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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Originally posted this thread on another forum, but figured this would be another good place to put it and have better info for some of my ideas when I get to them.

Got this old truck a little while ago, but it's at my dads and I didn't have time to take pics until now. It's a 1976 F250 that my grandpa bought almost new. He was downsizing and gave the truck to me. It hasn't been driven in the last few years, but was driven a little before that. This truck has been in the family forever and my dad and his siblings all drove it in high school. At some point, my dad replaced the power assist with power steering. The engine was rebuilt about 30,000 miles and years ago.

The plan is to keep the stock look as much as possible, with some enhancements. Even though it's my truck now, I'll always think of it as grandpas/the family truck because of the history. I hope to find a good balance between keeping it what it is, but still building it up some and making it mine. Some things I might do are a short lift, stainless rollbar/lightbar for KC lights, flush toolbox for recovery gear, second battery, and rock sliders or steps of some sort. Also, all the obvious things: bodywork, paint, new interior, etc.

As far as the overland light portion of the build, I want to increase the capability without going to crazy visually. I might add some mounting points for recovery boards, hi-lift, and other stuff on the inside of the bed. Plus do onboard air, rock lights, and receiver mounted winch.



















 

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Looks like a solid old truck. Cool family heritage it has too. I’m the third owner of my 77 that was from Tischner Ford of Santaquin (I noticed the utard plates on yours)
 

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Nice platform to start off of. Super Duty axles are becoming plentiful and cheap so you might consider swapping in a pair of those to replace the low-pinion HD D44 front and 30 spline D60 rear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Looks like a solid old truck. Cool family heritage it has too. I’m the third owner of my 77 that was from Tischner Ford of Santaquin (I noticed the utard plates on yours)
Nice. Yeah, it spent a while in Texas, then ended up in Wyoming and Utah, but managed to more or less stay out of the salt.

Nice platform to start off of. Super Duty axles are becoming plentiful and cheap so you might consider swapping in a pair of those to replace the low-pinion HD D44 front and 30 spline D60 rear.
It's probably gonna be awhile before I get to do to much with it, but I'll keep that in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Got to do a little work on the truck recently. After doing some research on wheel sizes/lug patterns, I found a set of 17" 07 dodge wheels on facebook that it looked like would probably fit. For $20, I figured it was worth a chance and picked them up. Did a quick test fit and they worked. The very next day I saw a new post for some used 35" tires for a 17" inch wheel. I'd been looking for a little bit already, and this deal just fell into my lap with perfect timing. Got all four of them for $200. Although the tires are fairly new, two of them were wearing funny/quicker than the others, which is why I got them cheap. I'm not going to be doing a lot of driving or any on the interstate, so they'll work perfect for me.



Then over the weekend I put them on. The truck had a blown tire and the mirror was touching the wall. The other side was right next to the ac. So the only way to change tires was to somehow drag the truck out first. My dad got a winch for his jeep not long ago and that made quick work of it.



Then I was finally able to get the wheels on. Not my favorite wheels, but I have to admit, they look better mounted than I thought they would. They are a narrower wheel and the offset is quite a bit different than the other ones, so the tires are kind of tucked in some. I'm not into the whole stance game, but it does look a little funny compared to the old ones.



While rummaging around and cleaning out the cab/engine bay with a leaf blower, I found what I think is the keychain that came with the truck when my grandpa bought it.



Also got a closer look at the bed and realized it wasn't actually a highboy bed. It came off one of the 2wd's or later year fords with the wider frame rails. It's got some homemade, angle iron bed mounts welded to the side of the frame here and there. I hope to find an actual highboy bed to replace it with. Or at least get a cleaner bed mounted a little more cleanly. But anyways, I asked my dad about the bed. He said the the original was beat to pieces hauling hay, firewood, etc. and ended up splitting a part. At one point, they hauled about 100 square bales with it. Stacked up on the cab and everything.

Besides the tires, I put a new battery in, topped of the antifreeze, and, with a little gas and starting fluid, it started right up. Only runs for a couple seconds while there's gas in the carb though. There seems to be not enough pressure. I ordered a new fuel pump since they're only about $30 and am going to drain the gas when I replace that. Hopefully that does the trick and everything else is good enough that I can start driving it around town or going out to the desert now and then.

Lastly, I snapped a picture of the door sticker for future reference.

 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Forgot to update from about a month ago, but it's also posted on another site. So I'm able to copy the last update over. Thought I had some pictures, but I guess not this time.

