The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

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The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Dorsai
This post was updated on .
OK, maybe 'build thread' is too generous of a term for this, it will likely be more of a repair and maintenance thread.  But it will serve as a place for me to document and discuss what I'm doing, and hopefully receive some helpful input from the rest of you.  The occasional non-helpful input is fine, too.

First, our patient:


This is my 1980 F-150 Custom.  As far as I can tell the only factory option on it is the C6 transmission, otherwise it's the most basic truck to ever roll out of Kansas City.  My grandfather bought it new in April of 1980 from Don Thornton Ford in Tulsa OK, and it was the last truck he owned until he passed away in 2000.  In 2010 it came to me for $600 and promises that as long as my grandmother is alive I will (a) not sell it, and (b) keep it roadworthy.  She's 94 and going strong, but the fact of the matter is I like the truck too much to get rid of it in any case.

It was in pretty rough shape when I got it, although thanks to the efforts of my dad and brother (both professional mechanics of one stripe or another) it was running.  I've caught up on a lot of maintenance since then, and it runs pretty well today.  I haven't done some of the big items, though, because I need assistance, and my helper wasn't quite ready for the big jobs when I got the truck:



Dominic did keep that F-150 badge shiny, though.  And now, after feeding him daily for nearly 14 years, my plan has come to fruition:



Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

FuzzFace2
Matthew, nice looking truck. I love a stock looking truck as you don't see many around now days.
Is it a long or short bed truck?
Check out that door panel! Did you replace it or is that how you got the truck?
I also see the truck has AC that would be an option no?
What motor does your truck have? Think the 300 was bottom line.

My 81 F100 was also a custom, I don't know what was options back then but mine only had power steering, flare side, gauges and maybe the granny low 4 speed trany and that was it.

I added a little "custom" to the custom by adding AC (firewall swap), power brakes, duel fuel tanks - never an option on flare sides (all from a Ranger style side parts truck), fog / driving lights in the front bumper and the front & rear bumpers do not show bumper bolts.

So what do you have planed?
Dave ----
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
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1981-Ford-F100
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Gary Lewis
Administrator
In reply to this post by Dorsai
Matthew - It sure looks good!  And Dominic sure is growing.  

Hope you and he get to come back to the truck's old stomping grounds for a show one of these days.  Does grandma still live here?  I'm sure she'd like to see the truck.
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: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Dorsai
In reply to this post by FuzzFace2
Dave - Thanks for the kind words.  My goal is to keep it as close to original as possible - believe it or not, I actually agonized for a bit as to whether I should add a cigarette lighter socket to it or not (I eventually did).  I'm replacing the vinyl flooring soon, getting the seat redone, and next year (hopefully) repainting it the exact same color it is now.

This truck was my grandfather's cattle-hauling truck, so it's a longbed.  I could have had his stock rack as well when I got the truck, but I passed on that - I'm not sure the HOA could have overlooked it.   I replaced the door panels a year or two ago - they're both LMC panels that I've been happy with.  The dash pad is also a replacement - I bought it from a guy online and it's off an '81, so it's starting to show deterioration around the speaker grille.  I'm not sure what to do about that.  

It does have A/C, but it's dealer air - so with the 300 in there it was definitely a stripper coming out of the factory.  My grandfather had a bad leg (his horse fell on him back in the 1930s), and this was the only time he broke down and paid for an automatic transmission; I was 10 when he bought it, and I remember thinking it was the smoothest, quietest truck I'd ever been in.

Gary - It's crazy, isn't it?  You keep feeding them, and they keep getting bigger.  He's taller than my wife now...a realization she did NOT take well.

If all goes well I'll be driving it back to its old stomping grounds for the show in September, although it will be just me; Dominic will of course be in school at that time.  My grandmother lives here in GA now (my parents built her a little house about a mile down the road from them), so I make a point of driving the truck down when I visit.  She smiles, asks me where I got that beat up old truck (she knows, of course), and we laugh.
 
Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

grumpin
Nice truck! And a great story behind it!
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: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Dorsai
This post was updated on .
In reply to this post by Dorsai
So...why is that kid holding a breaker bar, anyway?  I'm glad you asked!

It's time to complete the cabin refresh.  In years past I've replaced the dash pad, touched up the instrument needles, repainted the silver trim on the instrument panel, replaced the door panels, and redone the weather stripping.  

