Another subtle problem this old buggy had was sluggish highway speeds, with top speeds in the upper 70s but screaming at doing that, with plenty of planning required to safely pass on a 2-lane highway. I just figured it was a consequence of the Torque Flite HD aging and lived with it. The QuadCab has been the weekend ride since mid-22 when my career change included a majority highway 65-mile commute...that is, until this past April, due to a clerical error at the county registrar that put the Laramie in Park until legal ownership was settled for the next 6 weeks.
So the QuadCab came out of semi-retirement to make the trek to Austin as it had done almost 22yrs ago, except this time I self-governed the highway miles to 70mph, watching the lead foots fly by in the morning darkness and afternoon heat. Somewhere around the 2k mile mark, I began to notice a change in performance, as I was having to ride the brake while maneuvering in parking lots, then noticed that backing up grades required no throttle input. Then one morning, some dawdling dippity-do that I had been gaining on for several miles in the slow lane decided that he wanted to race when I pulled even alongside as we began ascending a long grade, so I put my right foot into it to put some distance between us...when I looked at the speedo maybe 5 seconds later, it read 95mph and that clunker f150 was waaay back behind, with that QuadCab running smooth and effortlessly... !
My theory is that all those years of parked in the barn not only ruined the ABS but gummed up the transmission. After a few thousand miles of daily highway speeds, generating heat and continuous fluid pressure, mixed with some stop-n-go shifting to redirect flow to certain circuits, the varnish broke loose and collected in the filter, allowing the transmission to work more efficiently. 75mph averaged 19mpg highway, 70mph averaged 22mpg, slightly better than before coming out of semi-retirement, but throttle response is much improved, and the truck is quite nimble nowadays. I have also been hauling 300gal totes from the well at the bottom of the hill up to the house to water drought-stressed landscaping this summer...that's over a ton over the rear axle, with the truck immediately rolling fwd once loaded and put into gear, and it takes little throttle to motivate that load up the hill.
I am thinking that with the brakes and transmission now operating as designed, the QuadCab is running better now than in the last 15yrs...SCORE 🏆