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Unread 10-18-2011, 03:27 PM   #1
Boreal
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Tow rig build thread

I've been watching the auction sites and KSL for months, waiting for the right deal to come along. I wanted to upgrade my tow rig to something newer that would also accommodate my entire family of 6. Any of you guys that know me know that I'm a pretty cheap bastard, so that's a pretty tall order. Well, I think I finally stumbled onto something, so last week I went ahead and picked up:

2004 Ford F-450 Crew Cab
141,552 miles
6.0 Powerstroke (motor bad... at least that's how it was advertised. More on that in a minute)

Here's the beast.





It was a service truck and it was definitely worked. Body is a bit rough in spots, but nothing that can't be prettied up a little.









It's a bargain basement model, so no power door locks or windows, but it does have A/C. Interior is a little rough too, but a good cleaning, some seat covers, and some nice floor mats will make it pretty sweet.





Engine compartment could use a little attention too.



Front tires are in rough shape. Not sure if this wear is caused by alignment being off, pressure/rotation not consistent, or if the front end is junk.



So it needs some work, but the price was right. It was advertised as having a blown motor, so I purchased it with the intention of swapping out the 6.0 for a 12v 5.9 Cummins out of a 1990 Dodge aircraft tug that my buddy has floating around his house. When we went to load the truck on the flatbed on Thursday, we tried to start it to see if it could move under its own power to at least get up onto the trailer. The motor would turn over but it wouldn't idle and would almost immediately die. The drive shaft had also been pulled when it was towed a few months ago, so no chance of the truck loading itself. We used a forklift to tow it onto the trailer and we hauled it home. I was feeling a little optimistic since it seemed like the motor at least turned over.

The next day (Friday) we unloaded the truck into the yard here at work. I wanted to have access to the forklifts here to help me lift the utility box on the rear, which I planned on selling and swapping with a standard bed. I talked to a buddy of mine later that day about the truck while he happened to be standing next to a Powerstroke mechanic friend of his. When I described the symptoms, the mechanic immediately told me to check the ERG valve. I had no idea what that was, so of course I went to youtube I watched a 2 minute video on the valve, what it does, where it was located, and how to clean it. One hour later, the valve was pulled, cleaned, and replaced. Wouldn't you know it, the truck fired right up and now idles great

So now I have a dilemma.... I bought this thing fully intending to swap in that Cummins. Now that the 6.0 is working, do I:

1) Drive it as is and enjoy!
2) Sell the working 6.0 for money (people are saying between $3 - $4K) and use that toward the swap.
3) Sell the entire truck as is and double if not triple my money. Use that money toward a different truck.

Any ideas?

Anyway, I'm not too sure which direction this build thread will go, but it should be interesting.

Here's one last picture (duplicate of one above) for those of you that have photobucket blocked at work...

100_2758.jpg  
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Unread 10-18-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
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Sell it. Get one with the lariat or king ranch package and a blown motor, then do the swap. You will make money on the deal plus I love sitting in luxury on those long trips. Use the extra money for in cab dvd players for the kids.
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Unread 10-18-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
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Here are a couple of pics of the dirty valve. Those little soot rocks were keeping it from functioning like it should.
forumrunner_20111018_143956.jpg   forumrunner_20111018_144012.jpg   forumrunner_20111018_145928.jpg  
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Unread 10-18-2011, 04:00 PM   #4
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Sweet deal by the way. Wish mine had worked out so well
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Unread 10-18-2011, 04:06 PM   #5
Boreal
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Very tempting to sell it... I'd love a King Ranch I drove my boss' 2008 loaded F350 to Vegas a few months ago and towed a car hauler back with it. Very nice.

If I could find a nice newer truck with a blown motor for the same price I could sell this one for, then I guess it'd work out. I'd end up spending the same amount of money I was planning on this one anyway.

Hmm...
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Unread 10-18-2011, 07:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boreal
Very tempting to sell it... I'd love a King Ranch I drove my boss' 2008 loaded F350 to Vegas a few months ago and towed a car hauler back with it. Very nice.

If I could find a nice newer truck with a blown motor for the same price I could sell this one for, then I guess it'd work out. I'd end up spending the same amount of money I was planning on this one anyway.

Hmm...
People still rave about the 7.3's. Is it a cheaper/easier swap for you?

Depends on how much you'd use it. If its a tow only rig I'd say keep it. If its goona be a dd then I'd consider it. But if the motor runs, I'd say drive it dead then consider a swap.

