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Discussion Starter #42
Also, you may be right on the valve guides/seals. I had to run this truck a couple of short times as I moved my fleet around to walk my topper from my truck to the Bronco. It didn't puff any blue smoke, but it did puff grey/black when I'd rev it up a little once it started to warm up. I'm assuming the fresh plugs are able to burn whatever it is getting into the cylinders, but they will surely foul with time. I suppose it could just be excess fuel, since I don't know how well this thing is currently tuned, but we all saw the old plugs. :dunno Guess I gotta pull the engine and have a 521 made now, no other choice.

I'm still leaning towards flipping this thing. It may not be a lot of profit, but at least I will have kept another dentside on the road for someone else to enjoy. If someone is looking for a truck with a lot of original parts, this one would fit the bill. The whole carb setup is OE. It still has all the fittings, hoses, shields, stove choke, yadda yadda. Lots of varnish on it, but I'll just call it a "nicely patina'd carb" when I list it.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
I haven't gotten much done on this truck since getting it running. I've had a lot of drama lately, which usually takes me away from projects.

I figured I'd point out a couple things about this particular truck that are interesting, to me anyway.

The first thing is that the instrument cluster has been replaced. It was pretty common in the early and mid years of the dentsides for the rear of the instrument clusters to literally disintegrate into pieces, but I'm pretty sure by the time our 78/79 Broncos rolled out they had changed the material they had been using, so guys with the second gen Broncos probably never experience that. I had that happen to the cluster in my F100 the first time I took it out to check on what seemed like loose bulbs, turns out the cluster was barely holding together and the bulbs were falling out. I literally had it crumble into pieces in my hands and I had to plug in just the speedo and leave that in the giant hole in my dash until I could get a replacement piece for the cluster.

This cluster is out of an econoline. The only way I know that is the 55 on the cluster has the big circle around it. None of the F series trucks from 73-79 have that feature that I'm aware of. It just looks a little off overall as well. It could be that this cluster is from a much newer econoline. I think they used this cluster from the 70's up until the early 90's, but I can't remember for sure.






The second thing that I found interesting is the radio. When I checked the truck out in the dark I noticed the radio was sort of hanging out of the dash. It's not secured very well in its location. I just thought it was some crappy aftermarket DIN radio. It is a DIN radio, but it's not aftermarket and is actually a factory Ford radio. I thought it was weird, because it's not from the era of the truck, but it doesn't look very new either as it doesn't even have a tape deck. From a quick google search I found one on ebay that looked exactly like it and that one was listed as a Ford Festiva radio from the late eighties/early nineties. Interesting. It actually fits really well in the radio slot as the bezel on the radio covers up the hole in the dash that's usually left on the bottom when you hack it up for a DIN radio. Pretty neat. Whoever did this was trying to keep things Ford, which I can respect even if I think the factory radio that came with the truck would have been my choice.




 

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Discussion Starter #44
The radiator was empty when I got the truck. It took about 3-4 gallon jugs of water just to top it off. I spent the other day attempting to flush the cooling system out, but it's gonna need a lot more work with the amount of brown water that kept coming out. The truck doesn't appear to be overheating or anything when I let it idle a long while, but I'd still like to clean it out and get some fresh coolant in there.

I removed the bench seat and stripped out the carpet. There's a bit of rust on the floorboards, but it's mostly where your dirty ass wet feet would rest and not by the rockers or cab corners. I think I'll be able to wire wheel it clean and seal it up with some paint and save the floorboards. Whoever installed the carpet used left over stuff from their house. They even went as far as to bolt it to the floorboards in various places with screws and big fender washers which was amusing.

I'm going to invest in some new, proper carpeting. I can get it from Stockinteriors for a touch over $130. I had a few swatches sent to me to look at. I got some blues and some greens. The greens were for my F100 though as I was curious what they had since my F100 has no carpet at the moment. I'm not sure I'm going to stick with green in that truck, but it's nice to get some ideas.

Here's a pic of the swatches, I took it on the Bronco's rusty hood out in direct sunlight. I haven't been taking many pics of my projects lately, so shame on me. lol I'm thinking one of the two blues on the far right for the flatbed truck. I think the top right is the closest match to the interior and exterior paint color, with the bottom right being a few shades brighter.





I could also go with a molded vinyl floor as it's only another 5 bucks or so from the same company. Might be better off that way considering the types of use a flatbed truck would see.
 

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Throw some valve seals in it while the motor is still in the truck, cheap fix.
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Throw some valve seals in it while the motor is still in the truck, cheap fix.
I've been thinking about that as well. I looked at a couple of vids the other day. One used an air compressor to keep the valves up and the other had some sort of string method, but didn't really elaborate on it.
 

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Yeah, some guys use rope, I like the air method; just be sure to block your oil return holes in case you drop a keeper.
 

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Back flush the heater core and coolant system. Cheap and easy. The "String trick" for valve seals is putting a length of rope / string into the cylinder via the spark plug hole to keep the valve from dropping. I like the air tool - easy and fast. Get a magnet tool for the keepers. They will always fall where you can't reach the damn things.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
I finished flushing out the cooling system. It's probably not perfect, but it looks a million times better. Once I filled the system with water the first time it just loosened up all the rust from the system sitting empty that whole time. I drained the radiator for the last time and then filled it up with a couple gallons of straight antifreeze and that put it about an inch down from the filler neck which is about right as far as the coolant level goes. It should mix up nicely with the rest of the water left in the system.

