View Full Version : My 1990 centurion, coilovers, inetior blah blah blah

11-26-2014, 12:58 PM
Little history on the rig. Starting in 2010 I started looking for one of these and in the early fall of 2011 I first found the one I would end up buying off of this site. It was a relatively low miles (12xxxx miles) 1990 460 C350. It was a rust free cali truck relocated to Seattle. The guy wanted 7500 for it, and it was just to much for a 1990 gasser, offered him 6500 and got turned down. Fast forward to june 2012, found the truck reposted for sale at my 6500 offering price. Called the guy told him I'd take it and sent him a 500 deposit via paypal (easiest way to get money back if he flaked) and we made the arrangements for me to fly down the following Friday to seattle where he would pick me up. Only resverations I had about the whole trip was caring 6g in cash with me (it was a PITA to get that much American cash in Fort Mac, cleaned out local bank of all their American, the good thing is the exchange rate was dead even).

So flew there on a last minute Alaska Airlines flight from Edmonton (caught a ride down to my sisters in gibbons via a roommate and then got a ride to the airport the next morning from there), cheap too, like 175 total. Anyway, the rest is pretty well history. Bought the truck after a quick check to make sure it was road worthy for the trip to the farm and I was on my way. Made a stop in Spokane for an engine/tranny fluid change and otherwise had no issues. Border wise, since the truck was more than 15 years old, I just had to submit the bill of sale & title (I think this can be bypassed) so many hours prior to crossing, pay a AC & tire tax & GST and I was done (I already had temp tags, as I worked it out with the seller to get a "copy" of the title/bill of sale to be able to do this). On my way back to the fort I stopped in Calgary for an out of province inspection, found a few issues (cracked marker lens and needed fender flares were the biggies) and continued on. I fixed the issues and got the inspection done and the registration complete.

11-26-2014, 01:00 PM
The truck when I bought had 35x18 toyo mt's on some procomp aluminum wheels, it had a leveling kit in the front (1.5" add a leaf), and some shitty shocks, and a K&N intake kit on it. Other than that it was stock everything. First thing I ended up doing was I had to rebuild the front axle, as it had never been touched. That consisted of new king pins, all wheel bearings & seals, and all new brakes. It also needed some new tie rod ends, so I bought the parts to convert it over to cross over steering (ruff stuff kit and an ORD crossover arm). The other thing I did was I put in a Spartan locker in the front diff (same thing as a lock right) and I had to put new tires on it because the front end was bad enough that it chewed up the tires pretty good, so I put on a set of Hankook dynapro MT's (325 65's). The only other parts I've had to do were the fender flares & headlight/taillight/marker light lens's for the out of province inspection, ended up replacing the tcase (thought it was going bad, but ended up being a bad front CV, but it was leaking so bad I decided to do it anyway) & rebuilt the front CV on the front driveshaft. Added a better stereo and ordered a bunch of sound deadening for the interior, installed Corbeau buckets in the front & a corbeau bench/single seat combo in the second row (it has three row seating). I also managed to find an older Sklyer soft top that went on this summer (the hard top is back on it now). That brings us up to date.

Now the current issues with the truck, it's rough, as in you catch air going over slow speed mall parking lot speed bump rough, and the cali sun has wrecked the paint and interior. So the plans are to address these over the next month. For the suspension, convert the front to radius arms & coilovers. I have a pair of 12" 2.5dia king's, busted knuckle radius arms, and a bunch of ruff stuff parts to tie it together (track bar kit, shock towers & shock tabs). For the rear, it will get a shackle flip & superduty leafs minus the overloads and a pair of fox resi shocks. While I'm underneath everything will get cleaned & painted for rust prevention. The goal is to keep it simple & looking stock. I want minimal lift, only enough to clear 37's. I have started with the shackle flip bracket and rear leaf's.

For the interior, well I'm not sure what I want it to look like, but I'm leaning toward a checker plate finish, but whether its aluminum, steel, or plastic I'm not sure. Color will be black. I will likely keep the carpet, but it will get stripped, the floor cleaned & lined with a DIY bead liner and sound deadener on top then the carpet. The plastic panels will likely get re coloured, and the dash, I'm unsure, repainted or rebuilt from sheet metal, we will see. Exterior, well the shitty factory clear coat is toast, so I think until I can swing a full paint job, it will get plasti dipped a matte black.

11-27-2014, 11:59 AM
Some pictures to bring us up to date.

11-27-2014, 12:04 PM

11-27-2014, 12:13 PM
few more

11-27-2014, 09:58 PM
Looks good! Love those wheels and the front bumper! :)

11-28-2014, 04:58 PM
Looks good! Love those wheels and the front bumper! :)
Whats so special about the bumper? :ldnn::ldnn::ldnn: Mines got a #15,000 warn

11-29-2014, 10:37 PM
I'm 'meh' in the bumper, want to build a tube bumper, I do have an 8000lbs smithy built in there though. Wouldn't trust a 15000 on these bumpers, mounts wouldn't handle that much weight repeatedly.

11-30-2014, 12:30 AM
I beefed it up when I modified it for the Banks intercooler

12-01-2014, 10:13 AM
Nice work. Always neat to see someone working one, and that truck is really clean underneath. That is awesome.

