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Discussion Starter · #21 ·
So, back to where I left off... Sandblasted and primed parts.

Here are some more core support brackets. No point in trying to clean them myself when the sandblaster is just down the road.
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I also picked up a different track bar mount. This one is made by SKY Manufacturing. So I decided to install that since the cab was off.

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Another friend of mine was parting out a truck he had. I didn't have a transmission for this truck that was "good", so he made me a deal on the drivetrain package. This transmission is supposed to be a full suncoast build, however its been sitting for years as the truck rotted away around it.

Once again, he brought it to me, and I tossed the whole thing in the frame.
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Local guy that I knew had a front tank that he wasn't using, so I picked that up from him and painted it, and installed it too! Its starting to become closer to a running, driving truck now.

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So, naturally this truck will get a fuel system like all the others, so I started fitting lines. It was nice to work outside at the end of February and beginning of March.
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Its much easier to do that with the turbo out of the way, and speaking of the turbo, I had rebuilt a D66 a while back for this truck. I actually bought this turbo about 8 years ago and never used it. Along with the turbo is the EBPV deleted pedestal.

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Next process was, change the oil pan. It was looking pretty rough, and I wanted to look at the bottom of the engine anyway, so I pull the pan off. Which mind you, is not fun.

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I ordered a Moroso pan for it. They make an OE Replacement and I wanted to compare it to a Ford pan and see if the price difference was worth it. The Moroso is cheaper by about 50 bucks, at least then it was.

A guy machines dipstick adapters, these are a common issue on the 7.3 trucks. The adapter in the pan is a nut and receiver style, with an O-ring in a flange on the inside of the pan. A nut on the outside of the pan holds it tight and keeps oil from leaking out of the adapter. Over time, the O-Ring swells, and distorts the adapter heavily, rendering it unusable. Sinister Diesel makes one that you can replace it with. You drop the inside adapter in the pan, and install theirs from the outside. Its a great design, except for dropping the old adapter inside the pan, where it CAN get somewhere it shouldn't be.

So, for about 1/3 the price, you can get the weld in one, you just have to make sure you put it in the right spot, because if you don't.... Well, you can figure out that headache lol

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After some paint, I went ahead and installed it. Getting closer here right? Wrong.

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Taking everything back off.... I decided to do a compression check, and wish Id have done it a week earlier. Compression on the engine was bad, not horrible, but not good enough to say it'll be fine when I am literally putting a "new" truck together. And, if you remember earlier, the engine I bought originally for it had bad compression and water in one cylinder. So, I went to my house where I had ANOTHER 7.3 in my shed. I checked compression on it, and it wasn't very good either. 3 engines, none with good/strong compression. Are you kidding me?!

So, I tore this engine down, it was the one in the way, so no point in taking it out for another thats gonna need the same work...
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
This uploading 10 pictures a post sucks...

So, the engine looked good inside, Crosshatches in the cylinder walls, and clean on the bottom, but the oil was DARK, and BLACK. Worse than normal for a diesel.

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So, I took off as much as possible, and sent it to the engine builder. He called me a few days later and asked me when I changed the oil last. Naturally I didn't have an answer because I just got the motor.

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Either the guy NEVER changed the oil, or he used some very crappy oil. Because those bearings were HOSED. 130,000 Miles on the engine. oof.

While that was going on, I continued plugging away at other things, trying to get the frame ready for the cab.

Installed my fuel pump, and filters.
Light Automotive tire Hood Fluid Motor vehicle


I was able to run all of the brake lines, and install the calipers. All Copper nickel, so I wont have to worry about rust!

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Bumper Motor vehicle Automotive tire Wood Automotive exterior

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Didn't even bother trying to use the old calipers, just went and bought "new" ones. These Fords love to destroy calipers, so I didn't even bother trying the old ones.

I pride myself in upgrading things. Especially things that people don't mass produce. I make my own battery cables. I use high end wire, upsized, and custom fit the ends to fit exactly where I need them to. I do the same thing for the glow plug system. It makes a huge difference on a truck that has issues starting when its cold. So, this is the third set of these I've made, one set is on my 95, one set is on my dads 96, and now this set will go on my 96. The cable size is 2/0, but equates to 5/8" thickness for the copper, and 11/16" for outside to outside of insulation. It can handle serious draws.

