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Old December 12th, 2013, 09:19 AM   #1
adamrz
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Default 1978 F250 Crew Cab; project "Eleanor"

So where to begin?

6-8 years ago, my beloved Cadillac STS was totaled and I was left with a large check via the insurance company. What do I replace my beloved car with?

A quick look in the Michigan Auto and RV revealed to me my next "Cadillac", a Cowboy Cadillac to be exact. A 1978 F250 Crew Cab. A guy in the Door, MI area had a son who was a moto cross up start, and they had just bought a new bike for him, then lost a sponsor, so they were stuck with the bike bill.

So I bought their beloved hauler, complete with a 460CID, auto trans, 39.5 inch super swampers, and sexy faded red paint.





So fast forward a few years, my career is taking off and along comes the promotion. I get the job, ditch the girl, and move to NYC to bask in my professional glory (lmao). One hitch, they wont ship my truck. After all considerations, the best thing to do is sell it. And sell it I did.

Worst mistake ever. I have owned many, many vehicles, but this one was the only one that I ever regretted selling. Thusly, my desire for the this truck, this style, has earned it the moniker "Eleanor".

Last edited by adamrz; December 12th, 2013 at 09:31 AM.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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Life has come full circle. I left NYC, moved back to Michigan, and began my life again. My love for big vehicles, trails, and copious amounts of mud left me with a small yearning for fun.

So I bought a suburban, then I bought a Jeep, and finally I bought a Full Size Bronco. Still not the same.

"Eleanor" kept calling. So became my maniacal search to replace the red beast.

I knew what I wanted:

* crew cab
* 1978- 1979
* auto
* 4wd
* as rust free as possible
* short box
* a project, not a finished good, cause I had a "vision"
* low price. I know they are rare, but I am not paying top dollar for a POS.

After about six months of searching, I found one. The perfect one in my opinion. Only one problem: It was in Washington (the State).
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Old December 12th, 2013, 09:48 AM   #3
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Default Throwing caution to the wind

The seller thought I was insane. My girlfriend (ex now) thought so too. As did my son. After convincing the seller I was not insane, nor a craigslist killer, and that I could be there in a few days, he finally agreed to hold it for me.

So my oldest son and I loaded up the trailer (wasn't sure if the crew cab would fit on my hauler; more on that later) and hitched up my truck to take a long as sunday drive.

We slept and drove in 4 hour shifts. All the way from Zeeland, MI to Forks, WA. Looked over the potential "Eleanor", called it good, paid the guy $1000 for the drivetrain-less truck, and continued to drive back cross country to Zeeland, MI. We did it in 3 1/2 days!

Random things I learned on the trip:
* Forks, WA is where the Twilight Series Books are based.
* Forks, WA does not have vampires that "sparkle" in the light, but they do have Meth Heads that glow in the dark.
* If you sit for extended periods of time like this, your feet swell. Not like stubbed my feet swell, think more like Lord of The Rings Hobbit's feet swollen.
* When on road trips this long, always choose the food you eat carefully.
* More importantly, choose your bathroom breaks wisely as well.
* Take lots of pictures


Michigan Drivers!!! I wasn't even 20 minutes from home at this point.

We get to Oakdale Wisconsin only to find an Ohio Porn star driving along the highway (check the plate for confirmation ;))

Make it to Albany, MN, only to be greeted by a monster of a storm.

chasing the sunset through Moorhead, MN

Beautiful morning in Big Timber, MT

Down the highway we go in Livingston, MT

Bozeman, MT (Bear Canyon)

Last edited by adamrz; December 12th, 2013 at 09:54 AM.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 09:59 AM   #4
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Default still driving


Still In Idaho

Idaho, WA, I don't know. Are we F'ing there yet???

Almost there!!! Mercer Island, WA



Made it. Got it! Lets eat!



celebratory breakfast. (word to the wise, don't eat this when traveling for long periods of time)
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:03 AM   #5
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Is that short bed?


P.S., you should get this wonderful story published.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:23 AM   #6
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Is that short bed?


P.S., you should get this wonderful story published.
Yes sir, it was a short bed.

I try to entertain whilst covering a build. Must be the Marketing Guy in me...
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:24 AM   #7
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I want to give you $1500 for the truck..do we have a deal?
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:52 AM   #8
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Default Tear Down

Now that we were rested, it was time to start the tear down and get the "funk" off the truck.


Som Bitch!!! it did fit.



Knocking the mud off...









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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:56 AM   #9
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I wish the 2nd set of pictures of your truck showed up as big as the picture of your breakfast. Cool story though.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:57 AM   #10
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Default taking it off...

Now that the mud and grime was gone, time to assess wtf I got myself into...
















Yes, even in Washington they use license plates as redneck repairs...
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capone View Post
I wish the 2nd set of pictures of your truck showed up as big as the picture of your breakfast. Cool story though.
Yea, not sure how to fix that. Pictures from phone versus actual camera. Or just ignorance on my part.

That breakfast was awesome BTW!!!
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:03 AM   #12
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wow you need to fix the pictures asap
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:06 AM   #13
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Default Bottle Neck (or trail plug to those in Gennessee county)

My plans for "Eleanor" are somewhat simple- ish.

* diesel motor
* off road capable
* DD capable
* comfortable for my little guy on long road trips

Essentially the intent is to keep the classic lines, yet running as modern a drivetrain as possible.

Left the cab on the frame, as I can actually find nothing online about swapping a 7.3 powerstroke into this truck without simply pulling my body off and putting it on a modern frame.

That is not my intent. Based on what I have found online, the following will take place:
* the frame will be boxed/reinforced
* the box will stay on until I can find the drivetrain I want, then we will need to mock up motor mounts
* need a complete donor truck for electronics and anything else I cant think of
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:06 AM   #14
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wow you need to fix the pictures asap
how do I do that?
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:10 AM   #15
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Default cab corner (santa's sleigh perhaps?)

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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:16 AM   #16
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Default timeline

I bought Eleanor this late summer/ early fall.

All of the pictures to this point are all that I could get done in the interim.

Been waiting to clear up the bottle neck; I needed a donor 7.3 powerstroke vehicle.

Well last night, I finally got one. Had to go to Chicago to get it, but me and my little dude picked it up last night.

found a 1996 f250 powerstroke extended cab, long box 4x4. Once the snow clears, I will be seeing how to make this work.

And I will keep you updated on the progress of Eleanor of course...
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I like the red and white
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:44 AM   #18
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Sweet build man!! I woulda went with a 12v so there wouldn't be a mess of wiring. You vs order all the parts for a 12v swap to
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:53 AM   #19
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Sweet build man!! I woulda went with a 12v so there wouldn't be a mess of wiring. You vs order all the parts for a 12v swap to
I thought about doing that too. But I really want to keep the Ford a Ford. Plus, apparently I am a glutton for punishment.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 12:57 PM   #20
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awesome project man. i have an 84 that im working on right now and i love her. wish it was a crew cab but its a fun truck
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