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The Great Engine Choice Debate: Gasoline or Diesel

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Old 06-08-2015, 04:04 PM
AZAV8 AZAV8 is offline
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The Great Engine Choice Debate: Gasoline or Diesel

O.K. guys, the wife suggested I not install the diesel engine, I've been planning on using in my 48 F-1 pickup. She thinks that it would be better to install a gasoline engine, rather than a noisy, smelly diesel.

So, what do you guys think? Should I go with the original plan of a 7.3L Ford Powerstroke diesel or should I go with a gasoline engine? If I go with a gasoline engine, it would probably be with a Ford Racing crate motor, most likely, the 460 cubic inch based on the Boss 351 block. This one:

460 CUBIC INCH 575 HP CRATE ENGINE REAR SUMP | Part Details for M-6007-Z460FRT* | Ford Performance Racing Parts

I'm still working on the cost differences between the two so don't ask that question, just yet. My gut tells me the gasoline crate motor will be more expensive.

They are about the same size physically and both will fit easily. Weight advantage will go to the gasoline engine, being about 300 pounds lighter.

So, you tell me your reasons why one over the other.

Thanks for your input ahead of time.

Phil
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Old 06-08-2015, 04:49 PM
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gicknordon
Are you sure they are the same size? I would think that the 7.3 would be much larger than the 351 based motor. I think you would get better mileage with the 7.3, if that is of any concern. The 7.3 will cost more for maintenance (12 quart oil changes). I think you would be more limited on transmission choices with the 7.3 as well. If it was me, I would go with the 7.3 mostly because you dont see it done a whole lot.
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Old 06-08-2015, 05:07 PM
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I think you are incorrect about being the same size.

......... Length width height weight

351.... 26" .. 29.5".. 29" .. 550


7.3 .... 34" .. 32" .. 36" .. 920

I think you will find the 7.3 to be a challenge to fit but it would be interesting.
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Old 06-08-2015, 06:27 PM
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If you are will to do the work go with 7.3 diesel.

I have been talked to a guy about an F4 and putting in a 7.3. Or maybe just putting the F4 on the superduty frame. I know the SD frame is a few inches wider but can be done.
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:38 PM
AZAV8 AZAV8 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rimrock F1 View Post
I think you are incorrect about being the same size.

......... Length width height weight

351.... 26" .. 29.5".. 29" .. 550


7.3 .... 34" .. 32" .. 36" .. 920

I think you will find the 7.3 to be a challenge to fit but it would be interesting.
Rimrock F1,
You are close on your dimensions. From my measurements of a 7.3L on display at a Ford dealers parts department I came up with these.
33.75" H x 29" L x 30" W

That was top of turbo to bottom of oil pan, bell housing face to fan flange, and across the heads. If you add the exhaust manifold crossover which is behind the bell housing flange, you add 3" for a total of 33".

I checked the Ford Racing site and they have the 351W block as 27.5" long.

So we're close. I checked the measurements of my engine space on my truck and I'll be able to fit the diesel in there easily. The question comes with adding in the intercooler and A/C condenser. I think of the diesels out there, the 7.3L will probably be the easiest to install, especially considering the electrical and computer side of the install.

Phil
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Old 06-09-2015, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gicknordon View Post
Are you sure they are the same size? I would think that the 7.3 would be much larger than the 351 based motor. I think you would get better mileage with the 7.3, if that is of any concern. The 7.3 will cost more for maintenance (12 quart oil changes). I think you would be more limited on transmission choices with the 7.3 as well. If it was me, I would go with the 7.3 mostly because you dont see it done a whole lot.
Gicknordon,
The transmission choice with the diesel is a 4R100, period, unless I want to struggle with adapting an Allison six-speed. More electronic questions with that choice. Fuel mileage would be better with the diesel.

I may be off with my estimate of 300 lbs difference on the weights. The 7.3L diesel goes for 932 lbs dry. The only weight I can find on the Ford Z460 engine is a 450 lb shipping weight which includes the crate, but no intake manifold, distributor or other accessories.

More input, guys?

Phil
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Old 06-09-2015, 01:09 PM
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Look at the frame on your F-1, then at the frame of an F-250 that came with a 7.3. The F-1 is sheet metal compared to the depth and thickness of the F-250's frame.

For your weight calculation, figure you'll need at least 100 lbs of reinforcing on the front of the F-1 frame to resist the torque and weight of the diesel. Also the trans for it weighs a heck of a lot more than the stock trannies, even the 4-sp spur.

IMO if you are dead set on having the 7.3, you need to get a frame built to handle it, and don't forget to make a commensurate upgrade to brakes capable of stopping it. You could buy a lot of gas for what it would take to do it safely and correctly.
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Old 06-09-2015, 02:37 PM
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If you take all variables into consideration, you will be designing a truck around a powertrain if you go the 7.3 route. Installing a thousand pound powertrain into a vehicle designed originally for a four hundred pound powertrain will take some consideration. Starting in order of importance: 1) Frame section modulus (you can fish plate the frame to increase this). 2) Suspension capacity, front and rear (because of weight distribution). 3) Axle capacities, front for weight, rear for weight and torque. 4) Brake sizes (usually matched to axle capacities). 5) Tire and wheel size and capacities. The front suspension and axle capacities must also include the weight transfer encountered during braking. This is some of the knowledge I gleaned while a class 8 test driver for PACCAR.


To figure frame section modulus, scroll down and click on the correct shape.
http://www.geocities.jp/iamvocu/Tech...idanmenEng.htm
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:23 PM
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I've already had the frame modified by Industrial Chassis in Phoenix, AZ. Steve Szymanski installed one of his Dodge Dakota front cross members, boxed the frame from there to behind the cab and installed a tube center cross member to replace the PO butchered center cross member.

Click the image to open in full size.

As for brakes, I'm going to use Dodge D150 rotors and Wilwood D52 dual piston calipers on the front and a Wilwood D154 disk brake kit on the Ford 9 inch rear. I've also installed a hydroboost power brake kit as well.

These frame and brake modifications will handle the 7.3L engine.

Phil
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:02 PM
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Well I think you've already made up your mind.
Your guy really did some nice work, almost seems a shame to paint it.
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Old 06-09-2015, 06:46 PM
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I'd go with the diesel because they're noisy and smelly. That's a good combination and has worked out really well in my '59. All the girls in my life hate it, but I have some other gasser trucks that they like!
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mixer man View Post
Well I think you've already made up your mind.
Your guy really did some nice work, almost seems a shame to paint it.
MIxer man,
Yes, my guy does know what he is doing, that is why I use him. Steve Szymanski, owns Industrial Chassis in Phoenix. I consider him the best chassis fabricator in Arizona. He fixes other shops mistakes. He is making Dakota IFS cross members for just about every year Ford F1 or F100 from 48 up. I wouldn't use anybody else for my chassis work.

The original plan called for a 7.3L Powerstroke. It's only lately, my wife, the family budget guru has suggested a gasoline engine. I'm still working on the cost difference; but I think the gasoline engine will be more expensive than the diesel.

Thanks for the input.

Phil
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Old 06-09-2015, 08:29 PM
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Do you need it or want it? Will you ever use it's power or will it just be a garage queen?
Diesels in my mind are for working, if it isn't working it's taking up space.
Gas= can work it if you desire, can garage it and big deal, it's another gasser.
I think the gasoline engine would be cheaper in your situation than a diesel.
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Old 06-10-2015, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by dustyroad View Post
Do you need it or want it? Will you ever use it's power or will it just be a garage queen?
Diesels in my mind are for working, if it isn't working it's taking up space.
Gas= can work it if you desire, can garage it and big deal, it's another gasser.
I think the gasoline engine would be cheaper in your situation than a diesel.
dustyroad,
There are no garage queens at my house. I build them to use them as they were intended, a truck. This will be my daily driver. Trucks haul things and tow things, which this truck will be used for.

The price of the gasoline engine from Ford Racing is listed at $9,999.00 and that is without intake manifold and accessories. That is higher than I estimate the cost of a typical 7.3L diesel. Granted, the gas motor is new while the diesel is used. I'm still working on the costs of both.

Phil
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Old 06-10-2015, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZAV8 View Post
dustyroad,
There are no garage queens at my house. I build them to use them as they were intended, a truck. This will be my daily driver. Trucks haul things and tow things, which this truck will be used for.

The price of the gasoline engine from Ford Racing is listed at $9,999.00 and that is without intake manifold and accessories. That is higher than I estimate the cost of a typical 7.3L diesel. Granted, the gas motor is new while the diesel is used. I'm still working on the costs of both.

Phil
Well than I don't know why you presented your problem to us. I gave my opinion like you wanted but sounds like you don't like it.
It's your money, do what you want with it. It's not even a comparison quoting new vs used.
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