Now we've done it

Discussion in 'Vehicle & Transportation' started by Clarice, Mar 31, 2011.

  1. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

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    Yesterday we purchased a 1978 Ford Explorer 4x4 pickup with a 8000# winch on the front. The mechanics of the truck are good and the winch works great. It has only 80,026 miles. But it looks terrible. We will have to replace the bed, one door and one fender. Clean and paint. The interior is good, just needs a good cleaning. As if we did not have enough projects. It will be great for getting into those hard to reach fishing holes and for pulling felled trees out of the woods for our firewood business.
     
  2. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

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    you could always convert it to a stakebody flatbed, which sounds ideal for what you're looking to do with it...

    good luck! :2thumb:
     

  3. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

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    Good idea Blob, I'll pass it along to DH.
     
  4. ajsmith

    ajsmith Well-Known Member

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    Clarice, it sounds like you have a great "project" that will help you out in the future. I think Blobs idea about the flat bed is a very good idea. :)
     
  5. Tirediron

    Tirediron RockyMountainCanadian

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    Just keep a couple of spare Duraspark modules handy , that was one of fords "achilles heels"
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Amateur Radio call sign KM4GDU

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    Ford used that body for a long time it should not be hard to find those parts
     
  7. PopPop

    PopPop Well-Known Member

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    Blobs idea is spot on. We rescued a 1970 Chevy C10 4X4 and the bed was completly rusted out. The only economical solution was a flatbed. We built it ourselves and had a 50 gal. stainless steel fuel tank installed as well. The only other isue was rebuilding the seat, it needed springs, foam and a cover. The best estimate was $800.00. I found a rear seat out of a full sized van at the flea market for $10.00, problem solved. This thing is now a strong running, tough as hell truck.
     
  8. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

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    I love that year range of Ford trucks. EXTREMELY tough and well-built.

    I took the original 300 six out of mine and swapped in a Cummins 4BT from a Wonder bread truck. It is all mechanical - - no electrical anything needed to drive it. I can coast it down a hill and pop the clutch if I need to to get it running if the battery dies. Great, tough truck that gets decent mileage.
     
  9. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    LincTex, can you post a pic of that setup? Was it hard to do the swap?
     
  10. LincTex

    LincTex Jack of all trades?

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    Jason, I found a local truck salvage yard that had scrapped about 20 or so of the Grumman brand Doritos/Wonder Bread trucks that had been converted. Some had Chevy bell-housings, and some had Ford. All had some damage, since they only care about core value and don't sell them as runners :(
    So they literally rip them out.

    I found one with good compression, very minor damage, and all new flywheel, clutch parts and starter on it. $1750

    It took about three days to do the swap - just to get it drivable, and then refined it some over time. 4BTswaps.com was very helpful.
     
  11. Davo45

    Davo45 New here

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    I've always thought a utility bed or even a box bed would be a useful item on a truck for a bug-out-vehicle.
     
  12. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    The trouble with a box bed is it messes with your rear/side visibility. I've always thought that would be a big PITA for a daily driver (or even a frequently driven vehicle). A utility body, on the other hand, isn't much different than a standard pickup box as far as that goes.

    Our farm truck, a 2000 Dodge 3500 2 wheel drive dually, has a dumping flat bed. It's an automatic. The thing is so big it's a hassle to drive when you're just buzzing around. For a while we had to take it to work (Dad and I work together) because the other vehicles were being worked on) and it was just a pain to drive because of the size. You could see just fine and everything, but it's got a 10'bed and those wide set trailer mirrors so it was tough to weave through town.

    In short, I think it's important to not get carried away by getting the biggest truck you can-get something comfortable and go from there. Some people love big trucks-AJ's F350 is a prime example-just don't feel you HAVE to go that route to haul all your stuff. Day to day comfort is, to me at least, more important than a 10000 pound towing capacity.
     