12-01-2014, 06:37 PM
Thanks. Yeah the truck is low miles, only 130xxx when I got it, up to 150xxx now. It was a lot cleaner underneath (less rust) when I bought it, but it was originally a cali truck for the majority of its life, so only rot is in the inner rear wheel wells and tailgate. Goal is to clean it all up and rust proof everything underneath and keep it that way. Other nice thing is the truck isn't splice together with bits here and there, only wiring issues are with a previous stereo install and the brake controller/rear window switch. Someone did something that's not proper.

01-06-2015, 10:57 AM
Oh how life gets in the way of these things. Anyway new shock mounts & shocks are all buttoned up, trying to find the right size bolt for the springs has been a PITA as I had to cut the old ones out. Also been in the process for the last month and a bit of cleaning/prepping the frame and underside of the body for paint. To that I say a FU, I hate cleaning rust/dirt/grime from underneath a vehicle (and the centurion is in actually pretty good shape with minimal rust), about 2/3 done. Managed to keep the total amount of lift to 1/2 over stock.

Anyone have any recommendations on the best stuff to use for frame paint? I've tried the roll on bedliner, and I'm not really a fan of it in this application, partly due to surface prep (if I could sandblast everything I would do this), but I do have some rubberized coating in a spray can stuff. Anything else? I've found people say that a rustoleum hammered black with some hardener is a good way to go, thoughts?

01-06-2015, 11:52 AM
I have actually kind of fell in love with Rustoleum in the gallon can. Brush it on, which sucks, but it is thick, seems to stop rust and holds up really well. Car trailers we have done have taken a bunch of abuse and still it holds up well.
Worst part is, it needs to be reapplied every few years in places like wheel wells where there is a lot of abrasion.

01-06-2015, 09:21 PM
I've used rust shield ...sold at auto paint store .. It's lik por 15 but cheaper, can spray on with a undercoating gun or spray gun with the right tip

Bronco Biff
01-07-2015, 02:24 PM
POR 15 skins really hard and I have seen and application on a Toyota truck bed that has lasted over 15 years.... so far. Rust bullet has reportedly given better results as described by folks I have talked too.

01-26-2015, 11:11 AM
Well, I was given a paint recommendation which is a POR 15 alternative called Chassis Saver, was told its basically the same thing, little cheaper too. Anyway found a gallon of it in town on Friday and proceeded finishing off the rear of the Centurion over the weekend. Had to drill out the front spring eye bushings to 3/4" (couldn't track down the proper metric bolt without special ordering one), sucked, but didn't take long to do. Everything was bolted up and torqued, flexed the rear to check for shock bind and all was good. Finished cleaning the rust & dirt from the underside of the body and frame, fawking sucked, anyway after about 10lbs of rust removed from the truck I wiped it down and got to painting. I wish I had a compressor to use my spray gun, as with a brush it took all saturday and Sunday to get everything done, used about a half gallon of the paint. The paint is like painting elmer's white glue, thick and sticky. Word of advice, if you are going to apply this stuff, it does not like smooth metal, rough up the surface to give it a good "tooth" to grab onto. Anyway I got done with the chassis saver, then I went back over the areas that will see road debris it with a rubberized coating in an aerosol can for a little extra life.

All in all I'm happy with the results, I have to go back over a few areas with paint, and change out the rear brake line for something a little better, but the rear is done, now to do the front. Still have to redo the tail pipe and one exhaust hanger, but I'm going to delete the cat. with a piece of straight pipe, so I'll leave it for later.15273152741527515276

03-04-2015, 02:12 PM
Started on the front this week. Front end is all torn apart, just have to yank out the driver inner fenderwell. I'm debating what to do with the inner fenders at this point as well. I have a sheet of some thin sheet metal (can't remember how thin) that I could use to make new inner fenders. I guess I'll get everything in and see how it all looks. I'm hoping by the end of the weekend to have all the brackets on the axle removed, and the new radius arms mocked in place, hopefully. Found out too that the old shock were complete screwed, nice metal on metal feel when I compressed them after i had them removed.

03-05-2015, 08:29 AM
You can always take a jig saw to the original fender wells for now, trim them around your new towers. It would be quick and easy.

03-05-2015, 09:15 AM
Yeah that will be the the standby plan, trim a hole for just what is needed and go from there.

03-09-2015, 09:27 PM
It never fails to amaze me at how many little things can be wrong with a truck that you would never know about until you actually get dirty and take stuff apart. Long story short, found out all the driver's side tranny cross member bolts were loose when I removed it (in the way of the radius arm mounts).

Anyway got a bunch more done over the week, slow going with only a few hours a night at most to work on it. all the old parts have been cut off or removed. I'm leaving the front shackle mount in place for, as the rivets hold up the front core support, and the rear hanger mounts are also being left (trimmed one ear off though) as is because my nerf bars use this as a mount, and they will stay until either my wife grows 6" or I build sliders with an incorporated step, likewise for the front, they will stay until I get to building a tube bumper that I want to do. That said, I trimmed the front of the engine cross member for track bar clearance, the drivers side was cut at a bit of angle for extra clearance (you will see in the pictures), will still probably have to fabricate a bend into the track bar to clear the center section/cross member though, we shall see (I'm building it so that full bump is still at stock height). Axle is cleaned up of all factory brackets, tranny cross member as mentioned had to be removed for clearance and will be rebuilt later on down the road.

