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I purchased this old land barge and brought it home yesterday. The price was right and it will fulfill a need I have for hauling heavy items that the MJs are not as well suited for. I plan to haul firewood and saw logs with it. I also hope to haul plenty a building materials for a medium sized pole barn in the years to come.

 

Specs: 

XLT, 4wd, 351 Windsor, Auto Trans and Front Hubs, Ext Cab, Longbed, Topper and Hitch. 

 

Nothig really big planned for it, a few items to clear up mechanically and body wise but it runs down the road just fine as it is. 255K Miles.

 

Pics are from lunch on the drive and right after I got it home. 

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It’s hard to get an hour or two in edgewise with an almost 3 year old and an 8 month old here in our nest. Today though was one of those days where I was able to accomplish something, be it very minor compared to what I could do 10 years ago “in my prime” before this fatherly life I now live...

 

I bought the truck with a bogus tailgate situation. It had a busted cable on the passenger side and a missing bed side pivot for the hinge on the driver’s side. I bought a new eBay cable and got it installed, easy enough. The pivot was replaced with a piece of 3/16” steel that I bent with my oxy/ace torch and then welded the new chunk onto the remainder of the bracket on the bed. 

 

So, I now have a rotted out on the bottom, but working tailgate! I’ve got a plan to put some new structure into the bottom of the gate with some scrap steel (yes, low budget, remember this is a wood hauler/beater) but for now it at least serves it’s purpose again and it’s no longer a hazard to folks who drive behind me. 

 

Next up, topper removal and low budget exhaust work :) Then we haul some saw logs to the sawmill in mid August.

 

 

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Used the big truck to do some work yesterday. Hauled some logs to the stage at the sawmill for next weekend’s sawing festivities. On the trip back I scored a load of pole barn steel for use on my shed. Put about 150 Miles total on it round trip. 

 

This is was the first big trip for the truck outside of our driveway. Learned a few things about the old beast, how it likes to be driven and whatnot. I’ve got a transmission flush in my future for sure. It was acting up on my way into work to start the day yesterday. I pulled the cable from the battery to clear the trans computer memory while I was at work and reconnected it for the drive, it shifted smooth as silk for the first part of the long drive hauling items and eventually worked it’s way back to where it was. Tells me it’s not a lost cause, just needs to be addressed. 

 

So far I’m loving the hauling capacity of this thing! 

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Tomorrow is a big day for the old Ford. It’ll be hauling 2 additional logs up for milling and then hauling as many of the boards that I can from what we cut of my logs back to my place. The rest of the lumber,  if any, will ride in my brother in laws truck. 

 

Last week’s trip made me want to look into this transmission stuff a little harder before I took off with this thing again. I bought a can of sea foam to run in the trans to clean it out in the hour long drive each way. To make room, I had to pull some old fluid out. Well, after I saw the nasty color of the old trans fluid, all I can say is that I’m glad I have a plan to address this issue once the trip is done. 

 

 

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Yeah, THAT is what came out of the trans... more on that later when I get the massive amount of fluid required for the change.

 

I patched the exhaust up for the trip as well this last week, forgot to mention it earlier. It’s not show truck worthy but it’s going to work great for this thing. 

 

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The trip up and back went as expected, transmission shifted hard a few times but overall it performed well considering the crud in it. Having the quieter exhaust allowed me to enjoy the tape deck too. Truck hauled all of the wood home with ease that I cut. All in all it was a great day! 

 

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Today I had the chance to remedy the rest of my tailgate issues. I feared even standing on the thing, it wasn’t much of a tailgate with the bottom all rotted out of it.

 

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I began by cutting all of the junk that used to be the bottom of the gate off of it. Then I put a nice big piece of steel (that used to be the end ladder for a grain hopper railroad car - it’s nice to work at the RR) that I straightened out at the forge at the engine show onto the bottom of the gate. This gave me the structure it needed and added about 30 lbs to the weight of the gate! Once this was in place I rebuilt the gate side of the drivers side hinge as it was shot and then smoothed all of the welds our with a flap disk. Turned out quite well in my opinion for welding to rust! 

 

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Well, the big truck stalled out in traffic on me on account of summer gas still in the tank and a frozen fuel filter. I pushed it to the side of the road and got a short tow from a stranger to a gas station. Rather than attempt to fix it at the station I called on my wife and the MJ to get the heap home. Stuck to the backroads with as small of hills as we could find, made it home no sweat. I will say that the MJ did not enjoy tugging this heavy thing around though :) 

 

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Yes, low budget is creative AND fun!

 

Now that it’s February, it’s time to think about continuing to resurrect the Ferd. Fuel filter and transmission flush are the first items to address before the snow is gone. I sold quite a bit of firewood this winter and my number one need for the truck right away this spring will be to start cutting hauling and stacking for selling next season. 

 

Current state, resting peacefully.

 

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