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1989 F250 Project

  #1  
Old 08-15-2013, 12:29 AM
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Post 1989 F250 Project

Hello all, been lurking the board for awhile now, mostly the '73-79 forum but this one more lately.
I wanted to post my project up and have a place to ask any questions I may have that I can't find via the search function.
I picked up this 1989 F-250 from my grandfather this past weekend and plan on doing a mild restoration on it including rebuilding the 300 i6. It was his work truck for many years and has seen many miles of dirty logging roads and many hours idling on landings (355000 km/220500 miles on the odo). It's since been sitting for at best guess 12 years. I haven't been able to fire it up yet as the fuel in the tanks are probably beyond rotted and the fuel pump needs to be changed out. Dropping the tanks and assessing them and changing the pump is the plan this weekend. Followed by trying to get it to run and drive before tearing too far into it.

How it sat when I picked it up:




How it sits after a much needed pressure wash:




As you can see in the final picture my grandfather had started some rust prevention years ago on the door/fender. I plan for some patching, mainly the doors and cabs. I picked up a 1991 F150 a few months back for it's 351w for my '79 project and I plan on using the front clip from the '91 on the '89 to save me some patching.


The underside is in pretty good shape (no pics at this time), just surface rust but I do plan on Rustoleum the frame and underside of the cab/box to help with the salt on the roads in winter.

As I stated earlier I have planned to rebuild the 300 i6 at work (I work at an auto/industrial machine shop so it won't be anything to do).
That leads me to my first couple question. I don't want to get too wild with this rebuild as I plan on using this as a daily driver until the '79 is finished and then it'll be subjected to winter/work truck duty. I also wouldn't mind looking into options to get more out of the motor.
That said I haven't be able to track down much info on a mild build for the 300 apart from changing the lifters to some chevy ones for additional lift instead of a performance cam and some "on the fence" thoughts about porting and polishing the head. Is there a cam that works with the EFI system or are the Chevy lifters just as good but cheaper option?
Any definitive info on porting and polishing? Best I found was "hog it out; more air is always better" and "leave it be; smaller ports makes a vortex for fuel/air mixture". Pretty different sides of the fence

I'll leave the post at this for now as it's a pretty long intro.
 
  #2  
Old 08-15-2013, 01:19 AM
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I can say the 300's are not very fast in stock form, but the low end torques are ridiculous.
A while back, my neighbor put a Comp Cam in his I6 which IIRC was a 260h. He got lifters from Jegs or Summit, then you don't have to make a Frankenstein motor, and that makes the next owner happier. I would do both at the same time, but some people like building the same motor 2-3 times.
The factory heads don't flow very well, but I have no clue where to look
An intake is always a good upgrade, but none of that oiled gauze stuff, it sucks more dust than an elderly prostitute.
Headers would be a good, cost effective upgrade, anything is better than stock manifolds.
At 220k+ miles, you should definitely think about a new catalytic converter, that one is probably clogged with soot and other exhaust by-products, like global warming. Think about a Hi-flow cat, or the gutted outer shell of a cat welded around a straight pipe. You know to fool the Mounties.
An exhaust gives better performance, and gets the ladies. 2.25"-2.5" pipes should do. I like turbo mufflers, they quiet her down, but don't make scraggily, ricey exhaust notes. Usually. Sometimes.
Other than a re-gear, not much else can be pushed out of bolt ons for a stock motor.
 
  #3  
Old 08-15-2013, 10:09 PM
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I was confused, it turns out you use Chevy rockers not lifters. It's supposed to open the valves more instead of using a performance cam. I'll look into that Comp Cam though, seems like a much better idea then building a Frankenstein motor like you said. Hopefully it's computer friendly.

I haven't had much luck finding an aftermarket intake for the EFI system. I know there's Offy and Clifford intakes for carbed applications but I would like to stay EFI.
I'm definitely doing the exhaust but not I'm unsure how to plumb it yet. I like the idea of a dual set up but I'm not sure if 2x 2.5" pipe is too much for the 300. I was planning on using a Flowmaster muffler. Not sure about the cat yet, probably something hi-flow or gutting I guess.
It currently has 3.55 gears, I was looking into some 33s or 305/75/16 tires. Nothing too big to lower MPGs too much but something bigger then stock for some fun on the dirt roads and in the bush.
 
