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1991 Centurion Classic C350 - 7.3 IDI / E4OD
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey folks,

This is the beginning of my restoration journey for my new friend, Lycanical. I picked this name because I love werewolves and this vehicle is a bit of a shape-shifter with the ability to remove the top and add/remove rows to suit transportation needs. I have been watching and waiting for this combination of year, engine, and 4x4 for years to present itself to me, and when this one happened my wife actually urged me to jump on it. I was actually the second person in line to receive the truck, and the first guy turned out to be a no-show and failed to ever respond so victory was mine.

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I did what many would likely find insane, and rode with my wife and a friend over 600 miles to go pick this vehicle up and drive it back based on numerous exchanges with the owner. It was over 100 degrees without a working A/C, we were encouraged to not take the truck over 60 until it was looked at, and we couldn't turn off the engine for fear it wouldn't start again without a shot of starter fluid which we wanted to avoid. The secret we discovered on the trip home was that several nests of red wasps were inhabiting areas around the rear of the vehicle, and with each stop we seemed to aggravate and shed more of the buggers. Other than the buzzing friends, we made it home without a single issue. Even my wife drove it for a sprint to give me a break from the heat. First impression: It's like driving a school bus - and I love it!

The previous owner actually did a fantastic job of walking me through and around the vehicle, knowing it's actually history even from the previous owner to himself. I was given a list of known area's to work on, as well as a couple of boxes of extra parts, start fluid, and a factory turbo pulled from a slightly newer ford. That being said, I took a few days to get the vehicle registered and check a few things out for myself and just decided it made more sense to take to a local dealership that specialized in Ford diesels to comb through what I knew, and find out what I didn't. I had this strategy of getting it mechanically sane for daily driving, build another pile of cash, and then start addressing the body and interior. Second Impression: Lycanical needs some serious love!

So, for Phase I of this search and rescue mission complete, here is what ended up happening:
  • New Water Pump
  • New Fuel Injection Pump
  • Cooling System Flush
  • Transfer Case Serviced and Leak Repaired
  • Power Steering Serviced
  • Front Differential Serviced
  • Rear Differential Serviced
  • New AC compressor, Condenser, Orifice tube and Flush
  • New Glow Plugs and Glow Plug Relay
  • New Fuel Line
  • New Starter
Phase I Impression: This thing starts and runs like a three ton kitten now!

Stay tuned for Phase II, which at this point is looking like some body work, addressing rust, and restoring the interior. Phase III may at times overlap with Phase II, where I plan to throw some aftermarket things at the vehicle.
 

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1991 Centurion Classic C350 - 7.3 IDI / E4OD
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15 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Reserved for Phase II

Random Thoughts about Phase II:
  • Treat underbody with Fluid film for a season or so before maybe going over with Corroseal to rejuvenate the metal and then address the rust.
  • Repair dents / replace too-gone panels.
  • Likely going to keep the vehicle white, with the bronco top black... All of my vehicles are usually black on black, and for this one I think it would look sharper as a stormtrooper pattern to go along with some blacked out aftermarket parts.
  • New windshield
  • New passenger front door
  • Fix power windows / locks
  • Fix rear power window / defroster
  • Get the turbo installed?
  • Do something about those after market side mirrors...
  • More to come...
 

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1991 Centurion Classic C350 - 7.3 IDI / E4OD
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Reserved for Phase III

Random Thoughts about Phase III:
  • Convert interior to black / grey theme (wolf colors)
  • Tint Windows
  • 40/20/40 Front Bench
  • Captain Chairs for Second Row
  • 40/20/40 Third Row Bench
  • Aftermarket blacked out LED head and tail lights
  • Aftermarket off-road style front and rear bumpers (considering winch bumper)
  • Power Steps
  • Replace the cab lights with blacked out cab lights.
  • Hitch mounted tire swing
  • New Tires, possibly slightly larger
  • Stereo system... Likely just get a hidden Bluetooth or USB hookup and run everything through the factory head unit. I can mount a tablet or use my phone for nav and whatnot, but want to drive sound through the speakers. Also, new speakers...
  • Mounts for HAM / GMRS equipment and antennas
  • Gear Vendors OD unit to double the gears / improve highway performance and lower road noise
 

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1990 5.8 Eddie bauer automatic
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87 Posts
I'll be watching this build.
1 of my dream rigs. Perfect platform to build a family adventure rig out of.
 

