TWO YEARS AND $200. HOW I SAVED THIS OBS FORD F150 FROM GOING TO THE SCRAPYARD.
One Mans Trash, Is Another Mans Treasure.
November 2018: I am at my shop wrenching on something as usual. It was probably my second gen Camaro or something like that, I can't remember. But this man by the name of Perry, shows up asking me if I want to buy his old truck he has. He said he hated the thing and it was just a money pit and how it was a no good Ford, he went on and on about it.
So, I go outside and check on it, it is a 1994 Ford F-150, 4 wheel drive, 5 speed manual transmission paired with the bulletproof 300 inline 6, red exterior with a bit of fading, some dents and scratches, and a bad cap. In the bed, it was endless junk and garbage. There was even a broken bench in the back of it.
I asked him what were some of the problems with it and he said how the drivers side door doesn't open from the inside, the steering is a bit loose, the front drivers side wheel bearing seized up on him because he was driving it for so long without replacing it. He said he was sick and tired of dealing with it and he said $200 and he will have all the paperwork by the end of the day. If not he was bringing it to the scrapyard on the other side of the river. I didn't even think twice about it. Hopped in my car went to the ATM withdrew the money came back and right then and there I was the owner of a pickup truck.
After getting the wheel bearing squared away, along with the door handle. It was time to clean it out. This man drank a lot of brandy. And when i mean a lot, it was A LOT! Cleaning the junk out of the bed of the truck, I pulled out a broken bench, two TV trays, some shingles for a roof, and I filled up four container of empty brandy bottles. Took me all day to clean out the cab and the bed. I used so much spray to get the stench of old McDonald's out of there it was a bit ridiculous. But it was all worth it.
Those are all empty bottles of blackberry brandy...
Winter comes and there is snow on the ground. Every now and again I would test the 4 wheel drive in the snow and it worked great. Never have been stuck yet in this truck. I took the cap off and December of that year someone gave me a snowmobile that didn't run. A pretty mint 1986 Yamaha Phazer. Got it running and I was using it to haul my snowmobile around. it fit in perfectly. I hauled that sled everywhere. Friday's at work, my truck usually had the snowmobile in the back since my friends and I always went riding.
Spring hits. The snow is gone, the snowmobile is put away for the season, it warm out and everything is in full bloom. My friends and I were planning a nice little camping trip at a campground in Massachusetts. It's about an hour and a half drive from my house. I don't own a tent and there was no way I was bunking with anyone in their small tent. So I threw the cap back on the truck, bought an air mattress, grabbed a bunch of warm blankets and I was going to use the back of the truck as a tent. It was perfect! waterproof, animal proof, I wasn't on the ground, and I had plenty of room for everything. Watching everyone struggle setting up their tents, I blew up my air mattress, threw the blankets on top, grabbed my folding chair and a cold beer, and kicked my feet up. That is what camping is all about. The last night there, it poured. I was listening to it hit the top of the cap and I was nice, toasty, and dry. My friends, not so much. Some of their tents leaked a bit and they had some puddles the next morning. Best camping trip to date, if you ask me.
Mid summer comes along and I am scrolling on Facebook Marketplace, as usual and I come across a posi rear end for my second gen Chevy Camaro and it is priced very cheap. The only thing is that it's on the Massachusetts/Vermont border and that is about a little over 100 miles away. I am thinking, "Should I risk taking the truck on such a long journey like that? What if it breaks? What if it starts to overheat? What if? What if? What if? What if I make it there and back?" I had to start thinking positive thoughts. "Yeah! this truck is going to make it!" I grabbed some basic hand tools, coolant, well water in a jug, some oil, checked the air in the tires, oil was level, coolant full. I was ready to rock.
Left my shop, had a full tank of gas, I was on my way on a 200 mile road trip. Windows rolled down, my excitement was up, I was a bit anxious but I was more determined. I kept a nice pace of 70-75 mph, even a little over 80 on the downhills. I will tell you right now a cherry bomb exhaust is not the best for a road trip like that. Talk about deafening. The truck is not really made for highway speeds like that, so when you're feedin' her the onions like that, she was definitely up there on the ole RPMs. I made it up there no problem, talked to the guy about cars for a bit, loaded the rear end in the back, and I headed back towards Connecticut. Everything went quite smoothly. The only thing I worried about was the map on my phone dying because I didn't know where I was.
Finally made it back to the shop, sun was setting, I was on fumes. That trucks not the most fuel efficient thing in the world. But I made it. My trust for this old Ford went up through the roof! I was so happy. So next day, I put new drum brakes on that posi rear end and then I kind of forgot about it. It happens.
Unfortunately, someone did decide to steal the catalytic converter off of it when I left it there overnight and took my BMW M3 home. I hate people sometimes. Damn scrappers. They had been hitting up a lot shops and doing that. Lazy people who don't like to work for anything. I did actually get a nicer side exit exhaust out of the deal but that cost me $550. Sounds mint though, so it was worth it.
But to this day, this old girl is still going strong with, currently 178,000 miles on the odometer. Still starts up everyday ready for work and to do almost anything. I have only had a few issues with it. Idler pulley went and ate the serpentine belt. That was a bit of an inconvenience but fixed it up no problem. Steering is a bit loose and the handling was terrible til I put the new shocks in. It's better but not perfect. Oh well. It comes with the age of the truck. Hopefully this truck lasts me many more years. It's a great truck and I have even turned down offers from people who wanted to buy it off me.
If you ever see some clapped out old truck coming down the road, give them a wave. It could be me on an adventure to pick up car parts or probably heading out to go snowmobiling since winter is coming once again. I'll see you on the roads!
If you liked this article and this old truck, think about giving me a follow on YouTube. I usually post up videos of me wrenching on it or some other old cars I save from backyards, fields, or going to the junkyard. I'll post my most recent video below.