I figure it's important that I have a gameplan for all the important lessons I need to pass on to my boys so here is where I will post it for posterity. If you have any suggestions for things I may have forgotten, please comment.
Things to teach my boys:
So I finally got a chance to get back out to the shop & do some more work on my truck last night. I've spent the last few nights helping a friend with a Subaru head gasket job but last night I got a solid 6 hours to work on my F-100 & I managed to accomplish alot. I didn't get as much done as I would have hoped but that's par for the course when it comes to working on a project like this it seems.
The first thing I got done was to install the Lokar Kick-down & throttle cables I bought from Summit Racing. I bought the longest kick-down (aka T.V. cable) they had at 72" but even that wasn't long enough for my original setup.
The transmission shift lever was on top originally which would have put the TV cable lever on the bottom. That meant I would have to run it towards the back of the truck & then re-route it forward towards the throttle body. Well that wasn't going to reach so I had to flip the shift lever down so I could put the T.V. cable lever on the top. This took way longer than I thought it would because I had to remove the transmission pan to get to the bolt that holds the shift lever in place. In order to flip the lever you have to pull a pin inside the pan that holds it in place & mine was too short to grab w/pliers. Not to pat myself on the back too much but I came up with a clever solution. I took the smallest drill bit I had & I turned it into the center of the pin just enough to grab it.I was then able to pull the pin with ease. Sadly, it took me over an hour to be struck by that lightning bolt of brilliance. Once I figured that out I was able to get it installed pretty quickly & route it up to the intake.
I also got my Lokar throttle cable installed last night. It's only a 24" throttle cable which isn't ideally long enough but I made it work as it is by running it under the intake and back towards the gas pedal. I still have to fabricate a bracket for both cables to attach to in order to hold them in place but that shouldn't take too long.
After spending a solid 5 hours working on getting my 2 cables routed & installed, I realized I still needed to bend & cut my brake lines so I could install those before the brake line tool kit had to get returned to my friend's shop. I've never routed brake lines before & while I'm satisfied with how they turned out, I'm not completely stoked on how I chose to route them. I basically ran them straight from the master cylinder down to the junction on the frame. It will definitely get the job done for now but some day I may decide to re-do them so that they look better & are a little more out of the way.
All-in-all, it was a very productive night out at the shop. I hadn't planned on staying until 12:30 am working on it but I have a tendency to get hyper focused on a project & I hate to leave it unfinished. At this point, I'm very close to having a road worthy truck. I picked up my driveshaft yesterday but I won't install it until I get the DJM Suspension shackles & hangers installed in the rear. I still need to come up with a solution for my column shifter linkage. I ordered 2 Thrush Turbo Mufflers so I still need to get a dual exhaust system installed, replace the shocks & I need to get some tires. Other than that I'm down to just a few minor details to button up with regards to the wiring & I'll have "Petunia" on the road. I can't wait to take her for her 1st test drive.
I got a chance to spend some time out at the shop today & I made some good progress towards getting "Petunia" on the road again. The truck is now named Petunia because my wife kept saying patina wrong when describing the paint job. Today I was able to get the toolbox (aka fuel tank cover) properly mounted in the bed which made me very happy.
I also got quite a bit of the wiring buttoned up today. I still have to get the gauges hooked up, mount the computer & fuse block as well as button up the wiring for the fuel tank. Because the computer is going to stay in the engine bay, I've got to come up with an insulated/waterproof box for the computer.
That being said, I'm much closer now then I have ever been. Tomorrow I'm going to order a few parts & take the 2 piece drive shaft to the shop so it can get new u-joints, carrier bearing & balanced. I think there's a good chance I could have Peunia on the road in the next couple of weeks.
If you follow me on Facebook then you know that I haven't been doing any Project "RRST" updates because I managed to break the screen on my phone last week. That meant that I couldn't take any pics or post the pics I had already taken. Now that my phone is finally fixed, it's time to catch everyone up.
Since my last update, I've actually made some major steps towards my goal of having this truck on the road by New Year's Day. The first major step I made was getting the fuel tank installed & new fuel lines run. I mounted the fuel tank in the bed behind the cab & attached it to the bed via custom made mounting brackets. I also ran the wiring thru a factory hole in the bed on the passenger side.
I ran the fuel lines thru a factory hole in the bed on the driver side & attached them to the underside the bed before running them thru holes in the frame rails & attaching them to the inside.
