neighbors scrap bin.

Notes for anyone foolhardy to undertake this in the future: LMC lists the same front spring hanger for the 81 and 89. But in practice, the botton holes misalign by about 3/16ths. It seems the 89 frame is 'taller'.

Im looking forward to driving it perhaps tomorrow afternoon after work.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:32 PM
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wow, I got a V8...

well not really but that is the comparative net effect of going from 2.50 gears to 3.55s all else the same. And I thought it was 'on paper' going pretty quickly as the speedo climbed like an F15 on full burner till I remembered that while I have 40% more torque advantage, my speedo is off by 40% as well. I do like using 4th gear on the back roads where I do 90% of my driving.

anyone know where to even look for the correct speedo gear?

(and my ebrake hangs a little bit but at glance the 9" rear has similar cables....I may swap out for grins)
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:21 PM
quaddriver quaddriver is offline
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Important Tip, LMC says the ebrake cables from the later trucks dont fit the earlier ones and vice versa. they lie. The cables on the donor axle were rusted internally. the 9incher had brand new ones. half hour later...fully functional. Im feeling pretty ninja right now. Ill quit for the day while ahead.
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Old 08-23-2008, 09:37 PM
quaddriver quaddriver is offline
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Count on old ford to throw everyone a loop.

SROD tranny ride? proper part number indicating it was made in 79, scribe pad indicating it was installed in 80. identifies PERFECTLY as an SROD.

every damn catalog I find lists the speedo gear as a set of RH gears.

the rule is - if the speedo cable comes in the passenger side, its left hand, else right hand.

well guess what, the shifter turret on the tail shaft also houses the speedo house in the drivers side, UNDER the output shaft.

So I check the web and viola, 1964-1973 speedo gears are EXACTLY it. even havet he same goofy color.

My ratio was 17/7 - 2.4

The highest left hand gear is 21 tooth (they are appx .793 round)

21/7 = 3. I added 40% axle ratio, but the tires knock this back 4%. 36%. 2.4 to 3 is 25%, im 11% shy.

I can correct with a 19 or 20 tooth (and be slightly off) if I go to a 6 tooth drive gear. mebbe when I yank the tranny to reseal it. (the 6 tooth gear is $58 so Im not THAT enamored)

If anyone reading has an SROD - write this crap down - the parts catalogs are stymied by the gear twist!!!
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Old 08-24-2008, 12:19 PM
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Sounds like ya heading in the right direction and I'm amazed of the codition of your truck was when found, alos like the upgrade axle swap. I'm starting to rebuild / restore my 78 model for my kid as her first ride. Its in my gallery.

Keep up the good work.

Mitch
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63 F100 LWB 302/AOD (Orphan box) Daily Driver.
62 F100 LWB 292/3spd (Uni-body Big Window Gasser project)
57 F100 SWB 351C/FMX; (Big Window)
65 Flairside SWB "Wife truck" (300/AOD)
62 F100 SWB 302/C6 (orphan box) Old Skool build
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Old 08-30-2008, 11:05 PM
quaddriver quaddriver is offline
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Yanno, proper planning makes all the difference....

When I got to my shop, in the mail was my 21 tooth speedo gear. It took me longer to drive the front up on ramps than it did to change it. now Im off by 10% only and I cant do a darn thing about that unless I change the drive gear some day.

Then, I noticed my exhaust had an issue so I took the system I ripped of a 89 5.0 powered F150. Surely the larger pipes will make nooooooooo difference ;-)

LAstly I installed a new cluster that has a tach - previously I only had speedo and gauges (this truck is a stripper truck and the one dang option it had was all gauges....)

Earlier I hit a boneyard and got a fan clutch and a PS pump with the correct pulley and the brackets. It will soak in the parts washer for a week, anyone know the correct paint color for 81 engine accessory brackets? Black, 'old' ford blue or grey?

Im going boating tomorrow, but hope to get the slider in at some time...
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:58 AM
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How about some pictures?
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:23 PM
quaddriver quaddriver is offline
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I have some pics of the truck when I got it (which shows just how cherry this was) and some pics after I cleaned up the minor body issues and shot it in the same color+clearcoat.

However, I tried posting a pic to a 'gallery' I created here and its only a dang thumbnail - you cannot click to see larger. And my camera takes 3700x2300 pics!

I had asked but no one answered what is the best way for me to get pics here? since my puters are govt access points, I cannot join external sites to store stuff on like facebook/myspace/photobucket etc. All blocked at the router.
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Old 08-31-2008, 10:46 PM
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Do you have photobucket?
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:19 AM
quaddriver quaddriver is offline
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Ok lets try some photos. I uploaded a new gallery of 3 shots of the body as I purchased it.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

This was the winter after I got it. The wheels are some van wheels I got at carlisle before people realized how much others might pay, the tires are generic walmart uniroyals and the cap I found for $150.

At this point there was a radio put in and speakers in the stock location. It was tuned, carb rebuilt and rear shocks replaced.

Next post I will show what it looked like after I shot the truck in the same color with clearcoat after fixing the rust.
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:25 AM
quaddriver quaddriver is offline
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ok, now if this worked, the next picture is a full size of how she looks now...

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 09-02-2008, 12:37 PM
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Good looking truck. If you check my gallery you will see my truck that I have been working on I guess I should start a project thread here too. I don't know if you know this but where you upload pictures in the gallery also has a picture re sizer that helps to save time. I just started using it,and it works great
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:01 PM
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Hey Quad, I plan on adding Hydroboost on my 85 F150 from a late 90's Crown Vic. Right now my next project is adding a Lincoln Mark VIII electric Fan that will help with a little extra HP and gas mileage.

Also I am going to do a true dual exhaust but in a lightning style exit.
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:35 PM
quaddriver quaddriver is offline
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Little done of late, been busy, but last weekend i swapped over to a 83-on water pump with the funny nut on the end and now have a fan clutch.

why ford did not let the damn thing run with the 5.0 fans I wont know - they take just as much room and are easier to swap out.

with the door seals updated, the quieter rear axle (I had no idea how much driveline noise the 9inch transmits!) and the fan, this truck is actually quite quiet inside now...
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Old 09-16-2008, 08:35 PM
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