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Our Red F350

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Does it look like I’m going backwards? Hmm. IT’S BECAUSE I AM!!! . The epoxy primer had a major adhesion problem and never fully cured, so I’ve spent the last week stripping my truck AGAIN down to bare metal. I’ll be treating the steel with phosphoric acid and applying PPG DPLF epoxy primer. Which is what I should’ve done in the first place. Lesson learned.
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Drove the truck for the first time in almost 2 years. It sure felt good!
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Almost all of the trim is original. The New Mexico climate is kind to everything except for the soft trim.

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The seat is original and nearly flawless. Our Dad had a clear plastic cover installed when the truck was new. The carpeting is original, as well. Dad special ordered this truck with just about every option. Things like tilt and Speed Control weren’t available, yet. I added them.  I also used the burled woodgrain door panel inserts from a ’79  XLT. I made a new clear cover to keep the tradition (and seat) alive for a little while longer. With. Our 6 dogs riding along, it’s the best option.
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The original headliner had delaminated and was falling down. I found some matching vinyl and did my best to recreate the pattern. The original had heat seamed stitching. I had to fake it with real thread. Not quite right, but it looks ok.

 

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I added the tilt and cruise in 1980. Everything came from a wrecked ’79 Lariat. The years had taken a toll on the Lariat steering wheel, however. It had a lot of cracks and the center pad was falling apart. I located a NOS wheel and pad for an 80 model.  Slightly different, but still nicer that the well-worn wheel it replaced.

 

Truck is pretty much rust-free. I touched up the frame with some chassis black paint after this shot.

 

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It was exciting to reinstall the bed on the truck! A little hair-raising, but exciting.

 

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It took a ridiculous amount of time to clean up the bed. I had used the truck at my shop for years and it had a million little dents. The front bed panel had a hole punched in it from something sliding forward, plus the lower pinchweld had been ripped loose from the bed floor. I lost count of the hours  spent cleaning up the damage.

 

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Black has been applied and it’s almost time for the red.

 

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Primed and ready for a final sanding. Almost color time!

 

 

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Here’s what the truck looks like after I’ve started stripping the failed primer (pictured below)

 

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Truck has been stripped and epoxy primer applied. I’ll block this and apply a 2 component primer-surfacer.

 

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Circa 1980? This was the ’68 Franklin camper. A really nice unit, but having driven the truck with this camper and now with an American Road, no comparison. The truck was at times, scary to drive with the Franklin. No aerodynamics whatsoever. Passing or being passed by a big rig could be a hair-raising experience. Same with high winds. The trips with the AR camper are pleasant. You hardly know anything is back there.
This picture was taken upon our arrival back home after our “adventure” to pick up the first AR camper in California. Other than the “hiccup”, the truck ran amazingly well and got decent mileage. If fact, it got 10 mpg going out empty and 9 coming home loaded. The 460 happily cruises along at 70 mph and has no trouble passing other cars. I love this old truck!
I can’t begin to express how great it felt to pull in the driveway after the trip from…
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The beginning of the makeover. It’s much further along, now. I will need to upload some more pictures.

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We also have the factory Ford camper shell. I was told that they were made by Open Road, but I can’t verify this. These are extremely nice shells that fit the truck…like they were made for it!
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Made it 745 miles on the journey to southern CA to collect the first AR camper. The truck started running horribly and then quit. Stuck on the Rim of the World Highway, I believe they call it. 5 miles from our destination. 117 degrees. 5 small dogs. Michelle. And the fear we were so done. The flatbed driver took us up the mountain to Blue Jay, where the camper was. I tore into the engine. Discovered a broken valve spring on #7 cylinder. You wouldn’t think it would be hard to find parts for a 460. WRONG! What a nightmare. A valve lifter had popped out of its bore, so off came the intake. Thank goodness it didn’t drop the valve.
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How something so small can create such a headache. We had taken some basic tools and supplies. Where’s McGyver when you need him? I was able to stuff enough rope in the #7 spark plug hole and use the piston to hold the valve in place while I installed a used valve spring from a 454 Chevrolet. Thank you, Heartbeat of America, for sharing. Who says we can’t all get along?
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We drove through several fires like this in the Mojave Desert on the trip home. Numerous burnt vehicles along the side of the road. We were so fortunate that the truck didn’t pull its stunt now.
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#fordsupercamperspecial #f350camperspecial #scs #supercamperspecial

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