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360 questions

  #1  
Old 09-21-2018, 11:02 AM
78 f150ranger lariat
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360 questions

Hello I'm curious to see what all of your opinions are on this so all are welcome I'm only 22 so im still pretty ignorant I just got a 68 ranger with a 360 in it and was wonder what I could do to upgrade it a little it runs good as is but ide like just a little more umph to it im not looking for a drag truck just something to have fun in as far as I know it's stock may have been rebuilt but I don't know so let me know what yall think
 
  #2  
Old 09-21-2018, 11:15 AM
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Don't worry about your age. I'm 53 and have the same questions. I'm considering buying a 1969 F100 with a 360 and 3 speed on column. The guy says it's all original, and the truck is in very good condition. It runs and drives well.

I spoken to a few people and the general consensus is this:

1. It's very heavy (cast iron everything)
2. Expect poor gas mileage (9-11 MPG)
3. It was designed specifically for pickup trucks
4. It has a lot of low-end power and torque, but not much speed on the highway.

For myself, I would like to use this as an occasional daily driver, to haul hay, gravel, wood, etc. It won't be used for long trips where fuel mileage and comfort are important, but I would like to take it out for occasional "Sunday" drives of 50-100 miles.
 
  #3  
Old 09-21-2018, 11:30 AM
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I suggest you check out some of the FAQs. There is also an FE engine forum on this site.

Here is the short list and order (note the order...)
1) Exhaust
2) Headers
3) 4bbl carb and intake
4) cam (+valve springs, etc)
5) pistons for higher compression (aka new short block)

Plan B:
- re-gear read end (higher numerical ratio)
- Nitrous, turbo (stock FE is already low compression)
- Engine swap (Windsor, 460, 4.6L (note LS is not in this list))
 
  #4  
Old 09-21-2018, 11:45 AM
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Add a good dual exhaust with an “X” pipe in place of a straight crossover if you have the funds. An aluminum dual plane 4 barrel with no more than a 650 vacuum secondary carburetor. Electronic ignition conversion. Headers will not be worth the investment and aggravation so do not bother. You probably have a 3.25 axle so that is good. If you have a standard transmission add a wide ratio 2.78 1st gear type 4 speed or go “all in” with a 5 speed. If you have a C6 auto have the transmission rebuilt with the wide ratio planetary gear set with a shift kit. Do not waste money on a “high stall” converter.
These are some of the things I did to my 68 with the original 360, never had a Chevy truck/350 come close, but that was along time ago.
Start saving and do what you can afford now. Good luck
 
  #5  
Old 09-21-2018, 11:47 AM
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I only drive 10 miles to work so mileage doesn't matter to me and it's not gonna be a work Truck more of my nice weekend truck what about changing the crank and making it a 390 is it worth the trouble?
​​​​
 
  #6  
Old 09-21-2018, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by kenny nunez View Post
Add a good dual exhaust with an “X” pipe in place of a straight crossover if you have the funds. An aluminum dual plane 4 barrel with no more than a 650 vacuum secondary carburetor. Electronic ignition conversion. Headers will not be worth the investment and aggravation so do not bother. You probably have a 3.25 axle so that is good. If you have a standard transmission add a wide ratio 2.78 1st gear type 4 speed or go “all in” with a 5 speed. If you have a C6 auto have the transmission rebuilt with the wide ratio planetary gear set with a shift kit. Do not waste money on a “high stall” converter.
These are some of the things I did to my 68 with the original 360, never had a Chevy truck/350 come close, but that was along time ago.
Start saving and do what you can afford now. Good luck
what kind of shift kit would you recommend​​​​​​?
 
  #7  
Old 09-21-2018, 12:35 PM
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Any popular brand name kit will do the job as long as the transmission is healthy. If it needs work any good transmission shop will be able to build yours with the wide ratio planetary.
A 390 conversion would also work, as always said, the only substitute for cubic inches is cubic $.
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 01:46 PM
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Whenever this question is brought up I remember somebody pointing out it's easy to eagerly bolt on all sorts of $$$ parts, and then leave all kinds performance on the table in the ignition distributor that's practically free.

Distributor advance curve on trucks is glacially sucky, some study on how an ignition distributor works and how to set it up correctly sounds like in your case it would be a productive use of your time. Both performance and fuel economy will improve noticeably and if you're like many 22 year olds "money is no object" isn't what you're dealing with anyway. Keep in mind if you plan on hauling heavy loads of gravel to St Louis or whatever with your truck, don't mess with it too much. But you can get a lot more zing out of your engine with a recurve if you'll be running light most of the time. Normally the easiest way to do this is with a dedicated distributor machine, but you can use the engine itself for the same purpose, it just takes longer.
 
  #9  
Old 09-21-2018, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Tedster9 View Post
Whenever this question is brought up I remember somebody pointing out it's easy to eagerly bolt on all sorts of $$$ parts, and then leave all kinds performance on the table in the ignition distributor that's practically free.

