Hey guys I just made another Ford purchase and I was wondering what I can expect out of it. Its a 1985 Ford F-150 4x4 351 auto. Seems like a good running outfit but I know NOTHING of Fords that year/make. Until I test drove it I had never even driven a 351. I didnt get to run it too hard but the 351 acted like it had a little move to it. I have a few questions so here goes-
How many gears were in the Ford Auto's that year 3 or 4?
It has overloads on the leaf spring so I was wondering how much I could tow (gooseneck) and how well the 351 would do it.
Are there any tricks of the trade of that year/model or anything I should know about?
And last of all I was wondering if there were any ways to get cheap HP out of it.
I have a 1985 F150 with the 300 and manual. It is the best truck I have ever used before. I do not know much about the 351, but from what I've read around these forums, they are great engines. One thing I would watch out for is rust over the rear wheel wells. Be sure to clean on top of the lip there as dirt and crap always get caught up in there. The wells have another sheet of metal behind the fender that seem to trap water and moisture a little too well. Other than that, I've had no problems.
Yah I had a '94 1/2 ton with the 4.9 that rusted out over the rear wheels. The '85 has the splash guards or whatever you call them that extend out over the wheel so I dont think rust there is an issue. Like I said it seems like a good damn truck, hope so.
Yeah they are good trucks but they rust hardcore in wheel wells and cab corners and stuff also bad corners to tell you the truth i dont think mudflaps help to much i could be wrong too but it also depends if your area uses a lot of salt and stuff
In my truck, the rubber guide is dry rotted out on the passenger side making wind noise extremely loud. If I shove a piece of cardboard in there, it quiets down but doesn't disappear. Do you live in (or was the truck purchased in) an area that uses lots of road salt during winter?
I too have an '85 F-150, 4x4, with the 351W engine and an auto transmission. Mine came with a C6 auto, which has 3 forward gears, but from what I've read, they also had an option to use the AOD (3+1) overdrive transmission. Look on your shift indicator in the dash, and if it has P, R, N, D (with a circle around it), then another D (without the circle), then 1, it's an AOD. If it's just P, R, N, D, 2, 1, then it's probably the C6. (If I'm mistaken on this, someone will probably correct me shortly)
My 351W is a real workhorse of an engine. I had to change my carburetor out, since the old one was junk, but I've never had a bit of trouble out of it. The C6 tranny is bulletproof, IMO. I use my truck as a daily driver, bought last year for $900, and love it.
It does have the rust over the rear wheel wells, like they all do, but so far my cab corners are fine.
As far as wind noise goes, my rubber strips in the window tracks are also rotted out, so it's a bit noisy on the highway. I've seen various companies offering replacement weatherstripping for these trucks, and will look into trying it myself soon. Surprisingly, though, it's not near as loud on the highways as my old Chevy's had been. Even with all the windows open, it's not unbearable.
All in all, I'd have to say as long as your truck is mechanically sound, and you maintain it properly (oil, tuneups, filters, etc.) and keep it clean, it should last you a great many years.
One way to increase power that doesn't require any massive overhauls is to upgrade your exhaust. Many companies sell cat-back systems that aren't TOO terribly expensive that will free up quite a bit of power. I plan on upgrading my exhaust sometime in the next couple years.
Another way is to change out your stock air filter with a K&N Rechargeable filter. I've had good luck with those, and use them on every vehicle I own. They don't really increase power output by a large margin, but they're definitely better than stock. If you're a nit-picker like me, you might notice a slight increase in power, but you'll also notice a mild increase in mileage too.
Changing the carb may or may not help, depending on the condition of your current one. The 4bbl that came on these trucks isn't really a bad one to start with, if it's the Holley. If you do feel you really want to change the carb, you can also upgrade your intake manifold (if you aren't opposed to tearing the old one and all it's vacuum line crap out) to a good aluminum one, such as an Edelbrock Performer series. They're under $200, and you'll definitely notice a difference. Then just slap a good Holley or Edelbrock 600-650cfm setup on there, and you're good to go. This is what I will be doing this summer.