This page is about the various mods that have already been done, are in progress, or planned.  I am starting with a 1973 F250 4×4 VIN F26YCR0xxx

Decoded VIN:

  • F26 = 73-79 4WD pickup (F250)
  • Y = 73-76 8 Cyl 360 2 barrel carb
  • C = Ontario Truck Plant
  • R0xxx = Model Year 1973

This is quickly turning into a frame off partial resto/rebuild.  While we have no desire to do a factory restoration, we will be using original ford trucks/parts for most everything we can, and using OEM Equivalent parts for things that just cant be rebuilt or replaced. Parts are being pulled from my old original 73 F100 2×4 the Canadian 4×4 listed above and a 1978 f250 4×4, as well as parts pulled from wrecking yards, or other original sources as needed. My Canadian 4×4 (hereafter simply called my truck) is the starting point for this rebuild, and what truck will eventually be finished, titled and registered as.

The goals:

  • Mechanically new or rebuilt from the engine to the tires and every thing in between them
  • To clean rebuild and paint things as we go during the process
  • Be able to go off roading, trail running, rock crawling, etc any place i want to go
  • Be able to haul or tow anything i would ever want to
  • Get reasonable daily driver performance. Street ability, handling, fuel efficiency will play into this, as well as good off road performance.

The engine mods:

The first decision is to add an engine as the truck did not originally come with one. This was an easy choice, My old F100 has a 460 (currently with a bad main bearing and about 300-400,000 miles on the engine. (We honestly don’t even know other than it was originally built about 32 years ago) We think its currently bored .40 over and will likely need to be bored to .60 over when rebuilt. It will get a mild torque cam, and a new carburetor. (The old one has been rebuilt a few times, and is just getting to become more hassle than is worth it.) We will add a four core radiator vs the original 3 core setup to ensure not to overheat while on trails, or towing. on the highway it should run at about 70-75 around 2000-2200 RPM and get about 15 MPG. Nothing great, but its a big truck that’s shaped like a box. Areo dynamics were not even considered in the 1970s. Still not bad for a 7.5L engine running a big truck and big tires.

The transmission mods:

It will have a C6 auto trans with a shift kit, and an oil cooler, This will get a new clutch pack and servicing and is also being pulled from my F100 truck. The auto trans will make it so my wife will still be able to drive the truck, as well as making rock crawling easier.

Front axle mods:

Can you classify the entire replacement of the axle as a mod? We will be using the front axle from the 1978 F250 which will have several advantages and improvements from the original. One is it has a High Pinion front axle.  Secondly, it has front disk brakes, and perhaps most importantly, it will have power steering. None of which the original axle had. It will get completely rebuilt with new bearings, seals, bushings, hubs brakes etc. I will also be adding an air locker (front and rear) and new OEM springs and shocks.

Rear axle mods:

The rear axle will be donated from the 78 F250 as well and will get a complete rebuild. New bearings, seals, bushings, brakes etc. It will also have an air locker for the rear. New springs and shocks again as well.

TCase and drive shaft mods:

The transfer case will get an inspection for wear and damage (although as its gear driven we don’t expect much will be needed beyond basic servicing, however it will be opened, and all cleaned it up, inspect, replace fluids seals etc as needed, install new mount bushings etc. For the drive shafts, they will be verified to be balanced, and get new U joints. Not alot to do here.

Frame mods:

The entire frame was stripped down, sent out for sand blasting, and then coated with Hurculiner. This provided a very strong epoxy paint that will help prevent rusting,  but is epoxy based so it should flex with the truck frame while off roading without cracking and chipping off. We have welded a few cracks in the frame and straightened it out before building up. We have replaced the front cross member with a bit of 2×4 rectangular tubing to replace the original mangled front cross member. This will provide additional structural support to the front of the frame, as well as provide a place to attach tow hooks, and a class III receiver hitch below the front bumper.

We are also relocating the typical in cab tank to a in frame tank behind the rear axle, as well as one saddle tank on the drivers side. Combined this will allow for close to 40 gallons of fuel on the truck, without stinking up the cab, or wasting the valuable behind seat storage space.

Wheels and tires:

Currently the truck has steel 16″ wheels. I’m debating between using those and running 35×12.50R16 tires or getting new 17 or 18″ rims and running a 35×12.50r17 or 18 I want enough to be able to air down for off roading, but I’m thinking there is just so much sidewall on a 16″ tire, that it will tend to be excessive. I’m still undecided on this for now. but overall the truck will ride on 35″ tires likely either Toyo or BF Goodrich tires. Still debating those too.

Lighting mods:

I will be adding a sealed beam to H4 bulb conversion and using Piaa headlight bulbs. The bumper will also have lights in them, front driving and fog. The rear bumper will have backup lights See: and

Other miscellaneous mods:

Air compressor/tank for the air locker system with aux out to air tires etc.
Piaa Wipers – Silicone wipers are wonderful. Seriously, try them. they are not much more than traditional wipers but work so much better.
Optima Yellow top batteries run in a dual battery setup to provide ample electric for the truck as well as a winch, extra lighting, stereo etc.
A Winch, and a hi lift jack. Always be prepared to self rescue.
single din dash mounted stereo with aftermarket speakers (likely a Kenwood head unit and Polk Audio Component  speakers, sub setup)
More Hurculiner lining the under body, wheel wells, and interior of the bed.
a Class III receiver will be mounted front and rear. The front will be used to mount the winch, a tow hook, or tow ball etc. The rear, for trailers and toys, or if you get stuck to help pull you out. 😀

My old F100 frame will get converted into a truck bed trailer, with extra fuel tanks, a storage box, and electric controls to pump fuel from three gas tanks into the truck, a gas can, generator, atv etc. The axle from the original 73 F250 will get swapped into the trailer so that the wheels and tires are interchangeable, and if ever needed, that the entire axle or parts from it could be scavenged to repair the truck. Interchangeability is the name of the game.

Once done, this truck will still need body work done to get it looking nice, but mechanically it will be a new truck that’s over forty years old that will keep up with jeeps and go anywhere i want to go, haul anything i want to haul, and tow anything id ever want to tow. How many old trucks are still around that can do that? not many.  And unlike trailer queens Ill be able to use mine as a daily driver, and unlike asphalt queens, mine will actually go off roading. Its a wonderful blend of form, function, and versatility.