Ben has convinced me it's time to start a build thread, so here we go. I'll start off with the stock (as I got it) stats and pics: 2004 FX4 sonic blue, 112k miles:
And here's a shot of the front, alongside its new family:
A few things we noticed when we went to pick it up:
Tons of rust
The passenger side fender was horribly misaligned
The front driver side fender flare was discolored
The battery light was on
The driver side CV boot was ripped and had thrown grease everywhere
Because of all the issues we were able to talk the guy down $750 from our originally agreed price. On the way home the battery died, scaring the piss outta me (never experienced a battery die during a drive), so my first bit of money went into buying a new battery, which died two days later. Thankfully it died the second time in the middle of O'Reilly's parking lot, so I called up Ben to do an emergency alternator replacement. Took him all of 20 minutes and only cost me a beer and a pack of Skoal bandits.
After a test drive Ben noticed the brakes were acting strange. A few days later we jacked the truck up and found the pads/rotors were torched. We replaced them, but during the test drive we noticed smoke coming from the damn brakes. I decided not to drive the truck for a few days until we could figure something out. Thankfully John was coming to town that week and would be able to help us. When he took a look at it he immediately noticed that one of the caliper pins was completely seized up, causing the pad to be permanently pressed against the rotor. We replaced the caliper bracket and pins and bled the lines a bit. After that things were smooth sailing. Ben was able to replace my CV axle, we seafoamed the engine, and did an airbox mod with a K&N air filter. Here's a nice video of the seafoaming.
Before I go any further I should note my original plan with this truck was to make it appear to be an 08+ inside and out. Our first attempt to take a step that direction didn't end up so well. I won't go into a whole lot of detail, but know that it is very hard to wire an 07 headlight switch to an 04 interior without wiring schematics!
The next thing we tackled was the body work. At first glance we had no idea what might be causing the passenger side fender to bow out so bad, but after Ben took a closer look he decided to take a big pair of channel locks and squeeze the bottom mounting bracket towards the frame. In less than two minutes he had everything lined up perfectly. Crazy to think we talked the guy down so much because of such a stupid little problem. We did a few other things that day, such as removing the pinstriping and painting the fender flares/front bumper with krylon fusion satin black, which turned out excellent. Here's a pic from that day:
Which brings us to today. We were both bored and decided to start out the day throwing one of Ben's wheels and a bed rail cap on my truck. I'm pretty much sold on the look and will probably set this as my new goal. Here's a quick pic:
Next, Ben convinced me that putting a bunch of money and effort into making this truck look 08+ wasn't worth it. After really thinking about it I definitely agree, but I was still disappointed. He knew how much I hated the chrome on the front end and remembered he had STL's old Edge bumper underneath his house. It was red, so we ran around town to find some sonic blue duplicolor paint. We then got to work on the bumper and the grille. I learned two things from this experience: 1). My truck is extremely rusty, and 2) Ben is incredibly talented with a can of spraypaint. The results are nothing short of excellent, and it cost less than 30 bucks (Remember, the bumper was red, and the grille was chrome!):
It's such a great mix of Edge and XLT. After seeing how this looks I don't even miss the 08+ idea.
Ben and I put on the new adapters and wheels on today. Ben cranked my torsion bars as well:
Got the bed rail caps today. They need to be Krylon'd, but I'm glad to have them on: