So here goes my build thread...The before pictures:
First order of business is to get her standing on her own 4 wheels. There were some new axle bearings and seals in the cab, but I had to get some retainer plates. Meanwhile, I picked up some wheel cylinders and put the brakes together as best I could:
Got the retainer plates and pressed the bearings on, shoved the axles into place:
I didn't have the U-bolts for the rear U-joint, so she will have to move around the yard in 4wd for now:
Now she can move under her own power, and I can think about what to do next:
I hope to make a decent driver out of it. Next up I will see how well I can get it to run. Check everything out, I know absolutely nothing about the history of this thing. Go through the carb, get an earlier accelerator cable on there so it will fully cycle the throttle, get the choke working. Once I feel ok about the engine I will be able to see how well the transmission works. I have to remember to check and see if the axles have similar gears, I know that some bullnoses came with 9” rear ends, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t in ‘86. The 9” has 3.50’s so I hope the front will be 3.55 (I think that’s the closest I can hope for). Good news, I drove it across the yard and it didn’t act or sound funny. The right front spring appears to be weak or collapsed. Sorry to ramble, but maybe it will help to document my first impressions. Can’t even start thinking about the body and interior yet.
I got the rear driveshaft installed over the weekend, and started looking closer at the engine. Got rid of the drop base air filter that was sitting on the choke housing. I put a manual choke conversion kit on it, bent the “bracket” that the accelerator cable is anchored to with a hose clamp, into a shape that gives the cable a straighter pull on the throttle, and set about checking how the carburetor is adjusted. While doing these things, I realized that it has a TFI distributor. So I guess all the carb tuning in the world won’t get rid of the off-idle stumble. Awesome.
While doing these things, I realized that it has a TFI distributor. So I guess all the carb tuning in the world won’t get rid of the off-idle stumble. Awesome.
Yes sir...I guess the previous owner only did a partial EFI removal...
1984 F150 4X2 Flareside. Mild 302 w/GT40 heads, BBK headers, Holley 4bbl, Comp Cam, M5R2 5spd swap, Magnaflow full duals. Blotchy paint, original bare bones stripper.
2013 Volkswagen Golf TDI My new fuel sippin' mile-eater for work.
2015 Lexus IS250 AWD F-Sport Mrs. Rembrant's ride. Far too fancy for me. All I do is wash it for her.
It's really fitting that I got this truck in April, because it is full of Easter eggs. This time, I climbed underneath it to have a look around. Found the sagging passenger side to be caused by the pivot bushing. No biggie, added them to the list and moved on to clean the balancer and trace the timing marks with a Silver Streak Metal Marker:
That really makes those marks come alive under the timing light. It won't do me any good, though because there is no pointer. Put that on the list of things to get. I did take the time to advance the timing a little, since it's on lockdown with the TFI distributor, and ended up with easier starts and better running in general.
Started greasing everything, to see how many plugged fittings I have. One ball joint wasn't having it, and neither were the bushings at the rear of the radius arms, which I have determined are the extended arms from Tuff Country. Something seemed odd looking up at the engine, it took a minute to hit me, this thing has a front sump oil pan. it's pretty much sitting right on the crossmember. Hopefully that explains some of the vibration I've been noticing.
Pulled a valve cover in order to measure a pushrod, making sure this isn't a roller motor before I change the distributor. There was some gunk under there, but not enough to scare me. What does scare me is the thought of doing a compression check on this motor.
Got myself a Duraspark distributor, an HEI module, and a heat sink, and hooked all that to the TFI coil:
Built a timing pointer from an old banjo fitting and a tomato cage:
so now I have a working ignition system.
Bought an accelerator cable for an '82, had to make a new bracket to hold it in place:
Checked compression, all cylinders were between 150 and 175 psi. Good enough for any old 302 in my book. Plugs were sooty, but dry, so I guess I will keep moving forward.
I have found this 2150 to be completely shot. I thought I had a stash of parts for it, but they have disappeared at some point in the last 20 years. Weird. I really want to try a Quick fuel 450 4V, they seem like the ticket for a small V8. Maybe sometime before I pull the motor to change the oil pan and all the gaskets and seals, I can get my hands on a dual plane intake.
I figured the wrench was going to be a distributor wrench, but that throttle cable holder is cool.
The banjo fitting looks like it is from a Holley so that's good use of it.
But, are those connectors just crimped on the ignition system???
A distributor wrench would be a nice thing to have for this job.
IIRC, the banjo fitting was from a Cummins diesel. It worked very well, had to make a couple more bends after I took the picture. Put it on the same timing cover bolt that held the bottom smog pump bracket.
Yeah, everything's just crimp on connectors for now. Now that I know it works, I can add improving the wiring to the list.
I got the new accelerator cable installed. It did make a big difference, but the throttle shaft on this carb seems to be hanging up. It requires a good push to start moving, and when released, it hangs just a little shy of closing. I sprayed the ends of the shaft with PB Blaster, and that cured the failure to close, but not the difficult opening. It reminds me of a 1999 Chevy truck I had, that required the throttle body to be cleaned at every oil change.
The accelerator pump on the 2150 was another problem. It wasn't pushing the plunger all the way out, so I figured the spring might be broken. Upon pulling it apart I found The spring to be fine, but the diaphragm was in backwards. It was leaking a little gas from the vent hole, so I went in search of a new one. I went to several local parts stores with no luck, even at the one that had the choke conversion kit. I just knew they would have it, since that store is pretty much just a hangout for retired guys. But no luck there. My last resort was to stop by the local NAPA, and talk to that one guy, the one I have bought parts from since I was 16. He didn't have the exact same one, but he did have one I could make work. I had to bend the linkage a little to get it just right, but it works now, so I am happy with it.
Next up was the TTB pivot bushings. It wasn't fun, but it could have been worse. Once they were in, I basically centered the adjusters, and did a tape measure/eyeball alignment. I still have to address the ball joints, though.
I've been trying to fix a leak where the power steering pressure hose enters the gearbox. I have replaced the hose, because the old one looked bent. I figured it might have a crack in the flare that I couldn't see. When that didn't work, I pulled the brass seat out of the hole, and it had a small area that looked like it hadn't been making contact. I chucked the seat up in my drill, and with the help of a file and some sandpaper, gave it a new sealing surface. that didn't work, either. It did change things, though. Before this, it was leaking between the nut and the line. Now, it leaks around the threads of the fitting. I don't know what that means yet, but I will return once I have a chance to look into it again. While I've been working on the front end I have noticed that the frame is flexing terribly around the steering box.