1992 f150 daily driver and adventure rig.

#1
After selling my chevy last year and, ,regretting it everyday since, I have been wanting another pickup. I have a 97 f350 psd 4x4 zf5 as my work truck, but its just too big and costly to be an adventure rig without a bunch of work, and then it wouldn't function very well as a work truck (although 37s would look awesome).
So ive been looking for a clean 1/2t truck with a 6cyl and manual transmission. That pretty much narrowed it down to gm's with the 4.3 or fords with the 4.9. Really love both these motors, but the ford takes the in torque and durability, not to mention the ttb d44 over gm ifs. After many hours scouring cl, I found this:
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1992 f150 4.9 np435 xlt but with rubber floors, manual windows, locks, hubs, transfer case etc, but the cloth seat and whatnot of xlt.
At first I almost walked away from buying it due to the 4spd, but ended up coming up with a price I thought would cover a 5spd swap if I wanted. After driving it a bit I really like the 435, and if I do decide to swap I can put a zf5 in instead of the chitty mazda m5od.

Immediate plans are to ditch the 33x12.50 in favor of 33x10.50, too bad bfgs are backordered until the end of the month. I'm going to sell the 12.50s as they are practically new to recoup cost. Next is to pick up a camper top, really hoping to find an ARE DCU or gemtop contractor top, but it hasnt been easy with the ford bed being 6.75 ft vs 6.5 or so for most other short beds.
After that new coils up front, cant decide between the tallest factory replacement or the aftermarket 1.5" lift. Then on to a set of bilsteins and that should do it for a while. Just drive it and enjoy.
The truck is just over 125k and has zero rust, but the paint is fading on the hood and roof, so a respray may be in order, other than that not too much to fix on the old girl.
Hopefully I will be able to get the truck how I want it in the next few months and we will go from there. Can't wait to get it in the woods and see how it does.
 
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#2
Congrats on the new rig. Make sure you post in the Fullsize Ford thread. I drove a 91' F150 with the 4.9L and loved it. It really does have a lot of torque and I know for a fact it can pull way outside its weight class. I do recommend you get some improved leaf springs if you ever want to load up the back, and maybe a sway bar, if the 92' didn't already have it.

The E4OD is actually a very decent transmission for off roading. You just need to do two things first: 1. Install a trans cooler. This is mandatory for any off road applications you have in mind. 2. Install a temp gauge for the transmission. This will allow you to monitor it so you can take a break and let it cool, before it breaks itself. The only real problem with the E4OD is overheating, so both of those should prevent any problems you could have.

For upgrades, get to know your local junkyard. You can find ALL your upgrade parts there. Power window systems, power locks, bucket seats, heavier brakes, tow points or anything else you can imagine. Might even have the camper shell you want. Check out my build threads to see some ideas.

Have fun and good luck!
 
#3
I would try some wrecking yard 2wd F350 springs first. Also Ford has a factory 1" spring spacer. Search the Internet and find the TTB Dana 44 upgrades. As I recall some 3/4 ton TTB Dana 50 parts fit to increase strength and reliability. The TTB Dana 50 uses a Dana 44 center section, but I think the axles and u joints are bigger. I would keep the 4spd for the low gear reduction ratio.
I would scour the wrecking yards and find a 9" rear axle (you should have an 8.8) from an earlier F150 or Bronco and add a locker of some type, add a couple leafs to the rear springs and some quality gas shocks all around. Some of these trucks have the factory dual shock brackets up front, if so I would use them and ditch the sway bar. Dual shocks will not limit articulation but will act to limit front sway almost as good as a sway bar. Add a stiffened LSD to the front axle and you will have a real nice truck.
If you really need a lower crawl ratio, I found Borg Warner transfer case applications with a 4to1 reduction ratio. Most of the things to modify this truck can be found in wrecking yards, keeping your investment low leaving more money to spend on gas for taking trips.
 
