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75 F100 4x4 slow build/ daily driver

 
  #46  
Old 06-28-2018, 02:26 AM
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Well, every since the cam swap, I have had a small valve cover leak which was not a huge issue because it only required topping off the oil every couple hundred miles or so. BUT, the oil that was leaking goes right onto the headers and smokes pretty embarrassingly. My wife's SUV has to go to the body shop for a new grill (Bambi lived, but the grill didn't) and she is going to have to drive the truck for a few days. So I decided to be a nice guy and fix the smoker issue. It just needs a new valve cover gasket and maybe tweak a bent spot on the cover that I might have missed, right? Wrong again (it's becoming a pattern with this truck). Turns out, the valve cover cracked around one of the bolts. That and the new rubber gasket had already cracked in half around the next bolt over on the bottom of the cover. If you ever think about using the Fel-Pro rubber gaskets for reusability, don't do it. Trash as far as I am concerned. They didn't fit very well to begin with and this one failed in only a few months of light use. Can't wait to see what the other one looks like.


I probably could have welded or brazed the cracked cover, but it was the perfect excuse to upgrade to the aluminum ones I have been eying. I was originally trying to avoid the brand name advertising, but the price is right on this Edelbrock Elite II set. Summit had them for only about $20-30 more than the questionable cheap-o's on Ebay. Oh well, I seem to have an Edelbrock theme started, so may as well just roll with it. I got the easy side done tonight, but I probably won't get the other done until the weekend. That and figure out why it is leaking power steering fluid...again. It's somewhere on the pump. I didn't realize how bad it was until I saw the puddle on the garage floor while retrieving a dropped tool.
 
  #47  
Old 10-28-2018, 12:14 AM
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My wife was at work and couldn't defend her garage parking spot and it was nasty rainy, so inside project day! I needed to pull a tow dolly the other day and discovered that despite having a hitch, the trailer plug in the bumper was not wired. It was the old style round plug anyways, so I got another one that bolts to the bottom of the bumper and has the newer style plug as well as the 4 pin straight connector. There was a bent up old bracket for the newer style plug, but no plug. I took it off and with pure blind luck, the new one bolted right in its place with no drilling. Every once in a while, things just go right. While I was working, I also stripped off some old brackets on each corner of the bumper that I think were from some back up lights long since removed. Every time I climbed over the tailgate, I managed to step on the darn things and either try and break my ankle or fall off the bumper...or both. Also found some old mud flap brackets hiding under the bumper and took those rusty things off too. All better now and ready to tow something.


While I was risking my life stealing my wife's parking spot, I decided to get the brackets on the cactus smasher straightened and mounted it up to verify that it was good. I was originally just trying to get it cleaned up to sell, but I think actually putting it on the truck might have been a mistake. Now I am debating just painting it silver and keeping it for now, lol.


 
  #48  
Old 10-28-2018, 07:25 PM
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Rainy day projects part 2: Got the driver side reverse light socket replaced, reinstalled the ash tray (it was out so long I can't even remember why I took it out in the first place), and installed a locking hood latch. I found out quite a while ago that the NOS locking cable I found was actually for a van, so I used a non-locking cable out of a later model (don't remember what year, but I think it was a bullnose). I never planned to lock it anyways, so this was easier and cheaper than finding the correct cable. I just didn't like that you could open the hood from the outside.

 
  #49  
Old 01-02-2019, 01:24 AM
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I was cleaning up the garage and found an old radio that had been installed in my wife's old Explorer and got a wild hair to install it in my truck for now. And down the slippery slope of "while I'm there" set in.

First off, the PO had hacked in a DIN radio but removed it before I bought the truck, leaving an ugly hole. I eventually want to replace the bezel with a new woodgrain one and will probably go with a Retrosound custom fit stereo at that point. For now, the bezel I have was badly cut, so why not use what I have in the meanwhile. The gap at the bottom of the radio would bug me, so I built a cover plate and glued it to the bezel and am in the process of repainting it all. Before painting, I reinforced the top mounting holes with sheet metal and epoxied in the two that had broken all the way through. I have also modified the radio/ hater control bracket with a wider plate to properly accommodate the wider radio, but I still need to cut the actual opening for the radio. I would have the bracket done, but I had to finish the bezel and match the bracket to it. The PO had just hacked almost completely through the bracket during their install. It probably would have worked, but I wanted to make sure the heater controls were solidly mounted.