Distributor advance curve on trucks is glacially sucky, some study on how an ignition distributor works and how to set it up correctly sounds like in your case it would be a productive use of your time. Both performance and fuel economy will improve noticeably and if you're like many 22 year olds "money is no object" isn't what you're dealing with anyway. Keep in mind if you plan on hauling heavy loads of gravel to St Louis or whatever with your truck, don't mess with it too much. But you can get a lot more zing out of your engine with a recurve if you'll be running light most of the time. Normally the easiest way to do this is with a dedicated distributor machine, but you can use the engine itself for the same purpose, it just takes longer.
it has an electronic ignition and money is tight for me cause I have a 1 year old but I can save it overtime if I need or want​​​​ something
 
  #10  
Old 09-21-2018, 02:16 PM
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The ignition idea is a good one. For no charge, you can run the advance out a little. OEM is probably 6 degrees. Try 10 degrees, for a very modest improvement.

Check your carb for leaks, etc. A carb rebuild on those 2bbls is pretty easy, the kits are not expensive.

Duals is a good idea if you need mufflers and pipes.

Headers and a 4bbl? They do wake it up a bit, but not free, and headers mean exhaust work. And they can be a pita.

Cam & pistons? Sure if you are going to do a rebuild, at which time you would add the 390 bits, or other stroker parts.

Serving suggestions, ymmv.

You also want to inspect the brakes and tires, as you want your limited pickup dollars to go to the most important items on the list.
 
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Old 09-21-2018, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by 85e150six4mtod View Post
The ignition idea is a good one. For no charge, you can run the advance out a little. OEM is probably 6 degrees. Try 10 degrees, for a very modest improvement.

Check your carb for leaks, etc. A carb rebuild on those 2bbls is pretty easy, the kits are not expensive.

Duals is a good idea if you need mufflers and pipes.

Headers and a 4bbl? They do wake it up a bit, but not free, and headers mean exhaust work. And they can be a pita.

Cam & pistons? Sure if you are going to do a rebuild, at which time you would add the 390 bits, or other stroker parts.

Serving suggestions, ymmv.

You also want to inspect the brakes and tires, as you want your limited pickup dollars to go to the most important items on the list.
2X on this. Save the cam, pistons, and stroker kit for when you need a rebuild anyway. Agreed on fine tuning the timing to get a little more power and mpg. The hillbilly way is to run time trials on a quarter mile of rarely used back road with a stop watch. When I had a 390, I timed how long it took to get from 40mph to 60mph in 4th gear because that's where I wanted help towing. Tweaking the ignition timing definitely helped power and mpg. With the stroker motor I have now, the builder optimized timing at the higher rpm band. I fine tuned the idle and cruise ignition timing by adjusting the timing curve. By that I mean adjusting initial timing and rate of advance, while keeping the same total time. My goals were strong idle, good power throughout, and no detonation. Takes patience, trial and error. Around 10 is a good initial advance. Shouldn't really go much above 36-38 total with iron heads but how soon you get there and where you start initial makes a difference. I like vacuum advance but some guys don't especially when you get into custom engines.

Someday, when you have disposable income, turn that thing into 445 cubes of a torque monster with all the cool aftermarket power builders.
 
  #12  
Old 09-22-2018, 12:38 AM
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Ok so I guess I'll start on top and go down so another question is what's one of the better carb and intake setups I could go with?
 
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Old 09-22-2018, 09:46 AM
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The "best" carburetor is one that is correctly sized for the engine it's installed on. The carb and intake have a sweet spot where it is designed and tuned to run best.

Be realistic about where most of your driving will be done. Do you already have a good understanding of what carburetor is installed right now in terms of CFM or venturi size? It may be perfect for your purposes, or not. Keep in mind if you get it wrong for the most part it will run worse, not better and you spent a chunk of money. This is a classic error. The exhaust system should be opened up before anything else basically. It won't matter too much what you bolt on if the engine can't breathe.
 
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Old 09-22-2018, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Tedster9 View Post
The "best" carburetor is one that is correctly sized for the engine it's installed on. The carb and intake have a sweet spot where it is designed and tuned to run best.

Be realistic about where most of your driving will be done. Do you already have a good understanding of what carburetor is installed right now in terms of CFM or venturi size? It may be perfect for your purposes, or not. Keep in mind if you get it wrong for the most part it will run worse, not better and you spent a chunk of money. This is a classic error. The exhaust system should be opened up before anything else basically. It won't matter too much what you bolt on if the engine can't breathe.
it has a brand new 2 barrel and I think it's the motorcraft I'm not sure of the CFM I'm still learning about all that stuff
​​​​
 
  #15  
Old 09-22-2018, 10:33 AM
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I really like the Holley carburetors, next to fuel injection they have the best off idle crispness. There is one on page 15 of the current Summit catalog #hly-0-80457a 600 cfm single feed,electric choke @ $320.95, just be sure to order it with the kick down linkage kit. With a little luck you should be able to get a used aluminum dual plane square bore manifold on e-bay or at a swap meet or for your birthday. Stay away from any used swap meet carburetors. Needless to say the ignition tuning is the cheapest to kick it up some.
 

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