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Old 12-02-2002, 20:54   #1 (permalink)
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Question Anyone know anything about F-trucks

Mainly F-trucks between 1970 -1980 F100 - F250 or F350

Anything major to look out for?
The 4x4 system. good/bad/ugly/trucklike??

I'm keeping an eye out for one a tow car

Most are either 302 or 351, 99% run gas

anyone got any pointers??
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Old 12-02-2002, 23:44   #2 (permalink)
plarsson
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It all depends on what you want to tow, for how long at a time and if it is also going to be a daily driver.

The later the model, and the lower K's the better. Try and find one that hasn't been fiddled with.

Cabins are usually pretty rust free but they will go behind the guard brackets and bottoms of doors. If the windscreen leaks then have a look under the floor mats. Some, usually ambulances may have the front of the cab galvanised.

Check for signs of accident damage, run a tape measure over it to make sure the chassis is square, Bent bodies are easy to fix, bent chassis are a big pain. Towing with a vehicle that crabs is not a happy experience.

Mechanically F trucks are Fords version of a mechano set. Easy to do anything on them, as long as your strong and have the time. They're pretty good though. Any whine from the gear box (manual) is $$$ and mucho agro. A well looked after cleavo either 302 or 351 will haul just about anything you want. Steer clear of the 6's as aside from being thirsty they're slow as a wet week.
As for LPG a good Impco gas kit will be no problem, but Dual fuel is preferable cos F trucks are too heavy to push.

The I beam front end is pretty fuss free, Any klunks are usually worn shocky rubbers, though worn I beam bushes or radius arm bushes can also be the culprit. Check the King pins for wear. None of this is unrepairable but its heavy dirty work.

Brakes in 73 and later are Disk front / drum rear, note F100,250,350 brakes are not interchangeble they are unique to each model no major dramas and they usually work well.
Earlier than 73 trucks are drum all round and can be chore to maintain. You can upgrade them but it means changing front ends, much $$$ and agro. Biggest woe for all models is the master cylinder leaking, not a huge problem.

The F100 ex Ambulances are pretty good value in that they are a van with lots of storage for nick nacks and usually C6 Auto. They make good work/camping wagons and are usually on a long wheel base which is good for towing. Ex Ambo's usually tare around 1.5 Tonnes with around another tonne worth of payload to give a GVM of 2.5 Tonnes. They usually have a version of the 9" diff

Unless you really want 4X4 then steer clear, be it a Bronco or F250 4X4. Its not that they're bad but if your on the road all the time then it'll cost you extra $$$ in tyres and fuel.

F350's come in short, mid and long wheel base and they're rated to 4.9 Tonnes GVM they run a 4:11 Dana 70 floating diff and 16"split rims with duals on the rear. I've never seen one with an auto. They are the most truck like of the breed, and to own one you need to think like a truck owner/driver. You must keep the rear wheel nuts tight or you will snap all the studs off. Happened to me, Bastard of a job to do on the side of the road.

Think of a F250 as a uprated F100 with about an extra half tonne of GVM. They run a smaller Dana 60 full floating rear diff with 16" single rear wheels. Although I have seen some with the bigger Dually Dana diff.

F trucks usually keep their value because they're such durable beasts. I've owned a few of them and if I had the need would buy another one. Usual caveats apply when buying second hand and if you don't know what to look for find someone who does to help you.

If your going to tow a 2 horse float or a car on a trailer, or perhaps a Ski Boat/Fishing boat then you should look to an Ex Ambulance as they're the most practicle.

If your going to tow something much bigger perhaps with a fifth wheel then a F350 is the go

Hope this gives you a start. The tonnages I've quoted are off the top of my scone from a memory of having had the workshop manual in my hand once upon a time. They should be close but.
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Old 12-03-2002, 20:46   #3 (permalink)
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Thank you very much for the info, exactly what i wanted to know

Wont be buying one right away - just keeping an eye out for one

It will be mostly used for towing a track car around, but also tonne bags of fertiliser & farm equipment & general pick up use but not a daily driver
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Old 12-03-2002, 20:46   #4 (permalink)
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Thumbs up

Thank you very much for the info, exactly what i wanted to know

Wont be buying one right away - just keeping an eye out for one

It will be mostly used for towing a track car around, but also tonne bags of fertiliser & farm equipment & general pick up use but not a daily driver

thanks again

James
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F150 1989 5.0ltr
VX SS M6 Black 207rwkw 13.6@103 - SOLD :(
VH trackcar 202ci 107rwkw sandown 1:39 morwell hill climb 39sec
VC s/wagon still chuggin (just)
MF 1155 540ci tractor
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Old 12-04-2002, 15:09   #5 (permalink)
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I had a retired Ambulance as my daily Driver/tow vehicle for rally car for over 5 years. It has been retired now and a lot of the parts are getting used on an F250 I'm building up.

Further to all of the great info above, a couple more points. The steering boxes are really expensive - make sure it's OK, and also look for cracks around the chassis near the steering box - obviously these are bad news.

Weights: My ambulance empty weighed closer to 2.4t, which doesn't leave much payload capacity. The good news is that they withstand overloading quite well. Heading to a rally with a Gemini on the trailer, All up (ie including the trailer etc) we weighed up to 5.5t, and it did this for years with aplomb.

Look out for rust in the firewall and the floor at the bottoms of the A-pillars.

Mine ran on striaght gas with a worked clevo. The engine is about to get water/metho injection because the effective octane of LPG has dropped slowly over recent years. The engine was first built years ago to take advantage of the higher octane gas used to have :-(

cheersbigears.....
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Old 12-04-2002, 15:32   #6 (permalink)
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Ex Ambos tare different weights due to the fact that there are so many different body styles and building construction techniques.

My F350 Ex Ambo Tared at 3.5 tonnes Most of it due to the 2.5mm X 40mm rhs frame the fibreglass was attatched to, and it was a beast to hunt around town but I was given quite a bit of respect . My other F100 ambos were a lot lighter at 1.5 tonnes but they werent the Jakab body, The were the full fibreglass low height bodies.

In Brisbane theres a mob making the Ambo bodies out of Aluminium which Im told are a third less in weight than the Big Jakab Fibreglass/steel bodies.

I forgot about the steering box, but then I've never had any grief with them. As for chassis cracks around the steering box, I've heard of it on 4X4 F250's but only with serious milage. Not a hard thing to repair if the rest of the truck is good. I agree with you if its a dunger let it go.
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Old 12-05-2002, 16:21   #7 (permalink)
Beer O'clock
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might be sellng my 84 long wheel base soon...give me a yell if your interested.....not a cheapy though as it's in very good nick
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