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1983 F-700 Nearly DOT Ready

Kaajot

Micro Machine Manager
Ok, so I'll grab pictures as soon as Van Tassel's shop is done looking over the brake lines and modifying my hitch to accommodate all my towing needs.

This Florida 83 F-700 Dump Truck has had a lot of work done by me and a few shops now. It's ready to get a DOT Approval soon.

New LEDs and positions, headlamps, fogs, dash leds, etc -- alll new.
New Master Brake Cylinder
New Brake Lines from Cylinder
New Brake Boost Assist Pump Installed
New TRW Steering Gear Installed (was leaking)
Carburetor Tune-Up Kit
New Solenoid
New Fuel Sending Unit on Master (FactorY) Tank
New Antenna (need to fix its ground though)
New BlueTooth Classic Stereo
New Speakers
New Secondary (Larger) Fuel Tank Gauge with Light (old one no light!)
New Non-Split Rim Hubs
New Tires on them Rims
New Mud Flap (Probably should go to NAPA and get a matching one at some point)
New Rain Seal to Hood (Which I put on Upside Down, will fix when I get it back)
New Blower Fan
New High Beam Step Switch
New Window Actuator on Driver Door

Also unintentionally Installed 1 Dead Squirrel over Winter, have not Removed yet and changed out for a fresh one. -Have removed spare Nuts in glove box.

It's starting to look pretty with the new wheels and LEDs.






Thing that's gonna be my Achilles heel on this is the primary instrument cluster blew with that solenoid that young guy (have his number, phone's dead) helped me fix in Georgia on my way back on the Highway.

I've found 80-86 F-350 instrument clusters (that say Gasoline or Diesel Only, will get the Gasoline one) for sale on Ebay at $89-$299 each.

I figured this is the best way to get the primary fuel gauge working again as the circuitry is black as hell and jumpering with solder and copper seems to do as much good as buying 10 scratched lotto cards.

I think it will work, but I'm just worried another spike will fry the darn fuel gauge again in the future. My idea is to read my wiring diagram I purchased for the vehicle, determine its service amperage and add a fuse rated slightly higher so if a spike hits it burns the fuse and I swap that out.

Is that a good intermittent fix (an inline fuse dangling near the back floor?) and will it help me figure out the long-term issue to repair? Could have been the solenoid as that was the same time when smoke blessed the cab, but Van Tassels said it could have been the gauge that blew the solenoid. (I don't think so, but they've been repairing rigs far longer than me!)
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
I probably have some clusters around, can't say they will have a tach but will have everythng else. There is a fuse that is supposed to protect the gauges, but that is power side, not anywhere to deal with senders. Fairly uncommon to burn them up like that I would think. Might end up with a new sender as well.
 
IMG_1441.JPG

Here’s a good pic of the back of the cluster. I got this instrument cluster for when I still had my 1983 F250. You can see it has the optional tachometer. The printed circuit boards are different between if you have the tach or not. The tach only works if you have the complete gauges, not the idiot lights.
 

Kaajot

Micro Machine Manager
I probably have some clusters around, can't say they will have a tach but will have everythng else. There is a fuse that is supposed to protect the gauges, but that is power side, not anywhere to deal with senders. Fairly uncommon to burn them up like that I would think. Might end up with a new sender as well.

YelloThumbUp

Any of those clusters for sale?

I'll get my VIN/pics when I'm ready just to check.

New sender already installed I believe. (I installed in one of the tanks, think it's the OEM factory tank I did). Float might be installed a little incorrectly, but that's an old mechanic vs new mechanic argument I wasn't willing to have after several discussions the final installation was taken out of my hands (literally) because someone believed in their own wisdom rather than Reading the Instructions. I have a feeling my fuel gauge will always be a little off unless I go back and reinstall :rofl:
 

Kaajot

Micro Machine Manager
IMG_1441.JPG

Here’s a good pic of the back of the cluster. I got this instrument cluster for when I still had my 1983 F250. You can see it has the optional tachometer. The printed circuit boards are different between if you have the tach or not. The tach only works if you have the complete gauges, not the idiot lights.

Yep! That's the one. I have the tachometer.

Upper left on the backside has the gnarly burn marks on mine. Tried jumpering but it did nothing for the guage.

