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1979 F-250 SC Custom 4WD - My First Ford Restoration!

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Old 09-05-2016, 04:34 PM
Superblue400
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1979 F-250 SC Custom 4WD - My First Ford Restoration!

I have been posting a few random questions over the last few weeks in preparation to begin this project. The vehicle is my business partner and friend's truck - he is the original owner and special ordered it in Jan 79. It is a 8100 GVW long bed equipped with a 400 2V, M/T, Factory A/C, AM/FM stereo, Tinted glass, jump seats, step down bumper, spare tire and that's about it. 73K original miles. Exterior color is Dark Blue Metallic with blue vinyl bench interior. The axles are Dana 60's with 3.54 gears if it makes any difference.

The truck has a lot of sentimental value to him. It was originally used as daily transportation for about three years, and the turned into a farm truck used in building his ranch outside of Decatur Texas. It has had periods of inactivity, been used as a vehicle for granchildren to learn to drive, and last ran 2007. He asked if I knew anyone who might be able to restore the truck, but I volunteered since I have experience in restoration - limited to 68-72 Olds Cutlass/442's and had just finished my last project - 71 Cutlass Supreme 350-4V 4 speed that won Best Of Class at the Oldsmobile Club Of America's 2016 Nationals.

I will always be grateful for the opportunity Fred gave to me - a young inexperinced kid almost 20 years ago - that eventually led to becoming part owner of the engine parts business he began in 1982. It has changed the lives of my wife and children so the least I could do was to offer to do all the work free of charge if he would cover the costs of all parts and services I have to sub out. We established a budget and a time line of having the project finished in 8-12 months - of course subject to what paint & body finds and requires!

The good news is the truck has never been seriously modified. The original radio is missing and replaced with a aftermarket Kraco unit. The belts, hoses spark plug wires are aftermarket but everything else under the hood looks OEM to me. The bad news will be paint and body. At one point in the mid 90's, Fred had the truck repainted and the bed was so beat up it was replaced with a 73-76 piece. The replacement bed is junk, tailgate is junk, cab roof is so dented up it resembles a lunar landscape, fender to door gaps are way off etc....

After doing my preliminary surveys, I went on Rock Auto and LMC to establish "wish lists" of everything I might need to replace - both orders together would total out to be about 10K. Add in another 2K for items I'd like to find that "show" and would need to be NOS (belts, hoses, voltage regulator, ignition module), 5K for trans/transaxle/differential(s) rebuilding, 2k for radiator recoring, P/S gear and pump, carb/starter/alternator rebuilding, and at least 20K for paint and body. It might be less, but not much.

Any and all feedback will be greatly appreciated. The idea is to restore it to exact factory appearance. I might have found the salesman who wrote the order on the truck and can have him hand over the keys to Fred when I'm done!

Have already bought the first pieces for the resto - 6 8.75 X 16.5 Firestone Tranforce tires. Needed one to get the truck rolling onto the trailer (does not currently run) and which will become a extra after the other five are installed on the truck. They were only 120.00 at a Firestone dealer here in town, and it's worth getting an extra anyway - they are getting hard to find.

Pictures of the truck in its' current condition:
















 
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:30 PM
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Sounds like a fun project. You can add a set of correct locking hubs for the front d60. The ones you have in the pic are from the 80's on up.
 
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:54 PM
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Superblue,
I'll be following your restoration, sounds like a good project. Any chance you have any photos of the Firestones you picked up for the truck? I've always been curious if the 4x4's came with a different tire than the 2wd trucks.

I've still got the 4 original 8.75x16.5 Firestone "Transport 500" tires for my 2wd F250 Custom. Just curious if you have the same ones, or if you found that the 4x4's came with a different tire.
 
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:16 PM
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Subscribed. Best of luck! I look forward to seeing where this goes!
 
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:17 PM
Superblue400
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Originally Posted by PA74F250 View Post
Sounds like a fun project. You can add a set of correct locking hubs for the front d60. The ones you have in the pic are from the 80's on up.
Thank you. Tried doing a google image search as to what the correct hubs should look like and got nothing. Can you point me in the right direction?
 
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by twofifty View Post
Superblue,
I'll be following your restoration, sounds like a good project. Any chance you have any photos of the Firestones you picked up for the truck? I've always been curious if the 4x4's came with a different tire than the 2wd trucks.

I've still got the 4 original 8.75x16.5 Firestone "Transport 500" tires for my 2wd F250 Custom. Just curious if you have the same ones, or if you found that the 4x4's came with a different tire.
https://tiresize.com/tires/Firestone...-8.75R16.5.htm

I'm sure these do not have the exact tread design as the originals, but at least they are the right size. Could you post a picture of yours you have saved? Very cool you've kept them this long.
 
