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Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/24/23 1:59 p.m.

Well with my trip set to begin in a week, but now being the legal owner of the next terrible idea, I figured now is a great time to start a thread on the new purchase. Hoping I can learn a thing or three before-hand. After getting far too in-over-my-head on an FJ60 that needed extensive rust repair and a tearful good bye to that truck, I needed a replacement. Living in New Jersey, a replacement wasn't exactly going to be an easy ask considering the new requirement was no rust; and thanks to the paltry sum I got for the Cruiser in a million pieces, a low budget.

And with the intention of researching cars before the trip, I found the (hopefully) perfect replacement for the FJ60. I wanted something that we could camp in, and since getting the FJ60 my girlfriend and I got a dog, which meant space for 2 people and a pup. Add in wanting something neat (read: rad era or earlier) and stick shift, the choices narrowed down to basically full size pickup trucks and square body Suburbans. And I don't have the money for what folks want for clean 'Burbans. Then this showed up. An truck. a 1994 Ford F-150 Regular Cab Long Bed 4x4 with a 300I6 and a 5 speed manual. Slow, but faster than an FJ60. Big, but not as big as a Suburban, and the exact real-life depiction of what an 8 year old would draw if you asked them to draw "a pickup truck." And, most importantly, basically no rust. I sent the buddy we're staying with in Washington to take a look at the truck, who basically told me if I didn't buy it he would, and suddenly I had a title being mailed to me.

To seal the deal, the previous owner Zac was amazing to talk to and is honestly more excited for this trip than I am. He showed me endless receipts, gave me amazing answers to anything I asked for, and most importantly wants pictures of the return trip. The truck isn't perfect, it seems to consume oil at...a rate? He said a quart every other fillup, but with 38 gallons of dual tank-ed fuel capacity that seems like a pseudo-reasonable rate depending on fuel economy. Which is...lower than anticipated. He's getting 8-10mpg on his daily 6 mile commute as his main mileage adder. I'm sure the truck isn't warming up fully during that, but I would think it should be a tad higher. Then again, 33s and a 4" lift will impact economy, as will the brick of a camper shell, so maybe it's my own optimistic projection.

Speaking of, the camper shell. This is what I'm most excited about. It leaks a bit, so it'll need to be rebuilt and sealed, but the majority of what I actually want to do to build out this truck is based on setting up the shell for camping. But that's later, and assuming both the truck and ourselves make the 3000+ miles across the country. 

We head out to Washington in a week, and on the 6th of June we start heading back, camping in Butte, MT, Yellowstone, and somewhere in south central South Dakota before staying in a hotel and with a friend for the last 2 nights. I'm sure plenty of folks have done this drive, so any pitfalls? Anything I should watch out for? Any hidden gems worth the time addition? Anyone I can call if disaster strikes? Am I crazy?

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
5/24/23 2:09 p.m.

Cool trip! I am basically doing the same but down to Florida a week after you so I will be following along.

Keep this link handy:

On the road assist list

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/24/23 2:16 p.m.

In reply to Slippery :

I've seen the assist list before, good call. Didn't even think about it at first. Not a lot on the first half of the route but hopefully it won't be necessary at all!

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia UberDork
5/24/23 2:30 p.m.

Sounds like fun , I would bring stupid stuff that might not be available for the 300-6 , 

simple stuff like cap , rotor , points,  condenser  and a carb kit ,  and maybe a fan belt.

 I had one of those years ago to take me off road motorbike to Pismo dunes ,  mine was a pretty bouncy ride but fun.

Have fun 

buzzboy
buzzboy SuperDork
5/24/23 3:29 p.m.

Sexy truck! I was looking at an almost identical truck(it was red) before finally settling on my XJ. Hearing about the fuel economy makes me glad I chose the XJ.

 

That will be a fun route. I've done the upper route across the country a few times. There are some bland parts but also some really pretty parts. We really enjoyed our day detour to Detroit, except for the Henry Ford car museum. Greenfield Village was really cool.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/24/23 3:34 p.m.