Possibly my sending unit is also a little porked? The old one was not reading nor sending fuel. New one is sending fuel but not reading after install.
 

Fellro

Moderator
Staff member
If you have already replaced the sender then maybe not. The only tach dash I am certain of is a diesel cluster, will have to look in my stockpile to see if there is a tach dash.
 

Kaajot

Micro Machine Manager
If you have already replaced the sender then maybe not. The only tach dash I am certain of is a diesel cluster, will have to look in my stockpile to see if there is a tach dash.
Hmm, I can always get the Gasoline one on Ebay, it's just $89. Is a stripped wiring plate/panel, needs instruments transplanted to it. They got some Diesel clusters ones too for sale. Think with all instruments about $200-$300.

I'm guessing as I transplant my instruments to the cluster panel that I may want a new fuel gauge to go in there if you got one of those?
 

Kaajot

Micro Machine Manager
Yeah 100% I have the Tach because it's a 12 speed H/L manual carb, with choke/throttle and I always play with it to keep RPMs at the right level and avoid the engine quitting on me as its warming up. Also helpful for monitoring how much power I'm sending into the PTO of the dump operation.
 

Kaajot

Micro Machine Manager
And the cool factor of course :cool:
Well, it's cool to have the necessary equipment so that's a cool factor for me! Hah hah!

I would be lost if I couldn't see the RPMs dropping when its a cold engine and bogging down. Gives me a warm fuzzy to slowly watch it hold its rpms steadily as it warms up and I calibrate the Throttle/Chokes.

I don't think I've ever operated a more-complex vehicle regarding its engine regulation between my military and civilian experiences. Diesel Colemans to tow my F-15s when I was enlisted were much easier -- just needed a good battery and you needed to let it go through its start-up check before you went from accessory to crank. Probably the next most-complex. After that, maybe my 2014 Warrior Mustang v8, and that's only because it was a frigg'n fast car and lots of fun to shift creatively.
 

Kaajot

Micro Machine Manager
So, i-81 upstate NY had a major accident at the same time I grabbed my F-700 and was headed to the gas station from Van Tassel's last night after they were looking her over for a brake issue suspect (nothing conclusive, gonna drive it and see what happens).

It hasn't been driven much in the last 2 years. It sat 2-3 months in between start ups after this past Winter. New tires on it, new hubs, etc but battery should have gotten some attention.

The accident crawled me .5 miles over 1.5 hours. The battery died. I fought it hard, goosing the rpms, etc, and got her over to the edge off the rumble strip just before I lost everything.

A few things. It looks like the battery in Georgia install is a little underpowered (800a), so I have the 1000a Industrial battery at NAPA to pick up tomorrow. 800a battery was at 40%, charged up to 60% in an hour, thinking it's not gonna go much higher, was at weak status and could start a vehicle but could just as easily die again.

However, my goosing of gas did nothing for alternator. I believe the alternator was gonna get changed, but then my buddy said we didn't need to (good judgment call I guess eh?) and the replacement I have is still behind the bench seat (60a reman). I ordered a 90a from NAPA (Wilson brand) just to do the upgrade. It's still a g1 alternator, pretty old style. There was another style, but it's nothing I recognize (not a g-series). I wasn't sure if it would be compatible and it could spin either way, not just clockwise.

When I get the new battery in, I wanted to do some tests. Should I hook up to ground and a lead on alternator supply to see its current? It has Throttle/Choke, so I should be able to do this test on my own with several Throttle settings for various RPMs on the tach. I just wanna make sure it's the alternator. I guess a loose belt could also do it in if there's not enough, but I don't think that's the problem. The alternator is definitely the original or an oem from the early 2000s with its rust and corrosion. Leads might be a bit degraded too and need new wiring. The alternator could have been the problem with my original 2019 breaks too causing the solenoid and battery to fry and the spike at the instrument cluster blowing out the fuel gauge instrument.

So that's my latest. Was gonna haul rock starting Monday, but guess not. Any suggestions on alternator testing appreciated.

TLDR:
My luck finally didn't hold out with the F-700 break-downs. It was on the Interstate at night at a major accident scene, so I bit the $300 tow too. Ouch. Towed by the wrecker service/garage that was inspecting it for me. So much Irony. Suspect Alternator, dead battery.
 
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