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How We Improved Our Ford F-250
When Edward "Kit" Carson buys a new pickup, he doesn't just bring it home from the dealer and start using it. The first thing the 79-year-old Texas farmer does is make a number of improvements that he builds into each new pickup before putting it to work.
Here's how he "improved" his newest pickup - a 1994 3/4-ton Ford F-250 turbo diesel with 4-WD and a manual transmission:
"First we removed both front and rear chrome bumpers. The front was replaced with one we made out of 8-in. channel iron with a cow catcher grill guard mounted above it and a piece of heavy angle iron below to make a stiff tow bar. It has holes in it that we use to hitch up to a 4-wheel wagon to back it around the yard.
"We replaced the rear bumper with a 6 1/ 2 in. piece of 4 by 8 by 1/4-in. steel tubing, with a lower hitch point made out of plate steel that lets us position a ball hitch at 17 in. above ground so we have a level pull on small stock trailers. To the left of the ball hitch is a standup pin to pull a Deere round baler and on the right is a 7/8-in. hole for pulling hay feed trailers. There's a strap on the far left end of the bumper to pull our haybine.
"We made a unique spare tire holder that mounts on the rear bumper. A length of 5/ 16-in. steel cable is threaded through the bumper, over a pulley and down to the spare tire. A 3-ft. steel arm that mounts on the back side of the bumper is used to pull the tire up against the bottom of the pickup. If you ever need the spare tire, you just unhook the lever and drop the tire to the ground. The tire is pulled up tight against three short pieces of channel iron mounted under the bed of the pickup.
"We made our own tailgate out of steel pipe and expanded metal mesh. A cable release at center releases it. We mounted a commercial fold-down gooseneck ball on a 3/8-in. steel plate in the pickup bed so we can turn it down out of the way when not in use. We cover the bed of the pickup with a rubber mat. Side rails are protected by pieces of 2 1/2 by 2 1/2-in. aluminum angle iron. A commercial toolbox mounts behind the cab. We painted a yellow strip down the center of it to act as a guide when hooking up to trailers.
"We had custom vinyl seat covers made because they're easier to clean and we put a step at each door to make it easier to get in. We also added mud flaps behind each wheel."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Edward F. Carson, 100 W. Lone Oak Rd., Valley View, Tex. 76272 (ph 817 726-3586).

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1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2