After introducing OBS resurrection in a prior blog post, it’s time to move on to the next batch of upgrades. As a 224,000-mile, one owner, this F350 has seen its fair share of rough miles but still has solid structure and drivetrain so maybe a little bit of love will go a long way. For spending its life in Utah, it’s still solid underneath and rust free, just needs a few new parts to bring it back to OBS glory.
In part one of the restoration, the old F-series got some cosmetic upgrades like our 6-piece clear headlight package, chrome grille shell and some taillights. We ditched a camo bug shield, tinted the windows, and replaced a smashed front bumper. When you’re driving a 20+ year old truck daily, you learn how to live with a few rattles and broken parts, but it doesn’t have to be that way with many
replacement parts available. After a $200 bill at the detail shop, getting carpets and seats shampooed, and replacing a couple window switching and rewiring the passenger rear door harness the interior is in pretty good shape.
The factory instrument cluster bezel around the steering wheel had been cut up for a switch install or something at some point and a couple of the clips that held it on were broken. This meant that bezel had a pretty gnarly rattle to it. It was also really faded, so a factory replacement bezel can solve every one of those issues. A factory replacement bezel not only freshens up the interior, but it’ll also fix the
rattle and give you new, fully functioning air vents. The bezel is easy to swap out and allowed access to the instrument cluster that had a couple of light bulbs burned out, so replacing them now with some better LED bulbs was a no brainer.
Next on the list of repairs was giving the sagging doors some attention. All four doors on this crew cab had some movement in the hinges and the driver’s door sagged so much when open, it took two hands to get it to close properly. The latch was nearly an inch lower than the striker making it very tough to close. Our door pin hinge kits come complete with all the hardware you need to replace the worn
factory pieces like new brass bushings, pins, retainers, and the striker latch for each door. The factory bushings wear over time with the weight of the door hanging on them and most owners use the door to hoist themselves up into the seat. They’re really a wear item you should expect to replace after twenty years of service. Swapping the bushings and pins out is pretty straight forward, but it can be time consuming. Drilling and knocking the original pins out may require removing the door all together, but it’s all worth it that first time you swing the door closed and hear that latch click shut so effortlessly.
To finish off the interior upgrades, we opted to upgrade the faded, scratched, and tattered plastic sill plates with replacement aluminum pieces from OBS Solutions. The sill and scuff plate kits are available in many options including bare aluminum or powder coated in satin black and are super easy to install. The sill plates are a direct replacement to the factory plastic pieces and will use the original screws to
attach them. The new scuff plates use an automotive 3M adhesive to adhere them to the factory body. It's simple changes like these that can turn an old worn out Ford truck into something worth bragging about. Subtle simple changes go such a long way to perfecting the overall image and usability of a truck like this.
We’re just starting to get rolling on this restoration project and have lots of big plans, including some popular power upgrades like tuning, intake and an all new exhaust. Don’t fret though, that will just be the beginning as we plan to show you an electric fuel system conversion, larger injectors, intercooler, bigger turbo, and a healthier high-pressure oil pump. We also plan to update the suspension to get this thing riding like a new truck.
1 - After 23 years and 200k+ miles, no matter how good the truck, there are bound to be things to break, fail, or just plain wear out. For this truck, even though the previous owner had taken great care of it, the dash bezel had some broken clips, a missing trim piece and it was rattling. The square hole cut in it for an unknown reason needed some attention as well.
2 – Another common failure on these old trucks was the plastic hvac vents on the dash, after who knows how many thousands of placement adjustments, the plastic had broken and directing air where you wanted was just out of the question.
3 – To solve the broken dash vents, rattling trim, and unwanted holes a complete replacement instrument cluster bezel from Complete Performance seemed the easiest option. This factory Ford part is a welcome find for a vehicle over 20 years without many factory replacements options still available.
4 – Removing the factory dash bezel didn’t take long with just a couple small screws and a few clips, some of which were already broken or missing. As advanced as today’s diesels are, it’s nice to get back into these older vehicles that were so much simpler. Basic light bulbs to light up the dash, just a couple of wiring connectors to disconnect.
5 - With its age, the factory door hinges were sagging bad and made opening/closing a two-hand task. The door hinge pin and striker kit from Complete will solve that with some time and labor.
6 – The replacement door pins will require the originals to be drilled and smacked out of the hinge, which can be accomplished multiple ways. On the driver’s front door, we were able to get a drill bit to cut the top of the pin off enough to use a center punch to then tap the pin downwards out of the hinges.
7 – With the door side hinge removed, you can get a good look at the brass bushings that pin rides in. Overtime, that soft brass will wear and oblong. Once the pin is no longer tight within this bushing, the door will start to sag and just get worse with time. The new hinge kit includes all new bushings, pins, retainers, and the striker.
8 – Pretty obvious where all that slop in the door was coming from. While it may only be a small amount of play here at the hinge, extend that slop out over a 3-ft long door and the sag can be drastic, close to an inch on our driver’s front door. Easy to see why the latch wouldn’t line up with the striker.
9 – For this build, a set of their replacement sill and scuff plates were going to be the perfect way to dress up the interior while adding some protection too.
10 – These older Fords used a thin molded plastic trim piece as the sill plate to cover the edge of the carpets and body. Obviously, over time that plastic wears out, scratches, and in this case even warps. It looks terrible and barely serves its purpose anymore.
11 – The sill and scuff plate from OBS Solutions is offered in both bare aluminum or powder coated in satin black (like installed here) and are super easy to install. The sill plates are a direct replacement to the factory plastic piece and will use the original screws to attach them. The new scuff plates use an automotive 3M adhesive to adhere them to the factory body.
12 – It’s amazing what something so simple can do to the looks and presentability of a vehicle. The new OBS Solutions sill and scuff plates fit perfectly, and with the simple formed ridges offers a sturdy and durable entry point for both the driver and passengers.
13 – These plates were literally a ten-minute job to install, with more time cleaning up the body so the adhesive would stick like it should, than doing the install. The black satin coating offers a like factory look too.