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1973 - 1979 F-100 & Larger F-Series Trucks Discuss the Dentsides Ford Truck

1978

 
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:00 PM
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1978

So, I'm not gonna struggle with my 351m, and I don't want to put in a 400 in my truck anymore. They're not renowned engines and i'm looking to build a reliable daily driver work horse.

Here's what I'd like to know-
What is a good engine to put into my 1978 Ford F150 Custom short bed 4x4 manual 4 speed pick up.

I'm prepared to put some money into this endeavor (not a ton, but some)
The big things I'd like to know/accomplish are - Torque (I want it to be a pull anything, go through anything, accomplish anything truck)

Don't want to get absolutely killed on gas as I have a 30 minute commute to work that involves some highway driving

The goal being to have a good hauler, do anything, utilitarian vehicle, I'd like for it to become a better highway cruiser. Something you could throw a trailer on and drive to another state in.

Is there a possibility of doing this and keeping the original trans? If not, what are some alternatives?

Thanks guys. Desperate for the help.
 
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:25 PM
redcreekauto
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Either the 351M or 400 can easily be built up for a reliable workhorse. With that said and the fact that you sound like you just don't want one then nothing beats cubic inches. A solidly built 460 can pull just about anything that chassis can stand. It all depends on personal preferences.
 
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Old 05-29-2017, 11:43 PM
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X2 on get the 351M professionally built by https://www.tmeyerinc.com/

Tell him what the main use of the truck is and I bet it will be built to match.

As far as real good gas mileage with a square face brick 4wd 40 year old truck...5 spd trans swap in and gears to match the tire size.

X3 put in a 460 and at least it will not work as hard for that 30 mile drive. Axle gears, tire size really affect the MPG.
 
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:30 AM
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Dents <> good gas mileage , closest you'd get is with a 302 and than the hauling part is out of the question.

Keeping the 351/400 in the engine bay lets you spend your money on upgrades to make it plenty stout and reliable (and spend some $ on the axle gears, tires as Rich mentioned to maximize your mpg). If you go 460 you'll get all the beef you want at 8-10mpg AND be spending coin on retrofit parts (radiator, flywheel, water pump, fuel pump, front end brackets, etc. - Since there was no 4WD 460 setup in those model years I think there is some creative work thats needed to get it there). Plenty of folks in the forum have done it so it's feasible.
 
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by kegger66 View Post
Dents <> good gas mileage , closest you'd get is with a 302 and than the hauling part is out of the question.
Excepting 1969/77 Bronco, 302 not available with 4WD in F150/250 & Bronco until 1980.

460 not available with 4WD or M/T until 1983 and then only in F250/350...and all 1983/97 F250/350 460's have a hydraulic clutch.
 
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Old 05-30-2017, 04:46 PM
art vandolay
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Numberdummy, What about the indy 500 pace trucks? From what I read those had an available 460, and that was in a half ton!


Or is that considered 'non-factory' ?
 
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Old 05-30-2017, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by art vandolay View Post
Numberdummy, What about the indy 500 pace trucks? From what I read those had an available 460, and that was in a half ton!

Post 5: The only thing I said about 460's is that they were not available with 4WD or a M/T until 1983, then in F250/350's only.

460: 1973/76 F100 2WD; 1973/79 F250/350 2WD; 1975/79 F150 2WD (except 1979 F150's sold new in CA); 1975/97 E250/350; 1983/96 F250/350 2WD/4WD; 1997 F250 H/D & F350 2WD/4WD

1968/77 & some 1978 Lincoln/Continental Marks; 1972/76 Thunderbird; 1973/78 misc. Ford/Merc Passenger Cars.
 
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:09 PM
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A 460 swap would get you more cubes and bolt up to the same transmission... mounts, oil pan, wiring, hoses ect. would need to be adapted however. I don't really think it would help with mileage... may be worse other things equal.

As far as engine efficiency goes, building with adequate compression and quench - best with closed chamber heads - helps. Extra cubic inches usually do not help. None of the 70's era engines will have good setup for fuel economy.

I also have a '78 F250 with stock 400. It runs well and pulls well with 4.10's including trailers. Fuel economy... well not so good. Around 9 running easy and empty and 5-6 running 70 MPH with a high wind resistant trailer.

For the engine, I would suggest improve the 351M/400. Make it a 400 for better parts availability and power. Build with better compression and ideally closed chamber heads with quench dialed in to .040 (Aussi iron or aluminum heads). That is my plan.

That is my plan.
 
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Old 05-30-2017, 07:21 PM
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I will be swapping my 400 with a 460 when I get around to it. The 400 is running fine currently so not going to mess with it until it gives me issues or I finish literally everything else I want to do. But I want a decent amount of power and torque that I will build out of a 460. Imo 400 and 460 get dang near the same mileage just more power put of a 460.
 
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:49 PM
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Wow! Thanks for the input guys! I'm not opposed to going the 400 route, but I've heard mixed things about reliability of the engine. Rather than doing a rebuild on my 351, I'm probably going to go with getting a reman 400 from Jasper, and I'm toying with the idea of throwing an MSD EFI unit on it in the interest of better performance and fuel consumption.

As far as tranny and gears go, what would you guys recommend? I'm down with throwing a 5 speed into it, but I'm not sure what to choose seeing as Tremec mainly deals in car tranny's. What is recommended for tire size? I have 35x12.50 15's on it now, and I love the look of them for their beef and size, which I don't totally want to lose. What should I use for gears? Something like 4.10's?

I've heard great things about Tim Meyers. Guy really seems to know his stuff and do great work, but how much would he charge to do a build on a reman 400?
 
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Old 05-30-2017, 09:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Hiltz390GT View Post
Wow! Thanks for the input guys! I'm not opposed to going the 400 route, but I've heard mixed things about reliability of the engine. Rather than doing a rebuild on my 351, I'm probably going to go with getting a reman 400 from Jasper, and I'm toying with the idea of throwing an MSD EFI unit on it in the interest of better performance and fuel consumption.

As far as tranny and gears go, what would you guys recommend? I'm down with throwing a 5 speed into it, but I'm not sure what to choose seeing as Tremec mainly deals in car tranny's. What is recommended for tire size? I have 35x12.50 15's on it now, and I love the look of them for their beef and size, which I don't totally want to lose. What should I use for gears? Something like 4.10's?

I've heard great things about Tim Meyers. Guy really seems to know his stuff and do great work, but how much would he charge to do a build on a reman 400?
Ya know, the 351m and the 400 are essentially the same engine. They're the same block and only the crank, rods and pistons are different. Even the bore is the same. The only way to tell them apart, without taking one apart, is to measure the stroke.

Lots of threads on EFI. Heliguy has two trucks with the FiTech, and he seems very happy with them
 
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Old 05-30-2017, 10:00 PM
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I know they're the same engines, but my reason for going with a reman is because my 351m has a rod knock and really needs a comprehensive full rebuild. I don't really trust myself to do it, and getting it done proper would be more expensive all together than getting a reman. Also, jasper offers a pretty great warranty on their engines. Like 3 years or 100,000 miles, I believe.
 
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Old 05-31-2017, 09:47 AM
art vandolay
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Thanks for the education numberdummy. I wasn't aware that a 460 was an option on late 70's 2wd half tons. I had only seen the indy trucks refrenced.
 
 
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