With all that done I got to fitting up the new radius arms and new frame mounts, took a two steps forward, one step back type of deal with me being a dumb ass. Nipped the rear brake line drilling one hole for the new frame mounts . . . oh well, good thing I have lots of donor trucks on the farm. Anyway I was able to get the frame mounts clamped into place and the new c-wedges with radius arms fit up on to the axle. Played a little bit with the track bar axle mount and shock mounts. Everything should tie together nicely. I think I'm also going to try to toss a simple HSS truss on the axle, we shall see how it works out.

In the pictures, axle is set at mid travel for the C/o's, which is 3"+ lift over where it was when I began. This is based off where the axle would hit zero bump stock, (for a visual, the bump stops hit the top leaf spring plate, which sits 63 mm above the axle spring pad). This will change and I will cut this distance by hopefully 2", pending on frame to drag link clearance & tire clearance, which are the biggest limiting factors in up travel (the drag linkhits about an inch or so before the axle hits the engine cross member).

03-19-2015, 08:57 AM
Little bit of an update, but not much to show for it. Anyway, radius arms axle and frame mounts are tacked in place, and the track bar mounts are tacked in I hope the final spot. Also discovered last night that I will have to move/fiddle with the factory bump stops so I have enough room for the track bar. Trying to squeeze 14" coil overs and maintain factory full bump is definitely a fun task lol.

03-20-2015, 10:59 AM
Welp, track bar is going to be a bitch to fit in and get parallel with the drag link. The weird ass angle the drag link runs at doesn't help matters either (pitman arm is a good 10" ahead of the steering arm). I was attempting to rough fit the track bar in last night with it being essentially lined up with the axle centerline with no luck.

Because I need to maintain factory full bump (vertically challenged wife, plus with the c/o's and where I'm running them travel wise, I'll be gaining ~2" of lift in the front), this is a no go. Just not enough room between the engine crossmember and the diff center section at full bump for the track bar, and that's even with running a spaghetti noodle bent track bar to clear around everything.

My plans going forward will be, first because I'm stubborn, is I'm going to pick up some PVC 1.5" od tubing and see if I can get it to clear around the diff and engine crossmember. If I can get it to clear with only loosing an inch of up travel, then that will be fine. The next step if this doesn't work, will be to push the axle track bar mount forward of the axle tube enough so that the track bar is now in front of the diff center section/diff cover. I'd perfer not to do this as the mount is getting away from the stock appearance I want for this.

Also, I have to notch the frame to clear to drag link at full bump (seen this several time before), the final location of the track bar mount and if it affects full bump will dictate how much I have to notch, may also have to notch the frame for the track bar pending final location.

03-22-2015, 12:29 AM
Looks like running the drag link on the bottom of the high steer arm will solve my issues. Not to happy about the angles, as this puts the drag link level at about 5" of down travel, with 14" travel kings, the angles aren't the greatest near and at full droop, but for what the truck will be doing and how much time it will see at full droop it will see, this is not an issue. One other thing I did, is that with the pitman arm so far forward of the high steer arm, causing the axle and drag link to not be parallel to each other, I moved the track bar frame mount forward on the frame to be match all angles of the drag link in the x, y, and a plane. Best part too, is that I no longer have to channel the frame for the drag link to meet factory full bump.

I've got some more work tomorrow I want to do before I toss up some pictures. With this change in the drag link, I'll have to upgrade to some EMF tie rod ends with a straight pins for the angles I need. No biggie, and well worth the cost.

04-11-2015, 10:09 AM

Time to up date with a bunch of pictures. Anyway I moved the drag link to below the steering arm (I've purchased a set of EMF high angle rebuildable tie rod ends), clearanced the engine cross member, and then checked for drag link/track bar clearances. I was actually able to gain 1-2" in bump height, which means I can lower by that amount.

04-11-2015, 10:11 AM

More pictures showing the clearances at full bump.

04-11-2015, 10:14 AM

Final 2 pictures showing clearances.


Track bar mount in progress.


Decided that I'm going to upgrade to a 3G alternator, also going to remove the smog pump (not a requirement here), and add in a second alternator in its place and a 2nd battery. I'll get more into the details when the time comes on the wiring.

04-11-2015, 10:17 AM

Clearances around the new track bar mount, which is finished in these pictures.


Tossed a tire on to check the tire to fender clearances at full bump. Little trimming required at the back of the fendor (green tape) when the tire is turned. I actually have room to go to upto a 40 with the proper wheel backspacing & a 12.5 tire max.

04-11-2015, 10:22 AM

Coilover tower mount started. I started with a ruffstuff tower, cut the bottom off as it was too short.


Brand new extended brake lines, had a local shop make them. All flex lines front and rear are the same (I had an extra spare built), had to change a few t fittings and such, but everything is good to go now.

04-11-2015, 10:25 AM

Coilover tower on the drivers side is set, just have to weld it out and install it, I'll likely add a cross brace as well. This is where I'm at right now. Won't make any more progress until next weekend as I'm away for work.

Bronco Biff
04-11-2015, 01:37 PM
Coming along very nicely!! There is a thread on here with some good dual battery info and parts sources...got me a little education from it!! Along the same dual battery lines, found that my 1999 E series van had a dual battery/alternator option available with the second battery mounted under the driver side of the body on the outside of the frame, can all be done with factory pieces!!

