Big Blue

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Big Blue

Gary Lewis
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Big Blue is a 4x4 1985 F250HD XLT Lariat Explorer that came from the factory with a 460/T19/3.55 combo, auxiliary battery, speed control, and tachometer.  However, a few changes have been made along the way.  For instance a Warn bumper and presumably a Warn winch were installed at some point, although the winch was missing when I got the truck.  And a 5th wheel hitch was added to the bed.

As for the engine, it was rebuilt with an Edelbrock cam, intake manifold, 750 CFM carb and water pump.  L&L headers extract the exhaust and dual pipes run through glass packs before exiting at the rear bumper.  And Torsen limited-slip diff's were installed in both the front and rear axles.

However, all was not right with the truck when I got it.  For instance, the crankcase was full of 6 quarts of oil and 7 quarts of gasoline - someone had bypassed the safety devices on the electrical system and the fuel pump was receiving full battery voltage whenever the key was on, whether the engine was running or not.  Someone left the key on and the high pressure from the pump overpowered the needles and floats, and the carb overflowed into the crankcase.  So I put all of the safety devices back and added a pressure regulator on the fuel line to keep the pressure below 6 psi for the Eddy.

And, the exhaust system wasn't even close to "right".  The header is sitting on the frame on the driver's side, and the exhaust pipes were caught between the main spring and the helper spring on the passenger's side.  Plus the welds look like someone forgot to turn the gas on.  I haven't replaced the exhaust system yet nor gotten the header off the frame, but I have gotten the pipes out of the springs.  Hopefully I'll get the exhaust sorted soon and replace the glass packs with Magnaflows.

On the good side, I've added a 12,000 lb Smittybilt winch with synthetic line to the front bumper.  And I built a receiver for a hitch and installed it under the front bumper.  Plus, I replaced the dodgy undersized bolts holding the bumper to the truck with new, larger G8 bolts, so nothing is coming off.

Anyway, despite the many other issues, which were too numerous to list, the truck is a blast to drive!  The 460 has gobs of torque from 500 RPM, and when the secondaries open on the carb the truck moves! 
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Big Blue

Gary Lewis
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Today I mounted the Tekonsha Prodigy P3 brake controller.  As I was looking for a place to mount it I spotted the bracket for the speed control, and it turned out that there were already holes at the exactly the right places for the brake controller's bracket.  Here's a pic of the brake controller's bracket mounted to the speed control's bracket:




And here's the brake controller mounted in the bracket.  As you can see the speed control, horn relay, nor even the brake controller are wired up yet.  But, the first two are plug and play, and the controller has but 4 wires, so that should be easy - especially since the brake light wire comes to the speed control.  

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Big Blue

Gary Lewis
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They say confession is good for the soul. But I sorta doubt this confession is gonna help my reputation.

Ok, so I was looking at the brake controller and realized that where I'll be wiring is right by the wiring for the aftermarket volt meter. And, you may remember that I had this plan to have that voltmeter monitor the auxiliary battery and, when I replace the alternator with a 3G, to replace the ammeter with a voltmeter and have it monitor the starting battery. So, why not wire it up as I'm "in the area"?

No problemo as I have the big auxiliary battery relay (aka solenoid) that sits on the firewall just in front of the driver. The factory wiring runs from the starter relay through the cab and then powers that relay, so why not put the voltmeter's positive wire on the back side of that relay so that when it pulls in the voltmeter comes on?  (Now would be a good time to doubt the plan.)

So that is what I did. Realizing that one lug of that relay was connected to the starting battery, I was careful to stay away from it as I pulled the nut and lock washer off the "cold" side and put the voltmeter's terminal on. But being that close to something really "hot" and knowing that everything else under the hood, and even the hood itself, was ground, I was somewhat careful even though I was working on the "cold" side.

I got done without incident and slipped into the cab to turn the key on to energize the relay and power the voltmeter. However, the voltmeter was already sitting at just shy of 13 volts. And the. it dawned on me - that terminal that I put the little voltmeter terminal against on the "cold" side is the feed from the auxiliary battery. I'd worked it hot, fortunately without incident, but my plan seems to lack something.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Big Blue

Gary Lewis
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Got the voltmeter fixed.  It just took this relay, which is triggered by the white/purple wire that pulls in the auxiliary battery relay, which it is sitting beside.




However, when I got done I tried to start the truck - and got the "click" that says the auxiliary relay dropped out, but no click indicating the starter relay came in.  I haven't had this problem in months, so am in the process of trying to find it this time.  
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Big Blue

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Well, the start wiring problem eluded me again.  I put a light on it in place of the starter relay and it would not come on.  I wiggled the wires on that side, and no effect.  I then wiggled the wires on the ignition switch, with no effect.  Then I wiggled the wire where they come through the firewall - and it worked.  As it turns out, that's close to where I was working today, so I'm wondering if I have a broken wire in there.  
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Big Blue

1986F150Six
My bet is that you will find the culprit!
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Re: Big Blue

Gary Lewis
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Time to revive this thead. Or maybe I should say "resurect" it in light of what tomorrow is.