#4
Thanks for the kind words and advice. Sorry I should have made clearer this is the np435 not the e40od. I am a die hard stick driver, especially in a truck. I really like the tranny except no synchronized first! It takes some getting used to. Also found out that the axles are geared 3.08 and the rear is open. After driving it today I am pretty hesitant on sticking with 33's. I know the reduction in mass will help some but I think the combo of 4 inches taller than stock and 3.08 is still going to be slightly miserable sometimes starting up a hill, even with the granny first gear. I found a nice set of 31x10.50 that will have to work for now, darn 33's look great but oh well. Maybe that will encourage a future 3.73 / lsd and zf5 swap. Worked on fixing up the cobbled exhaust and further going over the truck with a fine toothed comb today. Also got to play a little on some logging roads on my property.
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Not sure I really want heavier spring capacity. I doubt I will put a winch or heavy bumper on this truck. I am hoping that new coils cc824 coils will be sufficient. Pipe dreams of a tuff country 2.5" lift with extended radius arms. Maybe...
As with any old vehicle i've come up with a list of small repairs to get everyting in order. I will be tackling those and ditching the 33x12.50s in the next week.
 
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#5
Gear changes on these trucks are fairly easy, especially the front. What are cc824 coils, 2wd crew cab springs?
The truck looks good on the 33's no denying that. I have not worked on Fords for a while, but as memory serves 3.54 and 4.11 are very popular stock gear ratios. The 4.11 front can easily be found in the TTB F250, and a lot of Explorers had 8.8 rear ends with 4.11 and rear disc brakes. Spline count in the Explorer rear end may be different, so you may need to change your rear axles or side gears.
 
#6
Apparently ford offered lots of gear ratios in these trucks, from what I have seen everything from 2.73 to 4.10. I think I am gonna stick with 3.08 for now. I have been tracing down some issues with what seems to bee the idle circuit, but may be a fuel pressure issue as well. Cleaned all the electrical connections and the trucm runs and idles bbetter thus far. Bought a fuel filter but haven't replaced it yet. I am really hoping it's not the pump. They arent cheap and seems like removing the bed is the easiest way to access it. Basically the issue is inconsistent startup. Sometimes you just bump the key and it fires right up, sometimes it takes some pumping of the accelerator to crank and run. Hot or cold doesnt seem to matter. I have a 300-6 in my chipper, albeit carbureted, it always cranks slower cold but when hot you barely bump the starter. So I am thinking its a fuel issue. I guess we will find out.
Spent this evening fixing some odds and ends. Still trying to figure out why I have no intrument panel illumination. Must be a bad ground or faulty wire.
The good news is I am averaging 17.5 mpg on backroads in the mtns of nc, and an added bonus found some 33x10.50s that I plan to pick up and have on by next week.
Here is the f350 for s and g's
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#7
Cc 824 coils are the longest stock length coil offered for f150s these years, the f250 2wd coils that are a popular swap are the same height but nearly 2x the weight capacity. I dont think I want to go that route. Seems like the aftermarket 1.5" lift coils might be the way to go.
 
#8
Your fuel pressure regulator may be letting fuel drain back toward the tank. Try turning on the key for a few seconds before you crank it to let the pump fill the lines back up. Pumping the throttle confuses the computer. If it does not start hold the throttle to the floor in "clear flood" mode.
 
#9
I always turn the key on before starting, I guess it's habit from running diesels. I do hear my fuel pump when key is on with the truck running or not. Its fairly loud which I believe may not be a good sign. I am going to check all the wiring first and make sure it is receiving the correct power. I didn't know that about confusing the computer, although it does seem to help to give it some throttle. The thing that has me baffled is how inconsistent the problem is.
On a side note, been trying to figure out why my instrument panel does not light up. All the bulbs are good and well connected. Headlights come on, interior light comes on, other dash lights work, just the ones that light up the gauges. I have verified that the switch is not the culprit. I am thinking that the previous owner didn't hook something up correctly when he put in the aftermarket stereo. I know that stock the radio and stuff lights up with the gauge lights, but the kenwood head unit has its own display illumination. I think I am narrowing it down but dang I hate these wiring headaches. Anyone have a link to some wiring diagrams? Or any suggestions for that matter.
 
#10
maybe post up on NC4x4.com with that issue?

I'm not familiar at all with the dash on those trucks, but I do love the short bed reg cabs, so will be following along
 
#11
Your problem may be the throttle position sensor then. You can visit YouTube for a video on how to test it. All you need is a digital volt/ohm meter.
Sounds like a possible ground issue on the dash lights. Maybe just a "1992 F150 wiring diagram" search on the Internet will bring it up or lead you to some of the Ford truck specific websites that may have wiring diagrams and shop manuals stored in their database.
Pumping the throttle usually results in excess fuel being dumped in the intake while trying to start. Foot to the floor usually clears it and it's called the clear flood mode. Sometimes if a fuel injected car sets too long you have to do it to start them. It resets the computer for regular starting. I had to do this with a friends Jeep after we worked on it over a couple weeks to replace the harmonic balancer and timing chain. Started fine after that.
Lots of times when you disconnect the battery for a period of time, the system re learns after reconnecting the battery.
Hope this helps, let us know what you find out.
 
