I tweet at Ford 1-2 times a week that they would have sold three through me already: one for me and two company trucks if they'd offer a manual.
Big trucks aren't available in auto for what we do, 6, 18, and 8/13 speed only.
I'd rather replace a Ranger transmission if a new driver blows one...
Neglected cooling systems seriously suck.
Wait. Youre an air cooled guy.
When you flushed the block, what did the crap coming out look like?
If someone ran a bottle of radiator stop leak or head gasket repair through the system, you're going to be fighting a lot of crap all through the...
Honest advice? Find a clean 1983-1996.
Obd 1, cheap to fix, and $300-3000 (all in) for pretty much whatever you'd want. Lots of engine options throughout those years from a torque-y or revvy V6, to n/a and turbo diesels. Carb and efi.
Plus, if a kid bangs one up, fenders are $50 from raybuck...