It may end up being like my 8.8. Why change something that was working (super 35) for something better that ends up being a pain in the butt.
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Destroyed it somehow..... It went wobble wobble wobble boom
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Unread 10-19-2011, 01:00 AM   #7
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It won't be a DD... just the infrequent tow duties and then other use when I need a bed.
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Unread 10-19-2011, 01:10 AM   #8
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You already have it, it runs, I would keep it and clean it up a bit. No reason to start another project or spend more money on a swap which will leave more $ for other things, like the Jeep.
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Unread 10-19-2011, 07:44 AM   #9
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Well if your overall objective is to do that swap and you really want to do it then I still say keep looking for the nicer packages and get another truck. When I was looking at getting one I found a 2007 f350 king ranch with a blown motor for 6000-7000 in immaculate condition. I'm sure you could sell that truck you have for 10,000+ and do the swap you were wanting in the first place.

Also if I recall correctly the 6.0 power strokes before 2006 had alot of issues. So many in fact that ford bought hundreds of them back from the buyers because it was cheaper then continuing to warranty it.

I'd look into that as well. Seems like you had tow rig issues going to moab last year, wouldn't want to repeat that.

Otherwise if the swap isn't a big deal to you and you dont really care about the truck interior then I say keep it.
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Unread 10-19-2011, 10:53 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by team1k View Post
Well if your overall objective is to do that swap and you really want to do it then I still say keep looking for the nicer packages and get another truck. When I was looking at getting one I found a 2007 f350 king ranch with a blown motor for 6000-7000 in immaculate condition. I'm sure you could sell that truck you have for 10,000+ and do the swap you were wanting in the first place.
That's exactly what I was looking for, but I've had no luck in months of off and on searching. I've really only looked at KSL, is there a better way to chase down a truck with a junk engine? I'd love a KR for $7K. If I could get $10 or $12 out of this truck, I could buy the KR and almost have enough left for the swap.

Quote:
Also if I recall correctly the 6.0 power strokes before 2006 had alot of issues. So many in fact that ford bought hundreds of them back from the buyers because it was cheaper then continuing to warranty it.

I'd look into that as well. Seems like you had tow rig issues going to moab last year, wouldn't want to repeat that.

Otherwise if the swap isn't a big deal to you and you dont really care about the truck interior then I say keep it.
I've heard the horror stories of the 6.0 which is why the only reason I bought this truck was because the motor was junk. Well, now it's not junk I think for now I'm just going to clean it up as if I were going to keep it long term... make it into how I'd like it if I were to end up with it forever. Once it's in good shape, I might casually try to sell it to see what happens. At the same time I'll keep my eyes open for a nice 2005+ Lariat or KR since those have the beefy torqueshift tranny. I have seen a few F250s with the 5.4L gasser for a little cheaper, so maybe I could pick up one of those with really high miles for cheap.
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Unread 10-19-2011, 12:04 PM   #11
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I'll keep an eye out for you. let me know what your looking for exactly. Year, model, amenities, price.
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Unread 10-19-2011, 01:05 PM   #12
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I'd appreciate that. I'm not real picky since the truck will see little use. However, it would be really nice to drive a KR pulling a trailer to Pismo Beach vs this one

I'm mainly looking at '05 and newer, just because by that time they had dropped to only 2 transmission options... the 6 speed manual or the 5 speed TorqueShift auto. I've heard good stuff about either and I think they'd both work just fine behind a Cummins, so I'm not picky on tranny. Power doors, windows, A/C, not picky on leather vs cloth... just something cushy for the long rides to California and the not so long rides to Moab.

Thanks for keeping an eye out
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Unread 10-19-2011, 03:46 PM   #13
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Lots of potential there!
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Unread 11-02-2011, 12:30 PM   #14
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Are you planning on selling this beast? I'm thinking of selling my Dodge and moving into something like that PowerJoke.
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Unread 12-20-2011, 10:31 PM   #15
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If your EGR looks like that I bet your intake runners/intake valves look like crap too. 6.0 was bad about blowing HG, if it was mine I would drive it for a while, and see how it starts hot (a small leak in the HP oil system will make it take longer to crank). Hell drive it for a little bit and see how you like it. once you do HG, the only think that really causes problems is the HP oil pump/EGR but you can get some tuning to turn it off.
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