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We are just pushing into April 2020 here... Moving forward again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Lets do three posts this morning.

In May, I got my engine back... Now maybe I can get somewhere on this. New bearings, new rings, a quick hone, and that was all it needed thankfully.

New Engine on stand.JPG


Gotta get everything put on! Turbo, HPOP, timing cover, water pump, and that lovely oil pan again.

New Engine Assembly 3.JPG


Was able to fabricate my flexible fuel lines in the valley and get those installed with the hard lines.
New Engine Fuel Lines 1.JPG


New Engine Assembly 4.JPG


Then I installed the Diesel site bellowed up-pipes. These don't use the donut on the pipe that slips, and uses bellows that expand and contract. A lot better setup that wont leak.

New Engine Assembly 5.JPG


Now that its all complete, with the new 160cc stage 1 injectors from Rosewood Diesel, its ready to go BACK into the frame, again.

New Engine Installed 1.JPG


Okay, back to where we were about a month or so ago!

Back outside it went, but I could still work on it, and made sure no water got into it this time.

Started installing the brackets, and pulleys. I also upgrade the power steering pump on these to the Van/SD style. They use a remote mount reservoir, and have a higher pressure. Better suited for the steering box, and braking system upgrades.
New Engine Installed 7.JPG


I also had an exhaust for the truck. I figured it was time to install that. This is also for a 99-04 SD truck. I bought it to try and get the right tailpipe exit I wanted. They redesigned the 94.5-97 Exhausts, and the tailpipe piece fits kind of funny. So I talked with them on the phone, and they told me to try this setup. I wont know what it needs for final adjustment until its got a body, and bumpers on it.

Exhaust Installed 1.JPG

Exhaust Installed 2.JPG


Since were into JUNE and almost JULY now, it was warm enough to paint. So, I started painting the parts that needed it. Like the core support!
Core Support Painted.JPG


Thats it for now! We're right at the end of June 2020. I had been back to work since March, so everything is all spaced out again.

Hope you are all enjoying this one. I haven't seen many replies about it yet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Thanks guys! Appreciate the feedback.

Every single nut and bolt. Happy to read that motor #3 only needed a light refresh. The battery cables are great, what kind of cable? Do you have a dedicated crimper, or use a die to crimp?
Very Literally... lol

And the light refresh turned into a LOT of work sadly. It sucks trying to install a motor, onto a transmission when the transmission is already in the frame. lol

The wire is made by Sky High Car Audio, its Oxygen Free Copper wire. So, very high strand count. Its capable of carrying over 500 amps through it. So Perfect for the starter, and glow plug requirements. The Glow plugs run a continuous amp pull of about 160 once on, and gets lower the longer they are on, and they can "shock" at initial draw up to 200-300 amps, before dropping quickly to the 160 ish. As they get older, they pull more amps, so this is a long term solution.

I use a hand crimper, its handles are about 3 feet long. Its always done very well. Soldering the ends on never seems to last.
 
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Thanks guys! Appreciate the feedback.

Very Literally... lol

And the light refresh turned into a LOT of work sadly. It sucks trying to install a motor, onto a transmission when the transmission is already in the frame. lol

The wire is made by Sky High Car Audio, its Oxygen Free Copper wire. So, very high strand count. Its capable of carrying over 500 amps through it. So Perfect for the starter, and glow plug requirements. The Glow plugs run a continuous amp pull of about 160 once on, and gets lower the longer they are on, and they can "shock" at initial draw up to 200-300 amps, before dropping quickly to the 160 ish. As they get older, they pull more amps, so this is a long term solution.

I use a hand crimper, its handles are about 3 feet long. Its always done very well. Soldering the ends on never seems to last.
I agree with the last point about solder. Our solution is to clean the crazy out of the terminal, take a pipe brush in there, flux it, crimp it them solder it so nothing gets inside the connector
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I agree with the last point about solder. Our solution is to clean the crazy out of the terminal, take a pipe brush in there, flux it, crimp it them solder it so nothing gets inside the connector
I have done that too! Only bad thing is. The flux can actually cause corrosion. So you gotta clean the crap out of it when you're all done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #31 ·
Back at it... Lets finish off 2020 with not much progress! ha

My father had the great idea to prime the fuel system before I went any farther. And I say it that way, because he saved my butt some major work.

