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Old 11-06-2006, 07:27 PM
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StangMan StangMan is offline
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Building 351W for towing ???'s

I'm just exploring options here. The ex's truck ('93 F250 w/ camper package, 351w, E4OD) popped a head gasket and I'm in sort of a quandary about what to do with it. The truck pulls a 3-horse goose-neck trailer, as well as bringing home hay bales and other horse-related duties. Money is extremely tight, as is true with most people who own horses. The options are basically:

-Drop in new head gaskets and call it good, then sell the truck for whatever she can get out of it and try to buy another truck but with a big block or diesel. Obviously best choice from a towing standpoint, but finding another truck that's as clean as hers that I won't have to do any work on any time soon will cost big $$$, and she doesn't have it.

-Re-ring the motor, maybe new bearings if they need replaced (basic overhaul) work over the stock heads/intake a bit, install an itty-bitty cam that'll play nice with the SD computer, like the Comp XE254H-14, and full exhaust and whatnot, so that $1000 later the truck will be in much better shape to tow the loads it does, plus it should run for a long time with no mechanical issues.

-See above option but add in a stroker kit to get some extra cubes out of the lil' Windsor. Adds a grand or better to the equation, but will give the truck the displacement it needs to keep up with the big block trucks in towing.

-Push truck into the desert, light on fire, collect insurance, then go truck shopping.

-Tell her this is why we broke up, and to find a new boyfriend to rebuild it.


Last one's not really an option since we're still good friends, but figured I'd throw it out there. Thanks for the input.
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1993 F-250 XLT, built 351W motor, factory camper package
1989 Mustang LX hatch, 5.0L/5-speed, HCI, gears, 5 lug disk brakes
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Old 11-06-2006, 10:44 PM
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Sounds like you know what you need to do. The cam and exhaust will make a big improvement for towing, and the stock intake will flow plenty for an open'd up stock motor without hurting the low rpm torque range. If the short block is solid and doesn't have too many miles on it I'd even suggest leaving it alone and just redo the heads while installing the cam.
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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 11-07-2006, 08:49 AM
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i agree, if the bottom is fine just clean up the heads , install compcam 35-255-5 and install some long or shortie headers, rework exhaust with 3" out stock location.

what size tires on that truck and what is the gear ratio?

the stroker is cool but will require close to a grand in redoing the efi to run that motor properly. a few on here an another forum spent anywhere from 5-8k on there stroker builds so that is almost a new truck.
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94 XLT 357/E4OD/Warn HS9500I
6"ProComp Stage II 35x12.5x15 BFG AT's
4.88 gears/Aussie Front/rear open
Edelbrock efi intake JBA shorty,CustomY pipe/exhaust
http://www.supermotors.org/registry/...il.php?id=4158
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Old 11-07-2006, 09:30 AM
P51D Mustang P51D Mustang is offline
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You need to carefully evaluate your cost options, and how much you use the truck, and how you use the truck. A big block or a diesel would be better for this application, but it will probably cost a lot more overall, than fixing the 351w, to change trucks. However, sometimes just making payments on a solid used truck is better than having a worn out truck constantly nickel and diming you to death.

If you only used the truck occasionally, then just fix it up, with an upgraded cam ..ect..The 351w is good reliable work horse with the right combonation of parts. If it's something that you live and work in, I'd be tempted to upgrade.

A big block motor will probably get better gas milege with a trailer on, than a small block, and since it's not being worked as hard, it's less likely to break down in the long run, under long term work stress. This has been my experiance towing large gooseneck horse trailers. A 460 manual would still get 10-11mpg, but a 350 ch$%^ would drop from 13 empty to about 8 with a loaded gooseneck. However, even a big block would ideally want an upgraded cam and exaust.

Diesels are great for this kind of work and they outlast gas motors, while getting better fuel milege, but "you know what" costs a lot more than gasoline right now. A diesel, even used, will probably cost quite a bit more out right
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:40 PM
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Thanks for the replies all. The quick rebuild seems like the way to go. I know that the motor's getting tired because the leakdown results weren't great, with the cylinders between 12-15% except #1, which was like 30% and is where the sparkplug is nice and steam-cleaned.

Pretty well means that unless I find that there's lots of work to be done to the heads/valves that the rings are probably done and need replaced, and since they're coming out anyway seems like a good chance to have the crank polished and toss some new bearings in there.

But anyway... The truck already has a 3" catback, and as part of its makeover I'll be installing headers, probably long tubes, and a high-flow 3" cat while replacing the rest of the stock pipe. The truck's also getting some 4.56 gears to take some of the strain off the motor and tranny. It's got 31" tires (265/75-16) so 4.56's will be entirely manageable on the street, not that the truck ever goes past 65 anyway.

Otherwise, I'm just going to do a bit of smoothing on the heads and intake, not hogging out, just to help things flow along. That CompCams 35-255-5 is the one I was looking at, just called it by its grind number instead of part number. Looks like it should have an awesome torque curve with the rest of the parts in the equation here.

The only other thing I'm lookin' at is to have the heads milled a wee bit to get compression up over 9:1. The truck is only used to tow and haul stuff, not as a daily driver (thank the car gods on that one) so even if I had to step up to 89 octane it wouldn't be too bad.

Thanks again for the advice all.
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1993 F-250 XLT, built 351W motor, factory camper package
1989 Mustang LX hatch, 5.0L/5-speed, HCI, gears, 5 lug disk brakes
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Old 11-07-2006, 02:43 PM
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[quote=StangMan]Thanks for the replies all. The quick rebuild seems like the way to go. I know that the motor's getting tired because the leakdown results weren't great, with the cylinders between 12-15% except #1, which was like 30% and is where the sparkplug is nice and steam-cleaned.



your bottem end is worn out man. I would start looking at other options because that motor needs rebuilt from top to bottom.
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94 XLT 357/E4OD/Warn HS9500I
6"ProComp Stage II 35x12.5x15 BFG AT's
4.88 gears/Aussie Front/rear open
Edelbrock efi intake JBA shorty,CustomY pipe/exhaust
http://www.supermotors.org/registry/...il.php?id=4158
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Old 11-07-2006, 02:43 PM
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