Njschiebs 7.3 Powerstroke Build
I picked up an exciting truck this weekend to start me new project. I got a hold of a 1997 F350 regular cab with 4x4 and a 7.3 powerstroke for $3200. I was originally very weary of looking at this truck because its at 350k and the body has a good bit of rust (but doesn't matter because I don't need it). The owner before the last was a ford diesel mechanic and "allegedly" swapped out the transmission, turbo, and injectors. There was no papers for these parts but the condition and performance of the rig seemed to look like those parts have been changed within the last few years. Transmission shifted exceptionally good, climbed up and down the gears very quickly with no slipping, hesitation, or reving up between gears. I inspected the turbo and it wasn't dusted or oily and no slop in. On a cold start if fired right up with a very light blue smoke similar to what a early 6.7 looks like when those cold start. Smoked cleared with in minute or so (air temp was ~20*F) if in the summer if it still has a faint blue hint I'll rebuild the turbo and replace the seals. Under hard throttle there was no smoke what so ever, which I was pleasantly surprised to not see. When it was warm I checked for blow by and there was none.
In this deal I got a rust free cab, 2 100% rust free and dent free door that were primed, 2 doors rust free with a dent in one with factory paint, 90% clean box and a bunch of other interior plastics, glass, steel trim, and a whole ac unit/ box getup thats in the corner of the engine bay. The person i got it from also put in 2 new motorcraft batteries, glow plug relay, and shift linkage on the column. It shift better that shifter in my bronco. Planning selling all these extra parts. I already have a friend that's interest in the doors, cab and box so thats good.
I'm planning on doing this build over stages and keep upgrading as time goes on. My goal for this build is to have everything transferred and over from the donor and functional by the beginning of May.
This week I'll be ordering all of the big things for the project. So far my plans are to order:
PMF Bronco SAS/RSK swap kit
99-04 Super duty U Code springs
New 3in down pipe
PMF rear leaf spring kit to level pout the truck
Front and rear ubolts
Misc. hardware and parts
For big purchases, I'm assuming these are mostly what I need to get this swap done after looking over the what other have done on FSB for this swap.
For what I'm planning on transferring over the engine cross member from the F350 to my bronco frame to adapt the engine. I've read here and on power stroke nation (PSN) that the trans mounts and transfer cases should be the same one. I read on mush's88 that the transfer case is the same on the bronco as the f350 and it's shorter which helps getting more driveshaft length/better pinion angle which I will adjust most likly on the rear 10.25. Also on mushs88s build his donor was a 1997 f350 and had a manual transfer case and his bronco had auto hubs. Is it as easy as just switching the D60 to auto hubs or is there more to it, if there is I'll just cut out a hole for the floor shift and have manual hubs.
Things that I don't know much about is electrical. The donor is a Xl and my bronco is a XLT so it has a power interior. I've never really looked into the wiring of a bronco of what all goes between the fire wall, is the interior accessories on its own plug or will I have to replug or modify the existing xl harness to adapt for the interior. Another sorta electrial question that I'll most likely also post on PSN is can I keep my stock bronco steering wheel? If so can I hook up my (currently broken and never have worked) cruise control to the 7.3.
I know I'm probably thinking this swap will be easier that it is, but I'm aware of that. I'm very excited to get this thing project rolling! Sadly being in college I can only work on it during the weekends at home because I can't fit it in my garage at school. But I have the weekends to look forward to. Many of my friends are also into building cars and trucks and they're all very eager to tear into this project and help along the way. Plus I have spring break soon ahead where I'm planning on working on this project 9 days straight!
I wont be able to work on it next weekend due to a college function but after that I'll be working on it every weekend and posting updates weekly most likely. I'm excited to share this build with yall it should be a fun build. Please share your comments or recommendations that you think will help!
My one big problem with doing a RSK from any site is crumble zone. Now from what I've heard on FSB is that the crumble zone is the same width as a fully flat boxed frame on the F350. If I got the PMF RSK I could bolt it in whether its on the boxed frame in front of the bumper mounts or on the crumple zone. I could go through and reinforce the crumble zone by boxing around it or incorporating the PMF side plate mounts into a sleeve that boxes the crumble zone. Hard to plan this out without a RSK in front of me to see how the frame needs to be boxed. Does anyone have ideas how to get around this issue to keep major frame modifications minimal. I'd rather add/weld metal than cut and replace, but if i can't then I'll cut the side off of the crumble zone and weld on new sides.
