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Discussion Starter #61
ImageUploadedByAG Free1428047657.405944.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1428047670.340338.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1428047680.801438.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1428047691.660752.jpg
So I finally sorted out my hardware issues today and got after installing the radius arm brackets today. Had to drill the upper rear most hole on both brackets and the rear most inside hole on the drivers side. The hardware is all Grade 8 with heat treated flat washers, split washers, and nuts. The vertical bolts in the drivers side bracket are 1-1/2" long to clear the brake and fuel lines, all other bolts are 2" long as there are some areas where the frame is double thick. As an added measure, I'll be welding these brackets to the frame, overkill, but because they aren't hot riveted and I'm running 6" radius arm drop brackets for the 6" lift, well, it's just peace of mind.

Axle swap is days away.


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Discussion Starter #62
Projects like this axle swap, you read the posts and threads on various forums, and everyone who has done it has had a different experience. What amazes me are the details that get left out. If you piece together your swap, like I have, you're in for a bunch of surprises. Especially with missing parts. I was ready to tear into it today and then, realized I didn't have the coil spring isolators for the tops of the springs. Really? Is something that trivial going to delay me yet another week?

On the bright side, things in my personal situation are finally taking another upswing. I've taken a part time gig that happens to provide me with access to a facility where I can do my thing with performance cars again. I've been networking with local car guys and more work is in the works. I'm happy, I'm motivated, and I feel good for the first time in years, in fact the best I've felt in over 10 years.

So, next weekend, maybe?


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Ah yes, the small details can be everything in delaying progress.

Glad to hear things are looking up Idaho!

From the pic's, it looks like you do nice work.

Harry
 
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Discussion Starter #64
I try to do nice work. I haven't been online much, or working on my own truck for that matter, because I've been going through a 1970 Oldsmobile 442 W30 Convertible. It was cloned into a reasonable "driver" with a 403 instead of a 455, it looked great at 50 feet, decent at 20 feet, but at arms reach, it had a lot of issues, especially under the hood. The wiring was a mess, there were wires added to run the internal regulator alternator, the HEI distributor, the electric choke, extra vacuum hose by feet that wasn't needed. It needed someone to care about it more than a little so that's what I did.

The engine supposedly had 500 miles on it but it had a knock when it warmed up, and after I pulled it, it turned out it had a loose rod bolt and the bearings looked like it had been assembled in a sand box. If it wasn't for the fact the pistons were Sealed Power replacements and looked like new, I'd have said it had closer to 150,500 miles on it. The engine got a full going through, we used the same pistons and cam because it ran just fine for a massive car on four akimmy little 14" tires. Anyhow, the car fired off with less than 30 seconds total cranking time to fill an empty carb and ran with 50psi oil pressure and idles perfect where I stabbed the distributor on the stand. I'm proud of the end result, it looks really nice, and it's paying the bills. ImageUploadedByAG Free1428652492.304839.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1428652515.920107.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1428652529.143471.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1428652547.634295.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1428652559.674320.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1428652589.618277.jpg



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Discussion Starter #65
Had a little time to get some odds and ends out of the garage onto the truck. Installed the transfer case and fuel tank skid plates this afternoon. Happy to have it done, but I think I may have ended up with a skid plate for a short bed because the rear of the tank is exposed and the from or the skid plate is a couple inches forward of the tank. I'll have to check a stock FX4 long bed to confirm.

ImageUploadedByAG Free1429253033.461871.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1429253048.388693.jpg


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Discussion Starter #66
Started the axle swap this morning. It's going along pretty good since I'm not working too terribly hard at it. Started off by taking a couple pictures to show the way the truck was and measurements from the ground to the center of the fender. ImageUploadedByAG Free1429663942.827977.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1429663957.848473.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1429663971.878724.jpg

The passenger side was 38-1/2" and the drivers side was 37-3/4".

Toot the bumper off to make getting to the front spring hangers easier and started dropping the axle. It took about 4 hours to get everything out of the truck, short of the steering box.

ImageUploadedByAG Free1429664107.797030.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1429664122.175938.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1429664132.192367.jpg


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Discussion Starter #67
Got as far as getting the '05 steering box and drop pitman arm, radius arm brackets and radius arm drop brackets are installed. The coil spring buckets are installed. The track bar bracket is in place but needs a little more fitment and final mounting. All in all, a good days work.


