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1948 - 1956 F1, F100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Fat Fendered and Classic Ford Trucks

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Old 09-13-2011, 05:32 PM
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engine opinions

I'm looking for opinions on engine options. I'm mainly looking to hear about what you're using in yours and how you like it. I have a decent idea of what I'm planning but I'd like to hear from people using theirs the way I want to to see if there is anything I forgot to take into account.



The main rear seal on my engine just went out, as well as the front coolant seal which might as well not exist at the moment, lol. I had debated keeping the 272 just because it's a neat engine, but it's not a practical daily driver. It stalls when you give it gas, it's hard to drive around the block let alone for miles. I've always wanted more power and now I have an excuse to get it done, lol.


I know the 302 well, we have 3 trucks/cars with it, but in my experience for any sort of 4x4 work you need more power. I was thinking a 351w or more. A 390 seems to 'fit' the truck for whatever reason to me. I'm looking to have the power I need when needing it as a 4x4, but I don't want to get 4mpg either. Right now I'm mainly looking to see what I can find in town, maybe luck out and find a set of 4x4 axles big enough (need a dana 60 up front for the tire size I'll be running).




So what do you have in yours? Pros/cons/ideas/wishes/complaints/praises ?
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1956 F600 Build Thread

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Parts I have that I don't need: F600 Running boards, F600 running board brackets (2), 272 fuel pump
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Old 09-13-2011, 05:42 PM
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I love the 302, its my current engine thought in my project planning for my 51.


Ive had 302's in 90's 4x4's and they did well, however I never really worked those trucks, and the general thinking seems to be that most guys dont like the higher power rpm in a working truck.

For a 4x4 you could always compensate with gearing as well.

The 351 would be a good choice as well though!

Im building a 1989 4x4 shortbox truck right now and Im throwing a 302 back in there!
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:00 PM
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We've had the 302 in a couple bronco's of ours, and I just remember a few times where we really didn't have the power we wanted and it was frustrating. I don't want to put something in there and find it's not enough.

I've had a couple people tell me to go the diesel route, use a '94-98 Dodge 1 ton or a '97-'99 7.3L Powerstroke F350. Course using a diesel basically means needing a couple thousand more to spend on it from the get go. They're around here, but if I remember right they are also a real PITA to start in the winter sometimes. And I need a truck that I can drive in sub-zero weather (we have a couple months where we see as low as -20 in harsh winters, so the cold is an issue). Thats sorta why I've been leaning towards a gas engine.

Plus, gas engines are cheaper...

If I can manage it I think the best route would involve using a divorced transfer case so I can swap powertrains easier if I even decide to change it up. Right now I'm a bit limited and just seeing what I can find. The 4x4 will probably have to wait I'm sure, but if I can get it all at once that's always a plus. Front Dana 60s are unfourtantly a whole lot more expensive and a Dana 44 won't be able to handle the wheels I want safely.
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1956 F600 Build Thread

Wanted: '53-56 horn button, '56 wiper arm
Parts I have that I don't need: F600 Running boards, F600 running board brackets (2), 272 fuel pump
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:08 PM
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I can chime in on diesels a little as I am a huge diesel (and cummins) fan!

I have a 03 powerstroke, and with good batteries, synthetic oil, antigel in the fuel, and proper working glow plugs and glow plug relay, your diesel will start in the cold. Coldest I have started my diesel with it not being plugged in, was minus 27 or 28 degrees celcius.

When I worked in the oil patch we had dodge trucks as field trucks and the cummins never let us down in the cold either, and I had little say on the the maintenance of them. The rest of the truck... well.. lets just say they werent that great!

If you went the diesel route the 5.9 cummins is hard to beat. They arent that bad priced and it seems like you can get a kit to bolt them up to damn near any kind of transmission out there!
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:17 PM
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I'll have to look into them more, they're a bit different than gas engines. I know they last a lot longer but I don't know how far (gas engines seem to be around 100,000, where as everything I come across with diesels says thats like 30,000 miles on a gas engine)
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1956 F600 Build Thread

Wanted: '53-56 horn button, '56 wiper arm
Parts I have that I don't need: F600 Running boards, F600 running board brackets (2), 272 fuel pump
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:36 PM
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A Cummins will be a tight fit in a 56, but it can and has been done. Biggest problem I have seen with the swap is the placement of the aftercooler in front of the radiator.
The mileage on a Cummins in a Dodge truck really means nothing, by the time the truck is ready for the scrap heap the engine is just getting warmed up I have a 95 Dodge 3500 that I use for a service truck, it has over 350K on it and never add oil between changes.
An easy fit would be an older 7.3 IDI from a 87-94 Ford, they are good engines that have an easy 250-300K lifespan. I just took one out of service with over 250K on it and never pull the dipstick out between changes. They make descent power and can be had with a turbo too. Best thing is, NO ELECTRONICS!!!
If you are determined to stay with a gasser, I would be looking for a big block. A 429-460 would pull the truck well, but I hope you have deep pockets for the fill-ups
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Old 09-13-2011, 06:58 PM
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Yeah I'm having to go the "real world" route on this. Sure I'd love a 427 with twin turbos, but I could also buy a house for the cost of having and running one of those, lol.