  #4  
Old 08-15-2013, 10:26 PM
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Right, I do believe his cam and lifters were put in and run, nothing needed. I know lmc truck sells an exhaust kit for cheap with turbo mufflers, maybe like $250.
I recently found treadwrights, and I love them. They're a retread out of South Dakota, 33" mud grips for like $150 each. I run guard dogs.
 
  #5  
Old 08-16-2013, 11:42 PM
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I remember treadwrights! I was looking at that site about a year ago and forgot all about them. Thanks for the reminder. I'm liking the idea of those 285/75/16 Wardens on this truck a lot.
Hopefully I should be getting the 2 fuel tanks dropped and drained and the donor box cleaned out and all of that assessed tomorrow at the very least. Getting the box removal started if all that goes good and the donor box is better then the current box.
The donor box has some 5th wheel brackets on the bed that might be just as much work as patching the rust spots on the current box. I'll get some better pictures tomorrow hopefully.

Donor box:

 
  #6  
Old 08-17-2013, 02:16 AM
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I'd honestly rather patch intended holes than rust that ate entirely through a body panel. Your existing bed looks a little less beaten in, around the rails, but it looks to me as it was swapped years ago, seeing as it has the trim on it.
 
  #7  
Old 08-17-2013, 12:51 PM
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The bed is original to the truck, the trim panels were removed from the doors and front fender when my grandfather did some rust repair. I'll be removing all of them since they're a great place for rust to hide and I don't need that after paint.
I'll snap some better pics of both boxes later today. I think they're both probably equal amount of work. More patching in rust on the current box and more dent pulling on the donor.
 
  #8  
Old 08-17-2013, 11:33 PM
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Yeah, theirs really no way good way to fix dents up near the bed rails. If they're shallow Bondo and finishing putty is what I use. If they're not, pull'em. My dad used to have the dent puller you tack welded into place, which I thought was a far sight better than drilling holes to pull dents. Then of course theirs the time he slid his blazer into a tree, put an eye bolt through the hole with washers, and winched it sort of straight.
 
  #9  
Old 08-18-2013, 01:52 PM
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Well I didn't get as much as I wanted to get done yesterday Basically got my work place cleared out and pulled/pushed my truck in. Assessed the 2 boxes as best I could as I didn't get the donor box cleaned up to see condition of the bed. I still think the donor box will be less work as it isn't nearly as rusted and there's some bed liner in it already. I tried to snap some better pictures of the bed rails. I don't think they're as bad as the pics before show them to be.


The bed liner


I discovered some more on the original box that is also making me lean towards the donor. This is what's under one of the trim panels and the aftermath of a few seconds with the wire wheel.

After wire wheel



It's a lot of rust repair but it's not completely discouraging if the donor box's 5th wheel brackets ruined the bed. The underside of the box and the bed is in stellar shape. The latter because of the canopy my grandfather left on it all the time.
The underside



The fuel tanks are still on the truck. I had started on the rear tank but only managed to get the rusty 2 forward most bolts out of the straps before rain, dinner and social aspects called (working on the truck at my In-Law's place).
I did find out the gas in the front tank came out clear and not a horrible rusty orange color like some in old tanks left sitting with gas for years does. So that's was some good news. Might not need new tanks after all.
The rear tank seemed empty as both the gauge on the dash said "E" and the hose encountered no fuel when we went to siphon the tanks.

