WHAT’S UP IN THE FORUMS: ‘Big Blue’ F-250 Lives On with New Owner

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Ford F-250

Awesome Eighties-era Ford truck gets a new owner and a new nickname but stays in the FTE family.

For some time, Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum member and chapter leader Gary Lewis affectionately referred to his 2015 Ford F-150 as “Big Blue.” But when fellow forum buddy Vernon/Nonrev321 offered up his (bigger) blue 1985 F-250, Lewis couldn’t resist taking on a another project. And once the “new” truck landed in his possession, he was forced to change things up a bit. Namely his forum signature.

The new Big Blue is a 1985 F-250 HD XLT Lariat Explorer C, which Lewis included in a photo that shows him and Vernon closing the deal. With a nameplate almost as long as the truck itself, it only makes sense that power comes from a rebuilt 460. The previous owner had already begun an extensive restoration, so the engine has also received the typical intake/cam/carb/header upgrades.


‘At this point, I have 13,000 miles on the truck —
and 4,500 of those have been towing. As said, I’m sold.’


“Back in ’11, I was shopping for a new vehicle,” says Lewis in the FTE forums. “We looked at Fords and I kinda liked one, but the salesman said it didn’t come with the EB. So, I bought a Nissan Murano. Nice car, but when we took it to ABQ on a trip a friend pointed out that the Ford did come with the EB — and then he showed me a video on that engine, which Ford sent him. The things they did to that engine were very harsh, but it showed almost no wear when torn down. And the guys on the forum aren’t reporting problems with the engine.

“So, I have no qualms with it,” adds the Oklahoma-based Ford trucks enthusiast. “And, there’s no problem with using it. At this point, I have 13,000 miles on the truck — and 4,500 of those have been towing. As said, I’m sold.”

It’s easy to see why Lewis is sold on this blue beauty. In fact, he is so satisfied with his Ford truck that he devotes much of his blog, Gary’s Garagemahal, to his devotion to the brand and its awesome vehicles.

In addition to the truck’s enviable aspects previously mentioned, the rest of the drivetrain is equally nice, with a T-19 tranny and BW1345 transfer case delivering power to a Dana 44 up front and a Sterling 10.25 out back. Gears are 3.54 aft and 3.55 in the rear. Both ends have an Eaton Detroit True Trac differential.

The suspension has likewise been gone through. There are new springs, Bilsten shocks and poly bushings at each corner. The truck also has new ball joints, tie rod ends, and a steering box. The whole thing rolls on black 16×8″ wheels wrapped with LT285/75R16 Cooper Discoverer S/TMaxx tires.


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Next up for Lewis is to ensure that the new addition to his garage has a strong heart.

“I did try to start [the truck] yesterday and I didn’t like the noise it made,” he says in his forum post. “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.”

The positive response from fellow FTE forum members seems to show that Lewis has strong support in his project.

“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!” commented forum member Ford F834.

“Congrats on that fine looking vehicle! You’re both lucky! You on the find and Vernon for having you to pass it on to!” said Cienega32, another friend in the FTE forums.

But even with all of the work already completed on this old bullnose, Lewis still has a lot to do to make the old F-250 truly shine. Along with getting it running and driving, he’s started working on refreshing the interior. With the priceless help of his fellow FTE members, of course. You can follow along with Big Blue’s continuing journey here.

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Brett Foote is a longtime contributor to Internet Brands’ Auto sites, including Chevrolet Forum, Rennlist, and Ford Truck Enthusiasts, among other sites.

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