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NOT NECESSARILY SNOWCATS Forum General snowcat and winter/wilderness lifestyles

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Old 03-19-2020, 01:34 PM
Blackfoot Tucker Blackfoot Tucker is offline
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Default "Built Ford Tough"...

This could also be titled “A Sincere Thank You to Mike Mikelle and GMoose”….

Readers who make it through my long-winded posts know occasionally I take Tucker to task for what I consider to be failings in design, "engineering” or manufacturing. My ire is not confined to Tucker, Inc, and the following is an example of that:

Sunday morning at The Serenade Mike Mikelle and I had our trucks parked "beak-to-beak”. We were chatting and he asked if I had hit a deer with my truck. I have a winch bumper and 15,000 lb winch mounted to the front, and I knew it was slightly askew. So without looking at the truck, I told him Scott and I had bent the frame on the truck where the bumper attaches a few years previously while winching aspen trees out of my yard. After our conversation ended I walked back to my truck and the bumper wasn’t slightly askew, it was seriously tilted! Looking at where the bumper bolts to the frame on the right side, I could see the welded factory frame bracket had broken and the bumper was now hanging from the left side bracket only.

While snowcatting during the day I thought about the bumper and how to get it safely secured for the drive home. Scott and I discussed using a spare ratchet strap to hold the broken end up. But that seemed kind of hokey. After returning to the parking lot I looked at the left side mounting and saw more cracks. After some discussion I convinced Scott of the wisdom of removing the bumper entirely. We asked GMoose for some muscle assistance, and the three of us made it happen.

Pics are necessary.

Here’s the right side. The winch bumper, winch and cable are about 320 pounds.

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Here’s the left side. Check out those cracks. Not much left holding the bumper on

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On the drive home I started thinking about the bumper, and what might have happened if Mike hadn’t pointed out the bumper’s odd angle. What would have, or could have, happened if that fell off at 75 MPH? No matter what - I think it would have been “ugly”, and it could quite easily have been "catastrophic".

Many people add winches to their trucks, as well as snowplows, etc. Certainly Ford knows this, and if you have a winch, you’re either pulling yourself to something, or pulling something to you. Either way the loads and stresses involved can be huge. Note to Ford: If your frame brackets are this lame you should add a warning to let people know they’re essentially "ornamental only” and not meant for actual use.

So much for “Built Ford Tough”...

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  #2  
Old 03-19-2020, 03:13 PM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

LOL
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Old 03-19-2020, 03:18 PM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

Lot's of folks make the mistake thinking these are work trucks that also get used for pleasure, when in reality they are nothing more than a glorified automobile on a full frame that people use for work.

Show me a work truck that needs a 12" flat screen TV stuck on its dash like the Rams.

One of the last line contractors I worked for had an old Dodge Power Wagon (mid 50's I think but don't quote me) they kept very well maintained because they needed a real work truck, not a make believe one made out of tin foil and plastic. Just sayin'
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Old 03-19-2020, 06:13 PM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

When I was in the fire service, all our small emergency response trucks were "Power Wagons." Dodge could do well to revive that nameplate on a truck the deserves the label.
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Old 03-20-2020, 07:26 AM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

That would have been ugly.
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Old 03-20-2020, 07:38 AM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

Lame on Ford’s part but maybe the company making the winch bumper should own a bigger portion of the blame. It should be rated on both ends.
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Old 03-20-2020, 07:39 AM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

Like I have been saying!!! Time for a new truck!!
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:15 AM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

They should have the winch bumper bolt to the frame where the tow hooks bolt in

https://youtu.be/mLrUw8hB5lU
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

The winch mount on my 2017 F-350 was custom made by Torklift. It is bolted directly to the frame.
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Old 03-20-2020, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

………. yikes,..... running over a bumper at 75 mph, ….. that's what nightmares are made from.... nice catch...……..
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Old 03-21-2020, 12:28 AM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

It's worse than than you think...most all have crumple zones engineered in, so when you bump your big fancy bumper in a fender bender, the bumper does fine, but it bends/buckles the frame and totals the vehicle.... but it saves lives! They're all just large expensive "out of tune" accordions waiting to be played with
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Old 03-22-2020, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

Thanks for all the comments...

The bumper bracket repair project is now complete and the winch and winch bumper have been reinstalled.

Scott suggested using “beam flange” for the brackets. If you're like me and thought "WTF is beam flange"?, basically we cut the two brackets from a 9” wide section of steel I beam (this font doesn’t display the capital i with the upper and lower horizontal bars). Scott used part of what is normally the vertical leg of the I and that fits inside the frame. We removed the three factory installed bolts that secure the front leaf spring mount to the frame and punched holes in the new brackets’ section that fits inside the frame in the corresponding locations. Grade 8 nuts were welded to the top side and new longer grade 8 bolts were used to attach the front leaf spring mount and provide an additional attachment point for the brackets. The brackets were also welded to the frame on both sides. Before the brackets were welded slight “tweaking” was required to ensure the bumper fits properly in terms of alignment. It is very solid!

