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Just bought a 1990 F-150. What should I do first?

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Old 07-14-2018, 11:01 PM
collkid
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Just bought a 1990 F-150. What should I do first?

Hello FTE!

I'm new to Ford, but not new to cars. I've been all over. Audi, Honda, Toyota, Jeeps, Diesel's, etc.

I needed a pick-em-up truck for hauling things at work and for simple house projects.
I've been looking at everything and saw this come up on CL.

Its a 1990. Family owned. They did a paint job and upholstery so I figured they must have taken decent care of it.

Its a 4.9L manual 4x4 with 210k miles.
I got it for $1,750.

Few questions:

1. What should I do to keep this thing running? Any 'weak points'?
2. The A/C worked last summer (so the PO says) but is warm now. Do I need to recharge it? Is that possible being that its so old?
3. Once I got home, I heard a squeaking sound when I put the clutch in, could this be the throw out bearing? Anything I can do to make it last?
4. The steering wheel feels really loose with a good amount of play. Could this be a track bar? Is that a thing for these axles?






 
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:00 AM
TobyB
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1. oil, coolant, brake, trans and diffs fluid changes. Then you know its been done.
Cap,rotor, wires, plugs and belts- the I6 will run with terribly worn parts, but it runs well with new ones.

2. pressure test first- the condenser in particular can meet a rock...

3. Could be. Nothing I know about will help it.

4. There are several joints that can be loose- have someone turn the steering while you watch and feel. Toe- in (or out, too, in a different way) adds to wander-
check that, as well as your front ball joints...

hth,
t
 
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:39 PM
collkid
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Thank you for your response.

Found out that the A/C was converted and updated a few years ago. It took a full can of refrigerant and still needs more. Think its just leaking somewhere, but it is starting to work!

Tomorrow I go for emissions. I'm a little nervous it won't pass, seems like it might be running a little rich. Fingers crossed.

Took off the top. It looks gooooooood.
 
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:41 PM
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:08 PM
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That's a sharp looking pickup! This squeak you hear - might it be the bushings for the clutch pedal themselves wearing out?
 
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Old 07-15-2018, 05:12 PM
collkid
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Originally Posted by evan_nugget View Post
That's a sharp looking pickup! This squeak you hear - might it be the bushings for the clutch pedal themselves wearing out?

Its only when going into first gear. If I'm careful and take my time, I can make it not happen.

Does that info change what it could be?

 
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by collkid View Post
Its only when going into first gear. If I'm careful and take my time, I can make it not happen.

Does that info change what it could be?
I'm sure it does, but unfortunately my knowledge in that area is already tapped out. That's valuable information though, and it could help someone else give you a more definitive answer.
 
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:15 PM
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Too little positive caster can manifest itself as loose steering and wandering at highway speeds.
 
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:19 PM
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Any of you all have emissions where you live?
Do these trucks often have problems passing?
 
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by collkid View Post
Any of you all have emissions where you live?
Do these trucks often have problems passing?
Ah there's something I CAN help you with. I worked at a mechanic's shop in Northern VA (emissions county). I wasn't the emissions inspector but I did learn a few basic things. Your truck is pre-OBDII meaning it has to be physically hooked up to the sniffer machine and they read the actual smog output of the vehicle to determine whether or not it passes. So if the motor runs good and all the Thermactor systems are in place (including catalytic converters) and working properly the truck should pass.

It would also be good to check with your jurisdiction and see if they exempt older vehicles from smog testing. For instance, the state of VA exempts vehicles 25 years and older from smog testing. So unfortunately I haven't seen any 8th gens come in for testing as they are all exempt.

EDIT: IDK if you were asking for the purposes of smogging your truck - you should include location in your sig but I noticed your truck has Maryland plates. If you live in Maryland I just looked up on the Maryland DMV site and it states that vehicles of model year 1995 and older under 8500 GVW are exempt from smog testing.
 
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:37 PM
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Yeah Colorado you can get collector plates after 32 years, but you still have to pass emissions.

Here in Colorado, it doesn't matter what kind of car you have, everything gets the 'sniffer' as you called it.

I think its runs pretty clean. Just wanted to see if there was any little things I can do to help.


Tried to run some Seafoam through the TB, didn't have any smoke at all compared to my previous cars. Maybe because the engine is that clean?! Seems doubtful.
 
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:35 PM
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Straighten the front bumper.
 
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:38 PM
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#1 above will help with emissions, certainly... the ignition parts & maybe a fuel filter.


Def fix that bumper!

t
 
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by evan_nugget View Post
Ah there's something I CAN help you with. I worked at a mechanic's shop in Northern VA (emissions county). I wasn't the emissions inspector but I did learn a few basic things. Your truck is pre-OBDII meaning it has to be physically hooked up to the sniffer machine and they read the actual smog output of the vehicle to determine whether or not it passes. So if the motor runs good and all the Thermactor systems are in place (including catalytic converters) and working properly the truck should pass.

It would also be good to check with your jurisdiction and see if they exempt older vehicles from smog testing. For instance, the state of VA exempts vehicles 25 years and older from smog testing. So unfortunately I haven't seen any 8th gens come in for testing as they are all exempt.

EDIT: IDK if you were asking for the purposes of smogging your truck - you should include location in your sig but I noticed your truck has Maryland plates. If you live in Maryland I just looked up on the Maryland DMV site and it states that vehicles of model year 1995 and older under 8500 GVW are exempt from smog testing.

I'll do all that soon. I'm still very new to the site.

The truck was in maryland, but now Colorado.

 
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:35 AM
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Originally Posted by bbf385 View Post
Straighten the front bumper.

Yeah I want to dive into that.

I'm sure its the bumper mounts that are bent. ugh.
 
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