After a short nap today, it's off to the shop. Among the tasks for today is to strip down my spare front axle and compile a list of extra parts that I have. This way I can be of more help to fellow Ford fans. I'm shipping a spare part off to North Carolina to help someone get their truck on the road, and that makes me feel pretty darn good. All he has to do is cover the shipping. I'm not looking to make big bucks on these parts, in fact I haven't asked for a dime for any of them. The more spare parts I can rid myself of gives me more shop space.
One of the items I really wanted to upgrade on this project was the steering. I thought power steering would be a really nice upgrade on this truck. Luckily, there are some fairly easy options for this. A Toyota power steering box from a 79-85 4WD pickup is just about the perfect choice for this, readily available at junkyards and a bolt in conversion. A wanted post on the local 4x4 board, got me in touch with a guy in Tacoma that has one for sale for $50. SOLD! I'll pick it up this weekend. Basically the swap requires a mounting bracket that bolts to the original steering box bolt holes in the frame and a custom pitman arm which are both available from the fine folks at midfifty. They also recommend that the tie rod be upgraded to a beefier unit than stock. It's relatively cheap ($45), so we'll do it right the 1st time. This truck should drive and stop rather nicely with power steering and power disc brakes.
The past month has really flown by and I'm pretty proud of the progress I've made. Sometimes it's hard for me to stay on task due to a painfully short attention span, but this has been a great experience so far. Time really flies when you're getting after it in the shop. I'm enjoying the work I'm doing and can't wait until I can get the frame back and get both axles under it. Then it will actually look like I've accomplished something. One of the benefits of my job is the rotating shift schedule affords me a lot of days off during the week. It's amazing what can be accomplished when you have 2,3 or even 7 days off in a row to work on your project. Charlene works a regular M-F job, so my weekdays off are pretty much mine to work on the truck. By the way, she has been a great source of support in going forward with this project and of my old car habit in general. She even does swap meets and car shows, how lucky am I? I look forward to taking her cruising in the truck when it's complete.
Sunday, I've got a few folks coming to get parts and I'll disassemble the rear end in the morning if I don't get to it Friday. There is a great write up on ford-trucks.com on rebuilding a Ford 9" rear, I'll print out a couple copies and take them out with me. As the axle sits right now, it has a 3.00:1 ring and pinion set and it is an open diff. With the torque that 390 should put out it should be a pretty nice balance of acceleration and highway driveability. I do have a 3.25 or 3.50 (can't remember) R&P set in the shop, so I could always swap them out. I could also pickup a posi unit at a junkyard or a swap meet in the spring. But for now, I'll put it in as-is. Replace bearings and seals and freshen up the brakes and paint it up, should be good to go.
Should be a great weekend, weather is supposed to cooperate, hope everyone else has a good one too!