The fuel lines on the front of the engine that supply fuel from the frame, to the valley, are hard lines. One got a little thin, and popped a hole in itself. Thankfully I was able to source a pair of those and replaced them. Then I noticed fuel dripping on the floor from somewhere else. Traced it to the back of the head. Maybe I didn't tighten a fitting good enough, or not enough teflon tape. So I re-checked all of them and everything was good. Still leaked... WTF?!

Get a different angle and find this.
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See that little yellow looking line near the bottom of the fitting? Right above it is a crack. So, the fuel lines thread into the heads of the engine. Guess what that means, NEW HEAD. So I had to pull the head BACK OFF, and put a different one on. What a pain in the butt.

After that fiasco, we put the cab back on the frame, so this is the first time its actually had an engine and a cab at the same time.
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I had done a pre-order for S&B's new cab mount bushings that were in development. Those arrived the same week. Couldn't have came a little earlier. right?

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They are a high grade silicone, instead of hard poly, or rubber that degrades. Ill use old Rubber ones before new Poly any day however.

HELLO 2021.... Like I said, 2020 ended without much progress.

I was able to get the correct doors installed that I will be using, and the dash. The doors go on before the dash because the door wiring runs along the base of the windshield. It sucks to put in after the dash is installed, but none-the-less, we have that much done.

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Time for the core support! Cue the S&B Body mounts.
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Starting to get pretty busy under on the front of the truck now.

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Starting to LOOK like a truck even. So, with the fender on, I can start to install all of the wiring under the hood. Except for the fact that the fender is a gas fender, and it doesn't have the mounts for the fuse box on the fender like a diesel. This is the first time I ever ran into that, so I need to find out where they changed the fenders in the body style.

Easy fix though, since I have a Riv-Nut tool.
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That looks cleaner anyway, no U-nuts to worry about.

I also bought an aftermarket Exhaust Back Pressure (EBP) sensor tube and installed it. The OE one mounts to the HPOP Gear cover bolt, and I don't like it mounted there because of the need to remove it if you have to service the HPOP.

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Progress continued, with me installing the radiator, fan, shroud, and numerous other things on the front of the engine. Including this little T that I was proud of because it looks very factory looking.

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That is a heater hose that feeds the core, and transmission cooler in the radiator. It "warms" up the trans when its cold. No one makes that hose anymore, and you have to make your own setup, and I didn't like 3 hose clamps in one spot there, so I did that.

We're now in February 2021, getting closer to the current date, and a "completed" truck!
 

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Great build, love watching it come together. Quick question-
I decided to do a compression check, and wish Id have done it a week earlier. Compression on the engine was bad, not horrible, but not good enough to say it'll be fine
How are compression checking these motors? Setting them in the frame and jumping the starter? I bought a 7.3 out of a junkyard last year to swap one of our work trucks. I was *guaranteed* it was a low mileage good running truck so I took my chances and put it in, but I wanted to compression test it just to be sure before I dropped it in. Couldn't think of how to do it outside of the truck. Would welcome any insight on your process
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
They are a high grade silicone, instead of hard poly, or rubber that degrades. Ill use old Rubber ones before new Poly any day however.

If rubber degrades, why not use the high grade silicone for the cab mount bushings?
I guess I worded that poorly. Given the choice between new poly and old rubber. I'll use the old rubber. But I'll use the S&B ones over both of the others if I'm able to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
Great build, love watching it come together. Quick question-

How are compression checking these motors? Setting them in the frame and jumping the starter? I bought a 7.3 out of a junkyard last year to swap one of our work trucks. I was *guaranteed* it was a low mileage good running truck so I took my chances and put it in, but I wanted to compression test it just to be sure before I dropped it in. Couldn't think of how to do it outside of the truck. Would welcome any insight on your process
Thanks! I thought I replied to this earlier today. I must not have.

You need the correct tools first, so a diesel compression tester, plus the 7.3 adapter. I use a Mighty Vac setup because I liked their adapter most out of the other options. It's a rubber hose that you can manipulate enough to get it around the rocker arms and into the glow plug hole.