I also found a truck bed toolbox with the perfect "patina" to act as a cover for my bed mounted fuel tank. I can't wait to get the bottom of this thing chopped off so I can mount it over the fuel tank.
After getting the fuel system completed, I focused my attention on getting the front clip back together. I got the radiator mounted, mounted the stock airbox using the F-100 battery brackets, mounted the battery tray on the driverside fender, as well as hooked up the power steering & transmission cooler lines (which are run to an external cooler in front of the radiator). I still have to mount an electric fan from a Ford Taurus (which I got for free from a friend).
After I finished getting the front of the truck back together it was time to tackle the wiring harness. As you can see from the photo below, there is some chaos going on but after a couple of hours we got everything temporarily wired.
The F-100 cranks & it's trying to fire up but it just won't quite run on it's own yet. We haven't quite got the timing right but we know we're getting fuel & spark so it's just a matter of some diagnosing. Once we get the truck to run on it's own, I'll be very close to making it road worthy.
To Do List:
Today was a really productive day at the shop. I got the transmission crossmember & mount installed which was surprisingly simple to do. I did have to take a few measurements to make sure I got the transmission "centered" between the frame rails but after less than an hour the transmission was mounted.
Once I got the transmission mounted, it was time for a parts run. I picked up the radiator hoses, a new thermostat (with housing) & fuel lines for the fuel pump assembly. Fortunately O'Reilly had everything I needed so I didn't have to wait for anything.
Once I got back to the shop I mocked up the coolant system. I'm still waiting on the front clip bushings to come in from LMC before I install the coolant system but I did mock it up to make sure I'll have room for an electric fan.
Once that was done, Michael had some time to help me work on the wiring so we started tackling that obstacle. It's definitely going to be a challenge but we got most of it lined out so once we get it finalized I can get the wiring all tidied up. I still have a few questions I have to work out. I took tomorrow off work as well so I've got some time to get the fuel system completed which will get me 1 step closer.
I plan on mounting the fuel tank, running the fuel lines & putting the front clip back on the truck. I have to make a run to Pick N Pull in the morning to grab a few parts but that shouldn't take too long.
I spent some time up at the shop today & while it was another day where I didn't accomplish a whole lot, I did manage to make another big step towards completion. About the only thing I really accomplished today was getting my front clip primed & painted. That gets me one step closer to getting the front of this truck back together.
Now that the upper intake is rotated, I started working on fabricating a mount for the airbox. It's going to require an additional piece of hose but I'm planning on using the stock F-100 battery box as the brackets to hold the airbox. Hopefully that will get done this week. I did get the fuel tank prepped with a product called Red Kote that I got from O'Reilly Auto Parts. I only bought a quart (although I probably needed 2 quarts) but since only part of the tank is rusted, I think I'll be in good shape because I made sure the rusty parts were properly coated. That stuff has a very strong chemical smell & it's really thick but I've been told it'll work really well. Since I have to wait 24 hours for the tank to dry, I won't get the fuel pump assembly installed until tomorrow. I'm also going to get the fuel lines run tomorrow as well.
The major step forward that I took today was that I finally got the truck up on the lift. This is good because now I can work on getting the transmission crossmember & mount installed.
I bought a standard 5.5" AOD transmission mount which should work great once I get the crossmember bolted into place. I'm going to have to drill a hole in each frame rail to bolt in the crossmember & then drill 2 holes in the crossmember itself for the mount.
I did get a nice surprise when I got home from the shop today. When I bought the truck, I forgot to make sure I got the key from the previous owner. I discovered that I didn't have it so I called him to see if he could mail it to me. He told me he wasn't sure which one it was because he had a huge coffee can full of keys. I decided to pull the ignition switch out of the truck & mailed it to him so he could run thru a little trial & error. To my surprise, it was waiting the in the mailbox when I got home today. I'm pretty excited that I now have a key & soon I'll have a running truck to go along with my Ford key.
Tomorrow's going to be a long day at the shop but with Michael's help, I'm hoping to get the engine wired & possibly running. Stay tuned.