I mainly need something that will be reliable, decent gas mileage (it's still a V8, I'm not expecting 40mpg, but 4mpg is a problem, lol) and have power when I need it. The truck will be a 4x4 truck, and I want it to be a strong truck. I don't want to limit what it can do by putting in something under powered, but I don't need something to tow a 30' trailer either. The most I'll ever tow is maybe a car trailer with a car on it, but only one in a great while (ie only when I want another project, lol)
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1956 F600 Build Thread

Wanted: '53-56 horn button, '56 wiper arm
Parts I have that I don't need: F600 Running boards, F600 running board brackets (2), 272 fuel pump
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Old 09-13-2011, 07:33 PM
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Lots of folks running 460's...loads of torque and fairly reliable. I had one in my 56 backed by a C6 trans with a shift kit, far more power than I needed but boy was it fun to drive!
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:22 PM
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I had a 76 4X4 with a 390 4bbl, it was a good truck. No matter how I drove it it got 12 mpg. Father had a station wagon with a 460 and it was a great engine, with mileage about the same. I would probably go with the 460 as it weighs a bit less. Either one would be cool with an overdrive behind it. As far as a diesel an older cummins 6bt with no electronics would be the ticket.

Good Luck,
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:42 PM
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Stephen did you take the option of buying your Mark VIII back. You know that engine and trans was good although they were not very strong on torque, however I remember you said you would not be doing any serious 4 wheeling. It would be easy enough with a divorced transfer case. Just a thought.
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Old 09-13-2011, 09:54 PM
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I would have to agree with the diesel guys on this one.
I also don't have any experience with the diesels, just a general understanding.
My brother had an excursion with a 7.3 powerstroke. You can pull a house with it, and on the highway he would get 20mpg with it. diesel is a tad more expensive both in fuel price and engine purchase, but putting in a motor that is "good enough for now" may cost ya 1/2 money, but twice.
thats my opinion...good luck!
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:05 PM
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Quote:
I had debated keeping the 272 just because it's a neat engine, but it's not a practical daily driver. It stalls when you give it gas,
You could keep the 272 (rebuild it or get a 292 etc)

If it doesn't run good as you indicated above, you probably just need to rebuild/replace the carb!

The Y-block has a definite unique sound and tuned up right will be as reliable as any other engine.

Now having said that, I also considered a 300 cu-in 6. That would work well in your truck too. If you do that, because you probably don't have an E-brake (except whats on the back of your trans), you'll probably need to consider what to do about parking brakes.......

The E4OD like mine and the ZF 5-speeds have the ability to put an E-brake on the back of them. (see my gallery)

SO what ever engine you use, you need to consider the transmissions that will bolt to them. The ZF will work with the SBF, 300(6), 460 and the diesels. (including a Cummins with an adapter) both the ZF and E4OD were available in the F-450 (my E4OD came out of an F-450 that the guy replaced with a ZF 5 speed)


The downside of the the other engines (except the 300(6) and Cummins) is that they will interfere somewhat with your steering box....they are do-able though!


Regards,



Rick
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:37 PM
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We didn't buy the Mark VIII back, we needed all we could get for another car. Might have been a good thing that all that happened anyways because just before a mechanic on it had mentioned it looked like there was water in the oil. Might have been nothing, might have been a big thing.


I like the Y-block, but it's just not a practical engine for a daily driver in todays day and age. I feel like I could spend the same amount of money and get something that makes a lot better power and mileage, and right now thats more important than anything else. Though I will miss it's sound.



Still have much to figure out. The diesel seems like a cool way to go. I'm trying to learn all I can so when I go to do it it will be a quick affair, things like the steering box will be an issue that will take some thinking. I'm hoping to be able to swap the axles I want in at the same time, just because it would be easier to do those at the same time as well. But it's going to have to be a God send because I need a Dana 60 up front and they are a lot more expensive than a Dana 44, about 10 times around here.

So we'll see. I'm sure I'll end up having a few posts or at least one asking for specific problems and things to consider when putting X engine in...

(And it's sort of why I want a divorced transfer case, so I can swap out a powertrain easier if I find I need to again. This is one of those "doing it because I need to" parts of the builds rather than building it like a dream. I mean sure a 427 with twin turbos would be fun, but I don't have $50,000 lol)
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1956 F600 Build Thread

Wanted: '53-56 horn button, '56 wiper arm
Parts I have that I don't need: F600 Running boards, F600 running board brackets (2), 272 fuel pump
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:56 PM
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I'll share what little I know and offer a couple things to ponder. To turn your big tires efficiently, I would definitely want something that produces considerably more torque than a 302, and to me, that means big block. (Sorry, not personally a diesel guy) Working a 351 that hard probably won't net you any better fuel economy than a big block, so you might as well go for the gusto. As much as I like the big-small block, they've never been known for their thriftiness in that situation. You can probably get a little better economy from a 390 than a 460, with similar power. I get 10mpg fairly consistently with my 460/C6 in my 85 F-250. That falls off to about 8-9 in the winter with the extra warmups, etc.

The 460 will certainly offer better trans choices than the 390. With the FE, you're pretty much stuck with a 4 speed manual or the C6, unless you shell out bundles for adapters.

Decisions...decisions...
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Old 09-13-2011, 11:06 PM
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Yeah a lot of my decision will be based off of what I can find. A lot can work, but to work in my situation is a different game.

Diesels make a lot of torque low end, and if I can get better mileage thats always a plus. But finding one is a different ball game. Sure if I have $5000 for one thats one thing, finding a good one for like $500? Damn near impossible. The 460 might be the way to go, they are fairly cheap around here (like $350). One of the things about putting a diesel in is if I remember right I have to change up other things as well like the gas tank and fuel lines. Not a big thing, but it is one more thing.
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1956 F600 Build Thread

Wanted: '53-56 horn button, '56 wiper arm
Parts I have that I don't need: F600 Running boards, F600 running board brackets (2), 272 fuel pump
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