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Old 02-01-2010, 03:14 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Pasta - '96 Volkswagen Passat TDi
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1996 Ford F150 4.9L (300ci) I6 5MT 4x4

Yup, so now what do I do? LOL.

I haven't gotten a baseline on it, but I used less than 5 gallons to go 70 miles... LOL.

I've got an MPGuino, just have to get it wired up and installed in the next couple weeks.

I'm hoping for mid 30's with this truck!!! Bring it on, Frank! :P

The OE thermostat is 192*, and I can't find a hotter one, so that'll have to be good.

OE tires are 235/75R15, can't really go any taller than that without going wider, too. Rims aren't OE, they're aftermarket "wagon" wheels, look to be 15"x8". Next best thing is going with big-truck tires at 100+ PSI, but that's pricey.

I'm gonna lower it some, just because I can, and I don't ever really plan on taking it anywhere that I need serious ground clearance, so I see no issue with lowering my 4x4 2 inches or so. Plus, it'll make it easier for my old self to get into.

Got an airdam planned, grille block, radiator seal, and electric fan.

EOC switch as well.

On the way home, I got "warm" air from the heater, but nothing like it should have been. It was frigid cold out, and the temp gauge never went higher than just over the "C". This will be addressed by the coolant mods.

I'm hoping this one is OBD-II, but haven't checked yet. I've heard tell that some of the F-series from 1995 to 1997 were still OBD-I, and some got OBD-II, depending on when it was on the line, and what line it came from.

Needs a new rear O2 sensor, the one that doesn't do anything special. Has an exhaust leak/hanging pipe, have to fix that. Removing the front driveshaft for now, needs a new u-joint up there.

Planning to build a controlled HAI, but that's gonna take awhile.

Bed covering is inevitable, but will also have to wait until I have more time that I don't have to chase down something for my wife, or have to take care of my Son.

Anyone have any other suggestions beyond general maintenance techniques? (I still gotta check the brakes, ball joints, tie rods, etc.)

Oh, I plan on removing the mechanical fan and replacing it with an electric one on a 210* thermo-switch.

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Last edited by Christ; 02-01-2010 at 04:32 PM..
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Old 02-01-2010, 04:17 PM   #2 (permalink)
Moderate your Moderation.
 
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Pasta - '96 Volkswagen Passat TDi
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Oh, not that it means much for FE, but I also plan on replacing all the bushings with Urethane as they wear out. I prefer the stiffer feedback of urethane bushings over rubber ones.

EDIT - When considering lowering the vehicle, I had neglected something - Body mounts.

I can replace them with thinner versions of themselves to lower the body over the frame without losing suspension travel. I don't think I can get 2" out of it, but I might be able to get a good inch.

Doing this will probably bring the bed's upper limit higher on the back of the cab, too, since the bed doesn't have rubber mounts on it. I'll either have to live with that, or possibly find a way to lower the bed on the frame as well, so the body lines match up again. (Yes, that's important.)

If not this, I'm just going to replace the body mounts with urethane and lower the suspension a little.
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Last edited by Christ; 02-01-2010 at 05:53 PM..
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:39 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Wow - ambitious project vehicle. Nowhere to go but up

You're right on regarding the OBD-II issue.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:45 PM   #4 (permalink)
Moderate your Moderation.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
Wow - ambitious project vehicle. Nowhere to go but up

You're right on regarding the OBD-II issue.
The benefits of starting at rock-bottom, eh?

As with any good project, step by step, and all things in good time.

This one's going to take alot of beer. I wonder how eco-friendly beer is?

I'm gonna try to get my Father involved in this one, though. We'll see how well that goes over

Something worth noting:

My Grandfather drove Ford pickup trucks for the latter/end of his life, and was always ready to fix anything as cheaply as possible. One time, he got a leak in a radiator, and since he was doing body work anyway, and had mixed extra plastic, he just filled about 3/4 of the radiator with it, which prevented the fluid from leaking out anymore. With the mechanical fan still installed, his truck never overheated. I may still have that radiator somewhere on the property, if I look for it.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I had a black '95, 2wd reg cab shortbox 4.9L with a 5 speed I wanted to lower, not for FE mind you but because I wanted a lowered black truck lol. Just keep in mind that with the Ford IFS front suspension it can get ugly trying to lower them past a certain point, just like the 4x4 guys have a hard time raising them past a certain point. 2 inches is probably workable though, you might want to check some 4x4 forums to see how far you can change things around before you start having issues. The only other thing I can think of is to check the outlet horn on the airbox where the intake pipe hooks up to it. I know on the 460 powered trucks they had a restriction built into them (to keep noise down I believe) that could be hacksawed off, I never did check my truck to see if it had that though.
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Old 02-01-2010, 05:58 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The Ford Lightnings of that era had a nice front air damn. I am sure there are many fiberglass knockoffs to be had that'll give you the same benefit.