Today I was able to spend some time working on my F-100 project & while I didn't get nearly as much accomplished as I had hoped, I did overcome another major obstacle. Originally, I didn't think rotating the upper intake 180 degress was going to be that big an issue but surprisingly enough it was. As I've mentioned before, the stock fuel rail from the donor 1990 Lincoln Town Car has a fuel pressure regulator on the driver side which means the upper intake would sit on top of it when rotated. I came up with a few solutions to this problem & thanks to some advice I got from the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forums, today I discovered a solution that worked. The winning solution was to find a fuel rail from a late 90s model 5.0L Ford Explorer because that fuel rail has the FPR on the passenger side. As you can see from the picture below, the Explorer fuel rail doubles back around the backside of the intake & puts the FPR in a position that doesn't interfere with the upper intake.
Because of the fact that I'm placing the fuel tank in the bed, having the fuel lines run down the back of the engine on the driver side makes the Explorer fuel rail a perfect solution for my build. I'm planning on running the fuel lines from the bed along the frame rail, up the firewall to the backside of the intake.
While I may not have been able to accomplish everything I wanted to accomplish today, I still managed to make significant progress in my project thanks to my awesome neighbor. He's a really amazing welder & on his day off, he did me a huge favor & finished fabricating the radiator mounts for my front clip. In my last post, I showed the work he did on the lower mounts & below you can see the work he did on the upper mounts to complete the job.
After I got the intake situation resolved, I turned my attention to flushing & cleaning out the radiator so that it will be ready for final assembly of the front clip. I ordered a set of radiator mount bushings from LMC Truck (which will arrive Monday) so now all I need to do is primer & paint the front clip. Once I get the front clip reinstalled, I can focus my attention on mounting the used electric fan & transmission fluid cooler.
The fuel system is going to be the focus of my next stint at the shop. My new fuel pump assembly came in today & the new fuel lines will be at the shop tomorrow. I've got a few "honey-do" things to take care of during the day tomorrow but I should get to fabricate some brackets for mounting the fuel tank, coat the inside of the rusted fuel tank & run the fuel lines by the end of the day Sunday. With the fuel system close to completion & the fact that Michael is going to help me tackle the wiring harness on Sunday, there's a chance we could get the truck fired up by the end of the weekend.
I'll post another update Sunday evening.
Progress on my 1969 F-100 got off to a feverish start due to the fact that I was on vacation last week but obviously life has forced me to go back to work so things have slowed down a little bit. That's not to say that I've stopped making progress all together though. Since my last update, there have been some major steps forward & the first was overcoming another major obstacle. After I got the engine & engine bay area cleaned, I stabbed the tranny & engine back into the truck.
While this may seem like it was a major step forward, that progress was offset by the huge step back the project took as I discovered that the engine wouldn't turn-over manually. As I may or may not have mentioned before, when I drained the oil, I discovered a significant amount of water in the oil pan. Not good. When I pulled the old spark plugs, I discovered a water fountain of water coming out of a cylinder. Not good again.
Obviously water got into the engine over the years of it sitting in a field so it seemed one of the piston/cylinders had rusted up. After putting a "persuasion bar" on the engine & putting all my weight on it (admittedly over 200 lbs.) I discovered that I still couldn't get the crank to turn. I turned to my mechanical genius friend Michael to help me find a solution. I was prepared to buy a new block w/piston, crank, etc. but Michael said, "Let me take a look at it first before you spend money on another engine." I'm so glad I did because now the engine spins freely. Michael hooked a battery up to the starter & after bump starting it for a solid 5 minutes, the crank finally spun freely.
Obviously there is still a rough spot in that back cylinder because of the rust so I filled the engine with oil & ATF to let it soak. I've been going by the shop every night after work to manually turn the engine over a dozen times & as of last night, it is turning over a lot smoother than it was the 1st night. This is a major victory in the battle of the 5.0L resurrection.
The next major step that has been made in Project "RRST" is the fabrication of radiator mounts. When I pulled the front clip off the truck I discovered some rather significant rust on the lower portion where it mounts to the frame. It rusted so bad that it actually separated the factory welds. I cleaned it up the best I could & began fabricating mounts for the Town Car radiator. The original plan was for Michael to do some patch welding on the rust spots & then weld the mounts that I cut out of an old bed frame to the front clip. Michael is a very busy man (essentially working 2 jobs) & not the most experienced welder in the world, so I turned to my neighbor (who'se an amazing welder & just so happend to be on vacation yesterday) to help with the radiator mounts. Not only did he weld the mounts I made to the front clip but he also did a spectacular job patching up the significant rust damage. As you can see in the pictures below, he had to grind away quite a bit of the old rusty metal before welding in a bunch of patch pieces. Then he ground it all smooth & painted it. He did such a good job that it looks like a factory job. I owe him big.