  13. ajsmith

    ajsmith Well-Known Member

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    Jason, I couldn't agree more, you should go with what you're comfortable with. My daily driver is a Jeep Wrangler, and I'm looking for a FSJ Wagoneer to build. My F-350 will haul a lot, but it's main purpose is dump runs and pulling our 30 ft. camp trailer (my wife likes her comfort & before they all but one moved out we had six kids, hence the crew cab). But for now I'm just working with what I have, if time allows and I have to bug out ( I hate that term) it will work great. The best part of the truck is, it's paid for. :D

    Now back to Clarice's truck, IMHO I think if Clarice don't want to live with or fix the bed that's on it, blobs idea for a stake flat bed is a good one. It leaves it open for lots of options. A head ache rack with a cargo rack out over the cab, a couple different type and size side racks, some storage boxes under the bed in front of the rear tires, and so on and so on......:dunno:
     
  14. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

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    There was an article in Backwoodsman Magazine a year or 2 ago about a guy who got ahold of an old Touota pickup and had a flatbed put on it. I can't remember now if he built or bought the bed but he had a local votech class do the body work on the truckand it came out great. It was painted all in camo and the flat bed looked great, was very cost effective, and was very useful for the guy's needs.

    Plus, pickups with flat beds just look cool, IMO. :)
     
  15. TrackerRat

    TrackerRat Well-Known Member

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    Paint it black, flat if you dont mind it. Tactical reasons:cool:
     
  16. VUnder

    VUnder Well-Known Member

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    Clarice, I am not far from you. Those are great trucks. Most all had the 205 transfer case and a dependable drivetrain. You didn't mention if it was half ton or three quarter ton. I have had several of those and still have some here now. I worked in Beaumont TX and drove a 75 model down there and back 57 times without any trouble. Then, one day a friend was picking at me about driving an old truck, and I popped off that I would drive it to New York, and he said I didn't really mean it. I told him I would see him in a few days, and he asked where I was going. I told him, New York. I didn't check anything, just grabbed some clothes and drove it straight to New York. Bought some gas for cash at a gas station up there, kept the receipt for proof and drove on back home. The worst part was I was sleeping on the side of the road in WV at about 2am, and a state trooper woke me up. They don't like for you to have loaded pistols in the truck with you up there. I thought I was going to jail, but he saw I had a spic and span clean record, and just lectured me and let me unload them and put in the tool box, and I left, after many thanks. That truck is a 75 1 ton 4x4 with a 300 six. It worked hard on a lot of mountains. It also has a service bed with a welder, compressor, and an autocrane on the back corner. Good trucks in my opinion.
     
  17. Clarice

    Clarice Well-Known Member

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    VUnder, the truck is a half ton. The body is in bad shape and the paint is all rusty looking. We are trying to locate another short bed to replace the current one. Other than that you can drive the truck at 60mph take your hands off the wheel and the truck stays straight as an arrow in the road. This truck has only 80,000 original miles. DH drives it once a month to work for a week. I would love to put a flat bed on it, but he wants to bring it back to original condition.
     
  18. VUnder

    VUnder Well-Known Member

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    I have a flat bed that is for a truck like that. I have a regular fleet side bed, but the front part of the floor is bad, just plywood or something will make it fine. The outside of it is good, for appearance purposes. I am two towns west of you, and I am not counting Strong. Not too long ago I got a load of lumber from Fountain Hill.
     
  19. VUnder

    VUnder Well-Known Member

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    One more thing, does yours have chrome? The fleetside doesn't have chrome, but you can install it from your bed. I also may have a step side that will work. I will be gone a bit, have to go put a uterus back in a cow. She prolapsed giving birth this morning. My dad just got her because she was crippled and needed foot care. We were buying a bull from him because ours drowned last week in a creek. The sellers grandson had just got killed working on a truck at his house and it fell off the jack. We bought the bull and the man said we could have the cow because he was not going to be able to take care of her because of having to be gone to take care of family things. Didn't know she was pregnant. I shot her with some antibiotics and gave her some large sulphur tablets, and she had a calf. Now we really have to get her up and going. I'll be back.