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Discussion Starter #68
And I drove the truck last night at about 8pm. I believe the steering box Isn't the one that came out of the truck that donated it's axles, because it already had a drop pitman arm on it, and that the guy I bought the axles from probably gave me a junk box he had laying around. So I'm going to get a reman box and swap it out.

Truck went 8-1/2" Up in front between the 6" lift, the swap from 285s to 35" MTs, and the axle conversion itself. Pretty happy with the results. Once you have every part the swap takes one motivated guy about 16-18 hours to do with no help except to put the steering box in and bleed the brakes.

ImageUploadedByAG Free1429799018.501280.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1429799027.958501.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1429799038.309477.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1429799070.404263.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1429799087.847668.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1429799100.132512.jpg


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Shazam! that looks great Idaho!

Like I said, you do very good work. Nice to see the results of pride in workmanship.

Good job man!

Tires look good too.

Harry
 
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Discussion Starter #70
Thanks Harry!

So I'm out at 9pm driving it to get the air out of the steering box and hydra-boost, and it's getting better and better. Drive, stop, shut off, wait 5 minutes, repeat. It was filling the reservoir with frothy foam earlier, this process seems to be helping the situation immensely.

Took a better picture this morning too, with the hood down and the bumper on. I have to say, it's taking a little getting used to to get in and out, especially in the dark, and the N-Fabs aren't very confidence inspiring at the moment.

ImageUploadedByAG Free1429848385.233815.jpg


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Any plans for the rear springs?

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Discussion Starter #72
Yes. The plan for the rear is just a Part 2 kind of scenario.

So, I have the matching 2005 rear axle too. When I got it, it came with leafs with overloads out of a truck rated 11,200 GCVW. Sweet, this truck is only rated 9,900. The pal is to replace the stuck caliper and bad rotor, buy parking brake cables for a long bed, and dust shields (because Florida wasn't kind to the axle or brakes). I'll install an '08+ diff cover while I'm there too.

The springs alone won't get the truck high enough. So I plan on installing a PMF rear shackle flip kit. Now that the front is lifted, I can put a floor jack under the receiver and raise the truck up to the height I want it and figure out if I'll be ordering it with a 2-1/2" or 3-1/2" lift. The shackle flip will help the ride and let me avoid needing new "lift" springs or taller rear blocks.

While this all goes on, I have to add the companion flange to my driveshaft, so first I'm going to try a salvage yard for the right driveshaft, if I can't find one to rebuild myself, I'll have the one I got with the axle lengthened (it was from a short bed truck). Mine is in need of a full rebuild too, and with the lift the length needs to be checked and possibly adjusted slightly.

Those are essentially the plans for the rear. Driving it around last night was weird with the rear so low relative to the front. And on that note, I need to go drive it some more, the air is work input of the system and it's getting manageable to drive.


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Discussion Starter #73
The front suspension is basically done. The steering box that came with the axles was bad. I had my suspicions from right after I got it, because it supposedly came off a truck that was stock height but had a 4"-6" drop pitman arm on it. I was guessing the kid kept the good box for his own truck. That's where car karma comes in.

Swapping a steering box is surprisingly difficult without an extra set of hands to start bolts, or a good means to hold it in place accurately, but I managed to get it in. I thought for a minute that the second box was bad or that I had killed the stock pump, only lost a small amount of fluid pulling the old one, and because the pump didn't make any noise I freaked when I first started it. I though all the work was for nothing and the pump was the issue, but I couldn't wrap my head around how the pump could have failed during the swap. Turned out the new box was just so thirsty for fluid it purged the reservoir and left it empty, and with no fluid to make pressure it had no fluid to make noise. 1-1/2 quarts of fluid later, it works like it should.

I'm super happy with the swap. Brakes feel great, the truck rides great, and I have a turning radius again, the single greatest disappointment in this truck vs my '05 was its complete lack of ability to turn. I'm so happy, it's like getting a new truck!