July 19
Since the last update: I cleaned, sealed, and painted the fuel tank, and ran all new everything from there to the carb. Including the fuel pump. The truck fired up fairly easily after a couple tries to get the gas flowing. I let it run for a while and noticed it was running rich and backfiring some. A couple weeks later I started it up and let it run again. The backfiring was gone and it seemed to not be running quite so rich.

Off and on, I have also been looking for a brake fluid leak.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·

Finally got around to working on the brakes. The wheel cylinders were bad, so I'm replacing those and decided to do the springs as well while in there. The shoes still have plenty of life. These things were filled with cob webs and the passenger side was even worse than the pictured drivers side.



The axles are pretty messy too. Gonna wipe them down and clean out the rear diff as best I can. Really need to do all the fluids, but I'll start with this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Had a few more minutes to work on the truck this evening. Got the passenger side springs/shoes back together. Just waiting on a new socket to arrive so I can put the drums and axles back on. Also pulled the rear diff cover and drained the fluid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A few days ago I put the axles and drums back together. Then yesterday I got around to refilling the diff. Found a cheap pump at the parts store. It's a little slow, but way cleaner and easier than using a funnel like I did on my 96.



Also got started on brake lines. Got a new one from the frame to rear axle, and made a couple going to the rear wheels. Ordered a new axle breather bolt and put it in to. Still need to run a line from it to the frame and maybe find a filter for it.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Finished up all the brake lines awhile ago, and then saw that the master cylinder was leaking. Ordered a new one and have been trying to find a booster as well. I spent weeks looking and wading through false positives to find out they're impossible to find. Looked at Battle Born Brakes hydroboost conversion, but can't justify the cost at the moment. Ended up going through rock auto and sent my old one in to Cardone to get rebuilt.


Took some time today to clean the engine bay by starting with the air cleaner.


Tried using some engine degreaser at first, then ended up doing a couple wash and rinse cycles with dish soap. Followed this up with some Mothers Mag I had lying around. Used aluminum foil at first to knock some rust off. This worked pretty good on the lighter surface rust but didn't do much for the heavier, deeper stuff. The aluminum foil did leave some scratches, but I figured it might and wasn't to concerned about it all things considered. I heard of someone else doing this and just kind of wanted to experiment for myself. Anyways, I gave it a final polish with some blue shop towels and then wiped/buffed off anything left with another of said paper towels.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well the other day I went to fix what I thought was just a poor, previous connection that had gotten corroded. Ended up following the choke wire all the way back behind the dash and the whole thing was shorted out and melted. Luckily all the wires around it still look good. So far, no luck in figuring out where I can find a replacement fusable link (or at least that's what I'm told these black things are, though I've never seen ones like this before) or at least what size fuse I could replace it with. If it is a fusable link, I really don't see how it would have done any good. All the wires go in one side, except a couple inches of fried wire that has no connections.

Then yesterday I got my brake booster back from being rebuilt by cardone. I got off work early and was able to get it primed and started on the paint.

One thing I had neglected previously was the front brake lines. The ends of the new hoses were slightly different than the old ones. Where the end goes into the bracket on the frame, the hole was just barely to small. I didn't have space to get in there with a reamer and would have to pull the truck out to take the tires off. It just felt like a hassle at the time. I thought about getting a dremel, and then today I found some little grinding wheels that go in a drill or impact. With their short length, I was able to fit an impact behind the tire and make the holes fit pretty easily. Of course, it wasn't till I had one side done that realized I could have just pulled the brackets off completely to ream out the holes. Probably would have cleaned and painted them too at that point. Oh well. It's done now, and I won't have to worry about my lines moving around.


After that, I still had time to replace a brake line holder clip along the frame, taped up the ends of some old wires that went to a shell, and changed the oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yesterday, I traced the rest of the wires behind the dash. The big red/yellow one comes from the fuse block under the dash. The greenish wire goes to the voltage regulator, the little red/yellow wire goes to the gauge cluster connector, and the blue wire, as I already know, goes to the electric choke. Thinking I'll just add in a fuse when I replace the choke wire.

Then I cleaned out the air filter. Ended up letting it dry over night and oiled it today. I had picked up some K&N brand red oil. The filter didn't really turn all that red like I thought it would and ended up using more oil than I needed trying to get it to turn more red. But I'm sure it's been years since it was touched and probably could use a good soak anyways. I let it sit in the sun awhile and then wiped off the excess oil before putting it back on.

