This post will mostly make sense for die hard Ford truck fans.
I traded in the 2004 King Ranch F350 DRW for a much older, ninth generation F250. It has the legendary 7.3L “pre-powerstroke” IDI motor. This motor was discontinued at the 1994 1/2 mark. This one is an early 1994.
I did this for several reasons. In no particular order:
- I always loved the ninth generation body style, and this one–4WD, 7.3L extra cab, long bed has been my “dream truck” since they came out.
- The dually, although incredible for its room, its stable towing platform and its creature comforts was proving to be a bit too much truck out here. Our little dirt road, with its hairpin turns is impassable at some points when the outer wheel gets hung up on a snow drift. The thing weighs almost 9000 lbs empty and once it stops in the snow, its done.
- Also, the ’04 was powered by the ever-finicky 6.0L, with its looming EGR fail. The truck had never been modified (EGR Delete) to prevent this problem, so it was only a matter of time before it failed under the extreme and brutal conditions that I was asking it to do ranch work.
- The King Ranch was worth more in trade than the retail asking price for the 94, so I actually got some cash back.
- In a few years, when the oldest boy is ready, we will tear it down and rebuild it as a father-son restoration project from the ground up, and then he can have it.
- Mychael likes the sound of a loud diesel engine. She says it sounds like “her big hunky husband.”
I have not seen a 25 year old truck this clean in a while, so I took the opportunity. It is not without its problems, and little things I didn’t like. Here is what it looked like the day I bought it.
No tool box, pizza cutter 235s, and a few other things. The dashboard looked like the San Andreas fault line. The stereo display was dead. Those super heavy duty bumpers are awesome, but they have severe rust.
First thing I did was get some 33s and a tool box.
The truck has a 2″ lift kit that someone clearly installed in the past, so these fit no problem. That, of course made the truck too high for my slight little wife to climb into comfortably, so I got these:
The busing that holds the drivers side mirror stable wore out to the point where it could not be tightened. This meant you had to adjust it EVERY TIME you got in the truck because it would move. Annoying, so I replaced it. Couldn’t find the exact one, so I just replaced both.
New stereo, demonstrating the “show the song you are currently listening to from your iPhone” feature (“Southern Voice” Tim McGraw).
I decided to practice restoring the Ranch Hand accessories it came with by doing a rattle can job on the under body skid plate. Here’s how that went.
The truck was obviously in an accident at some point, and the only damage it sustained was in the section below the extra cab window, on the drivers side. The repair did not hold, and it shows.
Rust, pitting, and no pinstripe. It really sucks because the rest of the body is nearly perfect, for a 25 year old truck. I will take it in to see if its worth it to fix.
I need to order a new rear center cap for the passenger side. Its missing.
Next, I am either going to have the bumpers sandblasted and powder coated, or buy new ones, THEN do that, and sell them to recover some of the cost.
I’m also going to do a roll on bed liner. The transmission linkage needs to be adjusted because sometimes when you go to start it, the starter grinds at you until you put the shifter in exactly the right place. I also have a trouble code from the transmission. I think its the speed sensor. The battery cables are discolored right at the terminal. One thing I learned from last year’s winter fun (at -40 degrees) is that the electrical system is the Achilles heel of a diesel in the cold. So those cables will be totally replaced.
But here’s what she looks like this afternoon.
Both Kathryn and David approve.