My neighbor is going to finish fabricating the upper radiator brackets on Friday after he gets home from work. I've got Friday off from work so I plan on installing the transmission mount & fabricating some brackets to attach the fuel tank securely to the bed. Hopefully (as long as the fuel pump assembly comes in this week) I'll be running fuel lines this weekend. Michael seems to think that there's a good chance we can get all the wiring issues figured out Sunday & potentially bring the heart of Project "RRST" to life. I've got my fingers crossed that we can hit that major milestone. The sooner this truck gets on the road, the happier I'll be. Mostly because I found out Monday morning that pregnant wife is actually having twins so I know my spare time is going to dwindle down to nothing in the coming months.
Stay tuned as I continue to make progress & update my website on the progress.
The last 2 days of work on my F-100 have not been the most efficient and/or productive days of work but I have managed to make some progress towards the end goal of getting the “Rat Rod Shop Truck” back on the road.
Day 3 started out with only one goal in mind & that was to fix the fiasco of a snapped off rusty intake bolt in the engine block. At the end of Day 2 I sprayed the rusty bolt down with PB Blaster so it could soak overnight. When I snapped a pair of vise-grips onto the bolt on day 3 it still wouldn’t budge. Fortunately the bolt that snapped was on the front end of the block so I applied a little heat with my propane torch & the pesky little bolt decided it was time to vacate the premises.
With that obstacle overcome, it was time to put the intake back on the engine. I wanted to turn the upper intake around so that the brake master cylinder wouldn’t get in the way of the air box hose. After much trial and error, I discovered that the fuel rail got in the way so I had to leave it the way it was.
Next on my to do list for the day; get the freshly painted brake master cylinder installed. After getting it in place, I’m inclined to add a little color to it by painting the reservoir cap but I’ll make that decision after I get the engine back under the hood.
My final accomplishment for Day 3was to get the exhaust manifolds sandblasted & painted. They look a lot better now that all the rust is gone.
Day 4 was a bit of short day because I got a later start then normal. I started the day off by giving the engine a quick once over with some brake cleaner & a little elbow grease. The engine may not look spotless but it definitely looks a lot better without all that dirt & oil all over it. That will also make it easier to diagnose any leaks that may occur after I get the engine running again. Because this engine has been sitting for quite a few years, I also poured a little oil into the top of the pistons to hopefully get the piston rings lubed up again. I finished my engine work by installing the clean looking exhaust manifolds. Now this engine is almost ready to go back in the truck after I run the new fuel lines.
In order to determine where the new fuel lines will be installed, I needed to make a decision on the placement of the fuel tank. Originally I planned on putting it under the bed behind the rear axle but after taking a few measurements I decided against it. To make it fit I’d either have to chop down the fuel tank from the donor Lincoln Town Car too much (leaving me a 12 gallon tank) or have a custom tank built (which is out of my budget). Since neither of those options was ideal, I decided to adopt the strategy of the previous owner & mount it in the bed. The solution I’ve come up with to hide the tank is to find an old truck bed toolbox & cut the bottom out of it so I can mount it over the tank. Now I just need to get a new fuel pump so I can determine how far away from the cab to mount the tank while still leaving room for the fuel lines. Because this is a LWB F-100, I should still have enough room to load up my dirt bike while still being able to close the tailgate.
My final goal for the day was to begin fabricating the custom mounts for the radiator. I took a few measurements & determined that I needed to notch the front clip support braces to make room for the radiator. I also used a scrap bed frame to start building a bracket to mount the lower portion of the radiator.
While I’m still a long way away from having this truck back on the road, I’ve definitely been able to make some real progress this week while on vacation. I’m hoping I can get the rest of the radiator mounts fabricated & installed before I go back to work. Since tomorrow is the day we’re celebrating Thanksgiving (because our friends went to the Cowboys game today) & this weekend I have to install the wood flooring in our office (a promise I made to the wife when I bought my truck) I don’t think I’ll be able to get back to the shop to work on the truck until Sunday night. This is definitely going to be a long project but I’ve made some real significant progress in the first week of my build.