Wiring harness and thinking about selling

94turbocrewcab-lb

Full Access Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2022
Posts
193
Reaction score
40
Location
Mid coast Maine
Howdy folks..it’s been a little while since I’ve posted here.

But I finally got my motor swap done this spring and I went all out replacing injectors, various pumps, seals, flex plate, steering gears..on and on while the motor was out. Even having the radiator flushed and painted. I was thinking I’d keep this rig till the wheels fell off. I have a 94 turbo idi with a 4” lift and minimal rust.

But I took it to pick up a small tractor and it’s really a dog towing and it’s not comfortable to tow with either..I’ve got kids and love that I can bring them with me when I need the truck but for the most part it just sits. While towing the trailer I was coming down a hill and it was super sketchy and the brakes wouldn’t stop me. I’m lucky that I was able to make the turn with no cars coming otherwise I think i would have wrecked with tractor and trailer in tow.

So my dilemma is do I go through the brakes and rebuild the front axle..possibly swap in DRW axles from a 97..or do I just sell it while it’s good and strong running. I think a flat bed dually Crewcab would be best for work.
I’ve got a 1999 24v 3500 flatbed 5spd that starts every time and I have a few grand into it. But it needs just a few items to be a runner..It may need a bunch of random parts if I start Daily driving it but it’s a rugged truck compared to this 94.

One other major concern I have is what about the wiring harness? On some of the large connections have slightly corrosion starting on the visible wire ends that go into the plug. Does this mean I’ll have to rebuild my whole harness DIY in the future?

I really like old mechanical motors but if the wiring shorts out, or if the motor blows again I’ll be pretty bummed and just don’t want to keep dumping time into it..I live in a rural area so having a slow old rig isn’t a big deal but what if I want to tow a camper across country..parts weren’t the easiest to find.

Anyone else go through this line of thought and what’d you end up doing?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_1744.jpeg
    IMG_1744.jpeg
    529 KB · Views: 18
  • IMG_1743.jpeg
    IMG_1743.jpeg
    527.5 KB · Views: 19

Greenie

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2004
Posts
300
Reaction score
221
Did the trailer have its own braking system? I've towed a 8,000 pound travel trailer extensively with my 93 7.3 IDI and felt confident to tow 80 mph (sometimes even more). In fact once I lost the truck brakes in the mountains and drove down the mountains using only the trailer brakes and proper gearing.
I'm going through wiring issues too - replacing the entire harness would be a huge project. I've gained some ground cleaning up the numerous grounds. Most connectors I pull apart are pristine on this 30 year old truck. Buy anything newer with computer controlled engines and wiring becomes exponentially more complex. Sensors and wiring exposed to engine heat or road salt will make the newer vehicles even more difficult to maintain. Late in life I bought a 3rd Ford service manual - this one details the wiring giving wire colors, connector locations and might be helpful. Like this except for trucks and Broncos. Best $40 I've spent in a long time.
You must be registered for see images attach
 

KansasIDI

Hopelessly addicted to IDIs
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2023
Posts
1,172
Reaction score
961
Location
Wilsey, KS
If I were you, I’d use the Cummins as a tow rig and the IDI as a runaround/road trip rig. But, go through the brakes, they are always worth spending money on cause they are what keeps you safe… just got the brakes in good shape on my 86 last night…

If you want pull a camper, you might be better off with your IDI, if you want to haul your family with you, then, could upgrade to a different truck, or, get bigger injection pump and upgraded turbo and intercooler, should pull just fine then, as long as your tranny stays happy.

How often do you pull? If it’s once a month at most, probably be best off to just fix the brakes and roll on.

If you tow multiple times a week, then maybe see what upgrades you can do, or fix up the Dodge, or sell one or both and buy a different truck.

Trailer plug wiring isn’t very difficult, if you replace all at the same time, then use same color wire as before, should be pretty straightforward…
 
Last edited:

KansasIDI

Hopelessly addicted to IDIs
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2023
Posts
1,172
Reaction score
961
Location
Wilsey, KS
I have an 86 extended cab long bed 4WD that I put a 7.3 with a Hypermax turbo and a 5 speed manual in. The truck itself is pretty rough, runs great though. I also have a Dodge, regular cab flatbed 3/4 ton 4WD, V10 gas. Mean on fuel and good on power.

