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1973 - 1979 F-100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Dentsides Ford Truck

Dent or bump side?

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Old 01-13-2018, 03:55 AM
Norse Westerner Norse Westerner is offline
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Dent or bump side?

I'm looking at ads on Craigslist for an old Ford, my ranger seems to get smaller everyday so I'm looking for a full-size, flatbed, dually. I found two I like, one of them is a 71 and the other is a 78. I was hoping to get advice on which one seems like a better option, what questions to ask, and what to look out for.
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Old 01-13-2018, 06:34 AM
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Mechanically they are very similar, but I'd be going the '78 as all things equal it'll probably be in better condition and may well be a lower price as the earlier ones are trending up at the moment.

Check all areas of the cab for rust - under the floor mats, the lower and upper corners, the drip rails and the firewall in the engine bay. Under the bonnet is also a common area, as are the tailgate and tray floor in tub-tray trucks.

Make sure it isn't hot before you go to try and start it. View any warmed up truck as suspicious as it may be to mask starting problems - savvy buyers will often ask you to keep the engine cold so they can see it start.

Before you go for a drive (if thats an option) make sure that you check inside the engine bay while its idling. Look for excessive blow-by from the breather, and pull the breather cap out to feel it with you hand. If you are getting strong puffs of gas out the breather hole when cold its most likely a very tired engine and should be rebuilt. Other things to look for a bulging/worn radiator hoses, wobbly or misaligned accessory pullies and leaks from the radiator or carburetor areas. Make sure the wiring is at least neat, too, as bad wiring with millions of splices and connections will cause headaches.

When driving, feel for any tendancy to pull one way. You should be able to let go of the wheel on a straight road and not have the truck pull dramatically either way - a slight drift toward the kerb is normal but anything else view as suspect. Feel for vibration through the wheel. There shouldn't be more than 2 inches of play in the steering wheel, either.

Make sure the gearbox has a good, positive shift to it. I would be looking more toward a manual if you do distance or heavy duty work, or an auto is you're in the city a lot and dealing with traffic. Either way make sure there are no untoward noises, excessive heat from the transmission tunnel, or leaks after you've driven it. Auto boxes that 'flare' when shifting under acceleration are due for rebuild, so look out for cruddy auto shifts.

When cruising at a constant speed, say 30mph, take your foot on and then off the accelerator pedal. If you heard a large clunk or two from the rear end then the diff may be shot - do it again to confirm. Lots of wear in the diff is common and many have never been replaced despite decades of near-industrial use.

Engines - Y-block, Windsor, and 351 or 400 'M' motors. The Y-blocks will be harder to find aprts for, more temperamental, and unless fully rebuilt probably be a headache for daily driving. Windsors are great motors and will be in the majority of trucks you see. The big 'M' motors are Cleveland derivatives, but without the performance or glamour. They can be made to get up and boogie with head swaps and a camshaft change, but are generally regarded poorly due to their low compression, average performance and high fuel consumption.

Don't shy away from six cylinder motors! They can be decent for every day use and are much better on fuel consumption than the eights. A 300ci 6cyl motor can net you 18 to 20mpg if in good condition, versus an eight which will typically net you 12 to 14mpg at best. The downside is lower performance, and upgrades are not as cheap or readily available for these motors.

That's about it I suppose, hope you find a good truck! Check out my thread for an example of what you can find in the F350 range - this thing sat since 1993 and I got it back on the road.

- boingk
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Old 01-13-2018, 10:29 AM
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X2 on all boingk said above, and give this a read too. https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...l#post14696861

71 front drum brakes, points.
78 front disk brakes, electronic ignition
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:00 AM
78Broncoinpieces 78Broncoinpieces is offline
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rust. its difficult and expensive to fix, hides inside seams and hard-to-get-to places.
everything else is a bolt-on part.

I'm in the Ohio/Michigan area. because of salt induced rust we have very few older trucks left.
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Old 01-13-2018, 11:42 AM
Norse Westerner Norse Westerner is offline
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Thank you for the quick replies and the good info! This is what the guy says about his 78: "It has some needs, light switch and such. It runs great, fresher 460-recently installed, new Holley 650, cap, rotor and wire with tune up by Honest Transmission-snohomish. 4speed with two speed brownie, 6 new tires with less than 1k on then."

The body looks straight with no major dents, besides the manufacture one. He wants $1k for it.
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Old 01-13-2018, 12:57 PM
smle smle is offline
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Two speed brownie?
Sounds like its larger than a F350.
What size tires are on it?
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by 77&79F250 View Post
X2 on all boingk said above, and give this a read too. https://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/1...l#post14696861

71 front drum brakes, points.
Dual piston caliper front disc brakes optional: 1968/72 F250 2WD & F350.

78 front disk brakes, electronic ignition.
The problem with boingk's post is, he's in Australia. The OP is in WA

boingk made references to Y-blocks and Windsors. There were no Y blocks after 1964, no 351W's installed in F150/350 & Bronco until 1981.

351M & 400 (no such thing as a 400M): 1977/79 F100/350. 460 also available: 1973/76 F100; 1973/79 F250/350; 1975/79 F150 (all 2WD only).

Dual rear wheels (DRW): 1967/79 F350; F500/750 (1967/72); F500/880 (1973/79). There were no F100's or F250's with DRW
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:24 PM
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A 460 would be a good motor to run a full size rig in, and with a two-speed diff, at a guess, I'd say its probably an F600.

Sure you want something that big? Thats a hellava truck and probably won't get better than 8mpg. What are you hauling?

- boingk
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Old 01-13-2018, 01:59 PM
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1964/78 F500/750 would have an FT engine. 460's not installed in anything larger than an F350.
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:19 PM
Norse Westerner Norse Westerner is offline
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smle, the tires are normal size, I'd say. It's not jacked up or anything crazy. I'm not sure what a "2 speed brownie" is.

boingk, It won't be a DD, I just want a big rig to do anything I need. I'm looking at buying 10 plus acres so I'm going to need a farm truck and my family is always buying project vehicles (almost all Fords) that someone needs to tow.

NumberDummy, That's a lot of info, man. What is your opinion on the Holley 650?
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:23 PM
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do you have pictures of the trucks?
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Old 01-13-2018, 03:48 PM
Kudagra Kudagra is offline
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While reading through my 76 Ford Truck chassis manual I noticed it showed larger series trucks having a 5-6 speed transmissions and a second divorced 2 speed (I think) transmission behind it. When I get home Ill take some pictures of the manual

If thats the case its NOT a F350 and NOT a 460.
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Old 01-13-2018, 04:20 PM
Norse Westerner Norse Westerner is offline
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Kudagra, Thanks but I just got word that the '78 was sold. I'm going to try the '71 but I'm waiting for him to add contact info.

lakequ, https://bend.craigslist.org/cto/d/71...425971877.html
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Old 01-13-2018, 05:41 PM
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In an all general truck shopping advice write up, boingk has some solid advice to listen to. And just apply what applies to what you are looking at.

Disk brake optional...to me means most that you are going to be looking at are going to be front drums and you might see an optional front disk. Nice to know there are "options" out there.
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Old 01-13-2018, 07:56 PM
Blue and White Blue and White is offline
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In general, Dent vs Bump, I think the dents, especially later ones work quite well in modern traffic (if that matters). Good front disc brakes are a big part of the reason IMO.
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