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

doner truck road trip

 
  #1  
Old 03-04-2019, 04:55 PM
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doner truck road trip

I've been MIA for a long time now. Time is winding down on my current Army assignment and I am planning a road trip from Tempe AZ to back home in CT.
I recently purchased a 76 F100, it has a 360 with an edelbrock peformer manifold and edelbrock 4bbl on top. I believe its an NP435 and 9" in back.
I haven't worked on my 78 F250 for a while but I purchased a 76 F100 with a near mint cab to replace the sketchy fabrication work I did 2 or 3 years ago. This coming June I am flying out to pick the truck up, the one way plane ticket is purchased. I will have a new fuel tank, hoses, distributor (wires + plugs too) shipped to a local UPS store. I have a 3g alt and harness I will bring as well. When I get on the ground a new battery, oil + filter, 80W90 and belts. If it needs a rad and hoses I will get those as well. I have money saved up if the truck descides to not want to work anymore so I can rent a truck and trailer.
Yes I could have the truck shipped but this is sort of a bucket list item; after almost a year in Iraq I would rather take some time off and take my chances at the drive home.
The trip goes from outside Tempe to the grand canyon. Thats day one after the truck is in my opinion ready. Day two is Austin Texas. Day 3 is New Orleans. Day 4 is Troy Alabama for my buddies wedding. Day 5 is Nashville (Grand Ol Oprey). Then about 12 hours home the next day hang over dependent.
Once I am home I will pull the 78 out of storage and finish the 460 & ZF5 build I started so long ago.

I should note this truck was running when parked but the distributor is inop, parts were needed out of it. Also The fuel tank is missing so the good old rock auto 38 gal tank will go in. I am expecting 2 days of working on the truck before I hit the road. Pick up some basic tools from harbor freight and bring extra coolant with me.
The guy I got the truck off of has been great to work with an I am excited to get the truck from him.
With all that said; I will inspect the brakes, brake lines, tires, front hubs/ bearings. What else am I missing? Do you have any tips for a cross country drive in these old trucks? Anything I am over looking?
 
  #2  
Old 03-04-2019, 05:04 PM
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Did you mention tires?
Sounds like you have a great plan.... Enjoy the ride!

Mike

Make sure to check the bearings before you hit the road....

 
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:15 PM
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Yes tires will be inspected for dry rot / condition and date code. I dont want a Mike Finnegan to happen and to keep Road Kill to a minimum.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 05:28 PM
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Thank you for your service. Get into any trouble in Ga, hit me up. Be glad to help.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 06:56 PM
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Thank you for your service. I did a similar trip about 9 years ago when I picked up a 1957 Chevy station wagon in Austin, TX and drove it home to California (across the desert, in June). It had been a bucket list thing for me since I was in 7th grade, took me a few decades but it was a really fun ride. Here are a few suggestions based on things I learned the hard way:

1. Make sure the tags are correct for the truck, current, and that if there are front/rear tags that they match. The Texas sherriffs have a nifty camera system and will come right up on your tail in a matter of moments if there's anything wrong with your tags, and then you get to spend a few hours in the broiling sun on the side of I-10 while you exercise your 4th amendment rights.

2. Among your Harbor Freight purchases, get a wire crimper, wire cutter, some wire and a kit of crimp terminals. Some of those little flashlights too. You might end up wiring up things like your tail lights on the side of the road at 2am in the middle of nowhere.

3. Get yourself a mechanically operated (boudin tube) temp gauge that reads out in actual degrees, so you really know what's going on in there. Consider a spare water pump as well - there is a short, 2" bypass hose that AFIK can only really be changed by pulling the pump, at which point - might as well put on a new pump.

4. I assume you're already going to pull the front wheels and check the condition of the brakes, so while you have it on jack stands remove and repack those front bearings. Better to discover you've got failing WBs when you have a place to work on them.
 
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Old 03-04-2019, 07:23 PM
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3. Get yourself a mechanically operated (boudin tube) temp gauge that reads out in actual degrees, so you really know what's going on in there. Consider a spare water pump as well - there is a short, 2" bypass hose that AFIK can only really be changed by pulling the pump, at which point - might as well put on a new pump.

I have never worked on a FE ; thats great insight thank you.
Also thanks for the service recognition. I love what I do I would not change it for the world.
 
