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More power from 4.9 Straight Six

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Old 04-17-2010, 09:58 AM
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More power from 4.9 Straight Six

What would be cheap, easy, and affordable (Yes. I said it needs to be inexpensive twice.) way to get more power out of my 4.9 liter Straight Six engine in my 1985 F150?

Currently, it's got the TFI ignition, and i'm going to switch it over to the Duraspark II system soon, giving it slightly better gas mileage and performance.

But other than that, what are good ways to get better performance from the engine?
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Wicked Endings View Post
What would be cheap, easy, and affordable (Yes. I said it needs to be inexpensive twice.) way to get more power out of my 4.9 liter Straight Six engine in my 1985 F150?

Currently, it's got the TFI ignition, and i'm going to switch it over to the Duraspark II system soon, giving it slightly better gas mileage and performance.

But other than that, what are good ways to get better performance from the engine?
upgrade to a bigger carb? lol of course if you wanted to be a generous soul you could just give me your engine 8P
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:34 PM
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There are a few ways to add quite a bit power to your engine w/o removing it.

The easiest and cheapest would be to replace your oe rocker arms to cheby 250 rockers. It will cost about $50, and will give you higher valve lift and a bit more performance. Check over at fordsix.com forum in the FAQ section and do your research before starting.

Another upgrade would be to pull a set of EFI eshaust manifolds and install them with less restrictive muffs and cat.

If you still want to boost the hp more, then p/u a used 4v intake on ebay or craig's list, or at some swap meet, along with 4v vacuum secondary carb, rebuild the carb, and install. You will be amazed at the difference!!

Before you do any of it though, do your research and learn the ins and outs.
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:37 PM
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A C-4 in an '85?

Don't you mean C-6?
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Old 04-17-2010, 02:49 PM
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Oh no. It's a C4. The last owner dropped in a junkyard C4 tranny.

Sucks, I know.
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:03 PM
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Oh no. It's a C4. The last owner dropped in a junkyard C4 tranny.

Sucks, I know.
Eh, not really. The C4 is a decent trans, and will give decent service in a truck, so long as you're not trying to tow heavy loads.
Best of all, the C4 doesn't rob as much power as a C6. This nets a bit more power to the rear wheels, where it matters.
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Old 04-17-2010, 07:04 PM
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Eh, not really. The C4 is a decent trans, and will give decent service in a truck, so long as you're not trying to tow heavy loads.
Best of all, the C4 doesn't rob as much power as a C6. This nets a bit more power to the rear wheels, where it matters.
i have a 4spd manual w/ a granny gear in my 86 f150 any idea what kind of tranny it might be?
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:19 PM
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i have a 4spd manual w/ a granny gear in my 86 f150 any idea what kind of tranny it might be?
Most likely a BW T18. The T19 was available, but mostly found in F250/350's.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:32 PM
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Most likely a BW T18. The T19 was available, but mostly found in F250/350's.
now for the real questions is that a good thing and from a cost perspective should i stick w/ a straight six or instead of building another one should i go with a v8 - seems like the 8's are a more affordable route to go if you don't care about fuel economy

cost to build is more important to me as i have another vehicle to use for long drives lol
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:32 PM
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oh and whats the best tranny to go w/ if i want to keep a stick and a decent balance of speed/power and torque
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:44 PM
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If it was me, I'd stick with 6, and that granny gear 4 speed. Both are tough as an old boot.
The main difference between the t18 and t19, was 1st gear. T19 had a syncro'd 1st gear that was a tad taller, while the T18 had no syncro for 1st, and it was much lower, ofr use mainly to get a heavy load moving. Both are stout M-Fer's.
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Old 04-17-2010, 10:47 PM
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If it was me, I'd stick with 6, and that granny gear 4 speed. Both are tough as an old boot.
The main difference between the t18 and t19, was 1st gear. T19 had a syncro'd 1st gear that was a tad taller, while the T18 had no syncro for 1st, and it was much lower, ofr use mainly to get a heavy load moving. Both are stout M-Fer's.
good to know now if only i could find someone w/ an extra engine block that is in decent shape so i don't have to buy a whole new engine lol
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Old 04-18-2010, 11:54 AM
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rebuild the Toy for it's intended purpose (DD),
use the heep for Bajain,
and if U have any work to do the 2wh F150/I6. It'll haul n carry like few others. Granny 1st (~ 6:1) will get U out of anything.
my .06 $ (.02 $ fer each). Few of us have 3 vehicles n that my B the $ issue U mention.
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:15 PM
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rebuild the Toy for it's intended purpose (DD),
use the heep for Bajain,
and if U have any work to do the 2wh F150/I6. It'll haul n carry like few others. Granny 1st (~ 6:1) will get U out of anything.
my .06 $ (.02 $ fer each). Few of us have 3 vehicles n that my B the $ issue U mention.

the jeep actually belongs to my parents so can't really do any mods to it
the carolla is well - a toyota, enough said
and my truck - once my truck is completely mechanically sound parents are gonna be takin the jeep back
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Old 04-18-2010, 12:30 PM
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Is there cheap ways to mod the inline six, you bet, are they worth the effort, questionable at best. Youll go from a turd to a polished turd. And you will not awaken a beast.

Sound like your young, broke and just wanna go fast.

Brings up the next question, what makes your heart go pitter patter, the idea of a modified six banger or the rumble of a v-8....at the core, its all about the experience and how you feel, cause at the end of the day, no matter what you have, someone is gonna have bigger, better and faster.

The cheapest way to make the six banger generate real power would be to tack a turbo on it...this only holds true to the carb'd 300's, the efi engine is alot more involved...a turbo... would require doing some research and footwork but doable...theres a turbo website with massive amount of info and help, it used to be called turbomustangs but I think the name was changed, cause the site was realistically open to all make and model cars.

Next up you have to get real and realize, you might be able to find a used decent shape v-8, making real hp for 1500-2000 but thats probably if you know someone that knows someone, or if you hunt through the classifieds and find a gem.

But make sure you have some extra cash in reserve, cause something will break, your tranny should be rebuilt or at least gone through and who knows how long those original U-joints are gonna hold up, much less the gears in the axle.

The simplest way, would be to just fish around for a car/truck someone else has been working on, mustang or whatever.....and let them take the loss and sell their project to you, just make sure you know what your getting.

Thos are the answers you wanna hear, reality is, and the best choice in my opinion, if your low on cash, maybe focus on something else for a while, get your finances in order, save up and buy what you really want.

Good luck either way.
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