I took out the headliner and threw it away as it was trashed. Apparently the cab roof lights are OEM Ford lights. The wiring has factory Ford stickers and numbers on them, which I thought was interesting. Too bad only one of them has the lens still. Not sure if I can just pick up some replacements easily. That's not really a priority though, just a side note really.

I swept out the cab with a brush and removed as much of the loose rust as I could. It looks a lot worse in pics than it really is. There are no holes in the floorboards, except for where the PO put in screws to hold in their crappy carpet, so I just need to hit it with the wire wheel and then paint. I'm still not sure on what shade of blue carpet to use or whether I should just use vinyl. I do like the look of a nice, clean carpeted truck. I put the blue swatches up against some of the good blue paint in the cab to get an idea. Apparently my previous assumption of which one was gonna match when I was looking at them on the Bronco's hood wasn't quite as clear cut as I thought. Funny how memory works.





 

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Discussion Starter #50
I started cleaning up the floorboards with my cordless impact using wire wheels. I don't currently own a drill and I try to get the most out of my tools. It was working well, but my little 2AH battery just doesn't last long enough. I'll have to pull out my cheapy HF corded grinder and put one of those flap discs on it and see if that'll work without removing too much metal. This is as far as I got with the cordless and two charges worth. I need to buy a 5AH battery.






The guy I bought this truck from had sprayed a lot of stuff on it to kill all the wasps. He missed some and there's one small nest being built right next to the e-brake. I'm fairly certain they've built something inside the doors as well, but I haven't gotten around to the doors yet. I've left the little nest by the e-brake alone as I'm not afraid of wasps in the sense that if you leave shit alone it'll leave you alone. Well after the battery was drained the second time I decided to take the little hand brush that I had been using to sweep out the cab and I smacked the nest off and ran inside to call it a day. lol. Little bastards.


 

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Discussion Starter #52
I had to go pick up some wire cups for my grinder as everything I have has a hex shaft for use on my impact with an adapter. It's workin', but boy does it suck. Doesn't help that it's been in the 90's+ when I've been working on it. I'm not done, but it'll get there.

I took it over to the machine shop the other day and that ride was rough. The tranny seemed like it was a bit low on fluid before I took it over there as it'd engage and disengage gear somewhat randomly. Like I'd have to shift it into D from R and wait a good minute for anything to happen, then it'd just pop into gear and work fine. I assumed the converter was a little low, so I added a quart of atf and it was fine after that.

It's gonna need some different tires. These bad boys are definitely worn and have flat spots. It felt like I was driving on squares instead of circles, like a Canadian. Other than that it wasn't too bad. It accelerated. It turned. It stopped. Not too much else to ask of a 40+ year old truck that was sitting in a field.







I ordered new vinyl flooring for it rather than going with carpet. I think that's the better option for this particular truck.
 

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I fricking hate wasps and yellowjackets. They come after you if you're standing too close with your back to them. Any time I encounter a nest, out comes the heavy artillery--I just do not mess around with them. I even had nests in side mirrors on a Sable I used to have. Driving down the road with the windows open and all of a sudden, I had totally agitated yellow bastards inside the car! I had to pull over, shoo them out, then hop in and peel out before they got back in with me. Got home, shot both mirror interiors with spray and tied grocery bags around them, waited a few weeks, and tore the mirrors down to remove the nests.
 

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Discussion Starter #54
Not much progress at the moment. The vinyl flooring that I ordered is scheduled for an August 1st arrival. I'm gonna see if I can source some sort of material to make a new headliner from and I'm probably going to cave in and buy 5 new lenses for the roof lights. They all work, though a few are missing bulbs and 4 out of the 5 have no lenses.

I looked at the rear end back during the first couple of days I had it to see what gearing it has, but the axle tag is gone. My '75 had its axle tag, my 77 does (it's sitting on my dresser for some reason), and my Bronco still has its on the axle, so I'm wondering if the gearing's been changed. I doubt it though. The warranty plate on the door has the axle code 13J, which, according to Fordifications charts, 13 is listed an an open rear with 2.75 gearing. Based on my drive over to the machine shop with it I'm willing to believe it. My 77 with its 302 has the same gearing and even though this 460 has about 90hp more from the factory this truck sure doesn't take off from a dead stop much quicker. It'll spin the tires, which my 77 is unable to do (sad I know), but that's about it for speed.

Just thinkin' out loud.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
Woke up to a couple of boxes. That should be the last of all my deliveries for my various vehicles... for now.

I was able to get 5 new lights for the roof off Amazon for about $20 after tax. I had considered getting a different style of lens like the clear or smoked lenses, but thought the regular orange lenses would be best. If it had new paint and everything was fresh and shiny the smoked roof lights would probably look slick, but not on this rustina mess.

The box says 80-97, but I saw customer pics on the listing that literally showed guys with 73-79 trucks with these lights on them. That and, to me, they look the same as what's already on there.












