Just wanting to know which truck was better in the 70's Ford,Chevy, or Dodge. I have heard the Ford 4x4 setup are pretty stout due to the driver side pumpkin and np205 that they put in fords. Just curious since I wasn’t around in the 70's. I also wanted to know what transmission was the best between the 3.
Last edited by fearfactory; 12-24-2005 at 05:22 PM.
They were all good! They all rusted, like any other vehicle of that vintage. Full-time 4X4 was not a great idea, particularly Dodge who used a weak sealed bearing-hub unit with full-time 4X4, I never liked Ford's 351M and 400, or the Chevy small block 400, and the Ford C-6, Dodge A-727 and G.M. Turbo 400 were all great transmissions.
I don't think the trucks of the 70s were very good except for the very early and very late 70s. The Chevys were good through 72 but the redesign in 73 and the tougher emission standards ruined them. The 73-78 models rusted before the first air filter needed changing. The Dodges were not as bad but still bad and Fords came in a close 3rd. People who lived in the south and inland did not have as much rust problems as the rest of us. From the mid 70s to the late 70s the emission standards made the engines run poorly and burn a lot of gas. Most of the engines and transmissions were durable.
2004 XLT Regular Cab, Short Bed, 4X4 with 5.4 and 3.73.
In the 70s Ford had two real weaknesses, one the beds like to fall apart, bad cracking, we use to put headache racks with 2" x 4" angle iron down the sides. Two the power steering wasn't the best. The Ford was able to take much more abuse than either the Chevy or Dodge. I worked for a large core drilling company as a mechanic, and every so often someone at corporate thought we should try a couple of Chevy's or Dodge's and on the 2 wheel drives and flying down Nevada backroads the Chevy's & Dodge's front ends many times came to the shop in the bed of the truck, the only Ford I remember failing was when it hit a 2' washout at about 70 MPH bending the I-Beams, but drove it 300 mile to the shop. Ford lacked in engines until the 400 CI. Chevy broke frames 73-79 behind the steering boxes. Dodge, it was alway said bolt the seat directly to the frame so when the body started falling off you would still have a good seat. Dodge had the best automatic trans & engines by far, as for sticks shifts Chevy had a very wide ratio 3rd and 4th. the Turbo 350 was only good if it was built with a shift kit, hard use most of the time caused hard parts to fail, I saw alot of broken cases, planatary gears ruined, etc. So who was the best? They all had good points and all had bad points. One thing I can say also is Chevys and Fords where improved by the late 70s. Dodges bodys remained junk until just the last 5-7 years.
Ford for sure! I love the 70's ford trucks. I miss my 77 F250 more then I'd like to admit. That grille in your avatar brings back memories. That was one tuff truck. With a 460/c6 combo I could carry a 2000lb hoist plus probably that much in tools in the back and pull a 9000 mini-excavator anywhere. The truck was t-boned and totaled but I still have that engine and trans waiting to back into another some day for a fun street rod (nothing slammed).
The Fords were always great trucks, even in the 70s but another make that hardly anyone talks about anymore is International Harvester. Those trucks were some of the toughest and most reliable trucks ever built. Sure, they were not the best looking trucks around but they could take one hell of a beating. I think that the biggest downfall of the IH trucks (as well as most from that era) is that they attracted rust like a magnet.
I don't know. I worked for a large fleet that tried Internationals in the 1970's. Total rustbuckets, even in Southern California. Huge engines (like the 392) that use tremendous amounts of gas, and never seemed to run well. No power. Tough to get parts for. Very high operating costs. I guess maybe the drivetrains were tough, that was about the only part that didn't give us trouble. They made a good medium duty truck until a couple of years ago.
Don't be cussin the IHC. Like stated above, they are tuff, yes they are no hotrod, and get bad gas mileage, so does every other big block, but they were a stump puller. I still have one with a 392, 727 combo with positrac in the rear (4X4). I was always the one pulling out the fords, chevys, and dodges. When we got all our fords and chevs stuck, somebody not stuck would take me to get the IHC to pull everybody out. It helped that it had 38's on it though. IHC was ahead of it's time in a sense. Mine was a 74 model, with true powersteering, power brakes, stero, and heater vents along with defrost vents. When they came out, the were a pretty nice truck to have. Rust wasn't too bad on those old trucks around here (Idaho).
Just my .02 cents
The 70s era Ford pickups and 78- 79 Broncos are my all time favorite. They just had that tough aggressive stance to them...especially the High Boy F250s. I am the extremely proud owner of two of Henry's finest: I have an 84 F150 4wd, which I bought when I was 15 yrs old in HS and I still own and drive today. It has a mildly built 300 six (bored, cammed, carbed, headers...) backed by a 4 speed NP435. The truck has 2.5" of suspension lift (soon to be 4"), 33" mudders, 4.10 gears, LSD in the front and a locker in the rear. My other pride and joy is my 77 F250 XLT Ranger 4wd High Boy. The truck is basically original: 351m, NP435, divorsed NP205, 4.10 gears, D44 HD in the front, D60 in the rear. The 60s and 70s Ford High Boys have been an all time favorite of mine forever, and I feel very fortunate to be able to own one. It has suffered the ravages of Michigan winters and is in desperate need of a frame off rebuild. I hope to be able to do this some day. When it comes to older trucks I am a sucker for any of them, Ford, Dodge, Chevrolet, GMC, IHC love em all!
1977 Ford F250 XLT Ranger 4wd/ 351m/ NP435/ 205
1979 Ford Bronco XLT Ranger/ 460/ C6/ 205
1984 Ford F250 XL 4wd/ 6.9 IDI/ C6/ BW1345
1984 Ford F150 4wd/ 300/ NP435/ 208
1996 Ford F150 XLT 4wd/ 300/ ZF5/ BW1356
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