Necessities List?

classic Classic list List threaded Threaded
17 messages Options
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Necessities List?

Angelo Voltura
So, I'm thinking out loud here, but we all know there are certain things that are kind of a "must do" if you will, when you purchase one of these trucks. Either some kind of upgrade, fire proofing, lighting, something.

The idea here is to kind of compile those common things, for example, the headlight relay harness upgrade, into one document easily accessible to those who access the forum here, so that new owners can take advantage of what a lot of us have spent many years trying to figure out and have finally found solutions to etc.

The idea is to not only provide a comprehensive list of "must do" upgrades, but to explain why and provide sources for parts so that people can easily add these things to their trucks.

Feel free to add your thoughts guys and throw some of those things my way.

First few things that immediately come to mind:


Headlight Relay Harness
Door Handle Reinforcement Plate
Firewall Reinforcement Plate for Manual Trucks
Sealed Beam to H4 Bulb Conversion


There's a lot more out there, let me know what you all think.
1979 F150 "406M"
1985 F250 (Dads) 351W
1995 F150 (1985 clip swapped) 300
1997 F250 HD 351W
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
While I would do the headlight relay upgrade, I know of members here who want to keep their trucks stock.  And I can understand that.  So I'm very sure not all would agree that it is a necessity.  However, I believe it is something that can prevent damage to the truck in the way of melted wires or burned headlight switch.  And, it makes driving at night safer because of the extra light it provides.

And Shaun said on the thread about holes in doors that he's not seen cracked Bullnose doors.  Nor have I.  But I think that reinforcement panel might be a good addition to Big Blue.  His doors have been butchered by  and aren't as strong as they once were.  And taking him overlanding will cause the doors to be opened and closed in all sorts of angles, which will place extra stress on them.

As for the firewall reinforcement, I think it is prudent - on a truck with hydraulic clutch linkage.  A lot of these trucks have had problems with cracked firewalls, which Ford acknowledged with their TSB, due to all of the fore/aft force centered on the clutch master cylinder.  And the firewalls aren't getting any stronger over time.  So why not add the reinforcement?  Especially if, like I am on Big Blue, you are adding a heavy duty clutch which will increase the force.

Concerning the headlights, I don't know that I'd put the H4 change in the "necessities" category - at least not stated that way.  The bulk of H4 bulbs have the same wattage as a standard sealed beam headlight for our trucks.  And the bulk of the shells/reflectors are effectively the same as those in our sealed beams.  So just going "H4" doesn't mean you are upgrading.  And while there are H4 bulbs with higher wattage, they aren't technically legal.  On other hand, there are very good reflectors, like the Hella E-codes, and coupled with a strong bulb can give excellent lighting.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

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: Necessities List?

fords4life
Instead of a Necessities list, you might just call in Common Modifications/Upgrades.  This is pretty typical of a lot of model specific websites.  You could just create a post in this section of the forum and then fill it with links to the pages that have already been created for those modifications/upgrades.
1986 F-150 SC 2wd 4spd 302EFI Base Model all OEM motor/trans/emissions equipment.
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
I think the Common Modifications idea is a good one.  One person's necessities aren't everyone's.  But many of the upgrades are common.  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

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: Necessities List?

FuzzFace2
Being I have done the head light relay harness it should be high up on the list and you can do this and keep it out of sight if you really want to.
You can hardly see mine and I was not even trying to hide it.

If I had a type of clutch that needed the fire wall brace that would be another high up on the list.
I now have the pedals and thinking of getting the brace (or 2) to have on hand if I ever need it.

I don't know what this door brace is? Dose someone have a link to a post that may explain it?

I had Cibie H4 bulb lights in another truck and never again. Low beam you could not tell were on and high was not any better than a holagen sealed light.
Dave ----
Dave G.
81 F100 flare side 300 six/T18 project
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1980-Ford-F100?page=1
81 F100 style side 300 six/SROD parts truck -RIP
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1981-Ford-F100
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Dave - See this post on the door patch.  And read up to see what Shaun said.

