FTE Member Saves Long Forgotten Ford F-150 Workhorse

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Ford F-150

We’ve seen some pretty brave rebuilds, but this beat-up, rat-infested ’88 F-150 might just take the cake.

If there’s one thing that never ceases to amaze us, it’s the resilience of Ford Truck Enthusiasts members. It doesn’t matter how rusted out, beat up, or hopeless a truck may seem – they’ll tear it apart and rebuilt it. We’ve seen countless trucks that seemed otherwise destined for a junkyard get a second lease on life thanks to our members. And the latest, this 1988 Ford F-150 saved by yellowcat, is a shining example of that.

“This old Ford is getting a new chance. Never would have dreamed of salvaging what is a sorely neglected and forgotten workhorse. F-150 that sat fourteen years in a farm feed shed. Straight 6, with a 4-speed changed over from the original auto transmission. XLT Lariat trim. Straight metal with stealth patina. Not currently running, engine is ‘free’ and smooth as silk. Partially robbed of the quick pickings, the previous owner saved it from total dismemberment.”

Ford F-150

With a little assistance from other members, the first step is to sort out the original emissions equipment. But the job actually starts with just simply cleaning up the nasty engine bay.

“Dropped the inner fenders off yesterday and cleared the debris. Upper is off. Focusing on the injector ports to plug now. The easy way is to cut your tubes close enough to get a 6-point socket over the nut part or it will split. Went to McMaster Carr for some recessed head allen plugs and then reversed back to get to the restart.”

It’s nasty, dirty work, but somebody’s got to do it. And the sheer amount of rat feces the OP finds is nothing short of stunning. But as always, patience pays off. Or does it?

“The pump is coming off, but the bottom bolt is acting like it wants to break. So maybe I’ll hack the bracket. Trying to be patient with it. Hopefully I’m close to reversing this tearing apart routine!”

Ford F-150

And once the bed comes off, the OP finds some more problems with his poor F-150.

“Bed is off. Have some missing wiring and both tanks are bad. I also discovered a lot of play in the rear end going into the diff. The driveshaft will freely rotate about an inch (slack). Not sure if it is anything I am qualified to further diagnose and repair. I may remove and replace it or take it to the rebuilder. Got a lot of the surface rust off the frame and will be coating it with rust converter today. Still have to get the hard to reach spots later as parts are r&r’d.”

So far, this F-150 reclamation project is coming along quite nicely. But we’re eager to see how it turns out! Be sure and head over here for the latest on this brave rebuild, and catch up on what’s already happened!

Join the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forums now!

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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