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  #1  
Old 07-15-2018, 08:23 PM
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Back to working on the wife's truck...it's paying off

After moving back to Ohio to care for my mom, I've decided to take over her garage...she no longer drives, and only uses it as a room to store a pair of freezers and a spare fridge in, among other things.

Since doing so, I've replaced the power steering pump, power steering lines, shocks, sway bar bushings front and rear, front prop shaft, brakes, tires, muffler, and a few other odds and ends on my wife's 1989 F250 LD XLT Lariat. I'm getting ready to finally start on the bodywork. A friend of mine and her husband talked me into taking it to a local cruise in, where I ran into some old friends from my younger years. We've begun hanging out on the weekends, setting our vehicles up in the same spots at the local cruise in and enjoying just seeing each other and talking about our vehicles.

3 weeks ago, I was talked into entering the truck into a larger show, with prizes, plaques, and the like. Bear in mind that the wheel wells are still rusted on the bed, the cab corners need replaced, both doors require minor patch work, and the fenders need some time with the body hammers. This truck is nowhere near being ready, in my book, for competition of any sort. It's just an old truck that I've been working on for 9 years, when physically able, and it's used to haul the heavy things that my Explorer just isn't capable of. In short, it's an old work truck that is in progress.

At any rate, I was talked into entering her into competitions, and I went along as a joke.

Today marked the 3rd real outdoor show she's been in. As usual, we had some folks walk by, turn up their noses at the old truck, and walk past. Today, however, the crowd had a different buzz about them. There were the standard goody two shoes that walked by, but there were more folks walking by, and asking why I entered the truck, what work I've done, and the back story on the truck. I answered all the questions, told the stories of broken fingers, stitches, late nights, cursing rants, and completed each one with how much my wife appreciates the work I do, when I'm able to, and that I'd do it all over again for her if she asked me to...because she's been right by my side, handing me ratchets, wrenches, hammers and beer anytime I've asked. To me, spending the time with my wife as I work on her truck makes it all worthwhile.

Well, at 3pm, the show was ending, judging was completed, and they were announcing trophy and plaque winners. I had just loaded my wife's and my chairs into the bed of the truck, and was lifting the cooler of ice and water into the bed when my name was called across the PA system to come to the green canopy. I wasn't sure what I would be needed for.

It turns out that a lady that owns a local hot rod shop had been called in to judge the event. She had her entire shop of professionals out and about within the crowd, asking questions and inquiring about each of the vehicles. Most of the vehicles were store bought or special ordered...with only a small number of them built or in progress by their owners.

The owner of the shop had requested me to come to the canopy, where she informed the crowd what she had done...with her crew intermingling with everyone. She told the crowd that the heart of cruise ins and car shows has very little to do with buying a made car, or paying someone else to do the work. It had to do with building it yourself, the friends you make along the way, and the time you spend with your friends in the progress. I was then presented with a gift card for $100 at a local parts house, because she said our story was one that really meant something to her. Before I was allowed to walk away, I was also presented with the #4 spot in the Top 5 Trucks in the show, out of 22 trucks.

I was floored...but she went on to say that 3 of the judges were present when I offered to start the truck to let a friend hear how good it sounded...it's nothing more than a stock 5.0 through a stock exhaust...but it starts right up and sounds and drives like a brand new 1989 F250 should. She said that when the judges heard the amount of work I've done over the last 9 years to the drivetrain to get it to it's current point, that they all decided that I earned a spot in the Top 5.

There's not a mechanical system in the truck I haven't rebuilt, reconditioned, or replaced, except the transfer case...which thus far has proven itself to be quite solid.

I was quite taken back by the kind words the lady said to my wife about what I've gone through to get it right, and the compliments she showered on my wife for being there with me in today's heat, as well as being beside me whenever I have a wrench in my hand around her truck.

Today was a great day...and I won a nice plaque to hang on the garage wall, as well as collecting a small prize. In addition, I had two of the employees of the hot rod shop that lives nearest to me, offer to come by and give a hand in lifting the bed off in two weeks when I plan on prepping the frame before Ohio winters eats it away. They also offered to give me a hand when I go to weld in the wheel arcs and cab corners in another couple of weeks.

I love the car scene around here...they either love you or hate you, with very little in between movement. Luckily, most seem to appreciate and see the hard work I've put into this truck...

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1987 560SL
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Meet on the level, leave on the square. Great words to live by

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. - Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.
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  #2  
Old 07-15-2018, 09:07 PM
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Congratulations Jon!
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #3  
Old 07-15-2018, 09:21 PM
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What a great and inspiring story.
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  #4  
Old 07-17-2018, 09:31 AM
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Thanks. the truck has been great therapy for me, giving me something to work on when I'm physically able to. I've done much to it, and still have much more before I'm truly happy with it. I'm going to PA later this weekend, and when I get back, I'm going to have a bunch of friends over to help pull the bed off so I can get some wiring gremlins dealt with, and get the frame cleaned and protected. After that, more cleaning under the hood on the wheel wells and firewall, as well as a good amount of body work will begin.

It takes me longer to get things done than it would a normal person. The sway bar bushings should have only taken me 2 hours, tops, if I was in good health...it took me two days to get done. Knowing that the last 6 out of the 9 years of ownership, I've had health problems, I'm right on track for getting it done, I guess.

