This story was written by guest writer Hunter from Tampa, Florida, as an entry to win a Mack Anthem Lego Technic set. The contest is open until Friday, March 23rd. To see rules for entry, click here.
Bringing an old truck back to life
We had a 1994 Ford F-250 IDI Turbo with 280,000 miles. Its journey with us started in a storage lot, where its previous owner listed it for sale on Craigslist. It certainly wasn’t without its problems. It had cracked fuel injection lines, a bad injection pump, and bad injectors, to name a few. My father and I felt like we were riding in vibrating chairs for over an hour during the trip back home. As the months continued, we slowly resolved the truck’s problems to make it safer and more reliable than ever before.
When we originally bought the F-250, we knew it was plagued with fuel system issues. Naturally, that resulted in poor power, efficiency, and reliability. Not too long after limping it home, we bought and installed a Remaned fuel injection pump. The first one was idling quite poorly and started filling the crankcase with diesel. As we took it apart, we notice a cracked injector line. After replacing the pump and line, we replaced all eight injectors with Remaned units.
The truck wasn’t out of the woods, however. The transmission went into limp mode during that repair due to a burnt fuse. The F-250 had issues with starting, as well. That drained the batteries quickly, which left us stranded at a Home Depot. We bought new batteries and cables to ensure it started reliably every time moving forward.
The past owner used the truck to move his large boat and overloaded the shocks, making the ride unbearable. It was like riding in a cement truck. We swapped all four corners out with nitro Skyjackers and the ride was a night and day difference. On a trip to Pizza Hut, the front passenger-side caliper locked up and continued to rub against the rotor as we limped it home. We fixed this grabbing a “new” caliper from a junkyard, and bought some new pads to go with it.
An old F-250’s time to shine
During the time we owned the F-250, we had the opportunity to help move our friends, haul mulch and do other things you use a truck for. Through it all, the truck performed well. We tried to sell it sometime during the summer of 2017, but no one seemed interested at the time. On Sept. 10, we knew that the F-250 would be put to good use as Hurricane Irma struck Florida. Our family fared well, but we knew the damage would be worse down south.
It wasn’t more than a week later, our church called my father and I down to Fort Myers to be part of the damage crew. We leaped into action, making the 2-1/2 hour journey south to be there by sunrise. Hauling wheelbarrows, chainsaws, and gas cans, the F-250 was never short of action. We went from house to house over several weekends, helping those who couldn’t help themselves.
After all that, we quickly found a new home for the old girl. Were our prior failures selling the F-250 until after Irma a coincidence? Perhaps not. But I do know that the time restoring the Ford was fun. More than that, it helped so many people after such a tragic event. My experience working on the F-250 is one I won’t soon forget.