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Discussion Starter #74 (Edited)
Been a few weeks since my last update. Got the steering box sorted on May 1, swapped in a known good used box from LKQ and I was up and running. This is how it looked.
ImageUploadedByAG Free1432404777.784153.jpg

And no, there's no weight in the bed in that picture aside from the cherry picker, the rear is still just stock F-350 height. I developed an occasional clunk, got under neath and put the torque wrench to everything again and that was resolved. I've driven the truck about 2000 miles, even towed with it, and it performed just fine.
ImageUploadedByAG Free1432403823.826239.jpg

Got tired of the rear sitting so low, so I decided to run blocks in the back until I can swap to the '05 suspension and axle with the PMF Shacke Flip kit. I think the blocks were a good choice to see just how much the rear needed to go up. I pulled the stock 3-3/4" F-350 blocks and used 2" F-250 blocks with the 4" Fabtech blocks that came with the lift kit. It's still just a touch low in the rear, and while I like it, if the rear were an inch higher that would be equally good. The idea is to limit the amount of block I have to run to no more than the factory F-350 block, and PMF offers 2.5"/3.5"/4.5" lifts from the shackle flip but claim the lift varies with truck cab and bed configuration, there's no reason it should though. So I'm still torn between the 2.5" and 3.5", knowing that the 2.5 with the 350 block is essentially 6-1/4", and I'm up 6" now, but that with the 250 block with the 3.5" is 5-1/5". A little part of me wants to drop to a 4.5" spring up front to.

So this is how it sits now.
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ImageUploadedByAG Free1432404845.015918.jpg
ImageUploadedByAG Free1432404921.995805.jpg


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Discussion Starter #75
Death wobble. Holy brown stained unda-pants!

So, it happened twice, while towing yesterday. Everything looked fine on a visual inspection the first time it happened, the second time, closer inspection revealed the track bar bracket had come loose.

First thing to remember if it happens is you have to slow down, and the only way to do that, because the brakes are worthless while it's happening, is grab low gear and scrub speed any way possible, even the parking brake would be useful with this.




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Discussion Starter #76
Had the truck on the alignment rack, and everything was in spec short of the steering wheel being off slightly. Simple fine tune adjustment to the drag link and all is well. Camber, caster, and toe were all in spec the way I installed it, which is pretty good considering I pieced the swap together and lifted it at the same time.

The death wobble has not returned since the track bar bracket issue was resolved. The truck is solid, stable, and predictable on the road and off. Yes, I went out and did a 10 mile run along the California Aqueduct at highway speeds and it was just fine. Probably need to plan some upgrades for the future if I want to go much faster or farther off road at speed though.

Here's my latest observations though. I lifted the truck, and I expected a drop in fuel mileage. Right after I lifted it, I did an oil change, same Delo 400LE 15w-40 I was running, but I didn't have AR9100 to add so I ran without it. Fuel mileage dropped from the 15+mpg I got the first 2000 miles after the lift to a lousy 13mpg. I tried changing my driving habits and saw a .5mpg gain, but 13.5 sucks. I pulled out the AR6200 and doped the fuel and with that I'm back to 14.5mpg. It's about due another oil change so I'll get some AR9100 in and I should be able to get back into the mid-15s maybe 16.

Driving 170 miles a day for work, I'd like to get it up to 17mpg, but until I can do the '05-07 face lift and graft on the '11+ long air dam, I don't thing that's in the cards. It is in the plan though, and I'll update when I get results on the reintroduction of AR9100 and the eventual aerodynamic changes.


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Thanks for all the updates Idaho! I just now caught up on your posts.

Truck pic's looks good.

AR9100 / AR6200 combo makes our heui injected trucks run good.

How bad was the death wobble in terms of steering wheel shake?

Man I got to hand it to ya, your truck is evolving nicely.

Harry
 

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Discussion Starter #78
Thanks for the kind words Harry, it's coming along slowly but it's coming along the way I want it to. It's nice to have a solid plan for the truck worked out and be able to simply see it through. About the only thing I'm slightly up in the air on is the paint, that may change for reasons, but that's going to be one of the last things I do anyway.

The death wobble was absolutely terrifying. The whole truck shakes violently, there are videos on YouTube that give more perspective on how badly the axle jumps around uncontrollably. You have no control, you can not physically hold on to the steering wheel when it happens, you're just along for the ride, a very scary ride.

it seems as though the AR9100 has a bigger impact on fuel mileage than AR6200 for my 7.3, while I'm off the AR9100, I've tried adjusting my driving habits, I've replaced the EBP sensor tube because mine had holes in it, and I've been running AR6200 the past 2500 miles, and mileage is all over the place, one tank it's 14.8, the next it's 13.6, then 13.8, then 14.3, it's infuriating. Coolant and oil temps seem to be playing into it heavily though, and the weather has been hot (95°F) then cool (70°F) then warm (85°F) then cooler (60°F) and hot again, so nothing is cooperating in generating any consistent conditions to compare.