04-11-2015, 04:18 PM
Thanks. Still a long ways to go. Yeah there's a lot of information on the dual battery setups out there, easy enough to do, the dual alternator however is an entirely different matter. Thanks for the tip on the e-series van, I'll keep an eye out for them.

04-12-2015, 05:19 PM
Looks great , can't wait to hear how it rides. I flip flop back and forth whether I should do my 06 frame and axle swap . Just not sure it's worth the time and effort . Let us know

04-13-2015, 06:01 PM
I'd only do a complete frame swap if you are also doing the entire power train as well. Swap the new firewall into the centurion as well, then you can keep all the dash components and new creature comforts as well.

Thanks, and yeah I can't wait to see how it rides too.

04-19-2015, 12:55 AM
So I was able to get the drivers coilover mount welded out and tacked into place tonight. Finished checking clearances with the drag link, tie rod and track bar, and as expected I'm going to have to get creative with the tie rod as it doesn't quite clear the track mount or track bar at full bump, hits the mount at about 1.5" or so of shock left before full bump. I can clearance the mount but it won't be enough, so we shall see.

04-28-2015, 10:11 PM
Bunch of updates, i'll let the pictures do the talking, they are from over about a week.






04-28-2015, 10:17 PM





04-28-2015, 10:19 PM



Lower coilover mounts & track bar mounts. Couple small gussets left to add to tie it all together and some clean up to do and its all done.

04-28-2015, 10:22 PM





Coil over towers.

04-28-2015, 10:28 PM


Coil over towers are nearly complete, done enough to support weight. I have to weld out on the inside (side facing the engine) and build a simple cross brace.


Track bar angle at full droop, not to bad. Was able to pick up a hydro boost, pump, cooler and lines from an 99 f450 superduty last weekend. May have to get some lines built , but should be fairly straight forward swap, will have to play with the pedal ratio too, but I'm happy. Also grabbed a 3G alternator.

On Sunday I was able to get the track bar cut & fit (I won't weld it out until everything is 100% complete and aligned, just in case I need to adjust lengths or something) and the upper coil over mounts welded out & far enough along to support weight as I mentioned, but discovered I'm missing some hardware and couldn't get the coilovers installed to check fro spring rates.

So my goal is to have the truck road worthy come the end of May, as I want to take it down to an event called Mountain Havoc in northern Idaho, anyway the to do list to get this complete is as follows:

Items to complete in order to have a driveable truck:

-Build tie rod end & have it clear the track bar mount
-Slightly modify track bar to clear tie rod at full bump
-Clearance track bar frame mount to clear tie rod at full bump
-Drill out the pitman arm & knuckle tie rod end holes to 3/4" for new tie rod ends.
-Install bump stops, not sure if mounted to the axle or on the frame will work best, we will see
-Install limit straps (chain for now)
-Finish gusseting lower coil over mounts
-Weld out inside (side facing the engine) of upper coil over mounts
-Weld out radius arm frame mounts
-Build & install new transmission cross member
-Check drive shaft clearances at full droop & order parts as required (plan would be to change the cv joint to a high clearance one and just modify the existing one to clear)
-Install coil overs, mount remote resi's, & check spring rates, may have to install different rear blocks to compensate for height differences between the front & rear (will have to install new rear axle lower shock mounts if this happens)
-Install new brake line setup front and rear, cut & re-flare the line i damaged, the flush & bleed everything
-Re-route & install air filter assembly
-Re-route EFI fuel return line around passenger upper coil over mount
-Remove Air pump & Install 2nd alternator (will just install so I don't have to replace the belt, will only hook up if i have time)
-Re-route exhaust to in front of rear tire I'll remove cat. converter while in there.
-Clean to sound metal (I'm using fluxcore for the welding at the moment) & paint all fabricated parts as well as the frame & core support with POR 15. The core support is starting to rust pretty bad, and one of the main reasons for all this work was to go over the truck with a fine tooth comb and eliminate any rust & prevent it from coming back, so before I pull it out of the shop this has to happen.
-Build new rear bumper with receiver hitch (I want to do a tube bumper, and know what I want, however because I want this running by the end of may, the bumper will be just the base + receiver, tube work will come later)
-Trim front fenders to clear tires at full bump & fully turned either way
-Test drive on some rocks and get the suspension working and make sure it all works together

Items that are important for the longevity of the truck but not immediately critical to have a driving truck:

-Build & install new cross member in front of steering box
-Build & install coil over cross brace
-Modify & install inner fenders
-Modify (due to the trimming of the front fenders) & install front fender flares

Upgrades that I want to complete while i'm working on everything:

-Install new hydro boost system
-Install 2nd battery box & battery & wiring, install dual alternator wiring
-Finish installing the winch (electrical & fairlead only left to do)
-Replace factory alternator with 3G alternator.

Parts to buy:

-Hardware for everything that needs it (have to go through everything when I'm home on the 8th)
-Limit straps
-Pulley for 2nd alternator (I think, its off a Taurus and I'm pretty sure it will not work)
-Replacement brake line for the part I broke (I'm not a fan of flaring lines)
-High angle CV joint (maybe)

Lots of work to do and being stuck out of town for work for the next two weeks takes a really big dent out of my fab time.

