Ford Centurion SEMA Build - Ford Bronco Forum
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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Ford Centurion SEMA Build

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:
-Ford Excursion
-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
-460/C6

BUILD PLAN:
DRIVETRAIN:
-12 VALVE CUMMINS/NV4500 SWAP
-TRUSSED REAR AXLE WITH SELECTABLE LOCKER
-39 OR 40” TIRES ON BEADLOCKS

EXTERIOR:
-6” PRERUNNER FIBERGLASS FENDERS & REAR QUARTERS
-92-96 FRONT END CONVERISON
-COWL HOOD
-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
-ROCKSLIDER STEPS

SUSPENSION:
-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

INTERIOR:
-CUSTOM FIBERGLASS DASH AND INTERIOR PANELS
-DIGITAL GUAGES
-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
-FLOOR BEDLINED



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.



ROCK ON!
-Derek
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 09:20 AM
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sounds like a really nice project.

seems like you've got everything thought out really well. can't wait to see the build..

now tell me, is there any FSB discount on the Crawl Tunes stuff???
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 09:33 AM
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My freind tagged me in this on Instagram, I think its neat that your keeping 2 wheel drive and going for the prerunner feel. Also it isnt that "bro", you aren't putting "26x16 fill-in-the-blank" forged wheels on it like every other cookie cutter truck build at sema


1992 XLT 300/M5OD
1978 Custom 351M/C6
1991 XLT 351W/Blown Up E4OD
1988 Custom 302/AOD
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 09:44 AM
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My son is constantly shopping for 4 doors. Looks like you found a decent starting platform. Pretty ambitious project but it sound like you've put a lot of thought into the plan. Subscribing to this thread, very interested in tracking your progress,
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 10:05 AM
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Cool concept, I look forward to seeing this build come together.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 10:08 AM
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welcome to FSB! looks like a cool build. i remember reading about it a few weeks ago on Pirate4x4. glad to see you here now. there are lots of cummins swaps on here that are very well documented. a few 6bt's and some 4bt's. look forward to seeing how yours turns out!

89 Bronco 351w/c6

My SuperMotors
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 02:07 PM
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Man oh man, I can't wait for this one... subscribed.

'89 XLT, Stock 5.0, 4" Lift, 33's, (Hopefully returning with a CB at some point...)

'89 XLT, 5.0, AOD, 4" Lift
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 03:39 PM
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Nice plans, I have some of your audio stuff in my bronco too. My eventual plan has always been a centurion build but with a 24 valve cummins. I'll be watching this. Any reason your going with a nv4500? I have the nv5600 in my Ford with a 12 valve and the extra gear is nice. Tows great with the 4.10s also, what ratio are you going with? And while your building an exhaust anyway maybe consider an exhaust brake. Towing my bronco in the mountains was no worry when coming to a stop, I almost don't even need the normal brakes.
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-26-2017, 11:28 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by '89Bronco302 View Post
Nice plans, I have some of your audio stuff in my bronco too. My eventual plan has always been a centurion build but with a 24 valve cummins. I'll be watching this. Any reason your going with a nv4500? I have the nv5600 in my Ford with a 12 valve and the extra gear is nice. Tows great with the 4.10s also, what ratio are you going with? And while your building an exhaust anyway maybe consider an exhaust brake. Towing my bronco in the mountains was no worry when coming to a stop, I almost don't even need the normal brakes.
Sweet. Any installed pics? Be sure and follow @CrawlTunes on Insta and tag us in your pics

My 04 was a 6 speed with a dual disk clutch. I hated driving it in Houston traffic. Way too much shifting.

The most I'll be towing will be around 9500 gross. Plus we'll be addressing the 5th gear issues on the NV4500.
And we have a some other ideas in the works.

I haven't decided on gear ratio yet(for few reasons).
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Mishimoto sent us an all aluminum 99 7.3 intercooler and 97 F350 Radiator.


And we pulled the interior to repair a small rust spot and to some sheet metal work before we insulate



Last edited by BikerPepe`; 01-27-2017 at 04:26 PM. Reason: image tag fix
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 09:50 AM Thread Starter
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Under the carpet really wasn't that bad.

The roof rack bolts were leaking, so there was a little rot behind the drivers side wheel tub.
But I wanted to address some of areas where Centurion lapped thin sheet metal and put a couple tacks on it.
I'm wanting it to last another 30 years.(We're on the coast)

And the stock inner fenders, especially with the chunks hacked out. Weren't going to work for what we have planned.





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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 09:52 AM Thread Starter
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So we started on some sheet metal work.



In preparation for LizardSkin's Spray-On Heat and Sound Insulation.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawlTunes View Post
Sweet. Any installed pics? Be sure and follow @CrawlTunes on Insta and tag us in your pics

My 04 was a 6 speed with a dual disk clutch. I hated driving it in Houston traffic. Way too much shifting.

The most I'll be towing will be around 9500 gross. Plus we'll be addressing the 5th gear issues on the NV4500.
And we have a some other ideas in the works.

I haven't decided on gear ratio yet(for few reasons).
Actually, I don't think I have any pics. Maybe just where I hid the amp in my console. I'll get on those and find your insta, didnt realize you had one. Sounds like you have things planned out well. I agree on shifting in traffic, it's my daily driver. I'm planning on a built auto for the future build.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 10:01 AM
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Nice work! The wheel tubs look good. Are the before pics the way Centurion modifies them?

Are you going to run a top on the back (or have one you can put on when needed? If not, are you going to have some way to to close up the back like a wind jammer or bulkhead?
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 10:04 AM
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Bronco Info: '89 Bronco-D60/10.25,5:13's,16.5's,39.5iroks.'85 F350 12V.
Any plans on mods to the 12 valve? Or is that still a secret? Their slow in stock form despite being able to pull a house. A few things change that though.
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post #16 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 04:28 PM
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post #17 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-27-2017, 07:04 PM
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I like your wheel tub repair. Nice looking job.

Fix it, or fix it so someone has to!
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post #18 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 12:45 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoop View Post
Are the before pics the way Centurion modifies them?

Are you going to run a top on the back (or have one you can put on when needed?
Yeah, and their sheetmetal work was just tacked on and they used some kinda tar tape.

Our plans for a top are a surprise.

A surprise the full-size Bronco community should be pretty excited about.

We will hopefully be able to reveal what we're doing in March.
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post #19 of 31 (permalink) Old 01-28-2017, 12:56 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by '89Bronco302 View Post
Any plans on mods to the 12 valve? Or is that still a secret? Their slow in stock form despite being able to pull a house. A few things change that though.
It's not really a secret. I'm borrow a tried and true recipe for a decent reliable power in a first gen.

While this truck is not being built for the best fuel mileage, we chose to stick with a VE pumped motor for better mileage.

Plus we scored an "entire" running donor truck with under 160K for $1500(I've already made $720 off selling the rear axle, auto trans, ECM, Intercooler, Radiator, and starter)

Check it out in our 2nd Video

-be sure and subscribe
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post #20 of 31 (permalink) Old 02-02-2017, 09:23 AM Thread Starter
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We got the dash pulled.


We cut all the unnecessary wiring out of our dash harness to simplify everything.


We got a 4" turbo back exhaust system in from our build partner, Diamond Eye Exhaust.

-It's a combo of a 7.3 ford crew cab pipe with a 1st gen Dodge down pipe and a few extra pieces to be able to get everything to work in our application
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