My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
913 messages Options
1234 ... 46
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Rembrant
Hi Folks,

I thought I'd at least start a project thread so I can post my progress...maybe it will motivate me a little bit;).

Truck is a 1984 F150 2wd, with 302 and three on the tree manual trans. It has been touched up over the years, so the paint is currently a bit...spotty...lol. When I first brought it home, it was leaking oil, power steering fluid, and antifreeze all over the place. Cured the oil leak (fuel pump gasket), cured the PS leak with a new reman box (more on that later), and cured the antifreeze leak with a new heater core.

I have re-done the entire front end, with the exception of one wheel bearing, which is on the bench...just haven't gotten to it yet. All new Moog stuff...beam pivot bushings, upper and lower ball joints, inner and outer tie-rods, etc. Installed new radius arms and bushing kit.

It drives OK as it is now, but the steering is still sloppy due to the reman steering box. I plan to replace this one (again) with a RedHead box and hope that cures it once and for all.

In the works for this winter is to pull the engine and trans to clean everything up, and fix all the leaks, etc. It will be getting a 4bbl carb, and likely cam and shorty headers, but that will likely be it. The 3spd trans is getting replaced by an M5R2 OD trans removed from a 1991 F250 2wd. I will see about body work and paint sometime next year. Currently, I'm just trying to get it driving better (and more reliable) for the 2018 season.

I guess that's it. Other than all that, I added the black Cragar Soft-8 rims and Cooper Cobra rubber.






1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Rembrant
Oh...I forgot to add, last weekend I installed a factory tach, painted my gauge needles, replaced all the faulty bulbs, lubed my noisy speedo cable, and installed a new signal flasher relay. That little group of things may not seem like much, but they made a world of difference to me. The speedo cable wasn't terribly loud, but with no radio, I can hear all kinds of things that might otherwise not even be noticeable.

1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Nice truck!  And a worthwhile project.  You've done a lot to it and should feel proud.  

And I understand the feeling that painted gauges and a quiet speedo cable give.  Big Blue's gauges were washed out and the speedo cable so dry that the speedo didn't read correctly and even changed readings on bumps.  It is much, much better now, and the gauges look excellent - and I appreciate them every time I get in it.  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": 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 back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Rembrant
I ended up putting three coats of paint on the tach and speedo needles, and I hope that isn't so much that it effects their operation...but they seem to be working fine. I know they're quite light is all.

The other thing I did was rebuild the steering column. The 3-speed manual shifting was terrible and sloppy. Unfortunately, all my time and money in that particular project, and it only made it marginally better. It seems to work fine most of the time, but it's still not great, and no matter how hard I try, I just cannot make myself like it. It feels like a novelty in a nostalgic kind of way, and I almost feel bad for removing it, but I just find it awkward to use (and geared awkward as well).

I think with my little old 302 all tuned up with a few bolt-ons, and a proper floor shift 5-spd manual trans, and this thing will be fun to drive.

I've pretty much have it all figured out...regarding my plans and intentions, but I'm still not 100% on what to do with the exhaust yet. I want to make it sound good, but it looks like duals are a real pain with these trucks, and that limits ones options pretty quickly.
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Gary Lewis
Administrator
I think your plans for the 5-speed are good.  Some might suggest the ZF5, but I think the M5 is a better fit for your truck as it will shift well/quickly.  My experience with the ZF5 is that it shifts exactly like what it is - a truck transmission.  So, it'll be perfect in Big Blue, but not in a sporty truck.

On the exhaust, I suggest Magnaflow mufflers.  Or, a single two-in/two-out, which they make.  Magnaflows have a deep, mellow sound, which I like.  And, I do like dual exhausts with them exiting behind each rear tire.  Not easily done, but it can be done and sounds so good.  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": 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 back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Rembrant
Yeah, I know there's more of a universal love for the ZF5 as a whole, but like you, I thought the M5 would be fine for this old girl. It will only be getting a minor bump from it's original HP, and I won't be hauling or towing anything with it. It will just be moving it's own weight around, and that's about it. Just a weekend driver, nothing more really.

1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Should be perfect for her.  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": 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 back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

PetesPonies
In reply to this post by Rembrant
Looks good. So install a radio  :)   As for the needles, I used a marker, so there was no buildup of paint/weight.
Pete's Ponies
Mustang RUSToration & Performance

1982 F100 Flareside
1983 Bronco

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Rembrant
I will probably get to the radio later on, but it is currently low priority on my to-do list. I love the simplicity of this truck (interior included), so it may stay like that forever. I may just grab a Bluetooth speaker to use with my phone since this thing will only be driver occasionally anyway.