Bronco Biff
04-30-2015, 09:06 AM
Nice Progress!

05-01-2015, 07:29 AM
That does look great, you really don't have much left compared to how far you have gotten.

05-01-2015, 10:17 AM
Thanks guys, I'm down to a lot of the little detail work that makes the difference in having a well built rig. My goal is to get everything wrapped up between the 8th and 17th, then make the trip to an event I want to attend with it. Cross my fingers.

05-13-2015, 08:58 AM
Over the weekend I was able to get the Tie rod and drag link in place (had to cut up a bunch of tube to get the adapters I needed) & steering arms drilled out to 3/4". At full bump I have to mod the tie rod to clear the track bar mount, and have to make the track bar and tie rod fit in the same space.



05-13-2015, 08:59 AM
This tie rod is kicking my ass. At full bump everything the track bar and tie rod are in the same spot (I can't really move the mounts any either, as I wanted to match the angles of the drag link exactly, and with maintaining factory ride height, I can't raise the axle track mount otherwise it is into the frame). But, I've managed to get it to a point to where the tie rod clears everything. I trimmed the track bar frame mount to gain clearance, and I then trimmed the tie rod till it cleared everything, which ended up being quite a bit. I thought about bending the tie rod to clear, but it would've been below the axle tube and would've been a bigger rock catcher then what I have now. I'm not done with it yet, I have to finish welding & gusseting it, but should get that finished today.

I started with some 2"OD x .250 tube for the tie rod, then the gusset is some 2x4 x.250" HSS cut & formed to fit as you can from the shitty picture. I will agree in advance that this is NOT the best strongest way to build a tie rod, but it's my only option if I want to maintain the current full bump height, and I will work with it to make it work. Oh and I thought of modifying the track bar too, but at full bump its too close to the frame to be able to put a bend in it to clear the tie rod.




06-09-2015, 03:37 PM
Got some more work done (pointless to say I didn't get everything finished that I wanted to). Truck is now supporting its own weight finally. I reworked the tie rod end to clear, ended up bending it a little lower than needed, as such its below the axle tube centerline, but I'll redo it once i get my bender in instead of using the ancient kink bender that used for this one. Finished up some small gussets on the axle, and welded out the radius arm frame brackets. Next on the list is the new tranny & front cross member, bump stops and I think I'll still put the coilover tower to tower brace in as well.

On the drivers side, I have right at 7.5" of shaft showing, which equates to 1.75-2" lift over what I started with, and it sits level with the back. Not to bad with that much up travel. I'm going to try this and see how it feels. There is no preload (just snugged tight to the spring), and the springs are 450/250. I thought I would need a lot heavier. I also need to recharge the passenger front c/o as well.

just read through the spring tech thread on pirate4x4.com and picked up a bunch of good info. The C/o's pictured have the following springs (they are 14" 2.5 dia kings) 16" 450lb lowers and 14" 250lb uppers, I'm set at 0 preload and setting at 7.5" uptravel (passenger side is 1" lower, but there is no N2 charge on that shock for some reason).

Now reading through that thread, I should swap out my lowers, and add in at least 2" preload. I have a set of 350lb 16" lowers that I will try (I thought I had the proper sprung weight, but its actually lighter than I thought, I will have to figure this out and properly charge the one shock) with the proper preload and see if that gets me to the 6.5-7" up travel that I want.

For the dual rate stops, because this is a tow rig and semi daily driver, I'll start with them set at 2" above the sliders at ride height and adjust from there for body roll & coil bind (its a radius arm front, leaf spring rear F350 chassis), I'll try them in a few different spots to get the best feel. For valving will be once I get to it, IE someone that knows it better than I.

Make sense? If not please correct me or suggest a better route. I'm guessing that my front sprung weight is right around 1000lbs.

06-24-2015, 09:52 AM
Got started on the new tranny crossmember. The amount of full droop in the driveshaft means I cannot use the factory crossmember is any shape or form, which sucks as I was hoping to. So I started with a piece of tube between the radius arm mounts and a plate drilled/notched to fit the factory mount. I will brace it from there and able a couple stiffeners to the frame to transfer the load across the entire frame rail. Also need to make it removable. Hopefully I get it all fit/tacked together tonight. Also checked the full droop driveshaft clearances last night, and it just clears without binding at full droop, axle end has lots of room, and the slip yoke barely moves (helps that the radius arms are almost the same length as the driveshaft). The CV joint at the tcase is where the clearance get a little tight, but everything works well. I have some pictures to post up tonight.

07-04-2015, 12:49 PM
Tranny mount done, I decide to not do a removable one for now, whenever I have to remove the transmission I want to box or strengthen the frame which means I will also change a bunch of the cross members including the transmission cross member. So I'll make it fancy removable mount/skid plate at that time.

07-04-2015, 12:50 PM
Couple picture of the smog pump broken down, pretty simple, the bearings were toast in it, so it's a good thing I got rid of it, and also the mandatory middle finger salute to the useless junk.

07-04-2015, 12:52 PM
Brake lines and exhaust. I have a small tab or two to add to secure the brake line t fitting, and on the exhaust you can see where I changed the end cap (used the flange off the cat. convertor).