The reason is that I'm about to embark on a major re-do of Big Blue, which will include engine work, swapping transmissions, adding EFI, etc. But, there are lots and lots of details that I need to work through regarding those plans, so I'm doing that in a Word document that I will embed here, which will allow you to see my planning and offer suggestions. Please!

Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Big Blue

Ford F834
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That list ought to keep you out of trouble for a month or two 😅.

Most of this stuff is way out of my league with 460 and EFI but I will be following the best I can.

I don’t know if you caught the discussion, but it’s looking like the 1345 does not have the triangle pump arm like the 1356.

If you use the ZF tunnel cover, plan on carpet and tc shifter boot fitment issues. Minor detail but something worth thinking about while you have it apart.
SHORT BED 4-DOOR DIESEL: 1986 F350 4x4 SRW under construction-- 7.3 IDIT R&D 64mm intercooled turbo 150cc IP stage 1 cam main girdle 13" Southbend clutch ZF-5 + GearVendors overdrive 4.10 axle gears hydroboost brakes

STRAIGHT SIX 4X4: 1981 F150 2wd to 4x4 conversion-- 300 I6 close ratio diesel T19, hydroboost brakes, Saginaw steering
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Re: Big Blue

Gary Lewis
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Yep, this is going to take a while.  But, it'll be worth it in the end.

I did catch the discussion about the 1345, but wasn't sure if it was all 1345's.  So thought when I take it in I'll ask Scotty to check that out.

And I will have to go with the taller cover, which I already have from Shaun from when I put the ZF in Dad's truck.  That one has the cutout for the TC and ZF, so it'll go on Big Blue and the one I got on Huck with no cutouts will be used on Dad's truck - after I cut it for the t-case shifter.  (Huck had the one that came through the floor.)

So I'll probably have to have new carpet, although I did get by on Dad's with the old carpet.  And, our friend in Alabama scored another vicarious purchase on Friday of a ZF shift boot which includes the inner boot.  But, I see what you are saying about the t-case boot.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Big Blue

grumpin
Wow! Adventurous you are!

I read again about your fuel in the oil. My connector is bad for the oil pressure switch for the fuel pump relay.

I wired it together, so I too have the pump on with the ignition on. I know about it, but got me thinking.

Since I can't find a replacement, I may wire in a toggle switch in the cab.
Dane
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1997 Mazda 626 LX 2.0L G25M-R
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
Oregon
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Re: Big Blue

Ford F834
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In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
When Jan and I did his truck, I didn’t like the way the transfer case shift boot sat after cutting the hole in the ZF pan. I kind of wish we had installed the pan before cutting and let the carpet hole guide the pan cutting. I guess if you have new carpet with no holes it might fit better. Does the E4OD require the tall cover also? Trent’s ‘87 truck used the Bullnose tunnel cover along with the one-year transfer case linkage.
SHORT BED 4-DOOR DIESEL: 1986 F350 4x4 SRW under construction-- 7.3 IDIT R&D 64mm intercooled turbo 150cc IP stage 1 cam main girdle 13" Southbend clutch ZF-5 + GearVendors overdrive 4.10 axle gears hydroboost brakes

STRAIGHT SIX 4X4: 1981 F150 2wd to 4x4 conversion-- 300 I6 close ratio diesel T19, hydroboost brakes, Saginaw steering
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Re: Big Blue

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Grumpin - You can't find a replacement for the oil pressure switch?  I found one easily, so I'll get you the source if that's what you mean.

But, you are right - there's never a dull moment at my shop.

Jonathan - Are you saying the hole in the carpet didn't fit the t-case shifter?  Or what?  I'm not sure I follow.

And I think the E4OD requires the tall cover as well.  At least that's what was on Huck, and it is a massive transmission.

And that reminds me that I need to contact Trent again about that linkage.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Big Blue

Ford F834
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Gary, just for the heck of it you might just set a Bullnose tunnel cover on Dad’s once you get the cab back down. If it clears okay I’d use it. The reason I say that is because the lever position relative to the boot is exactly correct and the boot was made to fit that pan. The ZF pan slightly tilts the boot and lifts it and makes everything look a bit peaked. If you must use the ZF pan, I would cut the smallest hole you can in the tunnel cover, let the boot “float” and shift it back and forth until you find where the boot looks the best. Then cut the new carpet to fit that boot position.

On Jan’s truck, we held a Bullnose tunnel cover over the ZF cover to spot where to cut the second hole. I think when the taller tunnel cover lifted the carpet it pulled the carpet hole for the transfer case boot back toward the seat relative to the hole we cut in the tunnel cover and that worsened the fitment of the boot through the already tented carpet. Does that make sense?. It seems backwards, but next time I think I would put the tunnel cover in and trace the carpet hole onto the cover, then cut to that hole rather than trying to match the old tunnel cover. In your case, if you are using new carpet then do as I described above for Dad’s.
SHORT BED 4-DOOR DIESEL: 1986 F350 4x4 SRW under construction-- 7.3 IDIT R&D 64mm intercooled turbo 150cc IP stage 1 cam main girdle 13" Southbend clutch ZF-5 + GearVendors overdrive 4.10 axle gears hydroboost brakes

STRAIGHT SIX 4X4: 1981 F150 2wd to 4x4 conversion-- 300 I6 close ratio diesel T19, hydroboost brakes, Saginaw steering
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Re: Big Blue

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Ahhh!  Now I see said the blind man.  Ok, I'll try the Bullnose cover - maybe this afternoon.  
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Big Blue

grumpin
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Gary Lewis wrote
Grumpin - You can't find a replacement for the oil pressure switch?  I found one easily, so I'll get you the source if that's what you mean.