Is there any worry with the weight of the paint on the gauge needles? I believe it was one of your posts I read in another thread that made me think of it. It hadn't occurred to me otherwise. If I lost a little of the gauge precision, I think it will still be OK for this old clunker;).
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Gary Lewis
Administrator
I've painted a lot of gauge needles on these trucks but haven't noticed any change in their reading.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": 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 back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

PetesPonies
In reply to this post by Rembrant
The fact that you can alter the needle movement with paint, is . . a fact  :)  Doesn't mean you did.
Pete's Ponies
Mustang RUSToration & Performance

1982 F100 Flareside
1983 Bronco

Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Gary Lewis
Administrator
The way I was taught to explore possibilities is to imagine things at the extreme.  And, when I imagine hanging a 5 lb weight on the needles I have to fully agree - weight has to make a difference.

On the other hand, these are the most imprecise gauges I've ever seen, even with the ICVR replaced with a true voltage regulator.  Think about it - they work by a heating element causing a bi-metallic spring to wind/unwind.  So, on a hot day they have to read higher than they do on a cold day.  No wonder they don't have numbers on them.

And, no wonder you can't tell any loss of precision when you paint the needles.  What precision?  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": 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 back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Rembrant
In reply to this post by Rembrant
I don't have much new to report on the progress of my old blue mule, but I did get the hood lifted off of it yesterday. That is the one thing I needed an extra set of hands for...my space to work with is very limited, so I needed help to get the hood over the cab and set on the box. After visiting the folks for a couple days, I plan to start pulling everything apart. Engine and trans are both coming out, as is the steering column, brake and clutch masters, etc. That's it for now. Things will start moving a little faster this week, and once I have the engine out and on the stand, I'll have a lot of other things to do before it all goes back together.

Merry Christmas ya bunch of Bullnose geeks!

1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Looks like a good plan.    Are you going to pull the grille, radiator, and core support to pull the engine?  I find that doing so allows you to bring the engine forward without having to go so high with it.  But, it makes for more work, and you may find you have rust problems where the core support bolts to the frame.  So, .....
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": 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 back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Rembrant
Yeah, that is exactly what I'm going to do. I want to replace the radiator, core support, and front mounts anyway. The core support is pretty rusty on the bottom, and the rubber mounts are split, so I'm just going to yank it all out. I picked up a NOS replacement panel for the small strip that goes between the fenders, below the grill.

As you mentioned, it will be much easier to pull the engine out that way. I'm going to drop the transmission first, so that will make the engine pull even easier again.

I'm trying to do as much as I can without disturbing the body panels (yet). That's a whole other rat's nest...lol, and I don't want to start into something that I just can't finish yet. I'm hoping to just get the mechanical stuff all fixed up this winter, to have the truck road worthy (but still ugly) for the spring;).

I'll worry about making it pretty later;).
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Rembrant
In reply to this post by Rembrant
Check out the two big chunks of my transmission that are still attached to the bell housing. This wasn't a surprise...I knew they were there. One of the many reasons this 3-speed is not going back in the truck;).



1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Yipes!  So, do you have the replacement?
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": 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 back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Rembrant
Gary Lewis wrote
Yipes!  So, do you have the replacement?
Yes sir, I do. I picked up an M5OD 5spd that was removed from a 1991 F250. It was also behind a 302, and it was a 2wd truck, so it should fit OK. I later located the correct cross-member for the M5OD, so it even looks like I can use the existing mounting points on my 1984 frame. Being a '91 trans, I can utilize my cable driven speedo, and I haven't fully confirmed it yet, but it looks like it may already be geared correctly for my truck. (According to the data tag on the trans, the speedo drive gear is for 2.73 to 3.08 rear diff, and my '84 has a 3.08 rear end).
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Well done!  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": 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 back, & EEC-V MAF/SEFI
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: My 1984 F150 2wd Flareside Project "Blue Mule"

Rembrant
Yes, and according to my rough measurements, it looks like I'll be able to use my existing driveshaft and trans yoke. That would be slick.

The only piece that I still have not sourced is the plug for the 1991 reverse switch. It's no big deal...only two wires, so it's nothing to splice it in, but I still need the plug. I'll find one once I get digging around for one. With all the other stuff I need to do, that is relatively low priority at the moment;).

1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, XE256H Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Fresh Medium Blue Metallic in August 2019.
1234 ... 46