Everyone has different needs. I pull with my Dodge quite a bit, and my Ford I drive to jobsites and to town and use more like a… car.

I’d like to get it to where it can pull, needs an intercooler first, EGTs are just too high…

Seems we have opposites, your Ford appears to be the nicer of your two trucks, my Dodge is currently the nicer of my two trucks.

Lots of Cummins trucks at my work, they pull good.

What all would need to be done to make the Dodge pull good?
 

94turbocrewcab-lb

Full Access Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2022
Posts
193
Reaction score
40
Location
Mid coast Maine
The thing is I can haul the whole family as I have 5 kids and my wife. So if I was to ever do a big trip we’d need two vehicles. I’m a big believer in spending money on the brakes and it’s on top of my list with rebuilding the front axle. What about towing with 4” lift? It’s just been a while since I’ve regularly towed with this truck after the turbo blew and took the motor with it.

Weve considered selling both and then going back to a crew cab 7.3 PSD 2000-2003. But again more wires..but my last one never really had an issue for 6 years. And it’s still going for the guy who bought it.


Perhaps the trailer brakes didn’t work..but I’m just unsure at this time what to do about all these rigs.

My daily driver work vehicle is a 05 sprinter 2500 and I wouldn’t trade it for anything..sweet mileage, comfortable and still fairly rugged for most daily tasks
 

KansasIDI

Hopelessly addicted to IDIs
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2023
Posts
1,172
Reaction score
961
Location
Wilsey, KS
The thing is I can haul the whole family as I have 5 kids and my wife. So if I was to ever do a big trip we’d need two vehicles. I’m a big believer in spending money on the brakes and it’s on top of my list with rebuilding the front axle. What about towing with 4” lift? It’s just been a while since I’ve regularly towed with this truck after the turbo blew and took the motor with it.

Weve considered selling both and then going back to a crew cab 7.3 PSD 2000-2003. But again more wires..but my last one never really had an issue for 6 years. And it’s still going for the guy who bought it.


Perhaps the trailer brakes didn’t work..but I’m just unsure at this time what to do about all these rigs.

My daily driver work vehicle is a 05 sprinter 2500 and I wouldn’t trade it for anything..sweet mileage, comfortable and still fairly rugged for most daily tasks
Trailer brakes suck, they are nice but do not last…

I… don’t like more than a 3” lift. But I’m opinionated and picky… for towing, it isn’t ideal, makes your center of gravity much higher…

Seems like the IDI is a good option, not the strongest things on the planet, but can be modified to make plenty of power.

Seems to me, Fords kinda always have something that needs worked on. I’ve come to accept that, hell, even enjoy it. But, if you want to just go, and not worry about your old truck nickel and diming around, maybe, try and find something that has been well maintained, and go for it. More wires make it more difficult for the average shade tree mechanic, but, IMO, the 7.3 PSD and the 24V Cummins are a good medium.

I’m not saying those trucks wouldn’t ever need worked on, just… aren’t as old as 12V Cummins and IDIs, and old trucks have there little issues. Just the way it is.
 

94turbocrewcab-lb

Full Access Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2022
Posts
193
Reaction score
40
Location
Mid coast Maine
So to get the dodge road worthy..
Things I know

-Exhaust (not needed but could use it)
-Couple brake lines
-Rebuild calipers (both trucks need that)
-Maybe a couple tires
- windshield
-finish welding new floor
- fix the 4x4 actuator
- there is a slight haze at idle..maybe an oil seal but otherwise solid motor I’ve only driven it 100 miles around our property over 2 1/2 years
-batteries

So that’s the list..maybe rebuild the front axle as the u joints look a bit worn but it’s not leaking like the ford axle.

The pros of the dodge would be setting aside perhaps 10k from the sell of the ford. And letting the salt eat the truck I bought for $1000. I’m guessing the dodge could use $2500 in parts if I went through it..I’d have $4500 into the dodge once on the road.

I guess the other thing that’s got me thinking is when I did my motor swap it took awhile to find a decent turbo idi motor. And who really knows if it’s solid as I’ve driven it 1k since the swap. The tranny has been rebuilt before I bought it.

I’ve also thought maybe fix up the ford..sell the dodge and slowly prep for a 12v manual swap into the ford..that with tow mirrors and a drw. Flat bed I think it’d be a useful towing rig. I don’t tow like I once did now that I have my van for work.

