"No-Place" build thread - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums



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"No-Place" build thread

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Old 04-28-2017, 02:55 AM
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"No-Place" build thread

I've been putting it off, but I think I've got enough going on now to start a proper build-thread. "No-Place" is a 1985 Econoline 150 no-window panel van with a 300ci I6, 3spd+OD manual transmission & factory A/C. I drug it home for ~$450 (including title work) with the following known issues:

* The starter was frozen solid

* The engine had thrown a v-belt

* A previous owner did a hack-job radio & multiple 12v aux plug installs that pretty much butchered the dash.

* An amateur clutch job left a fist-full of missing hardware unaccounted for.

* The shifter actually felt worse than a "stick in the mud," and felt more like a fish-tail with his head stuck in the sand.

* Driver's door lock did not work.

* Rear cargo doors were horribly leaky.

So my first order of business was to make sure that the engine would actually run, so I opted for a cheap-o 1-yr. starter to get the engine rolling over for ~$40, and a Wal-Mart battery for about the same price. The starter install was as straight-forward as anyone could hope for with only two bolts, and I had it in & out from underneath in less than a half hour.



I added 5 gallons of fresh gas and cranked it over to find that it runs, and doesn't have any knocks or clatter, but the carb started puking fuel through the vent after receiving the hammer-treatment. Being that I am a handy guy with a grounded view of my own limitations, I decided to skip the process of failing at a carb rebuild, and opted for a newly rebuilt commercial unit instead.



Once I started pulling off brittle plugs and other plastic pieces, I managed to break a mystery part as well as nearly all the plugs going to the carb that have become brittle over the past 30 years despite a heavy coating of engine oil, but the first part to let go was a breather elbow that's only available NOS for $30!!!



The factory plastic wing-nut didn't last long either, however, I think I found where that vacuum line with a nail in it was supposed to go.



It wouldn't be so bad if I had smaller hands, but I still managed to get the carb off. NOTE: The vacuum line attached to the carb below is the one that had a nail in it; does it really go to the bottom side of the air cleaner? Anybody know? <---Input here would be much appreciated.



I have to admit that I was a little disappointed by National Carb's workmanship.



It's obvious that the core they rebuilt had gotten a LOT more of the hammer-treatment than I ever gave mine, which perhaps that couldn't be helped, but the brass fitting was actually jammed into the fuel inlet line.



There was also a star-backed retaining nut that was missing from the new carb that I ended up replacing with a stainless nut & a lock-washer.



I wire-wheeled everything before I shot the brackets and air cleaner with Dupli-Color Semi-Gloss Black (DE1635), cleared the solenoid, and added a new Purolator fuel filter.



A new pack of vacuum caps & $10 worth of v-belts later, and it runs great - though it smokes enough to add a valve-cover gasket to the to-do list, so I decided to do something drastic, and I pulled the shifter.



This is a build-thread, not a carb-replacement thread, so stay tuned as there's much more progress underway! Cotton
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Old 04-28-2017, 04:14 AM
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I always liked that engine!
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:57 AM
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So I did mention that the driver's door lock doesn't work...



So I spent a coupla' bucks on a Dorman PN: 75451



You can see how ate up the original was in comparison (bottom).



...and for under $5, I now have fully functioning door locks. Cotton
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Old 05-25-2017, 09:53 AM
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There's not much interesting about door seals, but that's what was next on the agenda. Yes, I know I haven't put the shifter back in yet, but I assure you, it's in the works.

After stripping & scraping all the old material off, I used Rust-Oleum Rusty Metal Primer as a base.



Since I was working in an area that was relatively concealable, I decided it was a good time to try some touch up paint that I'd never dealt with before.



While it was wet, the paint was a spot-on match.



...but once it dried, it was a little darker than OE.



I cleared it with Dupli-Color, and once I put the door seals on it was hardly noticeable, but I'm glad I used this as a testing area before I thought I might try painting say, a lower portion of a door where the contrast would be more glaring.



I used Metro SuperSoft PN: LM 110-VT & LM 110-VU, and we already got some weather around here to test them out, and they held up great. I used the recommended 3M PN: 08008 weatherstrip adhesive on the corners, the pre-installed tack worked awesome, and the contours were all correct. The only complaint is that where the OE weatherstripping used screws in a couple of the corners, these screws really didn't have anything to bite into on the new Metro pieces. I'll probably just use slightly larger stainless hardware to remedy this, but I've yet to get around to it. Nonetheless, the doors aren't difficult to close, and they keep the rain out, so I'm quite pleased with the results. A 15 year warranty doesn't hurt either, but I'm hoping I'll never need it.

While I'm certain that there are professionals out there having spasms over my amateurish approach, I'm always open to constructive criticism, so don't be shy if you have any helpful input. Cotton
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Old 05-26-2017, 10:36 PM
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Those vacuum elbows are cheap at junkyards, last time i was there I got 4 of them and the double clips that hold them in.
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Old 05-27-2017, 02:43 AM
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This isn't the kind with a retaining clip (which are still available new), but a twist-in style. I haven't been to any yards in quite a while, but I didn't want to risk buying one that was as baked & brittle as the one I already had.
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Old 05-30-2017, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CottonTexas View Post
but the first part to let go was a breather elbow that's only available NOS for $30!!!



