Long time lurker, created account to seek some help

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by mnplowguy82, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. mnplowguy82

    mnplowguy82 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Hopefully this is in the correct place. If not, please let me know where I should post this.

    From MN and currently in Texas. Just acquired a 03 F250 XL 4x4 with 5.4l Gas engine from auction down here and currently in the process of getting all the work done to it in Dallas. Once everything is finished, the truck will spend the rest of its life in Minnesota plowing snow and pulling trailers. Miles were low, price was right and obviously very little rust.

    Current work being done (slowly but surely):
    • Fix minor body damage and repaint
    • Potentially/likely removing bed to "rustproof" frame and underside of bed
    • Preparing bed for respray of liner with plans to use have LineX sprayed but am open to using either Raptor liner by U-POL or Dominator depending on feedback from others here. Box has sprayed liner, but whoever did it did a poor job on preparing the box prior to spraying because where it is chipping, you can see newish looking paint with zero scuff marks.
    • Installing rear windshield defroster kit from Frost Fighter
    • Having minor mechanical and suspension repairs done at local shop here in Dallas
    • Installing basic/original headache rack from BackRack (15001) along with a Tonneau cover
    • Adding backup camera -- thinking of buying a newer tailgate with backup camera since little modifications are needed to make a tailgate from 08-15 work on a 99-07 superduty.
    • Adding double din aftermarket radio for backup camera
    • Replacing battery with a bigger one
    • Will be replacing the alternator if it is less than 100 amps (haven't checked it yet).

    Looking for info on the following I am planning to install onto the truck:
    • Need an affordable main flashing light bar (please don't hit me flashing light) that is reliable, will remain permanently mounted to BackRack and hopefully last 5+ years instead of 1-2 seasons.
    • Thinking about Frost Fighter for windshield near wiper blade area, thoughts? We have tried all sorts of wiper blades and washer fluid and still end up with a build up of snow/ice on very cold days at bottom of windshield regardless of defroster setting. Not really interested in heated wipers
    • Aftermarket and heated Towing mirrors: Reviews seem to be mixed on the few I have looked at. Don't need/care about having power mirrors as the truck is only XL model so power mirrors means even more annoying wiring work to do.
    • Do I need to worry about replacing the oil cooler seal or any other critical seals on this truck to avoid damage/failures before it experiences Minnesota cold weather for the first time in its life? I have had seals on southern vehicles fail on their first time experiencing Minnesota's extreme cold temperatures which have caused a great deal of damage. Once, I had to replace the engine head due to lost oil from a failed oil cooler seal, hence the ask...

    Thank you all in advance.
  2. Kinport

    Kinport Senior Member
    Messages: 185

    Welcome to Plowsite!
    No real help from me on the strobes or frost fighters, but I am intrigued by your last question. I can see what your saying about drastic cold being hard on vehicles, I’m just wondering why we don’t see that here in my area given the 90+ degree temp swings we see from July to January. Anyways, I probably wouldn’t worry about it, but I’ve also never had a seal failure due to cold.
  3. Randall Ave

    Randall Ave PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,374

    I've been running Ford's for a lot of years, never had a problem there. But other areas, dip stick tubes rotting off, oil pans. Rear parking brake shoes backing plates. So I am always looking for things to fail. If you run older equipment, you need to be proactive on maintenance.
  4. Avalanche 2500

    Avalanche 2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Welcome to the P/S. For a 2003 that's a big to do list =$$ Keep an eye on your budget + snowplow :confused: :drinkup:
    cwren2472 likes this.
  5. OP

    mnplowguy82 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Thanks, appreciate it. I'll reach out to a few different mechanics to double check as I don't want to have any type of catastrophic failures once it gets COOOOOOLD.
  6. OP

    mnplowguy82 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    Indeed. We have been slowly going over every inch of the truck to be sure nothing major is in need of replacement. So far, very few big ticket items to replace/repair.
  7. OP

    mnplowguy82 Junior Member
    Messages: 4

    It truly is a big bucket list of things to get done and I am most definitely watching the budget to hopefully avoid going over; figuring $5-$6k max for overall. May not get everything knocked out, but we will see. Thankfully I have quite a few connections, so most of the work will be getting done pretty cheaply. Will be doing most/all of the wiring for camera, mirrors and defrost myself in my spare time, of which I don't get too much of.

    Regardless if a truck is new or used, it always seems to take between $3k-$5k to get the truck spec'd out for plowing. Obviously, you could get away with just mount and harness for the plow ($1500-$2k parts + labor), but we like to have lights, back racks, tonneau covers and spray in liner at the very least; currently adding backup cameras to rigs being added to the fleet.
    Avalanche 2500 likes this.
  8. Avalanche 2500

    Avalanche 2500 Senior Member
    Messages: 984

    Lots of p/s knowledge here ? Post some pics. when finished Thumbs Up :drinkup:
  9. TJS

    TJS PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,852

    Check those exhaust manifold bolts. Those are fun.
    Randall Ave and Avalanche 2500 like this.