Project Thread: 1986 F250 “Farm Truck #1” Build Thread

SkylabTech86IDI

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Intro:

Hello! I think that I’m allergic to money because I appear to have developed a thing for non-running IDI’s. You could say that I have a type. Anyways, I’m tying my disjointed 1986 F250 posts together here using this thread.

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This thread will document my journey towards building an alternative fueled, boosted hauling and tow rig. Looking to build this truck to routinely pull loaded car trailers up mountain passes, occasional heavy equipment rental, and hauling trash, rocks, gravel, More IDI engines, etc.

It is my goal that in this thread you’ll find conversations on topics such as:
1. Turboing a Non turbo IDI
2. C6 auto to T19 manual conversion
3. Boosted 6.9 vs boosted 7.3 pros/cons
4. Engine building
5. Waste motor oil, WMO, alternative fuels
6. Towing, suspension
7. Timing
8. Arduino, adding electronics
9. Radio wiring, stereo system
10. Upgraded charging
11. Upgraded starter
12. General IDI upgrades
13. Technical info.
14. AC Repair

I’ll treat this thread like a journaling scrapbook and maintain a dialogue. I’m very excited to share my my journey with you all while I’m working towards transforming this project truck into a daily drivable working rig that’s reliable and comfortable.

Body: For this purpose build, utilitarianism and functionality are the primary drivers (besides me) for this purpose build. Ride quality and interior comfort trail closely behind as secondary drivers, because my wife will be traveling with me, too.

This is a special build because my wife surprised me by gifting me the money to buy this truck from my brother after I had been talking about it for weeks. I was itching for another project.

When I went to pick it up, I had my brother pull me home one night in August, 2022.

When I brought the truck home, my wife christened it as “the farm truck” when she started referring to it as such, and it works and has stuck. The primer gray and wood bed will be permanent on this truck.

I’ve got exciting plans for the motor color, engine bay paint, and anodize a few components to have a stand out motor in the final stages of this build.

History: The truck came to Virginia from Pennsylvania a couple of years ago and sat for awhile. After my brother bought this from his brother in law, he got it road worthy enough to daily drive it to start his lawn care business.

Everyday, the F250 labored & towed lawn care equipment to customer yards, and the truck gained a little attention and a small fan base as it is uncommon to see working Bullnoses around this area. The real fun came from the fans fans were the children who would get excited by it and prompt you

My brother is lax on maintenance, and oil starvation eventually killed the 6.9 that was in it. So, Like anyone would, We waited until winter to work on swapping a running 7.3 & C6 in from an 89 E350 that was headed to the crusher.

A couple of burnouts and metal grinder later, the ‘89 was split down the middle to expose the buried 7.3 and C6.

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What was left behind looked like the work of a psychopath.

The extended cab rolled off the Assembly Line in late 85. The original paint color is a guess, as the truck has stayed a flat primer gray for at least a couple of years now. It has a zeitbart rust protection package that seems to have held up, so there’s no rust on the truck, except for on the passenger side fender.

The truck needed a bed, so my brother fashioned himself a wood bed out of garbage reclaimed wood. Now that the truck had a wood flat bed and a tow ball, it had a utilitarian purpose that was exercised daily for the lawn care company.

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The leafs are spent because my brother left a literal ton of slate in the bed while it sat for 2 years, before I purchased it.

Between August ‘22 & August ‘23, I fought oil coolers, pulled heads, unlocked Xbox Achievements for total # of seconds spent cranking, got fuel from both tanks, pulled a donor motor and transmission, got the glowplugs working on a toggle switch, fought the block heater, and replaced body panels.

Present: so now it’s a an 89 7.3 coupled to a C6. I’ll turn this farm truck from a 7.3 n/a & C6 auto to a turbo’d 6.9 with a manual conversion.

The overall goal is to build a “bulletproof” boosted car hauler with a manual conversion. Since we’re wish-listing, I think Electronics are fun, so I’d like to integrate some of the Arduino tech to have real time telemetry monitoring, like fuel pressure, egt, boost, coolant temp, etc. on a digital display to compliment the analog gauges.

I’m excited for the work, research, and many lessons that are ahead of me on this build, so I hope that you Readers out there enjoy the updates to this story.

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Thanks for reading!
 
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SkylabTech86IDI

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07/29/2023 Update



I found and pulled a diesel T19 from an 83 f350 today from Pick-N-Pull. It was a scorcher, but ultimately fighting the heat was worth it to now see it here at home.


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It was a sketchy removal, but eventually I got it.
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The whole job took me exactly 4 hours from start to loading the trans up into the back of the F150.



Forget the ZF5, this T19 is available now, and the goal is to swap the C6 auto out of the 86 F250 & drop in this T19. I’m planning to keep an eye out for the right ZF5 swap for the down-the-road.