But, you are right - there's never a dull moment at my shop.

Jonathan - Are you saying the hole in the carpet didn't fit the t-case shifter?  Or what?  I'm not sure I follow.

And I think the E4OD requires the tall cover as well.  At least that's what was on Huck, and it is a massive transmission.

And that reminds me that I need to contact Trent again about that linkage.
The connector to the switch.
Dane
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1997 Mazda 626 LX 2.0L G25M-R
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
Oregon
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Re: Big Blue

85lebaront2
Grumpin. I think I sent Gary the connector for the switch. Another way to do it though, use a choke heater switch from an 80s FWD Chrysler with the 2.2L engine, of GM used an oil pressure switch on their EFI engines. Either of these use 1/4" flat terminals and they are normally open, closed with pressure.

Tunnel covers, I know all the crew cabs used a tall cover, even with an automatic transmission Darth's is the tall cover.
Bill
"Getting old is inevitable, growing up is optional"
Darth Vader 1986 F-350 460 converted to MAF/SEFI, E4OD 12X3 1/2 rear brakes, traction loc 3:55 gear, 160 amp 3G alternator
Wife's 2011 Flex Limited
Daily Driver 1994 Taurus LX
Project car 1986 Chrysler LeBaron convertible 2.2L Turbo II, modified A413
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Re: Big Blue

grumpin
This post was updated on .
85 lebaron, thanks. I think you mentioned that before and I forgot or didn't get it.

Found this oil pressure switch for a LeBaron, https://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo.php?pk=932295&cc=1064641&jsn=629

I'll have to get this going soon.

Edit: Found this I can get locally I hope!  https://www.napaonline.com/en/p/TWR86272BX
Dane
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1997 Mazda 626 LX 2.0L G25M-R
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
Oregon
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Re: Big Blue

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Grumpin - That says it is normally closed.  But you want a normally-open switch that closes when the oil pressure comes up.

Bill had a recommendation for one.  Let's look.....

Edit: The NAPA one is normally closed.  The Rock Auto one is probably both normally closed and normally open depending on which two terminals you pick.  So it should work.
Dad's: '81 F150 Ranger XLT 4x4: Down for restomod: Full-roller "stroked 351M" w/Trick Flow heads & intake, EEC-V SEFI/E4OD/3.50 gears w/Kevlar clutches
Blue: 2015 F150 Platinum 4x4 SuperCrew wearing Blue Jeans & sporting a 3.5L EB & Max Tow
Big Blue: 1985 F250HD 4x4: 460/ZF5/3.55's, D60 w/Ox locker in front & 10.25 Spicer/Trutrac in bac, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
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Re: Big Blue

grumpin
Gary Lewis wrote
Grumpin - That says it is normally closed.  But you want a normally-open switch that closes when the oil pressure comes up.

Bill had a recommendation for one.  Let's look.....

Edit: The NAPA one is normally closed.  The Rock Auto one is probably both normally closed and normally open depending on which two terminals you pick.  So it should work.
Good point. I had thought of that, then was convinced I wanted normally closed, don't know why.
Dane
1986 F250HD SC XLT Lariat 4x4 460 C6
1992 Bronco XLT 4x4 351W E4OD
1997 Mazda 626 LX 2.0L G25M-R
1998 Suburban LT K2500 454 4L80E
Oregon
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Re: Big Blue

Steve83
In reply to this post by Gary Lewis
Gary Lewis wrote
I’ll use the power distribution box as well as the rest of the EEC-V harness...
What EEC-V harness?  From some particular donor vehicle, or some aftermarket setup?
Gary Lewis wrote
...relay that will not parallel the batteries until two minutes after the alternator kicks in. That way a dead or low auxiliary battery won’t drain the main battery when the key is turned to On.
But then if the main is dead, how do you connect the aux?  And what if you want the added time of running key-off accessories by using both batteries?
Gary Lewis wrote
I fear the frame is cracked, if not broken, at the steering sector box as there’s a loud clunk coming from that area on turns.
Have you read the frame noise TSB?
https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742/54113-2
Gary Lewis wrote
...true duals will run from there...
I'm not a fan of the noise, or weight, or extra bulk & labor, or inefficiency.  The exhaust system is like a wind instrument - it's tuned to the engine (from the factory) to get the pulse from one cylinder to help scavenge more exhaust from the next.  The next (in the firing order) might be (and often IS) on the opposite bank; so separating the exhaust prevents that benefit.  The proof is that true duals are louder - that energy is being wasted as noise.
Walk softly and carry a BIG SIX!!!
https://www.supermotors.net/registry/2742#album
Memphis, TN, USA, Earth, Milky Way
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