Here's a link to the kit that I'd like to purchase, they do have a bit of a wait time so I'll be ordering as soon as I can get an idea on how I should deal with the crumble zone. I'm planning on calling PMF tomorrow to see in how they recommend dealing with a none boxed frame. Seeing that they do reference it on their add.
1992-97 OBS RSK SD Spring Hanger Conversion Kit
Here is some info on tge frame crumple zone; Some slap some flat plate on the Crumple Zones.
"If you cut Crumple Zones or brace around them for any reason, I recommend that you unplug your airbag module. Without the crumple zones to delay the impact, the airbag could kill you."
Wileec did this;
Looking forward to this coming together. Post up some pics when you have a chance. I love OBS 7.3s
So today I bit the bullet and said piss on the PMF and bought sky offroads bronco SAS kit for my current 97 D60 axle and Super duty springs and a set of u bolts. I'll order a set of SD leafs some time this week also. I'm kind of weary going with the sky offroad because how it mounts and how it mounts near/under the crumple zone. With the weight of a 7.3 I'd hate for it to bend or warp, but I don't think it would realistically. I'm not planning on crawling with the truck or anything like that.
I'll post some pictures of the truck when I'm home.
So many words, so few pictures...
LOL, sounds like an awesome project!
Best i can do is post pictures of what my bronco currently is which is homemade front and rear bumpers, explorer OHC and expedition console swap lol. Only picture I have of the F350 is a snap chat I sent when I bought it and its a standard rusted out wisconsin truck haha. It has the custom Fred Flintstone floor boards and the sought after holely box haha. I'll drop links to some photos in a bit!
Here's a pic of the front end showing off my broncos front bumper. I built this over several years working on it whenever I had a chance.
20181209_111315_zpsdrwfji9b.jpg Photo by njschieb | Photobucket
Here's the rear bumper
20171111_130639_zpsdgcmvdl1.jpg Photo by njschieb | Photobucket
20170524_181209_zps1cdjbln8.jpg Photo by njschieb | Photobucket
20170523_093622_zpsge3x68ty.jpg Photo by njschieb | Photobucket
Snap chat photo of the F350 (sorry that it's from snapchat)
Snapchat-1273622869_zpsg8zwjdmv.jpg Photo by njschieb | Photobucket
Bronco looks good :cool: That p/u is rusty! Good deal on all the extra sheet metal, clean beds are especially difficult to find in this area anymore.
I have their kit on my F250, its a pretty nice piece.
I really liked PMFs design, but I just don't think it'd incorporate well with my bronco having the crumble zone. So I ordered the sky off road bronco SAS kit which is kind of a janky design, but I'm planning on possibly using a fish plate and welding the front cross bar on to my frame to sturdy it up. As for boxing the frame I'm not sure. I think I'm going to consult some of my engineering professors to see if a crumple zone is strong (potentially stronger than a flat box) or if it's susceptible to torquing left/right/up/down and wrecking my frame.
As a junior in college who's working to become an engineer I feel like even though the metal is corrugated in all 360* it should be stronger in theory than a 90* bend flat sided box, but I'm not studying structural engineering so my guess is good as everyone else's
So this weekend was the first weekend of truly starting to work on the swap. I started the weekend with the goal to have the F350 completely scraped and ready to get work started on my bronco. This goal was accomplished this weekend which I was very happy about. After now having the whole truck apart I have a few questions that I can hopefully get some feed back on.
The ABS modulator on the F350 is unrecognizable and I'm wondering if the bronco one which looks identical will work. I know on the 10.25 sterling swap pages people just do a bolt on swap keeping all of the stock bko lines and connect them to the sterling so I assume I'll be fine keeping the bko modulator will be fine.
I know that I will have to do some repining for electrical and probably some homemade harness to get this all to work but I was wondering if anyone know whats for sure different etween the harness to give me an Idea of what all needs to happen. In the end I'll have to go through wiring diagrams to figure this all out but some help would be appreciated. I haven't looked at any of the connectors that are under the BKO. I'm hoping that the transmission and VSS plug are the same to keep the under carriage wiring harness relatively untouched. This biggest concern I have is the interior harness for aux. things such as my radio, doors and lights etc. My bronco is a XLT with all the works in it and my donor is is a XL with nothing in it I wondering how much I'll need to to to get the truck harness to work with that. I don't know if I'll be using the BKOs interior harness or the F350 and I hope I can use the BKOs and just add the wait light into the dash and add some pins or a new harness.
