I first want to thank you for your fantastic articles. They grab my interest, and I can’t stop reading. Honestly, I read them over and over again.
Anyways, I’m a huge Ford fan. I’m 51 and only on my third F-150. I started with an F-150 for my first truck after owning a 1975 Ford Mustang. It was a 1980 Ford regular cab Flareside with the chains holding the tailgate. It was a two-wheel drive, so no off-roading. I put a bit of money into it building the 302ci engine and adding dual exhaust. I had a blast with it. I graduated to a 2002 Ford F-150 4×4 with the 7,700 package. Loved that truck. I now drive a 2006 Ford F-150 with under 90K on it, and I plan on driving it forever.
I finally got a chance to build my dream rig, and I’m so proud of it I wanted to share it with you guys. It’s a 1972 Jeep J2000 with a LQ9 6.0L, 4L60E, Atlas 2, kingpin 60, full hydro steering, 5.38s, Detroit, 16-inch King coilovers front, ARB’d 14-bolt, 18-inch King coilover rear, 115-inch wheelbase, and 39.5×19 Boggers. I’m not a professional mechanic; I’m a tree service man with limited mechanical experience or knowledge. The truck is my first vehicle I bought when I was 14, and I’m 34 now. I did some little upgrades and drove it in high school and then it sat for 20 years because I had huge plans but no money. I built a couple thrasher leaf-spring ‘yota ‘crawlers but didn’t want to tear the Jeep apart without a good plan. I hit it hard in the last year and a half and hand built and figured out everything from scratch. From the computer to four-link to wiring to hand bending all the tube, I singlehandedly put this thing together trying my hardest and learning along the way. A pro shop could do a better job faster, and I made a lot of mistakes, but it’s pretty nasty. The rear may be the coolest part. I hand built the frame out of 2×6-inch, 1/4-wall tubing behind the cab, and the front frame is sandwiched with the same material. The belly is flat. It has a 3-inch exhaust, Borla mufflers, MasterCraft seats, and four-point harnesses. I grew up poor, built a company from hard work, and finally did something I’ve been dreaming of since I was 14.
Your May ’20 Firing Order article is perfectly timed for me to respond. I have, like you had, CB radios in my Jeeps for many years, and I recently decided to refresh my communication gear. For years I had a CB in my Jeep Scrambler and in my daily, which was a 2000 Jeep Cherokee, now a Jeep Wrangler JK Unlimited, and I had several handheld FRS radios. On group rides I would sometimes find myself acting as a relay between the CB-only rigs and the walkie talkie rigs. I was planning a wheeling trip, now on hold, and decided to upgrade my radios. I installed the Midland GMRS MXT115 vehicle mount in my Jeep Wrangler and Scrambler, and I added an extra mount, power wire, and antenna to my old Jeep Commando so I can do a quick change if needed. I bought the farm bundle that came with two handhelds and a charging base that I was able to mount in the center console of the Jeep Wrangler. I went ahead and bought the license from the FCC for only $70 for 10 years. Took about 10 minutes on their website. My old walkie talkies are compatible with the new radio, and I have two handheld CBs with external power supply and antenna. This allows me to loan out radios when needed. I really love my new setup, and the Midlands are great. One real take-away is the antenna is so important to performance. I bought my new CBs from a company that made sure I got the best setup for the Jeeps and the right antenna and mounts and grounds for maximum performance. I bought the GMRS radios directly from Midland, and service has been excellent.
Communication Gear V2
I just read your article regarding CB radios (Firing Order, May ’20). My dad had a Rambler and Ford LTD (I’m 57) when I was growing up. Coincidence? Anyway, I currently run two CB radios. A Cobra 75 in my 2010 Toyota Tundra due to limited space with the console and ceiling-mounted storage areas. This radio was also in my 1999 Jeep Cherokee XJ. Compact, but not tunable. The second is a Cobra 148 in my RV. This radio has been peaked and tuned a little and works well when traveling. I thought about going to a ham radio but haven’t gotten there yet. Keep up the great work.
I read your article (Firing Order, Oct. ’19) about a 300ci inline-six and was very happy to see it. I had recently bought a truck with a 300ci. It is a 1979 Ford F-250 4×4 with a NP435 four-speed. The truck had no A/C but some time over the years somebody put a cab with A/C but never hooked it up. The odometer reads 85,000 miles, but it could have rolled over. The engine runs great. All I have done to it is a basic tune-up and changed the distributor. I plan to lift it, put on some Gateway Buckshots with white spoke rims, build some bumpers and a headache rack, and paint it two-tone red and white. This is a picture of it currently. I’m in the process of restoring it. I am 15 and this is my first truck, so it is a slow process.