• 1974 Ford F250 High Boy: Rusty Boy is Near Death, Search for Truck Bed, and Rocky Mountain Oysters Ep.2 [Video]

    1974 ford f250 high boy episode 2 rusty engine
    1974 Ford F-250 4×4 High Boy

    Tommy is very proud of his “new” 1974 Ford High Boy. This is Tommy’s personal truck that we now call “Rusty Boy”. The name comes mainly because of a bed that looks like Swiss cheese. Ford F-250 4×4 trucks of this era were nicknamed “High Boy” due to the factory lift, divorced transfer case (separated from the transmission by a driveshaft), and a narrower frame in the rear.

    Just a couple of week into ownership, and disaster struck. Rusty Boy started to misfire or backfire through the carburetor. Tommy took it to our friend Devon, owner and Master Mechanic at Devon’s Car Care. The cause of the problem was a bent pushrod and wore out lifter. There is a more serious underlying problem. One of the camshafts is wore down and the valve(s) are not operating correctly. This can cause another serious or catastrophic engine failure in the future.

    While Devon was working to find and mend the engine problem, Tommy, Kent “Mr Truck” Sundling, and I went out into a spring snow storm in search of a replacement “High Boy” truck bed. Tommy found a bed in Colorado for an asking price of $500. Turns out the bed we found was not a perfect fit. It had additional holes drilled for a narrow frame mount that we could not completely see all the way through.

    Decision was made not to buy this bed, and the crew went back in search of some good homemade pie. We found pie, coffee, and … Rocky Mountain Oysters.

    Check out all the fun in this video.

    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov
    Andre Smirnov is an Automotive Enthusiast, Producer, Reviewer, Videographer, Writer, Software Engineer, Husband, Father, and Friend.

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    33 thoughts on “1974 Ford F250 High Boy: Rusty Boy is Near Death, Search for Truck Bed, and Rocky Mountain Oysters Ep.2 [Video]

    1. A fool and his money… 🙂 $40,000 plus 10 times all this Xtra money is how much you will have if you put it into a wroth I.R.A. and take it out when you retire Tommy. Maybe $100,000 with compound interest from your young age. Wisdom in your youth pays BIGTIME.

      1. Please remember that TFLtruck’s main business is making fun and informative videos for everybody to watch. Tommy is a full-time University student, and he works very hard and long hours on the videos. I have zero doubt that Tommy will be super successful at anything he does.


      2. Ive spent 40 grand on vacations in my life, easy and I have nothing to show for it except memories, likely spent that on beer as well but I do have a large showcase attached to my body to show off for that. Beauty is in the eyes of the beer holder my friend. Tommy will look back on this with no regrets. How does Stallone put it? Life is tough and it will beat you to your knees if you let it, whether you stay there or not is up to you. Good luck with the build Tommy

        I spent two years building a 2002 Thundercat and crashed it the first run on a hidden jump in the middle of a lake that some kids built for their quads and broke my ribs and totalled the sled just dialing in the clutches.

        Nurse was so hot at the hospital I plan to do it again.

        1. Well, there you have it, Tommy. Comment sections have a way of making things clearer and clearer., Eh? Its so humorous how people make the exact opposite case for their own argument. Ah, humanity!

      3. *Roth IRA

        If you are going to try to be an internet badass and cut people down, at least know what you’re talking about.

    2. That’s a real bummer about the engine. Especially since you were told it was rebuilt not to long ago. But I have faith you will get it repaired and will be badder than ever.

      Or hey Ford, help this brother out and send him a nice shinny crate engine out of the Ford Motorsports catalog.

    3. GM went V8 as usual. Hit up Ford for a crate 3.5 Ecoboost!

      Kent needs to hit up Mopar for a crate Demon engine.

      I’m smelling a backdoor manufacturer supported shootout!!!

    4. Enjoy the engine you got and learn from it. You find out what you really want and afford on your next engine or keep this one. Sometimes a fancy crate engine will not give you the satisfaction like an old one will.
      That bed will take you awhile to replace. Patience here.

