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Old 07-04-2010, 08:23 PM   #1
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Thumbs up 1978 Ford f150 restoration

So, I decided upon purchasing a 1978 Ford F-150 4x4 pickup truck as a restoration project. Here's the game plan:
-7.3L IDI non-turbo diesel engine
-standard transmission
-Lift, lift, and more lift
-Possibly upgraded heavy duty suspension
-New box
-Possibly Dual gas tanks
-Dual chrome stacks
-Fog lights and air horns

Here's the truck right now. Cab's in fair enough shape, the frame is excellent.
Came with a few spare parts, including a white truck box that just needs to be installed. However I was thinking of machining a flat deck out of 3/4" steel diamond plating. Would probably look pretty kick-ass with a 6" lift and stacks.. what do you think?
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:26 PM   #2
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Default Re: 1978 Ford f150 restoration

Sounds good except for the stacks. They look ridiculous on a pickup truck, IMO.
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:41 PM   #3
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Default Re: 1978 Ford f150 restoration

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Sounds good except for the stacks. They look ridiculous on a pickup truck, IMO.
I'll agree with that somewhat... Certain stacks look ridiculous, especially if there not done right, or on a low, small, gasoline powered truck. THIS is just a no:

I'm thinking more along the lines of this below, they dont look as bad IMO
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Old 07-04-2010, 08:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: 1978 Ford f150 restoration

How long do you suspect it'll take to do?
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Old 07-04-2010, 09:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: 1978 Ford f150 restoration

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How long do you suspect it'll take to do?
probably not that long, theres several of us working on it.. a few weeks maybe? i'll keep my updated progress in this thread, all opinions, questions, and suggestions apriciated
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: 1978 Ford f150 restoration

hey when you finish it if you want I'd love to give you some credit on my site, I sell Fords and it'd be cool to have some pictures of an old F-150 on there.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:22 PM   #7
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Default Re: 1978 Ford f150 restoration

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hey when you finish it if you want I'd love to give you some credit on my site, I sell Fords and it'd be cool to have some pictures of an old F-150 on there.
yeah, that sounds cool! ill drop you a PM when I'm finished,

Well, took out both the engines and their wiring harness's and motor mounts already. You get fast at it after doing it several times, I found it alot easier popping out the F-150's block compared to the Trans Am's... Going to physically drop in the diesel tonight and tomorrow. In retrospect though, I have one dilemma:
Should I go ahead and attempt swapping the front suspension now, before putting in the 7.3L IDI, or finish swapping engines and see if the stock suspension can handle that heavy of a motor?
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Old 07-05-2010, 11:09 PM   #8
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Default Re: 1978 Ford f150 restoration

The F-150 has a solid front axle right? It should be alright... I know a guy that dropped a 6.0 diesel into a Ranger, and I don't think he did much to the front suspension, I can't remember though. He was making a 1000hp+ twin turbo drag truck. I think with the F-150 you should be fine. Maybe upgraded springs, but engine in or not, they shouldn't be a problem to switch out.
What's the 7.3 weigh? 1000lbs vs the 400 pound Windsor in there now? lol, but F-150s did come with a BBF 460 I think. So they could handle that weight, and they could handle that weight plus a 300 lb snow plow on front... I would think the front suspension could handle a 7.3
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Old 07-06-2010, 04:06 PM   #9
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Default Re: 1978 Ford f150 restoration

Well we dropped the engine. Coughed to a start, although for some reason the ignition is messed up. The truck wont start by the key, you have to position the key to "on", pop the hood, and start it with a screwdriver to the solenoids

I screwed up though during the swap. Forgot to change the radiator while there was alot of room to work. Now its all cramped (7.3L takes alot of room) and Im pretty sure the stock rad wont be able to cool the new diesel enough
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Old 07-06-2010, 06:27 PM   #10
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Default Re: 1978 Ford f150 restoration

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Originally Posted by winslow33 View Post
Well we dropped the engine. Coughed to a start, although for some reason the ignition is messed up. The truck wont start by the key, you have to position the key to "on", pop the hood, and start it with a screwdriver to the solenoids

I screwed up though during the swap. Forgot to change the radiator while there was alot of room to work. Now its all cramped (7.3L takes alot of room) and Im pretty sure the stock rad wont be able to cool the new diesel enough
Yeah, those old 7.3's have 2 starter solenoids, probably one or both are bad, it's a common problem.

What year is the engine and do you know how many miles are on it?

Edit: Oh and I agree with AR, no stacks.
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