Pure RPG

Games, cars, life.

Air Bags

One of the nice things the truck came with is a pair of load leveler air bags.  I’ve hauled a couple yards of gravel in the rig, and the first loads I totally forgot about the air bags and wallowed all over the place on the way home.  The third trip, I got a yard and a half, pumped up the tires to max load pressure and inflated the air bags.  Here’s a pic of the truck, with the bed filled up with rock, sittin pretty.  The big 400 had no problem movin this down the road either.

Full load of rock with air bags up.

Before. Because I keep forgetting.

Alternator and Bracket

Alternator and Bracket


Master Cylinder and Booster


Left Side with heater hoses.


Custom radiator with transmission cooler.


Edelbrock Carb


Top Right CID 400


Top left during power steering project.


Top right during Power steering project.

One thing I haven’t been doing a very good job of, is taking before pics.  I keep getting in a fixit mode, then making a change, then when I’m ready to blog about it, I realize I took no pics of what it looked like before I fixed it up.  So, here’s a few shots of a very dirty engine, before and during the power steering project that I’ll put up in a bit.

New Project: TRUCK

78 Ford F250 4x4 400ci C6.

78 Ford F250 4×4 400ci C6.

So, I bought a truck. I was tired of constantly having to hook up the utility trailer, always in the rain, just to take a trip to the dump or the gravel store. So, I went looking for an oldie but goodie.

I decided early on in the search that what I really wanted was to relive my glory days a truck like the ones I had growing up, that I could actually work on. The thought was I’ve always wanted to restore something, and I have the shop and all the tools to do it, so why not get a rig that is solid, but rough, and smooth the rough edges.
Specifically what I was looking for was anything in the 1969-1978 range, preferably 2wd and a 390. Well, I looked a bunch, and I found several, but all of them had some serious rust issues, or motor challenges, or they had some steering issues possibly related to accidents… Anyway after a while I came along this 78 4×4. It didn’t have the engine I wanted, and it was 4wd instead of 2wd, but it is straight, clean, and looks like a mechanic has taken care of it. (Which I discovered later was the case…). It’s a great starting point for a restore, drives good, pulls strong, and so far I haven’t found anything that scares the heck out of me.

It’s got some of the usual minor mechanical issues, the auto shift linkage is a little sloppy, the power steering pump was on its last leg, and the master brake cylinder needs a new gasket and has a slow seep. So far not enough to use any brake fluid in 2 weeks, but you can see the drip.

400 cid engine,

400 cid engine,

Body wise, there’s no structural rust. There’s some surface rust on the hood and the upper doors, typical for this year of Ford due to the crappy paint, but that’s easily sandblasted and primered. I’ll probably decide what i’m going to do for paint here in the next few weeks so I can choose the right primer then hit it with my hopper blaster and shoot some quick coats of primer on it to stop the rust progression.

I broke down and bought one of those Harbor Freight sandblaster enclosures, the big shiny red one. I’ll make another post for that with some pics, but so far it’s working great. I’ve been blasting every part I take off, and hitting it with frame anti rust paint. I figure if I take this thing apart one piece at a time, sandblast it, paint it, and reassemble, I should be done with the project by Christmas of 2023.

One absolutely awesome thing I didn’t really think about until I started working on this thing. Every vehicle I have ever had before was my daily driver. That meant to do any work on it, I had to have another ride to go for parts, and ultimately had to have it reassembled and working by the next morning or the end of the weekend so I could get to work. For this thing, I can leave it disassembled while paint dries, or whatever, and there is no panicked rush to get it done so I can work on it and take my time to do it right. you have no idea what a relief that is.

78 Ford Ranger F250 4x4

78 Ford Ranger F250 4×4

Take a look at the harmonic balancer in the engine pic. That’s what the steering pump and the fan and pullies looked like on this thing. I need to get better at taking before pics, I keep pulling off parts and fixing stuff, then taking pics of the fixed stuff with no before/after context. I guess I’ll work on that. 🙂

Some of the custom stuff that was already done to this:

  • HID projector lights.
    Custom tube grill
    Edelbrock Manifold
    Edlebrock Chrome carb (still working on model)
    Headers and Dual 2.5″ exhaust with glass packs
    Custom aluminum radiator with transmission cooler
    LED interior lighting

Some purists probably are shuddering at the thought of non-Ford parts but when I say I want to restore it, I really have no interest on this truck in trying to go full stock. Rather, what I’d like to accomplish is to get it completely roadworthy, and tricked out in the way I would have dome my old ’72 Ford or my dad’s ’76 if I had the money back then. And it still needs to be a functional truck because there will always be gravel to haul and trash to take to the dump. Stay tuned, I’ll update in smaller chunks as the project progresses.

Dual 2.5" exhaust.  Scares environmentalists, and Prius drivers.

Dual 2.5″ exhaust. Scares environmentalists, and Prius drivers.

Tube grill and HID's

Tube grill and HID’s