It's my wife's truck. She knows I'll have it looking as good as mine eventually...but it's already better mechanically than mine. I'll eventually have both of them as perfect as I can get them.

Winning a spot in the top 5 truly surprised me. I'm glad people can see the work done and appreciate everything done.
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1987 560SL
85,000 miles




Meet on the level, leave on the square. Great words to live by

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. - Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.
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  #5  
Old 07-17-2018, 09:43 AM
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Cool story and congrats, it is therapy. One reason I always liked bracket racing, it wasn't always the one with the deepest pockets that won.
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  #6  
Old 07-18-2018, 11:26 AM
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I began the project with a 5k total budget...for mechanic and body work. Counting purchase, I'm sitting at $3600. Body and paint has a final budget of $1400. Where we live, in the rust belt, it's hard to come by a 30 year old truck that runs as nice as this for under $5K.

My budget didnt count maintenance items like tires,oil, filters, etc. If I take out bushings, water pump, power steering pump and hoses, and other maintenance items, I'm down to around $3K total.

I'm hitting the mark, and doing it as inexpensively as possible.
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1987 560SL
85,000 miles




Meet on the level, leave on the square. Great words to live by

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. - Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.
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  #7  
Old 07-18-2018, 01:00 PM
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I like the story and it vividly brought back some memories of my adventures with my F250 especially the front bushings $#*^%.

I did finish as seen here.
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  #8  
Old 07-18-2018, 11:08 PM
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Nice.

When I got this one, the ball joints were shot. That was a 4 night project involving copious amounts of swearing and ended with a 6 pack to help out with the pain of one of the arms falling on my legs, because nobody warned me about keeping a nut on the top ball joint as you heat and beat it to death to get it to drop. That hurt like a son of a beach.

I do love this platform. While there's been bloodshed and swearing involved on working on it, it's relatively easy to repair and keep going. My brother asked me if I'd keep it if the engine ever went, to which I replied that the truck is the Lego of pickups...just get another engine, plug it on and keep going. Parts are plentiful and still cheap enough to afford...especially on an engine they used for so many years.

I'm hoping to get my hands on another upper intake plenum soon, so I can get it reconditioned and replace the current one. Mine is flaking it's paint and looks like crap. A new one is too much, but I know a company that owes me a favor, and can put a nice sanded polish look on it, then clear powder coat it. When I do that, I'll replace the slightly weepy valve cover gaskets. It's not a serious issue yet, but some oil aroma is occasionally in the air after a hard drive. Passenger side gets it the worst.

When I get this truck mostly done, I"ll have room in the garage to bring my R107 out of storage and get it back on the road. I'd love to get it fixed and sold next year. We'll see how it goes.
__________________
1987 560SL
85,000 miles




Meet on the level, leave on the square. Great words to live by

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. - Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.
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  #9  
Old 07-23-2018, 10:42 AM
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Well, we drove the truck to our house in PA and back this past weekend. Trip there, with an empty box and two adults, cruise set to 70, we hit 13.94 mpg. The trip back with over 600lbs in the box and the same two adults, with speeds up to 85 or higher for small stretches, just to keep up with the idiots on the road, economy was at 13.63 mpg. Since EPA claims 14 highway, at 55 mph (1989 numbers), I think I've got all the bugs worked out of the system and can safely call it mechanically proper for now...
__________________
1987 560SL
85,000 miles




Meet on the level, leave on the square. Great words to live by

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. - Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.
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  #10  
Old 01-06-2019, 04:21 PM
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***UPDATE***

The truck is now mechanically 100% where it needs to be. Two months ago, we pulled the transmission, replaced the flywheel, clutch pack, and necessary bearings. While it was out, I went ahead and replaced the weeping rear main seal on the 302.

I've picked up replacement doors...luckily the same color as the truck, so no need to paint the inside of them. I'm going to cut out the rust from the rear wheel wells and weld in new metal. I've already got those panels in the garage, along with new cab corners, just because these are showing signs that they'll need replaced soon. I've also got a replacement drivers side rocker to cut out and replace. My goal for 2019 is to have it primed and ready for paint...if not painted by the end of the year.

Oh, once the original muffler finally gave up the ghost this past year, I replaced it with a FlowMaster 40...quiet at idle and during normal driving, but really growls when in the dig. Since putting it on, and opening up power that was missing due to the old one being clogged with crap, I've had a hard time keeping the fun pedal off the firewall. That 302 growl is intoxicating...LOL

Now I'm looking for a Bronco. I'd prefer a Bricknose, but OBS will work, as I can change the front out later, if I decide to...to make it match the F250
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Back to working on the wife's truck...it's paying off-48420907_2136745479701914_872266840879923200_n.jpg  
__________________
1987 560SL
85,000 miles




Meet on the level, leave on the square. Great words to live by

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. - Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.
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  #11  
Old 01-07-2019, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jplinville View Post
After moving back to Ohio to care for my mom, I've decided to take over her garage...she no longer drives, and only uses it as a room to store a pair of freezers and a spare fridge in, among other things.

Congratulations! If I get down to Dayton, I'll visit!
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  #12  
Old 01-08-2019, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strelnik View Post
Congratulations! If I get down to Dayton, I'll visit!
You're welcome here anytime!

__________________
1987 560SL
85,000 miles




Meet on the level, leave on the square. Great words to live by

Were we directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we should soon want bread. - Thomas Jefferson: Autobiography, 1821.
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