07-04-2015, 12:54 PM
New air filter location, I need to extend the intake hoses with some tube to make up the difference, and also a few of the wiper fluid/rad overflow container, first is the stock location, then the new location. Also a few pictures of the modified mounting bracket, just trimmed it and added a piece of tube with tabs that get bolted to the inner fender. Forgot to say that I also installed a new shorter alt. belt to make up for the removed air pump. I still want to do the second alternator, but that will be for another day (I really need to get this truck moving, need to work on the beater and a few other things that require the space this truck is taking up).

07-21-2015, 05:17 PM
Bump Stops:

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/t31.0-8/11698920_10155791602800282_4371269587316905363_o.j pg

Final Air filter setup:

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/11235280_10155802146315282_2726950429624331631_n.j pg?oh=d6974f9c1590015745b0d74e922083b7&oe=561AC6E3

After this was finished I was able to get the truck started to check things over. No exhaust leaks on the new exhaust (there is an existing one where the manifold meats the exhaust pipe, right at the donut), no check engine light with the smog pump removed either, so I'm happy with that.

Checking alignment:

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10649587_10155802146830282_7450082989357871125_n.j pg?oh=2564868f06ce48223e16560bbb408ddf&oe=565BD298

Resi's mounted:

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/11215150_10155802146920282_681482727778667413_n.jp g?oh=0f363effa5d328305e78e16fef75501c&oe=5614B11D

New EMF high angle TRE's installed, drag link, tie rod bar, and track bar completed & installed:

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xtp1/v/t1.0-9/11145061_10155802147150282_7993901066930571173_n.j pg?oh=4b0cb4f3a65641509d594c565059135b&oe=565C7B06

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/11754279_10155802147265282_3160532121806129277_n.j pg?oh=a28702164a0bbe8364b57ef2d8fa40eb&oe=564B77FE

Limit strap tab:

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10715_10155802147340282_1343804575523049279_n.jpg? oh=7fdd8a058ffc6494439cf4e3891247b6&oe=56510447

And the test drive:

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/v/t1.0-9/11745696_10155810675055282_336264283134088585_n.jp g?oh=09fa73072d73723c94ec3f372048ad58&oe=561D1AF6

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xta1/v/t1.0-9/11249630_10155810674825282_8347322635793751034_n.j pg?oh=44b90eebb53783eb0b90ea661243a619&oe=5650337A

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xft1/v/t1.0-9/11745310_10155810674195282_6809461344978455800_n.j pg?oh=1813edbf249fed8a4e7978c01f0e897a&oe=5647E2FB.

Thats just a rock pile in my neighborhood. Suspension is a ways from being maxed out, but was the best i could find last night.

Found a couple dumbass things I did last minute (couple small clearance issues), and it took a few times to bleed the brakes (drivers rear wheel cylinder had a bunch of shit in it and plugged itself, so a little extra leverage on the peddle managed to pop it clean). But overall the truck drives fantastic, 10 times better than before. Steering is nice and tight & crisp, no bump steer, body roll is minimal, it doesn't dart or pull to one side or the other, under hard braking it feels great. Most importantly, the overall ride is a million times better than before. The spring rate is pretty close too. The self alignment I did in the garage came out really good. The only alignment thing I need to do is to add more camber to the truck ass its out (lowers are adjustable, but are not good enough).

The fender flares are coming off, they are damaging the body where the ride against it, and they are holding water in place and causing rust to start (I found a small bubble on the drivers front fender yesterday when trimming them). I'd love to get a set of flared fiberglass bronco fenders (front & back) for a 92 and up truck, or look into in the pocket style cut out flares, if they mount decent enough I'd go that route instead.

On the ride height, I ran into a situation where I have 2" more preload on the passenger side than on the driver's side coilover (due to i think a weight difference with the drivetrain placement on this era of ford trucks). I have a few suggestions to try and I may end up running slightly different rates from one side to the other, we will see.

07-23-2015, 08:28 AM
Got it cleaned up the other day, and I've just been putting some miles on it going back ad forth to work the last few days and checking everything to makes sure no issues arise. So far so good, and I'm very impressed with how well the truck drives now, especially how nimble it is for the size of it. I address the few small things this weekend, and also look into the different spring pre loads. Then i'm away from monday to friday and on the long weekend its a 3hr road trip to the farm with it.

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/11700946_10155819066615282_4566450435802730930_n.j pg?oh=963566c720935868e286acccc2e087ba&oe=564FF7DD

09-29-2015, 10:53 AM
Finally getting around to working on the interior of this, and I've had lingering electrical issues since I bought it, which started when I removed the keyless entry that was hacked into the truck using the rear window power.

Anyway, the current problem is with the turn signals/hazzards/blinkers. The problem, the turn signals blink at an irregular pace (fast or slow, can vary when the brake lights come on). Next thing that happens is when the hazards are on (these blink at a normal pace) and the brake is pressed, all four hazard lights come on and hold with the brake light (I've never had this happen on any of these truck before). Playing around last night with a test light I found that brake light circuit is flashing whenever the hazzards are on as well (this is bad because the trailer brake controller is spliced into the brake light circuit).

Now with the truck being a Centurion conversion, the electrical is a crap shoot at best, as there is no way to say what Centurion did.

