We've been planning this build for years. I've been lurking on this forum for awhile, and it's been a big help. Especially since I picked the truck up.
I sold my 04 Cummins Dually and gooseneck trailer to start my business, and I've been thinking about how I'd replace it ever since.
I had a lot of ideas:
-build a Full-size Van
-throw a Cummins in a classic crew cab
-throw a Cummins in a 67-72 Suburban
I wasn't going to buy a brand new 1 ton diesel. They're way too much.
I don't trust higher mileage new trucks. All the little crap goes wrong that is way too complicated.
-My 04 Ram 3500, shut down from having an aftermarket device hooked into the radio...I'm not joking.
I wanted something that would be cool and draw attention to CrawlTunes when I make my 1000+ mile drives to events like KOH.
I discovered the Ford Centurion, Four Door Bronco, when one showed up at the fab shop I was working at while just starting CrawlTunes.
I starting researching them, and I knew that's what I had to get.
-Plenty Covered Space. I'm often hauling thousands of dollars worth of audio equipment (& even though it's marine), it's hard to get full price when the box is soggy.
-The top comes off and I can show off our Cage Mount Speaker Housings on our Tow Rig/Daily Driver too.
-140" Wheelbase (10" longer than modern suburbans)
-Plus it's an attention getter. I can't pump gas without getting questions about it in stock form.
So I finally tracked down one online that the owner wasn't asking way too much(rare doesn't always mean valuable), wasn't rotting apart(many of these ended up int he midwest), and was running well enough to get back to Houston(I would've bought something close without a drivetrain).
So I finally found our '89 Centurion F350 460/C6 2WD in Augusta, KS. It had 83K original miles and was in really good condition considering my plans for it.
I drove the most economical, rental, hamster-powered tin can I could get the 640 miles to pick it up and drive back.
I had assumed it had an OD trans, I assumed wrong. I got 8.5mpg on the way back. (with a mild tune up, I now get 9.5)
My only issue was the running light fuse blew. So I stole one for dome lights and kept on going.
I knew I wanted to go with the 5.9 Cummins.
-it's a simple motor to swap
-when treated right, they'll go forever
-they get decent fuel economy(especially compared to the 460)
-and it's a very popular swap with tons of resources and info on doing it right
I was planning on throwing a Dana 60 up front, and I already had a rebuild divorced Ford 205 in the shop, but I really began to like the idea of equal length, extended twin I-beams.
-There aren't many situations I would really need 4WD for what I'm doing with it.
-it'll have a locker and winch
-plus where I would get it stuck, there will be plenty of other large 4x4s to help me out.
-and the long travel setup will add a cool factor that will appeal to a broader demographic.
After several talks with friends in the industry, I was convinced that I should turn this build up to 11 and show it at SEMA.
I had some really good conversations at this years show, and have a handful of build partners on board.
I'll be introducing sponsors throughout the build process.
The build sheet:
1989 FORD F350 CENTURION 4DOOR BRONCO
-87,000 ORIGINAL MILES
-12 VALVE CUMMINS/NV4500 SWAP
-TRUSSED REAR AXLE WITH SELECTABLE LOCKER
-39 OR 40” TIRES ON BEADLOCKS
-6” PRERUNNER FIBERGLASS FENDERS & REAR QUARTERS
-92-96 FRONT END CONVERISON
-CUSTOM 1 OFF GRILL
-BRUSHED STEEL VIYNL WRAP
-MODERN TOWING MIRRORS
-SAFARI STYLE SOFT TOP
-CUSTOM FRONT AND REAR BUMPERS
-CUSTOM HEAD & TAIL LIGHTS AND LED OFF ROAD LIGHTING
-5” EXTENDED EQUAL LENGTH I-BEAMS
-4 LINK REAR WITH FABRICATED LOWER CONTROL ARMS
-COILOVER AND BYPASS AT EACH CORNER
-REAR LONG TRAVEL AIR SPRINGS
-CUSTOM REAR SWAYBAR
-CUSTOM POWDER COATING
-CUSTOM FIBERGLASS DASH AND INTERIOR PANELS
-IPAD IN DASH FOR ALL SWITCHES, MUSIC, & CAMERA MONITORS
-CUSTOM SUSPENSION BUCKET SEATS 1ST & 2ND ROW
-CUSTOM SUSPENSION BENCH SEAT FOR 3RD ROW
-ROLL CAGE WITH CRAWLTUNES SPEAKER HOUSINGS
-HIGH WATTAGE CRAWLTUNES STEREO SYSTEM
-MULTIPLE DEEP CYCLE AUDIO BATTERIES
-AFTERMARKET FRONT & REAR A/C
-ALL INTERIOR SPRAYED W/ LIZARD SKIN HEAT & SOUND INSULATION
Am I building this the most practical way?
No, but this is also going to be a huge guerrilla marketing tool and it needs to get a ton of attention.
We're not building "THE" ultimate tow rig, we're building "our" ultimate tow rig.
More like a chase truck.
It might be a little too "bro" for some. But again, we're going for mass appeal.
Part of the reason we're sharing our build here is for your feedback and experience to assist us in building the best possible vehicle.
We'll be documenting all the major parts of this process on our YouTube Channel.
INTRO TO THE BUILD VIDEO
By viewing, liking, subscribing, and sharing it; you can really help us really be able to make this a kick ass build.