Friday night I had picked up some stuff from oreillys, including a new antenna, as I was only getting static on the radio. I had previously thought the antenna was cut off of or broke. But it looks like it's just super short.
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Then I couldn't get it unscrewed. So I exchanged the new antenna mast for a whole setup. Plugged the new one in and still just got static. Today I had the thought to switch the radio to am and try again. This worked just fine. Tried the old antenna and it worked to. Since my new antenna didn't mount quite as nice as the old one and it left some holes uncovered, I just put the old one back on. The radio is old, but it does say it fm/am on it and even goes through fm1, 2, and 3 when clicking the band button. So I'm not really sure what that's about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, since the last update, I put in a fuse and replaced the wire running to the choke. Brake booster and master cylinder have been painted and installed. Adjusted the booster rod enough to bleed the brakes, but am still waiting on a tool to get the adjustment closer. One of my rear brake lines was leaking, so I had to redo that. Afterwards, everything else was good to go, so I was able to get the lines bled and take the truck for its first drive in how ever many years.

Also replaced the valve cover breather and took a pressure washer to the underside of the truck. With multiple rinses and degreaser, it's still a mess, but much better.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Took the truck for a little drive on Sunday.

Then Tuesday my brake booster tool came in and I tried adjusting things. I had assumed they were a one size fits all type of thing. Ended up not working for me and just made things worse. So, I readjusted it again and now it's a little better. I've also only had one of two speakers working at a time. Usually it's the drivers side that works, but one time it was the passengers side. Luckily they don't switch back and forth though. I had some new speakers that I was gonna put into a car awhile back and never did. I put those in and then followed the wiring. Everything looked fine at a quick glance, but there's something weird going on.

Today, we went on another little drive. I was trying to pull up onto some rocks and found some issues. Long story short, the transfer case linkage wasn't adjusted, so I couldn't shift it. When I pulled it off to adjust it, I found another piece had bent and cracked.

Also, I pulled the dash apart to check some things, and ever since, my headlight knob isn't working right. It just pulls right out and won't turn the headlights on. I'm thinking it's probably just worn out, so I'll see about ordering a new switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Been having a bunch of computer issues, so I haven't been able to update the thread. First off, I ended up making a new shift stick bracket at work. It certainly wasn't perfect, but it was better than the old one. I only needed it for a little while anyways. I found a used one in a Facebook group and now it shifts much better. I thought I got some pictures but can't seem to find them, so I guess not. Also ended up getting the headlight knob to work correctly again, so I'm holding off on replacing it for now.

Found a beat up tool box for $40. Ended up fitting just right with room to store a gas can on the side just as I hoped. I put a couple eye bolts on the toolbox and bedside so I could keep the gas can from sliding around. Thought I was gonna have to go find a super short bungy, but then I realized it was just about the right length if I hooked one end on a pre-existing hole.


My taillights quit working and I wasn't sure why since they were before. They had been hacked into over the years and were kind of a mess, so I decided to start there. The side marker light socket doesn't fit through the hole they were originally run through, so I had to cut those wires.

I then found a mess right at the connector going to the rest of the harness on the frame.

After doing all this, I realized that I had unplugged the harnesses at the firewall when replacing the choke wire. Turns out all my lights were just fine all along. I definitely needed to replace the taillight harness, just wasn't planning on it quite yet. Anyways, after a bunch of searching, I found a new harness at a mrtaillight website. It wasn't much of a website, but the harness ended up being pretty decent quality. It has some sturdy, metal sockets, heavier wire than stock, and is fully wire loomed. I do wish the sockets were sealed up some way though.


I also ended up adding ground wires and metri-pack connectors for the license plate lights. I couldn't find an oem connector for the main harness, so I ended up replacing them with some square, four pin weather pack connectors. While I was at it, I replaced the sole license plate light with two led ones. You can't tell in the photo, but the license plate has a bit of a bend in it. The lights are plenty bright, but with this bend, you can't actually read it in the dark. It does have a nice backlight though.

Finally, my horns haven't been working, so I just put in a cheapo air horn from the parts store for now. Was gonna paint the horns black, but ran out of time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Forgot to mention that we went up the road to take the dog for a walk and drove around just a little on the rocks. Nothing crazy, just pulled up on one to make it easier for the dog to get in and out.

 
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