My vinyl flooring also arrived. It's from ACC, but several sites resell it without specifying that. Of course, directly from ACC is the most expensive. I looked for the site with the cheapest price including the shipping costs. Shipping is not cheap for this big box! It comes with the vinyl flooring and jute padding to go underneath. That'll do, pig.







I still need to mess with the heater in the truck and get it functioning. You can hear a click over by the box under the dash when you turn it on, but nothing else happens, so I'll look into that. I've yet to really mess with things. I'll probably pull out the glove box and install the antennae from my 75 F150 that I saved. I knew it'd come in handy, but I didn't know how soon that would be. This truck has one, but it's snapped off at the base. Lucky me.

Once everything is done I'll try to make a couple bucks off of it and see what happens. I've tried to replace what it needs to run and drive and what I think would make this thing more appealing without going too crazy. Uhh... shit. lol With the price of buying it, getting it here, getting it running, and fixing up some things, I think if I can sell it for $1500 that I'd make a few hundred off it, but that's about it. Obviously I'll start a bit higher than that, but anything over 15 would be gravy. If no one buys it then I guess I'll start a business hauling crap off to the transfer station on my days off for extra cash. lol I ain't worried about it. Come on memaw, I'll take that couch to the dump for ya.
 

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Discussion Starter #56
I finished working on the floorboards. I had to hit them with a 60 grit flap disc to get my desired results as the wire wheels/cups weren't getting it done. I hit the areas I worked on with some rustoleum rust converter spray paint then topped it with some blue enamel. Once that dried nicely I muscled the jute and vinyl flooring over and laid it in the cab. I've left the flooring unfinished so the summer heat can soften it up and release all the creases. They sure over size the stuff though. It's shoved up under the dash as far as I can get it without cutting it up, which is right at that seam where the floor meets the firewall, and the back end of the vinyl flooring still runs halfway up the rear of the cab. It might even be enough to do a supercab.

I removed a couple of roof lights and had one of the screws snap off on its way out. It's gonna be one of those deals. The other three lights have free spinning screws, so I'll have to see if I can get someone to push up on them from inside the cab while I turn them and see if they come out. The new lenses have holes for the light sockets that are too small. They come with their own harness and sockets, which fit of course, but I'd rather not cut up the old harness as all the sockets are working and all the lights light up. I'm gonna try to open them up a little with my HF dremel wannabe. I tried using a razor, but there's not enough room to maneuver the blade and get things cut properly.

I went to the JY the other day and picked up most of the remaining items that I need. I got new side marker and turn signal lenses for the front driver's side. I got a nearly mint condition blue headliner. I was looking for something else in that particular truck and looked up and noticed how nice the headliner was, so it was a no-brainer, especially since the color matched and everything. I snagged a "finger cup" for the driver's side door panel as it's in pieces right now. I also got a cover for the steering column where it's bolted to the dash as that's missing as well. It's a different shade of blue I think, but it should work fine. I may run into some other things I'll need once I tear into the dash, but for now I think that pretty much covers it. I think all that stuff ran me about $25. Oh yeah, I also grabbed a wire that's factory for a dual horn setup. Do I need it? No, but it was there! It's basically a male spade terminal that tees off into two female connections that plug onto the horns with a long length of wire inbetween them with factory fasteners along the way that plug into the core support. Maybe I'll stick it on the Bronco and find another horn. Even if they're the same frequency I'm sure it'd at least be a bit louder.

Other than that I gave it an initial cleaning in the cab which consisted of wiping everything inside the cab, the doors, and door jambs of cobwebs, dead yellow jackets, and various insect corpses. I also experimented on the hood a little. I'll have to take a pic of it the next time I'm around it. Basically I wet sanded a section of it with some fine scotch brite and a bucket of water to knock off a lot of the rust. The deeper down you go the redder and darker it gets. It really changes the look of the "patina". It actually smooths it and polishes it like buffing paint would since that's basically what I'm doing. I think I'll do it to the rest of the rusty areas and see how it looks.
 

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Basically I wet sanded a section of it with some fine scotch brite and a bucket of water to knock off a lot of the rust. The deeper down you go the redder and darker it gets. It really changes the look of the "patina". It actually smooths it and polishes it like buffing paint would since that's basically what I'm doing. I think I'll do it to the rest of the rusty areas and see how it looks.
that sounds incredibly tedious
 

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Discussion Starter #58
that sounds incredibly tedious
It certainly can be. I believe I started doing it while I was waiting for the blue enamel on the floorboards to dry. I think I might try using a more abrasive scotch brite first and then going back over with the fine stuff though. It was coming off too slowly for how much there is. I just don't want to hit bare metal.

Putting it that way sounds kinda dumb though, leave it bare metal or rusty bare metal. I just think it gives it a nicer look if I'm going to leave it unpainted. Some guys go crazy and clear coat it or coat the patina with oil or whatever gimmicky trick they read about online to preserve it. I'd much rather paint the thing, but that kind of defeats the porpoise of what I'm trying to do, which is maintain a razor thin profit margarine. I can't believe it's not butter.
 
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