Cali, I've got a rubbermaid of some stuff already set in the truck that the PO included which includes fan belts, but good call on cap and rotor. Fortunately by this point the trucks were fuel injected so that should be able to hold its own.

 

Buzzboy, thank you! I had a 2dr XJ a few years back that was a great truck. Definitely got better economy than this thing will, and could offroad with the best of them right out of the box. Honestly if I could handle the space reduction I wouldn't mind getting another one. You said Detroit was good except the Henry Ford Museum? You weren't a fan of the museum itself?

Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter)
Tom_Spangler (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
5/24/23 4:31 p.m.

First off, that cap is amazing. Secondly, I'm not surprised by the mileage since the truck looks to have a bit of a lift and bigger tires. Going 3000 miles in it will be... interesting, but more power to you! laugh

birdmayne
birdmayne HalfDork
5/24/23 4:33 p.m.

Where in WA is the truck located? There are a few of us out here if help is needed

Datsun310Guy
Datsun310Guy MegaDork
5/24/23 5:08 p.m.

Just going to randomly show up in Yellowstone?

I did that in 1980 and getting camping spots was a challenge then and this was half-century prior to Covid. 

Sweet truck BTW - I lived thru that 8-10mpg era. 
 

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UberDork
5/24/23 6:04 p.m.

In regards to the MPGs, I'm betting the diffs didn't regeared when the 33s went on. Easy button to get 4.10s in the front is to snag the front diff from a TTB F250. It literally bolts in place of the stock part. The rear is standard regear territory though. I don't know of a readily available factory 4.10 diff to bolt in. 

Slippery
Slippery PowerDork
5/24/23 6:05 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy :

Agree regarding the campgrounds. I reserved last month for late June and it was difficult. They do save spots that open the day of, but you need to arrive early. 

Jump on http://recreation.gov and check to see if you can reserve a few spots along the way. Its quiet cheap and you can cancel almost at the last minute for a full refund. 

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/24/23 6:55 p.m.

In reply to birdmayne :

The truck was located in Bremerton, but is now at my buddy's house in Puyallup. Much appreciated in advance!

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/24/23 6:57 p.m.

In reply to thatsnowinnebago :

The diffs weren't re-geared so it's still got the 3.08s that'll make it pretty slow I'm sure, but that's fine by me, as long as it can sit at 65mph. Good to know 4.10s are so easy for the front. I was under the impression the rear was an 8.8 so I figured a 4.10 gear set shouldn't be too hard to get for it

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/24/23 6:59 p.m.

In reply to Datsun310Guy and Slippery :

Love the picture! Foruntately we did reserve in advance, so at least in Butte and Yellowstone we definitely have a spot. The only unknown right now is between Yellowstone and Sioux Falls. Plan was to find a BLM road and camp roadside, or potentially go to some national Grasslands towards the Southeast of the state and find a first-come first serve spot there.

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago UberDork
5/25/23 7:14 p.m.

In reply to Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) :

Yep, the rear is the good ol' Ford 8.8. Aftermarket options galore!

DocRob
DocRob Reader
5/26/23 11:52 a.m.

In reply to californiamilleghia :

It's a '94, so no points and no carb. 

Bremerton is where I just moved from back in December. Nice place to live, beautiful area. Driving out, you're going to cross a lot of mountain passes, starting basically as soon as you leave Seattle, you'll climb onto the Columbia Plateau. Eastern Washington is basically abandoned between Seattle and Spokane, you get standed out there, it's going to be a minute. So, don't push yourself. 

With the high gears and tall tires, you're going to work to get up mountain passes. You're going to fight the wind and heat along the Columbia Plateau as well.

I would grab upper and lower radiator hoses, a fresh thermostat, a new radiator cap, a new serpentine belt, and pack some antifreeze in the back with your oil. 

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/26/23 12:51 p.m.

