Patina and vintage curves will always be attractive in my household if not in this magazine—at least we hope so. Redford, our well-used 1978 Ford F-250, is a beaut when it comes to those two attributes. Mileage? Yep, Redferd’s got it. We guesstimate over 200,000. Patina? For sure. That Arizona sunbaked red paint is complemented by a healthy dose of surface rust.
This truck begs to be made nicer, and there’s a ton of stuff we can do to make it so. Our plans have varied for as long as we’ve owned the truck. Bench racing ideas have ranged wildly from a hardcore rockcrawler with a diesel swap, to lots of fender trimming, to 1-tons and big tires, to a huge mudding monster truck with 2 1/2-ton axles.
At the end of the day we think keeping Redford classy and capable will be the recipe we follow. Right now the plan is to add some suspension lift for bigger tires. There’s also a Dana 60 front axle that followed us home from Mexico one day. We also stumbled upon a Ford NP205, which, when combined with part of Redferd’s NP203, would make for ample gearing for this truck.
When all is said and done we’d like the truck to be a capable and road-drivable rig with lockers for trail use and street manners that would allow it to tow a trailer if our primary tow rig is down for the count. There are a number of ways we could accomplish these goals, but you can bet we’ll use junkyard parts whenever possible and methods that you can duplicate with just about any classic 4x4.
The Summit Racing Equipment MAX-efi 500 fuel injection system was an early kit that was subject to a recall. The recall involves installing updated fuel rails and new seals on the injectors because of a possibility that injector seals could be cut. We did the recall update in 30-40 minutes with the parts supplied as part of the recall. It was easy with the very detailed instructions, and now the system is back to being reliable. The 460ci V-8’s ignition could probably use a little love, and the exhaust needs work too. As is, it consists of only what hasn’t fallen off in the past couple of years, which ain’t much.
Not long after I got Redferd I stumbled upon this Ford NP205 transfer case on the internets. It already has an upgraded input shaft. With a few more parts from our friends at Offroad Design and the range box from the NP203 that came from the factory with Redferd, we can have a doubler transfer case. That means we can use one range box for about 2:1 or combine both for 3.92:1. Lots of gears will help Redferd be capable in a variety of off-road settings.
This ball-joint Dana 60 front axle made it home with us from the NORRA Mexican 1000 a few years back. Since then I’ve been trying to decide what to put it in. I’ve had a few ideas, but honestly it would be right at home in Redferd. Redferd’s rear Dana 60 is only 30-spline, so that would probably be best to upgrade before running 37s and a locker. Speaking of lockers I’ve got an older Dana 60 Detroit and a spare E-locker that should work in one of the axles. Add in a 4- or 6-inch lift kit from our friends at Skyjacker Suspensions and Redferd will be headed down the path to vintage off-road hero status.
While we like patina on the outside, a rough interior isn’t something we enjoy spending time in. Redferd’s interior leaves a lot to be desired, but it’s nothing a little elbow grease can’t take care of. We still need to install some interior parts from LMC Truck, such as new door panels and seatbelts. Another thing that we have to address sooner rather than later is Redferd’s old seat, which has springs poking through. Maybe we’ll try our hand at upholstery next.