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Even more amazing than the rig and your plans is that your wife not only encouraged the purchase but rode and even drive the thing! Keep up the good work!
 

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1991 Centurion Classic C350 - 7.3 IDI / E4OD
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
Even more amazing than the rig and your plans is that your wife not only encouraged the purchase but rode and even drive the thing! Keep up the good work!
She thinks this vehicle is great fun and has been more than supportive. A few years back I was actually looking at a late 80's F-700 "super truck" custom rig. Our living situation didn't support parking a vehicle of that size, or I'd likely have that in the drive way too. If I were to see it today, I'll still take it.

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Wow great find, post lots of pictures of your progress please
 

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1991 Centurion Classic C350 - 7.3 IDI / E4OD
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Wow great find, post lots of pictures of your progress please
I plan to post more photos. Right now I thought it was more fun to let folks use their imagination based on what's been said. Once I can do some proper "before and after" type things I'll definitely get more up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

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MidlifeCrisisUndrWay
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Subscribed! 😎 🍺
 

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1991 Centurion Classic C350 - 7.3 IDI / E4OD
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ordered a new tach sensor today. My tach gauge is kind of all over the place and not aligned with the sounds I hear when driving the truck. Should be a quick fix, but apparently on these E40D transmissions the sensor can also effect the shift points and cause performance issues etc..

I'll get it installed hopefully this weekend and do some more driving to see how it goes. Desperately need to get a seal kit from Bronco graveyard and stop the vibrations from all the glass.
 

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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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Even more amazing than the rig and your plans is that your wife not only encouraged the purchase but rode and even drive the thing! Keep up the good work!
Heeeyyyy... We gals have taste too ya know 😏

Great rig... Love what you have planned 👍 (cept the blacked out lights. Never have been a fan of those)
 

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1991 Centurion Classic C350 4x4 diesel
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At some point I may have to break down and do a Cummins swap or something with Lycanical. I love using the turn pikes here in Oklahoma, and I don't think it's happy over 55-60mph.
You might consider doing a later model 7.3 PowerStroke instead. I like the Cummins, it's a good engine, but in this application, I firmly believe the 7.3 PowerStroke is the better option. And the manual transmission you can mate to that (S5-42, S5-47, or the S6) is quite good. There are guys out there who have done both, and both camps swear by the choices they have made. There are good arguments either way. That being said, I still prefer the PowerStroke.

About 7 years ago I bought my wife the same model truck you have, 1991 Centurion Classic 4x4. It started life as a factory diesel 7.3 IDI with an automatic, just like yours. Great truck, wouldn't trade or sell it for anything. We named it Das Berserker Bus, but we call it Bob (short for Robert Halford, because it's as bad-ass as he is).

Today, that truck has a first generation T444E direct injection turbodiesel (same thing as a 7.3 PowerStroke) and an S5-42 5-speed manual transmission and BW1356 transfercase, all put in by the previous owner when the original automatic transmission went out, less than a year before we bought it. Night and day difference, and totally worth it. I happen to be a really big fan of the 7.3 IDI, but that direct injection turbodiesel is hands down a better performer, and can be tuned up pretty easily if that's your thing.

She has, from the factory, 4.10 gears, front and rear limited slip, 36" tires, and she can run down the highway happily at 70 or 75mph. This thing weighs over 8000lbs though, so I do prefer that she keep it down around 60 or so for safety. But it will do higher highway speeds comfortably if you need/want to. It tows pretty good, too.

my 1993 Bronco also has a 1997 PowerStroke and S5-47, and it is equally happy with that engine and transmission combination. Eventually, someday down the road, the two are going to exchange transmissions and transfercases. The Bronco doesn't need the heavier transmission and transfercase it has (it's got the beefy BW-4407), and the Centurion would be better off with those. So, someday they will swap.