On the headlights, there are lots of different H4 bulbs and reflectors.  I've read and been told that the Hella E-codes are outstanding, so that's my plan.
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

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: Necessities List?

1986F150Six
The Hella DOT ones are quite good!
1986 F150 4.9L manual O.D. 3.08 Duraspark MSD ignition w/ no EGR
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

salans7
The very first thing should be to replace any and all flammable fluid lines. Seen way too many of these trucks go up in flames due to fuel or transmission leaks. My dad's own truck almost went up in flames once due to a transmission line leak.

Anybody who is on the 80-86 Bullnose Fords page on Facebook knows what I'm referring to.

Also, leaves in the blower motor housing.
-Shaun
1980/86/90 Ford F350 4x4 ENG?/NP435/D60-Sterling
2003 Ford Ranger V6/M5OD/8.8
"I didn't choose the bullnose life, the bullnose life chose me."
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

Ford F834
Administrator
In reply to this post by Angelo Voltura
Blend door/piano hinge repair... I like the early blend doors made of aluminum for this better than the plastic ones...

Firewall reinforcement is a good one... especially since Ford made a part for this known problem.

Borg Warner 1356 oil pump anchor (I know this isn’t Bullnose era... but many have 1356’s in their trucks).

Slide lock to pin lock is common for 80/81 owners, DSII is common for ~83-86 owners.

For 6.9 owners water separator bypass (or aftermarket substitute), glow plug controller manual control bypass (or 87+ glow plug system swap) and fuel filter head return line delete are all usually necessary to keep them starting reliably. Cowl seal maintenance is also extremely important to prevent hydrolock.

Other popular ones are 87-96 visors with center support, 85/86 plastic glove box liners, bricknose polka-dot cowl piece (or screen), and late style “J” wiper arms instead of post mounted blades.
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

1986F150Six
Good lists, Jonathan and all others!
1986 F150 4.9L manual O.D. 3.08 Duraspark MSD ignition w/ no EGR
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

Rembrant
In reply to this post by salans7
salans7 wrote
The very first thing should be to replace any and all flammable fluid lines. Seen way too many of these trucks go up in flames due to fuel or transmission leaks. My dad's own truck almost went up in flames once due to a transmission line leak.

Anybody who is on the 80-86 Bullnose Fords page on Facebook knows what I'm referring to.

Also, leaves in the blower motor housing.
Shaun gets a double thumbs up for this one. I follow the FB pages and I must say, I am surprised at how many of these trucks I have seen go up in the flames the past few years. I've also seen a few for sale on Craigslist that were sold due to a fire in the engine bay, and a couple local classics that caught fire.

Then again, I see a lot of pictures of loosely draped fuel lines and plastic fuel filters laying on engines...

In any case, I was worried enough about this I promptly marched out and bought a good quality fire extinguisher to put behind the seat. As matter of fact, I'm thinking of having two in there...one on each side of the cab.

So...carry a fire extinguisher with you (is a necessity for me).

And while we're on the topic of FB groups...if you follow them at all you'll also see how often guys have problems with starter solenoids. I'd say thats one of the first things to do on these trucks would be to install new power and ground cables (the big ones) and check/clean/tighten all grounds. All of them.

Then again...common upgrades would also include a 3G alternator and a PMGR starter. (My '84 is still rockin' the original 1G 40amp alternator and the original standard starter).

And an upgrade list would not be complete without both RedHead and BlueTop steering boxes.
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: Necessities List?