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Superblue400 View Post
Thank you. Tried doing a google image search as to what the correct hubs should look like and got nothing. Can you point me in the right direction?
They should look like this:

 
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Old 09-06-2016, 07:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Superblue400 View Post
https://tiresize.com/tires/Firestone...-8.75R16.5.htm

I'm sure these do not have the exact tread design as the originals, but at least they are the right size. Could you post a picture of yours you have saved? Very cool you've kept them this long.
I couldn't see parting with them as they legitimize my truck and are fun to throw on from time to time. Here they are the original wheels and tires as they sit today:

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Also, in an earlier post you were asking about underhood pics and anything from original trucks. Here are a few I took of mine tonight of any factory markings I could see at a quick glance:

Passenger fender and galvanized inner fender:
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Underhood:


Passenger side near center of core support:
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Core support near center but driver's side:
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Close up of factory galvanizing on drivers side inner fender:
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A small spot I cleaned off under the cab where you can see the Primer/red oxide coloring:
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Let me know if you'd like to see anything else. Mine is still pretty well preserved and is a '79 F250 Custom. Would be glad to help with any details you are looking for.

Hope this helps your project!
-Jim
 
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Old 09-06-2016, 08:00 PM
Superblue400
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First actual work session (1 1/2 hours)

Began by positioning the truck on the rolling floor dollies I bought from Harbor freight. These have the foot jack that eliminates having to jack the vehicle up to place in on the dolly. They were 99.00 each - worth every penny, but I still need at least two other people to help me roll it around..

First removed the four side marker lamps. The rears had the Ford logo on them, but the fronts did not. One of each are potentially salvageable. The other two are croaked and badly faded. Also removed taillight assemblies - both junk with cracks. I assume the screws for these are zinc finish similar to what holds in the park light lenses?

Removed the side mirrors. Junk, but have a question I will post on a separate thread about which bolts are correct.

Moved onto removing disassembling the door components. No surprises, but the window guide weatherstripping was so dried out and crystallized I removed it by tapping on it and watching it crumble. Door panels, armrest pads, widow cranks are toast, but door release handles can be polished out - miraculously, the are not pitted.

Removed right hand door sill plate. First problem - 2 screws solidly rusted in place, so had to grind off the heads (plates are junk anyway) Found a little rust under the door weatherstrip and a whole lot under the original mat so we'll need to replace both foot wells. Also, that backing under the mat smells really bad.
 
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Old 09-07-2016, 02:16 AM
hail destroyer
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Nice truck! Like mine, but without dents and rust........








Totally off topic, but I'm looking for a solid 1970 cutlass supreme non fastback with a 350 and 4 speed to restore for my mom.
 
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Old 09-07-2016, 07:22 AM
Superblue400
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Originally Posted by hail destroyer View Post
Nice truck! Like mine, but without dents and rust........








Totally off topic, but I'm looking for a solid 1970 cutlass supreme non fastback with a 350 and 4 speed to restore for my mom.
Thanks. You might try Classic Olds (ClassicOldsmobile.com) in your search. They are the the Olds equivalent to this site and have cars for sale/cars wanted listings.

I believe there is no fastback Cutlass Supreme in 70 to 72. All Supremes are the "notchback" style - see the pics of the car I just completed. You are looking for a F-85 or Cutlass S if you are wanting a fastback style Cutlass (aka Holiday Coupe without vent Windows, a Post Coupe with)











 
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Old 09-07-2016, 12:24 PM
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Super blue. That is one perfect cutlass! Is that an a/c car? Mom had a buckets/console 4 speed notchback 70, and the neighbor had a buckets/console auto cutlass SX with full options and a factory 455! Crazy. PS, your restoration is gorgeous.
 
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Old 09-07-2016, 04:51 PM
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Originally Posted by hail destroyer View Post
Super blue. That is one perfect cutlass! Is that an a/c car? Mom had a buckets/console 4 speed notchback 70, and the neighbor had a buckets/console auto cutlass SX with full options and a factory 455! Crazy. PS, your restoration is gorgeous.
Thank you! I'm hoping to achieve a similar level of detail quality on the truck. I'm digging on the 350 4 speed combo - my other cars are quicker, but this car is the easiest to just go cruising in.
 
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:11 PM
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Hey SuperBlue, any progress on the truck?

I was digging around underneath my truck the other night on the hunt for any other assembly plant markings, etc that you would find useful, but I didn't uncover anything worth posting. I'm getting further and further from original anyways, so I don't want to post too many photos showing everything that is no longer "correct" on mine!
 
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Old 09-19-2016, 09:40 PM
Superblue400
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Originally Posted by twofifty View Post
Hey SuperBlue, any progress on the truck?

I was digging around underneath my truck the other night on the hunt for any other assembly plant markings, etc that you would find useful, but I didn't uncover anything worth posting. I'm getting further and further from original anyways, so I don't want to post too many photos showing everything that is no longer "correct" on mine!
Jim, thanks for note. I was just going to post the report for today's work session. ANY and all photos you want to post of original markings on your truck would be welcome, as well as any underhood pics of original finishes.
 
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