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#12
I will have to check out the tps. Also wondering what sort of shape the fipr is in. I will say that after cleaning all of the connections the truck runs alot smoother. Wish I hadn't bought the electrical contact cleaner though, I am oretty sure its the exact same chemical as brake parts cleaner but 3x the price.
Spent today working on fixing some rattles and annoyances. Replaced the bushings on the door strikers, bolted the battery down, and fixed the broken mount on the pass side of the dash. No more rattles and shakes on the rough dirt roads. Whole thing cost less than $10 and maybe 30min of time. Also picked up a set of moog cc824 coils. I was on the fence between these and the rough country 1.5" lift coils. Got them for $71 inc tax so about half of the rough country's and didn't have to wait for shipping. They are progressive rates where the stocker was not, also about 1.5" taller uninstalled. Didnt get a chanchance to get a pic of the truck, it was dark by the time I finished. I think they will be about a half inch to an inch higher once settled. The previous owner had installed coil spacers that maybe raised the truck a half inch or so and completely ruined the spring rate.
Picking up the 33x10.50 bfg at's tommorow. Will have to be tuesday until I get them on and get the alignment checked/redone. Got 18.28 mpg (corrected), not bad for no overdrive. I must say I am really happy with this truck. Its the first time in years I have worked on the suspension of a truck without broken bolts, knuckles, or spirit. Rust free is so nice...
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#13
Picked up the 33x10.50s today, would have liked to buy new but they are backordered, plus I found a decent used set which saved me enough to throw some shocks on the truck. Measured my fronts at 9.5in compressed and 15 extended, while I had them unbolted doing the springs.
Haven't measured the rear but bilstein lists the 2" lift 5100 at 16.14 and 26.16" respectively.
I think their 4" lift shocks are going to be too long, so I was looking at 5125 series. Found front: 33-230405 10.7"-16.4" 360/80 valving. And rear: 33-186542 15.11"-24.35" 255/70 valving. The rear could also be had with 360/80 valving.
I think thats the best I've come up with. Wish I could go 5165 but the cost is prohibitive. I can get these for around 300 shipped. Planning to sell the 33x12.50s to recoup my money and maybe more, once I do I will go ahead and order shocks. May put a call into bilstein to confirm valving and lengths, also need to measue my stock rear shocks. I think the shocks on this are factory, and are essentially useless. Didn't even have to hold it down to measure compression.
The new coils made for alot nicer ride, eliminated some weird bumpsteer type feeling I would occassionally get. Still didn't take pics, but really not that much higher. Truck has a very slight rake with the bed empty and sits mostly level with about 1000lbs in it. Thats about perfect for me. I don't need to go hauling too much, thats what the f350 is for. And if I end up with a bit too much sag when loaded I can add a leaf.
Got 16.5 on todays trip to virginia, doing 70-75mph most of the way. Sort of miss overdrive for that, but worse is the crappy loud exhaust that drones bad in the cab at hwy speeds. It will need to be addressed soon too. Thinking 2.5 or 3" stock exit with a big muffler to quiet it down but still allow it to flow. I have the stock exhaust from my old chevy diesel around, I think its three inch, might be able to hack it and put it back together. Might be more work than its worth.
For now the exhaust will have to wait, I've got bilsteins on the brain, any thoughts on my shock choice? Should I go to stiffer valving out back?
 
#15
You've got a fantastic old truck. Great taste.

I'm always perplexed how these trucks never had front tow hooks.
Thanks, always loved these old body style fords. As for the tow hooks, I dont get it either. That's something I do need to add, not only for recovery but for my job. We often use a truck to pull trees over or skid logs,etc or sometimes just a place to tie a line off to. This truck has two brackets mounted right behind the crumple zone that look like a tow hook might bolt on to, not sure what they are for. Possibly swaybar, but this truck doesnt have one and I dont see anywhere for one to bolt to the axle.
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