Ford F834
Administrator
Very excellent point gentlemen... and continue to watch your hoses as you go under the hood for oil changes etc., I replaced my fuel lines with by-the-foot Gates fuel hose just over two years ago and some are already starting to deteriorate. It does not seem to hold up like it used to. I, too, know FB friends who have lost their trucks to fire. Always carry at least one fire extinguisher and inspect it when you inspect the fuel lines. ☹️
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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

Ford F834
Administrator
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by 1986F150Six
1986F150Six wrote
Good lists, Jonathan and all others!
Thank you David. I did forget another important one for diesel owners... from 84 or 85 on, the fuel sending unit has a plastic suction foot on it known as the “shower head”. This likes to crack or break off causing it to suck air at about 1/4 tank.

This can be replaced, E5TZ-9J306-BA, but it was a poor design. Many owners simply cut a piece of fuel hose to reach the bottom of the tank. You will want to cut a V notch in it to prevent it from sucking against the bottom of the tank and blocking fuel flow. A brass T or 90 fitting at the bottom will accomplish the same thing.

A fuel sock to filter debris is a good idea, but depending on the mesh size and your climate it can lead to clogging with gelled fuel in the winter. Gas application sending units can have that problem also as the pore size is smaller.

And speaking of debris, if the shower head breaks off and rolls around in the tank it eventually disintegrates into plastic bits which clog and jam the fuel tank selector or passages in the fuel filter head unit. It is a good idea to drop the tank and look inside. Of course it will be heavy because you cannot run it below 1/4 without sucking air, so be prepared to safely lower 5 gallons or more of sloshing diesel.

If your shower head is disintegrated and you need to cut a piece of hose, the original shower head length is 3.25” 🙂. Use 3/8” ID diesel rated rubber fuel hose (or better yet  nylon). If you are trying to adjust it to nearly touch the bottom, you can remove the tank vent and shine a flashlight inside to see the pick up hose tip. Hopefully this will help someone.

https://www.amazon.com/Ford-E5TZ-9J306-BA-Fuel-Pump-Strainer/dp/B0042HBSYE




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
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

Gary Lewis
Administrator
That's really a good tip, Jonathan!  
Gary, AKA "Gary fellow": Profile

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: Necessities List?

TheScatch
Each one of these items should be pinned in the top of a post and linked to a thread showing how to do it. If we don't have a post showing how to do it, maybe we get someone to volunteer to do one. Doing the relay and headlight stuff will be on my list of stuff to do.

I converted my headlights to LED and time will tell but they are pretty dang bright.

I also have to replace my brake and fuel lines but I have the straightener, bender and inline flare tool so I'm planning on doing it myself vs buying pre-made.

I think a MUST do, if you have a vinyl floor, is take it OUT they are detrimental and hold water. Then when you get that all sorted (even if you don't have this floor), the next thing I would call a must do is to wet seal all your fasteners that go through your floor, and all the body plugs. These are not water tight and the water weeps up the rocker panel screws, and seat bolts, and sits in the lip of body plugs, especially in the door frame by the hinges seal those all up.

Another good Mod is the replacing the cowl vent(if that's the right term) from the bullnose with the brick nose+ as it keeps out debris better.
1986 F-150|Standard Cab|4x2|300Six|C6Transmission w/3.08 rear|Name:TBD
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

Angelo Voltura
Excellent work guys, I agree with the point of common upgrades would be a better title.

The list I provided in the OP was meant to be elaborated on but just a general idea of the direction to go.

Keep it coming, I will update as I get more free time.
1979 F150 "406M"
1985 F250 (Dads) 351W
1995 F150 (1985 clip swapped) 300
1997 F250 HD 351W
Reply | Threaded
Open this post in threaded view
|

Re: Necessities List?

Rembrant
In reply to this post by TheScatch
TheScatch wrote
I also have to replace my brake and fuel lines but I have the straightener, bender and inline flare tool so I'm planning on doing it myself vs buying pre-made.
I bought my brake line by the roll and ran all new lines in the truck. It's not bad and if you take your time you can bend it all so that it looks factory. If/when you do this, an upgrade to consider is swapping in one of the later aluminum master cylinders from an '87-up truck. If you were redoing brake lines it would be the best time to do it.
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.