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Old 03-05-2019, 11:17 AM
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From a clean standpoint, get a box of latex/nitrile gloves, waterless hand soap and a bag of rags. These will help with clean-up if you have to work on the truck. Also, an ignition module, if it hasn't already been stated. Also, how much time are you putting into this truck BEFORE you get started? Your road trip sounds fun, but are you allowing enough time to get to the wedding? When do you start this trip? Spring or summer? Either way, make sure heater/AC is working.
 
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Old 03-06-2019, 05:13 PM
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I have a 48 hour buffer for the wedding.
The latex gloves and some hand cleaner are a great tip! I did not think about driving for hours on end with some sort of oil/grease on my hands.
Has anyone shipped direct to a UPS location before? I read they will hold packages for up to 30 days.

Any tips on tuning up a 360? Get the timing right, set vaccume for best idle and carb to match.
Its a factory new distributor going in it. 1406 on top on the edelbrock intake.
 
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Old 03-07-2019, 09:48 PM
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You just got back from a year in Iraq? Then hell yeah make that road trip on your own terms! I don't even need to go to that heckhole, to get to wanting to drive across the country in some classic iron.

And thank you for your sacrificing your time and risking your life to serve the rest of us slackers!
 
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Old 03-08-2019, 12:12 AM
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I appreciate all those who have served our country. Thank you for your service!

I have a story to tell that is similar to what you plan on doing, though it was not so long in mileage.

When I bought my first dentside a buddy and I flew out to New Mexico to take a look at it and buy it. I flew out from LA, to meet him in Phoenix and then we both flew to Albuquerque. I rented a car and we drove about 230 miles up to Raton. I bought the truck, a 1975 F350 crew cab 2wd long bed and we started to drive it back to his place near Phoenix. We planned on returning the rental car to the airport in Albuquerque and finishing the drive to Phoenix in just the truck. We bought a few spare parts and tools at an auto parts store in Raton and started the drive back to Albuquerque. The truck started overheating around Ilfeld, NM. It was dark and the outside temperature was a little below freezing. After being unsuccessful at getting the truck happy again by adding coolant we'd bought & some water we got from a nearby house, we both hopped in the rental car to drive into Santa Fe to get more supplies to "fix" the truck.

I think we ended up replacing the thermostat and the radiator hoses and all was good after that. In hindsight, I think we could have pulled out the thermostat and kept driving without a problem but who knows? This roadside problem made me a bit nervous about losing our reliable "support" vehicle so I called the rental car company and was able to get approval to return the rental car to the airport in Phoenix for no additional cost. We drove all thru the night. I noticed that the lowest temperature we encountered was 3º in Gallup, NM. The drive down from Holbrook thru Heber-Overgaard and Payson down into Mesa was interesting. As I was getting into Mesa and around morning traffic I realized I'd been losing brake pressure. We made it to my buddies town around 6am. He carefully drove the truck to his house and I headed straight to the airport to catch a flight back to LA.

It was a memorable trip. I was awake for something like 72 hours on ~4 hours of sleep between day 1-2 plus another 45 minutes on the plane ride home between days 2-3.

I hope your trip is memorable in a good way.
 
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Old 03-08-2019, 01:25 AM
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Crazy, looks like a truck I saw on the back of a flatbed yesterday in Apache Junction, There are still plenty out here I guess, I was driving one too.
 
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Old 03-10-2019, 12:41 AM
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Just thought of another item. This should be stocked in every pick-up. It would be a 2x12x24 piece of wood. This works great for jacks when needed for flat tires. I have never been on flat hard ground when I got a flat.
 
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:59 PM
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The trip dates changed. I got to AZ yesterday afternoon. Today was the first time I saw the truck. The owner Nathan was super cool. It’s still at his place.

He helped me get the engine to TDC on the compression stroke and I plopped the distributor in. Nathan has a sweet gig where he finds the trucks and then flips them.
The PO before Nate did some off things to it. There was no connector for the distributor or for the ignition module.
It has a blue ignition module in a 74 which I believe it should be a black module? Anyways got the distributor in and wired the hot and trigger backwards so it wouldn’t fire. Fixed that and it came to life. So far new plugs wires and distributor are in. Tomorrow is going to be some carb work and hopefully drive it up to Apache junction where my buddy’s shop is to do the rest of the work. Pictures to come
 
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Old 06-07-2019, 01:03 AM
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Have fun and take some pics of the whole trip.
 
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Old 06-07-2019, 06:40 AM
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Good deal.... glad you have a plan and now have the truck in your possession.
Enjoy the drive and show us some pics!

 

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