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1987 - 1996 F150 & Larger F-Series Trucks 1987 - 1996 Ford F-150, F-250, F-350 and larger pickups - including the 1997 heavy-duty F250/F350+ trucks

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  #1  
Old 06-10-2012, 09:41 PM
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Cheap performance upgrades???

1990 f150 5.0. I'm a college student so I don't have a lot of time or dough to throw around to upgrade things like the crankshaft, heads, etc. Any ideas? Here's what I have in mind for relatively cheap:
-tune up (duh)
-long tube headers
-chip/tuner (I only know about ones for modern cars and diesels)
-throttle body spacer/ new throttle body
-msd or mallory distributor/ ignition
-cold air intake
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.fordneck View Post
1990 f150 5.0. I'm a college student so I don't have a lot of time or dough to throw around to upgrade things like the crankshaft, heads, etc. Any ideas? Here's what I have in mind for relatively cheap:
-tune up (duh) Good idea!
-long tube headers Best bang for your buck!
-chip/tuner (I only know about ones for modern cars and diesels) no comment..
-throttle body spacer/ new throttle body Total waste of money!!
-msd or mallory distributor/ ignition search for 6L tuneup
-cold air intake ......... Even bigger waste of money!!


See text in red...
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:18 PM
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buddmeister87
What he said ^^
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:32 PM
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matter of fact, I just had a tuneup but didn't do the coil. I'll replace it and gap the plugs to the bigger size
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Old 06-10-2012, 10:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.fordneck View Post
matter of fact, I just had a tuneup but didn't do the coil. I'll replace it and gap the plugs to the bigger size
also bump the timing to 13.5-14* from the factory 10* once you do the coil
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:42 AM
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The only cheap and easy upgrade worth doing is the 6-liter tunup, then it goes to cheap but hard(a cam upgrade) and relatively inexpensive and moderately difficult(headers and exhaust). Everything else on your list is a complete waste of money and will produce zero gains.
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1990 5.0HO AOD XLT X-Cab F150 3.55LS, 1994 3.0L 5-sp x-cab Ranger 3.45, 2004 3.0L 5-sp X-cab Ranger Edge 4.10, 2004 2.5L 5-spd Subaru Legacy
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Old 06-12-2012, 10:31 AM
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I too am considering getting a coil and new wires but have a few questions. Is there much benefit to getting the MSD coil without getting the MSD 6AL ignition? I just did motorcraft plugs, cap, and rotor would there be any reason to change these if I get a new coil? I have read several opinions on alot of ignition parts what do you guys think about Accel vs MSD vs whatever other brands you recommend?
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:03 AM
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I don't think the aftermarket ignition will benefit your stock engine. I tried out the Jacobs mileagemaster & coil, got insignificant mpg boost. I guess these only benefit older engines or built up engines or forced induction. Not a good investment when only seeking mpg gains for unmod'd engines. I do think the Jacobs or Magnecor plug wires are worth it, for longevity if nothing else.
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Old 06-12-2012, 11:58 AM
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If your doing the 6L tune up with the larger gap in TW plugs you need the upgraded coil and wires to give enough spark to be able to advance the timing to 13.5ish* which will Smooth out idle and give better burn of the fuel
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:06 PM
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Tune up, timing bump, dual exhaust, k&n air filter, injector cleaner/lube, fuel filter, Re-gear if running larger tires.

Later a SD EFI friendly cam might help, but I am not sure how much with stock heads.

If you plan to really build your engine later, save your money for a MAF swap.
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1989 F150 XLT Lariat, Super Cab, Shortbed, 4x4, AOD transmission, 351w EFI, 1979 Dana 44 Solid Axle Swap, 3G 130A Swap, 8" lift, 35*12.5*R15 BFG AT's, 4.56 gearing. AKA: The Grey Goose
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SCRebel View Post
Tune up, timing bump, dual exhaust, k&n air filter, injector cleaner/lube, fuel filter, Re-gear if running larger tires.

Later a SD EFI friendly cam might help, but I am not sure how much with stock heads.

If you plan to really build your engine later, save your money for a MAF swap.

I almost bought one this weekend. Was at the JY getting bucket seats and a console and one of the vehicles I saw was a 96 with the 4.9l MAF. Had I had my son there to help I'd have pulled it and just took the but chewing from my wife but decided when the time comes Ill find another. I want to do the turbo build in a couple of years.

Probably wont do a cam but hoping to squeak out all I can from this truck.
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Old 06-12-2012, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnite1987 View Post
If your doing the 6L tune up with the larger gap in TW plugs you need the upgraded coil and wires to give enough spark to be able to advance the timing to 13.5ish* which will Smooth out idle and give better burn of the fuel
I have evidence that the factory ignition is plenty for up to .07" gap. Yes, seven/hundredths inch. I acquired my 94 f350 with 58K miles. Pulled the plugs (original) to change them. I noticed they had worn to the extent of .07" gap. I never noticed any misfires. New plugs with proper gap didn't seem improve the mpg's any.

After that, I advanced the timing to just shy of knocking (I can't read or find my timing marks). That did help my mpg's. Then I regapped the plugs and put in the ignition box and coil. That netted no appreciable mpg boost. Now I'm back to factory ignition and I didn't bother regapping the plugs down to normal. Wait, I recently changed the plugs out from the basic coppers to Bosch +4's. No appreciable mpg boost there, either.

(On the exhaust side, I'm finishing up the headers/dual pipes/magnaflows, hopefully that will net appreciable results hauling logs up hill.)

But, different engines might react a little differently to these ignition variables were talking here...
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:49 PM
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SO will I need to buy the upgraded wiring if I want an MSD or mallory coil or can I just stick it where the stock one was? Is it really that much better than stock?
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Old 06-12-2012, 02:53 PM
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long tube headers, an rv cam, 6 litre tune up, new motor craft spark plus, that fuel cleaner stuff, setting the timing to about 13 instead of 10, aaaannnddd 2.5 in duals or a 3in single exhaust
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Intimnasc View Post
I almost bought one this weekend. Was at the JY getting bucket seats and a console and one of the vehicles I saw was a 96 with the 4.9l MAF. Had I had my son there to help I'd have pulled it and just took the but chewing from my wife but decided when the time comes Ill find another. I want to do the turbo build in a couple of years.

Probably wont do a cam but hoping to squeak out all I can from this truck.
when I start hearing up for my MAF swap, I'm going to try and get one out of a Mustang. They have a more aggressive tuning and more tuning parameters then the F150/Bronco.
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1989 F150 XLT Lariat, Super Cab, Shortbed, 4x4, AOD transmission, 351w EFI, 1979 Dana 44 Solid Axle Swap, 3G 130A Swap, 8" lift, 35*12.5*R15 BFG AT's, 4.56 gearing. AKA: The Grey Goose
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Old 06-12-2012, 03:20 PM
 
 
 
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