Also, does it have normal lockable hubs? If not, removing the automatic hubs and going to manuals will help ya some too.

The 300 is a BEAST of a motor, but I've never heard of it talked about positively for gas consumption. Best of wishes! I'm guessing you have the Ford 8.8 in the rear. You might be able to find some 3.23 gears (assuming it's 3.55) to better use the MOUNTAIN of torque that motor has.

You might look into getting some 16x7 wheels and 235/85R16s.
Nice and narrow yet still tall.
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Old 02-01-2010, 09:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
Moderate your Moderation.
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jethro View Post
The Ford Lightnings of that era had a nice front air damn. I am sure there are many fiberglass knockoffs to be had that'll give you the same benefit.

Also, does it have normal lockable hubs? If not, removing the automatic hubs and going to manuals will help ya some too.

The 300 is a BEAST of a motor, but I've never heard of it talked about positively for gas consumption. Best of wishes! I'm guessing you have the Ford 8.8 in the rear. You might be able to find some 3.23 gears (assuming it's 3.55) to better use the MOUNTAIN of torque that motor has.

You might look into getting some 16x7 wheels and 235/85R16s.
Nice and narrow yet still tall.
I was just thinking about adding a plain 'ole airdam under the bumper, or even just cutting the bottom flange off the bumper and mating some more steel to it... not that I want to increase the weight of the truck any.

I'm not sure if it's got lockables or automatic, TBH. Never even thought to check. I was pretty excited to get a halfway decent truck for $575. I'll check the next time I go out there and look at it, which might not be for a few days. If it turns out they're auto hubs, I'll swap a set of manual hubs from my Father's parts truck.

The 300 never gets talked about for much, because it was a low-HP motor akin to diesels more than most other gas engines. They make more torque than HP in most configurations, and most people want a vehicle that can accelerate quickly, not one that can accelerate normally pulling 14 tons of trailer. I was specifically looking for either a 300 I6 or a diesel if I was going to get a Ford pickup.

Back in the day, the 300 I6 was used in trucks with a GVWR up to 10,000 lbs. They had the torque to do the job, even though they accelerated like a freight train. It's a shame that not many people ever did much with them, they could have been some very efficient engines, IMO. I'm going to work with mine a bit to see what I can do on gas, but ultimately, I have another old 300 spare that I'm trying to convert to a compression-ignition diesel engine.

BTW - If I were to run those 16's, those tires would be entirely too tall. That'd be adding more than an inch to the diameter. I'd have to run something like 235/60/16 to make them the OE diameter. Still not sure what I'm going to do about tires, yet.

Is there an option for the higher gears in the front axle too? I'm thinking for now that I'd like to keep the 4wd intact.

There is an option to find a gear reduction unit and install it on the end of the transfer case, one that has a 1:1 and a 2:1 ratio. It already holds 60 MPH at less than 2,000 RPM in high gear, though.
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Old 02-01-2010, 11:43 PM   #8 (permalink)
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If you get 30+ mpg let me know, I'll buy you a case of beer! then when you are drunk I'll steal all your secrets lol after getting accurate data I struggle to get 18 mpg per tank

gear wise I know 3.08's are available
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:13 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Sounds like it's got some super high (low) gears as it is. For the cost of regearing 2 axles, I'd leave it be.

I suggested the 235/85R16 because in fullsize truck world, it's rather short.
Course, I come from 4x4 redneck land in the sticks... (My 275/65R20s are 'small').
It works out to an almost 32" tire. I figured a F150 could easily fit those, have a narrow contact patch, and effectively lower (raise) your gearing.

The 300 is one of the single greatest motors ever devised. It's stouter than the 6.9 diesel, and if I recall, makes more HP AND TORQUE than the 6.9. Not to mention it would run on anything from plain tap water to Nyquil (Ok, that's a bit of a stretch). The EFI 300 is just a BEAST!
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Old 02-02-2010, 01:45 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The thing about regearing is that I might already have other gears, and I can probably get two used gearsets (one front and one back) for about $100 if it will really get me anywhere to swap them out.

For the time, though, I think I'm going to work on the other stuff, and just see about cleaning it up and changing all the lights to LEDs.

I gotta spend some time fixing the stuff that's wrong with it, too, before I go modding it at all.

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