In reply to DocRob :

Great call on having the spares. Any insight from the hive mind on whether an alternate temperature thermostat makes sense? Looks like options range from 160, 180, 192, 195, and 205 degrees.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/26/23 1:32 p.m.

Also, my memory turned me into a liar. Checked the picture of the axle tag again and it has 3.55s, so much more reasonable than the 3.08 assumption.

81cpcamaro
81cpcamaro SuperDork
5/26/23 1:54 p.m.

For the drive back, consider bringing a TFI module as well.  Nice truck BTW.  It is probably as big as a Suburban, the 03 Burb I had was the same size as the 1979 GMC Dually longbed it replaced.

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/26/23 3:49 p.m.

In reply to 81cpcamaro :

For the uninitiated, what's a TFI module? Can't say I'm familiar

rattfink81
rattfink81 Reader
5/26/23 10:26 p.m.

I believe it's the ignition module. easy to replace and they occasionally crap out.

amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter)
amg_rx7 (Forum Supporter) SuperDork
5/27/23 11:44 a.m.

192 is my recommendation on the thermostat. Better to generate heat for the interior. 

Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter)
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) Reader
5/30/23 10:33 p.m.

Good evening everyone! Tonight was the last night before the trip, so final packing is now complete, to include plenty of clothes and the film and DSLR cameras for all the touristy stuff in the first week. I also am shipping a cordless impact and impact driver, with the intention to buy a tool set onsite as shipping would've been prohibitively expensive. I also have some parts ordered off RockAuto and those are set to arrive Thursday, so even during the regular vacation part of the trip I can do a bit of final prep work. Very excited to finally lay eyes on the truck I bought just over a month ago.

 

No real update other than the request to send the best possible vibes my way in hopes that the truck is as advertised. And also a quick question. My girlfriend and I will be sleeping in the cap for 3 nights on the return, and she brought up a concern that she wants to be able to lock the cap from the inside. The mechanism is I'm sure similar to basically all pickup cap hatch glasses in that there's a T-handle that operates a garage door style linkage setup. My initial thought was to just drill a hole in either the center section and put a pin through that, or on the rods that go out and put a pin on the outside for simplicity, but is there another option I didn't think of from those who have done similar?

 

Thanks everyone, and I look forward to being able to upload some pictures that I've actually taken once I'm there!

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa UltimaDork
5/30/23 10:39 p.m.

You bought my truck with 4WD and a lift.

My truck is at 395k right now.

You're good.

APEowner
APEowner UltraDork
5/31/23 7:26 a.m.
Sk1dmark (Forum Supporter) said:

Good evening everyone! Tonight was the last night before the trip, so final packing is now complete, to include plenty of clothes and the film and DSLR cameras for all the touristy stuff in the first week. I also am shipping a cordless impact and impact driver, with the intention to buy a tool set onsite as shipping would've been prohibitively expensive. I also have some parts ordered off RockAuto and those are set to arrive Thursday, so even during the regular vacation part of the trip I can do a bit of final prep work. Very excited to finally lay eyes on the truck I bought just over a month ago.

 

No real update other than the request to send the best possible vibes my way in hopes that the truck is as advertised. And also a quick question. My girlfriend and I will be sleeping in the cap for 3 nights on the return, and she brought up a concern that she wants to be able to lock the cap from the inside. The mechanism is I'm sure similar to basically all pickup cap hatch glasses in that there's a T-handle that operates a garage door style linkage setup. My initial thought was to just drill a hole in either the center section and put a pin through that, or on the rods that go out and put a pin on the outside for simplicity, but is there another option I didn't think of from those who have done similar?

 

Thanks everyone, and I look forward to being able to upload some pictures that I've actually taken once I'm there!

This should be a fun trip!  I suspect the easiest way to lock the cap from the inside is to clamp a pair of vicegrips on the rod.

If you're packing a TFI module you'll also need a thin wall socket to install it.   Cheap sockets with thicker walls don't fit in the counterbore.

 

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