It's not quite done as I got side tracked trying to fix the odometer that decided it no longer wanted to register some time ago. I wanted to get it working so I won't have to tear the dash back apart later. Turns out, once I removed the instrument cluster, I found the missing blue filter that goes over the backlight bulbs. Guess why the odometer was not working? You guessed it, it had fallen down and was apparently laying up against the bottom, jamming it from moving. Annnd, while the cluster was out, I might as well repaint the gauge needles too right? I decided to go with blue needles instead of the factory orange. I didn't want to wait for shipping on the needle paint, so I went down to Craft Warehouse and found some allegedly fluorescent paint. First off, I love the look with them done in blue, but they dried quite a bit darker than the picture shows. A dark blue needle on a black background is reasonably OK in the daylight, but not so good at night. But it will be OK as long as they fluoresce like they paint says it will right? Refer back to my "allegedly" fluorescent comment. I can barley see them, even with LED backlights. Needless to say, I will be ordering the correct gauge needle paint. I am also debating a set of brushed silver gauge overlays to help even more with the contrast. They would be ordered except the site where I found them (1973-1979 Ford Truck 100 Mph White Face Gauges - Whitegauges.net) sells primarily white gauges as their name implies. The white set is only $24.95...but any other color is a $30 surcharge. $55 is a bit steep for a set of stickers....decisions.

 
  #50  
Old 01-02-2019, 02:48 PM
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Loving this, please keep us posted!
 
  #51  
Old 01-02-2019, 03:03 PM
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I love seeing progress on a build like this. Keep it up!
 
  #52  
Old 01-17-2019, 12:05 AM
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So time for plan B with the blue gauge needles. It dawned on me that hobby store fluorescent paint wasn't fluorescing, but I bet it would under black light. They have every other light in LED now, so I asked my friend Google and his buddy Amazon for help. Sure enough, they make LED black lights in self adhesive strip form. And guess what showed up in the mail today?

these these

They can operate on 12V direct current or come wired to use a power supply to run on AC. Well, I had a laptop power supply that the plug fit perfectly, so no pesky wiring job required to test it out. And it works great. I do not have the correct needle paint yet, but the cheap hobby store paint glows well enough to know it will work! This picture is done in complete darkness with only the UV lights. I was planning to install a strip of these on the top and bottom of the cluster and this picture proves that will be necessary. Notice how bright the bottom is and the top is barely fluorescing. The plan is to connect these and still use the blue LED back lights as well. I hope that the fluorescing effect still works but the blue back light overpowers the purplish UV enough to match the rest of the dash that is all blue.



And now for the tragic news. While testing and taking this picture, I was smelling this hot plastic smell. I knew LEDS get a little warm, so I figured it was just the new strip letting off the new electronics smell. No wait, that smell is getting pretty strong. And crap this little plastic reel that the strip came on is getting pretty hot. Yup, don't leave LED strip lights coiled up and power them on. They get so hot they melt plastic and de-solder LED bulbs... I'm so glad the strip is 6 feet long so there is enough left to salvage for this project. More pictures to follow once I have the needles repainted and the strips permanently mounted with the cluster back in the dash.


 
  #53  
Old 01-17-2019, 07:21 AM
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That's a pretty cool idea, would almost be like a reverse glow dash if you can paint on the numbers and letters.
 
  #54  
Old 01-17-2019, 09:03 AM
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Originally Posted by njdevil77 View Post
That's a pretty cool idea, would almost be like a reverse glow dash if you can paint on the numbers and letters.
2x on this. I had the exact same thoughts once I saw the glow. Alternatively, one could outline the numbers and letters.
 
  #55  
Old 01-27-2019, 12:11 PM
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I'm still waiting on the proper needle paint to show up, but I got the LED strips installed and put the cluster back in so I can actually drive the truck in the meanwhile. I was debating on how to wire it because I wanted the black lights on regardless of whether the rest of the dash lights were on or not. You can see the needles in the daylight, but as dark as they are currently, they pretty low contrast- especially the four small gauges. I figured the fluorescing effect would be at least partly visible in the daylight, if not it at least wouldn't hurt anything. The drawback is I did not want another connection to the cluster to have to fuss with when taking it in and out. Then it dawned on me. Being a 1975, it has the one year only "low fuel economy" dash light. I figured this out light out some time back about this and since the vacuum line is disconnected, the light is on full time. Power supply problem solved... unless someone connects my vacuum line, lol. I just wired the two strips in series, drilled a small hole in the back of the cluster, and then t-spliced onto the wiring for the warning light (it is an extra connector for this light and the high beam indicator- not part of the printed circuit board.) It works pretty well and the gauge needles are pretty visible now.