First up, getting the seat reupholstered:



The seat was trashed when I got it, and it's been going downhill ever since.  The nice folks at SMS Auto Fabrics have a very close match for the original vinyl, so I've got a couple yards on order and a guy lined up to do the work for me.  

Since the seat is coming out anyway, why not do the floor as well?



This is the original poverty-spec vinyl flooring.  It doesn't look too terrible in this picture, but in person it's brittle, torn, and discolored.  Thanks to Stock Interiors, I was able to find a good molded vinyl replacement that not only is thicker than the original, but nicely grained as well.  Plus it will reach all the way to the back of the cab, instead of barely under the seat as the original did.

Of course, the seat has to come out first...which is where the kid with the breaker bar comes in.  After proper application of both PB Blaster and fresh teenage muscle, the seat bracket bolts as well as the seat belt bolts were gone, and we were able to lift the seat out:



A cornucopia of filth dating back to the Carter administration!  The oldest identifiable bit of trash was a pocket calendar from 1986, but what I assume to be my grandfather's hubcap poppin' screwdriver (not pictured) looks like it dates to the Dust Bowl.  I can't blame it all on him, of course - those bottle caps are mine, as were the 51 cents in change and receipts from Home Depot.  I'm allocating credit for the dessicated french fries to Dominic, however.

With the seat out of the way, removing the vinyl flooring and jute was easy - it was so brittle that it just pulled out in big chunks.  That's when the big reveal occurred:



Yep...rust.  I suspected this would be the case, but I hate to see it; aside from some surface corrosion on the bed and tailgate, the truck is largely rust free.  But the weatherstripping on the doors was really bad before I replaced it, and I still have a cowl leak that is on the to-do list, so it's not surprising that enough water had gotten under the floor to cause problems.

Fortunately, I think I've gotten to it in time; it's real rust that will eat through if not stopped, but for now the floors are solid.  I was under the truck a few months ago dropping the gas tank, and while I was down there I looked at the underside of the cab - no problems that I could see.  

At this point dinner was ready, so that's where we broke off for the evening.  Much more to come, stay tuned.
Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Gary Lewis
Administrator
I'm tuned in, keep 'em coming!

On the pics, no.  This forum's software, nor many forum's software for that matter, doesn't have the smarts to read the metadata in the picture file and rotate it.  So you have to do that externally.  Open the pic in some pic-editing software and then save it and that might do it.  It usually does for me, but sometimes I have to try several times to get it right.  

What's the plan for the rust?  Something like POR15 would kill it, once you get the loose stuff out.  It bonds TIGHT to rust and cuts off the oxygen flow so it can't continue to rust.

PB Blaster - I smelled like it when I came in this evening.  Been using lots of it on the '95 front clip.  
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: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Dorsai
The problem, though, is that the pictures are correct on my computer; I intentionally took the photos in portrait mode.  I'm guessing the forum software is irrationally biased against portrait, and rotates any photo that is taller than it is wide.  Or are you saying that if I open and resave those photos, the forum may then keep them in portrait mode, unrotated?

Anyway, back to the truck.  I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do with the floor, that's where some of that input I mentioned in my first post would come in handy.  Here's my high-level plan, I'd love some feedback on it:

1.  Vacuum, wash, scrub, scrape, etc all the crud off of the floor, until it's down to the painted metal.
2.  Wire wheel the rusty area, until it's as rust-free as reasonably possible.
3.  POR15 the whole cab floor.  Is there any downside to this?

Here is where I start questioning things...

4.  Put down butyl sound deadener on top of the POR15.  I've got some GTMat on order - I used it inside my doors when I redid the interior panels, and it seems to have held up just fine.
5.  I also have some jute-like padding, to go on top of the GTMat.  
6.  And finally, the new flooring.

Is this all too much, though?  POR15, 80mil butyl sheeting, padding, and then a thicker-than-stock vinyl floor.  Seems like a lot, but it also seems necessary.  Plus my truck is somewhat loud inside, so I could use all the noise reduction I can get.

Speaking of noise...one thing I discovered today is that there are (manufactured) holes in my cab floor.  You can see two of them in the middle of the third picture above, and there is one more in each of the rear cab corners.  Do these holes have a purpose, and if not are plugs available for them?  The new flooring will cover up two of them anyway, but I'd sure like to seal those corner holes if there's no good reason not to.

Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Gary Lewis
Administrator
The computer's software reads the metadata and knows you took it in portrait mode.  The forum doesn't.  So save it after opening it on the computer and then post that pic and see what happens.

POR, and all similar paints, stick to rust like there's no tomorrow.  So you don't really want to wire brush down to bare metal as it won't stick to that as well.  But you do want the floor CLEAN.  So you do have to wire brush some to ensure that all loose rust is removed.

If the rest of the floor's paint is good then there's no real advantage of POR'ing it.  But it won't hurt anything either.  And, since you are going to cover the POR there's no reason to top-coat it.  Just put a heavy coat on and let it set up.  (They say to always put two coats on, but if you go really heavy that should do it.  And going back over POR with another coat isn't that easy as it is hard to tell where you've painted.)

Your plan is good as it is providing sound treatment in three forms:

Mass Loading: The GTmat you are talking about is heavy, so loads the floor, thereby lowering the resonant frequency.  And since most road noise is at a high frequency, that's a good thing.

Absorption & Decoupling: The jute absorbs the sound.  And, it effectively decouples whatever is on top of it from the floor itself.  So when the floor vibrates the jute doesn't transmit that to the next layer.

Flexible Layer: The heavy vinyl on top of the jute is isolated from the floor by the jute, so doesn't vibrate when the floor does.  And the fact that it goes all the way back is even better as it helps to stop sound from the back portion of the floor.

Yes, it is all necessary.

On the holes, there are rubber/plastic plugs.  But I don't have part numbers on the site.  Let me see what I can do.....
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: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Dorsai
OK, that's worth a try:

EDIT: Yep, that did it!

Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

FuzzFace2
At first I thought that seat was mine

I have since replaced it from my parts truck that has a little rip on the drivers side.

No money to do it the (right) way you did it at this time.

I did not know dealer AC also had vents in the dash like factory AC did.
I took all the AC parts from the parts truck, even the firewall, and installed it in my truck.

Gary is right on the POR15 sticking to rust but I don't know how well it will stick to the painted areas.
I have used Eastwood's encapsultor and it goes not stick well to smooth surface like bare metal or painted areas. I would hit it with a hand wire brush, do a good cleaning and coat the rust areas and leave the rest.

My rust was so bad I had to replace the floors and more, treated the rust, seam sealed edges then 2 coats of brush on bed liner top & bottom. I plan on going with carpet & padding and then floor mats.
The rubber mat is nice for a work truck but those days are over for this truck.
I may add mats to the inside of the doors for noise like you did but I am up in the air on that at this time.

Nice job so far keep it up
Dave ----
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
http://cars.grantskingdom1.com/index.php/1981-Ford-F100
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Dorsai
I imagine sooner or later, all those red vinyl seats begin to look alike.

I may go ahead and just POR15 the rusty area and call it good...besides being less work, I understand that stuff is expensive - although I haven't priced it out just yet.  The channels under the door sills will probably get it too; they look suspicious, although at this point I can't tell whether it's rust or just decades of accumulated dirt.  
Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Gary Lewis
Administrator
POR15 goes a really long ways.  A pint will be way more than you need.

But heed the instructions.  Use a paint can opener to open the can as it is easy to deform the can w/a screwdriver and then it won't seal.  Do NOT paint out of the can.  Pour a little bit into another container and then cap the can ASAP, but gently or the can folds.  BUT, put wax paper or cling film between the cap and the can as ANY little bit of POR in the groove will glue the lid to the can otherwise, and it is really hard to mix it in the can w/o getting some in the groove.

And don't use a foam brush as it'll eat the brush.  And don't put it in a styrofoam cup as it'll eat right through.  Even many plastic cups will get soft.  But the paint cups that you can get at Lowes or Home Depot stand up to it well.

Don't ask.  I've done all of those things - and more.  
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: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Dorsai
This post was updated on .
Dominic, being smarter than the average bear, had the foresight to schedule his first week of summer camp with the Boy Scouts for the very week that I am feeling motivated to do truck work...how he pulled that off I have no idea.  So after dropping him and three other scouts off in Covington, I decided to make some more progress on the truck.