My initial guess is there is short somewhere on the chassis causing both of these problems. I've started at the back with the trailer wiring harness, which I had issues with previously, removed it at the factory connectors. I haven't pulled any loom or yanked out the taillights, but I'll do that tonight, and do the same up front and make sure the connections at the bulbs are good. I'll also replace the flasher module thingy in the fuse box (this was replaced 2 years ago as well, so it shouldn't be bad).

Anyone have any other suggestions on what could be the issue?

Lastly, does anyone have the complete wiring diagram for a 1990 F350 XLT lariet, for the lights & interior? I'm piecing a few together, just hoping for a quicker solution (I'll toss them up on here when I have everything).

09-29-2015, 10:58 AM
Forgot to post this up. I hit a mud bog a little while back and decided to run my 38.5x11 boggers, here's a few pictures and some flex testing at the farm.

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpl1/v/t1.0-9/11954565_10155968680950282_2646857906929183545_n.j pg?oh=229313cf41b6a50a064490a4e625507d&oe=5674F2D9

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfl1/v/t1.0-9/11960075_10155968680870282_8550017850055255770_n.j pg?oh=f0dc8d9bdd029f061a8cb9e5dabfbec4&oe=566491E0

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpl1/v/t1.0-9/11949429_10155973498040282_5659841941446729233_n.j pg?oh=2fd1abd9275e110cd9d1f75353eef56a&oe=5660933E

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpt1/v/t1.0-9/11895977_10155973498445282_1637761609480224878_n.j pg?oh=046dfb6ee967ad4742899114a7e5376e&oe=56670912

Some fender trimming is required if i run this tire size on the trail, or a set of cut out flares will work too.

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/11902458_10155973499015282_4969322181775501868_n.j pg?oh=9e5f543012f685564c3db3191d05b4e1&oe=56840646

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/11038079_10155973497910282_7676325094791236008_n.j pg?oh=1ab39910a0afdb4d0f98b20696b63c7a&oe=565F5EC1

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/11988342_10155973497100282_2549312215323719151_n.j pg?oh=da53861ca7d4cbf6131236fe98c8c557&oe=56687F39

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpl1/v/t1.0-9/11951310_10155973497800282_4975018614323608546_n.j pg?oh=c698064730942fe49cf1efe855798265&oe=567C4A88

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/11935117_10155973496135282_4043111011798110259_n.j pg?oh=77892afc382b0b33755820ee059f2d1a&oe=5635B336

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/11935010_10155973498550282_3359530329442792005_n.j pg?oh=5dae3105fdc9514bb031d45efde5388f&oe=567A5D3A

https://scontent-ord1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/11947582_10155973498685282_8726932838794388459_n.j pg?oh=1989eae70ecb58e190704db339b90630&oe=5681F053

09-29-2015, 11:30 AM
I like the 16" wheels you have the boggers on. sure looks scary to me , all that weight loaded on 1 bolt at the coil overs. nice flex!

09-29-2015, 11:40 AM
they are 16.5's, they are getting used on the next set of tires for the truck (37" good year MTR's, the old style). Polished up a bit of course.

09-30-2015, 08:57 AM
Made some headway on the electrical issues, was given this link: http://www.revbase.com/BBBMotor/; was given some suggestions on another site, and I need to pull the steering wheel, check the turn signal/flasher switch, and still pull the tail lights apart. The systems are tie into each other somewhere.

Found this when I start to take the steering wheel apart (before I realized I didn't have a steering wheel puller


Explains why the truck turns sharper one way then the other lol. You can see the factory alignment marks and how much they are off.

09-30-2015, 09:49 AM
Truck looks awesome, so glad you are happy with it. Nothing better than driving something you enjoy and is a joy to drive.

The electrical, could be turn signal switch. That is kind of weird that, more likely it is feeding backwards somewhere through the turn signal switch which sounds like is what your initial thought was.
The first place I go is the splices above the rear axle on the drivers side, inside the frame. Somewhere there Centurion typically but spliced the electrical together. Granted but splices usually cause things to stop working not your problem, but maybe a hot connection melted a couple wires together there, or maybe someone added a trailer plug in correctly.
Believe it or not a bad bulb can cause the problem you are having as well, if one filament has broken and touching the other filament it can do it, but the amount of current passing through the broken filament would be a lot to cause the problem you are having.

Last note, The steering wheel being off center like that will not affect if it turns sharper one direction compared to the other. That is the function of the length of the link running from the pitman arm to the passenger side wheel. it is either too long or too short depending on which direction is off.

Awesome work. It is very inspiring to see how far you have gotten it.

09-30-2015, 11:07 AM
Last note, The steering wheel being off center like that will not affect if it turns sharper one direction compared to the other. That is the function of the length of the link running from the pitman arm to the passenger side wheel. it is either too long or too short depending on which direction is off.

Yes it will, I built everything with the pitman arm centered, then corrected the length of the drag link to center the steering wheel (wasn't thinking that the steering wheel itself was off). Now with the steering stops on the axle all the way in (does not limit the knuckle), the only limit in the system is the steering box, and with the pitman arm now "off center" to straighten the steering wheel, and the drag link adjusted to make the truck steer straight, the box will have more throw to the one side then the other.

