Project "Autonomous" F-350

Boog2001

Observer
One of the first things I considered was wheels and tires. I wanted to be able to repair a flat in the field. Beadlock rims allow you to take the rim apart, perform a repair and then put it back together again. You can also wrestle a tire on and off without a beadlock but I wanted a very strong wheel. I chose Trailready beadlocks for their quality and the super wide "World Series" ring that they offer. It reinforces the rim substantially, much more than many other designs available.



My tire of choice was the Falken Wildpeak in a 37x12.5-17. The Wildpeaks are a great all terrain tire. I spend a lot of time offroad but I also cover huge distances on the highway. I have to consider durability, traction and fuel economy. The Wildpeaks give me all that. They also have a load rating of 3525lbs each.



One thing I learned was that the Wildpeak tires have a very thick bead on them. Spacers were needed to seat the beadlock ring onto the wheel. Trailready has the correct spacers and they are lightweight and easy to install.



If you are going to repair a tire in the field, any balancing that was done is now compromised. Fixing a flat and then hitting the pavement for a couple hundred miles with an out of balance condition will kill your tire. I HATE! wheel weights but thankfully there is an awesome solution to this problem. I use Centramatic dynamic wheel balancers. It does not matter what the balance on the wheel and tire is, the Centramatic Dynamic balancers will make the wheel run smooth and true. They mount between the hub and the wheel. The minute I drove with the Centramatics I could feel the difference! If you hate wheel weights like me and want to get the most mileage out of your tires, wheel bearings, etc. you should check out Centramatic. I run the Centramatics and NO wheel weights.



You can also see the Warn hubs I had installed by my friend Tom Baker at Baker Automotive in Fullerton, Ca. He upgraded my hubs while doing a complete front brake job including rebuilt calipers and a new rotor.

Last but not least is my tire pressure monitoring system by Pressure Pro. The sensors mount to the valve stems and send a signal wirelessly to the dash mounted display. You can monitor up to 6 tires with this unit. Once programmed it will sense a slow leak and give you a warning. It's great peace of mind when you are towing, (my trailer will have the sensors too), or carrying a heavy load. I have not installed the unit yet, I am still laying out the dash. The super wide "World Series" rings on my Trailready beadlocks also protect the Pressure Pro sensors from damage offroad.

I just recieved my wheel balancers in the mail today. Did you paint yours?
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
I got the solar charging system all sorted out. I have a single 120 watt panel mounted to a roof rack I fabricated. When I mount the box, the panels will move to the roof of the camper. I have an additional 200 watts that will be added to the system. The LED floods are from Vision-X



My Odyssey group 65, AGM battery under the hood is charged by a Powermaster 200 amp alternator before it sends power back to the dual Odyssey group 31 house batteries.



The heart of the system is the CTEK D250S. It acts as a battery isolator and solar charge controller. "The D250S automatically selects the best connected DC energy source (of 2) for the purpose and switches between these energy sources to achieve high efficiency multi-stage charging."



Everything will change when the camper box is mounted but the system is up and running. Right now the house batteries are powering my Whynter 65 quart fridge through an extension cord plugged into the Samlex 300 watt pure sine inverter. Cold beer in the desert at last!

 
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pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
I remember when I first got my truck. It didn't take much of a bump to cause me to hit my head on the roof. I learned to take my foot off the clutch when I saw a bump coming. Yesterday, I was following an suv down the road. When we came to a railroad crossing with a big drop off, I didn't even slow down. The suspension soaked it right up! Watching me go off that thing in such a huge truck, I think it scared the guy in front of me. :truck:
 

Wilbah

Adventurer
Really great build....thank you for sharing all the items you are adding. Really makes for fun reading but also a lot of food for thought for me. Thanks! Enjoy those frosties in the desert! :)
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
That's so cool to hear. I can't wait to do the leaves on my 97.
Best thing I've ever done!

Really great build....thank you for sharing all the items you are adding. Really makes for fun reading but also a lot of food for thought for me. Thanks! Enjoy those frosties in the desert! :)
I have been drinking warm drinks in the desert for years. Ice is such a hassle and never lasts. My body might go into shock.
 

KI6LYZ

Trophy Truck Hunter
Great build so far. I can't wait to see it in person. I just got a 45 qt fridge before going to Baja for the last 5 days. Best purchase ever!
 

AFBronco235

Crew Chief
Personally, I think you're being over paranoid on the pitman arm mounting nut. Torque it down right and you won't have any problems. You've already got the ram assist, so do you really need to reinforce it?

The way I see it, adding that joint or any sort of reinforcement is only adding more failure points. Unless you plan on using this rig as a desert racer?
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
Great build so far. I can't wait to see it in person. I just got a 45 qt fridge before going to Baja for the last 5 days. Best purchase ever!
I will be at the offroad expo in pomona this weekend. Going to be there Dave?

Personally, I think you're being over paranoid on the pitman arm mounting nut. Torque it down right and you won't have any problems. You've already got the ram assist, so do you really need to reinforce it?

The way I see it, adding that joint or any sort of reinforcement is only adding more failure points. Unless you plan on using this rig as a desert racer?
I've been accused of worse. Actually the reinforcement is because I am pushing on the pitman arm. The sector shaft is a known weak spot on trucks running big tires. Who knows, I might race it. I'll bet it jumps great...once. LOL
 

java

Expedition Leader
I keep checking back hoping to see a Uhaul getting mounted up.... Its gonna be awesome! Would you hurry up already :D
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
I keep checking back hoping to see a Uhaul getting mounted up.... Its gonna be awesome! Would you hurry up already :D
The shop is full of projects right now so I am temporarily on hold. I might have to build it out and then move it to the F350. At least I have most of the components in hand and a general idea where everything will go. I can't wait to get on the road.
 

pappawheely

Autonomous4X4
Grabbed the camera to get a couple shots of the blood moon rise.



The truck is still looking good after I cleaned her up for the Offroad Expo. Jim Reel, of JE Reel, was kind enough to measure my truck in the parking lot for new driveshafts after the show. Unfortunately, the thermostat went out on the way home puking all my Maxima Coolanol out. I hate to think what might have happened if I did not have the added protection; the motor got HOT! No problems though. :victory:



 

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Rot Box

Explorer
Looking good :cool: I'm taking notes on your suspension. My springs, bushings and shocks all needed to be replaced about ten years ago.. :Wow1:
 

leelikesbikes

Adventurer
gears?

are you planning on re gearing the axles, or does the 460 turn the 37"s fine with the stock gears? ive got 37's and 4.56's and 5spd and ive thought about going down to 35's to help with towing, but i think id lose some cruising speed, but the hemi likes the high rpm's. still loving the falkens? im about ready for some new shoes, but i see alot of snow and ice up here in the pnw. the truck is looking good as usual, i sure would like that 4wheelcamper for my own!:sombrero:
 
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