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TiredRetired,

I understand the “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” sentiment, but I somewhat disagree. I also have a 1973 Ford F-250 4x4, and when I compare it to my now 18 year old F-350 I don’t think it’s close at all. Sure, if I was going to knock around in the woods the old F-250 wins, but that’s not how I use my truck.

The 7.3L turbocharged Diesel engine makes way, way more power than the 360 could ever hope to. The six-speed manual transmission (with overdrive) provides better gear selection for different conditions and the engine and transmission combination yields significantly better fuel economy. Steering and brakes (power steering and four wheel discs as opposed to manual steering and four wheel drums) are several orders of magnitude better. In terms of payload and towing capacity there is simply no comparison. While some may poo-poo the more comfortable cab, I’ve driven both on long drives and with the newer truck you aren’t nearly as tired when you arrive at the destination.

The new trucks of today (as opposed to my F-350) have some features that are significant steps up, such as the new generation engines. But they are OMG expensive and much more complicated in terms of repair. I can lay on top of my engine and change the turbocharger or fuel injectors, etc (been there, done that) but with some repairs on the new trucks the cab literally has to come off to access the engine. No thanks! And as basically an old school guy, I too can forego huge displays, etc in the new trucks.

WBJ1 likes to "poke the bear” and chide me about buying a new Super Duty. I confess when I’m climbing a long hill towing a big load and get passed by a new truck towing an even bigger load there is a moment of “maybe I should”. But that moment passes quickly as I remind myself the truck is paid for, and as little as it gets driven - will probably last my lifetime.
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Old 03-22-2020, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: "Built Ford Tough"...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackfoot Tucker View Post
Thanks for all the comments...

The bumper bracket repair project is now complete and the winch and winch bumper have been reinstalled.

Scott suggested using “beam flange” for the brackets. If you're like me and thought "WTF is beam flange"?, basically we cut the two brackets from a 9” wide section of steel I beam (this font doesn’t display the capital i with the upper and lower horizontal bars). Scott used part of what is normally the vertical leg of the I and that fits inside the frame. We removed the three factory installed bolts that secure the front leaf spring mount to the frame and punched holes in the new brackets’ section that fits inside the frame in the corresponding locations. Grade 8 nuts were welded to the top side and new longer grade 8 bolts were used to attach the front leaf spring mount and provide an additional attachment point for the brackets. The brackets were also welded to the frame on both sides. Before the brackets were welded slight “tweaking” was required to ensure the bumper fits properly in terms of alignment. It is very solid!

Attachment 124884
Attachment 124885

TiredRetired,

I understand the “They don’t make ‘em like they used to” sentiment, but I somewhat disagree. I also have a 1973 Ford F-250 4x4, and when I compare it to my now 18 year old F-350 I don’t think it’s close at all. Sure, if I was going to knock around in the woods the old F-250 wins, but that’s not how I use my truck.

The 7.3L turbocharged Diesel engine makes way, way more power than the 360 could ever hope to. The six-speed manual transmission (with overdrive) provides better gear selection for different conditions and the engine and transmission combination yields significantly better fuel economy. Steering and brakes (power steering and four wheel discs as opposed to manual steering and four wheel drums) are several orders of magnitude better. In terms of payload and towing capacity there is simply no comparison. While some may poo-poo the more comfortable cab, I’ve driven both on long drives and with the newer truck you aren’t nearly as tired when you arrive at the destination.

The new trucks of today (as opposed to my F-350) have some features that are significant steps up, such as the new generation engines. But they are OMG expensive and much more complicated in terms of repair. I can lay on top of my engine and change the turbocharger or fuel injectors, etc (been there, done that) but with some repairs on the new trucks the cab literally has to come off to access the engine. No thanks! And as basically an old school guy, I too can forego huge displays, etc in the new trucks.

WBJ1 likes to "poke the bear” and chide me about buying a new Super Duty. I confess when I’m climbing a long hill towing a big load and get passed by a new truck towing an even bigger load there is a moment of “maybe I should”. But that moment passes quickly as I remind myself the truck is paid for, and as little as it gets driven - will probably last my lifetime.
Nice looking job and that bumper looks great on that truck. You look to be fully ready to rumble. I like that. Kudos.

BTW, for what it is worth and the sake of discussion, I drive and fully maintain my 2005 Ranger FX/4 with the dealer installed SVT package. Truck has 165K on the clock and runs like a top. Not running it much lately for obvious reasons. When I compare it to the new Rangers at over 40K, I say no thank you. Totally happy with the one I got. As you say, easy peasy to work on and millions made over the years so parts will always be available used or new.

Again, nice job.
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