      Enjoyed the video.
      Yes that stupid adaptive cruise control is really a pain in the #$& in the snow. Some vehicles just lock you out of cruise control when when that sensor is covered with snow. That really sucks. You never said if the Armada does that. Now I’m sure there is alot people on here would say you shouldn’t use cruise control in this bad weather, but let me make that decision. Just like you would. There is many Interception on how bad the roads are. You decide how comfortable you are on what you driving on.

      1. Only a fool would use cruise control in snow or heavy rain. Too much chance of slipping and losing traction. OMG!

        1. I wont buy a car with adaptive cruise if that is the case. They can GTH then. Ill decide whether or not I want my cruise on, not a computer. Little bit of rain with mixed dirt with AWD and I cant use cruise because the sensor is plugged. What a joke. The things you learn on these sites. I was all for adaptive cruise until I heard that. Complete garbage then.

    5. @ Tommy: You need to develop the skills to do your own work,or at least most of it. Picking up a project truck,and not knowing how to fix things will make this a money pit for you.390’s are fairly simple to rebuild,but you will still need to have the machining done,ie: block align bored,and decked,same with the heads.They will need hardened valve seats for unleaded,and probably new guides etc.You picked a bear for a first project.Or you might want to go with a remanned long block.Heads will be done that way.

      1. Please remember that TFLtruck’s main business is making fun and informative videos for everybody to watch. Tommy is a full-time University student, and he works very hard and long hours on the videos. Tommy knows a lot about vehicles and mechanics, and I have zero doubt that Tommy will be super successful at anything he does.


        1. Hey Andre does the cruise control get locked out when the snow covers the sensors? You never did say on that video of the Armada.

          1. That’s correct. When the front radar is covered with sticky snow, the cruise control function is locked out. Not that I was using cruise control or wanted to use it in this condition. THe beeping sound was the blocked parking sensors.


        2. I know Andre,just trying to give a little advice to the young man.”knowing a lot about vehicles” is a bit ambiguous Andre.Reading and doing is two separate things.And mechanics,I don’t mean to sound or come off derisive,but it doesn’t seem many at Tfltrucks know much about mechanics.You guys can cite stats,do reviews etc,which you all excel at,but you’re not that fluent in mechanics.And,what’s the purpose of the comment section when offering advice,or making other on topic comments.

          1. We always appreciate your feedback. However, you are telling Tommy to do his own work on his vehicles. He does this more than most people I know, including myself! Tommy is passionate about older vehicles and tries to do as many truck and car jobs as time allows.

            We all wish that we can learn to rebuild an engine or a transmission, but we already work 12 hour days. 🙁


            1. Not necessarily do his own work Andre,I understand the time constraints on Tommy,and all of you.But more to understand what causes what when dealing with an old vehicle that is a project.

              Let’s take the recent misfiring which turned out to be a bent pushrod on the #4 cyl.Taking the rotor out of the distributor and doing a simple compression check would have revealed that the culprit was #4.

              Take off the rocker cover and you would have found the bent pushrod,and then you work backwards as to why.

              As was described in the video,the fix was just a bandaid,nothing more.And this is stuff he can do with an hour here,and an hour there.I did that while working fulltime,and raising a family,same difference.

              It’s actually good ‘down time’ from one’s everyday duties/obligations.very relaxing,and a learning experience.That is what truck guys,and harley guys do,unless they are wallet riders.

              If I offended you and those at Tfltruck,I am sorry,but this is how most of us old timers do/did things I believe.

            2. Andre – – –

              I think you guys are doing a great job at TFL truck, just the way it is. (But yes, there is always room for improvement, in any effort.) I enjoy the real-life, unrehearsed videos.
              It is good that you and Roman and Nathan are willing to be a bit experimental and try some new ideas once in a while. It is additionally commendable that you “tie in” your commenters and others to be participants. And you have been interactive as commenters yourselves by responding, as shown above.
              I know of no other vehicle website that does this quite like you have, or as frequently.

