OBS F250 slow adventure build


I have been gleaning information from here for a long time and I finally have enough progress on my truck to start posting. I spent the better part of a year looking for a '96-'97 f250 short bed crew cab 7.3 power stroke with a zf5. When I finally located one in eastern Washington last June I was all over it. It was a three owner truck with 228k miles that had spent some time towing a 5th wheel but much of the last several years as an occasional use vehicle. The first owner replaced the rear diff cover with a mag-hytech, the clutch with a southbend hd and solid flywheel, and a AFE intake and 4" exhaust. After that the other two guys just drove it and changed the oil. When I got it home I discovered the common oil in the valley and spent the first two weeks tracking down all the offending leaky parts. In the end I replaced the hpop o rings, fuel lines, and fuel bowl drain. After all that I still had the leaky dipstick o ring leaving puddles everywhere so I eventually got around to fixing that as well. So far so good and there are no more oil stains marking every place I park. Enough back story onto the pictures.

The day after I got it home

The first adventure up to Mt. Pilchuck I got to use the 7.3L for what it was intended. Some silly teens drove their blazer off the edge of the road and we had to pull them up off the embankment.

After the rescue we got to do some actual exploring

Another trip up the mountain in the snow. This trip highlighted the need for some new tires

My plans are to swap out the TTB for a D60 (already have it) with a shackle flip in the rear and reversal in front then put some military take off Goodyear MTRs on the extra set of 16.5 rims that came with the truck. I will also build front and rear bumpers and some rock sliders for some more protection when offroad. More to come.....


I have spent the last few weeks building a rear bumper from scratch. After many hours of searching every thread I could find on both OBS specific and general rear bumpers I decided to just go for it.

And it begins.......

I made a brake press similar to the swag offroad kit and bent up some .250 plate to make the foundation of the bumper. I wanted to tie the two frame rails together and combine the trailer hitch with the bumper to gain as much clearance as possible

Then I marked out and cut the bed sides to make way for the wrap around part of the bumper

Next I used a fill length section of 2"x3"x.250 wall to provide the main beam of the bumper

I cut a hole for the reciever tube to give as much weld area as possible

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Then I started the side protection

After this part I stopped taking as many pictures and just started building....

the latch for the tire carrier

the swing out...

the hold open latch
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Nice truck and nice fab work!
Thanks, it is not as nice as many on here are capable of but it will do the trick!

Quad cab F250?

That is an odd ball.

Hurtin' for a D60 swap!
It was a two year only option on the OBS F series. '96 and '97 so they can be hard to find. The only down side is the D50 ttb
Luckily I have a D60 sitting in my garage!

That is a cool rear bumper design! Cudos and thanks for sharing.
Thanks, if I were making another one there are a few things I would change, but it will work for what I need.


I took a few more pictures of the bumper today, I need to finish grinding this thing and get some paint on it.

For a closure I used a 5/8-18 bolt that I welded a socket to so that all I needed to remove it was a breaker bar. I didn't like the idea of having a t-handle hanging out there all the time and I didnt want to have to make sure to have the correct socket either so this seemed like a happy compromise

I welded a section of DOM as a holder for the bolt when the gate is open

I picked up lug nuts for the spare today and it is all very solid. There is little if any movement in the tire when under way. These are the wheels I will use for the 37/12.5/16.5 Goodyear MTRs I am getting for this build. The have 33"s on now and I set the spacing up with the larger tires in mind so hopefully everything fits when they are mounted up.

The pivot kit came with a trailer hub grease cap that must have been made out of recycled pop cans. First tap trying to get it on and it crushed like butter. After a few more attempts I resorted to beating it with a dead blow until I felt better and it was flat as a pancake! Then I fired up the lathe and made one out of aluminum. The set screw in the middle is the removal tool. Instead of trying to pry it off and mar it up I just screw the allen in until it pops off.



I spent several hours yesterday with a grinder smoothing out all the welds and then painting the bumper. We have had such sporadic weather here lately you really have to take advantage of some sun when you get it. I'm glad I did as it rained a bunch today and I couldn't take looking at it all sad and rusty anymore.

I still have to figure out what I want to do for backup lights and make a license plate mount for it, but for right now it is 90% done. It turned out ok for a first attempt, but toward the end I definitely started to care less about how nice it looked and just focus on functionality. Next up is the D60 swap, so I have been pouring over shackle reversal threads and so far have not found much info on the best way to calculate the length of shackles and spring hanger as they relate to total lift and caster angle. I have a set of SD springs to go along with the D60 and I know that I need to move the spring mount forward about three inches. I will probably work on the front first then base the rear off of the height the front ends up being. I also need to order up the tires and get them mounted on my wheels. Some times the hardest part in a project is knowing what to start with first!


I got a chance to work on the truck this weekend. I put the wheels that I will mount the 37" tires on to see how the offsets will work and to get an idea how much wider the new tires will be than the current 265/75/16s. I plan on bead blasting them and painting them a dark gray as well to match the gray on the rocker panels. I like the look and the 37s should fit fine width wise so that is good.

I also made a little progress on the D60 as well. The bummer is it has the 3.54 gears and I need 4.10s so I am on the hunt for a set of gears. At least I got it pretty cheep so it is not a huge set back.

I also decided to cut off the factory sway bar bracket and will probably remove the u-bolt plate/track bar bracket to make room for a u-bolt flip. I will make a longer track bar that mounts to the front of the axle like it should be.

When the weather gets a little nicer it will be time to park the truck in the driveway and start the surgery.


Renaissance Redneck
All you need to know about shackle reversal lifts is Sky Offroad Manufacturings phone number. He builds a great product, and you can't beat the price. He is also just down the road from you in Oregon. I did his 3" kit in my 97 7.3, and my friend did his 5" kit. I ran 35" Toyos and he has 37s. The difference in drive-ability is amazing. If I were you I would consider 35s... Mine is on the left (black and silver, and his is the white one).


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