It didn't take us long to zero in on Ken Hormanns real-world 78 Ford. Needless to say, we pounced faster than a leopard pounces on a wounded rabbit, and once we had the truck in our paws, we liked what we saw.
Before anyone starts squealing Error! it is a 78, not a 79. Ken installed square headlights along with a new 79 grille. He says the headlight and bezels are all thats necessary to change from round to square lamps. Ken built this rig because he wanted an impressive truck that could be driven every day on the streets of his hometown of Fort Wayne, Indiana, and still go easy on the pocketbook. He kept it simple, and thats why this truck works.
Whats really amazing is the equipment Ford churned out of its plants in 1978 and 1979. The 3/4-ton lineup was mentioned in last months issue, while Kens ride gives us a great reason to discuss the 3/4-ton trucks. The rear of this 78 holds a factory Dana 60 with a whopping 5,300-pound capacity, and the front holds a full-floating Dana 44 with a 3,550-pound capacity. While these numbers are great for towing, they also make tall tires possible without axlehousing upgrades. The T-case is a New Process 205 a transfer case respected for its durability despite its rather tall 1.96:1 low range. The original Ford C6 was rebuilt, but otherwise the truck remains untouched. Fords of this vintage come with heavy-duty hardware, so hard-earned cash can be spent on other upgrades. According to our sources, in 1978 Ford lowered the height of all trucks 2 inches to make entrances and exits easier, which came at the cost of ground clearance. Many people call these pre-78 trucks highboys.
Since the axles were plenty beefy in stock form, no axle trussing was necessary for the 35x14.50-16.5 Mickey Thompsons, and breakage or premature wear won't be a problem. The meats are wrapped around 16.5x10 Eaton rims. Room for the bigger tires came courtesy of a 4-inch lift. In addition to the headlight change, Ken installed a Lund sunvisor above the windshield, and a 10-inch-drop bumper hangs from the rear. We appreciate Kens combination of awesome original equipment with useful upgrades to create a great real-world F-250.