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Old 09-27-2015, 08:38 PM   #1
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Default Fix or sell?

I recently acquired a 1977.5 Ford F250. It has a 400 and a 4 speed and four wheel drive. It seems to run well, but I am thinking about the long haul and how much money/work it will take to ultimately make it road-worthy. I essentially paid two thousand for it and have so far stuck ~$200 into it. It has a four inch lift in the front an a mess in the rear.


Here is what I know to be wrong or need fixing so far:


1. Burns oil
2. Leaks oil
3. Rear "lift" consists of triple-stacked blocks and maxed out old shocks and a close to tight brake line
4. Steering is loose as can be; about 1/3 of a steering wheel turn of play; steering box I presume?
5. Previous owner's solution to correcting steering geometry was to cut the pitman arm in half and weld a piece of metal to drop it.
6. 400ci engine... 'nough said about that.
7. Tires are bald... yes I know every vehicle does eventually, but when I factor in the other issues the thought of an additional ~$1000 in tires becomes unpleasant to say the least


Ideally, I am looking for a mud toy that has a little more umph than my lifted Bronco II. I am starting to wonder if this vehicle is worth the additional thousands that will make it what I want it to be. What are your thoughts? Can anyone vouch for the potential of an old 3/4 ton? I'm not afraid of a little work if the end product is worth the effort.


Thanks for reading.
- Joe
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:13 PM   #2
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so,.. some steering, suspension and driveline repairs. About normal for a 35 year old truck.
If you were to find one that old that didn't need anything it would probably be fairly pricey.
If you want to drive a truck that old and have it be dependable it won't be cheap.
But you'd be building it for your own use, you rarely get your money back if you resell.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:17 PM   #3
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Check the steering rag joint. The one on my 77 had completely deteriorated and was using the safety pins to turn the truck.
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:42 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 77Ranger460 View Post
Check the steering rag joint. The one on my 77 had completely deteriorated and was using the safety pins to turn the truck.
Thank you for the response.
I haven't heard of a rag joint. Is that the input to the gearbox from the wheel? The steering wheel turns the shaft but it doesn't make it to the wheels.


Thanks.
- Joe
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Old 09-27-2015, 09:53 PM   #5
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Look at the steering shafts right under the brake booster. The rag joint is a joint with a round rubber disk. The rubber is bolted to the top joint and bolted to bottom joint. It takes vibrations out. There is no metal to metal contact. You actually have to use a ground wire for the horn to work.

Anyway, this rubber deteriorates with time and causes slop. The rubber can totally rot away. Then, you just have two safety pina on one side that catch in notches on the other side to turn the shaft. If it has totally rotted away, you will have about 4" of play at the wheel.
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Old 09-27-2015, 11:10 PM   #6
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anything you spend on that will be a labor of love. either you love the truck or you dont.

over the past few years i have redone the head on my engine, rebuilt the tranny, rebuilt the xfer case and am currently rebuilding the front TTB. a couple grand worth of work for a truck that looks and sounds like $250 in scrap.

but it's cheaper than making payments on a new rig and i know every last thing that has been replaced and could possibly go wrong, and if theres a squeak or squeal out of place, i know the who what where of it.

so, do you love it, and have the time to devote to it?
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:16 PM   #7
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I understand that you get out what you put in. The reason for this post is I'm wondering if I would be better off selling and starting with a better maintained machine with a more desirable engine.
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Old 09-28-2015, 10:43 PM   #8
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I would sell. I will never by a project or fixer upper again. Anything I will buy will be turn key. Sure, you pay more up front, but usually save in the end. Even if it's a wash, my time is worth something.
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Old 09-29-2015, 01:12 PM   #9
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The original purchase is usually minor compared to the cost of restoration.
So whatever you start with, you're going to end up with a built up version of that.
So if that's the truck / body style / driveline you really want, go for it. If it's not really what you would want, get rid of it and do some more shopping.
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Old 09-29-2015, 03:01 PM   #10
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This is just my opinion. I think you paid too much for the truck. If you had gotten it for less, maybe it would be worth fixing up. Unless you can do all the work yourself, or have a buddy, I'd look for something in better shape.
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