Also snapped a couple pics of some towing/hauling goodness I'll be robbing off the '91 donor in addition to the front clip and bumpers


 
  #10  
Old 08-22-2013, 11:30 PM
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Unfortunately there won't be much happening to the truck this weekend. My brother and me are going to go look at another donor truck with a 6.9 that hopefully has some good pieces we can both use for our various builds. If this truck works out I'll have all the Lariat goodies for my build. Just need to track down some bucket seats and center console
 
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Old 08-26-2013, 08:26 PM
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Well we picked up the donor truck for $500 and it came with a couple extra tailgates, extra set of doors and an extra hood. It's an '87 F-250 4x2 Lariat 6.9. It's got a near mint cab and front clip that I'll use on my grandfather's frame instead of the red 91's front clip and his slightly worn cab. Even though his would be a good base this one requires less work.






The box on this truck doesn't seem bad but the rust has crept in behind the wheel wells so I think the black ext cab's is still winning out out of the 3.
So the game plan to date will be to still try to get my grandpa's truck started and driving before I pull the 300 i6 for the rebuild over winter. Wire wheel the frame and paint it, the axles, and other misc items on the frame with Rustoleum. Swap this new '87 donor's cab and front clip and the black ext. cab's box onto my grandpa's frame after painting the undersides as well. Then in spring throw some paint to make it all match, drop the rebuilt engine in and have a new DD. Sounds easy enough...on paper
 
  #12  
Old 09-02-2013, 03:28 AM
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So a slight change of plans. Spent half the day with my brother tearing into the front clip and engine.



Going to pull the 300 i6, zf and transfer case next weekend and pull apart the motor so I can start bring pieces into work and machining them over the next little while.
We also took a few minutes to get the ext. cab donor truck's box cleaned out and I'm 99% sure this will be the box I'm using. The brackets for the 5th wheel weren't nearly as bad I thought they were and I believe the previous spray in bed liner really helped keep the bed half decent. Should get the brackets removed next weekend after pressure washing the bed.



 
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Old 09-02-2013, 09:33 AM
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Coming along good! Cant wait to see one truck put together! haha
 
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Old 09-02-2013, 10:14 AM
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do yourself a favor and invest in a sandblaster. they can be setup for cheap if you look around, and its the only way youll get into the spots that need to be hit the most. i.e. nooks and crannies that you will find to be the most rusted, that the wire wheel cant hit. its pointless to get that far in there without getting it all.

if it were me, I wouldn't rebuild the 300. the 300 is a great motor, especially for its time, but there are a myriad of better candidates for a build. if the 300 were coming out of my truck, it wouldn't be going back in. im not a huge fan of the 6.9, but if I had one sitting around that ran, i'd be half inclined to put it in something.
 
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Old 09-02-2013, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Hutch17 View Post
Coming along good! Cant wait to see one truck put together! haha
Thanks, I can't wait either.

Originally Posted by '89F2urd View Post
do yourself a favor and invest in a sandblaster. they can be setup for cheap if you look around, and its the only way youll get into the spots that need to be hit the most. i.e. nooks and crannies that you will find to be the most rusted, that the wire wheel cant hit. its pointless to get that far in there without getting it all.

if it were me, I wouldn't rebuild the 300. the 300 is a great motor, especially for its time, but there are a myriad of better candidates for a build. if the 300 were coming out of my truck, it wouldn't be going back in. im not a huge fan of the 6.9, but if I had one sitting around that ran, i'd be half inclined to put it in something.
I'll look into the sandblasting. I believe my father-in-law might have a system already come to think of it. I just figured the sheer amount of media I would have to use and even the reusable media I might be able to save that falls on the trap (and isn't too contaminated with rust flakes) would up the cost of this build by quite a bit.

As for the engine choice I had decided on the 300 as it was the best workhorse while still being good on gas for a DD application. I also wanted to use it as an easy and cheap engine to rebuild and assemble for my first complete. I haven't done one fully at work as I'm primarily a crank grinder but I have reconditioned heads fully, dabbled with reconditioning con rods and only minimal work on blocks.
The only other choices I have are the tired 6.9 that needs some work (I believe my brother had said glow plugs, it blows black smoke under heavier acceleration and there's oil in the air filter among other things), the 302 out of my '78, the 351w that I was going to put into my '78 and there's the 460 out of the black ext. cab but I believe there's oil in the coolant and it's not exactly a good choice for a DD.
 

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