So with that I'll leave you with today's clean truck on the drive home from work photos:
ImageUploadedByAG Free1433819613.851607.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1433819643.890639.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1433819672.253272.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1433819689.597711.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1433819722.372507.jpg ImageUploadedByAG Free1433819741.876061.jpg


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Discussion Starter #79
I just keep stacking the miles on this truck.
View attachment 39489
I've put another 600 on since Monday afternoon, and she'll do another 220 tomorrow.

I ordered AR9100, and at the rate I'm racking up miles I'll be due an oil change in about 2 weeks anyway. I spoke with the boys at Archoil and they indicated some trucks responding to half a dose of the product after an initial 1oz. per quart treatment. I'm game to try that, after a full treatment again, as I believe running without for 5,000 miles has stripped the benefit of the product from the engine. So very soon, we'll see how it goes.

The weather has still been so erratic that it's impossible to quantify results with AR6200. Thunderstorms and rain are pretty spectacular though, and if the price of getting out of this drought is unpredictable weather, I'll accept that. It seems the AR6200 is maybe worth .5mpg, but again, the results are nearly impossible to quantify.. If things settle down, I'll report further.

In other news, I scored a couple Toyo M/Ts on Thursday for a heck of a deal, solid 35-40% tires, sold a set of old Western Mags I had from my '77 F-150 and scored these for a net outlay of $100. Pretty happy with that, since I have 6 wheels, now I have 6 tires, and I can cycle them through the rotation pattern. Just have to get the final two wheels media blasted to match and I'm all set!
ImageUploadedByAG Free1434243835.057380.jpg


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Discussion Starter #80 (Edited)
Been a while since the last update. The number on the odometer goes up about 1000 a week lately, sometimes more, sometimes less, but I'm approaching 50,000 miles of ownership.

ImageUploadedByAG Free1439026476.672630.jpg

The only fuel that's cheap here in California right now is diesel. It's typically $1.00 less than premium and in some places $1.00 or more less than regular. Tonight I filled the truck and had a pleasant surprise, I could not get $100 worth of fuel into the tank, and I tried!

ImageUploadedByAG Free1439026643.870585.jpg

The Harpoon mod nets about 3 gallons of additional capacity, I can't recommend it enough, if anybody on the west coast wants a tank to mod, I have a spare for a long bed, heck, I'll even do the mod for you, and the tank fits 1999-2007 long beds. Anyway, I still had 1/8th of a tank when I stopped and the low fuel light had NOT come on yet. I've gone 40 miles past the low fuel light in a pinch, risking it, and living dangerously! Let's just say the price of fuel here is totally acceptable.

ImageUploadedByAG Free1439026934.442493.jpg

Changed the oil last week. Truck did 10,000 miles without Archoil AR9100 in it. Boy was that a bummer. The fuel economy on the truck had fallen to the low 13s, 13.1-13.3avg, and if I towed anything, it was mid-12s. Pretty bad for a truck that got 18mpg last fall on an open highway road trip to Northern Idaho and back. I'm happy to report that the addition of the AR9100 has brought mileage on the past two tanks up to 13.8-13.9mpg. I need to service the fuel filter and air filter, the transmission, transfer case, and axles, I've just been procrastinating the rear until I can swap the '05 in, and the way things are going I should be able to do it soon.

ImageUploadedByAG Free1439027399.467211.jpg
ImageUploadedByAG Free1439027481.452962.jpg

And yes, the truck does work. Maybe not the hardest work sometimes, but work nonetheless. I've also tugged a big Bobcat tractor around on that same trailer, helping with an auger to punch fence post holes and doing property cleanup at a house I'm getting ready to sell.

This E99 7.3 has been good for me so far. I've got plenty planned for it, all of which takes time and money, neither of which I have at the moment, but unlike my 2005, I have no regrets buying this truck. I'll update again when I have something to share!
 
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