Only other big question i have is the fuel system. I know I'll probably have to run new fuel line and braze in some from the F350. But I sending unit wise I dont know what need to happen because I havent been able to see what the broncos look like? I'm planning on keeping my BKOs current tank because it mint and I'll clean it out before putting diesel in it. Would the sending unit it the BKO work with diesel fuel system?
After this I'll drop photos showing the progress from this weekend! I hope you all enjoy watching this build happen and can help contribute as well. Thanks for reading
Some preliminary photos of the truck
Started by removing the disconnecting all harnesses and hose and removed the front clip and fenders. The front clip was rusted to all hell but luckily the part off it I need is still solid. The fenders were pretty much destroyed and I had to some bolts off and drained all the fluids.
Front clip fully femoved
Got the transfer case off with some persuasion and breaker bars. For my build I'm planning on using the the BKOs automatic case and then the D60s manual hubs.
Cut the front cab bolts so I could remove the transmission and engine with the pedestal still on the motor.
Engine fully removed
After this I completely gutted the cab the cab and took the whole interior harness off. This took much longer than anticipated Ford did an awful design on how to remove the dash and vent system imo
The following morning I removed the front saddle bag and took the sending unit out and rolled the truck outside and and cut off the axles. I used a torch and cut the u bolts off, unbolted the track bar. Sadly I had to cut the sway bar links off because it just wasn't possible to keep them. I'll replace all the steering components this summer once I get some disposable income from work.
This is where this weekend ended I'm happy with the progress made my goal was to get everything that was done and I did that I'm excited to get working on the bronco next weekend. Thanks for reading!
Edit: Linked the photos correctly
Update: I started stripping the bronco last weekend down to the frame but kept the axles on for convenience to move it around. I started cutting rivets off the F350 donor x member but didn't have time to remove it. Now after starting that, I may just do what mush99 did and cut of a small section of the donor cross member and weld it to the bronco cross member. All my front suspension and rear suspension parts except for rear u bolts are in and I will hopefully start the drivetrain swap this weekend.
Can't wait to see how this comes out. Diesel swap everything!
I had a very productive week, being in college I was very fortunate to be able to spend my spring break wrenching and making great progress on the build.
I started off with stripping down the bronco down to the frame.
From there we started mocking up the frame for the D60 front end. I used sky offroad's f150/bronco SAS kit. Overall its a well made kit, but I'm kind of disappointed by the rear shackle mounts they not 100% perfectly inline with the springs but they're very close and I'm not too worried by it. For springs I used 99-04 U code Super Duty springs. Once all the measurements all lined up I welded up the front cross member and bolted in the rear shackle mounts.
After getting the front end sorted out we moved to the rear end and got the Sterling 10.25 mounted in. This was a very easy bolt on project with using U codes in the front I bought a set of 2800lb F250/F350 springs for the rear, they may be a bit stiff but it leveled the truck perfectly and will making towing much more nice. The stock bronco rear drive shaft fits almost perfect but the pinion angle isn't quite correct, but I haven't shimmed the perches yet so no worries there.
The bronco sits probably 4 to 5 inches higher than it was with having all that fender gap I went and bought a set of 75% 37" military goodyear wrangler MTs for $400 with rims. Sadly the whopping 7 inches of back spacing humvee the rims had horrible fitment issues and wouldn't even bolt on the D60. Luckily got a set of what looks like AR Outlaw style rims for 100 bucks.
Once the axles were mounted I started on the motor mounts I did what Mushs88 did and weld on the f350 motor mounts in the oil filter hole of the bronco x member.
From this point here's what the bronco looked like
After probably 2 hours of monkeying around I did what many say is not possible or a good idea and that's install the 7.3 with the transmission still attached and it fit liked a glove.
Once it was in I mounted a set of bellowed pipes I got from full force diesel which need a mild amount of massaging to fit but they're in there and no rubbing will happen either. I also mount my diamond eye 3" down pipe i had to use a crowbar and bend the exhaust shield ever so slightly to fit with no rubbing.
Here's where my week ended I got the front clip installed
I have to run new front break lines in the front end and once that happens I can put the tubs and fenders on and start working wiring and hooking up all the coolers. I have to sort out my fuel delivery lines and return lines still. I think I'm going to uses the stock F350 lines from the block to the tank selector valve and then a short length of hose and then the bronco fuel lines post fuel filter to the tank. I have to also modify the BKO sending unit, for that I'm planning on copying what Mush's did and braze on the strainer and return on the BKO unit.
Good progress man. One thing I saw that you should into though is the shackle angle on your front springs. From the pictures, it looks like they'll be hitting the frame every time you hit a bump.
So hopefully I fix the rear hangers sometime this week!
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