Going from a 7.3 IDI to a 7.3 PowerStroke isn't a simple direct bolt-in swap, but it's pretty close. it's not particularly difficult if you have the time and tools, and depending on how you do it and what other changes you make, it's a lot easier, less work, and less expensive, than going the Cummins route. Both 7.3 blocks share the same geometry and configuration, they are the same size, similar weight, and so forth. You don't have to change out things like radiator core supports or modify the firewall, engine mounts, nothing like that. There are some significant wiring issues to be dealt with, switching from the mechanical IDI to the electronic PowerStroke, but even that isn't that difficult.
 
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1991 Centurion Classic C350 4x4 diesel
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Heeeyyyy... We gals have taste too ya know 😏

Great rig... Love what you have planned 👍 (cept the blacked out lights. Never have been a fan of those)
Of course you gals have good taste, oftentimes much better taste than your own menfolk. As I mentioned in my other response, I bought my wife an almost identical rig 7 years ago, because it's what she wanted. I want to be very clear here... That's HER truck, not mine. And she just adores the thing. It will never be for sale, and will likely pass down through multiple generations over the years, as our kids are being taught to appreciate and treasure it as much as we do. Our daughter loves to go for rides in "Mama's Truck".
 
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82 XLT Lariat 351w, Edelbrock 1406 4bbl ,C6 auto, auto locking hubs ,33x10.5x15
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Of course you gals have good taste, oftentimes much better taste than your own menfolk. As I mentioned in my other response, I bought my wife an almost identical rig 7 years ago, because it's what she wanted. I want to be very clear here... That's HER truck, not mine. And she just adores the thing. It will never be for sale, and will likely pass down through multiple generations over the years, as our kids are being taught to appreciate and treasure it as much as we do. Our daughter loves to go for rides in "Mama's Truck".
That's awesome... My boys (17&25) call mine the "farm truck" even tho 1. We don't live on a farm and 2. It isn't beat to death...🤷 ... But they love it...
 

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1991 Centurion Classic C350 4x4 diesel
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That's awesome... My boys (17&25) call mine the "farm truck" even tho 1. We don't live on a farm and 2. It isn't beat to death...🤷 ... But they love it...
Even though we do live on a farm, my wife's Centurion isn't really a "farm truck"... it's the family hauler. It seats 8 adults in comfort (could be nine if we swapped the front captains for a bench, but there's no way we're doing that, those custom Centurion seats are the most comfortable either of us have ever sat in) and can go pretty much anywhere. We have in fact taken it pretty much everywhere, on and off road, and filled it to capacity with gear and cargo and butts in seats. It is the ultimate road trip machine. My oldest son (25) is very disappointed that he won't inherit the Centurion, because it's already slated to go to his baby sister when she grows up (she is almost 3).

I'd like to get another diesel Centurion Classic C350 4x4 diesel, but they're getting harder to find and when they do show up the prices are climbing beyond what I'm willing to pay. I may have to settle for a diesel Excursion 4x4 instead. Though I'd break the bank and sell my neighbours to the glue factory if I ever found a C350 factory dually diesel for sale. That's my unicorn. They only built 50 Centurion Classic C350s with dual rear wheels, and only 3 of those were diesels.

As an aside, my truck (not the Bronco, that's just a project) is the "farm truck"... but my poor sad neglected truck actually gets driven more in parades than it does for real work. That's how it goes, I guess. Although right now it's sitting there with the better part of three cords of wood in the bed, waiting to be unloaded.

WareWolf MoonWall's Centurion Classic C350 posted in this thread is kind of rough (most of them are when they reach this age, ours certainly is), but I'm super glad to see it and happy that he's working on it and it's going to live a fresh new full life again. These things are pretty uncommon (in the 11 years they were made, Centurion only built about 6200 of them between the C150 and C350 models), so it's awesome to see another one turn up and come back to life.
 
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