But given the uncertainty of the economy im tempted to pocket some cash and not drain it into vehicles anymore..but I do need a 4x4 tow vehicle once in awhile
 

94turbocrewcab-lb

Full Access Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2022
Posts
193
Reaction score
40
Location
Mid coast Maine
Also I might add if I sold both..I’d sit in the money and keep my eye out for either a 6.0 that needs a motor or another 7.3 running of not..nothing newer and maybe a standard 5.9 Cummins. But I’m fond of fords build quality
 

lotzagoodstuff

Supporting Member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 19, 2007
Posts
2,728
Reaction score
673
Location
Carmel, IN
So here’s my opinion: the lift and big tires are really hurting you regarding towing. The “doggy when towing” is all relative: I pulled my race car over several passes in a normally aspirated IDI. Was it ideal? Nope. Did I spend a lot of time in third gear with my foot to the boards until the crest of the next hill? Yep. If you know the route you really learn to run hard and build some steam before the steepest grades. But I always planned accordingly and made it on time.

Now for the important part: braking is super messy with a lift and larger than stock tires. You absolutely need to consider hydraboosting your brake system as the vacuum assist of IDIs is :fan: If you cannot lock the wheels on your truck, you don’t have enough brakes. You could also consider rear disks, but the majority of your braking is going to come up front. I’d go hydroboost and put the best severe duty pads you can get your hands on the front calipers. After that, you can consider going dually rear axle, but I think a hydro boost master cylinder will make your braking system far more capable.

Best of luck whatever path you choose.
 

IDIBRONCO

IDIBRONCO
Joined
Feb 5, 2010
Posts
12,299
Reaction score
11,009
Location
edmond, ks
Here's my take, for what it's worth. Since it sounds like you rarely tow, but still want to be able to take the whole family from time to time, it sounds like you don't need more than one truck. You already have a crew cab, so that seems like a logical place to start to me. My dad once told me that "the cheapest car that you can buy is the one that you already own". Trailer brakes aside, what is lacking on the IDI that keeps it from being a "one size fits all" truck for you? Towing power? The stock Factory Turbos do make a difference, but they can make a big difference if you adjust the wastegate to give you more boost. You can turn up the fuel on your IP to help you make that more boost. Of course, you'll want a pyrometer if you don't already have one. I agree with the hydroboost set up for your brakes for towing. Since you almost never drive the Dodge and it's a single cab, I vote to sell it. Cummins guys are nuts about those things and you could probably get as much or more for it than for your Ford. That would help to offset the upgrades to your Ford. Yes it's older, but what about a newer truck? If you get one that's 10-15 years newer than your Ford, are you going to have to do a lot of small repairs to it too, no matter the make? These are just things that you are going to have to answer for yourself, but, to me, I can't see where you really need more than one truck whatever year or make it is. So selling one or both seems to make sense to me.
 

Cant Write

Full Access Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2021
Posts
866
Reaction score
720
Location
Placerville CO
Do you and your 5 kids prefer to be in 1 car or 2?

Is your trailer a bumper pull or gooseneck?

What about selling all and getting an expedition max with the 3.5EB?

Just thinking outside the box. Cause the above know better than me!!
 

94turbocrewcab-lb

Full Access Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2022
Posts
193
Reaction score
40
Location
Mid coast Maine
So we have two sprinters…and so if the whole family I going out we take my wife’s monster sprinter. It’s great and way better than an Excursion.. my trailers currently are bumper/hitch pull. But I foresee having horses in the future. So we might go to horse events with the whole family and horses (probably two vehicles regardless)

I’ve toyed with selling both and getting another 7.3L e350 passenger van. But that’s just another thing..I just need a truck to haul wood, Timbers, trees, sawmill, tool trailer, and building materials.(I’m a builder) also it snows up here so I need to have 4x4 now and again..but 99% driving we have sprinters..

So what about parts supply? Pretty good for these idi’s?

And when my motor was out I was looking at big plugs around the brake reservoir and the wires going into the actual connectors had minor green corrosion and I’m sure the wires are brittle

I know for my dodge I could get a motor tomorrow anywhere in Maine and probably a harness too..my ford though..it’s a rare deal and if the motor goes again or another major part it’s just not as easy to find replacements..right? Same goes for a 7.3PSD and even 6.0..parts and motors everywhere across the country.