After applying a leaf blower, putty knife, wire brush, sponge and soapy water, the garden hose, and then the leaf blower again, I ended up with this:



This really isn't bad at all, especially as compared to some of the cabs I've seen people try to salvage.  The driver's footwell rust isn't even that terrible:



The darker spots are where the water hadn't quite dried yet.  The cancer is only just getting started, the metal is still strong and solid.  I got my first good look at the passenger side today, however, and the same thing is beginning there:



The door channels are starting to rust as well, although again, not too badly.  So I think what's going to happen is that the footwells and door channels are going to get the POR15, as will the area around the rear mounting holes for the bench seat and the seat belts, which is showing a few very small patches of rust.  Any other bare spots will get rattle-canned with some Candy Apple Red I have laying around and called good.

Gary, thanks for the tips on the POR15 - I ordered it this morning, I'm glad going with the pint was the correct choice.  It'll arrive tomorrow or Tuesday, and then hopefully by the end of the week I'll have it in the truck.
Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

grumpin
Cleaned up nice!

"Dang Panky dat pretty!"
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: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Gary Lewis
Administrator
In reply to this post by Dorsai
You'll have plenty of paint to do all of that.

Another tip - plastic/rubber gloves!  Whatever gets on you will wear off in a few weeks.  

And you can clean things up with lacquer thinner.  But you probably won't get it all out of the brush, so use a cheap brush and throw it away.  

I've been successful pouring less than I think I need into one of those paint cups from the hardware store, painting the first coat out of that, placing the brush in it and covering it with Press & Seal, and then coming back later for the 2nd coat.  And I always have paint left over from what I poured out - it goes a looooooong way.

Edit: And you can coat the POR with the rattle can paint as long as the POR is still not hard.
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: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Dorsai
In reply to this post by Dorsai
While I'm waiting for my various orders to arrive, I've been daydreaming/thinking ahead to the time when I get the truck repainted.  One of the things that has to happen is that the pinstriping needs to be reapplied; sure, it's just cheap (and poorly-applied) dealer striping, but it's part of the truck's character.  A straight red truck would never look right to me.



If you squint, you may be able to tell that there are four widths of pinstriping tape used - 3/4", 1/2", 1/8", and 1/16".  It looks like they're all available (the two narrow widths in a single double-stripe tape, even) from Custom Auto Trim.  My question is, how hard is this stuff to apply?  I'm not too worried about the long straight body line, but that curve around the wheel well, as well as around the front of the fender, has me concerned.  Is this something I can reasonably expect to do myself?  Or will I need to pay to have it done right?

Just for fun...why do I say the pinstriping was poorly applied?  Look closely at this (dark - sorry, it's night here) picture of the dealer badge on my tailgate:



See the curved scratches to the left and right of the badge?  Those are knife marks left by the mouth-breather who applied the tape.  I suspect that same idiot was responsible for the rest of the dealer prep on my truck, as I've discovered crimes of similar magnitude elsewhere.  Thanks, Don!
Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Gary Lewis
Administrator
I don't know how hard the pin striping is to apply, but I'm going to guess that having it done would be best.  And, I'll bet that a pro will put the stripes on with paint instead of tape.

As for Don Thornton, he no longer sells Fords.  Perhaps because of what you've seen?  He now sells Audi, Caddy, Jag, Land Rover, Lexus, and VW.  
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: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Dorsai
Yeah, I'm going to ask whoever I end up getting the paint done by what they think of painted-on stripes.  I suspect it will cost more than I'm willing to pay, but it never hurts to ask.

I knew Don was out of the Ford business...I remember my grandmother complaining about it when she went to buy a new car and he was gone.  I don't think she knew about the tailgate, though.

Speaking of which...I just had an idea.  I have a new tailgate arriving in the mail; it would be funny to pitch my old one through the front window of his Lexus dealership when I'm out there, with a note explaining why.  I bet that would get a minute or two on the KOTV evening news.

Disclaimer: tailgate enfenestration is a crime, and should not be performed by anyone.
Matthew
1980 F-150 Custom 2wd longbed, 300-6, C6, 2.75 rear axle
Atlanta GA
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Re: The Truck of Doom: An Occasional Build Thread

Gary Lewis
Administrator
Dorsai wrote
Disclaimer: tailgate enfenestration is a crime, and should not be performed by anyone.
Ooooh, there's a new word for me!

Defenestration (countable and uncountable, plural defenestrations)

The act of throwing something or someone out of a window. [from c. 17th c.]
(Britain) The high-profile removal of a person from an organization.
(computing, humorous) The act of removing the Microsoft Windows operating system from a computer in order to install an alternative one.
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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