So, on the 7.3. Remove all of the glow plugs. Insert the adapter into a glow plug hole, it doesn't need to be tightened with a wrench, hand tight is fine because it's so tight in there. Hook up the gauge and with the engine on a stand preferably, you basically jump the starter over with a good healthy battery or two thats on a charger. You don't want the RPMs while cranking to drop much, because that will affect your readings. It's the same process in the truck except you use the starter solenoid or key.

Here is an example of a healthy reading.
A8ADD48B-CA91-4F95-963E-158DA1C5AD3E.jpeg


You can also air test the cylinder and listen for major leaks past the rings. I built a little hose to do it with shop air.
78EBAA6F-7677-40B7-ADFE-BD4DE21E7FA7.jpeg


However, the compression test is simple, but you have to have the correct tools, and also good healthy power to the starter. It'll take a few revolutions, but once the gauge peaks on each cylinder, that's all you need to crank. 400+ is good, 350 is marginal. And 300 is bad. They should all test within I think 5-10%. But I'd have to double check that number.

Hope that helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
I actually missed a photo on the last post. It was one where I had all of the wiring installed before I put the fender on.

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Now, doesn't that look like fun?!

Anyway, I serviced the transmission. Thankfully the fluid was red, smelled fine, and had the normal amount of crap in the pan.
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I also took this time to install a reusable gasket, along with its pan. They are still Ford products, just used on the newer trucks. Makes pan drops much easier.

I was able to put the passenger fender on...

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And then start installing stuff that goes on the inside of the fenders, like batteries, and coolant bottles, and all that good stuff that the truck needs to start.

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The underhood was about 95% complete. Just some little odds and ends to go through. Ideally I wanted to get the truck started, since Ive never heard it run.

So, I tried to get it started...

Oil full, Check
Trans full, Check
Differentials full, Check
Transfercase full, Check
Battery power, Check
Brakes, Check

Well, lets try it.

Didnt start.

Tried the next day, with the scan tool.

No start.

Start diagnosing and find out the IDM isn't getting power. Strange.

Come to find out that the underhood harness that I used, was out of a gas truck too. Its hard to keep my parts storage straight without a proper garage of my own....

So, I had to take the whole underhood harness out, and change it to a diesel one. ONE difference is that fuse doesn't catch power in the fuse box for the IDM. The power bar just isn't there. Which makes no sense to me, but whatever.

All of the other ones I have, have broken fuse boxes. Crap.

Next best thing! Unpin the whole fuse box, change the power bars, and repin the whole box. That should be fun too.

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Thats a lot of wires to keep straight.....

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Hope I marked those right....

I did get it back together, and ironically enough, it fired RIGHT UP. I was so relieved. lol

To Finish todays post,

It looks a lot more like a truck now....

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This post covers about 5 days time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
I said I got it back together. As a whole. Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
Well, this is the post. Its February 20, 2021.

Outside 1.JPG

Outside 4.JPG


It runs.... And it moves under its own power. It was pretty rewarding. I bought a running, driving truck, and tore it completely apart, down to the bare frame (almost rails). Changed the engine setup completely, and rebuilt it. It took a while, and There is probably parts from a dozen or two different trucks on it, if not more. But it sure felt good to be able to start it, and drive it out of the garage. Especially considering when we pushed it into the garage on February 6th, it was a roller, with a bare cab, and the engine, transmission, and transfer case were just setting in the frame, and on February 20th, it drove out on its own.

Had a few more things to do to the truck after the little celebration lol

I had to figure out the parking brake cables, I never really put time into it on the other truck, and they look a little hokey, but they work and thats what matters. Its hard to find a company thatll make you parking brake stuff.

E-Brake Cables 2.JPG

E-Brake Cables 1.JPG


I also fully mounted the transmission cooler.

Transmission Cooler.JPG


Then I installed the steering wheel. The buttons aren't pushed all the way in yet, because I need to pull the wheel back off later to get it recovered.
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Yes, this truck has the climate control too, except its the updated setup thats in my 95 F250 that I run in this one. The F-Superduty has an older setup, but I'm not going to rip it all out to swap it, at least, yet. lol

Basically at this point, progress has halted on the truck. I concentrated on getting my F-Superduty running and driving, and I built a garage at home for me to work in, and store my old Fords in. This truck isn't done though. Ive got a few more tricks up my sleeve to share.

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