This is ClydeSDale, my 1984 Ford F250HD XLT pickup truck. Brown and beige with white "feet" it became my work horse. I met Clyde in 1996 when I got an 11'3" slide-in camper and needed a truck to haul it. They seemed to use a lot of "cast iron" in the construction of that huge camper but Clyde handled it so well I only had to raise the back ~1 1/2" to level the rig on a good pad. This is ClydeSDale. Built not far from where I live at the St. Paul Ford Plant 10/83 it had 38,500 miles on it in the spring of 1996 when I bought it from a guy who had only recently bought it from a horse farm as a daily driver but couldn't afford to "feed it". From the factory it came with the 460 V8, the C6 automatic and a set of 3.54 gears. It also had dual tanks (38+ gallons), the big receiver hitch, a HD suspension with both the camper special and trailer towing packages, originally set up to tow horse trailers. Hauling the 10,000# load The slide-in was soon replaced with two different fifth wheels, the last one was this 26.5RL Hitchhiker that weighed in at 10,000# rolling. We were doing every other year trips cross country to southern Colorado then up into the mountains west of Trinidad. Sometimes running in triple digit temperatures I added coolant and transmission temp gauges, ducted cold air intake, replaced the TT radiator with a super cooling 4 core unit, added a second transmission cooler in series and ran all synthetic fluids. The 7.5L 460 with the stock 2 1/2" single exhaust generated so much heat it would boil the fuel in the front tank which runs parallel on the other side of the driveshaft. The 3" system with a huge low restriction muffler solved that problem. With this camper's extra weight came a change over to a set of 4.10LS gears. The wind deflector was supposed to help with mileage (6-7 1/2 towing on a good day) but helped the most with stability, especially running in crosswinds across the high plains. Over the years I've also added a tilt-wheel with cruise control, the in-dash tach cluster and a bunch of other stuff including a tuned quad set of horns that sound like a railroad switcher. It's now approaching 88,000 miles and with the sale of the fifth-wheel will be needing a new home one of these days.
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