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1980 - 1986 Bullnose F100, F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Early Eighties Bullnose Ford Truck

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Old 01-03-2011, 11:28 PM
santeeford santeeford is offline
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How to increase mpg in 85 F250 with 460

I recently bought an 85 F250 with a carbed 460 for 400 bucks. Needs engine work and a new carb or at least a rebuild. Maybe head haskets and that kind of stuff since it sat for 8 years. Any ideas on carb choices, head choices, exhaust and intake that will improve mpg and maybe add some horses? It will need to be smog legal since i live in California.
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Old 01-04-2011, 03:51 AM
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460, CA emissions, and improved MPGs don't play well together.

Have you tried to smog it yet? You aren't going to have any real 'choices' as far as carbs go, thanks to the visual inspection that goes along with the smog. Best bet is to get the carb cleaned out or rebuild it, do new vacuum lines, get the timing where it needs to be, plugs, filters, oil change, all the tuneup stuff. That'll get it ready for emissions and get the mpgs as good as they can get on a smog truck. Be ready to replace the CAT, as they don't age well when sitting.

Sounds like you got a running BB truck for a killer price, but anything that's sat that long is going to nickle & dime you for a while. Keep posting questions and what you find as you go.
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Old 01-04-2011, 05:11 PM
glovemeister glovemeister is offline
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I am in a similar situation myself, I would suggest do a tuneup, replace your vaccum lines. I bought a large roll of it, and then picked a line roughly determined the length, cut it from my roll and then put it in. I've contemplated tagging them with a certain kind of tag for what they are but haven't done that.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:04 PM
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I would do as others suggested, i.e, tune up, wires, vacuum hoses. If you go through the carb, replace the 2 stage power valve with a #6. Open up the exhaust with a low restriction muffler. Install a straight up timing set. Have the dizzy recurved.

Do you live in Santee, CA? The Dyno Shop can do this for you.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:12 PM
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You can also recurve your dizzy, at home. I plan to do it. I initially had the plan of dumping a bunch of money into my Ford. Such as dana 60, 5spd trans etc. I then realized that it would run me about $1500 bucks roughly. So if I get 3 mpgs from that. Thats a 30% increase from 10 mpgs. With 13 mpgs those miles will cost roughly $2800 bucks, roughly $3600 bucks at 10 mpgs.

Thats roughly $800 dollar difference, so I would still be in the hole to the tune of 700 dollars.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:27 PM
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mo matter what you do,i doubt you will get better than 10mpg,unless you do the zf swap.i would do what every body else says and do a good tune up and make sure your emissions equipment are working properly,for that smog check.
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Old 01-04-2011, 09:23 PM
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Santeeford, welcome to FTE!

Man, this is the second thread that I've come across today that makes me glad I don't have to deal with CA emissions testing. They seriously don't want people keeping old cars and trucks around out there! I consider myself lucky to have found an all original 100K mi BB truck with everything still working. I suppose putting a $400 truck back to spec is doable but it could get pricey depending how much stuff is gone and how much of that can be sourced from the Pick and Pull. As a CA truck it should have it all; Cats, Air pump(s) and associated plumbing, Evaporative Canister(s) and related equipment, EGR valve, PCV valve etc... What's missing? Post up some pics, we love pics...
As mentioned before, those plastic vacuum lines and tees love to crack so you may end up replacing them with rubber hose. Anything else need work on this truck? Sorry, don't mean to be a buzz kill...
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Old 01-04-2011, 11:13 PM
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Anything over 8600gvw won't have a Cat, Cali or not...

To sort your vacuum lines I'd suggest keeping the color code Ford uses on your vacuum routing diagram.
It makes sense and is easy to follow.
You can pick up an assortment of inexpensive colored electrical tape and put a wrap around each end of the hose.

You don't say what your gearing is or what transmission you have, but like everyone else here with experience I will tell you there is no magic bullet for mileage.
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Old 01-05-2011, 12:55 AM
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On both of my EFI 460's / E4OD 10 mpg is a good day, but they both sure run nice and perform the job they were built to do. I agree with the poster on the 3mpg increase, it take quite a bit of time to pay it off. If the price of fuel goes up though, it may make sence to swap in a overdrive tranny or aux overdrive.

FYI - I see 6.5 to 6.9 mpg with the 460 when towing a 12k load so I am happy when I see 10mpg as I stated. No, I do not and would not use either of these trucks as a daily driver, they both currently have there individual prupose/job which does not require many miles per year which makes the choice of a gas engine bearable. Simply put, the added cost of the diesel broken down by the miles per year does not add up in this case.

IF I was to use a truck like this for a daily driver, I would definatly drive something like I my 99 SD 7.3 / E4OD company work truck - which seems to hover between 18 to 22 mpg when not towing. Yes, it will drop down to 12 - 13 mpg when towing 12-14k, still better than the gassers though. And at the miles I drive this truck per year, it makes much more sense to drive a diesel.

Trucks and cars are simply tools to me, to get a job done, being it a trip to the store or to make a living, at the least possible cost verses benifits ratio.... of course I want that tool to be comfortable so I prefer the Ford full size trucks for lighter work

As a side note - Now if they just got rid of the nose on the pickups, made the cabs tilt for easy engine access, not over the fenders, like currently, changing the spark plugs is a back breaker on the pickups, on the C600 I can just tilt the cab and stand right next to the engine!!!!, shortened the wheelbase for manuverbility like my C series and my International Cargostar I would be in heaven! Wait - I would have something that looked like a Econoline pickup, Dodge A100 pickup from the 60's, only stronger and better - YUP thats what I want! Ahh to dream.

I do have to touch on the emmisions thing though - Actually, I don't see the California emmision regulations as the problem, it is all those who chose to violate Federal law that makes removing, tampering with or modifying ANY emmisions device illegal, in ANY state.

While the Libertarian side of me says it is there truck they can do as they want - the other side says I have to breathe the same air that they are excessivly polluting, so.......

As a outsider to CA - I can attest to the pollution clean up in the LA basin from the emmision controls on the cars. (as well as other stuff, still can't see the Hollywood sign most days though) The air is much better than it was in the early 70's. Driving in heavy traffic nowdays when I visit does not cause my eyes to burn.

So Libertarian or not - on this one I side with the emmision controls - hence - I absolutly WILL NOT buy any truck/car that some well meaning (or not) person has removed the smog equipment from. It simply costs to much money to make it right and perform/run properly. To me, someone who has hacked the vehicle in this manor has destroyed any value it might have had.

Or as another thought -

What do you do when the manufacture no longer makes the emmisions parts new and they are totaly unavailable, items such as the A.I.R piping comes to mind. Here, I think, a waver, based on parts unavailability, NOT cost would be in order. That I think would be a fair trade off, if you want to do the right thing, but cant because the manufacture says you cant.... well that is not your fault. But again, NO waver based on cost.

I have even looked into a late model 460 EFI swap on my old C600, but at less than 500 total miles driven a year, I have put it off for now.

my two cents - each to there own ! David
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:19 AM
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i live in California and have an 86 f250 4x4 with a 460 and a c6 running 3.55 on the rear axle. i thought about buying an over and under unit which would increase my overall mileage by up to 20% until i saw the price.

for my application they are asking almost $3,000.00. if the pastures in my wallet were greener i might buy one but i have yet to meet anyone with an installed unit.

has anyone had any experience with these units?
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Old 01-05-2011, 01:56 AM
glovemeister glovemeister is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Danilo View Post
i live in California and have an 86 f250 4x4 with a 460 and a c6 running 3.55 on the rear axle. i thought about buying an over and under unit which would increase my overall mileage by up to 20% until i saw the price.

for my application they are asking almost $3,000.00. if the pastures in my wallet were greener i might buy one but i have yet to meet anyone with an installed unit.

has anyone had any experience with these units?
I know a guy who had one in a 94 Cummins dually with a 5spd. He swore buy that thing. They are really nice. However, the price is cost prohibitive. In his case he towed all the time, horses, pipes, rvs etc. so it made sense in diesel savings.
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