^ WRONG part number!
E3ZZ-9E606-A .. 2.3L I-4 Air Cleaner Inlet Hose Adapter / Obsolete

1983 Fairmont/Zephyr; 1983/86 LTD/Marquis/Mustang/Capri.
---------------------------------------------------------------------
E5UZ-9E606-A .. Air Cleaner Inlet Hose Adapter ~ 3/4" -90 degree elbow / Obsolete

E6FZ-9E606-A .. Air Cleaner Inlet Hose Adapter ~ Straight 3/4" / Obsolete

1985/89 F150/350, Bronco & Econoline I-6 & V8 (gas).
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Old 06-03-2017, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NumberDummy View Post
E3ZZ-9E606-A .. 2.3L I-4 Air Cleaner Inlet Hose Adapter / Obsolete

1983 Fairmont/Zephyr; 1983/86 LTD/Marquis/Mustang/Capri. ...
I know, right? I did an application reference myself when I was looking for this piece, and ultimately decided that it really didn't matter if this was a part for the back seat of a Ranchero, but that's what was on it, and that's what fit, so that's what I was going to put back on there.




One of the things I thought about when I bought this van was that I was relieved that whomever it was that did the hack-job on the dash hadn't messed with hardly anything in the engine bay, but now that I've gotten elbow-deep (and then some), I wonder who did mess with this engine, or is it just one of those freak-things that Ford only did for 2 months during the second half of the third week after the solstice or what? However, notice the new dipstick tube. That (expensive) beauty is there because the genius that owned it before me JB-Welded the old tube in place - that was a TON of fun, and at this point, I put nothing beyond the idiocy of the guy I bought it from.

BTW, please do not edit within the quotes as I initially missed what was added, and it is misquoting. Highlight and/or underline if you need to, and separate incomplete quotes with ellipsis when taking from the original context as such:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NumberDummy View Post
...
E5UZ-9E606-A .. Air Cleaner Inlet Hose Adapter ~ 3/4" -90 degree elbow / Obsolete

E6FZ-9E606-A .. Air Cleaner Inlet Hose Adapter ~ Straight 3/4" / Obsolete

1985/89 F150/350, Bronco & Econoline I-6 & V8 (gas).
My local aftermarket parts guy actually found these (the 90 version) in Dorman I believe it was, but it wasn't listed specifically for my '85 Econoline. I think it may have even been a PCV elbow, but he was able to match it up from the illustrated catalogs. I didn't buy it, so I didn't feel the need to hang onto the PN, and of course now that I'd like to have it, I can't seem to find it in any kind of timely manner, so hopefully y'all have a good parts guy too should you need one. Some breather elements come with a retaining clip such as Pulolator PN: B43127, but since mine doesn't have a breather filter either, that's kinda useless for me.

I'm a guy that likes to put things back the way they were; the way they were supposed to be, but it seems as though someone else may have beat me to the punch there. I'm now considering my options as far as "making it my own," but there's a slippery-slope for ya since once you get away from the OE-type stuff, you have no choice but to "forage" for parts anywhere and any way you can get them. My local stealership is absolutely worthless in the parts dept. While fruitlessly looking for shifter bushings, I got, "They never made an E150 with a 4-speed sir," and, "We don't support retro-fitting or aftermarket applications. It'll void your parts warranty." I eventually convinced him otherwise, but then he wanted $8 for a single bolt for my Ranger, and my dipstick tube was something like $55 cheaper from a dealer online (though still expensive), and the feeling that I'm wasting this guy's precious time working on my old heap is what I've come to expect from my Ford dealer parts guy.

Enough complaining though, my point is that I'll shortly be at a crossroads with this van, and I'll have to decide whether it is better for me to stay (uh, go back) OE, or tear out the computer & jiggy-mə-bobbs, and just use whatever is readily available & works. I'm not sure yet, but parts availability and cost will undoubtedly help me decide.

Cheers,
Cotton
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:06 PM
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Finally! An update...

First I'd like to apologize (to the [maybe] three people that care) for not having been online for a while. I've been limited to my laptop, and I didn't want to hassle with it, but I finally decided that the pics will keep piling up, and their stories never told if I wait indefinitely.



When the splined shift-**** stripped out, I found this little gem which was supposed to be from a '79/'80 Mustang, and since everything I could find on Mustang shift-***** says they have a M12x1.75 thread, I went to town with a grinder and die.



I was so proud of myself for not catching the shaft with the grinder, and it looked so nice.



...and then I realized that the shift-**** didn't fit, so I ordered a new die in the correct M10x1.5, and tried again a week later - this time leaving hideous gouges and scrapes from the grinder all over everything, so I didn't even want to pic it.

Oh well, that gave me time to resize the tail-shaft / shifter bracket stud-bolt since the genius that did the clutch-job mashed a metric nylock nut on there and completely ruined the threads.



For a more personal touch I also painted it yellow to show that this piece has been modified, and no longer takes the factory nut ...and I needed an excuse to buy $3 worth of yellow paint for my dipstick handle that looked just awful in the new dipstick-tube.

However, since I was going to be down there messing with the trans, and now also waiting on a die, I ordered a new trans mount, a DEA unit that showed up with a FoMoCo sticker under the DEA label. I thought, 'Cool, I just got an OEM-grade part for super-cheap. Awesome."

When I climbed under the van, I put in the newly re-threaded tail-shaft / shifter stud-bolt, and mocked the placement of the shifter without bolting anything down. Then I pulled my new trans mount out of the box, and started jacking up the rear of the trans. It looked like there might just be enough room to squeeze the trans mount out of there, but I wasn't going to try it, and I started to remove the shifter out of the way, and that's when I noticed... The shifter bracket was bent all crazy! When the clutch was replaced, they didn't unbolt the shifter when they jacked up the trans! *face-palm*

I went ahead and did the trans mount which turned out to have a bum bolt that just spins & spins, so it looks like my wholesale clearanced DEA / Ford-reject part was a piece of ...well, wholesale clearance junk.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about the shifter just yet, but at least now I know why it was so bad. I may have to order a new (used) unit from a junkyard network, but I've had other things to work on in the meantime, so I just bolted everything up as-is to get it to move around under it's own power with plans of resolving that issue at a later date.
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Old 11-07-2017, 06:12 PM
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Nice!!!!!!!
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Old 11-07-2017, 07:18 PM
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Winter is here, remove the heater hoses and flush it out with water now, depending on how long it sat, you may need to flush the engine to remove rust and debris, you'll want heat.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:10 PM
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With the shifter having proven itself to be a genuine PITA, I moved on to the valve-cover. Someone had already done a poor gasket job there, and all the bolts holding it on were just finger-tight. The leaking had turned this engine into one of the biggest smoking grease-***** I've ever had to work on. While I had it out, I noticed that someone had replaced one of the grommets with a Dorman (MotorMite) piece, and when I did a side-by-side comparison, I decided to shoot a pic.



What you likely can't tell from the pic is that the OE rubber is soft & supple, but the newer “CHINA” piece is much less flexible, and made of way-stiffer material that I'm guessing is going to crack & split long before the OE piece gives up, but we shall see.

While I was poking around under the hood, I was getting aggravated at the large square plastic wire loom that had been sagging, and just generally hanging in the way of everything. It was only hanging on by a couple of screws, and was on the verge of falling to pieces, so I had to get creative.



These 1” insulated cable hangers seemed to be the answer, and I bought some sheet-metal screws at the hardware store that matched up to the originals nicely along with a pack of speed-nuts in the original size (#8-32 from Dorman PN: 457010BP). I used these along with zip-ties to keep everything tidy (not that I'm a big fan of zip-ties, but there were some there already), and now I can actually get to the dipstick that I worked so hard to get into place.



I threw a new thermostat in, filled it up with fresh coolant and distilled water, added a new heater-hose, and coated everything in Ford Gray before reassembly. I have to say that I've always been a fan of Fel-Pro gaskets, but I got this set on clearance in Victor-Reinz, and I say I am thoroughly impressed. Fel-Pro has never been bad for me, but these V-R pieces are freakin' awesome. Oh, and yes, that is a FA1118 breather filter from like, a Tempo or something on there, because in case you haven't noticed by the 1” cable hangers from the hardware store, I've gotten away from trying to negotiate with my local Ford parts department. Maybe one day I'll pay the $25 for a copy of the factory parts catalog, but I'll wait for the need to arise before shucking out the extra cash.

I guess that would answer the earlier question of whether I was going to do this build “by-the-book,” since I've gotten to where I would of course prefer to keep everything correctly numbered and easily referenced, but limited parts availability, and higher costs have lead me to seek out alternative methods of getting the job done, so while I may not be absolutely ready to shop exclusively for “universal” parts, my days of hunting NOS and stealership parts starting at the low-low price of a kidney are running short.
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Old 11-07-2017, 10:17 PM
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I use those rubber shielded tie downs too, make sure to flip the valve cover and put on something solid so you can hammer the holddown where the bolts go back straight and square, it'll be dinged, the bolts backing out seems normal, every one I've worked on seems to have done it. Looks good tho.
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Old 11-08-2017, 12:34 AM
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I use those rubber shielded tie downs too, make sure to flip the valve cover and put on something solid so you can hammer the holddown where the bolts go back straight and square, it'll be dinged, the bolts backing out seems normal, every one I've worked on seems to have done it. Looks good tho.


Thanks for the good advice there. I did check to make sure that the mounting area was nice & flat, but after reading this I'm thinking that I probably should have used a bit of blue Loc-Tite on the valve-cover bolts as well. Cotton
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Old 11-08-2017, 01:06 AM
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Don't use loc-tite, that I do remember from school, put those thin star washers under the bolts, I need to get some for my van, as it has been doing the same, I've not done my gaskets, they still feel good.
Those old 300 are tough, but I've ran into several that started a bottom end knock, caused from rod bearings so take care with the oil, check the pressure if you can.
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