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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 07-28-2014, 08:17 PM
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302 is a dog

So I finally took my new to me wheeling truck out for a trip this past Saturday, and I'm not super impressed. Didn't get stuck, but for a truck with some top end goodies, the power wasn't really there. I'm wondering if maybe I'm just spoiled from driving my 550+ hp powerstroke daily?

I don't think the motor is original to the truck. It's a 250 factory 4x4 with a dana 60 swapped up front. It's geared up (4.88s) and I hoped that would make up for the small motor off road, but I really have to put my foot in it to spin the tires in the mud. The motor needs a real good tune up, but I'm wondering if I should just cut my losses with it and sell it to a mustang guy while I look for either a 351 or a 460 to transplant in it.

Upgrade wise, it has an edelbrock performer power pack consisting of 4bbl carb, aluminum heads, cam, intake manifold, and longtube headers. All trying to push 36" super swampers. I've been out of the offroad game for a while, but this thing doesn't even compare to my old stock 351 in my last OBS. Any input for me?
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:32 PM
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I have always said Ford made a mistake by putting the 302 in the f150's, especially the 4x4's. I think they were crazy to put the 302 in the f250's like they did.

The 302 is just too small for a big pickup that you haul with. It's ok for a all around grocery getter daily driver with very limited towing.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:40 PM
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I have always said Ford made a mistake by putting the 302 in the f150's, especially the 4x4's. I think they were crazy to put the 302 in the f250's like they did.

The 302 is just too small for a big pickup that you haul with. It's ok for a all around grocery getter daily driver with very limited towing.
The only thing I plan on pulling is a stuck truck now and again. This thing just seems totally gutless. I've seen pictures of I6 powered trucks pushing larger tires than mine and I wonder how they even move. I've watched some videos on YouTube of 302 powered trucks playing in the mud and mine doesn't even stack up to them.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:48 PM
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When using our fuel injected 302 in a 1/2 ton 4x4 it has more than enough power to do anything you should ask a 1/2 ton to do. In a 3/4 I'm sure it is a bit under powered. Getting spoiled on the powerstroke is definitely a contributing factor. Even after I started driving a 5.4 with terrible 3.31 gears it spoiled me for the 302 even though I never had a problem with the 302 before.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:49 PM
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I think I'm just overthinking it while I'm sitting here bored at work. I need to just tune it up and get it some fuel and then go wheel it.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:51 PM
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Also, the guy that had it before me has a super restrictive exhaust on it. All sorts of dumb bends with cats and fullsize mufflers. I'm sure it could benefit from a more free flowing exhaust.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:00 PM
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Personally I'd never get a full size pickup with anything smaller than 351 CID. But a good free flowing exhaust system with free flowing mufflers and a tune up should help. Also look in to a distributor advance recurve if you haven't done that. (Duraspark II applicable only) It's easy to do. As far as a free flowing muffler goes, any magnaflow style muffler that's wide open inside with no louvers in the pipes should work good. Works great on my truck.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:09 PM
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Did you raise the compression ratio when you went with the upgrades? Low compression and a strong cam are a bad combo. And the restricted exhaust will just make matters worse. Fix the exhaust, tune it, and if that doesn't work build a 351W as it'll bolt in with few mods. And do it right with good compression to match the rest of the goodies.
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary Lewis View Post
Did you raise the compression ratio when you went with the upgrades? Low compression and a strong cam are a bad combo. And the restricted exhaust will just make matters worse. Fix the exhaust, tune it, and if that doesn't work build a 351W as it'll bolt in with few mods. And do it right with good compression to match the rest of the goodies.
The previous owner did all the work. I just have to fix it all now lol. He didn't make any mention of the bottom end being punched out or anything, so I'm just assuming it's stock. My buddy came over to help me check the timing and we fooled with that a bit but ran out of daylight. I did notice some pinging so we have to get back in there anyway. With just top end bolt ons, do you have a suggestion for a good starting spot on the timing?
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:52 PM
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10-14* BTDC is a good starting point.
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:02 AM
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Matthew is right on the timing. But just bolting the top-end goodies onto a stock bottom end doesn't always make for good performance. Assuming that is an Eddy cam there are several options for the 302, and if he went with high lift and long duration with the stock low compression you won't have decent performance. It just doesn't work.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Gary Lewis View Post
Matthew is right on the timing. But just bolting the top-end goodies onto a stock bottom end doesn't always make for good performance. Assuming that is an Eddy cam there are several options for the 302, and if he went with high lift and long duration with the stock low compression you won't have decent performance. It just doesn't work.
Here's a stupid question, what's the easiest way to find out if the bottom end is stock? And if it is indeed stock, would you suggest a can swap or building the bottom end?
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:30 PM
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Here's a stupid question, what's the easiest way to find out if the bottom end is stock? And if it is indeed stock, would you suggest a can swap or building the bottom end?
Only way I know of telling is to pull the oil pan. Can be impossible to do on some vehicles without pulling the motor.

You could look to see if silicone was used to put the motor together which would be a obvious sign if the motor was taken apart or not. But that doesnt tell you if its stock unless the motor was never taken apart then you know its stock, if its been taken apart it could be stock or it could be aftermarket.

Even then that wont really tell you what your bore is or your stroke without disassembling your motor even further.
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Old 07-29-2014, 01:24 PM
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I've not been talking about the "bottom end", which usually means the crank and bearings, but the pistons. If the engine has stock or stock-style replacement pistons then you may not have more than stock compression. And if a high-lift/long-duration cam was installed with stock compression you won't have much power.

But finding out what you have may not be easy. The first step would be to ask the previous owner what the pistons are and what cam is in it. But if that doesn't work look at Edelbrock's website and see what the chamber size is on their heads. Then find out what it is for stock heads and what the stock compression ratio is. That'll give you enough info to back into the stock piston dome and in-the-hole volumes and then you can figure the CR with the Eddy heads.
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Lewis View Post
I've not been talking about the "bottom end", which usually means the crank and bearings, but the pistons. If the engine has stock or stock-style replacement pistons then you may not have more than stock compression. And if a high-lift/long-duration cam was installed with stock compression you won't have much power.

But finding out what you have may not be easy. The first step would be to ask the previous owner what the pistons are and what cam is in it. But if that doesn't work look at Edelbrock's website and see what the chamber size is on their heads. Then find out what it is for stock heads and what the stock compression ratio is. That'll give you enough info to back into the stock piston dome and in-the-hole volumes and then you can figure the CR with the Eddy heads.
Understood about which "bottom end" we were discussing. I texted the previous owner and asked him if the pistons were ever replaced or I'd the block was bored out.

In the mean time, I got the truck hot and adjusted the idle air screws a little closer "to the book" which was about 1 1/2 turns out from bottomed out. Also adjusted the idle and moved the linkage from the top hole to the bottom hole on the plunger. Seems to feel a little more powerful in the lower rpm range.

I've decided to still do the cheap stuff while I can. Plugs, wires and a fuel filter. The previous owner is using a GM style distributor on the motor, which I know nothing about. Come to think of it, just add that to the list of things I know nothing about lol
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Old 07-29-2014, 02:59 PM
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