I've had the turn signal/hazard switches go bad on me before (mechanically, but not electrically), so I figure for the 20 minutes it takes to pull it apart I'll take a peek inside and if all is good clean & lubricate all the moving parts and look elsewhere. Thanks for the pointer on the bulb, I'll double check them as soon as I can. I have always been suspect of the centurion electrical work being the culprit, thanks for the tip on where to look (i'll still pull all the loom off and check it all, as you never know who played with it over the years). The trailer wiring harness was craptaskic, they used house wiring merets to splice wires together, but I pulled everything out back to the factory harness plugs to eliminate this potential issue, now I just need to pull the both taillights as I said and make sure there isn't anything weird going on in there. The issue could be with the front turn signals as well, as I did pull the inner fenders out, and with all of the work I've done over the last year this could be the problem, and it has gotten worse since I bought the truck.

09-30-2015, 01:32 PM
I think we are saying the same thing but approaching it differently. I just took it as you were going to center the steering wheel and all is well, but you are actually going to correct the steering wheel, then re adjust the drag link to reach the pitman arm.

You might be able to narrow the wiring problem down by removing or unplugging the rear harness and try it out, see if it still affects the front turn signals. If it does then you know everything to the back including bulbs are good.

09-30-2015, 03:11 PM
Yup, you got it, I'll have to re adjust the drag link as well.

Good idea, I'll track down the junction point in the harness and pull it, that will narrow it down a lot.

09-30-2015, 03:29 PM
I might have my years confused but I think it was right behind the driver's kick panel.

Bronco Biff
10-01-2015, 08:14 AM
That beast is coming along very nicely!!

10-05-2015, 10:07 AM
Thanks, more to come, I want it back to like new condition.

Anyway did more digging on the electrical. Disconnected the rear harness (found it in the main harness in the engine compartment), and no change. Played with the front lights and checked for bad grounds, etc, pulled all the tape & crap off the main harness to check for bad wires, found one, but it was unrelated to the problem. Followed everything up to as far as I could see under the dash with no luck. Next step is to pull the column apart (got called out of town for work on wednesday till saturday, so i have't been able to touch it other than last night) as well as drop it down and see what I have going on.

I do have a seat belt question (mine are acting up), are the rear seat belts in these trucks the ones out of the bronco, or from the F350? I need to replace the rear shoulder belts because the retracking mechanism & latching system is worn out and not working properly.

10-06-2015, 09:26 AM
I got the wheel yanked off, dropped the column, and centurion didn't touch the part of the harness that I looked at that went over the column and up and around. Also was able to pull the tape of and peel the loom back with some creative use of modified long ass needle nose pliers, and no issues to be seen to indicate trouble.

With the wheel off the turn signal/hazzard switch was in good working order. When I tested the hazzard switch & the brake lights, I found that when the brakes are pressed it feeds only two of the 4 hot connections in the switch, but one of these two comes up very low power when using a test light. So, back to looking at the diagrams. I'm going to double check the that I completely disconnected the rear harness and go from there.

Signal flasher ended up being the problem with the irregular turn signal, that's the second one in 3 years which is very odd as this is not something I've had issues with

10-06-2015, 11:10 AM
So I think I have it figured. My biggest issue with the hazard/brake lights is the hazard lights are on and the brake pedal is pressed, the front hazard lights go solid, they shouldn't, or at least I've never seen them go solid on the dozens of other ford trucks we have on the farm. So I took a few minutes and figured (I think I did) out the order of operations for the multifunction switch.


Looking at that diagram, brake lights will override the hazards when the hazards are on; as the hazards tap into the brake lights with a separate switch, and also a separate switch is used for the front turn signal. Therefore, with the hazards turned on, when the brakes are pressed they will turn on the rear brake lights, but not the front signal lights, because the front hazard switch will break the circuit to the front signal lights. Thus preventing the brakes from turning the front turn signals solid. But the hazards will flash the entire brake circuit system, and anything wired into it, including the trailer brakes which means I will potentially have to rewire the trailer brake module.

Make sense?

So I need to verify the feed to the brake light switch and make sure its hot at all times and not flashing with the hazards, I need to verify the hazard switch, in that when I press the brake only two of the leads go solid and two remain flashing. The hazard switch as mentioned is the only location that the circuits can come in contact with each other (without having a damaged wire), so this is likely where the problem is.

10-07-2015, 10:23 AM
I do have a seat belt question (mine are acting up), are the rear seat belts in these trucks the ones out of the bronco, or from the F350? I need to replace the rear shoulder belts because the retracking mechanism & latching system is worn out and not working properly.

Are they second row or third row? I guess with your year, does the second row have shoulder belts?

If it has shoulder belts then it is the same as a pickup or bronco, you can get replacements from either.

10-07-2015, 10:31 AM
So I need to verify the feed to the brake light switch and make sure its hot at all times and not flashing with the hazards, I need to verify the hazard switch, in that when I press the brake only two of the leads go solid and two remain flashing. The hazard switch as mentioned is the only location that the circuits can come in contact with each other (without having a damaged wire), so this is likely where the problem is.

Yep everything you are saying is correct.
The front turn signals should not ever go solid. They are supposed to be on a separate circuit than the rear ones.
The circuit is separated and controlled by the turn signal/hazard switch in the column.

Curious question, when not in Hazard condition, does the turn signal over ride the brake light on the rear? Or is the brake light over ridding the turn signal? e.g. left turn signal on, hit the brake, does the left rear still flash or stop?