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A little TLC


Conductor562

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So my F-350 is my favorite truck I’ve ever owned. While I have several upgrades planned, I got started on it this week.

 

No way to avoid rust where I’m from. It wansn’t too bad aside from the 5th wheel mount, but what was there was driving me crazy. 

 

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I took a whole day going over the undercarriage with a needle scaler and a wire wheel, and coating in a rust converter. Came back today and painted it.

 

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Also got around to putting the new shocks on the back. Tremendous improvement in stability. Took the bounce out of the rear end. 

 

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No wonder. The stock shocks were shot. They weren’t much to begin with. Took it 30 minutes to expand back to normal length.

 

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Next week will be the front end lift, shocks, and steering stabilizer. After that I haven’t decided if I’m going to do the air lift first or the rear sway bar kit. Planning on buying a 5th wheel next year, taking 2 weeks and heading out west. Camper is around 15k, so I want to have her ready for the task. 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Made a little more progress today. Got the leveling kit install, new Bilstein 5100’s on the front, and a Bilstein steering damper for good measure.

 

Front shocks weren’t as bad as the rear. A full compression on the front shocks took 17-19 seconds to fully recover. The Bilsteins take 4-5. If you think about it, that’s an improved response of nearly 300% The whole install was really simple. Total time was about 3 hours, but if I’d had all my tools and shit laid out ahead of time, I could have probably done it in 2.

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The damper was a simple swap. Took about 30 minutes start to finish. Definitely superior to the OEM damper. One bright spot in the project was getting to use my pneumatic pickle fork kit. I think this was the first time I’ve used it since we quit racing. Much nicer process in tight quarters that beating it with a hammer.

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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the EZ Red extra long ratcheting DBE’s are the bee’s knees for this type of work. I barely used a ratchet at all. Several fasteners like the sway bar links below required 2 tools at once so only a wrench would do.The EZ Red’s really shines.

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Tomorrow will be the alignment and the dual steering stabilizer. So glad to finally start weeding out this pile of parts in my shop.

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Well, the weather didn’t exactly cooperate, but I managed to persevere. Alignment yielded slight adjustments and I had the tires rebalanced for good measure.

 

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Dual stabilizer was much simpler to install than I anticipated. Only took about 45 minutes and would have been less if you’re one of those guys that disregards torque specs. I

 

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For the shocks, leveling kit, damper, and dual stabilizer, and undercoating supplies I’m into this suspension overhaul around $800 but let me tell you what, it’s like a whole different truck. It still rides like a ton truck, but the difference in stability is drastic. Steering is unbelievably tight for a Super Duty. I’ve had 1/2 ton trucks that were sloppier. Buddy of mine drove it yesterday and is already ordering the shit to do his too. 

 

Air bags, rear sway bar, 35x12.50’s, and probably a delete are in the the future. I haven’t gotten this into tinkering with trucks since I was in high school. I’ve certainly amassed a collection of tools well suited to the hobby 😂 

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13 hours ago, Conductor562 said:

Been looking at the Air Lift kits, but Conductor JR. was diagnosed with cancer so my plans have pretty much been shelved 😢

Travis, I am so sorry to hear this. Prayers being sent bro, I hope you little one is doing well.

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Thanks guys. He has T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. It’s a pretty rare and typically aggressive form of Lymphoma. He’d been having respiratory issues for several months and we’d had him to the doctor several times. They were leaning toward a severe form of asthma, but upon further testing the found a giant 6” mass in his chest that was putting pressure on his lungs, heart, and airway, and also created a lot of fluid buildup in his upper body. 

 

As as soon as we found out it was cancer I had him transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which is the top pediatric cancer hospital in the world. We’ve been living in the hospital for the past 3 weeks and it looks like we’ll be around thanksgiving before we get to go home. 

 

He’s responding well to treatment so far and the doctor’s believe he has an excellent chance of beating it. There are never any guarantees with cancer, but things could be a lot worse. 

 

I’m as broke as a 17 year old pizza delivery guy, I really miss miss my bed, my shop, and most importantly my other kids, but right now Conductor Jr’s health is the only thing in the world that matters. Someday we’ll be back in the shop making things together, but it’ll be awhile.

 

thanks for all your prayers guy. The mean more right now than I hope you ever have to understand.  

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4 hours ago, Conductor562 said:

Thanks guys. He has T-Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma. It’s a pretty rare and typically aggressive form of Lymphoma. He’d been having respiratory issues for several months and we’d had him to the doctor several times. They were leaning toward a severe form of asthma, but upon further testing the found a giant 6” mass in his chest that was putting pressure on his lungs, heart, and airway, and also created a lot of fluid buildup in his upper body. 

 

As as soon as we found out it was cancer I had him transferred to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, which is the top pediatric cancer hospital in the world. We’ve been living in the hospital for the past 3 weeks and it looks like we’ll be around thanksgiving before we get to go home. 

 

He’s responding well to treatment so far and the doctor’s believe he has an excellent chance of beating it. There are never any guarantees with cancer, but things could be a lot worse. 

 

I’m as broke as a 17 year old pizza delivery guy, I really miss miss my bed, my shop, and most importantly my other kids, but right now Conductor Jr’s health is the only thing in the world that matters. Someday we’ll be back in the shop making things together, but it’ll be awhile.

 

thanks for all your prayers guy. The mean more right now than I hope you ever have to understand.  

🙏 every day bro. 

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