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1994˝ to 1997 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel 7.3L Power Stroke Diesel equipped F-Series and F-Super Duty

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Old Mon, December 28th, 2020, 04:40 PM
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Default 1997 F-Superduty ramp truck.

I picked up this 1997 F-450 in March for $1500. 112,500 miles on it.

I stretched the frame 5 feet. The bed is 16 feet with a 4 foot beavertail and 5 foot ramps.

It's done now but I have to resize the pictures first. I thought I'd at least get a thread started.
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Last edited by cleatus12r; Tue, December 29th, 2020 at 11:14 AM.
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Old Mon, December 28th, 2020, 08:30 PM
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I got it really cheap because the IPR driver in the PCM took a dump and it was a no-start. It actually belonged to the local Ford dealership (tire service truck) and their technicians couldn't figure out what was wrong. It took me 10 minutes to get it running after I put a new IPR pigtail on it and just set a good PCM on the inner fender (original harness was shorted together thanks to diesel fuel eating away the wire insulation). The dealer didn't want to spend the money on a PCM ($500 + these days) so I offered $1500 since it's 2wd and didn't run as-is.

It received a new high pressure oil pump and fuel pump as well as glow plugs at the dealer (you know, just throw parts at it and hope it starts working) as well as a few other new parts. It just got a newly remanufactured 5-speed and a clutch 500 miles before it died for the last time. It also had brand new tires on it so I don't think I did too bad with the purchase price.
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Last edited by cleatus12r; Tue, December 29th, 2020 at 11:15 AM.
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Old Tue, December 29th, 2020, 05:43 AM
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That's a really sharp build! The ramp looks really good.

So when stretching the frame, did you add anything additional to the welded areas? Internal plates or anything like that to prevent it from splitting at the weld? I've seen people do "Z" joints where the frame is cut so that the weld isn't just a single line, but even still there are some internal plates added for additional support.

Anyway, I think you need a few more trucks.
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Old Tue, December 29th, 2020, 06:29 AM
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Yes. I had a local frame shop bend four sections of 1/4" plate for this job. Two 8"x3"x60" to be butt-welded to the existing frame and then two sections of 7.5"x2.75"x84" that were bolted on the inside as a sleeve for support. There was A LOT of drilling involved (you can see all of the bolt holes in the picture with the bare frame) but a 5/8" annular bit on a magnetic-base drill press made quick work of it. Also, I used 9/16" lug studs and pressed the knurled portion into the frame to avoid slop.

Between the frame rails ($700), the rear driveshaft ($800), and the metal involved ($1100), I'm into the actual "ramp truck" about $4100. I put airbags and a winch on it as well so I'm still under $5000 invested.

Yes, I have too many vehicles. I still haven't written about the 2001 CC dually (now SRW) I picked up to be "The Family Truckster" for $2000 that just needed a few transmission hard parts. It's the gray one in the background. Its D80 donated the 3.73 gears to the ramp truck - 4.63s are STUPID for a highway vehicle.

Last edited by cleatus12r; Tue, December 29th, 2020 at 11:19 AM.
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Old Tue, December 29th, 2020, 02:05 PM
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Looks like you got a bargain, sir! That was a great find!

- Jack
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Old Tue, January 19th, 2021, 10:40 PM
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I never expected to have used this thing so much in the last three months. I took a derby car (63 Galaxie 2-door) 125 miles to a friend, hauled an entire collapsed 20x60 open-faced shed's tin to the recyclers and the wood to our burn pile (4 loads), and lastly this Jeep to its owner after hauling it to my house two weeks ago in a barely-running condition. I've made plenty of empty trips to town to work out bugs too......

I don't know how I ever lived without it! As a bonus, it gets the third best fuel economy of all the 7.3's on the place (hard to beat the 26-and-change of the Crown Vic).
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Old Wed, January 20th, 2021, 11:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cleatus12r View Post
As a bonus, it gets the third best fuel economy of all the 7.3's on the place (hard to beat the 26-and-change of the Crown Vic).
Yeah... That's a bit of cheating, my friend.
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Old Fri, January 22nd, 2021, 05:33 PM
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looks awesome man, building a ramp truck is on my bucket list
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Old Sat, January 23rd, 2021, 11:48 AM
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I blame "Roadkill" and especially Mike Finnegan for making me go through with building one.

I always thought they were cool and imagined how useful they could be but seeing David Freiburger and Mike Finnegan start with the white Chevy and then Finnegan keep getting bigger/better/faster ones - that really did me in.

Future plans include an E4OD and get away from the ZF due to clutch noise and MY age, charge air cooler, and MAYBE aluminum 19.5s when these 16s rot away (I tend to time-out tires, not wear out).
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