This one is from our Dude I Love/Hate My Ride @Home Edition files. On paper it looked so simple. Mason from East Grand Forks, Minnesota took ownership of this 1985 Ford F-250 with a blown International Harvester 6.9-liter diesel for free. When new, that engine put out 170-hp and 315 lbs-ft. of torque. When Mason got it, it put out misery. Now he had to find an engine. And he did, a 460 big block 7.5-liter V8 from a 1982 Ford Class C RV that he purchased for $800. With more than 200-hp and roughly the same amount of torque as the diesel when new, the engine seemed like a no brainer. But then the headaches began.
Zombie Engine Brought Back to Life
Among the neverending list of tweaks and fixes necessary to get the RV’s V8 working in the F-250:
- New oil pan
- Water pump
- Replacement for Ford’s *notorious* plastic timing gear
- New carburetor and metering block
- New aluminum radiator
- Salvaged power-steering pump
- Then because none of the dash gauges worked after the switch, a $30 aftermarket gauge cluster mounted under the middle of the dash.
Through all that, Mason got the truck operational, and we won’t lie, the sound of this old V8 firing up to life does your soul good.
Yet the Old F-250 Still Runs!
Despite a hood and tailgate and bed box from different trucks, you can tell Mason’s sweat equity into this old Ford leaves a soft spot. Fun mod: He swapped in a huge horn from a 1948 DeSoto. With a 4-low transfer case and a new set of rubber, and a whopping 3.5 MPGs, Mason sarcastically calls it a “a real winner. Don’t do what I did.”
Despite his snark, Mason hasn’t given up on this baby. The evidence is in the parts bin in the truck’s bed. Suspension parts to help fix a bad camber situation with the twin I-beams up front, a new seat belt to replace the one eaten by a mouse this winter, clean cab panels to replace the rusted out ones on the body. The man is not done with this zombie truck. Click on the video below and see for yourself.