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Ray's 83 Build Thread


RayInStl

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Well, that didn't work. Let's try something else!
I recently picked up an 83 4x4 long bed that's in pretty good shape but has a bad motor. This thread will serve to document my progress as I slowly put her back together.

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I had another 83 a few years ago. I really loved that truck, but sadly severe frame rust did it in. Ever since, I've been keeping a loose eye out for another. A little over a month ago, facebook stuck this very blue little 83 in my marketplace feed for a hard to pass up price. The previous owner had bought it as his first truck and pulled the original motor after it lost compression in one of the cylinders. He bought another 2.3 out of a mustang, but lost interest before installing. Unfortunately for me, he left the "good" motor open to the elements and it was full of water when I pulled it out of the bed and put it on my engine stand. It was locked up tight. I found another motor via the wanted section here, and made the long trip from Missouri to Michigan to pick it up. I brought my brother and niece along for the ride. We drove the 4 hours from my brother's place to our hotel with my doors off, and the next morning we got to see one of the Great Lakes in person for the first time. Picking up the motor was a great experience. The PO and his brother were great to talk to and very helpful. They were very happy to have part of his truck being saved from the scrapper, and I was very happy to be able to help keep a piece of it on the road.

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The "new" engine is fuel injected from an 85 parts truck. The original was carb'd. I have a 91 parts truck that's complete, but with a knocking 2.3L, so I have all of the fuel injection pieces. Just need to figure out what needs to transfer over. That's the next step.
 


Uncle Gump

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Cool project... looking forward to your progress.

One of these days... I plan to go meet that fella from southern Michigan... check out his Bronco II and drink all his coffee.
 

bobbywalter

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a fine start.
 

scotts90ranger

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I agree, nice start...

If you want to use the fuel injection stuff from the '91 on the '85 block I've made a few posts about what's needed to get the crank sensor mounted up, if you can't find it I can search at some point... or type it up again... whateves... :), staying with the TFI ignition isn't hard either but if the wiring is set for one way...
 

RayInStl

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2.3L
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Manual
My credo
Well, that didn't work. Let's try something else!
Cool project... looking forward to your progress.

One of these days... I plan to go meet that fella from southern Michigan... check out his Bronco II and drink all his coffee.
Wait, there was coffee? Nobody said anything about coffee!

I agree, nice start...

If you want to use the fuel injection stuff from the '91 on the '85 block I've made a few posts about what's needed to get the crank sensor mounted up, if you can't find it I can search at some point... or type it up again... whateves... :), staying with the TFI ignition isn't hard either but if the wiring is set for one way...
I'll have to research that. I assumed the blocks were the same. Well damn. If it's too difficult, I can get pretty much anything from the truck I need. Just have to pay the shipping, which is awesome. He's been great to work with. But I assume the fuel injection from 91 gives a little more power/efficiency?
 
Last edited:

scotts90ranger

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The dual plug stuff (yeah, heads and intake are different, not a big deal, can switch to single plug easy enough) does run a little better, I think it gained like 10 hp or so over the '85-88 setup.

The swap isn't too bad, it's mostly making a template for some bolts on the front of the block for the crank sensor, I don't remember if you can use the old oil pan with the new front seal housing but an '85 block has the oil pan gasket in the rear bearing cap and the aluminum pan uses a gasket in the pan, I've filled the rear cap with JB weld before which worked but I made the mistake of using the slow cure stuff...
 

RobbieD

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Nice looking truck!

Don't see many "3 hole" radios these days. If you're going to change the radio to a DIN, consider grabbing a later dash trim panel, and save that 3 holer dash.
 

RayInStl

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Well, that didn't work. Let's try something else!
The dual plug stuff (yeah, heads and intake are different, not a big deal, can switch to single plug easy enough) does run a little better, I think it gained like 10 hp or so over the '85-88 setup.

The swap isn't too bad, it's mostly making a template for some bolts on the front of the block for the crank sensor, I don't remember if you can use the old oil pan with the new front seal housing but an '85 block has the oil pan gasket in the rear bearing cap and the aluminum pan uses a gasket in the pan, I've filled the rear cap with JB weld before which worked but I made the mistake of using the slow cure stuff...
You don't happen to have a link to the thread where you did that, do you? I tried searching, but had no luck.

Nice looking truck!

Don't see many "3 hole" radios these days. If you're going to change the radio to a DIN, consider grabbing a later dash trim panel, and save that 3 holer dash.
Thanks :) I don't plan to cut up the dash. This is how I'm upgrading my tunes:

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RobbieD

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Thanks :) I don't plan to cut up the dash. This is how I'm upgrading my tunes:

View attachment 111266

Cool!

For some reason . . . that gives me the urge to go see a drive-in movie.


Reminds me, that I used to have a pretty good collection of the old cast zinc drive-in speaker boxes; which I used to forget about until I was driving away . . .
 

RayInStl

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Well, that didn't work. Let's try something else!
Instead of doing anything that gets it closer to running and driving, I spent my evening getting this:

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Bought it from a really nice kid with a 2000 4.0 that has some nasty sounding electrical gremlins. He was selling the bar to fund repairs. I hope he gets it going.

I wasn't sure if it would fit my 83 without modification, but it went right in. Ford really didn't change much with these trucks. Even looks like my truck had one before, which explains the rust on the wheel wells.

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I bought some Blazer International 100W off road lights to finish off the look and they arrived this morning. Gotta love that one day shipping. Not bad for 23 bucks a piece. They're really just for looks anyway. I might paint them eventually, I hear they like to rust. I also picked up some "inspired by KC" smiley face hard covers for them off eBay. I figured knock off KC covers for my knock off KC lights was fitting.

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I drug the truck out into the light to see how it looks. I'm pretty happy with it. The camera makes the lights look small from the front, but it's just the fisheye effect. They look better in person.

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RayInStl

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2.3L
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Manual
My credo
Well, that didn't work. Let's try something else!
Cool!

For some reason . . . that gives me the urge to go see a drive-in movie.


Reminds me, that I used to have a pretty good collection of the old cast zinc drive-in speaker boxes; which I used to forget about until I was driving away . . .
My brother's wife has a 62 Fairlane and he bought some old zinc drive in speaker boxes to convert to bluetooth speakers so that when they go to the drive-in, they can hang them on the windows. Don't know if he ever actually did it... lol
 

scotts90ranger

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You don't happen to have a link to the thread where you did that, do you? I tried searching, but had no luck.
Found a few, slightly different context each thread so I'll just throw a few out

ONE TWO THREE

I'm sure I could find more but this might cover it, I've tossed my template each time I think, if I didn't my garage is a disaster so might as well have...
 

RayInStl

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Well, that didn't work. Let's try something else!
So are you just drilling holes into the front of the block and tapping them, then? Don't suppose you have any pictures from when you did it to yours, do you?
 

scotts90ranger

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4WD
Total Lift
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Tire Size
35"
Yes, it's just drilling and tapping 3 6mmx1mm pitch holes in the front of the block. I just looked and I don't have any pictures, I know one of them went through into the crankcase but none went into water jackets or anything that I remember.
 

RayInStl

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Manual
My credo
Well, that didn't work. Let's try something else!
I guess the one in the crankcase gets sealed by the bolt. Did you use Teflon tape on that one? Have you had any leaks from it?
 

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