Daylight without the black light.


Daylight with the black light on. It mainly improves the four smaller gauges, but they were mostly what I couldn't see anyways.


Nighttime with black light and LED dash lights on. I can live with this as-is, but hoping the new paint will make it even better.


So I went for a short test drive up the hill to see if the odometer would finally work. It does, but it only moved 1/10 on my short test drive. I was thinking I drove farther than that so I just kept going past my driveway into town. It is a mile and a half (clocked it previously in my car). It's a winding road so I wasn't staring at the odometer the whole time, but in glancing down randomly, it clearly was running way slow. But looking more closely at the pictures now, the miles digit also appears to stuck. The day pictures are before the test drive and the night is after...but the mileage is 2/10 lower after the drive. So clearly, still have some work to do on that. I'm not 100% certain, but my speedometer seems to be a bit fast now too. One step forward, two steps back some times. I will win this fight eventually and have a complete dash, just not today, lol.
 
  #56  
Old 01-28-2019, 11:41 AM
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Very cool man. Looks quite bright, but everything is visible for sure.
 
  #57  
Old 01-28-2019, 12:22 PM
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did you pick that odometer up from a greasy used car salesman? sorry had to
 
  #58  
Old 01-28-2019, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KubotaOrange76 View Post
did you pick that odometer up from a greasy used car salesman? sorry had to
No, but is your typical PO any better? At least you expect lies from the greasy salesman...

On a side note, while scrutinizing the odometer so much lately, I also noticed that the ten thousand digit is a bit lower- a tell-tale that it has rolled over once (at least). The title shows 50,000 and does not indicate that the reading is in excess of the mechanical limits. But it looks to me like it most likely is. It would match up better with the wear I observed on the front steering and suspension if it was 150,00 instead. I have also come to the conclusion that the engine was replaced (had two dipsticks and the oil filter did not have truck adapter), but the condition of the rest of the truck kind of had me believing it was original mileage. Oh well, now I don't have to worry about any guilt if I ever do finally get a job close enough to daily drive it and put a ton of miles on it. Or maybe I can just leave it as is, and then if for some unforeseen reason that I ever sell it I can say with a straight face, "Yes, those are ORIGINAL miles." (muttering under my breath "Not accurate, but original.")
 
  #59  
Old 02-16-2019, 01:29 AM
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Very nice build so far! Subscribed! Found your build while searching for Front end linkage. Looks like out trucks are Brothers in different States! Keep up the good work and I have finally got the Lone Ranger going again after 18 months and will be updating my post this weekend!

Dakotarider
 
  #60  
Old 03-15-2019, 01:28 AM
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I pulled the cluster back out yesterday to repaint the needles with the new paint. It helped some, but not a huge amount. It's about 1/2 dusk in this picture, so it's kind of hard to tell. It's definitely a little lighter shade of blue, which is more what I wanted in the first place.



However there is a victory to report in the fight with the odometer. (Sorry, no pictures on this one.) While I had the cluster out, I looked the odometer over really good and did a lot of testing with a drill. I finally found the little plastic tab on the 1/10 dial that grabs the miles digit and rolls it over was a little boogered up and was causing it to stick. It rolled over with a little extra nudge, but would not normally go over on it's own. I picked at the broken part with a fine tip screwdriver until I flaked off the broken and folded over piece of plastic on the tab. It left the tab a little shorter, but works pretty good now. It still sticks occasionally for a second or two when rolling over a mile digit or especially a ten mile digit, but works fine 95+% of the time. I put more miles on the truck in one test drive than I have in over three years of ownership, lol! I'm not fully confident that the rest of the tab might not break off evetually, so I am not willing to call it full victory. But for now, it saves the cost to replace the whole speedometer as it seems to be back to tracking speed more accurate again and a mostly working odometer.
 

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