7/29/2023 - 4spd T19 Transmission swap kit running total: $300

Have:
T19
T19 Trans Cross member
Fly wheel
Bell housing
Clutch fork
Clutch slave adapter clip
Drive shaft
Manual Floor pan cover
Bent Shift lever
Shifter rubber boot
Edit: clutch pedal assembly, good catch @BlindAmbition

Need:
flex plate?
Firewall reinforcer
Flywheel shim? Edit: rock auto has one listed for $10, wasn’t sure if it was needed. One didn’t come off of the 6.9.@IDIBRONCO
Clutch master reservoir
Clutch slave cylinder
Clutch hydraulic Hose
New Throw out/pilot clutch fork bearings
Clutch kit (pressure plate + clutch disc)
Custom welded drive shaft
 
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IDIBRONCO

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Well Jesus Freak is probably the waste oil guy on here. I'm sure he can answer questions about that.
Forget the ZF5, this T19 is available now, and the goal is to swap the C6 auto out of the 86 F250 & drop in this T19. I’m planning to keep an eye out for the right ZF5 swap for the down-the-road.
Hood plan. You won't regret getting rid of that C6.
Firewall reinforcer
Bronco Graveyard sells those.
Flywheel shim?
I'm not sure what you're talking about here. The only shim that I know of that you may be talking about is the one that's in a ring shape and sits between the crank bolt heads and the flywheel. Sime, I don't remember which cones< didn't even take that ring. They just used washers instead. I'd use whatever's supposed to go there.
 

Jesus Freak

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You'll be loving the T19, except that you're going to be looking for one more gear after a while. I used to have a C6 with a gear vendor OD, I hated it. But WMO is the ticket. The contractor I work for at FedEx has a land Rover from the 80s with a diesel, I've got him thinking about WMO.
 

BlindAmbition

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I did not see a manual pedal assembly in your list, don't forget that. Do the heim joint mod as well. You'll need a different floor pan if you go ZF5. For my ZF5 swap I was able to use the C6 crossmember and moved it back, there were already holes drilled if I remember correctly.
 

SkylabTech86IDI

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Well Jesus Freak is probably the waste oil guy on here. I'm sure he can answer questions about that.

Hood plan. You won't regret getting rid of that C6.

Bronco Graveyard sells those.

I'm not sure what you're talking about here. The only shim that I know of that you may be talking about is the one that's in a ring shape and sits between the crank bolt heads and the flywheel. Sime, I don't remember which cones< didn't even take that ring. They just used washers instead. I'd use whatever's supposed to go there.

Speak of the devil, I was just reading your C6 to T19 thread over on GG. Popped up as the 3rd google result for me. Glad to have found it.
 

SkylabTech86IDI

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You'll be loving the T19, except that you're going to be looking for one more gear after a while. I used to have a C6 with a gear vendor OD, I hated it. But WMO is the ticket. The contractor I work for at FedEx has a land Rover from the 80s with a diesel, I've got him thinking about WMO.

I’m glad that I won’t have to go the Gear Vendor route anymore. Lots of $$$ for something that I know is temporary.

I’m constantly changing oil around here, so I amass lot of it. I won’t fool myself into thinking that running WMO will somehow be cheaper (there’s going to be a lot of trial and error and spent filtering materials) but it’ll be fun learning experience, unique ride, and a pretty cool way to continue fueling when pump fuel gets hard to come by again.

I’m in the research phase for now and am digging into your threads
 

SkylabTech86IDI

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I did not see a manual pedal assembly in your list, don't forget that. Do the heim joint mod as well. You'll need a different floor pan if you go ZF5. For my ZF5 swap I was able to use the C6 crossmember and moved it back, there were already holes drilled if I remember correctly.

Cool, the heim joint mod… Does this also fix for that last 1” of travel and dead zone at the top where the pedal is lazy and thunks against the stop? Or is that the nylon washers on the transfer bar that I’m thinking that cause that?
 

Jesus Freak

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I’m glad that I won’t have to go the Gear Vendor route anymore. Lots of $$$ for something that I know is temporary.

I’m constantly changing oil around here, so I amass lot of it. I won’t fool myself into thinking that running WMO will somehow be cheaper (there’s going to be a lot of trial and error and spent filtering materials) but it’ll be fun learning experience, unique ride, and a pretty cool way to continue fueling when pump fuel gets hard to come by again.

I’m in the research phase for now and am digging into your threads
Just start collecting as much as possible right now so it can start settling. By the time you're ready for it, it'll be ready for ever how you decide to process it.
 

IDIBRONCO

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Speak of the devil, I was just reading your C6 to T19 thread over on GG. Popped up as the 3rd google result for me. Glad to have found it.
I don't deserve any credit here. That's not my thread and I don't know what GG is. The only truck/diesel forum I'm on is this one.
 

SkylabTech86IDI

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Do I need to go back to the yard and grab the steering column from the manual for any reason on this swap?

I have an auto steering column now with a sloppy steering wheel… it probably wouldn’t hurt.
 
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