1973 - 1979 F-100 & Larger F-Series TrucksDiscuss the Dentsides Ford Truck
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Guys, I have to make a decision in the next few months as we build this 1979 SuperCab truck (I call it truck, because I was told I was buying a 1979 F250 4X4, but the VIN does not make it an F250, but originally an F100.) The running gear looks very much like a 3/4 ton.
I would like to hear some opinions from you guys that have made the swap from a 400 to 460 and the pros and cons of each engine.
I have plenty of time to make a final decision, but am torn between a rebuild of the current 400 in the truck. Or use the 460 in the donor truck. We are doing an off- frame restoration on a 1979 4X4. Either way the engine is going to the mechanic for a rebuild and a bit more umff. Since we are going to use the front clip and cab from the donor truck (1977 F350 2WD SuperCab) it wouldn't be much more effort to put the 460 into the 79 chassis by moving the engine mounts, and the other brackets from the '79 along with the headers it currently has.
Am I oversimplifying this engine swap? The 79 has a C-6 tranny and assume the torque converter from the 77 460 should go with it.
My son is the mechanic and this is his first truck to restore. He has restored several Mustangs so far.
I have a '78 F-250 4x4 Scab that originally had a 400. I put a 460 in it a little over 20 years ago, using L&L mounts, front drives and fenderwell headers.
So, having driven the truck with both engines, as far as engine choices go, in my opinion, I can definitely say "it depends".
If you want to go fast, get there quick be able to move small mountains and use a lot of gas, go with the 460. On the other hand, if you don't care about going fast or when you get there, are happy moving medium sized mole hills and want to burn a lot of gas, go with the 400.
I ran my 400 until it was making so much noise I couldn't hear the radio. I had a fresh 460 and thought it was going to be a near bolt in. I was wrong. I spent way more time looking for the "magic Ford parts" to do the swap. I had everything from a '78 F-250 2wd as far as mounts, brackets, front drives etc. and I can tell you, after much trying, modification, etc., they don't fit a 4x4 chassis, at least to my satisfaction. That is why I went with the L&L. They were well designed and built, and they fit. I needed to use the fenderwell headers due to the D-60 front axle. They weren't my first choice, they were my only choice.
My truck needs are different now than 20 years ago. Right now my 460 is tired and I am looking to replace it, and I don't know whether I will freshen a 400, or go back with another 460. I am facing the same questions as you.
Everyone will have their own thoughts on this subject, and that is the beauty of these forums. I would boil it down to how the truck will be used, and how deep is the pocket book. And when those things have been ironed out, it comes right down to what you and your son want.
Fuel efficiency is not an issue here since I have owned a new 1975 F150 2WD and a new 1976 F150 4X4. Both had 360s and drank gasoline as if they were attached to a gasoline pump. Driving the 1979 back from Stockton, Missouri I figure I averaged about 8MPG. The F350 with the 460 is getting between 11.5 and 12MPG in a 2WD truck. My 2009 F150 SuperCrew 4X4 with 5.4 engine turned 19.5MPG while the '79 drove home.
I'm a bit torn between the two engines. First is that the engine in the '79 is supposedly the original engine to that truck. Looking at the VIN about the only things original to the truck is the frame and engine after all is said and done. On the other hand I agree with and like the more power and better parts availability for the 460.
Maybe it's nostalgia of something else I have been wanting to restore a '76 to '79 SuperCab or Crew Cab F250. To me the '73-79 F-Series were the best looking trucks ever built. Maybe it is a middle aged crisis. My wife thinks I am nuts, but she is a CPA.
Since retiring from the Navy I have pretty much had a second career of being a resident of VA Hospitals being cut on on a way too often cycle. Then the months of recovery following, so I try to fit some sort of project in to get finished when I get a chance. Last year I built a new reloading room and benches and outfitted it with all new equipment and was able to set things up to where it was no longer a search to get started. Plus, we got a pool table into the man cave up in my shop.
Most recently it was a stroke in May and surgery in June to repair damage from a series of explosions I was in onboard my last ship. Only took them 23 years to find what I had complained about from the final 30Gs we took. I'm still trying to locate the guys that worked for me and get them the help they need. So far I have contacted a third of them and all have back and neck issues. So, I have been sending letters to verify the events and hit we took for the VA.
I digress, but I have a grandson due within the next month and I want to get this truck put together and hopefully drive it for enough years to be able to give it to him someday. Probably be time to restore it again by then. The new grandson's daddy is my #1 helper and the brains and brawn.
I understand what you mean. Here is something to ponder.
If you go with the 400, are you sure you won't regret going with the 460?
For me, I always want to upgrade. I have seen too many people settle for something smaller and then wish they would have gone bigger. It could be the size of a motor, lift kit, or even a garage you build. It seems common to regret staying with the smaller option. You always wish you had a couple more square footage in your garage and I think if you stick with the 400, you will wish you had some more cubic inches.
I wish you could drive one of these trucks with a 460 in it to help make up your mind. I honestly believe it would be a no brainer once you did that and felt how much harder the truck pulls with the big block. Its true you can do some work to a 400 and make it run strong but do the same amount of work to the big block and the 400 still cant hold a candle next to it. I believe these trucks really should have had a 460 option for them from the factory
I have been driving the F350 2WD truck with the 460 engine for about a month now. I like how the engine performs. It is using 1.5 quarts of oil at 800 miles or less. I'm watching it closely, but the PO did not know if it has ever been rebuilt. Pretty much the same thing with the 400 engine in the 4X4 79 truck.
So either engine will get gone through before it is put in the chosen truck. I've been looking at Edelbrock Performer heads, Edelbrock intake, Edelbrock carburetor and a Comp Cam for the 460. With a rebuild and those options I would think the 460 would be pretty strong.
I guess you can call me "tonto" since I gotta go with HIO Silver on this one...I have a couple of "built" 400's, several stock 400"s, and one 460 all in 79 trucks and bronco's. The 460 is pretty much stock with just a few mild performance up-grades and I love everything about the 460 (except gas mileage which isn't far off from my built 400's---probably 6 vs 8). I vote for the 460. just my .02
YESTERDAY WAS ABOUT HONOR, TODAY IS ABOUT JUSTICE
and just another 2cents- the gear vendors guys have a point- headers, heads, intake manifolds, carbs- they are all about making the engine work harder. Splitting gears is about getting more out of what you have- for my next project- I'm going to take a stock 75 camper special, leave the 360 stock (except for changing timing gears, and maybe rebuilding it to a 390), and try a gear vendor. Friend had one and his MPG was pretty good. They are pricey but no more than if you add up the cost of a manifold, carb, new linkages, headers, gaskets, & all the "while I've got it opened up" things- like tweaking porting, better power steering pump, water pump, yadayadayaday. fact is, trucks are barbies for men (or GI Joe's for me)- we spend more on the accessories than the ride.
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