              I realize It must be a burden to work full time jobs (and/or school) elsewhere, and then be so involved in this pursuit. Again, nice work! Much appreciated!


            3. Andre, you are 100% correct. While he needs hands on experience, helping hands can teach him also.

            4. Andre
              Thanks for sticking up for Tommy. The problem with some old people is they have bad memories. They forget that when they were young, old timers use to talk down to them too! Tommy, just remember, know this. These “know it all” old timers, no matter which generation they were from, are good at only one thing. B.S. Listen to Andre! You’ve got your head on straight!

    6. At least he doesn’t have to buy a jack unless he is swapping a tire. Might need a fall arrest system and a crane for engine work though. Just make sure no kids are hiding in the wheel wells when you go anywhere.

    7. Oh! I forgot to mention that I’m an old timer myself, 67 years old and I’ ‘ll tell anybody that the kids of today are just as good, moral, and hard working as kids of my generation or any one since then

      1. Did you know Dan that 6 is afraid of 7 because 7,8,9

        If you don’t get it than your too old.

    8. One of the reasons cam lobes get “wiped out” is due to the fact that modern oils no longer contain sufficient levels of ZDDP which is a zinc and phosphorus additive used to help lubricate high pressure, metal-to-metal contact areas such as the lifters riding on camshaft lobes. High performance camshafts with higher tension valve springs only exasperate the issue. There are specialty oils available such as Amsoil Z-Rod Synthetic Motor Oil that contain this additive or you can add ZDDP at every oil change by using products such as Eastwood’s ZDDP Oil Additive. This is especially important during engine break-in.

      1. The only problem with zinc and phosphate additives is that they tend to destroy catalytic converters, which is why they were removed from most modern oils. For the older pre-cat cars, we used diesel-spec oil, since it still contained the zinc and phosphate additives that protect against metal wear.

        I dont know if those diesel-spec oils still contain those additives, as i haven’t had a pre-cat vehicle for nearly 20 years…

    9. You also need to be aware that when a camshaft lobe fails there is a good chance that all that metal is now distributed throughout the engine in places where it will do additional harm such as on bearing surfaces. Just changing the cam and adding fresh oil may not fix that problem depending on whether or not the oil filter caught it all. Probably a good idea to pull the oil pump and check for metal shavings. Wouldn’t hurt to pull a bearing cap or two while the oil pan is off and inspect those as well.

      1. Very much agreed. I didn’t watch the video till today and I thought the same thing. A non roller cam needs special oil to keep it from eating itself. If that is the issue it can happen again. But I admire the determination to make this project work.

    10. Tommy, choose your camshaft carefully, as it is the major player in how the powerband of your engine turns out. Want stump-pulling power and a launch that will break your tires loose every time? Get an RV cam. Want a fast truck that feels pretty gutless on the low end, but gives you a fast speed at the end of a quarter-mile acceleration run? Get a performance racing cam.

      What is the truck’s gearing like? If you spend most of your freeway time at 65mph and 2500rpm, the cam that produces the most torque just below that rpm will probably give you best mpg.

      Camshaft profiling is as much art as science, and it would help to consult with someone who has modded a lot of engines, maybe a hot rod shop or an old race car engine builder.

      The cam lobe profile is the big player. Once you’ve got that, you can dial in the details with the timing.

      Stock camshaft profiles are chosen by manufacturers for best overall driveability and to meet emissions standards. Close to stock is always a safe bet, but you can tweak the engine to perform better where you want it with a custom cam profile.

    11. Well done on buying this pickup in the first place Tommy, it’s great to see a young man like yourself with such an interest in old machinery like this.
      I just bought one myself from a private seller in Washington state on eBay and will find out what I bought in about 4 weeks when it arrives in Ireland where I live!
      I wish you the best of Irish luck with your ‘Rusty Boy” 🙂


    12. Just watch out for papajim in here. He is 70 and has cancer and will start telling everyone how to do everything.

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