Installing A 1988 EFI 460 V8 Into a 1973-1979 F-Series Truck
By Rick Russell
I am going to try to keep this project up to date and limit the number of pictures I post to keep the speed up, even though I have hundreds of pictures to choose from. I am doing a swap from a 1978 400 motor to a EFI 460 from an 88 E350 van. I will try to lay out all the important things I discover, but will not promise that they will work for everyone, you must use your own judgement and keep local laws and considerations in mind.
I chose to use a motor from a van, because after a lot of questions and research I found out that the van is the best source for my needs. The van comes with a rear sump oil pan already installed, and as a bonus I get to upgrade to a much bigger alternator and a superior power steering pump.
I will be removing this 460 motor for a rebuild later, so some of the details that a person should do will be skipped. a lot of parts that I would install now new won’t be done on this install. I do believe that it is a good idea to have the motor installed , the pumps working , the wiring harness operating, and all the bugs worked out before installing a rebuild. When I start up the fresh motor, I want it to run perfectly and break in properly, not be chasing a no start condition.
Ford was good enough to keep wiring colours the same between the 1988 van and the 1978 Bronco. Other items that were interchangable are the steering wheel center with the horn and cruise control button, and the side marker , and tail lights. The wiring does take a lot of careful reading and electrical "editing" but once you are into it, it all comes clear. I removed the engine harness from the van, and started removing all the other wiring that had no connection to the motor or the computer. I was left with a harness in need or rewrapping and only about 6 wires without a home. Using a wiring diagram, I was able to locate the connections needed to make all the wires usefull. Another modification I had to make was to the gas pedal assembly so that it will pull a cable instead of pushing a linkage. I also had to install a "check engine" light in the passenger compartment, as 1978 engineers didn’t have enough foresight :o) .
the F250 motor mounts that I used needed a lot of reworking to make them fit, hardly worth the effort if time is at all important.
After a bit of measurement I determined that black 2" PVC pipe has the correct outside diameter for use in the air intake system from the air cleaner box. The box is located high and with a rear opening that is protected from splashing. The radiator hoses from the 400 ci motor also work fine after a bit of trimming.
The fan shroud needed some trimming to clear the alternator pulley and belts. It sits closer to the front of the truck with the serpentine belt. The transmission kick down linkage is a cable operated one on the EFI motors and a linkage operated one with the carburator, the cable pulls ,the linkage pushes. To overcome this problem the cable linkage has to be installed 180 degrees from the original position. The linkage from the shifter to the transmission has to be removed, and installed on the inside of the holes, and the front of the linkage switched to the rear.
Another big job I won’t go too much into, but should be noted, is the reworking of the Bronco’s fuel system. The fuel injection needs a high pressure source of fuel. I took the pumps from the van, and mounted them in place to preform this function , along with a new required fuel return line. After the required amount of work to convert this system I strongly reccomend that a replacement aftermarket pump be used instead and eliminate the low pressure pump altogether.
Disclaimer: The above modifications, are offered here for your viewing , and in no way is this the "Gospel truth" or always even the best alternative in all situations. So beware that you still have to have the intelligence to form an opinion and then decide what exactly will work in your application. Or in short…..use your head and make your own desicions based on information offered above. And if you have tried an above modification and were not satisfied…Whoops!