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Old 12-06-2022, 04:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Location: Austin tx
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vandle - '93 Ford E-350 Xlt
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2000 f550 zf6 project

7 years, 5 moves after my last project I am working on a new project, a 2000 f550 7.3 power stroke, zf6, 2wd, 4.88 gears, 120k miles. I traded 8hrs of injector rebuilding for it as a non running project. Seller was pulling out there hair from intermittent no start no crank issues, turned out to be combo of a new crank position sensor and corrosion on internal computer ground points, poor guy.
(as a machinist and diesel mechanic, I often feel like a high paid dishwasher, often a good scrubbing sorts things out, lol). I got this project when my $500 2003 f250 frame cracked from a thin spot, due to new England rust. It was a 5.4 auto 4x4 with 3.73 gears I believe. So I have that for parts. Unlike Texas, up here in Vermont, could really use 4x4, so basically going for a big Dave clone setup, possibly with 4x4, the f250 axle is a bolt in swap, and torque king makes a divorcing kit for the f250 transfer case for $450. The roads and drivers here are very slow speed, great for mpg when driving a brick, so may not regear, any gear set for the factory f550 axle is a $1300 prospect, or have to whittle them myself, I think you can maybe find 4.10, but you have to do a carrier swap, so $$$

I've been repairing old manual metal machining equipment, and old backhoes, as a side hustle, all the cheap/free project ones are cheap cause they are too heavy to haul with a one ton. This bad boy can haul 10k on the bed, or 18.5k on a trailer! I can't run commercial any more cause of my MS. So this truck can haul anything I can legally haul.

If you've seen my other projects, you know I'm into maximizing total ownership cost per mile, as well as just mpg. So far I'm only into it about 8hrs labor I swapped for it, I'm doing injector cups and turbo rebuild but my bro in law got me those for a bday present, (I've saved him a buck or two on auto repairs over the years, hah, but he's a good guy).

Some ideas I might do: swap axels from my f250, to test lower gear ratio mpg difference, before I pay big bucks for f550 gear set.

Swap f250 front axle in for 4x4 conversion. 4x4 zf6 transmissions go for about $3000 around me, but for $450 you can get a kit from torque king to divorce the factory f250 transfer case, so I could use my 2wd zf6, which are only about $500 around here if I blow mine up. I've liked divorced transfer case setups in the past, because I could swap motor/trans around easily, for mpg experiments. I'm a machinist and actually had a diesel swap business in Oregon 10 years ago, but with my MS, I can only get so much done in a day, so easier is better. Seams like diesel Dave's setup is reigning champion for big truck mpg, so in 10 years when his drivetrain gets cheap maybe I'll swap.

I've heard anecdotally that bigger free flowing turbos are better for highway mpg, that's mostly what I care about, it's mostly 50-65mph rural highways here, with rolling hills small enough that with mass you don't really have to climb the uphills to bad, so tall gears would work fine for that.

Possibly air bags, the leaf springs in this thing are massive, could possibly save several hundred pounds of unsprung weight, if I did it right.

Possibly f450 rear axle swap. I've heard they are much more comfy to ride in empty, my intended use is drive out to the boonies, pick up old machinery, drive home loaded heavy, will just keep track of actual load weights hauled, and downgrade rear axle as needed to get to cheap gear sets, and stuff.

Currently has a rusted 8x12 flatbed on it, I cut off the rusted 8x6 headache rack to use the untrusted steel in it to repair rusted sections in flat bed, it stuck out quite a bit past the cab, so was probably so draggy it could act like an exhaust brake, hah. Some ideas for a bed are to narrow it approx 1 foot, that gets me flush with the cab, possibly use factory bed from f250 to build some custom under bed tool boxes that follow the cab lines for better aero, or possibly swap bed over and stretch it 4feet for better aero, the machine tools I fix up and flip would fit fine in a setup like that, but I occasionally referb backhoes and things too wide for a factory bed width.

Maybe go to super single tire setup?

I'm 40 now and with the MS, plus a bad disc, I'm picky about my seats, hah. My buddies 2016 f350 had the comfiest I've ever been in, did 5000 miles in 6 days, no back pain. Gentle, yet firm, hah. I have some old vw bug bucket seats to replace the mangy factory seat till I find a good deal on my fave seat.

I've heard good stuff about the hydra tuners, basically can run pre made tunes, or infinitely customizable.

Anyway, that's the project, just finished injector cups, and pulled turbo for rebuilding, was leaking from turbo pedistal, so might as well rebuild turbo while it's out.

2007 Silverado 3500 classic duramax diesel, Allison 6 speed auto, extracab long bed. Doing head gaskets, will probably do econo tune and aero mods next.

Mad max would have driven a metro
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Old 12-10-2022, 01:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by bondvagabond View Post
I'm picky about my seats, hah.
Good seats may eventually overcome the lack of comfort from a suspension more oriented toward heavy hauling. Seats of Fiat and Iveco vans have been surprisingly comfortable in later generations, so I guess taking a look at Ram Promaster seats is worth...

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