I’ve been looking for a spare idi turbo. And have my old one that seized up but ended up freeing up and running (terribly)

So that’s where I’m at..we can all agree the 24v 3500 dually 5spd is more rugged a truck to load up with timbers or hauling horses?
 

KansasIDI

Hopelessly addicted to IDIs
Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2023
Posts
1,172
Reaction score
961
Location
Wilsey, KS
So we have two sprinters…and so if the whole family I going out we take my wife’s monster sprinter. It’s great and way better than an Excursion.. my trailers currently are bumper/hitch pull. But I foresee having horses in the future. So we might go to horse events with the whole family and horses (probably two vehicles regardless)

I’ve toyed with selling both and getting another 7.3L e350 passenger van. But that’s just another thing..I just need a truck to haul wood, Timbers, trees, sawmill, tool trailer, and building materials.(I’m a builder) also it snows up here so I need to have 4x4 now and again..but 99% driving we have sprinters..

So what about parts supply? Pretty good for these idi’s?

And when my motor was out I was looking at big plugs around the brake reservoir and the wires going into the actual connectors had minor green corrosion and I’m sure the wires are brittle

I know for my dodge I could get a motor tomorrow anywhere in Maine and probably a harness too..my ford though..it’s a rare deal and if the motor goes again or another major part it’s just not as easy to find replacements..right? Same goes for a 7.3PSD and even 6.0..parts and motors everywhere across the country.

I’ve been looking for a spare idi turbo. And have my old one that seized up but ended up freeing up and running (terribly)

So that’s where I’m at..we can all agree the 24v 3500 dually 5spd is more rugged a truck to load up with timbers or hauling horses?
Hmm… maybe using the IDI as a runabout and non trailer pulling work truck, and as the camper puller, and then fix the 24V for pulling.

That’s what I’d do, but, then again, actually really similar to what I currently do…

Works well for me, but, only you know your needs.
 

94turbocrewcab-lb

Full Access Member
Joined
Apr 1, 2022
Posts
193
Reaction score
40
Location
Mid coast Maine
So how about this wiring question I keep asking?

I’m sort of leaning towards keeping the ford and just slowly building it to what I want in a truck, flat bed, dually, 12v p-pump Cummins..I’ve been a Cummins fan for years but as most hear I prefer the ford truck.

If I buy a rotted donor truck I wonder what the cost would come to?
 

The_Josh_Bear

Full Access Member
Joined
Jun 1, 2016
Posts
1,930
Reaction score
1,509
Location
Western WA
I wouldn't think the wiring harness is too hard to get for a decent price. Check out www.car-part.com and see what they want for one. Heck of a lot easier than buying a donor. And they pull from a network all over the USA so you could even choose a state that's low-rust. If not them, ebay?
*edit, I just realized you were talking about a donor for the cummins swap. I thought you meant for the wiring harness and maybe axles.

While finding a TIDI block was hard, you don't need one. Many people run N/A blocks with 15psi of boost all over the place, myself included. You sound worried about blowing up this engine, but why? It was just rebuilt so it should go another 200-300k without issue, no? Check the turbo play once or twice a year and change the oil on time-- easy peasy. Losing a block to a broken turbo is 99% chinese tubo or amazing amounts of neglect from PO.

Any trailer that pushes you around is a BAD deal. It should have it's own brakes, and they should be able to STOP the trailer, end of story. Your pickup isn't designed to stop more than 2k bonus weight.
That said, most of these rigs have poorly adjusted REAR brakes, which fudges up the entire braking system. Clean that up, make sure the parking brake cables are free and easy or get new ones, and tighten up the rear shoes so that the parking brake holds the truck easily on a hill. At that point you'll be able to really test the brakes to see if they need a boost. New HD pads are great, I have some myself. The rear shoes are actually very strong and better than any discs you can swap back there. The trouble is the constant adjustment, since the auto-adjusters are hot garbage. I've heard that backing up quickly and stabbing the brakes actually makes them adjust like they should, but who's in the habit of that??
Hydroboost is still better and more consistent, but just getting what you have working as it was designed is a great starting point.

I like the Fords, I've never driven a cummins, can't say much there. You can always add airbags to the Ford for those heavy loads if you get other things squared away like brakes. At least the lift is simple to swap out if you don't want to keep it.
 

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
91,257
Posts
1,129,301
Members
24,082
Latest member
Bsthomas21
Top